Friday, December 20, 2013

Unusual AOW

Today's article of the week was not an article at all, but a TED talk called "The Danger Of A Single Story".

If you were absent please watch it and write the usual two paragraph response in your writer's notebook.  I suggest you pause the video a few times to add to your summary paragraph as you go. Then add a second paragraph about your thoughts on the ideas presented.

Have a wonderful break and I will see you in 2014.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy Thursday

We read,

You have a short assessment to work on today.  This will help me prepare for our next unit after break. Do the best you can.

Read the text first and then I will give you the code to take the assessment.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Getting on Create Space

Happy Monday

Let's Read

Today we get to unbox our new Chromebook. A big thank you to the pointer association for funding that for our classroom!

Today you will be finishing final formatting for your novel.
1. Use this document to get the text you need for your copyright page.
2. Follow these direction to get your novel on to create space.

Remember your NaNoWriMo Summary doc will be closed for editing at 3:00 today. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

It's Friday? It must be time for Article of the Week

You have a book in your hands right?  (We read in here.)
Photo Credit: Jen Roberts

Today's article of the week deals with a controversial topic in education policy, how to teach students who are still learning English. As students in San Diego you all have had first or second hand experience with this and I am interested in what you think.

Please READ the article of the week and use the embedded questions as discussion starters for you and your partner. You may also discuss the questions with your whole table group.

Please WRITE a two paragraph response in your writer's notebook. Summarize the article in your first paragraph and write your opinions in the second paragraph.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Reading and Article of the Week on Reading

We read therefore we learn.

Today we resume our article of the week process.
I think you're going to like this one.
I am linking it here as view only.
Make your own copy to read and annotate. You do not need to share it back to me.
Write a two paragraph response in your writer's notebook. (Directions are on the article.)

PS: You can follow the author on Twitter @mattdelapena

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


And... yeah, we read.

I sent you a document. (Look in "shared with me" in your Google Docs.)
It is to collect the best parts of your novel.
It is due 12/16 and you won't have edit access after 3:00 pm that day.
We will be working on it in class a bit, but we have other things to do as well in the next week so make sure you are keeping up.

You have TWO more book reviews due January 22!.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

More things to check on...

We Read!

More things to check for in your novel today.
  • ð        I have capitalized proper nouns such as places and people’s names.
  • ð        I have made sure that every sentence ends with some type of punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation mark) and there are spaces between words and sentences.
  • ð        I have spell checked my novel and have corrected any spelling errors and/or typos.
  • ð        I have read my novel and moved around certain parts to make it better.
  • ð        I have removed (deleted) any parts that are unnecessary or that don’t work.
  • ð        I have added writing that will make the story better or less confusing.
  • ð        I use a variety of sentence types and lengths. I have combined sentences where appropriate. 
If you got over 100% in NaNoWriMo, but did not earn the "winner" badge I have submitted your name to them for manual validation. (Periods 4&7)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Welcome Back Novelists

Do you need a new book to read? 

This week we work on editing those novels to get ready for publication.
  • ð        My story has an ending that includes a resolution.
  • ð        I have divided my novel into sections or chapters in order to give it a structure that makes more sense for the reader.
  • ð        I have divided my writing into paragraphs and have made sure that I have indented properly.
  • ð        I have indented dialogue properly (each time there is a new speaker, there is also a new paragraph).
  • ð        I have made sure that all dialogue is punctuated correctly. (Use of quotations, commas, question marks, etc.)
  • ð        I have capitalized all words at the beginnings of sentences.
  • ð        I have capitalized the word “I” every time I have used it.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday AND Friday

Hi everyone.  Sorry I can't be with you.

Your responsibilities:

  • Keep updating your word count on
  • Submit your two book reviews HERE.
  • Keep writing.
  • Make sure your word count goal is set right.
  • Get a good book to read over break. 

Important: Remember to update your final word count on BEFORE the end of the day on Saturday 11/30!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Happy 66.6% Day

Good morning,

We will read at the bell.

Today is 11/20 which means you should be 66.6% done with your novel.  The end is near. Are you approaching the climax of your story?

