Friday, December 18, 2015

May the Phrase be With You

Goal: Socratic seminar on issues of privacy and responsibility while practicing paraphrasing and extending the conversation.

Book check outs
Seminar 1
Seminar 2

Phrases to help with paraphrasing: 
So you are saying that...
I heard you say... Was that right? 
So basically you think...because...
In other words I mean that...

Phrases to help with extending the conversation:
Say more about that...
How does that relate to...
How do you know...
What makes you think that...
Can you explain more about...
I'm still wondering about...
Will you elaborate on the part about...

Have a wonderful break! Relax, Reflect and Read!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Jigsaw Reading

Goal: Jigsaw reading of "6 Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Life" for a deeper understanding of what can happen online.

Read with your group and discuss
Re-group and explain your section

Jigsaw reading:
  1. We are going to jigsaw read an article.
  2. All groups should read the beginning.
  3. The rest of the article is divided into six hashtag-titled sections.
  4. Each group will read one section and discuss it. 
  5. Then I will regroup you and you will need to be able to explain what you read and talked about in the section that your first group read.
6 ways social media can ruin your life

Socratic Seminar TOMORROW, you must bring your organizer sheet on paper. 
Return group novel to the library
Check out a book to read over break

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Return of the Socratic Seminar Preparation

Goal: Continue socratic seminar preparations

Review quick write
Prepare for Socratic Seminar

Review your quick write: 

  1. Open your English Journal
  2. Re-read what you wrote in your quick write yesterday. 
  3. Add some additional thoughts you have now. 
  4. Proofread and make any edits you can for capitalization and punctuation. Do all of your sentences make sense? 

Prepare for Socratic Seminar:

  • Continue working on the document you started yesterday. 
  • Many of you already have this on paper. 
  • If you want the electronic version you can find it HERE
  • Remember you need a paper copy for class on Friday. 
Return group novel to the library. 
Check out a new book to read over break. 
Socratic seminar on Friday. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Socratic Seminar Preparation: Day 1

"I find your culture of surveillance disturbing."
Goal: Socratic seminar preparation, organizing the information we have and seeking more.

Quick write
Socratic seminar prep

Quick write: 
Open your English Journal
How does the picture on the blog today relate to the concepts we have been reading about in Undercover Parent and Big Brother Meets Big Mother? 

Socratic Seminar Preparation: 

  • On Friday 12/18 we will be having a Socratic Seminar discussion in class.
  • To prepare for the discussion you need to know "Undercover Parent" and "Big Brother Meets Big Mother" very well.
  • I am giving you paper to organize your thinking. You can also get a digital copy HERE, but you must bring a hard copy to class on Friday 12/18.

Possible Sources for your Third Article:











Friday we will be having a socratic seminar.
Update your Goodreads status.
Check out your new book if you haven't already.
What are you reading over break?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Learning the ways of the Rhetorical Precis

Goal: Learn how to create a rhetorical precis.

Learn what a rhetorical precis is.
Play unscramble the precis
Write a precis on your own.

Rhetorical Precis:
"A Rhetorical Précis, pronounced (pray-see), is a summary or abstract of a work. The Rhetorical Précis has a rigidly specific format.... It is important that you follow the format carefully. This is not an easy task. But it is a crucial step towards building critical reading ability...." (

Unscrambling a Precis: 
  1. Use THIS LINK to get a copy of a doc with a rhetorical precis. (Do not share it.)
  2. The sentences on this doc are out of order. 
  3. Rearrange them until you have a correct precis. 
Write your own precis: 
  1. Open your English Journal
  2. Open your copy of Big Brother Meets Big Mother. 
  3. Write a rhetorical precis of Big Brother Meets Big Mother by Ellen Goodman in your English Journal. 
  4. Open Under STUDENT, enter room number 6867
  5. Paste in your NEW rhetorical precis for Big Brother Meets Big Mother when you get the question. We will vote on them in a minute. 
Later this week we will be having a socratic seminar. Tomorrow we begin preparing for that. 
Update your Goodreads status. 
Check out your new book if you haven't already. 
What are you reading over break? 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Soapstone and Soapstone

Goal: Learning from our previous SOAPSTone and working on a new one.

