Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's continue

Good morning,

Yesterday you and you partner read the first half of "Us and Them". Find your partner right away and continue reading.

When you finish you still need to complete the pyramid poem in your Writer's Notebook. You and your partner should choose different characters to create your poems about, but you can help each other. Then complete the 'Thinking Like a Writer" questions.
Also, create an It Says, I Say, And So chart for this memoir. Include at least two quotes that you feel relate to the theme.

Homework: Check your Writer's Notebook. There are links on the right to mine so you can see what you should have in yours. Complete any and all work you might be missing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Us and Them

Do Now:
 Write a quick summary of the memoir you are reading on your own. Include your thoughts about the theme and any reactions you have to the events. (If you are not reading a memoir of your own yet please write about the steps you are taking to get one.)

This morning you are going to read a fourth memoir with your #4 partner. This text is called "Us and Them" by David Sedaris. This text has questions in it. Read silently until you get to the questions. Then discuss the questions with your partner and answer them on the Word document.

In your Writer's Notebook create an It Says, I Say, And So chart for this memoir. Include at least two quotes that you feel relate to the theme.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Collaborative Annotation

Do Now:
Write an entry in your Writer's Notebook about what you did yesterday without me. 

Today we are going to try something new with something not so new. Confused? We are going to try collaborative annotation with the text you read yesterday. The memoir will be familiar and the annotating collaboratively will be new.

You have a new "collection" (folder) shared with you in Google Docs. There is a doc in that folder. That document is shared with 3-5 of your classmates also. Together you are going to work through that memoir again to mark these things:   Adult Reflection (yellow), Child voice (green), also underline Flashbacks. The catch is you can not talk to each other. You can use the chat part of the doc, but I will be watching your conversation.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Say Something!

Good morning,

I'm sorry I can't be with you today. I'm visiting other schools to learn more about how other teachers are using their educational technology tools. I'll be back tomorrow. Ms. Cullen will take good care of you.

Do Now: (In your Writer's Notebook in docs) Write about a moment when you felt you did not fit in, or a moment when you became aware of someone else not fitting in. Focus on the emotions of that moment.

Today you will read another memoir. This one is called "Aria". Please download it and save it in your English folder. (Download Aria Text Here)

Ms. Cullen will teach you about a strategy called Say Something.  You can review the protocol (rules) for that here. Protocol for Say Something.

After you have read "Aria" using Say Something please return to your Writer's Notebook and create an It Says, I Say, And So chart for "Aria".  (This is just like the one you did for homework on Friday about the memoir you are reading.)

Homework: Continue reading the memoir you have. Begin thinking about ideas for the memoir you will write. prepare for your presentation. I will have dates for your presentations to you tomorrow.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It Says, I Say, And So...

Do Now:  Please click on this form to tell me which presentation prompt you have chosen to present. (I will set presentation dates after everyone has chosen an option.)

Next: Copy this into your Writer's Notebook.
"Theme: Theme is a statement that expresses the universal meaning of a piece of text. Theme is always a sentence and not a word. The theme of a work reflects an author's beliefs about a topic."
Spend a moment to think about some possible themes from the excerpt from Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geoffrey Canada. Write those possible themes in your notebook.
Today we are going to learn a form of text analysis known as "It Says, I say, And so." I have a handout for you to use in class if you would like to do this on paper. If you prefer to have an electronic copy you can download it here

The goal of this activity is to determine a theme, select appropriate quotations from the text that support the theme, explain the quotation and then explain the significance of the quotation.

Homework: Complete one "It Says, I Say, And So" in your Writer's Notebook about the memoir you are reading. See example in the sample notebook linked on the right.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The adult side...

Do Now:
Describe an incident in your past that you feel different about now than you did when it happened. 

Today we are going to look for adult reflection in the excerpt from Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geoffrey Canada that we read yesterday. We have looked at him as a child. It is time to see him as an adult.
Remember we are going to the library tomorrow. Bring your ID.
On Friday I will ask you which presentation prompt you chose. Be ready to answer that question.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sibilings make great stories

Good morning,

Do Now: Add the date for today at the TOP of your Writer's Notebook and respond to this prompt. What responsibilities do you think siblings have to each other?

When you have finished your answer update your status on Goodreads and/or rate more books.

We read another memoir. This one is an excerpt from Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geoffrey Canada.  Yesterday I will gave you the memoir as a Word document. Please make sure you SAVED it in your My Documents/English folder after you opened it. After we read it you will be doing some annotations to the text, so you will need to keep a copy.

We will also be adding to our Writer's Notebooks so keep that open as well. 