Book reviews are due today.
You need to login to Goodreads and find your reviews. Then paste the link to each review on THIS FORM.

6th and 7th periods will be going to an assembly with poet Viet Mai.  You can submit the links to your book reviews today or tomorrow.

Friday, November 15, 2013

50% Day

Books Out  (Read Them)

Today is 50% day.  We are halfway through November and you should be halfway through your novel.

Consider lowering your word count. Talk to Mrs. Berry or Mr. Turner about that.

BOOK REVIEWS  are due Wednesday 11/20.  You need to write two of them for the second grading period. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 5

Read until your computer is ready then get writing.

It's day five of NaNoWriMo.  Collectively, we have written over 70,000 words!  We are at 6% of our goal, but we need to double that!  Yesterday, we found out that most of you can write at least 500 words an hour, so you should have at minimum 2,500 words if you are writing an hour a day.  I know some of you have much more than that and are on-track to finish early.

Challenge: As you write today see if you can give one of your characters a moment of dreadful bad luck. Balance that by giving another character a moment of extremely good luck.

Update your word count: Go to and update your word count.  You should be approaching 20%!

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 1

Books Out!

Happy First Day of NaNoWriMo!

I'm sorry I can't be with you today. You can get started on writing your novel as soon as your computer is up and running. (Read while you wait for the computer of course.)

A bit of advice: The way you start your novel today is not permanent. You can revise the beginning later if you want to.  The important thing is to get started writing something. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last NaNoWriMo Prep Day!

Books Out

Today I need to send you a few at a time to see the nurse for vision screening. I'll let you know when It's your turn. Please get there and get back as quickly as you can.

Goal 1: Take your Dialog Quiz

Goal 2: Work with your table partner to work through this form about novel beginnings.

Goal 3: Check your "Shared With Me" section in Google Docs to make sure you got the template for NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo Starts Tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dialog Day 3

Books Out

One more day of dialog:

1. Check the dialog you wrote yesterday.
  • Is it correctly formatted with a new line for each change in speakers?
  • Does it have "quotation marks?"
  • Are the periods and commas in the right places? 
2. Write a few more of the dialog exercises.
3. Be prepared to share out your favorite dialog.
4. If Mrs. R. approves your dialog formatting you can make one of these. 

5. Yesterday you probably got an email with a grade for your character questionnaire. Some of you still need to work on that.

NaNoWriMo is Coming!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dialog Day 2

Books Out

1. Login to NaNoWriMo:  (If you can't remember your password use the 'request new password' tab.)  (Join Fresh English if you aren't in our class yet.)
2. Click 'Edit Novel Info on the left.
3. Your default word count goal is 30000 based on the average of what students wrote last year. Enter YOUR word count goal for NaNoWriMo.

4. Yesterday we learned about punctuating dialog. READ what NaNoWriMo says about dialog.
5. WRITE the dialog exercises in your writer's notebook.
6. At the end of the period you will be sharing some of your dialog writing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dialog Day 1

Books Out

Today we have a quick lesson on punctuating dialog.
Then we are going to take a quick practice quiz about punctuating dialog.

There will be no talking while we are busy learning about dialog.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Advice of the Week

Books Out

Your AOW this week is to read a bunch of advice about NaNoWriMo from other young authors who have done it before.

  1. Read through their advice carefully.
  2. Pick out 2-3 quotes that you find most helpful. 
  3. Write a paragraph about those pieces of advice and how they help you specifically. 
  4. Then get back to novel planning. Many of you have work to do with your six plot questions. 
There is magic fairy focus dust all over this classroom. 
You have a lot to do. 
Stay focused and DON'T PANIC! 

Picture of Novel thanks to Olaf Simons from Wikimedia Commons and Ookaboo!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Books Out

We are making excellent novel progress. Today we are going to focus on setting and you might write some things that might make it into your novel too.

You need:

  1. The PDF of your High School NaNoWriMo Handbook, page 30
  2. Your Writer's Notebook

We will share out some of your favorite settings with Socrative at the end of the period.
Picture of Grouse Mountain thanks to Ice-Babe from Wikimedia Commons and Ookaboo!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Progress Check for NaNoWriMo

Books Out

Goal #1: Complete this form as a NaNoWriMo progress check.