Review previous answers
SOAPSTone for Big Brother Meets Big Mother

Pervious SOAPSTone answers: 

  1. Click on the link for your period. 
  2. Look closely at the answers people gave on the last SOAPSTone (names have been removed)
  3. Color code answers GREEN for great answers, YELLOW for okay answers. PINK for pretty bad answers. 
Period 3 Answers to Review
Period 6 Answers to Review

Do a new SOAPSTone for Big Brother Meets Big Mother:
You will need your copy of the article shared with you in Google Drive. The one you read yesterday.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Quick quiz and a new reading

Goals: A quick assessment on rhetorical strategies and a first read of a new text.

Quick quiz, show what you know.
First reading of Big Brother Meets Big Mother

Quick quiz:
Just five questions to see if you have been thinking about your ethos, logos, and pathos learning.
Take the QUIZ, yes there is a password on it.

First read of a new text:
I think you're going to like Big Brother Meets Big Mother.
It is shared with you in your Google Drive.
Use the "Say Something" protocol with your partner.
Just try not thinking about ethos, logos and pathos as you read. I bet you can't help it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Recognizing Rhetorical Strategies: Ethos, Logos and Pathos

Goal: Begin to understand ethos, logos, and pathos, while looking for examples in our reading.

Order some pizza (sort of) 
Take some notes
Look for examples of ethos, logos, and pathos in Undercover Parent. 

English Journal Work:
Open your English Journal
Quick Write: Describe a time when someone wanted you to do something. How did they talk you into it? What did they say or do to convince you? 

Let's watch a video. Take notes in your English Journal as you watch. (I'll add the video link here later in case you need to see it again.)

Look for more examples: 
Open Undercover Parent.
Re-read looking for examples of ethos, logos and pathos. Highlight the examples you find, but color code them: green for ETHOS, blue for LOGOS, and lavender/purple for PATHOS.
Compare what you find with your partner. 

Keep reading; update your status in Goodreads. 
Return your group novel to the library. They are now overdue. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Charting the Text: Undercover Parent

Goal: Close analysis of Undercover Parent using the Charting the Text strategy for the first time.

Learn about charting a text
Charting Undercover Parent with your group

Charting the Text: 
Charting a text helps us understand the text better and shows us the structure of the argument.

  1. Open your copy of Undercover Parent in Google Drive. 
  2. Determine the paragraph chunks with your group, but be prepared to change your mind. 
  3. For each section determine what the author is saying first then what he is doing. (Do not move on to the next chunk until you have finished saying and doing for the one before it.)
  4. We are doing this one on paper, so if you are absent you will need to see Mrs. R for instructions and materials. 
Return your group novel to the library. 
Update your status on Goodreads. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

SOAPSTone for Undercover Parent

Goal: Our First Soapstone, learning a piece of rhetorical analysis.

Be sure your book is checked out to you.
SOAPSTONE with a partner

S - Subject / topic / issue of the text
O - Occasion - what is the context of the text?
A - Audience who is this written for? How do you know?
P - Purpose - why did the author write this? What is his/her goal?
S - Speaker - who is Coben? How do you know? What else can you find out?
Tone - sarcastic, humble, bitter, convinced, unsure, reasonable, angry, immature, educated?

Open the Undercover Parent article I shared with you on Tuesday.
With your partner complete the SOAPSTone FORM.  (If you are absent you'll have to work on it on your own.)

Grading period ends today.
Read a lot this weekend :)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Catch Up, Self Evaluate, Reflect, Ponder, Imagine....

Goals: Complete the book review form, self evaluate English Journals,

Self-evaluate English Journals
Complete Book review form

1. Self Evaluate English Journals

  1. Open your English Journal
  2. Review the English Journal Scoring Guide
  3. Determine how you would score your English Journal. 
  4. PASTE this sentence below into the TOP of your English Journal and be sure it is complete. 
December 3, 2015 Self Score:          
I believe I have earned a ______ <<(Your score 1-5) on my English Journal because_______________________ _______________ <<(Your reasons you think you earned that score.) 
2. Complete Book Reviews from Yesterday

  1. Scroll down to the post from yesterday and complete the form for your book reviews. Remember you must finish your Goodreads review first so that you can include the link to it. 
  2. Many of you completed this last night as homework, thumbs up! You made me so proud. 

