writing

English 8 students began a text on slave codes (available here) in anticipation of our first novel, Nightjohn. We also began our year-long use of effective readers’ skills (download here) with the slave codes text.

English I Honors students began their first online workshop experience via Moodle. Students will be assessing each other in order to provide future feedback.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: work on the article of the week, due tomorrow, as necessary.
  • English I Honors: 
    • turn in your piece on “Harrison Bergeron” or “The Most Dangerous Game” at the Moodle site if you have not already (you have only until 5:00-ish this evening as it was to be done for class);
    • begin assessing (after 5:00 when the workshop phase has been switched back to “Assess”).

English 8 students began a new unit practicing with the Moodle forum feature to discuss the following questions:

Imagine you cannot read: how would that change your life? List three to five things you would not be able to do that you would truly miss.

What would you be willing to do to learn to read?

We’ll be using this as a springboard into the new unit.

English I Honors students began learning how to incorporate quotes into their own writing. We’ll be applying this Monday.

Homework
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • read “The Most Dangerous Game” and “Harrison Bergeron,” both online at the Moodle site;
    • complete the second CD we were working on in class;
    • complete the benchmark test.
Project Work

Everyone today was working on projects in one form or another. English 8 students did some preparatory work for a project they will do in writing class later.

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English I Honors students worked on their Romeo and Juliet projects for a final day. The rest of the work will need to be done at home.

Writing and More Writing

All classes were writing today. English I was working on their Romeo and Juliet projects while English 8 students worked on a short writing assignment designed to preview what they’ll be doing in their own writing class next week.writing photo

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: continue working on the article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • read the final scene of Diary of Anne Frank (act 2 scene 5).
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on the article of the week;
    • continue working on R&J project.
Preparing and Transitioning

English I Honors students worked again transitions between paragraphs as well as their Romeo and Juliet projects. Remember: we have a quiz on Tuesday when we come back on acts four and five.

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English 8 students split up a little today: they did essentially the same thing, but scaled a bit to students’ experience. Strategies students began practicing a writing assignment that emulates what they will be doing soon in writing class, and Studies students did the same but added an organizational element — the Schaffer model — that they use also in their writing class.

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Journalism students will begin working on their first radio reportage project tomorrow.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: continue working on your article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: continue working on your article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on your article of the week;
    • continue working on your Romeo and Juliet project.

Only sixth and seventh periods met today due to the Peace Center field trip. Both classes worked on their Romeo and Juliet projects. We’ll be spending the week on this project in one form or another.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: work on the Romeo and Juliet project.
Paragraphs and Paragraphs

English I Honors students worked on their Romeo and Juliet projects today. We’ll spend a little time working on it next week before we start the next unit.

English 8 Studies students (fifth period) looked at how they could transform yesterday’s notes into a Schaffer paragraph.

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We’ll be working on it a little next week before finishing up the unit.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: work on the Romeo and Juliet project.
Planning and Comparing

English 8 students finished note taking about the differences between a film version of The Diary of Anne Frank and the play we read in class. We’ll be using the notes tomorrow to plan a short essay.

Journalism students began shifting to audio stories today. We’ll be learning how to create NPR-style stories during the third quarter.

English I Honors students had some practice planning a fairly complicated paragraph on a fairly complicated topic: How does Shakespeare use imagery of light and dark to highlight the role of fate in the play?

As an aside, there is now a repository of classroom instruction available at the Moodle site.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: continue working on the article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: continue working on the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: 
    • complete today’s planning;
    • continue working on the article of the week.
  • Creative Writing: make sure you have listened to one of the sample audio stories by tomorrow.

English 8 students worked on effective readers’ skills and text elements with a piece about the rise of anti-Semitism in contemporary Germany. Students in English I Honors worked on transitional elements between paragraphs.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: 
    • complete today’s text (1.9);
    • complete the article of the week.
  • English 8 Studies: 
    • complete today’s text;
    • complete the article of the week.
  • English I Honors: complete the article of the week.
Discussion and a Writing Assignment

English Studies and English Strategies worked on their scene five discussions. We’ll be continuing them tomorrow.

English I Honors began working on the major writing assignment for Romeo and Juliet unit. We’ll continue working on it in class this week so that students can work on their social media STEAM projects.

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Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English 8 Studies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • continue working on social media projects;
    • complete tweets for 2.2, 2.3, and 3.1.

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days left

English I Honors students are so close, so very close to having the whole course behind them. Indeed, some are. Check homework information below.

All other students are now done.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • fourth period:
      • assess both the final Lord of the Flies writing assignments by 4 June;
      • complete the vocabulary work for Lord of the Fliesby 4 June.
    • sixth period: complete your allusions work for To Kill a Mockingbird by 4 June.
  • Journalism: none.
Close Reading and Narrative Writing

English 8 Strategies students continued with their narratives. We should be completely done with the preparatory work by tomorrow, though many students are already done. We’ll spend next week writing the narratives and revising them.

Fourth period English I Honors students began the final Lord of the Flies writing assignment:

When Piggy faces his violent death, the conch shell shatters into dust. Ralph shortly after that runs into the forest, where he encounters the Lord of the Flies, now a gleaming, white skull. Ralph remarks to himself that it’s as white as the conch shell once was. There is nothing more symbolic in the entire book than the juxtaposition of these two events. What do they symbolize? What does the conch shell represent in this allegory? What is the significance of Ralph’s remark about the whiteness of the skull?

This is the pivotal symbol in the book, the cipher for the whole novel.

Sixth period English I Honors students began a close-reading engagement with a passage from To Kill a Mockingbird that confuses some on the initial reading: the Missionary Society meeting in chapter twenty-four.

Class notes
Class notes

We’ll continue with the analysis tomorrow.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • fourth period students: check the Lord of the Flies unit in Moodle for due dates of the final writing and assessment assignments.
    • sixth period: continue working on the allusions work on the Moodle site.
Full Return

With English I Honors students having their End of Course Exam behind them now (what a relief for them, I know), we returned to business as usual. Fourth period students finished a round-up of all the work they completed while I was out.

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Class notes

We had two writing assignments students finished during my absence, so there was a good amount of catching up and debriefing to do.

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Class notes

We also set some due dates for the end of the year:

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Due dates

It looks like a horrible amount of work for the end of the year, but I have a reputation to worry about.

Sixth period English I Honors students looked at how Harper Lee increased tension in the trial scene of To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s about the sixth possible topic for the end-of-the-unit project, which we will be completing in record time. (See the above note about reputation.)

English 8 Strategies students continued working on their final project.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: fourth period students: read chapters 11 and 12 by tomorrow. (And complete all the work in the image above!) sixth period students: read chapter twenty-four by tomorrow — twice.
  • Journalism: none.

English 8 Strategies students continued their week-long peer conferencing work. We finished the practice today and tomorrow will turn to actual peer conferencing.

Fourth period English I Honors students began their first Lord of the Flies writing assignment, connecting Maslow’s hierarchy to the first two chapters of the novel. Sixth period English I Honors students did divided work: those who completed the reading for the day began work on the trustworthiness of the narrator while the others read, consequently falling behind a bit.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
  • Journalism: none.

Fourth period English I Honors students completed work on the first informational text for the Lord of the Flies writing project. It was a text on Maslow’s hierarchy, which we will begin applying to the novel tomorrow.

Sixth period English I Honors students completed the work on Southern voice in the opening pages of To Kill a Mockingbird, comparing it to a passage from The Old Man and the Sea. This will be the basis for the first argumentative project option later in the unit.

English 8 Strategies students continued with their peer conferencing practice, looking with their partner at a second example piece. We will continue this tomorrow before moving on to their first actual peer editing session.

Homework
  • English 8 Strategies: none.
  • English I Honors: 
    • both classes: use this form to assess your starters by Thursday.
    • fourth period students:
      • continue working on the Lord of the Flies vocabulary work;
      • complete the Mockingbird project by Friday.
    • sixth period students:
      • begin assessing the final Lord of the Flies writing assignment (due Friday);
      • read through chapter four of Mockingbird.
  • Journalism: none.