English 8 Strategies students did the usual Tuesday routine: they wrote, and I consulted. Students are finishing up first drafts of argumentative writing pieces. They’ll soon be deciding whether to move to another topic or stick with this one for a second draft.
English I Honors did double duty again: fourth period had some time to do some planning for the Emmett Till mini-project. Students will be doing approximately four mini-projects as we read the novel before choosing one to expand and complete. Sixth period began the grammar sub-unit that always accompanies Lord of the Flies. We’re doing a quick part of speech review before heading to phrases and clauses in an effort to improve sentence variety.
English 8 Strategies: none.
English I Honors:
complete the planning of your Emmett Till argument as necessary;
read through chapter 8 of Mockingbird by tomorrow (possible quiz).
extra practice for identification of pronouns is available here and here;
complete the Maslow paragraph and turn it in here;
all students: complete the first draft of all three songs with the two connecting paragraphs for the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack project by 17 February and turn it in here.
Finally, as a reward for a week of hard work, we spent the last ten minutes of class working on a logic puzzle to improve critical thinking skills.
Additionally, second and fourth periods did some work preparing for the parts of speech test. Specifically, we looked at a few made up words in a sentence to determine how we might categorize them according to the traditional eight-unit parts of speech division: In the flibygd night, a quaidkc esxed frioded fribpsally.
First and fifth periods: complete the second concrete detail with commentary (chunk) and add the concluding sentence.
Second and fourth periods: study for test (now postponed to Wednesday).
First and fifth periods had their first encounter with the “Say Something” reading engagement. We read a text about a traditional Chinese school as part of our introductory unit regarding tradition in the classroom.
Second and sixth periods completed the parts of speech review. We’ll be having a test Friday or Monday. It depends on how tomorrow’s review goes.
Today’s review before starting the final three parts of speech was as follows:
Determine the parts of speech of the bold words below. Find at least one that exhibits some kind of ambiguity.
1) Within a few years, 2) Amazon.com’s creative destruction of 3) both traditional book publishing and retailing 4) may be footnotes 5) to 6) the company’s larger and more 7) secretive goal: giving 8) anyone on the planet 9) access to an almost unimaginable amount of 10) computing power.
During flex time, we began SSR, going over the Reader’s Journals we’ll be keeping. Our first entry is as follows:
The Big Wave
Pearl S. Buck
The author’s writing style is very simple. She’s using small, everyday words. Most of them have only two or three syllables. Her sentences are short, too.Why is she using easy language. I think it’s because the story is set in a village with simple people, and she wants the language to reflect the people in the story. They aren’t fancy; she shouldn’t be.
First and fifth periods worked on metaphorical versus literal language while developing classroom rules and procedures, continuing to lay the foundation for a good classroom atmosphere throughout the year. We practiced a couple of engagements we’ll be using throughout the year (Think-Pair-Share and general small group discussion) while looking at Portia Nelson’s “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.”
Second and fourth periods continued with the parts of speech review. Things began getting a little trickier today as we saw how ambiguity permeates an apparently cut-and-dried topic like grammar. Promethean Board notes are available here:
First and fifth periods continued working on community building and the class meeting program we will be implementing this year. We completed the period with an engagement similar to the line game in the film Freedom Writers.
Second and fourth periods continued the whirlwind review of the parts of speech, covering pronouns in their entirety today, including personal, reflexive, intensive, demonstrative, interrogative, relative, and indefinite varieties.
First and fifth periods: complete the writing assignment about the line game today, answering four questions:
How did you feel with you were standing at the line with a large group of people?
How did you feel when you were almost alone at the line?
What kinds of questions drew most people to stand at the line?
What kinds of questions drew the fewest people to stand at the line?
Second and fourth periods:
For tomorrow: return to the article of yesterday and find three pronouns, each one a different type.
Second and fourth periods had their parts of speech review test. The glazed eyes and moans suggested students felt they’d done poorly on the test, but my initial evaluations indicate they may be exaggerating a bit.
First and sixth periods had a bit more work with the writing workshop format and teacher-student conferencing.
First and sixth periods began a flash “Intro to the Writing Workshop” unit that we will use to practice the workshop model as well as lay some content groundwork for later workshops.
Second and fourth periods are about to finish up their parts of speech overview. We completed adverbs today. We’ll go over the final three parts tomorrow, then we’ll have a day of practice Thursday. The test will be Friday or Tuesday: it depends on how things to during Thursday’s review.
First and sixth periods: complete in-class writing assignment.
Second and fourth periods: find three adverbs in the New York TImes article.