Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Articulation Cards Due Friday

Good morning campers,
Today you will meet again with your writing group. I hope you found some time to make some progress on your draft.

Yesterday we went to the assembly about classes for next year. You need to get that orange card signed by a parent and also show it to your math teacher before you return it to me on FRIDAY. Remember to list your electives as 1, 2 and 3. X's won't tell the counselor which class you really want and if you only make one elective choice you may not get it. The counselors are saying there will be no elective changes in the fall so pick your choices carefully.

I learned some interesting things yesterday, (ok some of them I knew). Here are a few you need to remember.
  • You must have a 2.0 to graduate. Not a 2.0 your senior year, but a 2.0 for ALL of high school. That means if you got bad grades as a freshman or sophomore you need to get good grades now.
  • For the UC and CSU schools a D is the same as an F. You have to retake that class to change the grade if it is a class you need for a college requirement.
  • You need 45 hours of community service to graduate. Start working on that if you haven't already.
  • Take the SAT now if you need an SAT score for the college you want to go to. (I give you extra credit for taking the SAT. Show me your admission ticket or your scores.)
  • American Lit is a graduation requirement. You have to pass this class.
  • Scholarships are available for juniors now on Naviance. See Mrs. Eurich for more info on that.
  • AP classes are a great way to save time and money in college. Students who take AP classes in high school learn skills that help them do better in college.
  • Graduating is cool.
If you were absent on Tuesday I picked-up some extra copies of the paperwork you need. Make sure you ask me for it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Writing Groups

Good morning,
I hope you worked on your nature writing assignment over the weekend. Today you share it with your writing group. Make sure when you share that the box that allows collaborators to invite others is un-checked. If you haven't voted in the poll over there >>> do that now.

After you have read this blog post you may begin to move into your writing group.
If you were absent Friday make sure you take the quiz.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Drafting Day

Good morning,
I want to give you more drafting time today because you used it well yesterday. First you need to take a quick quiz about the reading we did earlier in the week.
John Muir Quiz

Have you figured out your main idea yet for your nature writing? If you don't know yet what you want to focus your writing on I'll be by to check on you, but it is also your job to let me know you need more support.

Don't forget you need your rough draft for your writing group meeting on Monday. (There is a grade involved here so get it done.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nature Writing

Good morning,
Yesterday we finished our reading of John Muir's description of the storm. I added a pin to the map below (way below) to show you roughly where he was when he climbed that tree. You need to find at least one quote from his writing that shows he enjoyed the storm. Add that quote to your English Journal. (You should have done this yesterday, but I'm giving you another reminder.)
A Wind Storm in the Forest << Here is the link again so you don't have to go looking for it.

Today you get your next writing assignment. Read over the assignment carefully. Nature Writing Assignment
Then, in your English Journal again, write a quick paragraph to me about:
  1. what the assignment is,
  2. what you think you might write about
  3. and what you think you might need help with.

AFTER you have written to me in your EJ you can start a new document and begin free writing to find your main idea.

Remember: When you share documents always un-check the boxes that allow collaborators to invite others.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

John Muir

Good Morning,
Last week we enjoyed excerpts from Walden. Below are some of the things you wrote in your English Journals about that. Read through what others thought. Most of you had very thoughtful responses to Walden. Excellent job!
  • The way he describes things make them seem to be so pretty, when I read it it was almost like seeing it through his eyes.
  • We have the power to change and decide our destination in life, our fate.
  • He is saying to reduce things in life to make it easier. even if we go to places were we think its good there will be still bad things there.
  • I wish that the woods were close enough to us so that we could just walk there from the beach.
  • He moved into the woods to live life how it supposed to be. If he were still in the city or other places he wouldn't enjoy nature. He wanted to see if it was worth living like that.
  • He is talking about how we are not alone even though we feel like we are alone.
  • He's talking about how we all are living a life that's already been lived, like has anyone recently done something new?
Today we look at another famous nature writer, John Muir. He was America's earliest environmentalist. He founded the Sierra Club and his writings helped to save Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park. Muir spent many years traveling in the mountains of California. Today we will read an excerpt from his most famous book The Mountains of California. This passage is about a storm the Muir witnessed in 1874. Link to excerpt.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Walden Continued

Good morning,
Today we will finish our reading of Walden, but first we have a quiz. Click the link below and take the quiz then open your Walden text, your English Journal and your Vocab spreadsheet.

