Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Week 14 Slavery and The Civil War

Test Friday 12/21! Leaked Test Questions!
1. Once they have retreated to Prince Prospero's abbey, the general attitude of the courtiers toward the Red Death is one of
a. guilt.
b. terror.
c. mild fear.
d. carefree disregard.

2. The narrator's first glimpse of the House of Usher gives him a feeling of
a. excitement.
b. numbness.
c. depression.
d. anticipation.

3. When the smell developed around Miss Emily's home, the older aldermen were reluctant to ask her about it because they
a. were afraid of her temper.
b. were afraid of what they might discover.
c. didn't want to embarrass or humiliate her.
d. knew she would be too ill to do anything about it.

There are 22 more questions like these on your test on Friday. Bring your book and your notes.

Essay #3 Was Due Thursday 12/20 Did you turn your's in?

Test Friday 12/21. This will be a comprehension check on all of the stories we have read since Thanksgiving break. (Weeks 11-14 on this blog.) If you have been here and paying attention it should not be a problem for you. You can use your textbook and your notes, but you will need to be familiar with the following already:

Poe: The Raven, The Oval Portrait, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death

Faulkner: A Rose for Emily

O'Connor: The Life You Save May Be Your Own.

Douglass: The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass. (Chapter X covers the portion we read in class. Chapter XI talks about his escape from slavery if you are interested.)

Bierce: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Week 13 Writing Writing Writing

Sorry this blog post is a little late. This week has been all about Essay #3 (or The Poe Project as I like to call it.) Here's a brief run down on our activities.

Monday we enjoyed the bloopers from your news reports. Highlights included large chunks of plagiarism, cars that run on cars, toys assimilated in China, confusion about there, there and there, and really inadequate citations. All mistakes I am confident we will not see again.

Tuesday we worked with a chart for organizing Essay #3, (option 2) and then had time for drafting.

Wednesday was a short day and we spent more class time on the drafting.

Thursday you turned in your drafts and read The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Flannery O'Connor.

Friday we have writing groups. If you failed to turn in your draft on Thursday bring your own copies for your group on Friday.

Next week bring your textbook.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Week 12

Monday we finished reading The Fall of The House of Usher.
Tuesday we brainstormed things that most Poe stories have in common and then read The Oval Portrait to search for more examples of those features.
Wednesday we talked about Essay #3 and then began reading the Faulkner story A Rose for Emily. This site has some interesting questions and answers about the story. I recommend visiting it if you were not here to read the story with us in class.
Thursday we will see an model of a section of one of the essay choices and work on our drafts.
Friday will be a short day. We will probably look at another Faulkner story.

Note: Draft of Essay #3 is due Thursday 12/13. Assignment sheets are available now in your weblocker.

Extra credit: As we approach the end of the semester a lot of people are asking me about extra credit.
1. You CAN NOT get extra credit unless you have turned in ALL of your major assignments. For example you can not do extra credit if you are missing Essay #2 or your News Report. Do the assigned work first.
2. Each of the essays I've assigned this year came with three or four choices. If you are looking for an extra credit assignment simply do one of the essay options that you did not chose before.
3. Because of the way the computer calculates grade averages extra credit points have a slightly different effect for each student. If you have a very low grade extra credit will help you more than if you already have a high grade.
4. See me first if you are considering doing an extra credit essay.

Go Pointers!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Week 11 All Things Poe


So, I had just logged in to update this blog at school today when the power went out in several buildings on campus, including mine of course. What a great excuse for not doing my homework, but such is not in the spirit (or the title) of this blog. Thus I update from home, but the baby is not cooperating. Either he crawls everywhere, forcing me to constantly get up and redirect him away from things he should not be near, or he cries in the playpen.

Unfortunately for you my dear students, the maternal pull is too strong. You'll have to Google Poe for yourself and try to read, The Masque of The Red Death, The Raven, Anabelle Lee and The Fall of The House of Usher. A little background information is also recommended.

Hmm... now the miracle of time has placed my children in bed and I have the leisure to look up the links you need. Hence those titles above now link to the texts you should be familiar with.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Week 10 Following the train of thought...