Goal #2: Continue work on the plot questions you began yesterday.

Goal #3: Finish the character questions you started last week.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Picture of Roller coaster thanks to
 Stratosphere from Wikimedia Commons and Ookaboo!
Books out!

You will need:

  1. The PDF of your High School NaNoWriMo Handbook
  2. Your Writer's Notebook

Goal #1 Plot page 19.

Goal #2 Finish conflict (p. 15-18) and character questionnaire (in docs).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Creating Conflict

Books Out

WARNING ASSIGNMENT: Our next grading period ends on 11/22.  You need to have two books read and reviewed in Goodreads by 11/20 for them to count for this grading period. We will not have time in class for writing book reviews. This is HOMEWORK. On 11/22 I will ask you to submit the URL's for your two reviews. 

Today: Last week you downloaded the NaNoWriMo handbook and saved it to your My Documents folder. Open that PDF now and scroll to page 15 about conflict. You are already familiar with conflict from our group novels, so this should be pretty easy for you.

Goal 1: Read and complete pages 15-18 of the NaNoWriMo handbook about the conflicts in YOUR novel.

Goal 2: All of you have more work to do on your character questionnaire documents that I shared with you last Thursday.
Picture of Characters in Romeo and Juliet thanks to Zimbres from Wikimedia Commons and Ookaboo!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Classic Books?

Books Out

It's time for another article of the week. This week it is a blog post about classic books called "What Makes a Book a Classic?"
  1. Read it carefully several times to make sure you understand the author's points. 
  2. Write a response in your writer's notebook.
  3. Your response should be two paragraphs, one summarizing what the article said and the second is your response to the article.
  4. Possible ideas for your response are listed below. 

To what extent do you agree/disagree with the author's points?
Discuss what books you think are classics. What makes them "classics"?
Discuss examples from novels you have read that relate to the author's points?
What are some other criteria for determining whether a novel is a "classic"?
How can this article help you write your own novel?
What "universal truths" might you be interested in writing about?
Why is it that most books do NOT become "classics"?

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Books Out-We read at the bell 

I've sent you a document called Character Questionnaire.  Look for it in your "shared with me" section of Google Drive. 

Read the first page. 
(Note there is a typo. Where it says Abstract Protagonist it should be Abstract Antagonist.)

Answer the questions about the protagonist and antagonist for YOUR nanowrimo novel.  These should be the characters you want to write about in your novel.  They do not need to be the same as the ones in the perfect novel you imagined on Monday. 

This is an individual activity. Don't talk. At the end of the period you can have a few minutes to tell a partner about the characters you created. 

Finish the character questionnaire for homework.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Let the preparation begin

Books Out

Yesterday, you got the exciting news that you are about to become a novelist. (This is also a good time to revisit our class motto, "Don't Panic".)

Today I want to give you a resource that will help you with your passage into authorship. It is the:
NaNoWriMo Handbook

  1. After you have opened the handbook be SURE you go to FILE/Save As and SAVE your model handbook in your MY DOCUMENTS folder. 
  2. Really, save the darn handbook in your my documents folder now. 
  3. Begin by reading the letter to authors on page 1. 
  4. Then read page three and banish your inner editor.
  5. You are now ready to choose your model novel.

Choosing a Model Novel:
Your model novel is NOT the perfect novel you and your partner imagined on Monday. Your model novel is a book you read and liked, one that you can use for ideas, one that you can turn to when you want to see how an expert author writes dialog or moves the plot forward.  (It is probably not a novel about models, sorry.)   Use pages 4 and 5 of your NaNoWriMo Handbook to answer some questions about your model novel. 

You did work today in your NaNoWriMo handbook.  Be sure you SAVE it again before your shutdown. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sign Up for NaNoWriMo

Books Out

Welcome back today we get started with NaNoWriMo, national Novel Writing Month.

Go to to create your account.  (Username: 7 Last First)
Search for our classroom "Fresh English"

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Perfect Book Project

Books Out

I read your book reviews over the weekend.  They were very good, but I also looked closely at your reading survey again, and I saw that a lot of you have trouble finding books you like.  I want to help make that easier for you with a little activity we are doing today. I call it "The Perfect Book" project.

