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