Welcome back to the blog.
This week is event full as always.
Remember to turn in your news report on Wednesday 11/14!

Tuesday we read an excerpt from Stride Toward Freedom by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Please make sure you have the notes from a friend if you missed it. You need to understand the three possible responses to oppression: acquiescence, violence and non-violent resistance. Two of those parts, violence and nonviolent resistance are excerpted here. Sorry I could not find a section on the Internet that exactly matched what is in your textbook.
At least one person in 6th period wanted to hear King's I Have a Dream speech. The transcript and several audio versions are available on the web. This one worked the best for me. http://www.mlkonline.net/sounds.html

Wednesday Ms. Caya was teaching. I decided she would probably do a better job than me at helping you to understand why Walt Whitman was so important in American poetry. I think she did a good job too. Here are some links that might help you if you want to find out more about what she showed you. The rap sons she played was by a new artist, Talib Kweli. Some of you compared the poetry of his songs to "Song of Myself". Periods four and six compared "Song of Myself" to Longfellow's poem about Paul Revere.
Another site from spark notes might also help you with Song of Myself. http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/whitman/section2.rhtml

Thursday we read what Gandhi said about Civil Disobedience. Our textbook only has an excerpt of this on page 377. If you were absent you can use the link above to read his speech, but the section in our book is much shorter and I recommend that. Also on Thursday we began to create visual metaphors to explain the relationships between the authors we have been studying. A visual metaphor is a very simple diagram or picture that shows the way these thinkers are connected. Label the parts of your picture with the names of the authors represented by each part. I also recommend listing the titles of their work that we read and a few key points of what they wrote. You can use the diagram to help you prepare for the test on Friday and you can use it on the test as well as your textbook and notes.

Friday we will have a test on the authors we've read recently, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Washington Irving. After the test we will watch a bit more of the film about Gandhi. << This link provides a good summary of the film if you want to know more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Week 9- Distribution and Collaboration

As I write this more than half my third period students are off taking the CAHSEE for the second time. The rest of third period is working on the drafts of their first news report. A small but vocal majority are "assisting" me as I update the blog for this week. They gave me some suggestions for the new poll to the right. Make sure to vote.

If you have never been to this blog before you probably came today because you are looking for this link to help you with the bibliography of your news report.

For those of you who are wondering what we've been doing this week let me give you the update.

Monday we used distributed analysis to work out the finer points of Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. We divided ourselves into ten groups. Each group took a two to four sentence section of the text and determined it's meaning. When we read the selection of the essay in our textbook each group presented their explanation to the class. If you missed that experience you should use this link to Self Reliance, but there you will find the entire essay and that is way more than what we have in our textbook. I also recommend this site as a source to help you understand Self Reliance. http://www.transcendentalists.com/self_reliance_analysis.htm

Tuesday (today as I write this) we are working on our drafts. News Report Drafts are due on Wednesday 11/7. As I said in class you should turn in your draft even if you are taking the CAHSEE.

Wednesday I expect we will still have a large number of people testing. I am currently considering several alternatives for our Wednesday activities.

Thursday we will have writing groups. If you did not turn in a draft on Wednesday please make sure to bring copies of your draft for your group to give you the best feedback.

Friday we will be reading excerpts from Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau. (Have you noticed that these Transcendentalist writers love to use all three names?) A site for additional information is http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil.html Once again the on-line version is the complete version of his essay and our textbook just has sections of it.

What I hope you will see is how Emerson's ideas lead Thoreau to his ideas. Those ideas were later read by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. These ideas about non-violent protest changed the world.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Week 8 - Happy Halloween

Welcome back,

This is a short week, but we have a lot to accomplish.

On Tuesday we talked about author's tone and read Lecture to a Missionary by chief Red Jacket. We decided that his speech had a very respectful, formal tone despite sending the message that the missionaries should go home because the tribe wasn't converting.
The text from his speech is available at: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5790/

Wednesday we read The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving. If you missed it and don't have your text book you can still read the full text on line at: http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/wirving/bl-wirving-devil.htm

Thursday we will be working with that story further so catch up on the reading.

