Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
- Thursday: All "A" classes
- Friday: All "B" classes
Also due on your test day for our class is...
- Your Julius Caesar essay
- Your Writer's Notebook
Reminder: Blogs are due!
I hope you have enjoyed your break...before the Christmas Break!
See you on Thursday!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
If you are a Harry Potter fan, please see me to check out a copy!
- Graduate course project: completed! Turned in! Did I mention my project is finished?
- Graded one of your tests!
- Have begun creating your semester review.
- Created the rubric for your essay.
- Complete yearbook Deadline 2 and Deadline 3.
- Complete, proof, and print hardcopy of first newspaper.
- Prepare and decorate for a church Christmas party.
- Shop for Christmas
- Make Christmas goodies and share with all my young friends. Interested? No, I won't forget the candy canes!
- Back to reality...grade papers.
- Make out exams.
English Class To-Do List:
- Print Julius Caesar test to be admininstered on Friday.
- Print additional rubrics so they will be ready as I grade the Julius Caesear essays due on Tuesday.
- Print phrase test to be administered on Tuesday.
- Create and print a rubric for the the five blogs due on your semester test day.
- Print rubric for grading your Writer's Notebooks due on Tuesday.
- Print review sheets for semester test.
- Purchase candy canes for class reward for not talking! (Yes, that is to 4B!)
- Ready myself for some down-time over Christmas Break so that I will be energized as I synergize with the Pre-AP English 10 classes on January 7.
Let's complete this list and have a Merry Christmas!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Today's plans include
- Write in your Writer's Notebook. You choose the topic.
- Turn in your Seven Habits project.
- Take the Julius Caesar vocabulary test.
- Complete and turn in the Review Packet.
Now go and have a great break!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Good luck to the band as they play splendidly and represent good ol' Batesville High in such a grand fashion!
I will not be attending the game...working on homework! Boo hoo! Have a HUGE project due on Monday. Yes, being a student is stressful!
Drop me a comment and let me know how the game goes. Okay?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
For Wednesday, Nov. 19:
- Test over Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
- 3A: Julius Caesar composition is due also.
- Progress reports due today to the office.
- Happy #4 wedding anniversary to me! I do hope that each of you one day (...more like several years down life's road) have a spouse that you like as much as I like and appreciate mine!
For Friday, Nov. 21:
- Beat Greenwood! Well...not in class, of course!
- Please let me know on Wednesday if not going to be in class on Wednesday. I need to determine if we will continue reading/listening to Julius Caesar...or plan to do something else in class Friday. Maybe time to type your anecdotes?
- Review vocabulary...test on Tuesday!
- Review grammar: prepositions, appositives, and participials.
For Tuesday, Nov. 25:
- Julius Caesar vocabulary test.
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens project due. Should include five anecdotes with at least one literary term used in each. This project should be a minimum of six pages: 1 title/cover page and one page for each anecdote/literary analysis.
- I will not be class on this day. Just found out today that I will be attending a workshop on that date.
Happy Thanksgiving! No homework! Take some time to rest and reflect on why you are who you are...and take time to appreciate who you are, for you are very blessed, intelligent young people.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
- Begin reading Habit 5-6.
- By this Friday afternoon, plan to post your second entry based on this book. This time include at least one bolded appositive and one participial phrase and one vocab word.
- Continue selecting your anecdotes for your project.
- Want to really publish one of your life-experiences? You can! I will show you this week in class where you may submit and how you can win prizes for this!
- We will review this process online utilizing Google Docs with John Keat's poem "A Song About Myself."
- This week, we begin reading and listening to one of Shakepeare's great dramas!
- The project for this unit will be to write a synthesis essay, which means that you will be given two others works from which to read and develop your thesis and evidence. To assist in your writing this essay, you might consider taking notes on content as you read this drama.
- We will be reviewing appositives and participials and then discussing gerunds. Diagram all!