Goal #1
Work with a partner to collaboratively create a version of your perfect book. The book you would be dying to read, the book you would tell all your friends they have to read, the book you would re-read several times.

You will need:    a) a partner   b) the slideshow below   c) the form linked below
1. One of you should have the slides and the other should have the form.
2. Submit one form for both of you.
3. Collaborate and combine your ideas to create the perfect book.
4. Link to the form

Goal #2:
The second goal for today will be revealed to you only after you complete Goal #1.  Save at least 15-20 minutes to complete Goal #2.

Goal #3: 
Unlocking the secrets of "The Perfect Book" project.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Article Of The Week / Catch Up Day

Happy Friday,

Today I have an article of the week for you and some people may also be working to catch up on a few things.

AOW: The 9 Ingredients of Character Development
(Make your own copy to annotate.)
In your writer's notebook write a 1 paragraph summary and 1 paragraph about your opinion.

Catch up on:
Editing your book review
A few have a test to make up

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Sorry there wasn't much to post today.  We took a test.  The multiple choice part of your grade will be online soon (if the scanner is working).  The short answer part will take me into next week.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book reviews

Today we have been working on writing book reviews in Goodreads.  You can still edit your review if you need to. I start grading them on Thursday.

Make sure you submit the URL for your review here.
(The form asks for two reviews. You only need one for today.)

Also you can nominate a teacher you like to win a Chromebook. (You like me right?)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review Analysis

Books out

Lets look closely at some book reviews today before you prepare to write your own tomorrow.

I sent you a document in Google Docs. Lets look at it together.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conflict and Review

Welcome back,

We have a lot to get done this week.
Important things to know: 

  • This is the last week of the first grading period. 
  • You have a short test in this class on Thursday.
  • You will be writing a review of your group book in Goodreads on Wednesday. 

Goal #1:  In your writer's notebook write a list of problems the character(s) in your group novel faced in the book. 

Goal #2: Review Conflict

Goal #3: Review how you did on your sensory details quiz. 

Homework: I see a lot of you still reading your group novels.  That should be done.  Finish it tonight! (Was due Friday.)

Friday, October 4, 2013

AOW- Literature and Empathy

Books Out  You are still reading today. 

Sorry I can't be with you today.  I'm at a training about expository writing. It's okay to feel jealous about that.

Goal #1: Read the article of the week
Click to read the article: I Know How You're Feeling, I Read Chekhov

Goal #2: Write about it
First paragraph summarize the main idea and supporting details of the article.
Second paragraph give your opinion about the topics in the article.

Goal #3: Catch up or read
AFTER you are done with your article of the week work, you can:
Finish the writing about book reviews that you started yesterday.
Add more books to your "read" shelf in Goodreads
Read a book

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Welcome to Open House

Good evening,

Thank you for joining us. 

Getting on Goodreads

Time to get our reading lives online.

Goal #1: Goodreads

  1. Go to
  2. Login using your GOOGLE account.
  3. Send a friend request to Mrs. Roberts (and maybe also Mrs. Berry) Hint: look us up by our email addresses.
  4. Search for the book you are currently reading and add it to your "currently reading" shelf.
  5. Search for at least TEN books you have read and add them to your "Read" shelf. Also RATE them using stars.

Goal #2: Reading some good reviews

  1. Read this book review of The Alchemist and this one for City of Theives
  2. In your writer's notebook write about why those reviews are a good ones. What are the qualities of a good book review?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Connotation and Denotation

Welcome to Wednesday

We will read at the bell.

Goal #1 Connotation and Denotation
Today we will review and practice the implications of these words. We will be using ActivEngage and a flipchart. You will also need your copy of A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings open.

Goal #2: An Assessment
I'll tell you about it when we get there.

Goal #3:
Finish reading your group novel by Friday.  Finish reading your choice novel for this grading period.  This means that you should have read at least two books since school started.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sensory details

Books out OR if you have not finished reading "The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" you should read that.