Friday we will be working on the drafts of our first news report. Bring articles related to the news topic you chose. I will give you a graphic organizer in class that will help you structure your report and Ms. Caya will show you a resource that will help you with your bibliography.
You may find this link very helpful http://www.citationmachine.net/index.php?source=60&callstyle=2&all=#here

Looking Ahead!

Next week you have a draft due of your first news report on Wednesday 11/7. If you have lost the assignment sheet for your news project you can get another one from your weblocker.

Check your news sources. Sites to try are:

CAHSEE NEWS -- Next Wednesday 11/7 and Thursday 11/8 JUNIORS who have not passed the CAHSEE will get to take it again. If you know you have not passed either the English or Math sections please be prepared to take them those days. Also remember that work you miss while taking the CAHSEE should be made up so make arrangements with your teachers for the classes you will miss, probably periods 1-3.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Week 7-- Fires

My family and I feel very fortunate that we have not had to evacuate our home. Our thoughts are with those most affected by these terrible fires.
By now you know that school is cancelled for the rest of this week. Please use your time off to do something that will help our community or at least help you as a student.

Some suggestions:
  • This would be a great time to do some community service. Volunteers are needed in many areas.
  • Work on Essay #2. It will be due on Monday.
  • Read a book.
  • Register for the SAT.
  • Watch for stories about your news topic.
  • Clean up your room.
  • Clean out your binder and backpack.
  • Spend time with your family.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Week Six

Alright race fans,
We've made it to week six. This is it. GRADES! Yes, by the end of next week your progress report with all your grades will be in the mail on the way to your very own residence. There is nothing you can do to stop this inevitable mailing, but you may still be able to change what it says inside that envelope.

You can:
  1. Make sure you've turned in all your assignments for all your classes.
  2. Turn in the draft of Essay #2 that is due for our class on Thursday 10/18.
  3. Smile at your teachers. (This actually does help.)

On a more serious note here's an update on our activities this week.

  • Monday we were preparing for The Crucible test.
  • Tuesday periods 3 and 4 attended the assembly about Invisible Children. There is a link to their website on the upper right side of this blog. Period 6 was able to catch up on finishing the rest of The Crucible film and prepare for the test.
  • Wednesday we took our test on The Crucible and also had a short lesson about Essay #2. The assignment sheet for Essay #2 and the power point presentation I showed about organizing your essay last Friday are both on your weblocker.
  • Thursday 10/18 you will turn in your draft of Essay #2 and you also need your textbook because we will be moving on into the literature of the American Revolutionary period.
  • Friday will be writing groups with your drafts!
  • Please remember that the final draft of Essay #2 is due on Tuesday 10/23!
  • Vote in our new poll!

For those of you who are senoirs or for interested juniors there is also a link over there >>>> to the information about the Senior Portfolio! It is very helpful. Down load the PDF and read it!

Have you tried looking for things about the Salem witch trials on the web? I found this picture on the site of The Salem Witch Museum. It is the house that John Proctor lived in at the time of his arrest. It is still standing today and the stream that runs behind it is still known as Proctor Brooke.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Week 5

Welcome to week five,
Wow, how did we get to the fifth week of school already. The first six week grading period will be over next Friday. Make sure you get in all your work for all of your classes.

I've been enjoying reading your essays (essay #1). I'm sorry that I am reading them so slowly at the moment. I expect to be able to return them to you on Monday or Tuesday next week.
  • This week you should have turned in your draft of your news topic paper. The final draft is due Wednesday 10/10.
  • If you're absent you should finish reading The Crucible. We will have a test on it next week.
  • Very soon I'll be posting the assignment sheet for essay #2 on weblockers. The draft will be due next week and the final draft will be due the week after that.

Someone suggested I add some Halloween decorations to our classroom. I thought perhaps I would decorate the blog instead.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Week 4

Welcome back to the blog,

Come to Open House Thursday Night from 5:30-8:00!