Byrd and Thoreau QuizLink

Thursday, February 12, 2009


No examination of American writings about nature would be complete without looking at Thoreau's most famous work Walden. Today we will read and listen to some excerpts. (Thank you to Francis for doing the cut and paste to put this selection together.) You will need your English Journal open as well as a tab for the text. Between sections of the text I will give you two minutes to quick write as much as you can about your impressions of what we just read.

If you are waiting for others to be ready to begin visit the map at the bottom of the blog and find the marker for Walden Pond. Zoom in and switch to sat view to see the place Thoreau was writing about.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Catch up and get organized!

Good morning,
Today is a good day to get our act together. Many of you have several things you need to finish or polish and so I am giving you a prioritized list. Make sure you have done the things below.

1. If you were absent on Friday (5 people) you missed a quiz. Scroll down, find it and take it.
2. Yesterday we were looking for four quotes that showed how Byrd viewed nature. A number of you did not finish getting those into your English Journal. Finish that. (Nine of you were absent for this. read the blog from yesterday and get it done.)
3. Scroll to the bottom of this blog and take a look at the map I added with the locations of several things we've read or learned about. Try zooming in on them.
4. As you can see I still need locations for many of the things we've read. Use the time line in class and find me locations for several more texts. When you think you know send me an e-mail.
5. Tomorrow we will look at Thoreau again so you need to know more about him. Use the links on the Thoreau Links page to explore more. Add an entry to your English journal about something interesting you found out.
6. Now is also a great time to make sure your English journal looks great. Are all of your entries dated? Thoughtful? Anything in there you need to finish up?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

William Byrd

Good morning,
Welcome back to Tuesday. When we left last week we were reading through Of Plymouth Plantation to see what William Bradford thought about Massachusetts when the Pilgrims arrived on The Mayflower in November of 1620.

Today we will look at another colonial writer, William Byrd. He wrote about Virgina about 100 years later. His text is dense and might be challenging for you. I suggest that you either A. paste it into a new text template and annotate it as you go or B. paste it into a new blank google doc and annotate it as you go.

You are looking for quotes that show what Byrd thought about nature and the landscape he was writing about. Find at least four and paste them into your English Journal. Make sure you put them in quotation marks and EXPLAIN WHY EACH QUOTE SHOWS SOMETHING OF HIS VIEW OF THE NATURAL WORLD. Do not paste his entire text into your English Journal, just the four quotes and your explanation is all you should have there.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday 2/6

It's Friday. Lets take a quiz.

Then we will read more of the text we started yesterday.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thursday 2/5

Good morning,
Because I have many new students this semester it is time to update my data records. All students, (yes, even if you have been her since September,) should click the link below and fill out the data form please.
Student Data Form

We have seen a bit about how Native Americans viewed their natural world. Now let us look at how one European, William Bradford, viewed North America when his group arrived in 1620. Today you will read an excerpt from his book Of Plymouth Plantation. You will use your text template (in Google docs) to annotate the text as we read.Link
And just to make sure we all have enough to do today... Lets start that spreadsheet for new vocabulary that I showed you about yesterday and add some of the words on the board. Don't forget to share it with me.

Nature Quotes

These are some things you wrote in your English journals about nature on Monday.

Nature listens to my problems.
Nature is good for the earth.
I've tried to pick so many roses so many. At the time no one told me that they had thorns.
Nature is filled with adventure!
Nature isn't always a positive thing.
I wonder what goes on in nature when no one is around to see what happens.
Flowers can be nature to.
I think nature is nice.
I personally, do not like nature, because also when I think of nature, I think of nasty bugs and my feet getting all muddy.
Everything in nature was the stepping stones to the creation to all that we have now.
The wind is just as mysterious as fire or water.

Native American Orgin Myth

Good morning,
Yesterday I asked you to reflect on what you think about nature. Today you will read an old Iroquois legend about the origin of the world. Pay attention to what this myth says about the Iroquois view of the natural world. When we finish the reading you will write your thoughts in your English journal.

The World On The Turtle's Back

Extra option: Search google images for pictures that connect to what you wrote yesterday and today and add them to your English journal.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Second Semester begins Here!

Good morning,
Go to your English journal and write 100 words about what you think about nature. What is nature? Do you like nature? What is nature good for? What do you wonder about nature? Those are just some sample questions to help you get thinking.

Then visit some of these short stories. Read three and write about one in your English Journal. They are all really good.