English I Honors students began planning their first analytic paragraph using the Schaffer model. We’ll be working on it further tomorrow. For now, the notes for anyone who needs them are below.

English 8 students finished up their first application of effective readers’ skills. Anyone who is not done should finish it up for homework.

Journalism students worked on their first inverted pyramid story based on fairy tales.


  • English 8 Studies: work on “Thank You, Ma’am” annotations as needed (due tomorrow).
  • English I Honors: read (or reread) “The Most Dangerous Game.”
  • Journalism: complete the first inverted pyramid story by tomorrow for turn-in.
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.

Intro to Moodle and Socratic Variations

First and fourth periods used a modified Socratic Seminar (see slideshow below) to discuss the relationship between conflict and setting in “The Sniper.”

Second and seventh periods got an introduction to the Moodle site we use in class and some more practice with Schaffer model elements by identifying selected sentences in paragraphs.


  • English 8 Strategies: complete yesterday’s homework assignment (as necessary).
  • English I Honors: 

First and sixth periods worked on “Raymond’s Run” and exposition, looking for the moment the story’s conflict becomes clear. We’ll finish up the story tomorrow.

Second and sixth periods did a Write Around dealing chapter twenty-four from To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a chapter that seems initially to be out of place, having very little to do with the rest of the book.

Seventh period worked on poetry, going over concrete poetry and haikus.

  • First and sixth periods: make three predictions about “Raymond’s Run” about the following topics (For each prediction, write at least two sentences explaining what in the text might back up such a prediction):
    • Raymond
    • Squeaky
    • The relationship between Squeaky and Gretche
  • Second and fourth periods: read through chapter 28.
  • Seventh period: choose one of the haikus we read in class and draw a single picture to illustrate it.

First and sixth periods did some work with the Schaffer model of organization. Together we wrote an example Schaffer model paragraph; I’ve put one of the paragraphs online as an example for others.

For second and fourth periods, it was the big day: students turned in and played the Odyssey board games they’ve been working on. Pictures are available here.

Seventh period had a split day: those students who didn’t do the homework went to one side of the room to do yesterday’s homework. The remaining students did group work, reviewing plot organization and analyzing the plot from “The Amigo Brothers.” We finished up by creating foldables of the major elements of the plot.

  • First and sixth periods:
    • begin planning your persuasive essay;
    • complete any additional research as necessary. (You can come in early and use the library’s computers for this.)
  • Second and fourth periods: wait for it… no homework.
    The second time this year. (Are you feeling okay, Mr. Scott?)
  • Seventh period:
    • students who didn’t complete the homework yesterday (those reading in class today) are to complete the questions for “The Amigo Brothers;”
    • students who did homework yesterday are to finish their illustrated foldables.

First and sixth continued assessing online sources and began researching for their persuasive writing topic.

Second and fourth periods began a lightning quick unit covering propaganda and letter writing (not as odd a combination as one might expect) as we finish up the Odyssey project.

Seventh period began a new short story in our short story unit. We’ll be finishing up the unit next week.

  • First and sixth periods: none.
  • Second and fourth periods:
    • find one example of transfer or glittering generalities in advertising; print it, identify it, and bring it
    • work on Odyssey project;
    • study for phrases test.
  • Seven period: read “Letters from Rifka” (page 224).

First and sixth periods worked on evaluating web sources as we move the the research phase of our unit on persuasive writing. We’ll be spending a bit more time in the lab this week, researching our topics.

Second and fourth periods went over appositives and appositive phrases in a flash before spending the rest of the period working on the Odyssey project. We’ll be having a small test on phrases next Monday.

Seventh period used Freytag diagrams to examine the plot of a couple of short stories.

  • First and sixth periods: none.
  • Second and fourth period:
    • continue working on project;
    • study for phrase test next Monday.
  • Seventh period:complete a Freytag plot diagram for “The Three Little Pigs.”

First, second, and sixth periods are all nearing tests at the end of next week. Everything then is to that end.

First period had something of a catch-up day: so many students were out on field trips that it made little sense to move ahead. Students worked on reading they hadn’t completed or worked ahead with the homework.

Second and sixth finished up with the short story, “An Hour with Abuelo.” We looked at plot structure once again.

Fourth period began examining all the characters of Great Expectations.


  • First period:
  • Second and sixth periods:
    • finish “Hamadi”;
    • determine what the climax of the story is.
  • Fourth period: read through chapter 20.

Second and sixth periods finished “Raymond’s Run,” a story students generally enjoy.

First period continued with The Giver. We’ll begin working on symbolism tomorrow.

Fourth period complete clauses and had an introduction to sentence type.

  • First period:
    • read chapters two and three from The Giver;
    • continue working on the Vocabulary Sheet;
    • make chapter notes (Things that Shock Me)
  • Second period: complete narrative chart for film
  • Sixth period: none.
  • Fourth period:
    • complete the online practice;
    • Once you complete these online, please copy them onto a Word document and identify the type of clause (adjective, adverb, noun). Print it out and bring it to class.

First period started their first draft for their literacy memoir today. I’m excited about a number of the topics, and I look forward to reading them.

Second and sixth periods completed the plot chart for Nightjohn thus far. We also read through the climax. Some gut-wrenching violence, but it leads to one of the most shining moments of heroism in all of YA literature.

Fourth period read “The Test of the Great Bow” in class after we went over the homework. Students looked for examples of sensory details, and we discussed how that improves the quality of the writing and is particularly useful in oral histories.

  • First period: complete first page of first draft.
  • Second and sixth periods: none.
  • Fourth period: finish reading “The Test of the Great Bow.”

First period began planning their memoir. I provided an example and discussed how to use the tool (a graphic organizer available here).

Second and sixth period began a review of the elements of plot as we read Nightjohn. We’ve stopped right in the middle of the climax, much to everyone’s irritation.

Fourth period went over the project: a board game covering the adventures of Odysseus.

  • First period: complete planning.
  • Second period: none.
  • Sixth period: finish letter to parent/guardian.
  • Fourth period:
Release from the Mystery

Two mysteries solved: what is Release (The Giver) and who is Pip’s benefactor (Great Expectations). Now both classes can sigh in relief.

First and seventh periods went over the plot of the “Mach 1930” section of The Glory Field. We worked on the exposition, rising action, and falling action.

Fourth and second periods also worked on elements of the plot.

  • First and seventh period:
    • read through page 208;
    • continue with the summary notes.
  • Second period: read chapter twenty.
  • Fourth period (due Friday):
    • read chapters 40 and 41;
    • in addition to normal reader’s journal entries, write an entry discussing what might be the falling action of the novel if chapter 39 represents the climax.

First and seventh periods reviewed some vocabulary words, and we began looking at how we’ve used our reader’s journals over the weekend to summarize our reading. First period also began working on a review of the structure of a plot.

Fourth period worked on complex sentences.

  • First and seventh periods: by class tomorrow, read through 171.
  • Second period: read chapters 16 and 17.
  • Fourth period: read chapter 38.