For those of you who are new to this blog Welcome Aboard! This is the place where I provide weekly updates about our activities, helpful hints and sometimes exclusive, blog-only information that I only share with my favorite people. (Like anyone who reads my blog.)

But as you can see from the poll on the right, it is also a place where I can gather a little information and also provide links to things mentioned in class. At the bottom of each post is the words comments. If you click on the word comments you can write me a note. Please include your name and remember that I can choose to publish your comment or not (insert evil laugh here.)

Many of my students have been out this week. We were missing a whopping 13 people from 6th period on Monday! If you are one of the many absentees checking this blog is highly recommended, so thank you for doing so. Things to catch up on are....
  • The Crucible Act II --Read it
  • Also read act III if you'll be out through Friday
  • Turn in Essay #1 (The assignment sheet and rubric are in your weblocker.) It was due Tuesday 10/2
  • Check your weblocker for the info on our upcoming News Project.
On Tuesday this week we watched the Act I part of the film and compared the way the story is presented there to the way it is presented in the play. (Students from last year said having the visuals from the film helped them to comprehend the rest of the play as we read it.) If you missed the film I recommend renting it and watching it on your own.

See you soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Week 3

Greetings campers,
Sorry to be a bit behind in posting for week 3. We've been very busy. Here's a little recap for those of you who were absent.
You should know about:

  • The poetry of Anne Bradstreet

  • The Examination of Sarah Good

  • Act 1 of The Crucible

  • And if all of that sounds really unfamiliar to you then I also recommend reading pages 134-136.

I want to thank my classes who had their writing groups today. The feedback I got from those of you who shared a paper was that the group really helped you to improve your draft. I personally sat in on some great conversations and I was very impressed by the suggestions you were offering to one another. I'm looking forward to reading your final drafts next week.

Yes, that's right Essay #1 is due in it's final form on Tuesday 10/2! If you need another copy of the assignment sheet check your weblocker! (See Links You Can Use at the top on the right!)

Any suggestions for our next poll? Leave me a comment about it.

And for those of you begging for baby pictures.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Week 3

Greetings young scholars,

Thank you all for the fabulous attention and effort you put into figuring out what William Bradford was saying about the early days of Plymouth Colony. I know that was a challenging read.

If you are interested in registering for the SAT the website to go to is http://www.collegeboard.com/ As I said in class, I encourage you to take the SAT at least once during your junior year so you have time to take it again if you don't score as well as you hoped.

We will be sticking with the Puritans for the rest of this week. Keep bringing your textbooks everyday.

I am still grading your Where I'm From papers, but I have finished third and fourth period. I will be able to return them to you by the end of the week.

Thanks to all of you who have left comments. So far they have all been positive and I have been able to post all the comments you've left.
A few of you have asked me for pictures of my boys. On this computer I only have this one of my older son from a few years ago. I'll work on getting you some pictures of the baby too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Week 2


Greetings students. Three cheers to those of you who have been tuning into this blog. Thought you'd appreciate something new to read. For those of you who were closely watching our favorite subject poll the results are in. With a whopping four votes tallied we have a tie between English and Math. Mr. Law will be pleased t0 hear it.

I'll be putting up a new poll shortly. Make sure you vote this time. If you voted last time let me know.

Once again I invite you to leave your comments and to scroll down to the previous entry and view the comments left about my previous post. I am (for the moment) choosing to moderate the comments left on this blog, so what you write gets e-mailed to me for approval before going live to the web.

Also keep in mind that I write these posts late at night after a long day spent enriching young minds and tending to the incessant needs of two small children. Okay well anything after eight counts as late for me and one of those small children is crying at this moment, so away I go.

See you in class.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Welcome Back

Hi everybody! Thanks for checking the blog today. I hope your first day back wasn't too bad / confusing / chaotic. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all.

Your first blog assignment is to leave me a comment before you leave the site. (Remember everyone can see your coment.) If you don't have something nice to say this is not the place to say it. I suggest writing about something you are looking forward to about this year (even if it has nothing to do with English class.)

Also don't forget to vote for your favorite subject in the poll on the right.