Tuesday, June 12, 2012



You can start as soon as you get your code.  It will take you through the fake testing tutorial first before the real test.
When you finish some of you need to revise your letter to a freshman. If you think that might be you, get started.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Last day of class :(

Good morning,

You #1 and #2 are required tasks today.

1. Write a letter to one of my future students, an incoming freshmen.  Include advice about this class and high school in general. Be specific. Include your name. If the new student can find you in the fall and you come visit me together I'll give you some candy or something.  (If you know you won't be here in the fall it would be good to tell them that too.) Type it in word or docs and print it out. I MUST have yours before you leave.

2. Write a letter to yourself in September. Use Futureme.org to send an email to your future self. Include things you think you might forget, (not passwords), or advice you want to use to help you do well in 10th grade. Set your future letter to arrive on September 4, 2012.   Be sure to check your email TODAY to verify your address for futureme.org to work for the fall.

3. If you have time evaluate some of the projects you didn't see yesterday here. I could use a little more feedback from you about projects that are highlighted in lavender.

4. Write another futureme.org letter to yourself dated June 12, 2015.  You should be just about to graduate when you get it.

See you at our final on Tuesday 6/12.

And remember...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Online Project Evaluation Round 2

Good Morning,

We are going to evaluate another round of projects today.  Please go to your group and use the link below for directions.

Online Project Evaluation Round 2! 

When you finish read this.

Author Ray Bradbury's Commencement Speech to the Caltech Class of 2000

Monday, June 4, 2012

Textbook Returns and Online Test Practice

Good morning,

Today we will have textbook returns. At our scheduled time we will all go down to the library to return textbooks. If any of your other teachers have told you that you need to keep a textbook to study for finals you can. You will need to return that book to the textbook window after the final for that class.

If you forgot to bring any textbooks to class today you can return them to the textbook window after school or at lunch another day this week, but not during class time.

Thursday afternoon will be the last day to use lockers, so please only keep textbooks you need for finals. Correction Locker Clean Out is Wednesday 6/6 during ADVISORY!

Also today, we need to practice taking an online test. Your final is going to be online, so this is to familiarize you with that process and make sure it works for us. To take the practice test you will need a test code that I will give you.  This code only works on this test and will not work on any other test.

Before the test, you will do a short tutorial about online testing. Go slowly and read the directions. This information may help you do better on the real test. 

Please go to the START PAGE and enter your code when I give it to you. Once you enter your code you may proceed at your own pace.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Research Presentations

Good Morning,

Today you will turn in the hard copy of your Works Cited page for your research project. (Pages not received today will be counted as late except for cases of excused absences.)

We will have several presentations today. After each person presents, please evaluate the presentation using this rubric form.

Online projects will be viewed and evaluated in class tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This Week


Tuesday=Sub day.  I'll be gone, but you get one more day to work on your project. Write a book review. Work on your Works Cited page. Read.  Brady W. found this interesting TED talk about search filters you can listen to it if you have headphones and you are done with your other work. http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html

Wednesday=You present your project if it is not in an online format.  All of you will have a hard copy of your Works Cited Page due in class on Wednesday.

Thursday=You review online projects and respond to them in a form for me.
      This is also the last day in May.  Make sure you have reviewed two books.

Friday=We continue with any unfinished presentations and online evaluations.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Coming Up

Good morning,

Here is the "in writing" version of the things we said this morning.

This week:
I want to see your citation page today. It should be a work in progress, but I want to see the progress.
You have the rest of this week to work on your project.
Use Google Scholar.
Keep up with citations
Gather more information
Work on your blog, site  or other electronic format
Prepare a presentation if you need to.
Help out two of my 4th period students.

Next Week
Tuesday=Sub day.  I'll be gone, but you get one more day to work on your project. Write a book review. Work on your Works Cited page. Read.
Wednesday=You present your project if it is not in an online format.  All of you will have a hard copy of your Works Cited Page due in class on Wednesday.
Thursday=You review online projects and respond to them in a form for me.
      This is also the last day in May.  Make sure you have reviewed two books.
Friday=We continue with any unfinished presentations and online evaluations.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Friday/AP Human Geo Test Day

Good morning,

Lots of you are out today for the AP Human Geography test.

We looked at Google Scholar and found academic results for cheer leading, skateboarding and even fish tacos.  There is bound to be some good research there on your topic.  Check it out.

