Sunday, August 14, 2011

Switching to 9th Grade

At this point it looks like I won't be teaching American Lit next year. I'm switching to 9th grade. I thought about continuing on with this blog as a 9th grade class, but I've decided for now to create a new blog to use with the 9th graders. If you are looking for our latest classroom adventures you can find them here
In the past few years the bulk of American Lit related material here has drawn many visitors besides my own students. I've always felt very strongly that a blog I was using with students should not contain advertising material.  Since I won't be using this blog daily with students I've decided to go ahead and add, well ads, to it. My previous experience with putting advertising on other blogs tells me that this move may someday net me as much as perhaps forty three cents. Like most teachers I already spend a lot of my own funds on books and materials for my classroom. If putting adds here offsets that a bit it would be nice.
If you found something you could use on the blog help me make it forty four cents by clicking on one of the ad links.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Starring 4th Period

Check out our video.  This is a one minute video I produced with the help of my students to apply for the 2011 Google Teacher Academy. It's posted here because students wanted to be able to see it easily.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Paperless Final

Good morning,
   As you know your final is digital. You may use any online resource you wish, but the thoughts and ideas you express in your writing must be your own.

  1. Create a new presentation in Google Docs.
  2. Answer each question on  a separate slide in your presentation.
  3. Number your slides to match the question numbers.
  4. You may ask for help with the technology but not the content.
  5. Share your presentation with me.

You must follow these directions exactly. ANY missing pieces will lower your grade.
Hint: Use F11 to get more work space on your screen.
I’m deliberately NOT giving you any helpful links. You need to be able to find these things for yourself.

#1 Slide: Title, name, date, period. The title is up to you, be creative

#2 Slide: Explain the difference between Assumptions and Beliefs. Use a quote from the Journals of Lewis and Clark and explain why it is an assumption or belief.

#3 Slide: Insert an image of Chief Red Jacket. Include the URL for the image you insert. Explain who he was. Summarize briefly what he told the missionaries in his Lecture to a Missionary speech.

#4 Slide: Nature has been an important theme in our study of American Lit.  Find an image that represents nature. Write a short poem (can be bad) about the image that includes two forms of figurative language. Highlight the figurative language.

#5 Slide: Use a two column slide. In one column list the important authors of the Harlem Renaissance. In the second column list the important musicians.

#6 Slide: Insert a map to show how the Great Migration affected African American populations.

#7 Slide: Review A Flapper’s Appeal to Parents. Use a two column slide again. List three things parents complain about on one side and three things she suggests to parents on the other.

#8 Slide: Write a thesis statement for the beginning of an essay about your opinion on prohibition. List three points you would use in your essay.

#9 Slide:  Paste this analogy on to your slide and explain the relationships between the words.  Doctor:Hospital:: Professor: College  make sure you thoroughly explain how the analogy works.

#10 Slide: Write your own analogy and explain how it works.

#11 Slide: Describe a moment in The Great Gatsby that was memorable to you. Explain why it was memorable. Include a quote from that moment. (Extra point if the moment involves dramatic irony and you explain how.) You can also include an image IF YOU HAVE TIME.

#12 Slide: Write three IMPORTANT questions about The Great Gatsby.

#13 Slide: Select your favorite quote from everything we read this year. You can go back to first semester if you want to. Include the quote and make a PERFECT citation for the quote. Hint: Use Citation Machine.

#14 Slide: Create a slide about your favorite INDEPENDENT reading book this year. Something you chose to read on your own. Find an image and include your review of the book. If you already reviewed the book in goodreads you can paste that review here. If you write a new review here then paste it into goodreads.

#15 What would you write in my yearbook?

This is an example of the slides you should have. Think of it as an outline.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last day of class before finals :(

Good morning,

Hard to believe this is out last day of real classes before finals tomorrow. Please remember that you final for American Lit is TOMORROW. Yes, the finals schedule is out of order.

Today, please open your English Journal and fill in this statement:
I have earned a ____ on my English Journal because........
Hint: Use the Scoring Guide! (Yes, you can copy and paste in the statement.)

Under that ^^ please answer these questions honestly and seriously.
 What have you learned as a result of being in this class? Write a full paragraph (or more) for each item.
1. About literature-tip: write about something we read that you really enjoyed.
2. About writing- Think about what you may have learned from being in a writing group.
3. About technology- That should be easy.
4. About school- What will you do differently next year?
5. About yourself- What have you learned about yourself this year?
6. About life- What have you learned about life in general this year?
You can still submit questions for the final.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Finals are coming

Your final for American Literature is Thursday. The final will be comprehensive and cover the entire second semester of material.

Your job today is to review the material we have covered this semester using the blog archive and your own internet search skills.