Goal #1: Learn about sensory details
When an author uses words so well that you can "see" what he or she is describing, there are probably some sensory details. If the stench of rotting fish left in the sun is really bad, or the garden smells of freshly cut grass and blooming roses, there are probably some sensory details. If the sand feels soft under the feet of the characters as they walk down the beach with the breeze twisting their hair, there are probably some sensory details. If the roar of the jet engine shakes the building and stops conversations, there are probably some sensory details (and you are at PLHS).

Authors use details like this to make their writing more real, to bring readers into the setting and to add to the mood of their story. Today we will look for some of the sensory details in "The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" (You made a copy of it yesterday.)

Goal #2 Find sensory details in your group novel
Take a look through your group novel.
Find a few places the author is using sensory details.
Add them to your Writer's Notebook.
Write about how those details affect you as a reader.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Questions???

Books Out

GOAL #1: Scoring Writer's Notebooks (10 minutes)
Today you are going to evaluate your writer's notebook. Open your writer's notebook and open the SCORING GUIDE in another tab.

Copy and paste this sentence into your writers notebook AT THE TOP and complete the blanks based on the scoring guide.

I believe I have earned a ______ (enter a number from the scoring guide) on my writer's notebook because ______________________________ (explain why you earned that score based on the scoring guide.)

GOAL #2: Questions about your group novel (15 minutes, maybe more if you are diligent.)
Work with a partner at your table to answer the question on the BOOK QUESTIONS FORM. You may discuss the answers with your whole table, but each pair needs to complete a form for themselves.

Goal #3: Read this story
We will be reading A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings << Click the link to get the view only version then use File/Make a Copy to get your own editable version of the story. Look for sensory details in the story. Highlight parts that describe sounds, smells, sights, or texture.  (We will be working with this together tomorrow.)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Friday, Pick your Article of the Week

Books Out.  Look for descriptions that show you the mood in your novel.  I'll be coming by to see what you found. 

Today we are going to do one more article of the week in class, but you get a choice of articles. Pick one of the three below to read.  Write a two paragraph response in your writer's notebook. (First paragraph summary, second paragraph your opinion/reaction.)

Pick One
No Tattoos Below Elbows And Knees: US Army
L.A. students breach school iPads' security
Glendale district says social media monitoring is for student safety (4th period you did this one last week. Don't choose it today.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Looking for mood (It must be around here somewhere.)

Welcome back readers. (Books out!)

Yesterday we looked at the way authors create mood in their writing through setting descriptions. Today we will practice that a bit more and then you get to look for examples of settings that show different moods in your group novels.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Setting descriptions create a mood

We read at the bell. (I don't even know why I'm still writing that. We always read at the bell.)

Today we are going to talk about how the setting of the story creates a mood for the story.

You will need three tabs open:
  1. This blog
  2. Your Writer's Notebook
  3. And also go to  Join room 6867

Things we are going to do:
  1. Watch a short video about mood in settings
  2. Write some settings with specific moods
  3. Look for mood in your group novels. 
I want you to be able to see how word choice and details create mood in settings. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What are you going to accomplish today?

CC image via flicker by Mike Automania
Get out your books.  We still read at the bell.

Today we are going to make like tomatoes and catch-up.

I've been reading through your writer's notebooks and I'm finding some holes, little things you haven't finished like the second paragraph of your article of the week, or the quotes about characters chart. Sooo.....

Goal #1:  Catch Up
Complete any missing parts in your writer's notebook. See the chart at the front of the classroom for a list of what you need.  Go to those dates on the blog for more info.

Goal #2: Keep Reading
Continue reading your book, marking places that tell you something about the character or the setting.

Goal #3: Student Data Form
A few people joined us since the first week of school. Some of those people need to complete the student data form. ONLY if I ask you to. Student Data Form 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Setting contributes to characterization...

Happy Monday,
Art by: Cate Simmons

We will read at the bell.  Books out.

We have been looking at characters. Today we are going to move our analysis over to setting.

A detailed setting can tell you a lot about a character.  We will look at a setting together, you will look at settings in your books and, if you are very lucky, you might even get to create a setting that says something about a character.

Goal #1: Look closely at a setting
CLICK THIS LINK: to open a Word doc that is a description of a setting from Great Expectations.