A few of you have asked for help with infographics.
Try easel.ly or look at this post about 16 tools for making infographics.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Research Day

Good morning,

Today you will continue your research.  Please continue to look at the history of your topic and add to the document you created yesterday.  Pay particular attention to the specific people who are important to your topic. (Many of your answers about people yesterday were way to vague.)

Complete this form about your progress so far and then continue with your research.

Tomorrow I want to see a draft of your citations page. You might want to get started on that.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Historically Speaking

Good morning,

Sorry I can't be with you. I have something fun for you though.
  1. Get this document about the history of your topic.
  2. Use "Save As" to rename it with your period, name and history. (ie 3JohnHistory)  (Save it in your My Documents folder.)
  3. Complete the answers by using your existing research or by learning more.  If you don't know who the important people are for example, do some research, now.
  4. Upload your document to me HERE the password is "pointer"
  5. FYI Citelighter says they are having some problems at the moment. If it's not working use a doc to track your sources today.
When you have completed that please continue with your regularly scheduled project research. If you get stuck or have to stop you can work on reading one of your books for May.

Also if you haven't practiced using it yet, go ahead and learn more about the research box in Google Docs.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Good morning,

According to your post-it notes this morning, most of you are feeling very confident about your projects, so I am going to stay out of your way and answer questions as needed.

A few dates to keep in mind:
  • I will be out this week for a training on Wednesday and Thursday.  Make sure you have quiet work to do on your project for both of those days.  If you are working with a partner please discuss ahead of time what you will each be working on during those days.
  • Next week will be your last full week to work on your project.
  • Your Works Cited page will be due on Wednesday 5/30.  Late pages will have lower grades. Keep track of your sources.
  • We will begin presenting projects on 5/30 also.  I will make a schedule for that next week and tell you your date. Remember your project must reach a larger audience some how.  Presenting in class alone is not sufficient.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring Break Reading Group Dates

Thursday 5/10: Revolution
Friday 5/11: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Monday 5/14: Ghostopolis
Tuesday 5/15: No Country For Old Men
Wednesday 5/16: 11/22/1963

Research Plan

Good morning,

Today you will write up your formal research plan.  There is a template for that shared with you in your view only folder in Docs.  Make a copy and complete the form and share it back to me.

Yesterday I showed you how to use Google Alerts to set up a daily email for yourself with the latest search results on your topic.  I highly recommend you set that up for yourself.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Narrowing Your Topic

Good morning:

Yesterday you spent some time brainstorming your topics of interest.  Today we are going to work on narrowing your topic into a research question.

Look at the lists you made in your writer's notebook. Underline two or three topics that interest you most.

Watch closely as I demonstrate a technique for narrowing your topic and then you can try it for yourself here.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spread an Idea

Spread an Idea

Today we will be looking at the brainstorming process for your research project.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spreading Ideas

Do Now:
What TED talk do you plan to talk to your group about today? What was it about? Why did you like it? What were the big ideas, take aways or insights you gained from that video? What questions did it leave you with?

With your group:  (Take turns and listen)
  • Name the talk you watched and summarize it briefly.
  • Explain the big idea/take aways from the video.
  • What questions did the video leave you with?
  • Add ONE big idea and one question to your group chart. (one per person)
Big questions to think about: What do all of these TED speakers have in common? Are their talks similar in any way? 

Next week you begin researching your big idea. Give some thought to what you want that to be.

Also, Happy Star Wars Day.  May the fourth be with you.  :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mail Call

Good morning,

Today we worked on getting your letters addressed correctly and into those envelopes. If you are able to donate a stamp to mail your letter that would be wonderful.

Also you watched some more TED talks you selected.  Get ready.  Tomorrow you will be talking to a small group about one of the TED talks you watched.  Be prepared to say what you liked about it, what you learned from it and what questions it left you with.  Remember you are keeping a small chart in your writers notebook about each of the talks that you watch.  You will need those notes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Building a Windmill

If you are in third period and you weren't here today watch the video below.  If you are in fourth period you can watch it too.  Read more about William.

Remember to update your writer's notebook with that small chart for each video you watch. Watching lots of TED videos at home is good too.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Beginning

Good morning,

Today we begin something new, something different, something you can make into whatever you need it to be.   START HERE.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Writing Prompts and Persuasive Letters

Good Morning,

We have a prioritized "To Do" list today. Attack these tasks IN THIS ORDER!

1. Persuasive on-demand writing assessment:  Down load the prompt here.  You can write your response on paper or on the computer, but you must turn in a hard copy to me before you leave today.

