Monthly Archives: February 2014

February 27, 2014

Today we looked closely at what is probably the most famous scene from TGC – when Rex gives Jeannette a star (or, more accurately, a planet) for Christmas. Students practiced AP-style multiple choice questions and STAAR-style short answer responses (mini-essay questions).

Then we went to the library! I told you all that I would not give you a reading guide to do over the weekend if you would read something other than TGC – preferably, a book you really love. So I hope everyone was able to find their book soulmate in the library today! 🙂

Here is the reading guide for tonight:

TGC Reading Guide – 61-80

February 26, 2014

Today we started class by looking at a passage from TGC about Rex Walls, Jeannette’s father. Students answered AP-style questions about the passage and practiced a short answer response about whether Rex is a good father.

Next, we talked about the subjunctive mood. Here is that PowerPoint, along with instructions for writing vocabulary sentences (due on Monday):

Subjunctive Mood

And here are two examples of the subjunctive from musical theater!

Tonight’s homework is the next reading guide:

TGC Reading Guide – 41-61


February 25, 2014

We had a very busy day today!

Students turned in reading guides and collages. Then, we talked about a passage from TGC (the prologue) – if you were not here, you will not need to make that up. We discussed some of the other issues that pop up in the beginning of the memoir, particularly how Jeanette’s parents care for their children. We also discussed the vocabulary from our list for this week.

Homework for tonight is the next reading guide:

TGC Reading Guide – 19-41

February 21, 2014

Hopefully everything went well today! The other freshman English teachers and I had a productive day working on STAAR writing training, and it looked like the substitute left good notes for all of the classes.

A few reminders:

  • You have your In Cold Blood test on Monday.
  • Collages are due on Tuesday.
  • You need to have your copy of The Glass Castle on Tuesday.

Have a good weekend, students! 🙂

February 20, 2014

Today we had our last reading guide for In Cold Blood!

Reading Guide – Pages 310-343

I told you guys about the test we’re having on Monday – here’s that study guide:

In Cold Blood Exam Study Guide

Be familiar with…

  • the major characters, and their roles in the book.
  • the timeline of the murders.
  • the nature of Perry and Dick’s relationship.
  • Dick and Perry’s backgrounds.
  • Dick and Perry’s actions prior to and after the murders.
  • the major steps in the investigation, prosecution, and execution of Dick and Perry.
  • the effects of the murders on the community of Holcomb.
  • Capote’s writing style (narration, literary devices).

Be able to…

  • analyze passages from the book for subtle insights into characters, conflict, and action.
  • make thematic comparisons between In Cold Blood and other literary works.
  • use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words.
  • understand the meaning of vocabulary words from the ICB – Section 3 list.

I also gave you guys a practice set of a reading passage and questions, similar to what you’re going to see on the test. Come get a copy from me if you weren’t there, since I don’t have an electronic version.

We started a digital collage project on the death penalty, as it relates to ICB. Here are those instructions:

ICB – Writing Apprenticeship 3 – Collage

That project is due on Tuesday. You will have all of tomorrow to work on it.

As a reminder, I’ll be at a training with the other freshman English teachers tomorrow. Please help one another out with technology-related questions. I know you’ll get lots of great work done!


February 19, 2014

Today we talked about our last set of vocabulary word from ICB (see the list in the vocabulary section). We also discussed active and passive voice. Here’s that PowerPoint, with the instructions for how to write your sentences (which are due – in paper copy form – on Monday):

Active and Passive Voice

Here’s a link to some resources that explain more about active and passive voice, if you need some help.

I also told you that we will have a test over ICB on Monday – I’ll give you the study guide in class tomorrow.

Please make sure to bring your laptops to class on Thursday and Friday – we will need tem for a project.

Help, please

If you can contact them without waking them up, would someone be willing to ask Panos and Benjamin from fourth period to come see me either before first period starts tomorrow, or right at the beginning of it? They’re both in really big trouble. (Not really – I need to ask them if they would be willing to help with a lesson. But you can tell them that I say that they’re in trouble – tell them I found out about the squirrel that they put in my desk, and let’s just say I can still write them a detention even with a missing finger.)

February 17, 2014

Today we took our vocabulary quiz – if you were absent, please come make it up on Friday during lunch.

Homework for tonight is the next reading guide for ICB:

Reading Guide – Pages 189-217

I am finishing grades up today and tomorrow. I promise, I will not forget to add your extra credit/redemption assignments if you did them (so please hold off on asking! when I get students lined up at my door wondering if I am going to remember to add that in, it slows the entire grading process down).