literature circles

Lit Circles and Final Phrase Work

15
school days left

English 8 students began scene four after looking at the conflicts already present in the play.

English I Honors students worked on a phrase review in preparation for a test coming later.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: read act one scene four (as necessary).
  • English I Honors: continue reading through chapter 45 of Great Expectations.

16
school days left

English I Honors students went over last night’s homework of five sentences to analyze. We’ll be applying this in a more general manner next week.

English 8 students continued working on their Anne Frank lit circles, though we didn’t get into the lit circles today because of the shortened class due to testing.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: work on act one scene four of The Diary of Anne Frank as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • prepare for quiz tomorrow (this will happen, come Moodle or no Moodle);
    • read chapters 31-45 for Monday. (We’ve been practicing our skimming skills on the book recently, but students needs to slow down and to actually read chapter 39 when they get there.)

18
school days left

English I Honors had the EOC field test today. We’ll be having a quiz on chapters 21-30 tomorrow, so students need to make sure they’re ready for that. The actual EOC is not until Friday 19 May.

English 8 students continued with their Anne Frank literature circles. Students should be working on act one scene three.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • prepare for quiz tomorrow;
    • read chapters 31-45 for Monday. (We’ve been practicing our skimming skills on the book recently, but students needs to slow down and to actually read chapter 39 when they get there.)
Reading Day and Lit Circles

19
school days left

English 8 students continued with their lit circles for The Diary of Anne Frank. All students should now be done with act one scene two and all the accompanying work.

English I Honors students went over their sentence homework in which they were to identify both independent and subordinate clauses.

Afterward, we had a reading day to let kids get caught up on their Great Expectations reading.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: work on act one scene three of The Diary of Anne Frank as necessary.
  • English I Honors: read through chapter 30 in Great Expectations.
Final Lit Circles and Skimming

English 8 students worked on The Diary of Anne Frank, evolving our reading into a lit circle format, which will take us through the end of the year.

English I Honors students heard positively sacrilegious words from Mr. Scott today — sacrilegious for an English teacher that is. “You don’t have to read every word on every page to say you’ve read a book.” In other words, we went over how to skim effectively, a skill students need more and more the further along they progress in their education.

We’ll be using this new skill for the remainder of the novel.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete the analysis for the next sentence (We were waiting, I supposed, for Mr. Pocket to come out to us; at any rate we waited there, and so I had an opportunity of observing the remarkable family phenomenon that whenever any of the children strayed near Mrs. Pocket in their play, they always tripped themselves up and tumbled over her—always very much to her momentary astonishment, and their own more enduring lamentation.)
    • read chapters 21-30 by Monday.

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).

English 8 students began a three-day whirlwind MAP preparation by filling in a topic we really hadn’t worked on to this point this year, determining the main idea of a nonfiction text.

English I students, after turning in their narratives, had their first lit circle today for Mockingbird.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: prepare your selected lit circle role for tomorrow.

English 8 Students brought to a close the first part of the new English/social studies/math (with a bit of science) STEAM unit. They’re all done with the lit circle work and will move on to the next phase after the break.

English I Honors students looked at the tragedy of Emmett Till as they start their portion of the STEAM unit in English.

And everyone breathed a sigh of relief as we went on break.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: read chapters 9-12 of Mockingbird.

All classes were engaged today in lit circles in one form or another. The only exception was English Studies, which went over briefly how to determine tone in a poem:

  1. Look for repetitions.
  2. Determine the positive or negative nature of the repetitions.
  3. Look for more examples of the positive or negative images or words.
  4. Determine a descriptive category to fit all the words or image into.

Simple.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: 
    • read the portion of the class novel decided upon by your literature circle;
    • continue working on the article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • read the portion of the class novel decided upon by your literature circle;
    • continue working on the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue with the Mockingbird allusions work (on Moodle);
    • read chapters 5-8 of Mockingbird;
    • continue working on the article of the week.

English 8 students (both sections) continued with the lit circle work they’re doing with The Glory Field. English I Honors students began To Kill a Mockingbird, finishing up the anticipatory work filling in background knowledge about Jim Crow laws. Students need to finish reading the introductory pages handout I gave today.

English I Honors students are finishing up the Odyssey with some writing and a Socratic Seminar tomorrow looking at the question of whether or not Odysseus is indeed a hero.

English 8 Strategies and Studies both continued with their literature circles for The Glory Field.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: 
    • continue working on the article of the week (due tomorrow);
    • complete your group’s agreed-upon reading.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • continue working on the article of the week (due tomorrow);
    • complete your group’s agreed-upon reading.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the article of the week (due tomorrow);
    • continue working on the Odyssey project.

English 8 Studies (fifth period) continued working on the first round of their lit circles. We’ll be finishing up tomorrow and debriefing to decide how to change up the groups before moving on to the next section.

English 8 Strategies students (fourth period) finished up some practice with figurative language.

English I Honors students began with cyclops, one of the most famous segments in the Odyssey.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: finish your article of the week (due tomorrow).
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • finish your article of the week (due tomorrow);
    • finish reading the 1964 segment of The Glory Field.
  • English I Honors: 
    • finish your article of the week (due tomorrow);
    • continue working on the “Is Odysseus a Hero” work for the new unit;
    • complete the Romeo and Juliet project (due tomorrow).

English 8 Strategies continued with their MAP review, practicing again with some figurative language practice. We’ll finish up tomorrow before having a bit of review for a small test (covering the review material) we’ll be having on Monday.

English 8 Studies had a second day of literature circles. Students discovered the difficulty of working in lit circles when everyone has not done their assigned roles. Hopefully tomorrow will be more successful.

(All English 8 students (fourth and fifth periods) were given missing work reports.)

English I Honors continued with the Odyssey, looking for more evidence regarding whether or not Odysseus is a hero. We’ll be recording our data on a Moodle forum.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: 
    • continue working on your article of the week;
    • prepare for test Monday.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • continue working on your article of the week;
    • read passage decided upon by your group;
    • complete the discussion preparation for tomorrow’s session.
  • English I Honors: 
Figurative Language, Poetry, and Calypso

English I Honors finished up a bit of work on Calypso, looking at two additional renditions and a short informational text about the etymology of her name.

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Afterward, students did a bit of comparing too see how different sources provide different insights into the character of Calypso (or “Kalypso” as in our translation).

One version was the Suzanne Vega song “Calypso.”

Eighties gold!

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Sixth period’s notes

Seventh period noticed a few different elements.

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Seventh period’s notes

English 8 Strategies students (fourth period) continued their MAP preparation by having a refresher about figurative language today and getting a little practice with it.

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Fourth period’s work
Homework for fourth
Homework for fourth

English 8 Studies (fifth periods) returned to their lit circles to finish up the poem “Runagate Runagate” before turning back to The Glory Field.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • complete the figurative language work from today, including the examples of figurative language above.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • read the amount decided by our lit circle for tomorrow.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • prepare a 3-5 point list of qualities of Calypso that you can back from two sources from today (and make sure actually to back them within the list, i.e., put some kind of note in parenthesis regarding the source);
    • continue working on the Romeo and Juliet project, due Friday.