Monthly Archives: February 2015

February 26, 2015

Lots going on today! We began by reviewing your recent performance on the SARs. If you were absent, those sheets are in a folder on the wall. We talked about the Dracula readings from the night before. Next, students read an article and answered multiple choice questions on the historical origins of the vampire myth – if you were absent, this is not something you need to make up. Finally, we talked about subordinate conjunctions and practiced writing vocabulary sentences using them. Homework for tonight was to read chapters 5 and 6 and complete this SAR: Dracula Chapter 5 SAR

I won’t be at school tomorrow due to a doctor’s appointment, so this is what I told you in preparation: Your activity tomorrow will be to write an expository essay about the nature of evil. Evil Essay Prompt (Please be both serious and kind as you think of examples.) You may pre-write tonight. Tomorrow you have all class period to write; you must turn your essay in to the substitute at the end of the period. You must have and highlight five subordinate conjunctions in your essay. You may use your subordinate conjunction page and your laptop (for the dictionary and thesaurus features only – no research during class time) as you write. Homework over the weekend will be to read chapter 7 and 8, complete this SAR about chapter 7 (there will be paper copies at the sign-in sheet tomorrow, but here’s an electronic version – Dracula Chapter 7 SAR), and make sure you are ready for the Dracula List 3 vocabulary quiz on Monday.

I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

February 25, 2015

We began today with a quick recap of how students felt about the first two chapters of Dracula. Then we discussed the Dracula Vocabulary List 3 (quiz on Monday) – see the vocabulary section if you need an electronic list. Finally, students wrote an in-class SAR over chapter 2. Please come in tomorrow during lunch if you missed it.

Homework for tonight is to read (and annotate!) chapters 3 and 4, and complete a SAR for chapter 3 – Dracula Chapter 3 SAR.

February 24, 2015

We did lots in class today! First, we discussed some important background information for understanding Dracula: Dracula Schema Guide. Then we talked about a major essay that you will write as you read the novel: Dracula Critical Essay Assignment Page. Finally, we talked about expectations for writing short answer responses over the next few weeks:Writing a Short Answer Response – Guidelines and Expectations

Homework for tonight (due tomorrow) was to read chapters 1 and 2 of Dracula and complete a SAR for chapter 1: Dracula Chapter 1 SAR

February 23, 2015

Thank you, students, for an excellent mock STAAR session this morning. I was so impressed with how well you behaved and how seriously you took it – I am going to brag to the other English teachers that I have the best 9th grade students in the school.

No homework for tonight – enjoy the respite! One note though – I heard that there might be some sort of dance performance for which some of you would like to miss class tomorrow? If that is at all optional, you need to be in English. Tomorrow we’re starting Dracula and setting up some big expectations for how class over the next three weeks is going to work, what you need to be watching for as you read the novel, how our reading is going to lead to a major grade, etc.

So please – come to class. See you all tomorrow (I hope!).

February 19, 2015

We continued working on our multigenre projects today in class. Students should have now completed pieces from all three genres. Tomorrow we will discuss the remaining unifying elements. (And homework for tonight is to finish the element you started in class.)

***Important Announcement: On Monday, February 23, all Pre-AP English 1 students will take the mock STAAR exam. Please report to the Science Conference Center no later than 7:40. You will stay with me for periods 1 – 4 (your other teachers know about this, and I have alerted the attendance office). Please bring with you two sharpened pencils and a highlighter. Your performance on this exam will count as three major grades (the essay, the short answer response, and the multiple choice questions).***

February 18, 2015

Today in class, students broke into genre groups (poetry, prose, and image) and critiqued one another’s pieces of the multigenre hero project. Then students chose a new genre for today and began working on the next element (due, in paper format, at the beginning of class tomorrow).

I also handed out Dracula books to those students who ordered them. If you did not order a Dracula book, please remember that you will need one (a paper copy!) by Monday. We’ll start reading on Tuesday.

February 17, 2015

Today in class, we discussed the multigenre hero project. I have created a tab on the homepage with all sorts of resources – we looked at examples of what the different components could look like, as well as a full project based on Dracula.

Homework for tonight is to finish one of the elements for the project – a piece of prose, poetry, or an image. Students must bring a hard copy of their product with them to class tomorrow – I will not send anyone to the library to print at the start of class.

February 12, 2015

Really important – I forgot to remind you to bring your laptops tomorrow! If you’re reading this, would you be able to get the word out via your favorite social media platform that students in my classes will need to have their laptops for an assignment tomorrow?

Today in class we discussed all of our Dracula List 1 vocabulary words and looked at infinitive phrases. Please see me for an infinitive phrase packet if you were absent. If you need a little help reviewing, check out this website.

Homework for tonight was to complete this phrase summary notes page – Different Kinds of Phrases Review Sheet – remember, you do not get an automatic 100 for turning it in! I am looking for depth and elaboration!

February 11, 2015

Today students wrote an in-class essay using the following prompt for a major grade:

Hope Essay Prompt

If you were absent, please come make this up Friday during lunch tutorials.

Also as a reminder, students who made less than a 70 on the CMC exam may take a retake for up to a 70 on Friday during lunch.

Homework for tonight was the following:

Homework – Reviewing The Count of Monte Cristo

  1. Log on to your account.
  2. Find the version of the book that we read by searching for its ISBN (0553213504).
  3. Add the book to your “Read” list and give it between one and five stars.
  4. Write a review of the book. Your review should:
    • be approximately 200 to 300 words – one, two, or three sentences is not sufficient
    • lead with a short summary of the plot (but no spoilers!) so that potential readers will have a sense of what the book is about
    • include discussion of both the strengths and the weakness of the book
    • mention anything special that the reader might want to watch out for or keep in mind to be able to better appreciate the book
    • be professionally composed – no excess of positive or negative emotion (extraneous exclamation marks, words like “love,” “hate,” “boring”), proper use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.
  5. Print off your review from the Goodreads website after you have posted it and turn it in to me on Thursday, February 12.

*Hint – if you are not sure what a good review should look like, read some of the most helpful reviews on the website.