3. Catch up
  1. Is the book you are reading checked out to you? Is it on your "currently reading" shelf on Goodreads.
  2. Is your English Journal up to date? Is all of your work there your best work? Maybe you want to proofread a bit?
  3. Do you need to revise your memoir or visual memoir from earlier this semester? You can request a regrade on the tab above.
  4. The grading period ends tomorrow. If you need to request a regrade use the tab above. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Book Review Day

Goal: Writing and submitting book reviews.

Write and submit book reviews
Catch up

Write and submit book reviews:

  1. Post a review on Goodreads for either the group novel you read or another book you read on your own during this six weeks. (Note: you can not use a book you also reviewed in October.)
  2. Complete THIS FORM with the LINK (URL) to the review you posted on Goodreads. Then answer the questions about the second book you read recently. 

Catch up: 
Is the book you are reading checked out to you? Is it on your "currently reading" shelf on Goodreads.
Is your English Journal up to date? Is all of your work there your best work? Maybe you want to proofread a bit?
Do you need to revise your memoir or visual memoir from earlier this semester? You can request a regrade on the tab above.

English Journals must be complete by tomorrow, Thursday.
Grading period ends Friday.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

First read of Undercover Parent

Goals: First reading of Undercover Parent article using the "Say Something" protocol.

Learn about the "Say Something" protocol.
First read of Undercover Parent

First Read of Undercover Parent: 

  • This text is shared with you in Google Drive. 
  • You will read it with a partner and use the say something protocol to check your thinking and understanding with each other as you go. 

  • Book reviews are happening in class on Wednesday. You can pre-write them if you want to. 
  • English Journals must be complete by Thursday. If you are missing anything there, get it done now. 
  • This grading period ends on Friday. All regrade requests are due by 2:30 Friday. (Some of you may want to work on your memoir, your visual memoir, or other missing work.)
  • Scroll to the very bottom of this blog and click the blue + sign at the bottom right side of the calendar. That will add this calendar to your calendar. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Welcome Back: Lets Get Started

Goal: Exploring our initial thoughts and opinions related to teens and the internet.

Update Goodreads
Quick Survey
Four Corners Discussion

Update Goodreads

  • You read a lot over break right? Time to update Goodreads.
  • Make sure the book you are currently reading is marked as "currently reading"
  • Update the page number you are on. 
  • Mark any books you have finished as "read."
  • We will write book reviews on WEDNESDAY this week. 
Quick Survey: 
  • To prepare for our next unit I would like you to think briefly about your opinions related to these topics. Please be as honest and accurate as possible. 
  • Take the SURVEY
Four Corners Discussion:
Move to the corner of the room that best represents your thoughts about the statement. 

  • Book reviews are happening in class on Wednesday. You can pre-write them if you want to. 
  • English Journals must be complete by Thursday. If you are missing anything there, get it done now. 
  • This grading period ends on Friday. All regrade requests are due by 2:30 Friday. (Some of you may want to work on your memoir, your visual memoir, or other missing work.)
  • Scroll to the very bottom of this blog and click the blue + sign at the bottom right side of the calendar. That will add this calendar to your calendar. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Article of the Week

Goal: Read and write about the article of the week.

Article of the Week

Article of the Week: 

  • Read THIS ARTICLE from 
  • It's called, "These days, seems some kids are born with a smartphone in their hand" in case you need to find it on your own. 
  • After reading WRITE two paragraphs in your English Journal. The first paragraph should summarize the article and the second paragraph should be about your thoughts on the topic. 


  • You will need to finish reading two books by 12/2! That is right after Thanksgiving break. One book is your group novel. The other is a choice book. Be sure you are reading over break. 
  • English Journals will be due on 12/3. Be sure you are caught up on everything in your English Journal, including the work from today. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In Class Essay

Goal: Use the materials you prepared earlier in the week to write an essay about your group novel.

In class essay

In Class Essay: 
You do not have computers today.
You are writing your essay on paper. I hope you brought your favorite pen.
Ms. Love will give you the essay prompt.
You can use your book and the organizer I gave you in class on Monday.
Ms. Love is collecting your essay, and the organizer you brought, at the end of the period.

If you got a new book please check it out on the book check out form. You can use a chromebook to do that.
It would be a good idea to have a book to read over break.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why read fiction?

Goal: Reading and analysis of an essay.