2. Print your persuasive letter and works cited page and turn them in.
  •  I HIGHLY recommend letting me look at this before you print it.  
  • Click the print icon in docs. 
  • Say OK to open the PDF. 
  • Scroll through the PDF yourself looking for problems. 
  • When you think it is perfect bring it to me. 
  • Quietly, people are working.
3. Address a label that will go on the envelope with your letter.
4. Write a review in Goodreads.  You need two for April by Monday!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Citations, Citations, Citations

Good morning,

Your letters are coming along nicely. I'm worried about your "works cited" page.

  1. Open your persuasive letter.
  2. At the bottom of your letter insert a page break. (Insert/Page Break or Control+Enter)
  3. At the top of your new page you need a complete heading, Name, Date, Period
  4. Write "Works Cited" at the top of the page. (center it)
  5. Add your sources in MLA citation format.  Example MLA page.
  6. Format your citations using CitationMachine or EasyBib or Citelighter.
  7. Remember to cite EVERY article or source you read even if you did not mention that source in your letter.

I've decided to separate your grades for this project, one grade for your letter and another for your works cited page.

An example citation. Yours might be a little different.

Friday, April 20, 2012

We Need Postage!

There wasn't much to post this week.  Students were making their fabulous persuasive speeches every day. Extra time went to drafting and writing groups. On Thursday we watched the live feed of the Dalai Lama speaking at SDSU.  His talk covered themes about compassion, responsibility, respect, honesty and non-violence.  It was the best character education lesson ever.  (I got to hear him speak live Wednesday afternoon at USD, so I had a preview of what he would be saying.)

Next week we will have a modified schedule for three days because of testing.  Persuasive letters will be finalized by Thursday or Friday.  We will be mailing them, so we need stamps.  There is a tiny bit of extra credit for students who bring in an extra stamp for a classmate who needs one.

Also, the grading period ends next Friday.  Student GPAs on this progress report will determine which freshmen are eligible for the hour lunch on advisory schedule days.  Fall eligibility will be determined by June grades and CST scores, so do the best you can on the tests next week and the week after.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Presentations / Articles / Articulation

  1. Presentations
  2. Articles (cont from yesterday)
  3. Articulation Info: Tomorrow (Friday the 13th) we will be meeting in the back of the library. The counselors will be giving you a presentation about classes for next year and you will go on-line to pick the classes you want to take. (This would be a very bad day to be absent.)
Do you know yet who you are writing to for your persuasive letter?
Create a doc for your letter. (Name it correctly 3NamePersuasiveLetter.)
And share it with me.
 A complete draft of your letter is due Tuesday 4/17.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Presentations and Citation Circles Continued

Good morning,

We will continue with presentation and then complete the citation circles sheet we began working on yesterday.  

Then you have an article to read with a partner to prepare for our next citation circle activity.  The articles are shared with you already in your view only folder. I'll let you know which one you are responsible for in a moment. (If you are absent today and working from home you may choose one of the three articles to read.)  Use File/Make a copy to create your own editable version of the article. You and your partner should share a co-annotate the article together.

As you read the article the first time with you partner we will use the "Say Something" protocol.
On your second read consider these questions:
  • Who is the author and what is his or her perspective?
  • What claims does the author make?
  • What sub-claims and evidence does the author use?
  • Does the author offer an opposing viewpoint and a counter argument? (If so what are they?)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Speeches and Citation Circles

Do Now:
Write about a problem you feel we have at PLHS. Be specific about the causes and solutions to this problem. (This is getting you ready for something we will be doing in a few minutes.)

We will begin with presentations. You will need to rubric link on the right. >>>

We will conclude with an activity called Citation Circles.  You will need this document to take part in that activity. (We are saving trees again.)

When we are done you will upload the file to me. You can use the link on the right that says, "Upload a File to Mrs. R." or click here.  You will need the password. I'll give you a hint. If you go to PLHS then you are a ___________.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Presentation Week

Good morning,

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1is491HAu9k/Trq7uVpM_YI/AAAAAAAAHkw/8mYZQxgeOvY/s1600/speech.jpgThis week we begin presentations on your persuasive topics. If you forgot your date check the blog posts below this one. 

If you are not presenting today you will have some time to work on your speech.  Check out the Persuasive Speech Organization Page for ideas. Pick one and paste it into your own document to start working on it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Period 4 Presentation Dates

Good Morning,

Period 3 Presentation Dates

Good morning,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Research Day

Good morning,

http://communitysystemsgroup.com/core/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/collective.jpgMs. McConnell is organizing an extra credit book club. You would read the book over break and participate in several lunch meetings after break. See the book descriptions here.  And sign up to participate here.

