Monthly Archives: October 2016

Monday, October 31


Happy Halloween!

Students wrote short answer responses about JLC today in class. Tomorrow and Wednesday will be for working on your group presentation (which you will deliver on either Thursday or Friday).

Please don’t forget to have your essay ready to turn in tomorrow. I will have a substitute, but you may give your papers to him or her.

Thursday, October 27

Students continued to work on their group essays and presentations today. Homework for tonight is that last (!) JLC story (jlc-rg-16-a-pair-of-tickets).

A few other announcements and reminders:


The Italian Club is conducting a canned protein drive to benefit the Houston Food Bank. If your class period brings two times the number of cans as you have students, we can bake cookies in class! Items that you can bring include:

  • canned tuna, salmon, or chicken
  • jars of peanut butter
  • cans of nuts
  • chili or soup
  • cans or bags of beans

Also, I mentioned that I will have some other obligations during lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and asked you to find an alternative place to eat lunch, if you are in the habit of coming to 316. On Friday, we’re going to be going over the parts of speech exam during lunch, so please only come if you are going to participate in that.

Wednesday, October 26

After our discussion of the story from last night, we began our JLC projects – each group will be composing an essay and delivering a presentation on a particular theme within the novel (the-joy-luck-club-group-essay-on-theme). Please note that the group essay is due on Tuesday of next week (November 1), and your presentation will either be on Thursday or Friday (November 3 or 4).

On Monday, you will write two PIE paragraphs about JLC in class for a major grade.

Homework for tonight is to complete the discussion guide for the penultimate chapter of JLC (jlc-rg-15-double-face).

Tuesday, October 25

Lots of fantastic discussions today about one of my favorite stories from The Joy Luck Club! For the second half of class, students began annotating an article from The New York Times on an investigation of the labor conditions in manicure salons staffed by Asian immigrants (the-price-of-nice-nails). Please make notes on your copy looking particularly at her use of rhetoric (what is she trying to convince you of? how does she do it?).

Homework for tonight is the next story from JLC (jlc-rg-14-waiting-between-trees).

Also – tomorrow is the last day to order a Count of Monte Cristo book! It’s $6.50. The school can check one out to you, but the advantage to ordering one is that you will be able to annotate it.

Some suggestions for studying for your exam…

I’m sitting in Starbucks right now looking at your test for Monday, and I wanted to give you a few more hints about what you can do to be prepared. Although the test will be multiple choice, there will be all different kinds of questions. You will need to be able to…

  • match the term for a part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, conjunction, preposition, interjection, and article) to its definition.
  • identify different parts of speech as used in a paragraph (common noun, proper noun, verb, adjective, adverb, personal pronoun, possessive pronoun, coordinating conjunction, subordinating conjunction, preposition, definite article, and indefinite article).
  • identify what kind of error is present in a sentence.
  • complete sentences by choosing the correct form of a pronoun and a verb.
  • understand the difference between “for” as a conjunction and “for” as a preposition.
  • understand the difference between “to” when it is used as part of an infinitive (“to run,” “to jump”) and “to” when it is used as a preposition.
  • know the differences between coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions.
  • understand that all of the forms of “to be” count as verbs.
  • identify abstract nouns.
  • identify whether a verb is in past, present, or future tense.
  • know what a linking verb is.
  • know what transitive and intransitive verbs are.
  • understand how the emphatic form of a verb changes its meaning.
  • know when to add a comma in between a series of two or more adjectives.
  • know when to use “farther” and when to use “further.”
  • understand how using an adjective instead of an adverb to describe a verb is incorrect.
  • know why skillful writers do not use unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.
  • revise sentences for errors, including:
    • incorrect capitalization of proper/common nouns.
    • spelling of plural forms of nouns.
    • gender bias.
    • incorrect conjugation of irregular verbs.

Again, I just want to emphasize that I very deliberately did not give you any reading this weekend because I want you to make sure that you are ready to do well on your test! We talked about this in class, but again, here are all of the resources that are at your disposal to help you do your best:

  • your parts of speech review

  • the notes and exercises in your blue folder

  • the lessons on the grammar portion of the website

  • Khan Academy

  • the website ChompChomp

Thursday, October 20

After our discussion of The Joy Luck Club, students continued to work on their parts of speech review in preparation for our exam on Monday. I asked you to please try to finish it tonight so that you will know what is still confusing to you and we can discuss it in class tomorrow.

Homework for tonight is the next chapter of JLC (jlc-rg-12-best-quality).

And I told you that you will NOT have any reading homework for the weekend because I really want you studying for your exam!