Monthly Archives: September 2017

Friday, September 29

We had an excellent (and packed!) second movie afternoon! Remember that next week is the second half of The Odyssey.

In class, we talked about Book 10 (Circe!) and finished the online reading test. Homework for the weekend was Book 11 (the Underworld!): Book 11 Reading Guide.

Please remember to make sure that you are prepared for our quiz on Monday! You should have a sense of where you are based on the grammar “pop quiz” (which was not for a grade).

Thursday, September 28

We had a lot of fun with Odyssey storytime today! With the time that remained, we discussed what you read last night in Book 9 (Odysseus’s adventures with the Cyclops) and finished learning about verbs. Remember that you will have a grammar and vocabulary quiz on Monday (including some review questions from last week).

Homework for tonight was to read Book 10 and complete the reading guide (Book 10 Reading Guide).


Wednesday, September 27

We had some really great discussions about the podcast today! Thank you for your enthusiastic participation.

With the remainder of our time, we began a lesson on verbs (which will be on your quiz this upcoming Monday). We’ll finish that tomorrow. Please remember that you can earn up to 10 extra credit points for that by attending this Friday’s movie, the film version of the Odyssey (which should be finished by 5:30). The materials on verbs are under the “Grammar” tab of the website.

I also told you that because we need more time to take the online reading test we started on Monday, we’re going to push back the essay we were going to start on Friday and use that time for this instead.

Quiz 1 – Results

Just to give you a picture of how students did overall on the quiz, here was a breakdown of the scores:


The average score was an 89. If you attended the movie last Thursday, I will add the extra credit on in Gradespeed.

If you would like to talk about what you missed on the quiz, please come by during Friday at lunch (there are still quite a few students who haven’t take the quiz, so I don’t want to talk about the questions yet).

Monday, September 25

Welcome back from our long weekend!

With the first half of today, we took our grammar and vocabulary quiz. If you were absent, you need to come in to my room on Friday during lunch to make this up.

For the remainder of the day, students took their district reading level assessment on their laptops. If you weren’t able to finish this today, I’ll give you more time this week.

Homework for tonight is to read Book 5 of the Odyssey (we’re skipping Books 2, 3, and 4 for now) and to complete the reading guide (Book 5 Reading Guide).

Thursday, September 22

We had a really outstanding first afternoon film of the year! Thank you so much to the students who came to watch Troy with us yesterday – I hope you had fun (and learned something!).

In class, we had a discussion about the first book of the Odyssey. After that, we finished vocabulary, and then we did a lesson on nouns and article. To access the lesson and materials on nouns and articles, go to the “Grammar” tab of the website and look under “Parts of Speech.”

Here’s what you need to be doing this weekend:

  • studying for your quiz over Odyssey Vocabulary List 1 and nouns and articles on Monday.
  • getting your parent to look at the syllabus and complete the survey (posted below this post).
  • submitting your summer reading assignments through

If you are able to get your classroom community item (tissues or wet wipes, for keeping our classroom clean and hospitable), please bring it some time next week.

Wednesday, September 20

We began today with a reminder that we’ll be watching an edited version of Troy tomorrow, from 3:30 to 5:30 PM, if you would like to join us.

Next, we watched a short film from TED-Ed on the background of the Odyssey:

Students set up accounts (see the earlier post for instructions) to submit their summer reading essays. If you need technical support, come see me during the second half of lunch tomorrow (I have a meeting during the first half).

We began discussing our first vocabulary list – we’ll have a quiz over those terms on Monday. (See the Vocabulary tab of this website for more information.)

Homework was to read Book 1 of the Odyssey (1 – Book 1) and complete this reading guide (Book 1 Reading Guide). This is due tomorrow. You do not need to write in complete sentences. Do not worry if you are not sure of your answers for some questions. Please note that your answers need to be entirely your own work.

And finally, to my Jewish students and parents, Happy New Year! We’ll miss you tomorrow – please let me know if you need help catching up.


Tuesday, September 19

Thank you for an excellent second day of school! Today I passed out the syllabus (you can see an electronic copy of it under the “Syllabus” tab at the top of the website). I’m going to eventually ask you and your parent to fill out an electronic form acknowledging that you have read it (I’m having trouble getting the form to work on non-HISD computers right now).

With the rest of our class time, we went over the prequel to the Odyssey, the Trojan War. We used this slideshow as the basis for our discussion:

The Odyssey Schema Guide

I also told you that we will have a special showing of an edited version of the movie Troy this Thursday, from 3:30 to 5:30 PM. You can earn 10 points of extra credit on Monday’s vocabulary quiz by attending, and I think this is a great way to become more familiar with the mythology you will need to know for the Odyssey.

Please also remember that your Hero’s Journey diagrams are due tomorrow!