All classes finished up working with Mrs. Weaver-James regarding the PASS writing test that is coming up 11 March and then we went to the book fair.

Homework
  • First period: make sure you’ve read through chapter 8 of The Giver.
  • Second period: finish Lord of the Flies.

Mrs.Weaver-James, an instructional coach at Hughes, was a guest teacher in all classes today, giving students some important information about the upcoming PASS test.

Tomorrow, we’ll be going to the book fair, with Mrs. Weaver-James taking the few minutes of class time beforehand to finish up what we started.

Homework

None.

We took a break from the regular schedule today to do some scheduling for next year. It was difficult for the students who hadn’t gone to their high school’s curriculum night to make decisions about courses, but overall, it went well.

First period went over euphemisms and how they’re used in The Giver.

Second period discussed symbols in Lord of the Flies.

Fourth and sixth periods worked on Flowers for Algernon.

Homework
  • Second period: read chapter nine of LoF.
  • First, fourth, and sixth periods: test on persuasive techniques tomorrow.
The Giver, Algernon, and Sociology

First period began The Giver. We’ll be reading it in class for a day or so to settle everyone into sometimes-disorienting world of Jonas.

Second period began looking at five principles of sociology in order to understand better Lord of the Flies and the challenges facing Ralph and the boys on the island. The first two principles we looked at today

  1. People behave differently in groups than they do as individuals.
  2. People obey rules that are socially constructed.

After checking the starters,

Checking Starters
Checking Starters

fourth and sixth periods began Flowers for Algernon. We read about Charlie’s Rorschach test, and made a few of our own.

Bulletin Board
Bulletin Board
Homework
  • First period: none.
  • Second period: quiz (vocab) online.
  • Fourth and sixth periods:
    • essay due tomorrow;
    • read through page 313.

First, fourth, and sixth periods began on units today.  First period will be doing The Giver, and we discussed several issues related to the theme.

Questions on the anticipation guide included (though I realize now it was too much!):

  1. Sometimes it is OK to lie.
  2. Memories play an important part of your life and who you are.
  3. It is better to never experience cold or hunger.
  4. The past repeats itself.
  5. People in society accept things they usually would not if they were on their own.
  6. It is better to be part of a group than to be alone.
  7. It is better to remain ignorant about some aspects of life.
  8. It is better to be in a safe environment and never feel fear.
  9. In an ideal society, everyone is equal.
  10. It is better to be ignorant and happy than to be aware and upset.
  11. The government knows what is best for us.
  12. Rules exist to help us live our lives properly.
  13. The police should be allowed to do whatever they need to to protect the community.
  14. You shouldn’t have to be around people that you don’t agree with.
  15. It is all right to upset some people as long as you’re doing what is best for society.
  16. If you know you are right, you shouldn’t listen to anyone else.
  17. Parents should not be allowed to have more than two children.
  18. It would be much better if all bad things were forgotten.
  19. Families would be closer if they ate supper together every night.
  20. People who are born handicapped and very old people should be quietly put to death.

We’ll begin the novel tomorrow.

Second period worked on their Romeo and Juliet quiz.

Fourth and sixth also worked on an anticipation guide. Their discussion questions were:

  1. Sometimes, it’s better to remain ignorant about certain things.
  2. It’s fair to treat people differently based on their intelligence.
  3. It is better to be smart and lonely than unintelligent and happy.
  4. Our relationships with other people, not our achievements, are what fulfill us.
  5. It is important to have empathy for others.
  6. It is better to accept your fate than to try to change it.

Students also wrote about the following prompt:

Imagine you had an experimental operation that made you gradually become more and more intelligent. In fact, you become so intelligent that you’re among the top 0.01% of the most intelligent humans on Earth. How do you think this would change your life?

Homework
  • First period: persuasive essay due Tuesday (tomorrow).
  • Second period:
    • finish open-book/open-note portion of the test;
    • read chapters 4-6 from Lord of the Flies.
  • Fourth and sixth periods: persuasive essay due Wednesday.
Editing Maslow

First, fourth, and sixth periods used the sentence revision techniques we’ve worked on during the week to revise their persuasive essay on capital punishment. Additionally, students began double-checking that they’d supplied three arguments in their papers, and that two of the argument methods (from authority, reason, emotion, etc) are represented.

Second period began Lord of the Flies, looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a portion of the framework we’ll be using to understanding the novel. We’ll also be looking at sociology and theories of society as well as Freudian theory to round out our understanding of LoF, but I’m getting ahead of myself a bit.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Homework
  • First, fourth, and sixth periods: finish revision of capital punishment paper.
  • Second period:
    • The Romeo and Juliet test is Monday;
    • The Romeo and Juliet soundtrack project is due Monday; and
    • The first vocabulary quiz for Lord of the Flies must be completed online over the weekend.
Discussion and Editing

First period did some small group work to complete the mini-unit of sentence revision that we’ve been working on this week. We’ll be applying all we’ve learned to our essays on capital punishment tomorrow.

Second period had a guest teacher, and we wrapped up Romeo and Juliet. I was not anticipating the activity to last the entire class period, but it did. So we’re a day behind, but it was worthwhile activity.

Fourth and sixth periods are working on the same thing as first period, but they are a couple of days behind them.

Greenville County Dress Code
Greenville County Dress Code I
Greenville County Dress Code II
Greenville County Dress Code II

First period worked on combining sentences. We’ll be applying all our new editing techniques to our persuasive essays for the last couple of days of this week.

Second period began the unit on Lord of the Flies. We started by looking at allegories and the best and most famouse example in existence: Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” from the Republic, book VII. After reading an excerpt, we watched an award-winning claymation summary (Not surprisingly, this is blocked if you’re viewing it from a Greenville County Schools network computer.) and discussed what Plato was suggesting with his allegory. The discussion soon showed how all allegories break down sooner or later.

Fourth and sixth periods did work with run-on sentences: how to detect them (simple: read them aloud) and three ways to fix the problem (including the use of the loveliest of all punctuation, the semicolon).

Homework
  • First period: finish first draft of essay.
  • Second period: Lord of the Flies chapters 1-3.
  • Fourth and sixth periods: none.

English I Honors will be having an extensive test on Romeo and Juliet on Monday 9 February. Students have known about this for some time, but I wanted to put it on this site. Additionally, the project for the R&J unit is due on that date.

Second period finished watching Romeo + Juliet. We watched an abreviated version today, skipping several scenes in order to finish the film today. Everyone groaned at the Hollywood-ization of the ending.

Second period will be finishing up the discussion of R&J Thursday. For that discussion, they are to prepare notes (including citations) for the following questions, presented by Mrs. Schrader, one of our District Instructional Facilitator :

  1. Juliet says, “I must love my loathed enemy.” Why does she act like she has no choice in the matter?
  2. How are the themes of fate and retribution exemplified?
  3. The nurse and Friar Laurence both conspire to help the young lovers but for different reasons.  What do you think their reasons are?

First, fourth, and sixth periods worked on editing for sentence fragments. First period completed editing for run-on sentences as well.

Homework
  • First, fourth, and sixth: none.
  • Second period:
    • Chapters 1-3 of Lord of the Flies for Thursday;
    • Discussion question preparation for Thursday.

First, fourth, and sixth periods began using WordPress for our class blog: students.ourenglishclass.net. We’ll be finishing up Monday with our first posts (persuasive pieces on the death penalty), and we’ll be publishing some next week. Those who have turned in their permission slips will be able to publish. Currently, there’s very little posted.