Friday, September 30, 2016

September 30

We started class with 30 minutes of blog time (it really turned out to be more like 45 minutes). I shared some stellar student blog entries as model texts. And I reminded students of the blogging procedure and suggested that they proofread their posts before publishing them. The final blog entry for this 9 weeks is due before 11pm Tuesday, October 11.

Students turned in their Prologue and Parados analysis charts. We recapped Scene 1 of Antigone (come in A block Tuesday for this review) and analyzed Creon's tone (handout). We also read and interpreted Ode 1.

Important Dates

  • Thursday, October 6 - Blog time and Greek roots quiz
  • Friday, October 7 & Monday, October 10 - No school!
  • Tuesday, October 11 - Blog entry due by 11pm
  • Wednesday, October 19 - All sophomores and registered juniors will take the PSAT in the morning. 3rd and 4th period classes will review for exams.
  • Thursday, October 20 - 1st and 2nd period classes will review for exams. 3rd and 4th periods will take exams.
  • Friday, October 21 - 1st and 2nd period classes will take exams. Students will have early release (12:15pm) this day.
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 29

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Outside of class entry

We recapped the prologue and parados from yesterday, then students continued working on the character and tone analysis charts. We also read Scene 1 of Antigone. We will read and do more analysis tomorrow. (See Classroom for instructions on how to access the online textbook if you need to work at home.)

Here is the schedule for 1st 9 week exams:
  • Wednesday, October 19 - All sophomores and registered juniors will take the PSAT in the morning. 3rd and 4th period classes will review for exams.
  • Thursday, October 20 - 1st and 2nd period classes will review for exams. 3rd and 4th periods will take exams.
  • Friday, October 21, 1st and 2nd period classes will take exams. Students will have early release (12:15pm) this day.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: A different take on yesterday's entry--of the five values, which one do you think is LEAST important?

I returned work from the Socratic seminar on Friday. Students did a really good job! The majority really enjoyed discussing the stories and poems with their classmates.

Students examined Greek roots and came up with words that use these roots (handout). We will have a quiz over these roots next Thursday, October 6.

We read the Prologue and Parados of Antigone. Students worked in groups to analyze the relationship between the two sisters in the Prologue and the tone of the chorus in the Parados (handout). We will have time to work on this in class tomorrow before we continue reading the play.

Time is running out!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September 27

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Of these five values, which do you believe is most important? Explain your response!
  • loyalty to family
  • obedience to local and national laws
  • observance of religious beliefs and customs
  • following your own conscience
  • achieving respect and recognition
Students calculated their reading rate. After reading for 10 minutes, students noted the number of pages they had read, then multiplied that by 6. That number is how many pages they can read in one hour. Then we determined how long it would take to finish that book by dividing the total number of pages by the number of pages in an hour. The point of this is for students to recognize that it's important to read outside of class in addition to our independent reading time. Students should also understand that the reading rate will depend on the book.

How to calculate your reading rate

I shared my Greek notes with students so they could fill in any missing pieces in their own notes. I also introduced Antigone. We will begin reading this play tomorrow!

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Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Article of the Week - "You Can't Do Two Things at Once"

Ms. Scott from the counseling office visited our classes today to walk us through Career Cruising. Students had time to explore the site and learn about interesting careers and different colleges to help them on their path to success.

(Fourth period had a substitute today while I attended a meeting, but they completed the same work.)

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Friday, September 23, 2016

September 23

IRT: ~15 minutes (1st only; 2nd watched Hawk TV, and 4th did not have enough time due to the pep rally schedule)
WNB: No entry today!

Students participated in a Socratic seminar today using prepared questions to discuss major ideas in all of the stories and poems we've read so far. Discussions ranged from parents and divorce to violence and bullying to the Golden Rule and Selena Gomez!

Here's the most recent Hawk TV episode if you're interested!

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September 22

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." - Buddha
Is there ever a time when the truth should not be pursued? Why is it so important to humans to know the truth?

We went over the lit terms test. Students who have questions about their specific test should plan to come to tutorials.

