Final Day and 3.1

English I Honors had a whoosh through 3.1 of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare is starting to turn the screws increasingly tighter, making things more and more challenging for our young lovers. We’ll be starting our culminating writing project on Monday, so students need to read the song lyrics in the homework to be prepared for Monday.

English 8 students had their final day of planning for their Seven Habits presentations Monday. Outlines are due when the presentations are due.

100% Club

We had a couple of first-time members in the 100% club this week.

Fifth period
Sixth period


Eighth-grade students went to the Roper Mountain  Science Center for a presentation on waves and stars. Most classes did not meet. Homework from yesterday stands.

Penultimate Prep Day and a Test

English I Honors had their act 2 test. We’ll begin act 3 after our field trip tomorrow.

English 8 began with their article of the week. We went over some annotations they should have completed at this point.

Afterward, they had their penultimate (next-to-last) preparation session with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. They’ll be presenting Monday.


When have you heard a song as perfect as this?

Act 2 Review and Project Work

English I Honors students, after going briefly over last week’s article of the week (I was out yesterday), reviewed act 2 in preparation for tomorrow’s test. We went over the study guide then took and discussed a practice test.

English 8 worked on their outline/presentation project for the Grateful Dead STEAM unit. Students will have their presentations on Monday


  • English 8 Studies: work on Seven Habits outline as needed.
  • English I Honors: prepare for tomorrow’s test on act 2.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how blues is supposed to sound.

Jack White and the White Stripes made a passable version of this, but it’s nothing like the purity of the original.

If I had to choose a favorite blues artist (how could you ever do that?), I’d probably have to go with Lightning Hopkins, for songs like this.

If you’ve never listened to Lead Belly, you’ve really missed out. This one is one of his best and one of my all-time favorite songs.

Soliloquy and Project Work

English I Honors students finished up Friar Laurence’s soliloquy in 2.3:

The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels:
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye,
The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,
I must up-fill this osier cage of ours
With baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers.
The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;
What is her burying grave that is her womb,
And from her womb children of divers kind
We sucking on her natural bosom find,
Many for many virtues excellent,
None but for some and yet all different.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
For nought so vile that on the earth doth live
But to the earth some special good doth give,
Nor aught so good but strain’d from that fair use
Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse:
Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied;
And vice sometimes by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, slays all senses with the heart.
Two such opposed kings encamp them still
In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.

We divided into groups and worked through the whole, complicated passage in a single day:

English 8 students worked on the project after making sure they were caught up with their inference work.

And then the snow started…

100% Club

Fifth period
Sixth period


  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read 2.4-2.6 in Romeo and Juliet.
Starting the Project and Motifs

English I Honors students worked on two motifs that appear throughout Romeo and Juliet: light/dark and fate. We’ll be looking for these things throughout the rest of the play.

English 8 began their pre-winter-break project: The Seven Habits of Successful Teens. Students will be responsible for a single habit and then present the habits to their peers. We began reading and outlining/summarizing today.

Standards for Today

English 8

  • RI-6.1 Provide an objective summary of a text with two or more central ideas; cite key supporting details to analyze their development.
English I Honors

  • RL-5.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text; identify multiple supported interpretations.
  • RL-6.1 Determine a theme of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


  • English 8 Studies: complete the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read 2.3 for tomorrow;
    • complete the article of the week.
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.