  1. Work with your writing group
  2. Create a new document (4 gp# Study Guide)
  3. Share it with me and each other (hint: use group shared folder)
  4. You decide who needs to look at what and how to organize your study guide.
  5. Include example questions for important material.
  6. You get a group grade for this. Make it comprehensive.
  7. If you think there is not enough information about a topic on the blog you should add more from other sources.
  8. The way it looks and reads matters, use headings, links, color even images to enhance your guide.
  9. All study guides will be posted for all of you to review from. (This is public work.)
 And while you are working on your study guide you will probably think of some pretty good exam questions. You can suggest exam questions here. Suggest an Exam Question

Richard Cory

Good morning,

Period 3: There is a poem shared with you in your writing group folder. It's called Richard Corey.
Find it and read it.  Then have a chat discussion about the poem with your group (without talking).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Completion and Controversy

Good morning,

Lots going on this week before finals. Many of you still have a lot of work to do. Allow me to suggest a prioritized list for you.
  1. Make sure your Gatsby Project is completed. Check it in PaperRater.
  2. Make sure your English journal is great.
  3. Make sure your group's study guide for the final is excellent.
  4. What do you think about teachers using Facebook? Post a reply here. (A college student doing some research on this would really appreciate your thoughts.)
  5. An article published over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal provoked a lot of controversy about teen reading and young adult literature. #YASaves became a top trending topic on twitter when many people responded with stories of how YA Lit saved them in some way. Here is just one response, there were many. This is about some adults wanting to censor what teens read and others saying teens should make their own reading decisions. What do you think? Read the articles and then comment on this post to reply.
  6. Add some books to your "to read" shelf on Goodreads.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finals are Approaching

Your final for American Literature is one week from today. The final will be comprehensive and cover the entire second semester of material. 

Your job today is to review the material we have covered this semester using the blog archive and your own internet search skills.

  1. Work with your writing group
  2. Create a new document (3 gp# Study Guide)
  3. Share it with me and each other (hint: use group shared folder)
  4. You decide who needs to look at what and how to organize your study guide.
  5. Include example questions for important material.
  6. You get a group grade for this. Make it comprehensive.
  7. If you think there is not enough information about a topic on the blog you should add more from other sources.
  8. The way it looks and reads matters, use headings, links, color even images to enhance your guide.
  9. All study guides will be posted for all of you to review from. (This is public work.)
 And while you are working on your study guide you will probably think of some pretty good exam questions. You can suggest exam questions here. Suggest an Exam Question

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Great Minds Think Alike

Good morning,
   Yesterday you met with your writing groups to share your papers and get feedback. Several of you asked if you could also meet with people who chose the same project option that you did. Today is the day for that.

Because some options are being done by many people and some are being done by just a few, our grouping will be flexible. I will help you find people working on the same option you are.

With your group do the following:

It is also time to consider what questions you might see on your final exam. You can once again suggest questions you think should be on the test through this form. Suggest a Question for the Final!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Still working on chapter 9

All right, enough of these interruptions.  We are reading chapter 9 today!

Two reminders:
Return your netbook use contract
Gatsby Project draft is due Thursday.  If you don't know which project you want to do see me.

If you think you want to propose your own option (#7) you should check out these projects done by the students of a friend of mine.  Gatsby Student Projects

Here's one of them:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Period 4 -Demonstration Lesson for i21-

Welcome Visitors.  This is a demonstration lesson of educational technology in our i21 classrooms.

Good morning,

Please begin by pasting the prompt below into your English Journal and writing your answer.
Who do you think is most responsible for Gatsby's death? Explain your answer and use evidence from events in the novel. (Aim for 5-6 sentences.)

Yesterday we read the very end of chapter 8 of The Great Gatsby and for the past week you have been working on asking important questions about the novel. Briefly today I want to ask you some questions again and we are going to try it with the response system built into your netbooks.

Look for the icon on your task bar like the one below and please follow my directions closely.
  1. Open Active Engage (grey circle your task bar like the icon above)
  2. Click "select a hub"
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select Room 864.
  4. Enter the three letter code I will give you.
  5. Click the button that turns green (on the right)
  6. Enter your first name and last initial.
  7. Click the green button.
  8. Wait for my question (Please just wait and be patient if this takes a few minutes.)
When we are done discussing these questions we will read a bit of the beginning of chapter 9 and you will have another chance to ask more important questions in your English Journal.
Link to chapter 9

    Period 3 Wednesday 5/18

    Good morning,

    Welcome to the back of the library. I'm sorry I can't be with you. You know my expectations.

    1. Please copy and paste this prompt into your English Journal and answer it. This is the prompt we were going to work on yesterday before the network went down.   
    Who do you think is most responsible for Gatsby's death? Explain your answer and use evidence from events in the novel. (Aim for 8-10 sentences.) 

    2. Read this article about the demolition of the house that Fitzgerald used as the inspiration for Daisy and Tom's house.
    3. After you read the article respond to it using this Google form.
    4. If you have done your best work on both of those tasks you may: update your status on Goodreads, read the bulletin, check your English Journal for other work you need to catch up on, make sure you have completed all the Gatsby quizzes or read your independent reading book.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    "...I remember the rest of that day..." Chapter 9

    Are you shocked?  Were you upset? Do you know what happened?
    Take the chapter 8 quiz and find out.

    When you finish the quiz open your English Journal and write 2-3 important questions about the end of chapter 8.

    Link to chapter 9.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Blogger is back

    Ok, so today was eventful.

    Blogger was down for a while and it took a few hours for some recent content to get restored.

    For those of you here in class we read more of chapter 8.  You need to finish reading chapter 8 for homework.

    Then in the middle of 4th period our new netbooks got delivered.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Are you asking the important questions?

    Chapter 7 Quiz

    Chapter 8 Text. 

    Important (open ended) questions often start in these types of ways:
    How has ______ changed?
    What will happen to...
    What does ______ mean when he/she says "..."
    Why did the author...
    What does xxx symbolize?

    These kinds of questions have complex answers and require the person answering to explain their answer.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    "I never loved you." A little more work on Chapter 6

    Chapter 6 Quiz << Start with this.

    After the quiz paste this prompt into your English Journal and respond to it please:
    Daisy says the following to Tom at Gatsby's party: "Go ahead ," answered Daisy genially. "And if you want to take down any addresses here's my little gold pencil..." She looked around and after a moment and told me the girl was 'common but pretty'..." Explain what is happening here. What does this quote tell us about Daisy? 

    Chapter 7

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    "I know your wife." Chapter 6

    Start  by taking your chapter 5 quiz.

    Link to chapter 6
    I want you to work with a partner today to read chapter 6. I want you to continue to stop every few pages and make notes in your EJ about what is happening in the novel. You can take turns reading aloud or read silently, but agree ahead of time about where you will stop to talk.

    You are going to get some more background on Gatsby's past. Pay attention to that.
    Also Daisy and Tom are going to attend one of Gatsby's "little" parties. Watch what happens there. How does Daisy like it?
    Finish reading chapter 6 for homework. Keep making notes.

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    "You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock."

    We are going to read more of chapter 5 today.  You'll need to continue taking notes as we read.  How could you use this strategy in the future? Why might it be helpful?

    Link to chapter 5

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    "Don't bring Tom" Chapter 5

    Chapter 4 Quiz

    Make sure your English Journal is open.
    I am not giving you the questions for chapter 5.
    I will ask you to stop and write in your English Journal several times.

    If you aren't here ask a friend what he or she had to write about.

    Chapter 5 Link

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    "educated at Oxford," Chapter 4, The Great Gatsby

    Good morning,

    We will start with your chapter 3 quiz and then read chapter 4.

    Read the Daily Bulletin
    Paste these questions for chapter 4 into your EJ.

    1. Who is Klipspringer?
    2. What does Gatsby tell Nick about himself?
    3. What "matter" did Gatsby have Jordan Baker discuss with Nick?
    4. Who is Mr. Wolfshiem? What does Gatsby say he did?
    5. What does Mr. Wolfshiem tell Nick about Gatsby?
    6. What does Jordan tell Nick about Daisy, Gatsby, and Tom?

    Link to Chapter 4

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Did you get a phone call?

    I used a district voice mail system to send out calls about how students are doing in my class. If you came to the blog because you got one of those calls THANK YOU!

    The grading period ends next Friday. Students in my classes need to make sure they have:
    1. Completed all the work in their English Journals. (These are on-line in google-docs. Ask your student to show you theirs.) The scoring guide is permanently linked on the right side of the blog and also here.
    2. Make sure they have taken the quizzes related to The Great Gatsby. Pre-Gatsby Quiz, Chapter 1 Quiz, Chapter 2 Quiz.
    3. Study for the Chapter 3 Quiz. (Hint: The questions are in the post below this one.)
    4. You can check on the specifics of the grade through Parent Connect.

    Getting back to the party...

    Good morning,
       Great job on your answers yesterday. Today we get to get back to Gatsby.

    Link to chapter 3 text.

    You should already have these chapter 3 questions in your English Journal.
    1. How does Fitzgerald show us how rich Gatsby is?
    2. What kind of people come to Gatsby's parties?
    3. Why did Nick go to Gatsby's party?
    4. How does Nick meet Gatsby?
    5. What are all the stories about Gatsby?
    6. How are some ways you might describe Gatsby?
    7. Describe Nick's relationship with Jordan?

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    If We Must Die...Poetry analysis

    Good Morning,

    Yesterday you did some research about the life of Claude Mckay. Today I am asking you to look very closely at one of his poems.  Please use the Poetry Analysis From to enter your responses. Please remember that the usual expectations for short answer questions apply here as well.

    I will be grading English Journals Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Please make sure yours is up to date and includes all the work listed on the chart in our room.

    Update your status on Goodreads.

    We will continue reading The Great Gatsby tomorrow. Bring your book.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Claude Mckay Quick Research

    We need to take a break from Gatsby and do a quick side project.  Needs to be finished today.
    1. Work with your writing group. 
    2. Create a new document for your answers to the questions below, (share it with each other and me.) 
    3. Divide up the questions as you search out the answers.
    4. Write about what you find in complete sentences so they will make sense to the other members of your group. 
    5. You should include a citation with EACH answer. Use Easybib or Citation machine.
    6. Copy this work for yourself into your English Journal.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    There was music... Chapter 3

    Good morning,
       We are moving fast. Start with your chapter 2 quiz.

    Link to chapter 3 text.

    Then put your chapter 3 questions in your English Journal. There are only seven this time.
    1. How does Fitzgerald show us how rich Gatsby is?
    2. What kind of people come to Gatsby's parties?
    3. Why did Nick go to Gatsby's party?
    4. How does Nick meet Gatsby?
    5. What are all the stories about Gatsby?
    6. How are some ways you might describe Gatsby?
    7. Describe Nick's relationship with Jordan?

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    The Valley of Ashes: The Great Gatsby Chapter 2

    Good morning,
    Get started on your chapter 1 quiz.   Quiz for chapter 1

    Also check out this cool book list Mrs. Sine made based on the things some of you were asking for.  Book List from Mrs Sine.

    Put these questions about chapter 2 in your English Journal.  Link to chapter 2

    1. What is the valley of ashes?
    2. What are the "eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg"?
    3. Who did Tom take Nick to meet?
    4. Who are George and Myrtle Wilson?
    5. What did Mrs. Wilson buy while she was out with Nick and Tom?
    6. Where did they go? What was at 158th Street?
    7. Who are Catherine and Mr. and Mrs. McKee?
    8. What does Mr. McKee tell Nick about Gatsby?
    9. What reason does Myrtle give for marrying George Wilson?
    10. What did Tom do to Myrtle when she mentioned Daisy's name?
    Homework: Read the end of chapter 2. (The more we read in class the less homework you have.) Then write a diary entry about the events of chapter 2 from another point of view. You can pretend you are any character but not Nick. (Write on paper, or type and print.) You must turn in a hard copy. 

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    "...the advantages that you've had..." The Great Gatsby: Chapter 1

    The Great Gatsby takes place in the 1920's in a part of New York known as Long Island and also Manhattan. The map above shows a detailed view of the area. The map is also in your book on page 206.

    The text is accessible online. Please click this link to go to Chapter 1. I will also link to the whole book in the Important Links section on the right.

    Open your English Journal now and copy and paste the questions below into it. We will answer them as we read chapter one.

    1. How does the narrator describe Gatsby?
    2. From where does the narrator come and why?
    3. Describe the narrator's house.
    4. Describe the Buchannans' house.
    5. How does Nick know Tom and Daisy?
    6. Describe Tom. What is our impression of him in chapter 1?
    And for those of you working on your homework: 1. Good job checking the blog. 2. Here are the last four questions from chapter 1 for your quiz on Monday.

    7. What kind of person is Daisy?
    8. What did Miss Baker tell Nick about Tom?
    9. What did Daisy say about her daughter?
    10. How is Gatsby introduced in the novel?

      Thursday, April 14, 2011

      Preparing for The Great Gatsby

      Good morning,
        By now you should have your very own (checked out) copy of The Great Gatsby. Please take it out and leave it on your desk while you work today. Also, bring it to class daily.
        Before we start reading you need to assure me (and yourself) that you have sufficient background knowledge to tackle this book.
         Please take the Pre Gatsby Quiz.  This is an "open net" quiz, meaning that if you don't already know an answer I encourage you to go find out. There are a few tricks on the quiz so read the directions and the questions carefully.

      After you finish your quiz I want you to do some deeper thinking about the questions we worked with on Monday.  Choose ONE of the questions below and add it to your English Journal. Write a three paragraph answer to the question you chose. (200+ words) Include examples, elaborate on your thinking. If the question you are answering has more than one 'side' write about why the other 'side' is wrong.

      Here are the questions. Remember to choose only ONE.
      1. Which is more important, love or money? Explain why.
      2. Do you think you would continue to love someone if you found out that person had lied to you about their past?
      3. Do rich people have a responsibility to the rest of society?
      4. How much money would you need to be rich?
      5. If your boyfriend or girlfriend cheats on you is it alright for you to cheat on them?
      6. Have you ever wanted something that you could not have?  Explain.
      7. How do rich people get rich?

      Wednesday, April 13, 2011

      Women of the 1920's -A Flappers's Appeal to Parents

      Good morning, I have something very cool I want you to read today, but before we get to that I want you to talk. Specifically, I want you and a partner to discuss the questions below.

      1. "Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new."  -Thoreau   What did Thoreau mean? What was he talking about? Is this only about clothing?

      2. Look carefully at this picture of a woman. It was taken about 1900. Your discussion questions are below the woman.

      What can you tell about her from her clothing and hairstyle? How old do you think she is? Would you say she follows the rules?  Flash forward 25 years; the woman has a daughter. What do you think her daughter would be like?

