Archive for October, 2014


Happy second marking period, young scholars! We’re got quite a lot going on this week, from field trips to grades being due to starting a new novel. It’s going to be busy, for sure.

But first! If I don’t have your 451 essay, I need it by the start of class tomorrow. You CANNOT pass the first marking period without turning it in.

Monday: We have a short, on-demand writing piece to begin on Monday. Every grade will be writing an argumentative essay in class by November 3, and I want to get it done before we start our next unit. We’ll review the prompts, discuss what you need to do to be successful, and review a sample essay together in class in preparation did the writing.

Tuesday: Field Trip Day!

Wednesday: This will be our writing day. You’ll come in, get out a sheet of paper, and start writing. By the end of a 30 minute period you should have produced a short essay which argues a point and addresses potential counterclaims. I will collect them at the end of the period. If you’re absent, you’ll need to make it up with me.

Thursday: We will start our next unit, focusing on NYC in the 1920’s. We’ll be reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby and looking at the Harlem Renaissance through its literature and art in order to look at the myriad experiences of New York in the 1920’s. I have a short activity to help us start thinking about the era and how we can learn from it. Afterwards, I’ll be previewing some of the vocabulary in the first chapter.

Friday: During class we will be reading part of the first chapter aloud and beginning our Dialectical Journals. More about Friday to come shortly.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

Happy last week of the marking period, s’mores! We’ll be working on our final assessment this week, and trust me, it’s a big deal. All of the summative (final) assessments in this class amount to 60 percent of your final grade, and you should note that it would be virtually impossible to pass this course if you don’t complete the assessment. That said, here’s your week:

Monday: I’ll be giving a mini lesson of sort on how to quickly organize an essay, then giving you the period to work on writing your own theses and craft a lightening quick outline for our final essay on Fahrenheit 451. Before I sign over a computer to you, you’ll need to have your thesis and outline stamped by me.

Tuesday: This will be largely a writing day. I’ll be doing a mini lesson on how to write an effective counterclaim, then giving you the rest of the period to work on your rough drafts.

Homework: Complete your rough draft for class on Wednesday.

Wednesday: We’ll be walking through a peer editing activity. You need to bring 2 copies of your rough draft to class, printed or copied, to class.

Thursday: This will also be a writing day. I will be showing you how to set up your accounts during class, so if you’re absent or planning to be out, see me. I’ll only be accepting this essay digitally (unless you need some accommodations there) so make sure you’re in class.

Friday: This day is sort of in flux. Either way, the essay is due at 11:59:59 Friday night via

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

Happy post-Indigenous People’s Day Weekend, young scholars! This is a bizarre week, as we will be spending one day in the library and another doing PSAT testing. As a result, there will be some reading that you will need to complete on your own in order to stay on top of the upcoming end of the marking period. So, with that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the week.

Tuesday: Over the weekend I asked you to read through the beginning of section three of the novel (up through page 117). We’re going to take a close look at Montag’s house, a powerful symbol that we haven’t exactly explored yet. I have a short set of discussion questions that we’ll be using to examine the home in small groups. You can find the questions here if you’re absent.

Homework: By Friday, you should be through page 145.

Wednesday: Wednesday will be PSAT day, so come to school with your testing caps on. Get a good night’s sleep, eat some breakfast, and do your best. I’ve spoken about the importance of this test before, but I want to stress it again: a high score here puts you on the radar of many good colleges. Even taking the exam is good practice for the SAT,  which you’ll need for college admission.

Thursday: We will be headed to the library on Thursday to check out books for our first outside reading project. The project will be due at the end of the second marking period, and I’ll have all kinds of info for you in class.

Friday: We will be continuing our exploration of some of the novel’s major symbols on Friday, turning our attention this time to the Hound. Again, I have a set of discussion questions for you to work through in your small groups which will help us explore how Bradbury uses this symbol.

Weekend Reading: Finish the novel!

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

Howdy young ones! I am excited for week number six, one in which we begin to dig into Fahrenheit and some of its juicier topics and themes. We’ll begin by looking at the allusion to James Boswell, and we’ll also spend a little bit of time looking at one allusion to the Greek philosopher Plato, the poem Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, and to a Biblical allusion. Again, each of these are included for a specific reason, and we’ll be investigating why Bradbury has chosen each of these specific allusions. Additionally, we’ll continue our character study by looking closely at a new character: Faber.

That said, here’s a quick preview of your week.

Monday: First thing first, we’ll be finishing our Socratic Smackdown with a bonus round. Afterwards, we’ll take a look at the beginning of section two, The Sieve and the Sand, and reading pages 71-77 in class, taking notes in our dialectical journals on Faber.

Homework: Read 77-91 by Wednesday. Add 3 entries on character, setting, utopia, or dystopia to your dialectical journals.

Tuesday: In class we’ll be doing a short writing piece on the allusion to James Boswell. Like I said earlier, we need to examine why Bradbury has included this allusion, and we’ll be looking at what the allusion says about Bradbury’s feelings about what makes a utopia and a dystopia.

Homework: (See Monday’s homework)

Wednesday: We need to look closely at Montag and Faber’s plan for undermining the Fire Department. We’ll begin with a quick yes/no anticipation guide, and then, we’ll be having a mini debate (it will be scored!) looking at the question of whether or not what they plan to do is ethical. It begs the question of whether there are any good ways to attempt to bring about a utopian society.

Homework: Read Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold.

Thursday: I have an activity on Arnold’s poem that will help us to understand the significance of the allusion.

Friday: I want to give you a reading day, so as to avoid homework over the weekend. There will be a short pre-reading activity, then I will ask you to read pages 100-117 during class. I will be walking around, taking notes on your reading progress.

Homework: Finish reading pages 100-117.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog