English I Honors finished up (almost) all our work on fate and Romeo and Juliet in general with a short look at how to deal with some of the insane prompts they’ll encounter in high school. We went over Kelly Gallagher’s “ABCs (and D) of On-Demand Writing” before applying it to a tricky prompt that, we determined, had eighteen possible ways of responding correctly.
English 8 Strategies completed a very challenging text, looking for argumentative elements as we work our way through the second, more advanced unit on argumentative writing.
Creative writing students worked on their teacher class profile projects and/or their audio projects.
English 8 Strategies: the sentence-fragment work from last Wednesday is due tomorrow.
English I Honors:
continue working on the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack project;
English 8 Strategies returned to the ACT-Aspire test today, looking at how to make sure we understand perfectly the prompt for the test. We went over the practice prompt from the last session and applied our new ideas to the prompt:
English I Honors students continued looking at fate, turning today to the play to create a list of passages that have something to do with fate in some way or another. We will be using these questions with some work we do next week.
English 8 Strategies: don’t forget to complete the work on sentence fragments for next Wednesday.
English I Honors: any student who has not do so thus far needs to use the Act-Aspire rubric to score your practice test from last Thursday (I’m giving everyone a bit more time on this).
We had a three-hour late start due to weather, so things were a little off-kilter as far as the schedule goes. Only three classes met today, and of those, only two had their full time. English I Honors students spent the time preparing for tomorrow’s semester exam while the one group of English 8 Strategies students continued working on their final drafts of the earthquake essays.
English I Honors students acted their passages from 4.1 and 4.2, presenting afterward the passages with strong subtext and explaining what the subtext was.
English 8 Strategies students spent half of the class working on participation self-evaluations for the quarter and an evaluation of me as a teacher for the semester. Afterward, students had the remaining time to work their earthquake cause/effect revisions.
English 8 Strategies: none.
English I Honors:
evaluate peers’ “Decoration Day” essays at the Moodle site;
English 8 Strategies students had another day of revising their cause/effect earthquake essays. Tomorrow we’ll spend a little time working on it, and Thursday we will spend most of the period working on it. After that, any additional work students wish to complete on the revisions will be homework: no more class time will be spent.
English I Honors students began applying yesterday’s work with subtext to 4.1 and 4.2 from Romeo and Juliet. Each group of students were given a passage and character to examine for subtext:
Group 1: 4.1 Juliet
Group 2: 4.1 Friar Laurence
Group 3: 4.1 Paris
Group 4: 4.2 Juliet
Group 5: 4.2 Capulet
Students tomorrow will be presenting their passages tomorrow, endeavoring to express the subtext through body language and tone of voice.
Creative writing students continued working on their audio projects and existing writing projects.
English I Honors began act four of Romeo and Juliet by looking at subtext and connotation in a unique short story called “Conversation Piece” by Ned Guymon. Students were able to discern the characters, plot, back-story, and the hints of what happens after the events of the story, all of which are hidden in the subtext.
English 8 Strategies worked on revising their earthquake cause-effect essay. We’ll be doing one more day of work with this before it becomes homework.
English 8 Strategies: none.
English I Honors:
read 4.1 and 4.2 from Romeo and Juliet;
complete the assessment for the “Decoration Day” essay at the Moodle site.
English I Honors students completed the third act of Romeo and Juliet; English 8 Strategies students finished up their major research projects (at least the major portion of it). All classes are looking forward to the upcoming break.
English 8 Strategies students began the final push in our comprehensive informational text project about earthquakes. We worked in the lab, incorporating the new Schaffer chunks we’ve been creating in class. We’ll be in the lab one more day (tomorrow) to finish it up.
English I Honors students performed their cut versions of three scenes from Romeo and Juliet: 3.2, 3.3, and 3.5. We’ll be continuing this tomorrow, finishing up with scene five, when it all falls apart.
English I Honors students began the major project for the Romeo and Juliet unit, a soundtrack with arguments for each song’s inclusion that connects the song to the play. We began today by looking at a sample I’d created for students, then starting with the song “Decoration Day,” which has obvious connections to the play.
English 8 Strategies worked on their quarter project, spending a final day in the lab typing up their essays before we head back to the lab next week for some editing and revision.
Creative writings students continued learning how to use Audacity after their daily writing assignments.
English I Honors students began anonymously evaluating other students’ work in the second half of their first Moodle workshop experience. Most students managed to finish all three required assessments, but those who didn’t manage to complete them will have until Thursday to do so (on their own time — no more class time).
English 8 Strategies students continued their group research as we practice for our final project for the second quarter.
English 8 Strategies students began preparing for the quarter’s major project, a cause/effect essay.
We’ll be doing a practice project with groups and as a class before we actually start the big project after winter break.
English I Honors students also began working on their projects in a roundabout way. We’ll be using an online workshop module of Moodle to prepare our projects, and today and tomorrow we’ll be looking at how this works and actually practicing it. To that end, students worked with partners today examining a question about 2.2 regarding Juliet’s decision to become romantically involved with Romeo.
English I Honors students did a bit of prep work for the coming quiz on act one of Romeo and Juliet. English 8 Strategies finished up the cause-effect writing mini-project that was preparation for the larger, more challenging work we’ll be doing in the second half of the quarter.
English 8 Strategies: study for tomorrow’s test on type 2, 3, and 8 sentences.
English I Honors: begin preparing for the act one quiz on Friday.
RL.9-10.7. Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).
English I Honors students compared two versions of 1.1 from Romeo and Juliet to determine how modern directors can try to make the opening scene of the play, which is supposed to have a great deal of humor in it, actually funny to modern audiences. Sometimes the directors fail, sometimes they succeed. We looked at two versions to see what works and what doesn’t when compared to the original text.
W2. Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
English 8 Strategies students continued working on their informational texts. We’re using Google Drive to create our work and then will use it next week to start peer editing our work. Having now completed two days in the lab for the work, students are now responsible for completed the work, detailed below, on their own.
English 8 Strategies: complete the work begun in class by next Tuesday. You will need to have one paragraph done at a bare minimum.
English 8 Strategies students continued with the new writing focus, cause-and-effect writing. While I planned the lesson to last one day, it really needed two days to complete properly, so we’ll drop Tuesday’s planned lesson and move it to a later date. Today we focused on a new text, working to determine which type of cause-effect organization the writer used.
English I Honors students returned to our New York Times article about Shakespeare and why he’s still read today. (Hint: it’s not just that he’s one of the greatest writers in history. The question is what makes him one of the greatest.) (And imagine if he had a typewriter…)
Afterward, we built a bit of background knowledge with a brief video on Shakespeare, Elizabethan England, and the Elizabethan theater scene in general.
Finally, I provided students with a brief overview of the play and its characters, pointing out that most of the first play-goers would have know the story already as it was based on a much older Italian story.