Read 10-15 minutes
Reading in GoFormative

Reading: Why Read Fiction

  • Read THIS ESSAY in GoFormative and answer the embedded questions. 
  • This is a pre-assessment for our next unit, but it also includes concepts that relate to the novel unit we are finishing. 
  • There are 11 short answer and multiple choice questions. If you do not finish this becomes homework. (Due 11/30/15)
  • Essay test tomorrow! 
  • Bring your theme essay organizer from Monday. You need it on PAPER. Print it out if you have to. 
  • No netbooks tomorrow. 
  • Bring your group novel in case you need to look up even more evidence. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Reading the Novel Unit Test

Goal: Taking a unit test about the things we learned while reading novels.

Read, but get to the blog
Take the test
Read while others finish

Unit Test: 

  • This TEST is designed to assess your ability to apply the concepts from this unit. Answer every question the best you can. 
  • You can use your group novel for the last two questions. 
  • If you would like a paper copy of the story on the test ask me for one. 


  • Make sure you have a very good book. Don't like your book? Ask for help finding a better one. 
  • Be sure to fill out the book borrowing form for every book you take home. Yes, you can borrow more than one at a time. 
  • Return books to the white crate at the front of the room. Add a small sticky note with your name when you return it to be sure I know who brought it back. (We have multiple copies of lots of books.)
  • Update your status on Goodreads. Have you marked your group novel as read? Have you added the book you are reading now to your "currently reading" shelf? 

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:
Mrs. Roberts is going to a gigantic English Teacher convention. While I'm gone you will do one activity in GoFormative, write an in class essay (on paper), and complete and article of the week assignment in your English Journal.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Gathering Essay Evidence

Goal: Getting read to write an essay about the theme in our group novels.

Group work on theme organizer

Theme Essay Organizer:

  • I am giving you this organizer on paper.
  • You need to bring this paper back to class on THURSDAY if you want to use it to help you write your novel essay.
  • I am also giving you access to an electronic copy of this doc. Click HERE
  • You can do the work on paper, or work on it digitally. If you choose the digital option YOU are responsible for bringing a printed copy to class on Thursday.

Test Tomorrow:

  • Tomorrow you have a unit test. You will have a short story to read and answer questions about.
  • The questions should let you show that you understand characterization, conflict (internal and external), word choice, setting, and theme. (We've practiced things like this. You should be fine.)

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:
Mrs. Roberts is going to a gigantic English Teacher convention. While I'm gone you will do one activity in GoFormative, write an in class essay (on paper), and complete and article of the week assignment in your English Journal.

Essay Contest:
Essay contest for LGBTQ students in San Diego. 500 Word maximum. Cash prizes. Deadline is 11/30.  Apply HERE.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Novel Test and Finishing District Literacy Assessment

Goal: Novel test and finish district literacy assessment.

#1 Novel Test: 

  • Put your book away. No books on desks. 
  • Click HERE to access your novel test. 
  • Complete the test using everything you know about the book. 
  • The test has a password. You definitely have to be in class to take the test. 
  • Your answers must be under 1200 characters. Make every word count. 

#2 District Literacy Assessment: 
If you did not finish this yesterday here are the directions again.
  1. Go to: 
  2. Login with your district username and password, the same one you use to login to the netbooks. 
  3. You should see Pending Assessments on the right.
  4. Choose Literacy Interim Assessment -Grade 9. 
  5. Read the directions carefully as you work through the assessment. 
  6. Read your book when you finish.
Be sure your English Journal is up to date. 
Be ready for a multiple choice unit test next week, and a more extended essay test about your book. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

District Literacy Assessment

Goal: Begin (complete?) the district Interim Literacy Assessment #1.

Student Directions: 

  1. Go to: 
  2. Login with your district username and password, the same one you use to login to the netbooks. 
  3. You should see Pending Assessments on the right.
  4. Choose Literacy Interim Assessment -Grade 9. 
  5. Read the directions carefully as you work through the assessment. 
  6. Read your book when you finish.
Finish reading your group novel. 
Novel test tomorrow. You will need to be able to show that you have read the whole book. You will not be able to use your book to take the test. 
Continue flagging useful quotes in your book for the essay test next week. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Practice Reading and Finding Evidence

Goal: Get in a bit more practice with the concepts from this unit. Select evidence for an upcoming essay about your group novel.

Practice assessment
Finding Quotes

Practice Assessment: 

  • This reading and the questions that go with it should help you get ready for our upcoming unit test next week. 
  • Read the story and answer the questions as you go. 
  • If you need to join our Go Formative class the codes are on the back wall. 

