Friday, September 28, 2012

Crucible Research Projects


You researched, you created presentations and today you got to give those presentations.  You also gave me three questions that people watching your presentations should now be able to answer.

Which means.... You all now have 21 (okay 22) questions to answer about the presentations you saw today.
Remember if you can't remember (or don't know) an answer you can search for the information yourself.
That means everyone should be getting all these questions correct.  Some of the questions were way too easy.  I changed those.    Make sure you take the quiz for your period.

Period 3 Questions

Period 4 Questions

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Open House

So glad I got to be here after all. If you didn't make it here is what you missed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What a week...

Well, it has been quite a week.  Monday we worked on updating some software with the netbooks and started the mini-research projects with the groups.  Tuesday you actually got some time for that group work to get done. Wednesday we had the presentation from GearUp about your graduation requirements and college preparation plans.

The good news is I will not be traveling to a conference after all. That means I WILL be at open house Thursday night and you will NOT have a sub on Friday.

That means you get one more day in class to work on your presentations. We need to do a quick bit of work for your expert projects first and then you can get back to polishing those presentations.

Make sure your parents have your schedule for Open House. I am looking forward to meeting them.

Friday you will be giving those presentations. (See post below this one.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Research, Prepare, Present

Good morning,

In preparation for our reading of The Crucible (you have checked that out right?) you will be spending the next two days working on a mini-research project and preparing a presentation about a related topic.
  • I will assign you to a group and I'll assign your group a topic.
  • Share a presentation with each other in Google Docs so that you can all contribute what you find. Work quickly.  You should have 8-10 slides. 
  • Consider history (origins), definitions, examples, important facts, impact on society, future significance, important individuals etc.
  • Incorporate (and cite) images related to your topic to make your presentation interesting to your audience.
  • Create three multiple choice questions that someone would be able to answer after listening to your presentation. Consider “why and how” questions first.  (Your group will turn in these questions tomorrow.)
  • Each person in your group will be presenting this at least once to another group of peers.
1.    Communism in the 1950’s
2.    Cold War Period (focus on 1950’s)
3.    Rise and Effects of McCarthyism
4.    Mass Hysteria
5.    Arthur Miller
6.    Puritan New England
7.    Salem Witch Trials

Friday, September 21, 2012

Searching for themes...

Good morning,

I'm so glad to be back with you today. Our guiding question today is "How do I identify a theme of a text and how do I support that with evidence from the text?"

Our agenda is below.

  • Read
  • Review your reading of "The Story of an Hour".
  • Review the meaning and expectations about finding themes in literature. 
  • Meet with a group to brainstorm possible themes.
  • Submit your group's best ideas through this form.  (Please submit only one form for the whole group.)
  • As a class we will look at some of the themes you suggest. Be prepared to explain your thinking. 
Homework: By now you should have finished at least one book since school started. Write a review of it in Goodreads. Spend some time looking at the recommended book list to choose your next book.  Remember you must read TWO books per six week grading period, one you choose yourself and one from the recommended book list. 

Rhetorical square GO

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Assembly and Catch Up Day

Good morning,

I am sorry to miss being with you for a second day.

Period 3: In the big gym for an assembly for all juniors.  But, also see the list below to keep from falling behind.

Period 4: You have a work period with a "to do" list.
  1. First check the front whiteboard. Have you completed everything on the "By now I should have..." list? 
  2. Did you complete the reading and writing assignment from yesterday about "The Story of an Hour"?
  3. Have you done any investigating about your expert project yet?
  4. If you are caught up on all of those things you may read your book.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Story of an Hour

Good morning,

Though I can not be with you today, you still have work to do. Please read "The Story of and Hour". This is shared with you in your "view only" folder.  (If you can't find it send me an email asap.)

As you read mark (annotate) the story. You can use "Insert/Comment" or highlighting or add notes in the right side column. Your annotations should show that you are thinking about the story and noticing important details.

At the end of the story you will find some questions to guide your written response in your English Journal. 

The Wikipedia page on this text gives additional useful information.
You might also like this alternative version of the text with links built in that ask you questions and give you hints. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Social Norms

Good morning,

Yesterday you read, "The Sadness of Conformity" and wrote a response to it in your English Journal.

Today you will share your response with your group and discuss this question. be prepared to share your group's answer with the class.
Are social norms constructive or detrimental to a society?
 I will have to be out on Wednesday and Thursday. Please use the blog to guide your work on those days. I will see you on Friday. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Sadness of Conformity

Good morning,

The article of the week for this week was chosen to fit with several other readings we have coming up. It is shared with you in your "view only" folder. Please find AOW 3: The Sadness of Conformity.

  1. Make your own copy to read and annotate (File/Make a copy)
  2. As you read add questions and notes to the column on the right.
  3. Use comments (Insert/Comment) to mark the parts of the text that reveal the things in the rhetorical square below.  You don't have to make a square, just comment on where you see those things in the article.
  4. Please reflect on the article in your EJ when you finish reading.

