10th Grade


Hey s’mores! It’s the last week of the marking period, which means that we’ll be wrapping up our study of the 1920’s and beginning to work on our summative project. Remember, the summative project is 60 percent of your grade for the marking period, so it is imperative that you work hard to complete it during the week. Here’s the schedule:

Monday: 1st, 4th, and 5th periods will be finishing up our work with Gatsby and moving into our summative project. I’ll be explaining it to you during class and you’ll have the opportunity to start working on your project. 3rd period will be finishing up the novel, discussing the final three paragraphs and then starting your projects. Here’s a sample of what I think your slides should look like if you are electing to make a PowerPoint.

Tuesday – Friday: These will all be work days for you. There is quite a lot to be done, and each day I’ll be walking you through at least one part of the project. The project is due on Friday, by 11:59:59.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

Howdy, young ones! This is a super short week, but we still have quite a lot of work to do. In order to catch up after all the odd days off that we had this marking period we’ll need to get some additional reading done during the week. This means, of course, that you’ll need to do some reading outside of school. If you’re struggling to understand exactly what’s going on in the text, you can check sparknotes.com to look at summaries of each chapter. You can also watch this neat-o video:

I hope that helps, if you’re struggling. That said, here’s the week!

Monday: We’ll be discussing chapter 7 in class. I have a few debatable questions that we’ll be walking through during the course of the period.

Homework: Read chapter 8 for class on Tuesday.

Tuesday: I have a set of discussion questions that we’ll be working through in class, as well as a short group piece about 3 particularly meaningful passages.

Homework: Read chapter 9 for Wednesday.

Wednesday: The smart kids should expect a quiz on Wednesday, but we’ll also be having something of a debate around the question of whether or not Nick’s judgement of the culture is fair or accurate. This will tie in to the conversation about dreams, by the way.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

Hey young ones! I hope that you’re ready for an intellectually challenging and engaging week. As we continue our reading of Gatsby, we’ll also start wrestling with the idea of cultural pluralism and whether or not it is a) a good idea and b) even possible to achieve (if you’d even want to…). Here’s the skinny on our week:

Monday: We’ll be reading a short article in class about the idea of cultural pluralism, then reading excerpts from two influential figures, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Du Bois. These two intellectuals, both of whom were African-American, had radically different ideas of how the black community should proceed following the Civil War. We’ll be discussing their ideas on Tuesday.

Tuesday: Like I just said, we’ll be looking at the ideas of Washington and Du Bois, and applying their ideas beyond just their writing, looking at race and culture in America. You can find the short readings here (they’re the last two pages) and the questions here.

Homework: Read chapter 5 of Gatsby for class on Wednesday.

Wednesday: I have a short set of discussion questions for us on Wednesday that deal both with the basic plot and with the idea of cultural pluralism.

Thursday: I’m still figuring out exactly what Thursday will look like. We will be listining to some music from the Harlem Renaissance, but I haven’t put together exactly who just yet. Stay tuned.

Homework: Read chapter 6 in Gatsby.

Friday: We’ll be dealing with chapter 6 via a Socratic Seminar. We’ll be looking at social class in the novel, viewed through the lens of cultural pluralism.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

Welcome to our 10th week together, young ones! We’ll be digging into our second unit of the year this week, starting to look closely at both F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby and at some of the poetry and music of the Harlem Renaissance. I hope that we’ll start to explore some of our big ideas this week, especially whether or not the American Dream actually exists. Take a look at your Election Week schedule:

Monday: Last week we were introduced to Nick Carraway, the narrator of The Great Gatsby. In many ways he is part of the author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, born in the midwest and transplanted to NYC. (Check out this article for more on that). Because we’ve already met him, we’ll be transitioning to look at some work from Langston Hughes, and his poem A Dream Deferred. You can check out the work you’ll be doing in groups here.

Homework: Finish Gatsby chapter 1.

Tuesday:  No school! Go vote! Or… um… tell your parents to vote!