Goal #2: Look closely at the setting in your book
Now, look at the settings described in your group novel.  Select two quotes from the novel that describe the setting, but tell you something about the character.

Goal #3: Create a Setting
Choose a character from your group book that doesn't have his or her own setting, or who's setting is not well described.  WRITE a descriptive paragraph about the setting for that character. (In Writer's Notebook) EXPLAIN (in a second paragraph) what you are trying to show about the character with the setting you created. There are some ideas HERE if you need help.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Social Media and the Poetry of Rudy Francisco

Good morning,

Goal #1:
When the bell rings we READ. Make sure you have a book in your hands.

Goal #2:
Today we will do one more article of the week together.

Goal #3:
Later today periods 6 and 7 will get to go hear Rudy Francisco perform.  He is only here periods 6 and 7, so I can't take period 4.  Use this link to see the unblocked version. (Wear headphones if you are watching it in class.)

HOMEWORK:  Keep up with reading your group novel.  Make sure all entries in your writer's notebook from this week are complete. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Character Inference

Ahoy landlubbers,  (It's talk like a pirate day)

Swab those decks and get out your books mateys. We will read at thar bell. 

Yesterday, we looked at characters, but we need to go deeper. We need to infer.
Today I want you to find (or add to what you found yesterday) at least three examples of quotes from your book that tell you something about the character beyond the author's exact words.

Also, a class of 9th graders at another school is doing a survey about student use of technology. I will not see your responses and your participation is optional. I WANT TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Character Descriptions

Happy Wednesday

We will read at the bell. You can read your choice book or your group book.

Today we will look further at characters.  I found some great character descriptions for us to play with.
I'll show you how I would analyze a few and then let you take a look at the rest on your own or with your partner.

(This is view only. Make your own copy. You do not have to share it back to me. I will look at your work in class.)

After you finish looking closely at the character descriptions above.
1. Find a passage from your book that describes the character you are reading about.
2. Type that passage into your Writer's Notebook.
3. Explain what that passage says about the character.

If you finish early you can continue reading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Looking at characters

Good morning or Good afternoon (depending on your period)

We will read at the bell. (You need to get that first book finished soon.)

Yesterday, your book group chose your shared novel.  Today, we go to the library to pick up that novel. Be sure you have your student ID.

When you get back start reading, but LOOK for the things in your book that say something about your character.

Use sticky notes to mark places where your character SAYS or DOES something that tells you about the character.

Look for character MOTIVATION. What does this character want?


WRITE: A paragraph in your writer's notebook about what you read today.  Focus on what you learned about the main character(s). 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Groups: Goals and Characters

We will read at the bell.  Have your book ready.

Today you are probably in a new seat with new people.

Our Goals Today:
  1. Take a look at the books your group has on your table. 
  2. Agree on a book you will read together. (Sorry, choices are limited due to library quantities.)
  3. Use the calendar in your planners to agree on a schedule to FINISH reading the book by October 4th. 
  4. Create a collaborative character together, who will become and honorary (imaginary) member of your group.   Directions for collaborative characters. 

Check the white board up front to make sure you have completed everything on it. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Article of the week...

We will read at the bell.  Get your books out.

Today we begin something we call "Article of The Week" or AOW. This is always a current non-fiction article we feel students can learn something from. Today we are reading it together in class. Eventually, the AOW will become a weekly homework assignment.

I'll be giving you a hard copy of this in class. If you are absent you can read it here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What are you missing?

Welcome to your first early out day.  Our periods are shorter, but we have just as much to get done.

We will read at the bell. Get your book ready.

Take a look at the small white board up front. it has a list of all the things you should have done by now, no matter when you joined my class. If you haven't completed any of those things you need to get caught up. The dates next to some tell you which blog post will help you with it.

Each of these things will be going into my gradebook this weekend. Make sure you get credit by having them done.

1. READ: this article about J.K. Rowling's new project.
2. Summarize it in your Writer's Notebook.
3. Put the summary about this article ABOVE the one you wrote yesterday and make sure you have a date on both.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Three Goals Today...


We will read at the bell.

