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.