Finding Quotes: 

  • Remember how it was much easier to write your paragraph yesterday when you already had evidence selected to go with the theme? 
  • Use the rest of your time today to read your group novel and/or look for evidence that might help you write about the other aspects of novels that we have learned about. 
  • Look for quotes related to:

Diction/word choice
Finish your book by Friday the 13th. You have a scary test that day about the book.
Make sure all of your work is done in your English Journal.
Review the calendar at the bottom of the blog.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Writing About Theme with Support

Goal: Explain how evidence supports the theme.

Explain how your evidence supports the theme

Explain your Evidence: 
  1. Open your English Journal, add today's date at the top. 
  2. Open the Theme document your team was working with on Friday. 
  3. Copy and paste in ONE theme and one set of evidence. 
  4. Write a paragraph in which you explain how this theme is relevant to your book. Use the evidence you found on Friday to support your points. Explain how that evidence supports the theme. 
Theme Paragraph Frame: (You can change this to fit what you are trying to say.)
An important theme in ...(book title)... is that (....................theme..............) The events of the novel support this theme because............ For example on page ..... it says that ".......(quote from the book)......" This shows that....... because....... Another moment from the book that reveals the theme is when....... Which is why ...... says/does....  ".....(quote)....." All of this means that.... 
Finish reading your group novel before Friday the 13th.
Check the calendar at the bottom of the blog for upcoming assessments.
Be sure all your work is up to date in your English Journal.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Getting Theme Right

Goal: Apply what you learned in your last lesson on theme to the book you are reading as a group.

Review yesterday
Theme work with your group

Theme work with your group:

  • Have ONE person in your group get a copy of your theme organizer
  • That person needs to rename it correctly, share it with everyone in the group, and share it with Mrs. R. 
  • Work as a group to complete the organizer. Divide the work evenly. 
  • Remember you need evidence to go with your themes. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Your Last Lesson on Theme

Goal: Understand and apply the concept of theme in literature through a collaborative application of multiple themes to multiple forms of media.

Play (you'll see)

Theme Lesson: The last one you'll ever need.
I'll post these slides later for your full enjoyment and review.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Getting into diction, author's choices, and theme.

Goal: Going deeper into magical realism by looking at diction, author's choices, and theme.

Partner challenge

With your partner: 
  • Look again at the story you read yesterday in class. 
  • You can still find the text HERE
  • Together (one form, two names) complete THIS FORM of questions about the text. 
Continue reading your group novels. We will get back to spending class time on them soon. 
Assessments for this unit begin next week. And we have a district assessment to do to. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

First reading of A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

Goal: First read of A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

First read of a new text


  • A new text has been assigned to you in GoFormative. 
  • You can find the text HERE
  • Read and answer the questions as you read. 
  • If you are new to our class you may need the class code. It is on a chart on the whiteboard under GoFormative. 
Keep reading. You need to finish your group novel by 11/13. 
Fair warning: You have several assessments coming up next Thursday and Friday. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Characters in Conflict

Goal: Developing a deeper understanding of characters and the conflicts they face.

Quick write
Character drawing
Check your questions

Quick Write:

  • Open your English Journal. Add today's date at the top. 
  • Prompt: Consider a character from your group novel. What problems does that character have? Write about those problems. Try to come up with at least three things your character is worried about or dealing with. 

Character Drawing:

  • Click HERE to get a copy of "Character."
  • I have to give you the rest of the directions for this in class. If you are absent you're missing all the fun. 

Check your questions:

  • Remember those quizzes you made last week? Lets take a closer look at your questions. 
  • Open the spreadsheet with your results. 
  • Select row 1 and wrap the text so that your questions are all fully displayed. 
  • Use the chart below to color code the cells with your questions. Use the colors Red, Yellow, Green, and Purple, to show which of your questions were DOK1-4. 

Keep reading. Keep an eye on those conflicts your character is facing and how he or she deals with them. Be on the lookout for new conflicts that suddenly arise in the middle of the book. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Predicting and Assessing

Happy Halloween
Goals for today: Get started on your novel prediction chart and review the answers to the quiz you made.

