Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letters and Questions

Good morning,
  1. Your letters to the president are live and you can view them at the Letters to the Next President web site. If your letter is not there then you need to see me.
  2. If your letter is there take a look at it and then look at several other letters from my classes. Write an entry in your English Journal about what you think about the letters you found.
  3. If your letter is not there you will be working today to get it there.
If your letter is published you can get a head start on your homework. You will be working on creating five discussion questions about The Crucible.
  1. First write your five questions in your English Journal. (Proofread carefully and spell check.)
  2. Then use this Question Form to submit them to me.
Everyone is responsible for five discussion questions. They are due to me by Friday 10/31. If you are unable to complete them on-line I will accept them on paper.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Letters to the Next President

Your letters are live and I'm late to get my kids.


PS If your letter isn't there then you have a problem. See me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Classwork Tuesday, Fear Questions

Good morning,
On Friday and Monday we read most of Act I of The Crucible. Today you will fill out an on-line form about several of the characters in the play. (This is similar to the way you graded each others presentations last week.) This work should help you to understand these characters better and delve more deeply into the text of Act I.

If you are in period 3 please use this form for your work.

If you are in period 4 please use this form for your work.

Other Reminders:
  1. Letters to the Next President are due and publishable now. Your letter needs to be totally finished by Wednesday 10/29 to earn full credit.
  2. 4th period. Federal Survey Cards are due now. Bring your's in ASAP.
  3. Juniors who have not yet passed the CAHSEE in English will test next week on Tuesday 11/4.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Starting The Crucible

Today we began reading Arthur Miller's classic play The Crucible. This is the beginning of our unit on American Fear. We will also be reading Edgar Allen Poe, some Stephen King and other authors who have also tried to scare us somehow, current political speeches excluded. (That was our last unit.)

There are also a few new features on the blog you can view. The first is a list of critical links on the upper right. These will include current assignments and our class calendar. The second gives you the option to become a follower of this blog. If you'd like to try that let me know how it works for you.

Progress report grades were distributed 4th period today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Presentations Today!

Hello everyone,
Today several groups will be presenting about the topics they researched. After you have seen each group present you will use the link below to grade their presentation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Student Survey

Hi Kids,
We need to take a quick survey about our school. Click on the link below and answer the questions.


PS Parents there is a survey for you too. Have you taken it yet?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Writing Letters to the President

Parents, has your son or daughter recently said something like this, "Sorry, I can't take out the trash. I have to go write a letter to the president."? It's actually true. Through the National Writing Project our class is participating in Letters to the Next President.

Let me bring us up to speed. Open House was great. Thank you to everyone for coming. It is always a pleasure to meet my students' parents.

Friday we began with brainstorming for our letters to the president.
Monday we worked on selecting an organizational pattern and drafting.
Tuesday I had to be out for a training. Reportedly all my students were wonderfully behaved in my absence. (Those of you who know me well might suspect sarcasm here, but it's true, the substitute reported excellent cooperation.)
Wednesday (today as I write this) we were going to have writing groups, but students clearly needed more time for drafting and some needed to select an alternate organizational pattern.
Thursday we will meet in writing groups and that may continue on Friday as well.

Yes, there is a great deal of writing going on. Last year a parent complained about the amount of writing students do in my class. She suggested I should have less writing because her daughter wasn't very good at writing. Obviously, I told her that if her daughter wasn't comfortable with writing then the girl really needed to be writing as much as possible, but I did make sure she got more support. Hopefully I will notice that you need more support, but if I don't please ask me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Open House

Welcome Parents!
Thank you for coming! I have some exciting things to show you!
  1. This Blog
  2. Google Docs
    1. For independent work, like English Journals.
    2. For collaborative work, shared documents and presentations.
    3. For peer review, writing groups.
  3. Letters to the next president
    1. A joint project from the National Writing Project and Google.
    2. Students have now read several letters in preparation for writing their own.