I'm giving you most of today to research your issue to prepare for your speech and your persuasive letter.  BEFORE YOU LEAVE, complete the Persuasive Issues Exit Slip today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Power of Childish Thinking

Good morning,

Do Now:  Make a quick 2x2 table in your writer's notebook and get ready to be amazed.

I have one more persuasive speech for you today. The girl giving this speech is younger than you. (Please don't hold that against her.)  I think you are really going to like what she has to say.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Imitate, Admire and Dig In

Do Now:
Lets imitate:  C/P this sentence into your writer's notebook and then create your own imitation. (Prepare to be random.)
The dragon came crashing and blundering out of the underbrush, its scales glowing a greenish copper color, its soot-caked nostrils venting smoke. 
– Stephen King, The Eyes of the Dragon

We are going to look at another speech video quickly and then you will have some time to be researching your issue further and/or start working on your speech.

Persuasive Speech Assignment

Monday, March 26, 2012

Speaking Persuasively

Do Now:
Over the weekend you should have completed the "Big Picture" version of your community issue. Take out that sheet and summarize it in a paragraph in your writer's notebook.  Add notes to yourself about any information you still need.

You are preparing to write a persuasive letter about a community issue, but you need to be able to talk about the issue before you can really write about it. This week we are going to look at some students presenting short persuasive speeches about issues they have researched. After our spring break you will be giving a short talk about your issue.

Persuasive Speech Assignment

Here is the link to the persuasive speech I showed you in class today. (The one where you took notes about what she did well and what she needed to do better with.)  The link will work on campus and you should be able to watch the embedded video below at home.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Opposing Viewpoints

By now you should know what your local issue is.
You should know what your perspective is about that issue.
You should probably know some of the opposing viewpoints about your issue.
Maybe you even know how you plan to address those opposing viewpoints.

Take a look at the articles you have collected.
You should have a few that support your position.
You should also have a few that support the opposing position.

Are you starting to see the big picture about your issue? 
I have a handout for you that might help.
  • Fill it out. 
  • Bring it back on Monday. 
  • Don't think of it as homework. 
  • Think of it as something that will help you get your information organized, but make sure you do it. Start now.
I have one more tool for you. It is called CiteLighter and it is designed to help you organize your sources.  If you are feeling ahead in your research I suggest you check it out.  You need to be using the latest version of Firefox for the Citelighter toolbar to work on your computer.

The Big Picture << Use this link to get the handout if you are NOT here in class today.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Research Continues

Good morning,

I want to give you more time today to refine your ideas about the community issue you want to write about and also to gather more relevant articles to review about that issue.

Please continue using the news sources in the live binder and remember to keep a list in a Google Doc of all the articles you read. For each article include the real link, the title, author, your summary notes AND the DATE you read the article, to help you recall what it was about so you can find it later.

Local Community News

In the last 10-15 minutes of the period please complete this form to tell me about your issue and what you have found so far. (This is for a grade, so be complete.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Persuasive Letter

Good morning,

You had homework last night to reflect on the Socratic seminar we had yesterday. Please turn that in now.

Today I will explain your next process prompt and we will begin to do some research to refine your topic.

What is an issue in your community that people disagree about? Write a persuasive letter discussing your point of view on a local community issue. Prove your case by citing evidence, addressing opposing viewpoints, and providing counterarguments.

  • Use a business letter format
  • 2-3 Page Letter
  • Works cited page should include all relevant sources that you read for this assignment.
  • We will mail your letter to the appropriate person

To simplify your search for an issue I have consolidated most of our major local news sources here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Socratic Seminar

Good afternoon,

Today we had a socratic seminar in class. If you missed it you really missed out.  For HOMEWORK you need to complete questions 4 and 5 on your socratic seminar sheet. That is due in class on Wednesday.
Tomorrow we begin to look at local issues in our community that you will write your persuasive process piece about.  If you begin to think about those issues tonight remember to focus on issues people disagree about.  Also don't forget to be reading and posting your book reviews in Goodreads before the end of next week! Eeek!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Catching Up

Do Now: Write an entry in your Writer's Notebook about the two days I was gone. Include details about what you accomplished, any problems you had and anything else you think I should know. 

Last week you read several articles about issues of inequality.  Today we will review those and generate questions to prepare for a socratic seminar.

If you did not finish any of the work from last Thursday or Friday for ANY reason, (absent, internet problems etc.) you need to complete that work by tomorrow.  See the blog posts below from Thursday and Friday.