      Reading: A Flapper's Appeal to Parents   Read on your own or take turns, but everyone needs to have their own answers in their English Journal.
      1. What genre is this?
      2. What is her point?
      3. What advice does she give to parents?
      4. What surprised you?
      5. Can you make any personal connections to her point?

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011

      Library Day

      Good morning,
        Yesterday you worked off line on some thought provoking questions with a group. Today we are going to the library to check out books. You are also going to check out The Great Gatsby while we are there because we will begin reading it later this week.
      1. Bring your id to check out a book or bring a book you are already reading.
      2. Do not sit in the library unless you are reading or told to sit by an adult.
      3. Spend you time actively looking at books or reading.
      4. Act your age not your shoe size.

      Helpful Sites:
      What Should I read Next?

      Point Loma Library Catalog

      Friday, April 1, 2011

      From the Harlem Herald

      First go to your English Journal and write to me about how things went yesterday while I was gone. Then read the article below and add your thoughts about the article to your English Journal entry.

      I was searching for more background about the Harlem Renaissance and I found this article I thought was really interesting.

      The article continues below...

      Thursday, March 31, 2011

      It wasn't just about the money.

      Good morning,

      We were going to look into this after break, but it is a good thing for you to work on today. We've looked a bit at the Harlem Renaissance. I also want you to be aware of another important event from the early 20th century.
      In 1919 members of a famous baseball team conspired (worked together) to loose (yes, loose) a world series baseball game. They got caught and it was a national scandal. This was about money, gambling, greed and revenge. 
      I want you to know about this. I also want you to know how to check your answer in several sources because you can't always trust the internet.

      Look through the information on this website AND those in the live binder linked below. Answer the following questions in your English journal. I suggest confirming your answer with several sources to make sure you have the right information.
      1. How did the White Sox get the nickname the Black Sox?
      2. Who is Charles Comiskey? Describe two reasons why he was blamed for the Black Sox scandal?
      3. What is the ‘reserve clause’ and how did it affect the Black Sox scandal?
      4. Why was enthusiasm for baseball so high in America during 1919? How do you think this affected the Black Sox scandal?
      5. Why would Comiskey post signs throughout the ballpark declaring, "No Betting Allowed In This Park?"
      6. What part did Chick Gandil play in the ‘fix’?
      7. What happened to the eight players, including ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, who were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series? What is one reason for this outcome?
      ***Make sure you use complete sentences and go into depth with your responses***
      And you know if you are done you can check your English Journal, read a book, go on Goodreads or donate rice.

      Tuesday, March 29, 2011

      The Negro Speaks of Rivers, Analysis and Re-analysis

      Poems are funny things. They change what they say the more you read them.
      Poems also change what they say the more you read what others say about them.

      The Negro Speaks of Rivers  
      by Langston Hughes

      I've known rivers:
      I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
           flow of human blood in human veins.
      My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
      I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
      I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
      I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
      I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln 
           went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy 
           bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
      I've known rivers:
      Ancient, dusky rivers.
      My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

      Re-read it for yourself. Follow the format below and write about the poem in your English Journal.
      1. Title- When you first read the title what did you think the poem would be about?
      2. Paraphrase- Quickly summarize the poem in your own words.
      3. Connotation- What meaning does the poem have beyond what it says? What larger meaning is there?
      4. Attitude- What is the tone of the speaker? What emotions is he or she feeling? How can you tell?
      5. Shifts- Does the speaker change? Does the speaker's attitude / tone change? What other changes take place in the poem?
      6. Title- Look at the title again. Does it now mean something more that what you first thought?
      7. Theme- What do you think is the theme or themes of this poem? What is the poet saying? How does the tone, imagery and symbolism of the poem contribute to this theme?
      Now see what others have said about this poem. This page has excerpts from the work of eight different scholars who wrote about this poem. They will tell you more about it. Read what they say and then go back to your journal. Write again about what the poem means to you when you read it now. What do you know about it now that you didn't know before? Include quotations from the scholars if appropriate.

      Monday, March 28, 2011

      How it Feels to Be Colored Me, by Zora Neale Hurston

       Good morning,

      Today you will read a work by another famous author of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston. (She is the woman whose picture I gave you in the slide show last Monday and you had to figure out her name.)
      Her essay is about how she discovered who she was in society. As you read pay attention to the clues about who she thinks she is and how she sees the world.
      1. Read How it Feels to Be Colored Me
      2. Answer these questions about the text in your English Journal:
        1. Describe the town Hurston grew up in.
        2. What was she like as a little girl? How did she see herself?
        3. How does she feel about slavery?
        4. What does she think about people who are racist toward her?
        5. Explain what Hurston is trying to say in the last paragraph.

      Friday, March 25, 2011 / Articulation Day

      Most of you will see your counselor today for articulation.

      While you are waiting you must have a book.
      If you are in the classroom use your computer to sign up for Goodreads.
      Set up an account and spend some time rating books you have already read.
      You will need to figure most of this out for yourself. It's not hard. Read the screen.
      Make sure you write down your username and password in a safe place.
      Send me a friend request in Goodreads. You get points in my gradebook when I get your friend request.
      You get points again when I see you actively reading and writing about the books you read.
      This is a way to raise your grade.