Students continued working on their collaborative Greek drama notes. I shared a brief introduction to Oedipus Rex, which included this Shmoop video.

Tomorrow, students will participate in their first Socratic seminar! Come prepared with questions for discussion.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Outside of class entry - Choose one of your "I believe" statements from the September 8 entry and expand on the idea.

I introduced the Socratic Seminar process, and students spent some time creating questions for our first dialogue on Friday. (All notes on Classroom.)

Students worked in groups to gather information about the Greeks and Greek drama. They shared their notes with me in a collaborative Google Doc. We will continue working on this tomorrow.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September 20

Students completed a notebook check form on Classroom then handed in their notebooks.

Students took the Literary Terms Test today. Grades will be entered at the end of the day Wednesday, and we will discuss the test in class on Thursday. Students who scored below 70% should arrange to come to tutorials for reteach/retest.

Tomorrow, I'm going to introduce the Socratic Seminar activity that students will participate in on Friday. All handouts related to that lesson will be posted on Classroom by the end of the day tomorrow.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: "Teen Creates 'Sit With Us' App For Bullied Kids" - Students listened and responded to the interview. I will be checking notebooks tomorrow, so make sure all of your entries are complete!

Students took notes over gerunds and infinitives, then completed a quick identification worksheet.

Students worked in groups to complete the TPCASTT they started on Friday. Groups then shared their findings with other groups who analyzed the same poem.

I went over the literary terms test review with students (posted on Classroom). The test is tomorrow!

I returned timed writing revisions (sorry, 2nd period! I'll get yours to you tomorrow)--these grades have been updated in Skyward.

Looking forward to meeting parents tonight!

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Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Inspired by the 1000 Awesome Things blog, students had 2 minutes to write a list of things they think are awesome.

Students who chose to revise their timed writings turned those in today. Updated grades will be posted by Monday morning.

We listened to and discussed the last poem in the packet, "Hands" by Sarah Kay. Students then worked in their groups to analyze one of the poems on a TPCASTT chart. We will finish up this work on Monday.

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Blog entry due by 11pm Sunday, 9/18!
Lit terms test Tuesday, 9/20!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15

Students used the first 30 minutes of class to work on their blogs. The next entry is due by 11pm Sunday, 9/18.

We revisited "The Legend," discussing the setting and sensory images that tell the story of the poem. Students clarified their understanding of some unfamiliar terms in the poem. We ended our discussion by talking about the center of gravity of the poem: the line we felt was most important to the message.

"Knock Knock" by Daniel Beaty: We watched the performance and discussed the message. Students worked in groups to discover the center of gravity.

"Point B" by Sarah Kay (the first part of the TED Talk): We watched the performance and discussed the message. We will do a little more with this poem tomorrow.

I met with several students during tutorials today as they worked on their revisions for the timed writing (due tomorrow).

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14

IRT: ~20 minutes in the library
WNB: "To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears." - Octavio Paz
Students responded to the quote in any form they chose.

My mission when teaching poetry is not to force students to find meaning but to help them appreciate the form as another way of sharing an idea. That said, we did a little analysis of some random poems today.

"Courage" by Anne Sexton: After reading the poem, students discussed first thoughts with their groups. They then chose one of the stanzas to analyze more closely. Each group shared their findings with the class.

"The Legend" by Garrett Hongo: We started a modified TPCASTT with this poem. Students predicted what they thought the poem would be about based on the title. Then we listened to a slam poetry performance of the poem and discussed first thoughts. We will start class with this poem tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, students will have time to work on their next blog entry (due Sunday, 9/18). Timed writing revisions are due Friday, 9/16. Tutorials on Thursday at 7:30am, A & B block lunch, and 3:30pm.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 13

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Outside of class entry

After independent reading time, we talked about yesterday's article. The classes were pretty divided on their opinion of Kaepernick's situation.

Groups had 15 minutes to complete the work on the THROWDOWN activity. They then shared their results with the class. "The Interlopers" was the biggest winner of the activity; the story swept the voice category in all classes. In the below photos, "CD" stands for character development, "S" for style, "T" for theme, and "V" for voice.