Also remember you need two books read and reviewed in March.  Note: A review=a paragraph or two explaining what you thought about the book, opinions supported by reasons. (A star rating is not a review.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ethos, Pathos and Logos

Good morning,

I'd like to see what you can do with the persuasive concepts we have been working on.

  1. Please complete this form to show your working knowledge of Ethos, Pathos and Logos.
  2. After completing the form return to the two articles you read yesterday. (They should be saved on your computer, but you can also still find them in the post below this one.)
  3. Review each article.
  4. In your Writer's Notebook make a list of 3-5 open ended questions each article brings up for you.  These are the kinds of questions that don't have definite answers. These would be questions you would ask if you were having a conversation about the article.
  5. Read your independent reading book.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Equity Articles: Analysis

Good morning,

Following up with our reading of "I Have a Dream", today you will be reading selected articles regarding the issue of inequality.  Please read TWO of the five articles below.  They are on different topics and have a range of reading levels and lengths. After you read each article you need to complete the  Equality Articles Analysis Form

If you have read and analyzed two articles then you may do some independent research on issues relating to inequality or read your own independent reading book.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Annotating for Counterargument


Do Now:  What is your position about space exploration? Should the United States be working to send a group of people to Mars or focus more on robotic exploration? (Determine your position (claim) and list some reasons (sub-claims) you would use to support it.)

 Lets read and annotate a text. We'll read it together the first time and then you will go through it again on your own.   Here is the article.
Annotate for:  
  • Claims-in green
  • Opposing Viewpoints-in yellow
  • Counterarguments-in pink

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Counterargument

Do Now: Recall the article you read yesterday. Without looking back at it, write a quick summary of what you remember. What was the authors claim? What persuasive techniques was he/she using? What evidence did you find convincing or unconvincing? 

Go check your view only copy of my Writer's Notebook. There is a table there that you should c/p into your notebook before we look at some issues.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Persuasive Article Jigsaw

Good morning,

Lets look at some more persuasive writing today.  I'll be dividing you into groups.  Each group will have a different article to read and analyze.  Be prepared to share your findings with the class.

Four Articles: Read the one that matches your group number.  Complete your Article Jigsaw Sheet.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Debating the issue

Do Now:
What have you learned from reading/analyzing "I Have a Dream"? Consider both your learning about the content of the speech and your learning about persuasive rhetoric.
 Civilized society depends on educated individuals being able to discuss and debate their differences in a reasonable and rational manner. Last week you wrote about the issue of backpack and locker searches. Today we will look more closely at your arguments for and against that (hypothetical) policy. Be prepared to adjust, revise or reinforce your reasons and logic as we proceed.

Homework: Write a paragraph about the debate we had in class today. You can include which side you agree with, but make sure you explain which side had the STRONGER argument and WHY you think that.  Due Monday ON PAPER.

Alternate Homework for people not in class today: Some of you were absent from class for a field trip and some for other reasons. Obviously you can't write about the debate we had if you were not here. Respond to this prompt instead:  If Dr. King (or someone like him) were giving an "I Have A Dream" speech today what do you think he or she would be speaking about? What would the issue be? What would the claim and sub-claim be?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Claim Structure

Good morning,

Several days ago you annotated your copy of "I Have a Dream" for the persuasive techniques Dr. King was using in his speech. You used comments to mark the techniques when you found them.
Yesterday we looked at the concepts of claim and sub claim (reasons/evidence) in "I Have A Dream".

Today we need more practice with claim and subclaims. Working with a partner you will highlight claims in red and sub claims in pink. (If you see additional persuasive techniques as you go you may comment on them as well.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Claim and Subclaim

Do Now: Identify a claim Dr. King makes and the evidence he uses to support it.

external image photo04.jpg In his famous "I Have a Dream" speech Dr. King makes the claim that _____________________ (could be a quote). He is saying ___________________________. Some evidence he uses to support his claim is ___________________ and ___________________. 

Tip: Do not confuse the persuasive techniques Dr. King uses with the meaning of his claim and evidence.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rhetorical Devices in "I Have A Dream"

Do Now:  What was Dr. King talking about in his "I Have A Dream" speech that we listened to yesterday? What did he want? Why did he want it? What evidence did he give to support his purpose?

Today we will look even more closely at his speech.  You have a new document shared with you Rhtorical Devices and Appeals I Have a Dream - Blank.doc  (another 60 sheets of paper saved).  I will choose a partner for you and together you will look for examples of ethos, pathos and logos in Dr. King's famous speech.

