Saturday, February 28, 2009

Think WHY

As you draft your essay, please thoroughly answer WHY each of the defining characteristics you have chosen best represent who you are...right this very moment.

Your papers must go beyond just describing these qualities.

Consider this paragraph:

When determining the trait that most describes me, I can settle on no other adjective than busy. No less than five people have thrown this word at me this week when referring to my life. For instance, my husband, just a few hours ago, said this to me when discussing my schedule for today: decorate for a church banquet, watch my daughter cheer at a ballgame, shop for food for the banquet, attend the Polar Bear Plunge, begin cooking for the banquet....and then he asked that question, THE question: Why do you over-extend yourself?

So far this paragraph has been descriptive...right? Describing a day in my life...a busy day.

Now to complete the assignment, I must answer the WHY. Here goes...go with me on a trip into my psyche:

The answer? 1) I enjoy being involved, working with others, helping others...or is the answer... 2) maybe I am just a little bit of a control freak?! Oh, no! I do not even like typing that word, even thinking about that concept, evening contemplating the negative aspect of that answer. Uhmmm, so far this journey is not turning out too pleasant; maybe I better put that proverbial mask back on! Let me quickly go, then, to my next trait that makes me who I am. Journey with me...

See how this last part begins to tap into the WHY?

In essence, you are answering...
WHY are you WHO you ARE?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You Wear the Mask?

For Friday, Feb. 27, please have your outlines/graphic organizers completed for your latest essay assignment.

I have updated the Utopia thematic unit on the class wiki. Also located there is a template for the cover page for the first essay assignment for this unit.

I will be adding much more information there! Please check the class wiki should you miss class or misplace a handout or an assignment.

Take advantage of this time to complete your out-of-class reads. Blog post book review #2 is due on Monday...unless you are reading a novel that counts as more than one. Please let me know if you are.

Next week, we will read Anthem by Ayn Rand and begin an essay for a national contest using this novel as our mentor text.

Happy reading...and writing!

Thanks for the Interest

Special thanks to those of you who expressed an interest in National History Day! I really do appreciate you!

Taylor H. will compete as my sophomore representative...he has chosen his topic, an interesting one, I might add.

Thanks again!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Opportunity Awaits You

Would you like to enter a research paper in the National History Day competition?

I have two of which is already taken!

I need to know on Monday if you are interested in this opportunity to compete both at the state and national levels...yes, this might mean a trip to Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC!

Interested? Check out the National History Day website.

What is due Monday (Feb. 23) if you choose to compete? Your selected "Individual in History" and the title of your paper. The paper itself IS NOT due until March 9.

Should you choose to partake of this awesome opportunity, you and I will work closely to draft and edit/revise this paper for competition. In addition, I will allow your substituting this work in place of several of the assignments the rest of your classmates will complete between now and March 9...for example, the novelette.

Be thinking...and deciding...and then let me know!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Good luck, Taylor!

My wishes for you:
  1. Enjoy Texas!
  2. Keep writing!
  3. Learn more!
  4. Stay true to yourself!

Keep in touch...that's right...our blogs remain an open airwave of communication with you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

AP Recommendations

Advanced Placement has a list of recommended reads at "101 Great Books: Recommended for College-Bound Readers."

Listed alphabetically by author's last name, this list might be a great place to check out before selecting your out-of-class classic read for this semester.

Keep reading!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Updated Your Blog?

Just a quick reminder...the following blog posts are due!
  1. Taking a Stand thematic unit (most of you have posted this one!)
  2. Book reviews of Antigone, Call of the Wild, and an "out-of-class" read (unless your novel counts as multiple books).

By the way, the posts I have read? Great content! Good work!

As a side note...great job to the quartet of cheerleaders on Saturday! You make us proud...Caitlin, Katherine, Norma, and Roxanne!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Synthesize, Part 2

As you ponder on what evidence to include within your synthesis essay, consider the instances in which Buck took a stand...against and for man and beast alike. What were the outcomes of this stance? Yes...who had to die? What was gained? What was lost?

Then consider times in which Jack London took a stand (oops...sorry, Samuel. Just realized that I called the author Fitzgerald!) May have to infer (draw conclusions), for no man or woman is as successful as he was without having taken a stand.

Now, the poem...just think about the me that almost says it all!

  • Embed quotes. To check your use of quotes, remember to "read the sentence out loud." Can you "hear" where the quote begins or ends? No? Then you have done an outstanding job embedding quotes!
  • Refer to your sources as Source A, B, or C.

Tomorrow, we will read your essays...time to edit and revise.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Synthesize

First, thanks for your input in class today. I appreciated the discussion!

As you complete Call of the Wild, please ponder on the claim/thesis for your assigned synthesis essay.

  1. For Monday, finish reading Call of the Wild and decide your thesis for the synthesis essay.
  2. For Wednesday, draft your essay being sure to embed quotes and use participial phrases. Test over Call of the Wild.
  3. For Friday, finalize your essay.

Help! I forgot to have 3B vote on nominees for class officer and class favorites. Please remind me to do this on Monday!

I also posted a "Recommended 101 Great Reads" by AP Central on the side bar of our class wiki. You might check this out before selecting your out-of-class classical read.

Have a nice weekend!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ready to Review

Completed a novel for your "out-of-class" read? Now ready to write a book review?

Please click here to access the rubric for your book reviews.

Remember you may want to check out some sites and peruse some book reviews.
  1. Mrs. Gillmore's Book Reviews
  2. New York Times Book Reviews
  3. USA Today ~ Young Adult Novels : These are too short but a good place to check out some of the newest novels.

What have your read lately?

I am reading Inkheart. So far? I definitely recommend this one!

Word by Word...Analyze Style

Please join me in congratulating NaTanya upon winning first place in English at the Arkansas State Beta Club Convention! Orlando, here we come! Wow!

Not turn in your analyisis of President Obama's speech? Please bring to class on Tuesday!

Your assignment is to read the first four chapters of The Call of the Wild and analyze Jack London's writing style utilizing five sentences of various lengths. Click here for the graphic organizer I had hoped to have prepared for you...just got electricity back last night! (I do hope you all have electricty now!)

Below are three sample sentences (source: The Literature Network):

"Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland."
  • Complex sentence
  • Two adverb subordinate clauses
  • One participial phrase = subject-verb split
"His father, Elmo, a huge St. Bernard, had been the Judge's inseparable companion, and Buck bid fair to follow in the way of his father."

  • Compound sentence
  • Two appostive phrases (note punctuation)
  • Infinitive phrase
Note London's use of participials within the next sentence:

"Straight at the man he launched his one hundred and forty pounds of fury, surcharged with the pent passion of two days and nights."

  • Here he uses the participial phrases as a sentence opener and a sentence closing.
  • What type of sentence is this one?
Please plan to continue using participial phrases to add vivid content to your sentences. Notice how much more detail this sentence conveys because of the author's purposeful use of participial phrases?

Enjoy reading novels online? Forget your novel at school or at home? You may access Call of the Wild by clicking here.