- Click here or click here for two sites on diagramming if you need more examples.
Let's have a great week!
According to Sean Covey, "you have two ears and one mouth." Why does he point this out?
Monday, November 3, 2008
- Grammar pages 30-31 due. Review participials.
- Vocabulary review...should time allow.
- Think! What anecdotes would you like to include in your Seven Habits project? This project is due Wednesday, Nov. 25.
- Guest speaker today! Dr. Paul Hance, our school board president, will join us and give a book talk or two.
Friday, Nov. 7:
- Vocabulary quiz on words 16-30 today!
- Review participals.
- Blog post about Seven Habits is due today. Need to bold at least one appositive phrase.
- Need to have read through Habit 4 (page 162) in Seven Habits.
- Targit Test today! This test is modeled after the test your junior year, which is required by the state of Arkansas.
- Discuss "Ladder of Questions," using "Marigolds" as a model.
- Continue brainstorming about anecdotes to include in your Seven Habits project.
A Look Ahead
Tuesday, Nov. 11:
- Begin reading/listening to Julius Caesar in class.
- Discuss/review gerund phrases.
Thursday, Nov. 13:
- Read/listen to Julius Caesar.
- Discuss/review gerunds.
Friday, Nov. 14:
- Post #2 due on blog about Seven Habits. Need to bold one participal and one gerund phrase within this post.
Hopefully posting these assignments here and on the white board, as well as discussing them in class, will help us all have a win-win plan!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Want to see your writing in print? Click here to access all the published letters. Then click on Arkansas. See Batesville? There you are!
Great job! How does it feel to see your writing another screen besides your own blog?
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Let's dig, let's think, let's climb to a greater understanding of the texts we are about to read.
First, let's give credit where credit is due. The source for this concept is The AP Vertical Teams Guide for English. For the past two summers, I have attended Pre-AP English training, first a two-day workshop and then a five-day workshop this past summer on the campus of ASU, at which this book served as our mentor text.
How will we utilize this within the classroom? First, we will develop questions for each step on the below three-rung ladder about a text that we will read together entitled "Marigolds" by Eugenia Collier.
Three-Rung Ladder of Questioning
- Literal Level
* Address key elements
* Answers found directly in text.
- Interpretive Level
* Motive of author or a character
* Answers found by following patterns and seeing relationships amongst parts of the text.
- Experienced-Based Level
* Link text to prior knowledge, other texts, or experiences
* Answers found by testing the ideas of a text against readers' schema.
Using this poem as our mentor text, your lit circle group will meet online via Google Docs as you share collaboration on a form that I will email the discussion director within your group.
Why are we studying this poem? Yes, to continue our study of our thematic unit Who Am I?
Then what? As we read Julius Caesar, each of you will be required to develop questions for each level for each act of the play. Why? The development of these skills are not intended to just fill sheets of paper and "kill another tree." The reality is this: these skills will greatly enhance your success in your AP courses, your score on your AP exams, which ultimately will result in your being a step-up on the college ladder of success!
This post may also be found at Treasure Chest of Thoughts.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
To Wildfire...we did not begin Julius Caesar...do not read any more of the drama!
Enjoy your weekend...with no homework!
This week has been one full of energy. Have you noticed the extra buzz of excitement in the hallways this week? You should pat yourself on the backs, for you have helped bring that to the hallways of BHS. This is my fourth BHS Homecoming...this has definitely been the best Spirit Week yet...yes, I say, "Yet," for you have two more to go before graduating!
Now let's take some of that energy into next week as we further investigate who you are...as you find that internal "home" that is you.
As you continue to read Sean Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens, share with us something interesting that you have read.
Check out Sean Covey on GoodReads.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
To assist in answering the above questions, this week we continue reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens on your own and begin reading and listening to Julius Caesar in class.
Another question I would like for you to answer for me upon completing Julius Caesar: why did Shakespeare name this play by this title? Why do I ask? Julius Caesar is not the major character.