We are going to the LIBRARY on THURSDAY. Make sure you BRING your ID!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mature Reflections

Do Now:
Get your netbook. Open your Writers Notebook in Google Docs and under today's date (which you will need to add at the TOP) write about a time you felt wronged or threatened.

When you finish your prompt check to see that you have joined Goodreads, and completed your student data form. (Lots of people still need to do these two simple things. Can you hear the exasperation in my voice? Lets get it together folks.)

After that:
I will share with you the presentation prompts for our first unit. Yes, you will be giving presentations. Yes, they will be graded.

We read another memoir. This one is an excerpt from Fist Stick Knife Gun by Geoffrey Canada.  Once again I will give you the memoir as a Word document. Please make sure you SAVE it in your My Documents folder after you open it. After we read it you will be doing some annotations to the text, so you will need to keep a copy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Catch up day...

Do Now:
Get your netbook. Open your Writers Notebook in Google Docs and under today's date (which you added yesterday) make a list of the qualities of a memoir. (What things does a memoir have to have?)

  1. Yesterday we read the excerpt from Black Boy by Richard Wright.  At the very end of the period I asked you to answer a questions about the story. Add to that answer.
  2. Complete the student data form if you didn't do that yet.
  3. Login to GoodReads and send me a friend request if you haven't done that either.
After that:
  1. We have an activity related to the list of memoir qualities you just made.
  2. You will meet again with the group you made your Probable Passage with to complete the "Now I know" section.
  3. We will be picking some partners to work with on a regular basis. You will need your planner.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Excerpt from "Black Boy"

 First we are going to set up your Writer's Notebook. Please login to Google Docs as quickly as you can.

Then we are going to read an excerpt from a memoir called "Black Boy" by Richard Wright.
You will need to get out the Probable Passage sheet you began yesterday. You also need to open the document we will be reading. Click HERE to get the memoir we will read today. It will open on your computer as a Word file.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reviewing Expectations

Good morning,
 Please get out your planner. Lets review some quick expectations. If there is anything here you have not completed please add it to your planner.
  1. You need a Google account.
  2. You need a book length memoir (or AUTObiography to read)
  3. You need to complete the student data form (link on the right)
  4. You need to complete your two voice poem and share it with me in Docs.
  5. You need to complete your six word memoir and give it to me on paper.
  6. You need to get on Goodreads, use your Google account to login, and send me a friend request. Once you are there add a rating to at least five books you have read and mark five books you want to read.
  7. Read 30 minutes every day and update your progress in your book on Goodreads.
  8. You need to make sure you have all your textbooks and they are undamaged.
Today we are going to prepare to read an excerpt from a memoir called "Black Boy" by Richard Wright.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let's get it together people...

Good morning,

Lets get ambitious. We need to finish your two voice poems and your six word memoirs. We are going to try using Google Docs today for both. You did get a Google account right?
  1. Get your netbook
  2. Find your partner for the two voice poem
  3. Login to Docs 
  4. Create a document and share it with your partner (one creates and shares)
  5. Name it like this... name&name2voice poem
  6. Share it with me too
  7. Type up your two voice poem (I'll show you in class how to use the left, right and center buttons.)
  8. When you finish (or at the same time) create another doc and type your six word memoir
  9. Ask me before you print anything
  10. GO!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Diagnostic Writing Assessment

Good morning,

Today we need to take the writing assessment that we couldn't do on Friday (because school was cancelled due to the massive power failure).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Catching up...

Good morning,

Yesterday you got to turn on your computer and get your text books. Today we need to play a bit of catch up and then move forward. 
  • First if you did not complete the student data form yesterday please do that now.
  • If you haven't book marked this blog page do that also.
  • I'll explain about reading expectation quickly and then we have a project to do.
Also a message from the librarian about textbooks:
1.   CHECK your books for damages! If a book you’ve checked out is damaged, bring it to the Library Textbook Window anytime on Monday 9/12 thru Friday 9/16 to be stamped, repaired or exchanged.

BEWARE you will be charged for damages not noted. A damaged/missing barcode is $5.

COVER your books to minimize damages and avoid fees at the end of the year.

DO NOT share/borrow books. You are responsible for the books you check out.

WRITE your name inside all of your books.

Thank you, Library Staff

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Welcome to Fresh English

Welcome to a new school year, a new school, a fresh start and some very fresh English. We are going to have a great time learning together and we have so much to do.  This blog will be our daily start page and also the page that will link you to everything else you need for our class. I'm so glad you are here. Now lets get going.

A few reminders for Wednesday (that's tomorrow).