And on a totally unrelated note perhaps you want to submit an idea for the farm bus. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Let Freedom Ring

Good morning,

Today we look at persuasive techniques in the most famous American speech ever made. I bet you can guess what it is. There is a new doc shared with you in your "view only" folder.  Open it up and make your own copy.

Of course the speech we listened to was "I Have a Dream" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. After listening we went through the speech again looking for the persuasive techniques Dr. King was using.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Persuasive Print

Do Now:  Click This Link (What are you waiting for? Brad Pitt wants you to click this link. If you click this link it will be good for America. All the cool kids are clicking the link.)

Yesterday we looked at persuasive techniques in major television commercials.
Today we will look at some of your answers from the Do Now and then examine print ads for persuasive techniques.

For each ad determine the dominant persuasive technique. Make a note of it and also list a few reasons you think that.
This __(product)____ ad is using ethos/pathos/logos because_________________ and _________.

Homework: What was the most convincing print add you saw today. Describe what made it convincing.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are you persuaded by that?

Do Now:  (Answer in your Writer's Notebook.)  What is your favorite commercial? Describe it. What do you like about it? Does it make you want to buy the advertized product? Why or why not? (Prepare to be randomized.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Art of Persuasion

Good morning,

Today we begin a new unit on persuasive writing.  To start you will write a persuasive letter so I can see what you already know about persuasive writing. Since the prompt is just one page this time I thought we'd save another 60 sheets of paper by viewing it on the netbooks.  Please write your response by hand on notebook paper. (No typing on this one.)

Persuasive Diagnostic Prompt

To those of you following along at home and wondering what we did Monday, we were finishing the on-demand compare/contrast writing from Friday. (Yes, we have been writing a lot.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Evaluation Day

Good morning,

It is time to evaluate your essay.  Open your essay in Google Docs and read it over one more time.
Use this Rubric Form to self score your essay.  Use the comments section to explain why you scored your essay the way you did.

After you have evaluated your essay it is time to get started with our on-demand writing assessment. You may write the essay by hand on paper or type it. If you type it you will need to print it when you are done for it to be submitted to me.

You can view the prompt and the materials for the essay as a word doc or ask me for a hard copy of the prompt.  On-Demand Writing Prompt

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Absolutely MLA

Write an imitation of this sentence in your WN.

1.I saw the mouse vanish in the general direction of my apartment house, his little body quivering with fear in the great open sun on the blazing concrete. – Loren Eiseley, "The Brown Wasps”

Good morning,

Lets say your teacher/professor/camp counselor tells you that your paper needs to be formatted in MLA style?
  1. Figure out how to do that, hint google it.
  2. Make YOUR comparitive analysis paper fit MLA style.
  3. Write a post in your WN about how you did the two things above.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good morning,

   Today you will share your comparative analysis with your writing group.
  1. Find the collection in your google docs that is shared with your group. Check "collections shared with me".
  2. Drag your Response To Lit doc into that folder
  3. Move yourself to your writing group.
  4. Follow the writing group procedures.
  5. Use "Insert/Comment" to add comments about the papers you read.
Note: Make sure your paper has a full heading, Name, Date, Period (Right justified) and a title (centered) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Examples and Outlines

Good morning,

By now you should have three comparison paragraphs for our essay prompt. I promised you that today we would look at introductions.  There are two new documents shared with you in your view only folder. One is an example comparison essay and the other is another version of the sample outline.  You might also like this document abut the language of comparison.

Take a look at the example essay, particularly the introduction. 
  1. What elements does it have that you will need in your introduction?
  2. This example essay is different because it is about comparing characters. Your essay is about comparing techniques the author and director use to show theme, mood and irony as well as the roll of greed in the two texts. How does that affect your introduction.
  3. Your introduction should also include a BRIEF (1-2 sentence) summary of the story and the film.
  4. Draft your own introduction.
Note: Check out the pictures below from our work yesterday.

Homework: Write a conclusion for your essay. If you don't have internet access at home ask for an advisory pass to come work on it here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Comparative Analytical Writing

We have been working on the essay prompt below (see post from Friday below this one.)
By now you should have 2-3 of the body paragraphs drafted. By Wednesday you need all three. We will work on the introduction in class on Wednesday.

These pictures show the work we did together on the board today.