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      Crowd Accelerated Innovation and The Harlem Renaissance

      Good afternoon,

      This morning I asked you to write in your English Journal about how you would learn something if you couldn't or didn't learn it in school. For example: How to build a kite, how to change a tire, how to put on makeup, bake and souffle, iron a shirt, re-enact a civil war battle etc.

      Your answers generally included the following categories, use the internet, read something, ask another person or watch a video. Video and internet were popular answers.

      I also asked you to list three to five things you were interested in, but would not likely learn about in school.

      Then we watched a TED talk on Crowd Accelerated Innovation: The big idea being that ideas are spreading and people are innovating faster now in more subject areas because of the wider availability of high speed internet and online video.

      I want you to understand that this kind of innovation has happened several times in history, specifically during the Harlem Renaissance (and the Italian Renaissance). The difference being that geography is no longer important to the spread of ideas and innovation the way it used to be. How will you become a part of this new renaissance?

      Wednesday, March 23, 2011

      When The Negro Was in Vogue, By Langston Hughes

      We are going to use our new livebinder to access today's text. You also need your English Journal open.

      1. Open your English Journal and put today's date at the top.
      2. In another tab open this link to When the Negro was in Vogue  
      3. Or this one.
      4. Before we start the reading write in your EJ what you know about the word Vogue. What does it mean? Where have you seen it used? If you don't know guessing is permissible.
      5. Also write what you know about the word Renaissance (as in Harlem Renaissance) What does renaissance mean? Where have you seen it used before? Guessing remains permissible.

      Tuesday, March 22, 2011

      Review from Yesterday

      Good morning,

      This link will take you to the answers from yesterday.  Answers about Harlem Renaissance slides.

      In your English Journal do the following:
      1. Number 1-6
      2. For each number write: Our answer about this slide was: (copy and paste in your answer)  
      3. Then: We could also have added: (copy and paste in something another group included in their answer that you did not have.)
      What's below is something new I'm trying out.


      Monday, March 21, 2011

      Intro to The Harlem Renaissance

      Good morning,
         As you look through the presentation below with your partners you will notice that there are questions on each slide. Work with your partners to find answers to those questions. You will submit your answers through THIS FORM.
      Suggestion: Have one partner work the form and the slides while the other two of you search out the answers. Submit only one form for your group please.

      HINT: To see the slide show full screen click the little grey box next to the slide counter.

      Friday, March 18, 2011

      A Little Twain

      Good morning,

      Thank you for for working hard on the EAP yesterday. Today you can sit back and listen to a good story. I recomend following along. Here is the link to:

      The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      Write an essay

      Use this prompt and write an essay in your English Journal.  You can (and should) use the sentence frames on the presentation slides from yesterday. (See post below this one.)

      Directions:   You will have 45 minutes to plan and write an essay on the topic assigned below.  Before you begin writing, read the passage carefully and plan what you will say.  Your essay should be as well organized and as carefully written as you can make it.

                  "Recently, major tobacco companies agreed to pay a financial settlement to several states, including California, for health problems caused by cigarette smoking and other kinds of tobacco addiction.  If this course of action is right for tobacco companies, then manufacturers of other legal but harmful products such as alcohol and guns should also have to pay financial settlements in return for the problems they cause."

      --Irving Coffman

      Explain Coffman's argument and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with his analysis.  Support your position, providing reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Monday, March 14, 2011

      EAP Preparation

      Good morning,

      This week you will take the EAP essay portion.  This is an important test for you.  This essay, along with some extra multiple choice questions on the CST, will work like a placement exam for college English if you are attending a CSU or a community college.

      Today we will look at some sample questions and example essays. To figure out what an author is arguing it helps to ask the right questions.

      Sample #1
      What is this woman upset about?
      What does she think about the issue?
      What does she think other people think about it?
      What is her solution?

      Sample #2
      What is Frank Trippett worried about?
      Why is he worried about this?
      What does he suggest is going to happen?

      Sample #3   What questions would you ask to figure out what this author is concerned about? Submit your questions here.

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      Scoring English Journals, Quake in Japan

      Good morning,

      Time to self grade your English Journal.  Check out the English Journal Scoring Guide and decide which score you have earned.
      Write an entry in your English Journal about the score you earned and why you think that score is accurate for your work.

      This morning there was a powerful deadly earthquake in Japan. If your English Journal is done and your nature paper is done you may read news sources about the earthquake.  For at least two sources make an entry in your English Journal as follows:
      I found out....
      My source was (complete citation, use citation machine or easybib.

      This image from shows the spread of a tsunami and the wave height expected from it in meters.

