Friday, January 30, 2015

Probable Passage

Goal: Review and sort words from an upcoming reading to make predictions about the text.

1. Reading
2. With your partner get this Probable Passage document and use File/Make a copy to get your own version. (One of you make the copy and share it with your partner.)
3. Sort the words into the plot profile categories and then use those words to write a prediction for the story we will read on Monday.

Homework: Read, really read a lot. You need to read and review two books of your choice this grading period. Less than 5 weeks left. If you don't like your book ask for help picking a better one.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Even More Poems

CC Photo by: Lew (tomswift) Holzman
Goals: Using what we learned about SIFT to write about a poem, including figurative language and theme.

1. Read
2. Listening Expectations
3. Share out about the poem you read yesterday. Hint: pull up the SIFT doc that your group worked on.

4. With your partner visit and find a poem that interests you.
5. Write an entry in your English Journal. Use the bullets below to help you.

  • Describe the poem you found and why you like it. 
  • Explain how using SIFT takes you deeper into what the poem means. Use a line from the poem with your explanation. (cite evidence)
  • Compare the poem you found to the one you read with your group yesterday. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Practice With Some Poetry

Photo by: Jen Roberts
We begin with books as always.

Today you will be getting more practice SIFTing poems with a small group. Use the links below to help you.

You can make a copy of the SIFT organizer that you already have in your drive or get a blank copy here. 

Poems for Groups
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6

  • Complete the organizer ALL the way through writing the paragraph at the bottom.
  • You can have one shared organizer for your group or you can each make your own.
  • Tomorrow you will present this poem to a different group. Be prepared to explain your analysis. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday: Article of the Week

Mrs. Roberts is at an all-day meeting today. You still have a lot of work to do. 

1. Read at the bell
3. Write a brief summary of the article in your English Journal. 
4. Answer these questions in your English Journal: How does the article fit with what you already knew about early American civilizations? What does the article add to your understanding of America before the year 1000 AD? 
5. The article has a quiz. You are welcome to take it for practice. 
6. Finished? Look around on for another article that interests you (self driving cars anyone?) or read your independent reading book. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Welcome to Second Semester

Happy Monday everyone,

I know you are very sad Ms. Black won't be your teacher anymore. The good news is that you get me, and really we are a lot alike, which is why we had so much fun working together last semester. I am going to miss having her in class with us too.

New Unit: Comparative Analysis
We are kicking off the new semester with a new unit. Comparative analysis means looking closely at two things and comparing how they work. We will start with some poetry, then some short stories and finally even compare what an author does with a story to what a director does with a film.

1. Lets read, be sure you have a book.

We are going to look at some techniques for reading poetry this week.

2. Read this poem A Barred Owl by Richard Wilbur. Read it a few times until you are comfortable with the literal meaning of the poem.

3. Let's look at this prezi about poetry analysis together.

4. Use this document to organize your thinking about the poem. It is view only, make a copy for yourself to edit. You do not need to share it with me.
5. Be sure to complete the paragraph at the end of the doc AND paste it into your English Journal.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

First Semester Final

CLICK HERE FOR THE FINAL. (Ms. Black will give you the password.)

Ms. Black will give you paper copies of the readings you will need for the final.

Good luck.
Come visit me in room 462 next semester.
(All of you.)
(Preferably not all at once.)
(But that would be okay, too.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Final Preparations

Let's read!

Today we make sure everyone is prepared for the end of the semester (i.e. your final).