Wednesday: We’re going to be discussing the first chapter of Gatsby for the first 20 minutes or so of class. Afterwards, I’ll be giving you time to read the second chapter.

Homework: Read chapter 2

Thursday: Naturally, we’ll be digging into chapter 2. I also have your second set of vocabulary words. I’ll post them ASAP.

Friday: To finish the week you’ll be making your first extended journal entry, comparing life in East and West Egg to the life that Hughes describes in A Dream Deferred. After, I’ll be giving you time to read chapter 3.

Homework: Read chapter 3 for class on Monday.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

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 turnitin.com 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 turnitin.com.

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

Hola, s’mores! we’ve got quite a lot to get through this week. We’ll continue looking closely at Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, focusing on how the characters’ feelings about their utopian/dystopian societies change throughout the novel. We’ll also start looking closely at the way in which Bradbury addresses the topic of censorship in the novel. Here’s the plan for the week:

Monday: Our week will start with a short quiz on the weekend reading homework (through page 31). We’ll be starting to look at the topic of censorship this week, and we’ll start off the week with a QFT (Question Formulation Technique) about censorship.

Homework: Read through page 41.

Tuesday: We will be adding the term “allusion” to our literary tool kits, and I have a short lecture about one of Bradbury’s more interesting allusions. Afterwards, we will have a short in-class writing piece about the allusion.

Homework: Read pages 41-48

Wednesday: Our day will start with a short Do Now about entertainment, and during class we will be focusing on what Bradbury is trying to do with the section about the parlor walls. This will be largely focused on what the author’s purpose is, and how he is accomplishing it. Also, because it is Wednesday, and I like to do writing-related things on Wednesday, we will be revisiting the work we did last week with Organization and Analysis. I will be making sure that each of you receives feedback on your previous writing, and we will be (hopefully!) setting goals for the next writing piece.

Homework: Read pages 48-63

Thursday: We will be looking at Captain Beatty’s powerful speech about the importance of censorship and preparing for our Socratic Seminar on Friday. There are a number of set protocols for the Seminar (it is scored, and there are rules), and I need to review them with you.

Homework: Prepare 4 pieces of evidence for our Socratic Seminar. You cannot participate if you come unprepared.

Friday: Seminar Day! The focus of our seminar will be on Beatty’s speech, of course, and whether or not censorship can be justified. I will also be collecting your dialectical journals on Friday. Make sure that for each reading you have at least two responses to the text.

Weekend Reading: 63-68.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog

Monday: We will start working on our first writing piece of the year on Monday. Our first writing piece will focus on examining two pieces of writing and analyzing how each piece makes its argument. You can read the two short pieces here. During class I expect that you will read through the first of the pieces and craft a short analysis of the author’s argument. I will also be collecting your signed Course Overview slips.

Tuesday: After you read the first piece and craft a short response, we’ll spend part of the class on Tuesday examining the first editorial together, looking specifically at some of the rhetorical devices that the author uses to make a point. Our focus will be on rhetorical appeals, such as Logos, Pathos, and Ethos.

Wednesday: In class on Wednesday we will be reading through the second of our articles, taking notes about the author’s main point and about how well it is developed throughout the article. Specifically, we will be examining the ways in which the author uses rhetorical strategies to support the main idea and we will be analyzing how effective (or ineffective) the author’s argument is.

Thursday: Thursday will mark a transition from the beginning of the year activities to our first unit. Over the summer you read Animal Farm, and I have a short exam on the novel. This will also be the final day to turn in your summer reading assignments.

Friday: I will be introducing our first short story of the year, along with our first unit in greater detail. This unit, focusing on Utopian and Dystopian literature, will attempt to help us examine how our definitions of utopian and dystopian societies change depending on who and where we are. In class we will be reading The Portable Phonograph, a short story which takes place shortly after a war has reduced the world to what seems to be a virtually unlivable state. We will be looking at the characters in the novel in particular, and trying to peer into their individual psyche.

Expect homework over the weekend.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog