Thursday, December 10, 2009

AGENDA 12/10

Introductory Activity: Success

Silently and individually complete the pre-ranking sheet and number the individuals on the sheet from 1-7, with 1 being "most successful" and 7 being "least successful."

Get into groups of 4-5 and arrange desks contiguously. Then, take turns reading aloud the short bios of the successful people on the various colored slips. Next, as a group, rank the individuals from 1-7 in terms of how successful you think they are now that you have more information. Discuss your thinking as a group and be prepared to report out for your group.

When your group has sorted the individual bios, send a representative up to the board to tape them up in order along the continuum of success.

Using the Bag of Destiny, we will call on people to share out various aspects of the group's thinking: Who is most successful? Least successful? How should we define success? Which people were hard to sort? What made some people fall in the rankings?

Exit Slip: flip initial ranking sheet over and answer the following questions:
1) What are your views of success after the group activity?
2) How did the activity change your initial opinions?
3) What does this activity suggest about individual versus societal views of success?

Turn in exit slip.

HW: Continue to work on research paper. Final draft due by 12/17!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Vocabulary Quiz over The Crucible words Acts I-IV

HW: Continue to work on research paper! Final draft due by 12/17.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Grammar Practice: Pronoun Ambiguity #2

How to Build a Monster Body Paragraph (synthesize evidence from multiple sources in one big body paragraph, in support of one claim)

Black Monster Body Paragraph graphic organizer

HW: Complete Two-Fer Tuesday vocabulary handout in preparation for tomorrow's quiz. Continue to work on research paper by writing a "monster" body paragraph, due tomorrow. Final draft of research paper due 12/17!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Computer Lab work day

Students may type up introductions or body paragraphs or counterarguments from their graphic organizers, may create their Works Cited Lists, or may revise existing paragraphs to make them more clear or more well-developed.

HW: Continue to work on research papers! Final drafts due 12/17. Study for Wednesday's vocabulary quiz over The Crucible Acts I and II and III and IV.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Work Day - prepare for computer lab tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Grammar Practice - Pronoun Consistency #2
Handling counterarguments:

1) Refute - to disagree entirely
2) Concede - to yield or admit a point, but maintain your ground
3) Qualify - to limit and describe the circumstances under which each side is true

Blank counterargument graphic organizer and sample graphic organizer and counterargument paragraph

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AGENDA 11/25

Essentials of a synthesis body paragraph graphic organizer - use it if it helps you
Sample synthesis body paragraph

HW: Complete two graphic organizers for Tuesday, 12/1.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AGENDA 11/24

Perform Reader's Theater Scenes from Act IV

Monday, November 23, 2009

AGENDA 11/23


Prepare for Act IV Reader's Theater scenes - perform tomorrow.

HW: Gather any necessary props, review lines for tomorrow's performances.

Friday, November 20, 2009

AGENDA 11/20

Seminar on The Crucible, Act III - Fishbowl style. Groups selected by Bag of Destiny. Group #1 tackles odd-numbered questions; Group #2 tackles even-numbered questions. At end of period, submit discussion half-sheet (notes and self-evaluation) stapled to seminar prep.

HW: Last chance for source packets on Monday! Read Act IV of The Crucible.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

AGENDA 11/19

Computer Lab - T110 - Work Day!

Work on typing up your introduction and two body paragraphs (due tomorrow for a progress check - 15 points total, 5 per paragraph!).
Click here for completed sample body paragraph graphic organizer and SAMPLE BODY PARAGRAPH
Finish source packet, if needed. Remember to include 3+ annotations on each source (not just highlighting! You must write comments, questions, connections, reactions, or thoughts!) except for the experience source, which requires a reflection.

HW: LAST CHANCE FOR SOURCE PACKETS: DUE MONDAY 11/23! DUE FRIDAY: Seminar Preparation (3 quotations from Act III of The Crucible, corresponding to 3 of the seminar questions) and typed introduction and two body paragraphs of your research paper.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AGENDA 11/18

Introduce new vocabulary from Acts III and IV of The Crucible
Seminar preparation for The Crucible, Act III: Complete for seminar on Friday!
Independent Work Time: Thesis statement, introductions, body paragraphs

TOMORROW: Computer lab to type up introductions and two body paragraphs (due at beginning of class on Friday). If time permits, you may finish your source packets.

HW: LAST CHANCE FOR SOURCE PACKETS: DUE MONDAY 11/23! DUE FRIDAY: Seminar Preparation (3 quotations from Act III of The Crucible, corresponding to 3 of the seminar questions) and typed introduction and two body paragraphs of your research paper.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

AGENDA 11/17

Vocabulary Quiz
Work on building body paragraphs
Handout: Essentials of Synthesis Body Paragraphs

HW: Finish compiling and annotating your source packets! Last chance 11/23.

Friday, November 13, 2009

AGENDA 11/13

Writing Complex Thesis Statements

HW: Finish compiling and annotating your source packets! Study for vocabulary quiz over words from The Crucible and from our What's Right and Wrong with America units. Quiz on Monday. Read Act III of The Crucible.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

AGENDA 11/12

Researched Argument Papers: Introductions


HW: Finish source packets. Study for vocabulary quiz and complete vocab practice sheet (Due Monday). Continue to read The Crucible.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AGENDA 11/11


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AGENDA 11/10

Work on Formulating a Thesis handout
Complete vocabulary practice in preparation for Monday's quiz

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AGENDA 10/21

The Crucible Character Sketches:
make a poster for two characters (either literal or symbolic images) to help us visualize characters during Reader's Theater performances

Friday, October 16, 2009

AGENDA 10/16

Grammar Practice: Semicolon Use #4
Highlight reading logs & take home for parent's/guardian's signature
Debrief The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street
Begin Guided Reading of The Crucible


HW: Get independent reading log signed and continue independent reading. Read The Crucible pages 6-32 for WEDNESDAY, 10/21.