You need:

  • A tab for this blog
  • A tab for your English Journal
  • Enthusiasm! (Trust me, the world is a much simpler place if you muster up a bit of enthusiasm about it. These are my parting words of wisdom.)
Today you will:
  1. Take a look through the blog posts from this semester. You should definitely go all the way back to September. (In fact, you should probably start there.)
  2. In your English Journal, make a list of all of the key terms and concepts we have studied.
  3. Choose five or six that you personally need to review, and create an example that demonstrates each concept after you have reviewed the material
  4. Work alone or with a partner. You can help each other fill in missing links.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Article of the Week #9

Reflection on a Hub Cap.
Kool Cats Photography
Reflecting on Your Writing Process
Now that you have completed your letter, copy and paste these questions beneath your letter. Take a few minutes to respond to them. Once you are done, you may move on to the AOW below.
  1. What do you think are the strengths of your letter to James McBride?
  2. What aspects of your letter, if any, could be stronger?
  3. Which class activities helped you the most in writing your final letter?
Article of the Week #9
  • Write this in your English Journal.
  • Your AOW is in your binder in Newsela. It's about Charlie Hebdo.
  • Read the article and respond in your English Journal by writing two paragraphs: one to summarize, and one to respond with thoughts on the issue.
  • Class code: NIIJN

Don't forget!
  • Call in your McBride response letter before 9pm tonight!
  • Make sure your English Journal is up to date! Check the blog on the days that you're missing to find the assignments you should have.
  • Bring us your NaNoWriMo book for extra credit!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Finishing up our McBride Letters

We have a number of things to do and talk about today. Make sure you read through this carefully.

Goal #1: Peer Review
  • Review your partner's letter for areas of strength and areas that need improvement.
  • Work to improve areas that need it. (Work together or separately)
Goal #2: Finalize your letter
  • Response letter to McBride is due BEFORE you come to class tomorrow
  • Finish it before you come to school tomorrow.

Goal #3: Calling in your response letter:
  • You must call in your letter.
  • Use the number posted in the classroom or use the "Call Me" button on this blog. 
  • Read your letter to the voicemail.
  • Practice before you call.
  • Due by 9:00 PM Friday 1/16 for full credit
  • (This is the easiest grade to get all semester, people. Make it happen.)
Important things to know:
  • Your English journals will get graded sometime next week. Make sure they're up to date.
  • A study guide for the final can be found here. I will also give you a paper copy.
  • NaNoWriMo regrade requests will not be accepted after tomorrow.
  • Don't forget to bring us a copy of your published NaNoWriMo novel for extra credit! (You'll need to bring it before the final for it to count for this semester.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Response to McBride, Part II

We'll read when the bell rings.

Goal #1: Independent Reading/Book Reviews
Your book reviews are due today! Go to the "Independent Reading/Book Reviews" tab at the top of this page to find the form you will need to fill out.

In another tab, you'll need to open your reviews in Goodreads to get the URL links.

Goal #2: Working on your McBride response letter
Yesterday you began composing your letter to Mr. McBride in regards to his article, "Hip Hop Planet," by summarizing his main points. Today we're going to focus on the second half of your letter in which you share your thoughts and opinions about his argument.

Response to McBride

Return to your normal seats.
Please make sure you get a book and your homework out.
DON'T FORGET: Two book reviews are due tomorrow. They should be posted in Goodreads.

We have been reading and analyzing James McBride's Hip Hop Planet; now it is time to write about it more formally. Today we will work on the first part, the summary. Tomorrow we will work on the response portion.
I've sent you a document to write your assignment. Look for it in your "Shared with Me" or "Incoming" section.

Assignment:  Summarizing and Responding in a Letter to James McBride

  • Now that you have considered the topic of hip hop and its global influence, you will write a summary and response in the format of a letter.
  • Your task is to compose a letter to James McBride with the purpose of letting him know what you think about the claims he makes about the importance and power of hip hop in his essay.
  • The first portion of the letter will be a summary where you show McBride that you understand the main points of his essay. The second portion of your letter will be a thoughtful and formal response to his ideas.

It might be helpful to review what you did with SOAPSTone last week. Find those responses HERE.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Charting the Text

Alright, so we're not done with James McBride's article yet. Every time you read it, there is more to be found and understood and expanded upon. All of these activities will help you with the writing assignment you're going to get.

Today we're going to focus on how McBride has structured the text. I will give you a sheet in class (paper?!?!) to guide your analysis. It is due before the end of class today.
(If you are absent, email me and I will send you this to complete at home.)

