Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ASK your paper question NOW!

Click on 'comments' to leave your question for me to answer.

The Big Paper

This week, students are working on a major paper assignment on a short story. I am taking them through the four stages: prewriting, drafting, editing, publishing. First students had to make choices about which story and which aspect of humanity is revealed in it on which to write. Developing a thesis with 1. the story, 2. the one, specific aspect of humanity revealed in the story he or she will write about, and 3. how it is shown/revealed.
Meeting I provided a detailed structure for the paper. The introduction is drafted and should be revised for the final draft, same , too, for the conclusion (complete with the "final thought"). The body paragraphs will need specific, concrete examples. For any and each quote used (be it from the story or from the storytelling article), correct citation is required. Students can refer to the media website for more assistance, as well as the English Department's website page for student resources. Both provide strong links for more help after students leave the classroom.
The final 'published' draft is due Thursday in class.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not Quite Friday Time...

As class rolls into Friday, We are entering full swing into a major writing project. I am challenging students to apply information text (essay) to literature (one of our recent short stories) to discuss how the story reveals some specific aspect of humanity/human nature. Quite a mouth full, I know.
On Thursday, I handout out the starter packet for the writing assignment and began to review it with the class. First hour had a more thoroughly overview with the time we had. They were to complete the typed introductory paragraph for me to go through thoroughly over the weekend. Introductions set the tone of expectations for the rest of the paper, so they are very important, like a first impression. Fifth hour students, due to time restraints, had a briefer overview and were to complete the pre-writing stage, as indicated in their packet with making choices for their content examples. These examples will have to be concrete, specific, so a chance to help students make them more specific and exact is important.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So far this week, and to come...

So far this week, we have had some very active discussions regarding the value of gifts, the social value of some products, and irony. All of these discussions stemmed from our short stories, including "The Necklace," "The Gift of the Magi," and "The Lady, and the Tiger." In fact, tonight's homework was to read the latter story, and complete the assigned work.
Tomorrow, we will read an information article regarding storytelling. We will discuss it after students take notes ON it and after reading it. From there, students will begin work on a paper on a short story.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Today was the invigorating discussion concerning last night's reading, "The Interlopers". Who actually are the interlopers, and what, then, does that mean for us? Are they the wolves, or, the men....??? In 5th hour, we compared themes to "Grizzly Man" , the movie. For homework, student are to complete the pre-reading activity for "The Necklace" and then to read it and complete the rest of the packet I handed out. Irony will be discussed tomorrow from the stories.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


After some tight discussion on "Dog Star" and "Thank You , M'am," students ran off with homework in hand for "The Interlopers." Part of our discussion included skill set for reading short stories, such as: characterization, phrases to help clarify, comparing and contrasting with SPECIFIC supporting details, and thematic connections. The thought provoking question we ended class with was, "Do our actions determine who we are?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Tomorrow is Open House! I look forward to meeting many parents tomorrow night in our classroom. With only ten minutes of "class" time, I hope to provide some resources, such as this blog, for continued communication.
For class today, we checked out the Book Fair (also open tomorrow evening), I checked homework, and students read "Dog Star" in class while completing the corresponding questions. The short story, "Thank You, M'am," by Langston Hughes, is homework, with the corresponding questions. These both are great starter stories to identify how authors convey a sense of time with their word and phrase choice (rather than a reader becoming confused) and for how we will seek to understand characterization.
These short stories are just the start to our new unit on short stories. Yesterday we began with a review of literary terms we will use, and students identified movies as examples per each term on a worksheet.

Friday, September 12, 2008


After yesterday's in class small group work on test taking strategies, students continued to prepare for today's test by writing with a MEL-Con. Today's test took the entire period. Hopefully, all of their knowledge and insights will come out in the results! A+

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


In class, student groups worked together to discuss and answer student generated questions on test taking strategies. We discussed commonly misspelled words as well as study habits and strategies (a.k.a. tricks). This all follows the notion that the brain is like a muscle: the more it is exercised, the more efficient and stronger it becomes. We also laughed a lot.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday, Sept. 8, 2008

Today, students brought their completed notes on "Test Taking Strategies" from the back of the text book. Using them, they created 3 t/f question, 2 multiple choice, recall questions, 2multiple choice, inference questions; 2 vocabulary questions, one of which must be context clues, and 2 essay questions. All but the essay questions must have had answers on a separate sheet. This was due in class. For homework, students have an assignment to correct and reflect upon the errors each made on the Reading and Writing Strategies Quiz (returned today with the assignment). This is due tomorrow.

# ____ Question re-written:

Correct Answer written out:

Reflection about why the student missed the question:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

WEEK 3 (Sept. 2-5)

ReadingThis week we are in the media center learning about how to utilize available resources at Fremd for information, as well as judging appropriate data and determining validity of websites (hugely important skill). Students have a scavenger hunt packet to complete by Friday in class. We will also finish up the test taking strategies we began last week. The reading and writing strategies quiz grades are posted, but I won't hand them back until Friday or next week.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Last week, we finished reading strategies and moved into writing and test taking strategies. On Friday, students took a big quiz on reading and writing strategies.


Day 1:
1. overview, books, parent signature slip for homework.
Rest of the Week:
Study Skills Unit with Reading Strategies (back of text book)