So many questions. Right?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Then, (probably by pulling names out of a symbolic hat...will actually be a cup) several of you will present your new sci-fi worlds to the class. So be ready!
Remember for your presentation, you will show your setting PowerPoint to help set the scene and then share two other genres with us. Presentations should take 2-4 minutes or so. Okay?
Which genre was your favorite to create? Mine was the introductory paragraph. Maybe this is because my character is based on my daughter. My next favorite was the brochure of other characters, including myself as "Mean Momma." (No comments necessary on the "mean" part! :) )
Share with us...which genre was your favorite?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Here's the plan to get us to the end of this tunnel:
Thursday, Oct. 9:
- Sci-Fi Unit Test
Monday, Oct. 13:
- Sci-Fi Project due (Click here to preview rubric.)
- Present your new world to the class.
- Return parent permission letter and your Letter to the Next President to class on Wednesday.
- Review six parts to a letter.
Wednesday, Oct. 15
- Test on parts of a letter (50%) ~ Letter to the Next President (50%)
- Finalize three blog entries. Post them to your blog.
- Assign novel.
Friday, Oct. 17
- Writer's Notebook due.
I hope you like tunnels, for we are about to go on a new literary adventure!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Our agenda for the next three meeting times looks like this:
Friday, Oct. 3:
- Type on letter (draft due today).
- Type on sci-fi project.
Tuesday, Oct. 7:
- Discuss the two sci-fi poems.
- Review the sci-fi unit.
- Type on project, letter, or blog posts.
Thursday, Oct. 9:
- Sci-Fi Unit Test
- Post letter to Google Docs.
- Sci-Fi Project due.
- No homework! Let's take a break!
Monday, September 29, 2008
- On the grammar page, I added a link further explaining appositives. Remember, this is the type of "add-on" that we discussed in class last week. This is one of the revisions I will be looking for in your sci-fi main character blog post. (Note to 3A...I'll need to take those up on Wednesday.)
- On the main page, I inserted a rubric for the first three blog posts. On the rubric are the criteria for each blog assignment and how the points will be distributed. These three blog posts will be a test grade...due Oct. 15. Then we can check that off our "to-do" list for good!
- On the Sci-Fi Project Page, I uploaded my completed character brochure. Several have asked about minor character descriptors...what makes each of your minor characters unique? Describe those traits. The last phase of this project, the narrative, is due on Wednesday! Remember to include dialogue...enough that I know you understand how to punctuate and indent dialogue properly.
- As a reminder, the rubric for the Letter to the Next President has been on the wiki for some time. Please consider what information you want to present in the body of your letter and have this ready to type when we work in the lab on Friday (or next Tuesday, depending on what we complete in class on Wednesday).
- As you read the two sci-fi poems, just know that you are reading the final genre in this sci-fi unit, just as you are completing the creation of your own sci-fi world.
- I will be scanning your sci-fi characters...maybe some tomorrow after School Day Photos (smile!). Look for that .jpeg in your student file.
- Final thought...are you caught up on your Writer's Notebooks? Remember, they are a test grade each nine weeks. This grading period ends Oct. 17...a little over two weeks away.
Thanks for all you do for this class!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
- Wrote in your Writer's Notebook a description of your world's minor sci-fi characters.
- Punctuated and identified poetic devices within the two songs we listened to in class.
- Handed in your speech draft...unless your speech does not follow this format
- Draft of minor character brochure is due next time.
- Quiz on "There Will Come Soft Rains." Hand out and assigned "The Machine That Won the War."
- Bring to class copy of your sci-fi main character blog with transitions and verbs circled...remember to use "strong, active" verbs. May refer to chart. Also insert some "add-on's"...yes, appositive phrases would be great!
- Reminder: select your presidential candidate and choose an issue and begin researching that issue.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Daily, she forges ahead,
Ahead to the front of the class,
To the front of the class to rescue all damsels.