Novel Prediction Charts
Reviewing Quiz Answers

Novel Prediction Charts:

  1. Open your English Journal. (Check to see if you might be missing anything and make a plan to catch up on that later.)
  2. At the top add today's date. 
  3. Insert a table. It should be two columns wide and six rows down. 
  4. Add two predictions about your book, now that you are halfway through it. 
  5. Add evidence (sentence or two) from the book that lead you to that prediction. 
  6. Continue to add predictions and evidence to your chart as you read the rest of the novel. 

Novel Prediction Chart
My prediction
Evidence from the text that makes me think this.
(Use sentences from your book that lead to your prediction.)

Reviewing Quiz Answers: 

  • Yesterday some students tried out the quiz you made. It's time for you to review their answers. 
  • Your group will go to the quiz you made in Google Drive and click "view responses."
  • You are not going to grade these, but you are going to assess them. 
  • For each answer you are going to give a color. Use the paint bucket (fill color) tool to change the color of each box (cell) that has an answer. 
  • Make good answers light green. Okay, but not great, answers can be light yellow. And mostly wrong answers should be light pink. 
  • I will decide later how I want to convert your assessment into a grade for the student. I may decide not to count all of your questions, or give more credit to some questions. 


  • Stay safe. Lots of people make some really bad decisions on Halloween. Don't be one of them. 
  • Read this weekend. 
  • Check your English Journal for work you need to finish or make up. 
  • Revise your memoir or the visual memoir slides if you would like to improve them. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Don't just take the quiz, Make the quiz.

No scantrons. I promise. 
Goal: Creating an online assessment about the book you are reading.

Quiz expectations
Quiz making

With your team you will create a quiz that other students will take about the book your group has been reading.

Quiz Expectations:

  • 7-10 Questions
  • Ask questions that go up through content halfway through the book.
  • Include both multiple choice and short answer questions.
  • First question should be name, second question should be period. 
  • For multiple choice questions you can have 5-10 answer choices. 
  • For multiple select questions use the checkboxes question type. These questions should have more than one right answer. 
  • For short answer questions, be sure your question actually requires a written answer. (Don't ask questions that have one word answers.) Use the paragraph question type. 
  • Make your quiz in a Google Form. Name it Period, Color, Title, for example "6 Blue Pull of Gravity"
  • Use "File/add contributors" to add your teacher and your group members to the form. 
Keep reading. (I hear you're going to have a quiz to take soon.) 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Going Further with Setting

Goal: Looking closely at setting in novels.

Review from Monday
Setting in your Novels
Creating a setting

Look closely at the setting in your book
Look at the settings described in your group novel.  Select three quotes from the novel that describe the setting, but ALSO tell you something about the character. Add this chart to your English Journal.

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 English Journal) EXPLAIN (in a second paragraph) what you are trying to show about the character with the setting you created.

Be sure your English Journal is caught up. (You should have entries for 10/20, 10/21, 10/26 and now 10/27. Visit the blog for any of those days you are missing.)
Keep up with the reading in your group novel.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Immersing Ourselves in Setting

Art by: Cate Simmons
Goal: Understanding how setting helps us understand characters and creates the mood of the narrative.

Writing about setting
Reading a setting
Reading specifically for setting
Creating a setting

#1: Open your English Journal
I'll be walking you through the directions for this in class. If you are absent you will miss the experience. There is no way to make up for that.

#2: Look closely at a setting
CLICK THIS LINK: to view a description of a setting from Great Expectations. We will look closely at what makes this setting good and name those things for ourselves.

#3: Talk to your group
Talk to your group about what's happening in your novel. How has setting played a role so far? What has it told you about the characters? How do the settings in your novel affect the mood of the story. What is confusing you about the events or characters in your novel? 

Keep up with your reading. Be prepared to meet your reading goal for Friday. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Character Slide Decks Completed!

Goal: Complete character slide decks and catch up.

Memoir Presentation(s)
Complete Character Slide Decks
Catch Up

Complete Character Slide Decks:
Yesterday I shared a slide deck about character with your group.
You worked to make that deck about a character from your group novel.
All groups still have work to finish those slides.
Be sure to use the slide notes to EXPLAIN why you put the content you chose on that slide.

Catch up:
If you were absent yesterday you need to take the character quiz. (Hint: Read the blog from yesterday.)
You should have two new entries in your English Journal. The answer to a character question (see blog from 10/21) and the STEAL Chart (see blog from 10/20). Complete those.
Book reviews: Those absent last Friday need to post their book reviews on Goodreads and submit the link. (Check Power School. If you have a zero then you are missing this.)