      Wednesday, March 9, 2011

      English Journal Work Day

      Good morning,

      Please do the following in your English journal:
      1. Write three complete analogies and explain each one completely. Tips on analogies.
      2. Write a paragraph of at least five sentences on an appropriate topic of your choice that uses a compare contrast pattern.
      3. Write another paragraph also at least five sentences using a cause and effect pattern.
      4. When you finish those please make sure your English journal is ready to be graded; all work complete, neat, formatted correctly. all entries dated, spelling corrected etc.
      Yes, you have a lot to do. Get Started.

      Tuesday, March 8, 2011

      Patterns of Organization

       Good morning,
         Today we are going to review some common patterns of organization used in writing.  Then you get to do a little practice and take an itty-bitty quiz.

      Practice Page - Recognizing patterns activity

      Quiz Page -  You can't take the quiz until I turn it on.

      John F. Kennedy, Civil Rights Address: Follow along. We will be looking at content and pattern of organization.

      Monday, March 7, 2011


      Good morning,

      Today I want to make sure you understand what analogies are and how they work. Analogies test your knowledge of words and sometimes your critical thinking skills. You will probably see them on standardized tests like the CAHSEE, the CST and the SAT.

      The best way to do well on questions like this is to have a large vocabulary. You can boost your vocabulary by reading more for fun. Reading a book you like means you will spend more time reading and therefore see more new words.

      After we practice some together I'll ask you to use the links below to practice on your own or with a partner.

      If you are practicing on your own try this one.
      If you are practicing with a partner use this one.
      If you need something much harder try this one. OR This one.

      This is from our standards by the way:
      1.1.3 Vocabulary and Concept Development: Discern the meaning of analogies encountered, analyzing specific comparisons as well as relationships and inferences.

      The lesson page I showed you in class came from here.

      Friday, March 4, 2011

      Papers Please

      Good morning,

      Your nature writing papers are due today.  You have some work to do about that.
      You'll need to mark the rubric for your paper.
      You also need to write a reflection about your paper in your English Journal. Answer these questions:
      1. What do you like best about this paper?
      2. What did you learn from writing this paper?
      3. What will you do differently the next time you have a paper like this to write?
      4. What do you feel you need to do to improve as a writer?
      When your reflection is done I have some interesting things to check out.
       Do you know about what happened yesterday at UC Berkley?
      Have you heard or read about events in northern Africa? This CNN page explains it country by country.
      Think about how these events connect to our readings on Civil Disobedience.

      Tuesday, March 1, 2011

      Writing Groups

      Good morning,

      Yesterday we tried adding detail to a simple sentence. You practiced with your own sentence. Today you will meet with your writing group.

      I'm going to show you how to add your paper to your shared group folder. A few of you haven't shared your paper with me yet. (That was bad for your draft grade by the way.)

      Writing Group Procedures

      Thursday, February 24, 2011

      Drafting day... part 2.

      Good morning,

      Today you will continue drafting on your Nature Writing Assignment. (Yes that link goes to the assignment.)

      Remember this is the last day you get in class before the draft is due Monday. Tomorrow we meet in the PAC for a counseling assembly.

      At the end of the period write an entry in your English Journal. Answer the questions below.
      1. What are you writing about for your paper?
      2. How is it going?
      3. What do you still need to do?

      Wednesday, February 23, 2011

      Drafting Day

      Yesterday we went over your Nature Writing Assignment. If you were absent please look at it and ask me questions.

      Before you get started on your draft please answer the questions on this form about your progress.

      Start your draft and share it with me today. Name it correctly please. (Period #, your name or initials, Nature Writing.)

      Tuesday, February 22, 2011

      Ready, set, go...

      Good morning,

      This is going to be a busy week.
      Tuesday (today)
      • We will briefly review your quiz from Friday.
      • You will present your dialogs with John Muir.
      • We will go over the requirements for your Nature Writing Assignment.The draft is due Monday!
      Wednesday (tomorrow)
      I will give you time to work on gathering your ideas and drafting.
      We might have visitors.

      Thursday I will be on campus, but I need to go visit 10th grade classes. Another teacher will cover our class. You will have an English Journal assignment and time for drafting.

      Friday we must attend an assembly in the PAC about your classes for next year. Start thinking about what classes you'd like to take and what questions you have for counselors.

      Friday, February 18, 2011

      Dialogs from John Muir

      Good morning,

      This week we have been reading John Muir, specifically an excerpt from chapter 10 of The Mountains of California. You can view the excerpt here, but it is shared with you in your writing group folder for annotation. You can also see my sample dialog here.

      Today I'd like you to do a quick assessment before you continue working on your dialog.
      Assessment on Muir

      Thursday, February 10, 2011


      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.  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 satilite view to see the place Thoreau was writing about.

      Wednesday, February 9, 2011

      Looking for Nature in American Literature

      Good morning,
         This week you have been looking for evidence about what various groups believed about nature. If you haven't been here check your "View Only" folder in Google Docs and look for a new document called Nature in American Lit. Make a copy of it. Share the copy with me and work on getting the answers. You're most likely to find the answers by looking again at the things we've read by people from those groups and "reading between the lines" to see what they thought about nature. Make sure you have a quotation to support your finding and that you cite the source of the quote. You can also use the wider internet, but you are unlikely to find exact answers that way. This is not easy. You have to work at it.

