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.