Homework: Stylistic Analysis. Tonight you will look closely at the word choices McBride makes in his essay. (If you are absent email me and I will send you this to complete at home.)

Important Dates:
  • Wednesday, January 14
    • TWO book reviews due on Goodreads.
    • I will ask you to give me your links in class. You will not have time to write them in class. 
    • Click on the "Independent Reading/Book Reviews" tab at the top of the page for more information.
  • Friday, January 16
    • If you want to ask for a regrade on your NaNoWriMo document, you must send me and email by Friday.
    • Click on the "NaNoWriMo Scoring" tab at the top of the page for more information.

Friday, January 9, 2015


Now that we've spent some time digging deeper into McBride's argument, we're going to continue exploring different aspects of nonfiction writing that help us decipher its meaning.

Today you're going to work with a partner to complete a form called SOAPSTone.

Important Dates to remember:
  • Wednesday, January 14
    • TWO book reviews due on Goodreads.
    • I will ask you to give me your links in class. You will not have time to write them in class.
  • Friday, January 16
    • If you want to ask for a regrade on your NaNoWriMo document, you must send me and email by this day.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Closer Look

Reading first!

Now that you've read James McBride's complete article, we're going to spend some time today focusing on just a few paragraphs, specifically the last two paragraphs.

All you need right now is to get your article open.

Today's English Journal Entry:

Respond to the following questions in your English Journal.

   1. What is McBride’s purpose for writing this article?
   2.  Do you agree with his argument? Why or why not?

If you were absent:

Today we spent some time looking very closely at the last two paragraphs of the article.
Find some people that can share their learning from today, and ask them to look through the paragraph with you. You're still responsible for the English Journal entry from today.
(Hint: McBride did not write this article to tell us that he didn't like hip hop before, but now he does.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Let's Read: Hip Hop Planet

Yesterday you previewed James McBride's article "Hip Hop Planet." Today you will work to read through the whole article.

While you read you will use the "Say Something" strategy.
Stop after each paragraph (or two) and discuss what you read with your partner. Take turns going first in the conversation.
If you can't talk about what you just read...READ it again.

As a reminder, you can find the article in your "Shared with me" or your "Incoming" folder.

Also: If you would like to ask for a regrade of your NaNoWriMo Summary Document, you must email me by Friday, January 16. Check out the tab at the top of the page that says "NaNoWriMo Scoring" for essential information about this process.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hip Hop Planet Pre Reading

Hip Hop Prereading

In your shared folder in Google Drive, you will find a document with your name called "Reading: Hip Hop Planet." You own it. You do NOT have to make a copy.

Today you will be previewing the article we'll be using over the next two weeks. You do not need to read the whole article today! With a partner, you will work through this Google Form. Together, read and follow the directions. You'll both need to contribute to the completion of this form. It will help you immensely when we read the whole article.

If you are absent, you'll need to work through the form on your own. Indicate that you were absent in the space for Partner 2's name.

NaNoWriMo Summary Document Reflection

Open your NaNoWriMo Summary Document and your English Journal.
After looking at the rubric scores given, answer the following questions in your English Journal:
  1. How do the teacher’s scores compare the scores you gave yourself?
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses with narrative writing?
  3. Do you want to revise your work to improve your score? What would you change?

If you would like to ask for a regrade of your NaNoWriMo Summary Document, you must email me by Friday, January 16. Check out the tab at the top of the page that says "NaNoWriMo Scoring" for essential information about this process.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Welcome Back!

Welcome back! 
Happy New Year!

We're going to read for the first ten minutes.

You also need to open Socrative and join room 504326.

Today we're going to talk about what we know (or don't know) about hip hop.

In your English Journal:

Reflect and respond to the following prompt:

  • What influence does hip hop have in our society or in our world?
  • What is its message?
  • Is it just music or something more?

Respond to these questions with examples from your own experience and observations.

If you would like to watch a short 10 minute video on the history of hip hop culture so you better understand what we will be looking at this week, you can find it here. (We're not watching it in class.)