      Monday, February 7, 2011

      Crossing the Plains, 1865

      Good morning,
         Lots of fun last week with Lewis and Clark. You got to practice finding assumptions and statements about nature. Let's try it again and take it a step further.
         About 60 years after Lewis and Clark a teenage girl named Sarah crossed the plains with her family in a wagon train headed for Montana.  She kept a diary. 
      1. As you read keep looking for ASSUMPTIONS and evidence of NATURE.
      2. When you are done highlighting paste the URL in your English Journal.
      3. Then copy one of your assumptions into your EJ also.
      4. EXPLAIN why you think the part you copied is an assumption.
      Awesome Highlighter
      Sarah Raymond's Diary (Note the first three paragraphs are an introduction before her actual diary entries start.)

      Friday, February 4, 2011

      Moving West With Lewis and Clark

      Good morning,
         In 1803 the United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France.  In 1804  Lewis and Clark set out to explore this new territory overland. They were supposed to determine what resources the United States had acquired through this purchase.

      Today we will look at some of the entries in the journals of Lewis and Clark. As you read through these look for two things:
      1. Any statements they make that relate to the natural space they were in.
      2. Any statements that reflect their assumptions or beliefs.

      We will use Awesome Highlighter for this today.
      1. Go to The Journals of Lewis and Clark. 
      2. Paste the URL for the journals into Awesome Highlighter.
      3. Highlight statements about NATURE in GREEN 
      4. Highlight ASSUMPTIONS or BELIEFS in YELLOW 
      5. When you are DONE put the URL for your work today in to your English Journal. 
      6. Example from Mrs. R.
      Standard RC 2.5 Analyze an author's implicit and explicit philosophical assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

      Thursday, February 3, 2011

      Red Jacket 1805

      Good morning,

      With your group finish annotating Red Jacket's Lecture to a Missionary.
      Write an entry in your English Journal about his speech. Answer the questions below.
      1. Briefly summarize his speech.
      2. What do you think is his strongest argument? Why?
      3. Do you think he is right?
      4. How does Red Jacket feel about white settlers?
      5. What assumptions or beliefs did you see in his speech?

      Tuesday, February 1, 2011

      Monday, January 24, 2011

      Studying on your own.

      Good morning,  (Read all of this.)

      You have created a study guide with your group, worked in another group by months, and presented your work from your month group to your home group.  You have a view-only copy of every group's study guide and every month group's presentation.

      It is time to work on your own. You could review study guides and presentations if you were absent Friday, re-read something you missed or forgot and summarize it for yourself (and your group), or work on an assignment from weeks ago that you want me to re-grade. You can also still submit questions you think I should use on the final.

      1. Go to your EJ and write an entry about what you are planning to do today.
      2. Do it
      3. Write in your EJ about what you did and how it went.

      Friday, January 21, 2011

      Presenting your study guides.

      Good morning,

      First go to your English Journal and answer the question below. You probably want to look at the EJ scoring guide too.
      What grade do you think you have earned on your EJ and why?

      Today you will meet with your writing group to give your presentations for the month you worked on for the study guide. All the presentations are shared with you in your 3rd period View Only folder in Google Docs. You will reflect on each presentation and score it right after the person presents. Before you start take a look at the form you will be using to reflect and score. Return to it after each presenter.

      Here is the link I promised you to the questions you suggested for the final. There is plenty of room for more.
      Suggested Final Questions

      Don't forget to use your...

      Monday, January 17, 2011

      Suggesting Final Questions

      Good morning,

      I want to give you a chance to suggest questions for the final. You can use this form.
      Later this week I will publish your collected suggested questions and you can use those to help you study as well.

      Thursday, January 13, 2011

      Looking at more poetry

      Good morning,
      We've been looking at poetry and today we are going to look at a lot more.
      We've been looking for the subject and ideas in poems.
      We've also been looking at literal and figurative language.

      So you are now going to work with a partner whom I have carefully selected for you. You and your partner will view five poems and work together to find the subject and ideas in the poem. The poems are in the presentation below. It will help to view it full screen.

      Monday, January 10, 2011

      Comparing poems about walls

      Last week we read Mending Wall by Robert Frost. Go back and read it again to your self. In a moment we are going to look at another poem about walls.

      Now listen to what Roger Water's said about walls. I bet you have heard this before, but have you ever looked beyond the subject of his words. There is a point and a theme going on here.

      Now open your "Am Lit View Only Folder" in Google Docs. You will find a new file there called Comparing Poems. Follow the directions at the top of the page. Ask for help if you need it.

      You have homework: Read the poem The Latin Deli on page 1224 in your textbook. After you read it write (on paper) a response to the poem in which you discuss the subject of the poem and the ideas in it.  If you wish to read it on line the book it is in can be found here through Google Books. It is on page 3. You will need to scroll to it.