English 8 students worked on their Friday inference work that we will be doing through at least the first semester.

English I Honors students worked on their newest Schaffer paragraph, which is on point of view in “The Interlopers.”

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 

English I Honors students worked on planning a Schaffer paragraph based of the topic sentence we came up with yesterday. Here are the ideas they came up with today:

  • Third period:
    • TS: You can’t change the point of view from first person because the credibility of the narrator would be compromised through getting C’s pov on the mirror
    • CD1: Clara the only one interacting with mirror “Hey Gus.”
    • CD2: Mom discovers it but doesn’t interact (beginning)
  • Fourth period:
    • TS: You can’t change the pov from first person because the story would lose the mystery caused by an unreliable narrator.
    • CD: became less and less certain which side [of the mirror] was life and which reflection
    • CD: sound from which side

English 8 students had a quick lesson in how habits of today can shape their lives much further into the future than they might necessarily imagine. This was precipitated by the fact that so few students completed the short homework assignment from yesterday. Hopefully the thoughts shared were of use to the students.

  • English 8 Studies: complete the article of the week as necessary. (You should have your summary almost complete when you walk into class tomorrow.)
  • English I Honors: 
    • work on the “Dangerous Game” assessments;
    • read “The Interlopers” for tomorrow.
Socratic Seminar and Background Knowledge

English 8 students began their new unit on Nightjohn. We began building background knowledge today so that we can make better sense of the book as we begin.

English I Honors students had their first Socratic Seminar today. We’ll be doing this throughout the year, and today’s was just an introductory exercise. After the session, students had a few minutes to work with their groups for the parts of speech project.

  • English 8 Studies: complete the text begun in class.
  • English I Honors: 
New POV and a New View of Literacy

English I Honors students began working on their newest literary criticism effort, this time dealing with the effect of point of view on the narrative structure. We began by exploring the truism that what you see depends on where you stand — so we stood in a few different, unusual locations to experience it literally. We also read “In the Family” as our first analytic piece.

English 8 students began a new unit with an overarching EQ, “How does literacy change lives?” We completed the anticipatory lesson today getting everyone ready and excited for the first novel of the year.

Personality Captured

My daughter is a bit on the silly side. Well, to say she’s a bit on the silly side is an understatement. She prides herself on being silly. Every now and then, I get a picture of her that shows that side perfectly.

Like this one, taken in Chocholawska Valley in the Tatra Mountains of southern Poland this summer.


In the Tatra Mountains of south of Poland, there is a cheese that seems to be a pure, unadulterated Platonic form of cheese: oscypek. It’s made of sheep and cow milk which is turned into a cottage cheese, pressed, and left to sit in a brine for up to forty-eight hours. Afterward, it is slow-smoked for up to two weeks. It’s a cheese unique to the region and is protected under the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin geographical marker and has to have at least 40% sheep milk to be considered real oscypek.

The cheese is made in a wooden hut called a bacówka, which is where the shepherds also sleep. A small fire pit is built into the corner of the hut over which the unpasturized milk is heated until it curdles, making a cottage-cheese-like substance. Those curds are then gathered by hand and pressed into football-like masses which then are placed in salt water. Finally, it’s taken out and placed on shelves high in the hut where it slowly takes on the smoke of the fire used to curdle the next batch.

Visitors to the bacówka can drink the whey (what’s left behind), which is sour, strong, and delicious.

More information is here. It also mentions bryndza, another of my personal favorite cheeses.

English I Honors students were working on their “Dangerous Game” paragraphs today. English 8 students had their first taste of Friday inference work. And journalism students continued their first round of assessments.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
Socratic Seminar, First Paragraph, and Assessments

English 8 students had their first Socratic Seminar today. It was, given the fact that it’s the first time we did it, a splendid success.

English I Honors students began planning their first analytic Schaffer model paragraph. We’re writing about “The Most Dangerous Game” and will continue it tomorrow, putting off our parts of speech project for a couple of days.

Journalism students turned in their first article and began the assessment process for the first time.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: work on the Schaffer planning for tomorrow (it will be due at the end of class).
  • Journalism: none.

English I Honors students began planning their first analytic paragraph using the Schaffer model. We’ll be working on it further tomorrow. For now, the notes for anyone who needs them are below.

English 8 students finished up their first application of effective readers’ skills. Anyone who is not done should finish it up for homework.

Journalism students worked on their first inverted pyramid story based on fairy tales.

  • English 8 Studies: work on “Thank You, Ma’am” annotations as needed (due tomorrow).
  • English I Honors: read (or reread) “The Most Dangerous Game.”
  • Journalism: complete the first inverted pyramid story by tomorrow for turn-in.
Class Notes

Notes for the day's classes are available here.

Please note that this is a composite file including notes from all classes, though occasionally it might only be one or two classes. I don't differentiate in the file; that is up to you to do.

English 8 students worked on applying the effective readers’ skills in groups using “Thank You, Ma’am” as the example text. We’ll continue working on it tomorrow.

English I Honors students began the short story unit in which we will learn how to analyze literature using the Schaffer Model for organization.

Journalism students began learning the Inverted Pyramid model that we use for all our writing. We went over the basic organizational principles of it and then practiced by writing news stories about fairy tales. We did the original Little Mermaid as a class.

An unknown girl was found dead on the Royal Beach this morning. Prince Erik requested a police investigation with autopsy to determine the cause and time of death. It is not clear whether the victim committed suicide or was the victim of some attack. Police Chief X had no comment as it is an ongoing investigation.

We’ll be working on the Inverted Pyramid for the rest of the year.

Analysis and Effective Readers

English I Honors students began looking at the difference between summarizing and analyzing by looking at a poem by Li-Young Lee called “The Gift” and examining example summaries and analyses of the poem.

English 8 students began looking at effective reader skills and applying it to “Thank You, Ma’am” by Langston Hughes.

We will continue the work in groups tomorrow as we scaffold the practice to individual mastery.

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the benchmark test on Moodle (see below);
    • re-examine the analysis (from class today) for Schaffer completeness.
First Friday

We survived our first week — a short week to be sure, but we survived it nonetheless.

English I Honors students had some more time with their parts of speech project after going over the Schaffer model homework.

English 8 students had their first article of the week video as well as some other typical Friday work.

Journalism students began honing their interviewing skills.

A great first week, I think.