Don't forget you need to have two independent books read and reviewed in February. Get reading.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Comparing Text and Film:

Good morning,
 Today we begin tackling our process prompt:

Writing Task:

Consider the short story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and the movie The Night of The Hunter (1955) directed by Charles Laughton. What is the theme and mood of both pieces? What techniques did the author and director use to create the theme, mood, and irony?
Write a comparison/contrast essay discussing the similarities and differences between these two works. Keep in mind how the authors use various techniques to create mood, theme, and irony, and how greed plays a role in the stories.

Tool Box:

You will be writing this essay in a new Google Doc that you will share with me. 
  1. Create a new document
  2. Name it  #NameResponseToLit  (i.e. 3MarkArmstrongResponseTo Lit)
  3. Share it with me (hint: use my gmail address)
  4. Copy and paste the prompt above into your new document.
  5. You should also copy and paste the links to our evidence.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Night of the Hunter: Theme, Mood, Irony


Do Now:
   Write about what you think the theme is in "Night of the Hunter" now that you have seen the whole film. Be prepared to share.

While the film is still fresh for you we need to compile a list of examples of irony, mood and theme from the film. You will work with a partner of my choice to complete this form. Remember to use complete academic sentences like you would in an essay.

We will publish our results to assist you with essay writing next.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Night of The Hunter -part 3

Good morning,
     Today we will watch the conclusion of Night of the Hunter, but before we do lets discuss some of the possible themes you are seeing in the film.http://remingtons.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/night-of-the-hunter-a-frame.jpg

Monday, February 6, 2012

Night of the Hunter

Good morning,

Today we will take our knowledge of cinematic techniques to the next level. We will begin watching "Night of the Hunter," a film directed by Charles Laughton  in 1955.

Friday, February 3, 2012



Good morning, Take out your homework and share it with a partner sitting near you. Make any needed changes. (5 minutes) 

We have looked at the film and film techniques. Today we will look back at the story once more. With I partner of my choosing you will complete a form using quotations from the story and your own explanations of those quotations. Your answers (without your name) will be public, so that everyone will have a resource for evidence.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cinematic Technique

http://edu.glogster.com/media/4/26/45/76/26457691.jpgDo Now:  Take out your homework.  Also copy the chart in my writer's notebook into your writer's notebook.

We are going to look more closely at the film techniques used in the short film of "Cask of Amontillado". (If you are absent you are missing out on this and I can't help you with that.)

Homework: Write a paragraph explaining one of the cinematic techniques used in the film "Cask of Amontillado" and the effect of that technique on the viewer.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Film: "The Cask of Amontillado"

Good morning,

Today you will have a bit of time to finish your story boards.  Then we have an little interview activity to get to know the characters even better.  We will watch a film version of "The Cask of Amontillado". You will take notes on the ways the film is the same and different from your story board.

Homework: Compare (in writing) the film version with your storyboard version. How was your storyboard the same as the film. How was it different.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cinematic Techniques (aka Film Tricks)

Do Now: What are some techniques that directors use to make their films more dramatic? How do those techniques affect you as a viewer?

Today we will look closely at some examples of cinematic techniques. You will create your own storyboard for "The Cask of Amontillado".

Homework: Watch a dramatic TV show or part of a movie. Find at least one example of the cinematic techniques we learned about today. Explain (in writing) how and why the director used the technique. What was the effect on you as a viewer?

You can use this to help you if you need to:
While watching ____________ I saw the director chose to ________________ and _____________ theses techniques were used to ________________________. The impact of these techniques on me as a viewer were _____________________________

Monday, January 30, 2012

Here's looking at you kids...

Good morning,

Welcome to the second semester of your freshman year of high school.
 Your Do Now today is in the form of a... well a form.

Oh, yeah. We will be looking at your answers in class, so... um... yeah..., remember that.
Then there is some writing to do in your notebook so get that open too.
Oh, and did you send the text? (Fill out the form and that will make sense.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

First Semester Finals

Hi Everyone,
  Good luck on your first high school finals.  I don't know what kind of evil genius invented multiple choice questions, but you get 34 of those, plus an essay and another surprise about "The Cask of Amontillado". Make sure you have a book with you for all of your finals so you can read if you finish early.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Primal Fear

Do Now:  Poe is famous for creating an atmosphere of fear in his tales. What fears is he using to make "The Cask of Amontillado" a compelling story?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gettin' Literary With It...


Do Now: Describe the literary devices you found in The Cask of Amontillado and list a few others you know as well.  Also, add a table to your notebook for your class work today, three across and five down should do it.