Monday, October 12, 2009

AGENDA 10/12

Vocabulary Quiz!

trip to textbook room to pick up copies of The Crucible
introductory notes on The Crucible

HW: Read independent book.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Grammar Practice: Semicolons #2
Link to handout for semicolon use
Check Seminar Entrance Ticket
Highlight reading log & get parent's/guardian's signature over the weekend
Seminar: Fear, Freedom, and Safety in America
Articles: "Living in Fear and Paying a High Cost in Heart Risk" and "Collecting of Details on Travelers Documented"
Complete and submit discussion self-evaluation/exit slip after discussion
LAST CHANCE to submit "I Am America" poem or vocabulary flashcards

HW: Study for vocabulary quiz on Monday, 10/12
Get reading log signed by parent/guardian

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Work on "I Am America" Poems

HW: Finish "I Am America" Poems. Study vocabulary.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Finish introducing new vocabulary words

Group activity: continue listing -- What is Right with the U.S.A.?
Begin reading "What Really Ails America," "What's Right with America? Plenty" and "What's Right with America"

HW: Vocabulary flashcards due tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Grammar Practice: Verbs #3
Review parallel structure and verb tense--and introduce subject-verb agreement.

Group activity: begin listing -- What is Right with the U.S.A.?

HW: Continue to work on making vocabulary flashcards - due Thursday!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Turn in summer free choice book essays
Introduce new vocabulary
Group exercise: list what's wrong with the U.S.A.

HW: Begin work on vocabulary flashcards (check on Thursday). Create a list of 10 things that are RIGHT with America.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Grammar Practice #2: Parallelism and Verb Tense
Foldable Notes - discuss in groups what makes for good introductions, body paragraphs, conclusions, grammar & vocabulary for essays. Share strategies and tips.

Review SAT Scoring Guide, Practice Baseline Essay Prompt, and sample SAT essays

HW: Summer free choice book essay due on Monday. Baseline essay tomorrow--bring blue or black ink pens, notebook paper, and any resources, handouts, or texts you'd like to use on your essay.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Debrief Monday's seminar and Tuesday's guest speaker presentations
Distribute and explain summer free choice book assignment
Sample #1: Nonfiction (and 2 books); Sample #2: Fiction (1 book)

HW: Summer free choice book assignment due on Monday, September 21. Begin bringing The Grapes of Wrath on Monday.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Guest speaker - presentation in the library

Monday, September 14, 2009

Materials checks--ongoing all week
Review seminar norms and grading guidelines
Seminar on "Rethinking 'Retarded': Should it Leave the Lexicon?", "Overview of Autism," and "Fitting in and Speaking Out: Me and Asperger's Syndrome."

Turn in your 100-300 word response to "Rethinking 'Retarded': Should it Leave the Lexicon?" , stapled to your 1/2 sheet of notes from today's discussion.

HW: None! Guest speaker presentation in the library tomorrow. Seminars will continue on Wednesday if needed. Baseline essay on Friday.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Grammar Practice #1: Parallelism Errors
According to Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab): Parallel structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at the word, phrase, or clause level. The usual way to join parallel structures is with the use of coordinating conjunctions such as "and" or "or."

Get more help here:

Discuss Seminar Expectations and Grading

Name Activity #2: Motion Game
Directions: Get in a group of 6. Stand in a circle. The first person says his/her name and creates a physical motion to accompany his/her name (snapping fingers, clapping hands, running in place, etc.). The second person repeats the first person's information, then adds his/her own. This continues around the circle.

HW: Read "Rethinking 'Retarded': Should it Leave the Lexicon?" and write a 100-300 word response: Should the word "retarded" be treated the same as hate speech and racial slurs? Should it be "bleeped" from music, movies, and TV? Bring this article and yesterday's articles to class with your preparation for Monday's discussion.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Seating Chart
Syllabus Q&A
Names Activity #1: Group members stand in a circle. First person introduces self with an accurate, alliterative statement. Second person repeats first person's information, then adds own. This continues around the group.

1st person: I'm Sandra and I like to swim.
2nd person: This is Sandra and she likes to swim. I'm Jennifer and I like my toast with jam.
3rd person: This is Sandra and she likes to swim. That's Jennifer and she likes her toast with jam. I'm Paul and I'm playful and persistent.

HW: Read "Overview of Autism" and "Fitting in and Speaking Out: Me and Asperger's Syndrome." For each article, highlight one or more significant quotations, write one comment, and one question. Seminar on Monday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009



Please complete the First Day Student Information Form
Introductory powerpoint
Distribute course syllabus, parent letter, and classroom rules and procedures
Collect "first feedback"

HW: Review abridged syllabus and generate one or more questions for class tomorrow. Bring your copy of the curious incident of the dog in the night-time if you have one.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I'm excited to begin teaching this course (and building the corresponding website!) this year. Check here for daily agendas, homework assignments, handouts from class, helpful links, and other information. Let's have a terrific year together!