Read: Some of you need to read a lot this weekend to catch up to the page goal for your group. By next Friday you should be halfway through your group novel.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Character Slide Decks

Goal: Showing how much you understand traits and motivations of the complex characters in your book.

That quiz that I tried to trick you with yesterday :)
Character slide decks


  • This is a one question, short-answer, quiz. 
  • Please review the expectations for short answer questions: You must write 2-4 complete sentences. explain your answer, and use correct grammar, capitalization and punctuation. 
  • You will need the password for the quiz. I will give you that in class. 
Character Slide Decks: 
  • I have shared a slide deck with your group. (Everyone in your group should already have it.)
  • It is a template you must change to match a character in your book. 
  • Work together (on different slides) to complete the profile of the character. 
Finish visual memoirs
Request (by email) any regrades of work you have improved recently.
Read your group novel. You need to be up to your first page goal by tomorrow. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Who are these people anyway?

Goals: Looking even more closely at the characters in our novels.

Read (extra time because you need to make progress)
Group discussion
Answer a question in your journal.
Take a quick quiz, yes already. It's only one question.

Yesterday you created a STEAL chart in your English Journal. Some of you still need to finish that.

Today: Two questions your group needs to be able to answer today. Discuss these questions and be sure you can explain them. Write an answer to ONE in your English Journal.

1. What does your main character want more than anything? What obstacles stand in his/her way?
2. Who does your character have relationships with? What are those relationships like? 

Finish your visual memoir. I started grading them last night and a few are still incomplete.
Read your group novel. Keep in mind you page goal for Friday.
Finish the STEAL character chart you started yesterday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Exploring Complex Characters

Goal: Begin looking more closely at the complex characters in novels.

Characters are awesome lesson
Looking closely at one of the characters in your group novel.

Characters are Awesome Lesson: Exploring direct and indirect characterization through textual evidence in group selected novels in a ninth grade English class.

Looking closely at one of the characters in your group novel. 

  • In your English Journal
  • Make a STEAL chart about one of the main characters in your group novel. (See the last slide in the deck above, and/or the chart in the classroom.)
  • Be sure to use evidence (quotations) from the novel to support your answers.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Beginning to read a group novel

Goal: Getting started on our reading the novel unit. Choosing books, checking them out, getting organized with a calendar etc.

Book Groups
Favorite Books
Book Selection

Today we start a new unit called "Reading the Novel." You also have a new seat and a new group to work with.

We have a lot to do. I'll be explaining most of it to you in class as we go, but I will post it here later for people who were absent or just want to remember today's class forever.

Read according to your group's first goal.
Finish visual memoir slides.
Request a regrade if you have revised your written memoir.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Reviews Are Going In

Goal: Get our reviews on Goodreads and get caught up on missing work.

Get our reviews on Goodreads
Catch Up
Work on Visual Memoirs


  1. It is time to put the review you wrote on Wednesday into Goodreads. 
  2. Open your English Journal
  3. Find the review you wrote on Wednesday. 
  4. Highlight it, and use Ctrl-C to copy the text. 
  5. Go to Goodreads and login. 
  6. Find the book by searching for it and add it to your read shelf. When you do that you should get a place you can paste (Ctrl-V) your review. 
  7. If the book is already in "My Books" find it on your list and look for a small link that says "edit review." Paste in your review with Ctrl-V. 
  8. You must hit the SAVE button after you enter your review. 
Turn in the link to your review: 
  1. After you SAVE your review you should be on the page that has just your review. 
  2. Copy the URL (link) for that page. 
  3. Click on the tab at the top of this blog that says "Independent Reading/Book Reviews" (Clever title huh?)
  4. Fill out the form on that page and paste in the LINK that goes directly to YOUR book review. (Be sure you are not giving me a link to the page about the book, or your book list, or your review editing page.)
  5. You DO NOT need to give me a link to a second book review this time. Leave the part about your second book blank. 

Catch Up: 

  • Complete the Abbreviated Book Review form from yesterday if you did not get that done yet. (Scroll down to yesterday's blog post.)
  • Work on your Visual Memoir slides. They are due Monday. 
Read, get started on one of your books for the next six weeks. 
Finish your Visual Memoir slides and script in the slide notes! Remember the RUBRIC
Revise your memoir if you want to request a regrade next week. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wrapping up the grading period folks...