Good morning,
 After several readings of the story you are ready to look into it even more deeply. Poe was a masterful author and, as authors yourselves, it is worth a bit of study of his technique. Today we want to look for the devices Poe is using, find an example of each, and then figure out the purpose Poe may have had for using them.

Literary Device          Example (quote)           Purpose

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rinse and Repeat

You read the story one more time for homework right?  Today we will take a close look at the plot.  You can do that on paper or try this fancy on-line version.

Homework:  Re-read it and look for literary devices. Mark the literary devices you find in your copy of the text using the insert-comment feature. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Cask of Amontillado ... Continued

Today we finish reading "The Cask of Amontillado".  You should be reading sections 3-5 on your own. Remember to stop and predict after each section in your writer's notebook. (See my writer's notebook for the template.)  Make sure you include a quote to support each of your predictions. Do not read section three until you have a quote to go with your prediction for section two etc.

Homework: Complete reading the story. Re-read it and look for literary devices. Mark the literary devices you find in your copy of the text using the insert-comment feature.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Cask of Amontillado

Do Now: Open your Writer's Notebook and mine. Copy/Paste the chart in my WN into your own to use today. Copy/Paste your gist statement from yesterday into the chart. If you haven't finished your gist statement do that NOW. (If you have finished your gist statement update your goodreads.)

Good morning,
  Today we begin reading The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. A copy of the text is shared with you in Google Docs as view only. You can also find it online and in your textbook. We will be working on predictions as we read the text.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It might be what you think...

Edgar Allan Poe
Do Now: How does predicting help you as a reader? Describe how predictions have affected your reading recently.

Today you will be doing a "probable passage" activity as we prepare to read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado".  You will be working with a group to sort the key words I give you and create your common gist statement. Remember that your gist statement must be the same as the rest of your group. You will sort your words and write your gist statement in your writer's notebook.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It Says...


Today in class we worked on your It Says-It Means-And So... charts for "The Scarlet Ibis". For homework you need to make sure you have at least two quotes that support your theme. I'll give you some time in class tomorrow to do two more quotes for your theme. There are just a few of you who haven't finished reading the story. Please make sure you are done reading it. Don't forget you also need two book reviews in Goodreads by 1/24/12.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reading-The Scarlet Ibis

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fc/Scarlet_ibis_arp.jpgYesterday we began reading "The Scarlet Ibis".  You chose a format for your double entry journal either question/quote or quote/analysis. I shared the story with you in your view only folder in docs. Together we answered the first few questions and found a quote to go with each answer.

Today you need to finish reading the story and complete your double entry journal as you go. I will be here to support you both in person and electronically.

Here is the link to the video I showed you yesterday.
scarlet ibis in the wild

HOMEWORK: You need to finish reading the story AND complete your double entry journal for class tomorrow. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Agree or Disagree That is the Question.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gOx77WTCbQE/TegotLzG5rI/AAAAAAAAAKo/_fXYxQvYc0M/s1600/agreedisagree.jpgDo Now: Open your Writers Notebook and insert a chart with three columns (across) and six rows (down).

We are going to be looking at some questions that you may have strong opinions about.  Be sure to complete your reasons with detailed thoughtful answers.

If you were absent you can find the anticipation guide here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Looking at all five poems

Good morning,

Today you will meet with a different group. If I did it right each person in your group today read a different poem yesterday.

When you meet with your group read each of the poems from yesterday twice. Then have the person who worked on that poem yesterday share out the analysis from their SIFT sheet.  Make suggestions about what he or she might add to the SIFT sheet.  Respond to each of the poems on this form. Keep the form open in a new tab as you work through the poems.

Links to the five poems:
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Do Now:  How do you go about analyzing a poem?  What do you look for? 

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5

 Read and analyze the poem assigned to your group. Complete the SIFT sheet together. They must match for everyone in your group.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How do I understand a poem?

DO NOW: (Answer in your writer's notebook.)
How do I read and understand a poem?

Luis J. Rodriguez
Good morning,  Yesterday you participated in a diagnostic assessment to see how well you can read, comprehend, analyze, and compare two texts. It was challenging for you, I know. During this unit on comparative analysis we are going to work on those skills. For a few days we will be doing this with poetry, then short stories for a few weeks and then film.

Today we will be reading this poem and using this organizer.  I have hard copies of the organizer because I want you to turn it in today. I have some hard copies of the poem too if you prefer that.

Go back to your writer's notebook near the end of the period. What is your personal reaction to the poem?

Homework: Independent reading, complete at least two paragraph length book reviews (for books you read since September) in Goodreads by January 24th.