Click on the square to see a larger image of it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Writing assessment

Good morning,

You get to take a writing assessment this morning. You will need paper a pen and your book to read in case you finish early. 

If you were absent today the make up for this assessment is Thursday 9/20 at 2:15. 

Homework: Make like tomatoes and catch up! You should have two AOW reflections in your EJ and a review in Goodreads. This is the end of the second week of school. You should be 2/3 done with reading your chosen book. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Expert Project: Research Questions

public domain image
Good morning,

We will begin with 10 minutes of silent reading.

Now that you have had a few days to think about your expert project it is time to get started on really figuring our what you really want to know more about.  Today we will work on, "How do I choose a research question." 
  1. Determine a topic that interests you.
  2. Ask a question related to your topic.
  3. Make sure your question is not too narrow (remember the polar bears). It needs to be big enough to learn about all year long. 

  • Too Narrow: How is global warming affecting polar bears?
  • Just right: How is global warming affecting endangered species?

By the end of class today you should have your research question written at the top of your "expert project notes" page in Google Docs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Assemblies and catching up...

Good morning,

Today is our day for grade level assemblies. I'll be in the big gym with my period 3 class, so there is separate info below for each period.

Period 3: We are in the gym this period listening to important information. You will find your Article of the Week #2 shared with you in Google Docs. You have until Friday to read and annotate it and then reflect on it in your English Journal. Make sure to see the suggested topics at the end of the article and date your entry.  See also the "to do" list I am sharing with period 4 and make sure you are caught up on all of that.

Period 4:  
Today is our catch up day.  See the list below and do anything you haven't completed. Some of these things are new.
1. Send me a friend request on Goodreads.
2. Review (write paragraphs) about a book you have read in the last year. See an example of a good review.
3. Finish your response to Article of the Week #1 in your English Journal.
4. Read the full description of the expert project that I told you about yesterday.
5. Begin reading Article of the Week #2, now shared with you in your "view only" folder. Make a copy and begin annotating.  Reflection is due in your English Journal by Friday.

Complete Expert Project Exit Slip

Monday, September 10, 2012

Let the Expert Projects Begin...

Good morning,

Lets begin with a bit of independent reading. While your computer is booting up get your book out and read.

English Journal Quick Write: Put this ABOVE the response you wrote to AOW1.

What makes someone an "expert" on a subject? How does a person become an expert?

I want to show you part of a video. As you watch notice the way he breaks his talk into three parts. Also, ask yourself how he knows so much about the things he is talking about?

After the video:   Time to learn about your own Expert Project.

I'm going to show you the video in class, but I'm embedding it here in case you want to watch it again later.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Getting Started with Google Docs Today

Good morning,

Today we will be using Google Docs together for the first time to read an annotate an article. You will also create your English Journal document and share it with me.  Follow the steps below closely.

1. If you did not complete the student data form, or get a Google account yet. You need to do those two things now.  (See the blog post below from yesterday.)

2. If you did not join Goodreads, or send me a friend request, or review a book yesterday you must do those things by Monday.  (You should NOT be on Goodreads now.)

3. Go to and login.

4. Click the red "create" button and make a new document. Name the document "3 Your Name English Journal"

5. Click the "Share" button on the upper right. Share your English Journal with me by adding my gmail address. Make sure you share it as "can edit".   Put a heading at the top of your English Journal.

6. Return to your Google Docs List.  Click on "Shared With Me" on the left and look for a view-only folder. I will often share documents with you as view-only.  While viewing the document you can go to "File / make a copy" to create your own version of the document. (Note: If you did not give me your gmail address yesterday then you do not have this folder yet.)

7. You are looking for the document that begins with AOW 1. Make your own copy of it using "File / make a copy"  You can now begin to read and annotate this document in Google Docs.

8. When you are done reading, return to your English Journal and write a one page reflection about what you read.  (See the EJ suggestions at the bottom of the article.) This is homework if you do not finish it during class.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Netbooks and Expectations

Good morning, If you are reading this on your screen then you have made it to the blog. Congratulations.

  1. BOOKMARK this page now.
  2. Review the course syllabus. 
  3. Review the student netbook agreement (When you pick up a netbook you are agreeing to these items.) 
  4. Complete the student data form
  5. Join Goodreads  Hint: you can login to Goodreads with your Google account information. This will make your life easier. 
  6. Send me a friend request by searching for my gmail address.
  7. Rate five books in Goodreads by searching for books you have read and giving them a star rating.
  8. Read this review by my former student
  9. Review one of those books that you rated in step 7. 
Homework: Bring your independent reading book. We will be reading a bit in class on Friday. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who are you as a reader?

Good morning, Later this period we will be going to the library to check out textbooks. Before then we have some work to do.