Goal: Getting our book reviews done and self-scoring English Journals.

Abbreviated Book Review
English Journal Self Grade

YESTERDAY you wrote a review of one of the books you read during this six weeks. You wrote that in your English Journal. (Tomorrow I will show you how to put it on Goodreads.)

TODAY you will complete a second review of a DIFFERENT book.

Abbreviated Book Review Form:

  1. Complete THIS FORM to submit your second book review. 

English Journal Self Score:

  1. Visit the ENGLISH JOURNAL SCORING GUIDE and decide how you would score your own English Journal based on that scoring guide. 
  2. PASTE the sentence below in you YOUR English Journal at the top. Fill in the number and reasons you scored your EJ that way. 

I believe that the work in my English Journal should earn a ...(enter number from scoring guide)... because...(give reasons why you earned that score.)
Read, get started on a book for the next six weeks.
Call in your memoir if you still need to do that. It's worth 7 points now.
Work on your visual memoir. Slides (with script in the slide notes) are due Monday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Review Day

Goal: Looking at what makes a good book review and starting on a draft of your own.

Read a good book review
Write your own book review

Looking at awesome book reviews

Write your own book review: 

  1. Write your book review in your English Journal. DO NOT move on to step two before finishing step one.
  2. Log in to your Goodreads account.
  3. Find your book and click "edit review." (If you can't find it, ask someone at your table. If you're still stuck ask one of the adults.)
  4. Rate your book. Copy and paste your book review into the box for the review. 
  5. Make sure you hit "Save."

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

More Work On Visual Memoirs

Goal: Making progress on our visual memoirs.

Example of a digital story
Work on Visual Memoirs

Example of a digital story: This example uses pictures and voice over to tell the story of his family trip. It covers a longer span of time than most of your memoirs, but remember what we are looking at here is the way the author uses words and images together.

Basic Option: 

  • Split your time today. Spend half your work time adding images to your slides and the other half of your work time adding text to your script below your slides. I'll help you time yourselves. 
  • Remember to use for your images
  • PS If you were absent yesterday you need to scroll down and read yesterday's post. 
  • Want to see how we will grade these? Check out the RUBRIC

Advanced Option:

  • If you plan to present your memoir to the class please see me today to agree on your presentation date next week. (Your slides are still due Monday 10/19.
  • If you are interested in screencasting your memoir you might want to use 
  • If you want to use other screencasting tools then you can still upload to youtube and email me a link to your finished video. 
  • READ: Tomorrow we begin working on book reviews, so you need to finish reading your second book if you have not already. 
  • Call in your memoir if you haven't already. It is still worth 8 points if you call by 9pm tonight. 
  • Grading period ends this Friday. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Visual Memoirs Projects

Goal: Creating visual memoirs of our memoirs. Yeah, it's going to be fun.

Visual Memoirs Project
Preview the rest of this week

Visual Memoirs Project- Basic: 

  • I sent you a new slide deck. (Look in "Shared with me")
  • Use this deck as a template for creating your own visual memoir. 
  • You will probably need to add more slides.  
  • Write a script for your memoir in the slide notes. (The space below the slides.) NOTE: Your script should not be your full memoir. You will need to cut it down.
  • Use only copyright free images, pictures you took or things from
  • Grades for this basic project will range from 0-85%.
  • Due Monday 10/19/15

Visual Memoirs Project- Advanced:
  • Create the slide deck described above and the abbreviated script of your memoir in the slide notes. 
  • Screen record the slides while narrating using your script from the slide notes. 
  • You are welcome to edit, add music and visual effects as needed, but do not detract from the message of your memoir. 
  • Your video must be between 2-5 minutes. 
  • Upload your video to YouTube and share the link with your teacher via email. 
  • Grades for advanced projects will range from 0-100%.
  • Due Tuesday 10/20/15

In Class Presentation - Advanced:
  • Prepare the same slide deck described above.
  • Let your teacher know that you would like to present your memoir in class.
  • Print out and/or memorize your abbreviated memoir script.
  • Practice presenting your slides and script to friends or family.
  • Present your slides and speak your script in class.
  • Grades for advanced projects will range from 0-100%.
  • Presentation dates will vary but slides must be complete by Monday 10/19/15.