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Wrapping Up Douglass and the First Discussion

English 8 students finished up the Frederick Douglass text, going over the work from yesterday

before having one last session with the text: a series of questions that, had they not done the amazing work they completed yesterday, would have been quite difficult to answer.

English I Honors students finished the first discussion cycle for To Kill a Mockingbird. We’ll be moving through the novel relatively quickly.

Homework

English I Honors finished up — more or less — the work with voice in the opening pages of Mockingbird. We’ll conclude it on Thursday.

English 8 students finished the third and final excerpt from Frederick Douglass’s autobiography and did a little practice with vocabulary.

Homework

English I Honors students continued working through the opening pages of To Kill a Mockingbird, determining how Harper Lee creates such a convincing Southern voice.

English 8 students worked on their final text segment from the Frederick Douglass text.

Homework

English I Honors students worked again on their Romeo and Juliet projects. We’ll be having our act four/five test tomorrow, and then we’re starting a new unit Thursday.

English 8 students finished up the second of three excerpts from Frederick Douglass’s autobiography. We also went over the new type of test questions we’ll be having on our short test Thursday on vocabulary (on Quizlet), subordinate clause identification, and pronoun/antecedent identification.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: study vocab words on Quizlet for the test on vocabulary (on Quizlet), subordinate clause identification, and pronoun/antecedent identification.
  • English I Honors: prepare for tomorrow’s test, including vocab on Quizlet.

English 8 students finished up their second close reading portion of Frederick Douglass’s autobiography. We worked in groups and will be debriefing/correcting tomorrow. We’ll have a small test on subordinate clauses, pronouns and antecedents, and vocabulary on Wednesday or Thursday.

English I Honors students had their first of two days of group work to work on their Romeo and Juliet projects.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: prepare for test on Wednesday or Thursday.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the project at home;
    • study for the act four/five test Wednesday.
Annotation and Extra Credit

English I students finished up yesterday’s work by looking at how to interpret and answer extended essay prompts.

Actually writing this composition will be the extra credit assignment for the third quarter. Students are receiving this now in order to have a jump-start on the quarter.

English 8 students worked on their articles of the week for a while,

before spending some time reviewing subordinate clauses.

They ended spending more time to work on their second part of the Frederick Douglass text.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • work on soundtrack essay;
    • work on extra credit as desired.
Pronoun Antecedent Application and Subtext

English 8 students began applying our pronoun-antecedent knowledge by looking at one of our anchor texts, “From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.” We began with a bit of review from yesterday’s work that also expanded into a bit of work that was new (numbers 7-10).

Afterward, we hit the text, marking the text for a number of items, including antecedents.

“Good readers are always keeping track of pronouns and antecedents,” I explained, especially in challenging texts.

English I Honors students began applying the knowledge of subtexts to scenes 4.1 and 4.2, looking at all the layers of meaning in simple phrases like Friar Laurence’s line “That’s a certain text.”

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: finish assessing your “Decoration Day” paragraphs (at Moodle).
Acting after Cutting and Clearing up Work

English I Honors students performed their cut (and curt) versions of 3.2 and 3.3. Aside from a few flubs here and there, where students cut more than they should have and made the passage just a bit confusing, the groups did excellent work.

English 8 students finished up yesterday’s work, checked to make sure the major inference assignment for the quarter was done, and played a little chess (if done).

This Week’s 100% Clubs

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: work on your “Decoration Day” analysis (due Monday).

Our first day back was fairly successful. English I students began a multi-day lesson on how to evaluate Shakespeare’s text and — gasp — cut portions that are not necessary, strictly speaking. It’s blasphemy, I tell you, but good practice for deep critical reading.

English 8 students began a three-day reorientation and re-situation of what we’re doing in class. We worked on a new element in classroom management and atmosphere: some students felt a little stupid doing it, I know — I’m looking at you, Bingo — but all in all, an important day’s work.

Standards for Today

English 8

  • C-1.1 Prepare for and engage in conversations to explore complex ideas, concepts, and texts; build coherent lines of thinking.
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-8.1 Analyze how characters or a series of ideas or events is introduced, connected, and developed within a particular context.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read 3.2 or 3.3 (depending on your group) and make at least five cuts to the text for tomorrow;
    • work on your “Decoration Day” analysis (due Monday).

English I Honors students worked on 1.3, looking a little at the hidden stage directions Shakespeare embeds in his work as well as the new characters’ views of love and marriage, finishing up from Friday.

English 8 had a Socratic Seminar to conclude “The Lottery.” I would have posted some pictures, but I didn’t take any because we were all so busy discussing the issues at hand.

Homework

  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • by Monday, read 1.4;
    • re-read the Queen Mab speech an additional two times (three times in total);
    • complete the Love Connection graphic organizer.
Friday Work and Love Connections

English I Honors students looked at a few passages in Romeo and Juliet to determine various characters’ views of love. Working in groups, students examined Capulet’s, Benvolio’s, and Romeo’s views on love in the first act.

English 8 students began with their 100% club pictures.

Fifth period
Sixth period

Afterward, we did our typical first-semester Friday work (lesson plan at right) on inferences and article of the week, with the added bonus of a bit of gamified stems practice

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read 1.3.

English I Honors went over 1.1 of Romeo and Juliet, working in Quizlet to see how well they’re understanding the text and then acting out a few select sections.

English 8 students began preparing for a discussion of “The Lottery” by going over some discussion and comprehension questions in their lit groups.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read 1.2;
    • reread this passage from 1.1 and determine what literary device is being used repeatedly here: Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
Friday Update

English I Honors students continued working on their very close reading and diagramming of the case against Tom Robinson.

English 8 students completed their normal Friday inference and article of the week work.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete the diagramming of Mayella Ewell’s testimony;
    • read chapter 19, Tom’s testimony.

English I Honors students worked on their diagrams of the testimony within the case against Tom Robinson. The first day’s work is available here at the Moodle site for students who were absent.

English 8 students worked on the Harriet Tubman text, with fifth period students working through the material old-school style and sixth period working through the material using lit circles.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: work on article of the week as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete diagramming of chapter 17;
    • read chapter 18;
    • work on article of the week as necessary.

English I Honors continued with the lit circles for To Kill a Mockingbird, looking at two issues (whether or not Atticus made a good decision in representing Robinson considering the potential risk to his family and what the role of Calpurnia is in the novel) in groups that they then shared with partners from the other group.

English 8 students worked on lit circles. Fifth period ended their lit circle cycle, but sixth period will be continuing.

Homework

  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read chapter 17 (either twice or once taking very good notes).