Rescue, yes, she does.
Yes, to the forefront to conquer,
The forefront of all forth-grade kind,
The kind who struggle to overcome,
To overcome the female race,
A race to show the most affection.
To present trophies of candy and animals
Stuffed with …uh, yuck…stuff!
But back to the journey,
The journey to the defeat of boyfriends,
The defeat of romance.
Romancing the princesses.
Prince or princess?
Both too young.
Today, they remain simply,
Simply forth-grade students.
Students striving to meet benchmarks.
Not benchmarks of love, either!
Thanks to Arkansas’ own version of Hollywood.
With rays of friendship she vanquishes.
Now boys are friends…not boyfriends.
Did you notice the repetition of words from line to line?
You did? Very good!
No? Then, please re-read!
This poem continues the saga of Hollywood, Mrs. Gillmore's heroine in her unique sci-fi world as she "births," (yes, Mike, that term is for you!) as she writes along with her students as they, too, create their new sci-fi worlds.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Here are steps for you to follow...just as promised, Mason!
First, I would recommend that you have your blog open in two screens: one to see these instructions and two to make your changes.
Here we go...
- At the top of your blog, click on either "Customize" or "Dashboard."
- Click on "Settings."
- Click on "Layout."
- Under "Nav" bar...in header...click on edit. Here you can change the title of your blog and add a descriptor. You may also insert your image into your header. See IDK, MY BFF JiLL?! for an example. When finished, select save.
- Next click on "Add a Gadget" (should be on the left or right hand side...depends on which layout you choose). Select the gadgets that you want to display down the sidebar of your blog. Again, select save.
- Under the word layout, select "Fonts and Colors." Have fun and click save to activate changes.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Please remember...I post lesson plans daily on the white board to your left (when sitting at your desk).
I encourage you to check out the class wiki...lots of info there for you!
Hope this helps!
Reminder: Please email me your blog url and blog title.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Go to gmail and click on "My Account." There, you should be able to click on "change password."
Later, when this blog is no longer being used as a class assignment, you may use whatever password you want. Okay?
My apologies if this caused some confusion. As long as I am requiring this for class purposes, I have to be able to access your sites if needed...and only if needed. Trust me...I do not have enough time in my day to spend what little free time that I might have browsing your emails! This is just to remove inappropriate comments.
Also...I had also made the statement that all posts should relate or reflect the work of this class. Well...after reading the letter to the editor on Friday, I have changed my mind. Writing of this calibur should, of course, be posted! Wow! Very good!
Just keep me "posted" or get your post ideas pre-approved if you have any concerns about publishing something not directly related to a class assignment.
Now, let's draft and edit/revise so we can post and make comments!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Then I will paste your info onto the wiki so you can check out each other's blogs.
Reminder...read this for blog topic assignments on which to be pondering.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Isn't that how the story goes? If not, please do not tell this mother any variations to this story's ending!
I look forward to meeting your heros and heroines!
The above is my homework assignment for my new sci-fi world...the world of Hollywood. The assignment? To write a descriptive paragraph about the hero of this unique world. Must also include three "chunks" within the the body of the paragraph.
The sentences are highlighted according to the guidelines in Step up to Writing, an awesome program to which I attribute previous high scores on the End-of-Level Literacy Exam.
May we never forget. For as vivid as our memories are, the memories of those there and of those who lost loved ones have to be that much more vivid.
Tomorrow on 9/11, I will share this story aloud, this story of Suzanne McCabe, an eyewitness account of when our country was attacked.
May we never forget.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Never fear, the teacher is never far away with just the right blog assignment close in hand!
Blog Topic 1:
As you draft your letter to the next President, plan an excerpt or summary of your thoughts to place in a post.
Blog Topic 2:
Using your assigned novel as a basis, either promote or discourage science-fiction as a genre of choice.
Blog Topic 3:
Later when your sci-fi worlds are completed, plan to introduce your blog audience to your main character.