1st period bracket results
2nd period bracket results
4th period bracket results

With the remaining class time, I challenged students to develop a meme about one of the four stories. They did such a great job! You can see their creations here:

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Monday, September 12, 2016

September 12

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Article of the Week - "In the 'land of the free,' are you free to sit out the national anthem?"

I reminded students that the article of the week is a place for more reflective annotations rather than academic or style-based annotations. Students who didn't finish the entry during class time will need to complete it before tomorrow.

We walked through the process of composing a short answer response and embedding quotes, and students took notes on certain features. The slides for these notes are available on Classroom.

Students finished up the THROWDOWN activity with the remaining class time. We will finish this in class tomorrow.

Important Dates

Friday, 9/16 - Timed Writing Revision Due
Sunday, 9/18 - Book Blog Due
Monday, 9/19 - Open House
Tuesday, 9/20 - Terms Test

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Important Dates

Friday, September 9, 2016

September 9

I returned the summer reading essay. Students who scored below 90% may revise for up to 90%. Tutorials are highly encouraged! Revisions are due Friday, 9/16.

We listened to "Be Cool to the Pizza Dude," an essay from the "This I Believe" radio show that inspired yesterday's notebook entry. I wanted students to see what their thoughts could become!

I introduced the book blogging procedure that students will follow to write about their choice reading. Information is posted on Classroom. Students had time to work on their next blog entry, which is due by Sunday, 9/18. We will have class time on Thursday to work on this entry.

With the remaining class time, students worked in their groups on the THROWDOWN activity. We should wrap this up on Monday.

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Edit test...

September 8

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: "I Believe..." (in class)

After independent reading time, I talked with students about an old radio show called "This I Believe." I asked them to write 10 of their own belief statements. Then I shared Jacqueline Woodson's poem "What I Believe" from her book Brown Girl Dreaming. Students will have an opportunity to expand on one of their belief statements at a later date.

With the remaining class time, students resumed work on the Literary Element Tracking Throwdown activity. By this time, most groups have finished the first step of the assignment. We will continue working on this tomorrow.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 7

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Outside of Class

We took notes over ladders of questioning and wrote questions for one of the trio of excerpts that we've been working with for the past few days. (Notes are available under the About section on Classroom.) This concludes our work with those pieces.

We began our Literary Element Tracking Throwdown (instructions on Classroom)! Students are working in groups to read four short stories and evaluate their effectiveness in using a particular literary element.

Intro blog entry is due tonight (11:59pm deadline)!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 6

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Article of the Week - "Should We Abandon Louisiana?" Students read, annotated, and responded to the article. I will collect these and rate annotations tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a nice 3-day weekend! Today felt like a Monday...

After independent reading time and the notebook entry, students worked in groups to complete a TWIST (tone, word choice, imagery, style, theme) activity using one of the trio of excerpts from last week. We will wrap up this work tomorrow.

Don't forget: your intro blog entry is due Wednesday!

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Friday, September 2, 2016

September 2

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: Blogging!

After independent reading time, I talked to students about blogging, and we walked through the process of setting up our own blogs. Some students discovered blogs they had created when they were in middle school!

For their first blog entry, students will introduce themselves and set their reading goals. This entry is due by the end of the day Wednesday, September 7. Specific instructions and examples are posted on Classroom.

With the remaining class time, students chose to either work on their blogs or continue annotating the excerpts from yesterday. Annotations should be completed by Tuesday so we can proceed to the next step in that work.

Have a great three-day weekend! Be careful out there!

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1

IRT: ~20 minutes
WNB: in class - Mentor Sentence - Colon

After independent reading time, we looked at a sentence from Oscar Wilde that uses a colon in an interesting way. Students then created their own sentences using Wilde's as a model.

I read three short book excerpts aloud, and students marked interesting phrases as they listened. Then they worked in groups to label good examples of diction, figurative language, syntax, and tone and determined the theme of each piece. We will continue working with these tomorrow.

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