We have three goals today
1. Take the  9th Grade Reading Survey.
2. Start a Writer's Notebook Doc in Google Docs (see directions below)
3. Read and summarize one of the two articles below. (Write the summary in your new Writer's Notebook.)

Creating a Writer's Notebook
1. Create a new document in Google Docs.
2. Name it with your Period# name Writer's Notebook  (i.e.  4 Johnny V Writers Notebook)
3. Share it with Mrs. Roberts using her gmail address.

Writing a summary in your new Writer's Notebook
1. Read one of the articles below. You can choose which one.
2. Write a summary that clearly states the main idea and at least three supporting details.
Super Size To Go
Heart Attack Grill

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Greetings younglings,

We will read at the bell. 

Getting started:
  1. Take out your Partner Article.
  2. Get a post-it from the center of your table.
  3. Write your name on it.
  4. List the Text Features you used on your partner article.
  5. Put the post-it on the paper you are about to turn in.
Today we are going to look at your summary skills. We will watch a short clip of an excerpt from the State of the Union Speech President Obama gave in February. You will annotate your own copy of the text.

What is his main idea?
What are his supporting details? 

Complete the Exit Slip summary activity. 

 (Hint, you can copy/paste this summary frame into the form if that helps you.) (This is as easy as it gets folks. You are all going to ace this.)

In his 2013 State of the Union speech, the author, _______(Author)____________, argues/claims/ contends that ____________(Main Idea)_____________________.  According to the President, _____________(Supporting Detail 1)______________.  In addition, President Obama states/discusses/claims/suggests _____________(Supporting Detail 2)____________________________. 

Also, President Obama states/discusses/claims/suggests __________(Supporting Detail 3)___________.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Formatting Partner Interviews

Welcome back,

We will read at the bell.

Today let's focus on getting your partner interviews in good shape. Many of you have a draft of what the article says by now, so we will work on formatting today.

I will show you how to:

  • Format your article in columns
  • Add a title
  • Add a byline
  • Add a picture
  • Add a block quote (sometimes called a pull quote)
The goal is a hard copy (printed) version of your article ready to post in our classroom by tomorrow. Let's get this done. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 4: Textbook check out and catch up day.

Wow, what a week huh?

We will read at the bell.

Today is our day for textbook checkout. I will tell you more about that in a minute, but have your ID ready.

Besides checking out your textbooks you have some items to catch up on:

  1. Finish the text features chart you began yesterday. You should already have this in Google docs, if not scroll down and read the post from yesterday.
  2. Finish your partner interview that you started on Wednesday. There is more info about that on the post from Wednesday.
  3. Sign up for Remind101 texts if you haven't already. Directions for signing up for texts or emails are on the window next to the computer cart.
  4. Begin a draft of your article about your partner. Use at least five text features in your article. This article is due as a hard copy (printed out) on Tuesday. Make it look as good as you possibly can.  If you don't have computer access at home I have a template you can use to write the article by hand, ask me for one. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 3: How Fear Works, text features study.


We will read at the bell. Please have your computer started up and a book in your hands. 

Today we begin a quick study of nonfiction texts.  You will read a short article and analyze the text features of the article.

Read this: How Fear Works
Complete this: Text Features Organizer

If you finish and have time left over you can begin working on a draft of the article about the partner you interviewed yesterday.

Friday we have textbook check out. Bring your ID and a backpack to carry your books. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 2: Lets get going...


Welcome to day 2 of 9th grade.  Today I hope we will be getting out those netbooks and I have some work for you to do.

  1. Get logged into your netbook. Ask for help if you can't remember your password. 
  2. Get to this blog page and BOOKMARK it. Ask if you need help bookmarking.
  3. Complete the Student Data Form
  4. Read this article about Mrs. R to get to know her better. 
  5. Interview a partner about him or herself. Your partner will also interview you. Use these questions. Save your notes because you will use them for a writing assignment later this week. 
  6. Get and independent reading book. 
Don't forget:
Return the Netbook Use Contract if you haven't already
Textbook checkout is Friday, bring your ID and backpack.
Picture makeups are Thursday in 301 if you need an ID. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

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).