Then as we subscribe to your classmates' blogs, take advantage of your Reader and comment on one or two blogs. Remember through comments comes the confirmation that you are a published writer!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
What do you think the appeal of science fiction is?
Are you a follower of this genre? Yes? No? Why not?
Over the next month, this will be our focus as we take some journeys with H. G. Well's characters and learn about other popular science fiction authors.
In the mean time, some of us will take a trip on that "time machine," while some of us will decide if being invisible provides a cloak of postive attributes.
Here we go...I hope you enjoy the journey!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
As you hand in your metaphorical project, let's begin to ponder whether you will use this metaphor as a theme for your blog or whether you might want to choose another extended metaphor that will digitally represent you. Remember your blog title and user name are a part of your URL, your title; it's your digital "fingerprint." Therefore, choose carefully, thoughtfully.
- Protect your identity. Do not use your name as your blog title/URL. Be cautious about what personal information you reveal throughout our blog. Will a reader be able to connect information and discern your first and last name or where you live or go to school?
- Is your blog visually appealing? Use colors and fonts to enhance...not to distract your readers. Remember these choices, too, are a reflection of who you are. Your public is judging you based on such decisions.
So let me ask again...as we prepare for the 21st Century, digitally, who will you become?
Whoever that might be, remember this: you are unique! Please let your blog represent that quality.
Monday, August 25, 2008
From here, we prepare to enter the digital world as you begin considering a theme for your student blogs. Maybe you will use your writing-style metaphor…or maybe not. I didn’t.
When I created this blog last year, I considered using a duck as part of my theme but then decided to use my last year’s decorating theme. That’s right…pirates! I had just gone to the movie with my family and watched the latest Pirates of the Carribean movie and was inspired! Thus, the Treasure Chest of Thoughts was born (and has since been modified some...just as yours will as you grow as a writer.)
Ducks, sports, starlings, pirates…whatever you choose should reflect the message you want to promote digitally...to the world.
Okay...for a while that world will still be our class, maybe your parents, sometimes just you and me. Still, though, however small our "worlds" may be, we want to be digitally responsible and digitally professional.
Your blog theme is a reflection of you who you are...right now at this point in your life.
The questions is...who are you?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Think about how you feel when you are assigned a paper to write. Now what steps do you take to complete that assignment? Is this a simple process? A trying process? A rewarding process?
Now consider the level of stress a writing assignment places upon you. A lot? Some? None? Why not?
Does writing bring you enjoyment? Pride? Joy? Anxiety?
Now you are beginning to understand your writing style.
May we think metaphorically?
Having considered the process you experience to publish a paper, now think about something to which you might compare this process.
I like to compare my writing style to the story of The Ugly Duckling...it's just not a pretty sight as I draft and scribble and brainstorm my ideas on a piece of notebook paper, but by the time I am ready to submit...well, just maybe, some of my swan-like characteristics are beginning to "feather" out...so to speak.
To what might you compare your writing style? Just a reminder...please choose a metaphor that you know something about! Had I never heard the story of The Ugly Duckling, this metaphor would not have worked for me!
So think...be creative...begin that metaphorical process!
Good luck. I know you can write right!
(This post also published at Pioneers Write.)
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I am hoping now that I'll be home (have been at two student conventions and a committee meeting for about the last ten days) and have more "down time" to work on these projects. (I like projects...always assign a project with each unit that I teach.)
I have taken some small steps into Web 2.0:
- Blogs: Treasure Chest of Thoughts, Spirit of the Pioneer: our school newspaper - online style!
- Wikis: MrsGinfo, Learners4Life (just a contributor here)
- Library Thing
What I am realizing is that just as I quickly filled up my first "blue" classroom and made it mine...that I am even more so going to fill up my Web 2.0 toolbox. The info is out there, the mind and spirit are willing, and summer is providing the time for some personal professional development.