school days left

English I Honors students finished up working with bias while English 8 students continued working on their culminating project.


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: complete the allusions work if you have not already.

school days left

English I Honors has just about finished up work with the bias review we’ve been working on. English 8 continues working on their final STEAM project. The end of the year approaches…


  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: finish the work from class today.

school days left

English I Honors students began a review of bias in preparation for the EOC next week. Formative assessment indicated an overall deficit in that area, so we’ll be taking care of that shortly.

English 8 students began working on the final major project in conjunction with Mr. Melton’s social studies work.

Still Continuing Work


If things went according to plan, it was much the same today as it was yesterday. Still, I wouldn’t know: I’m still out, hoping everything went well, with many other things on my mind as well.

In the meantime, enjoy another photo of our handsome, one-day-old son.

Continuing Work


If all things went according to plans, first and sixth periods continued working on Monster while second and fourth periods had another day of research for the Great Expectations project and seventh period returned to work on their illustrated word-connotation semantic meaning charts.

That is, if all things went according to plans: being in the hospital with my wife and newborn son, though, I can only hope that’s what happened.


We’re all winding down all units:

  • First and sixth periods continued with a new unit on Monster by Walter Dean Myers.
  • Second and fourth periods are finishing up their research for the Great Expectations research paper.
  • Seventh period continued with the bias and propaganda unit.

No homework for anyone today.

First period continued with “Flowers for Algernon.” We continued practicing with inferring, discussing the previous night’s homework.

Second and fourth periods finished Great Expectations. We saw three different endings: the published ending, Dickens’s original ending, and a highly altered film ending.

Sixth period had a test on The Giver.

Seventh period worked on connotation regarding bias. We examined the following word groups to order them according to connotation:

  1. student, apprentice, disciple, junior, learner, novice, scholar, undergraduate
  2. run, amble, bound, dart, dash, gallop, lope, scamper, sprint
  3. vacation, break, fiesta, furlough, holiday, intermission, layoff, recess, respite, sabbatical
  4. busy, active, diligent, employed, occupied, perservering, unavailable, employed
  5. fear, dread, apprehension, anxiety, panic, terror
  6. friend, companion, buddy, acquaintance, colleague, playmate
  • First period:
    • read the “Algernon” entry from May 20 (pg 331);
    • add one more inference from yesterday’s inference homework.
  • Second and sixth periods: none (unless you haven’t finished Great Expectations).
  • Sixth period: none.
  • Seventh period: define words agreed upon by your group.
Endings, Bias, and PASS

We’re beginning to wrap up a number of units — convenient since we’re nearing the end of the year. First period worked on “Flowers for Algernon” after a PASS review (page 402) and a bus evacuation drill. It amounted to little more than explaining the homework as the drill had taken a fair chunk of our time.

Second and fourth periods worked on Great Expectations, which we’re finishing tomorrow.  We began as we often do: analyzing sentences to determine sentence type:

  1. The second of the two meetings referred to in the last chapter, occurred about a week after the first.
  2. I had again left my boat at the wharf below Bridge; the time was an hour earlier in the afternoon; and, undecided where to dine, I had strolled up into Cheapside, and was strolling along it, surely the most unsettled person in all the busy concourse, when a large hand was laid upon my shoulder, by some one overtaking me.
  3. It was Mr. Jaggers’s hand, and he passed it through my arm.

We made our own web of characters to look at the inter-related nature of the novel’s various story lines.

Second Period's Web

Fourth period completed the task with fewer variables and the results were clearer.

Fourth Period's Web

(A simplified version from a previous is here, password “done”).

Sixth period went over potential essay questions as a summary of The Giver. Student-created notes are below:

Seventh period shifted from propaganda techniques to bias. We had a review of connotation and then began looking at how words can take on positive, negative, or neutral connotations. We ranked some near-synonyms to determine the range of different shades of meaning.

We also went over some extensive notes about bias, available here.

  • First period:read the next two journal entries from “Flowers for Algernon.” Make inferences (and write them down) at the following locations:
    • page 330, second half of page;
    • page 331, “May 18” entry
  • Second and fourth periods: read to chapter 59. Much of this can be quick-read. Make your own judgment.
  • Sixth period: study for test on The Giver tomorrow.
  • Seventh period: none.
The Big Chapter, Commas, Role Playing, and Propaganda

After a starter that reviewed apostrophes,

first period began covering one of the problems Charlie has with his writing: commas. We’ll continue with it briefly tomorrow. (Notes from today are here.) Second and fourth periods had a quiz then went over chapter thirty-nine. Sixth period worked on The Giver. Seventh period began a unit on bias and propaganda.

  • First and seventh periods: none.
  • Second and fourth periods: refer to reading guide.
  • Sixth period: read chapters 16, 17, and 18 from The Giver.

First period worked on graphical and typographic text elements and the effects they have on an informational text.

Second and sixth periods worked on bias with sports article headlines.

Fourth period took a quiz and reviewed the novel to this point.

  • First period: read the article on the Dresden bombings.
  • Second and sixth periods: none.
  • Fourth period: read through chapter fifty-three.
Bias, Persuasion, and the Sonnet

First period reviewed the notes from reading yesterday. Yesterday’s lesson was a two-fold lesson: first, they got information about bias; second, they worked on note-taking skills. Yet the second objective can foil the first, so we made sure everyone knew what innuendo, stereotype, proof surrogate, and other bias-related terms meant.

Second and sixth, after starters, applied their knowledge of persuasive devices to persuasive pieces. Looking at several articles, they identified the persuasive devices in action. We worked via Moodle in the computer lab.

Fourth period began the classic poetic form: the sonnet. We looked at Robert Frost’s “Once By the Pacific” to begin with. We quickly moved on to Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet, the eighteenth. We ended with one of my all-time favorite sonnets (though really almost a pseudo-sonnet), William Merideth’s “The Illiterate.” Tomorrow we’ll examine the poems closely in order to determine what exactly makes a sonnet a sonnet.

  • Second and sixth period: vocabulary quiz.
  • First and fourth period: none.

First period, after going over some note taking basics, we went back to the lab to continue the online lesson on bias. We’ll be finishing up tomorrow.

Second and sixth periods reviewed their vocabulary for Friday and completed the presentation on persuasive techniques.

Fourth period looked at imagery (no pun intended) in two poems.