Happy New Year and a cool article to share

Happy New Year to you all! I meant to write a blog post on Sunday, but I was just busy enjoying one last day off with my family. 😊 Yesterday was a good day back–let’s make this a great week and a great month. 😊

Someone shared this article with me, and it really spoke to me. Yesterday, many of you talked about being frustrated about being at school instead of having an extra day of vacation. While I would have enjoyed another day off, too, (because–vacation!) I try to live my life not worrying about what’s not happening but dealing with–and trying to find joy in–what IS happening.

Check out this article for more on that idea:

http://www.coolcatteacher.com/today-is-the-present/#more-13535

Happy Tuesday! 😊

2016-17 Week 18 — December 12

Exam Week is here! We’re almost to Christmas Break! Hang in there and we’ll make it!

Some of you still have some missing/late work. I added a Last Chance Late Work post to Google Classroom this afternoon. Any digital/electronic work that you need to turn in should go there. If you turned that in on paper, don’t worry about doing it again to the Late Work post. You have until the end of the school day tomorrow to get these last things in to earn any credit.

Let’s take a look at the exam schedule for this week:

  • Tuesday, Dec 13
    • 7:50-9:50 — 3rd period exam
    • 10:20-12:30 — 5th period exam
  • Wednesday, Dec 14
    • 7:50-9:50 — 4th period exam
    • 10:20-12:30 — 1st period exam
  • Thursday, Dec 15
    • 7:50-9:50 — 2nd period exam
    • 10:20-12:30 — 7th period exam
  • Friday, Dec 16
    • 7:50-9:50 — 6th period exam
    • 10am dismissal

Remember, you may NOT check out when you turn in your exam–you must wait until the exam period is finished. You should bring something with you (like a book) to do if you finish early. You will probably not finish my exams early, but you may finish your other exams early.

Here’s what’s on my exams:

English 11

You will write 2 essays:

–One will be on either The Impossible Knife of Memory or Fahrenheit 451. Make sure to bring your book to the exam class. (And go ahead and bring it to class tomorrow to do some prep work.) I’ve got some copies of Fahrenheit 451 that you can borrow, but I only have one copy of The Impossible Knife of Memory.

–The other essay will be an opinion, ACT-style essay. You will have your choice of three topics to choose from. You will pick one of the topics and develop an essay.

AP Language

This will be a practice AP exam. Your exam will consist of three sections:

–Part A–Rhetorical Analysis–you will read a short piece and do some analysis on it. You will respond with a rhetorical analysis essay that focuses on rhetorical strategies used in the text.

–Part B–Multiple Choice–there are four different passages to read with several questions per passage. There are 43 questions total about those passages.

–Part C–Rhetorical Précis–you will read a short passage and write a rhetorical précis for it. You will NOT be given the template, so it’s important that you study what is required for each of the four sentences in the précis.

To study, I’d suggest reviewing the Rhetorical Device Weekly assignments that you have completed. You may find helpful terms for your analysis in part A and for the multiple choice in part B. I’d also suggest reviewing the structure for a rhetorical précis so that you know what belongs in each sentence of the précis.

2016-17 Week 15 — November 28

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a safe and restful Thanksgiving Break. Now it’s time to get our heads back in the game and finish out this semester strong. I know that some of you have been submitting late or missing work. I’ll get those updated in PowerSchool as soon as possible. I was traveling over the break, too, and I haven’t been able to grade any of those things yet. They’ll get updated this week.

This week, we’ll be finishing up the End of Semester Self-Reflection Forms and Videos (both are due on Tuesday, 11/29, in class, but we’ll have time to record videos on Monday in class. Your videos should be 5-10 min long.). Your one-on-one conferences with me start on Wednesday. If you haven’t signed up for a time slot yet, be sure to do that on Monday. The lists are posted on the wall just inside my classroom door. Remember that these conferences will be student-directed. You should come prepared with things to discuss. We can start by discussing some of the things on your Self-Evaluation form or in your video, but we can move on to overall goals for the class and any specific needs or requests. Your grade will be determined by how prepared and engaged you are in this process, so use this time wisely.

As I am doing individual conferences, you will be working on revising the essay of your choice. Your revisions must take place in class only, and they will involve some peer feedback, too. I’ll talk to you more about this process on Tuesday in class (which is also when you’ll choose which essay you’re revising). If you do not use your time in class wisely (i.e., working on the Self-Evaluation project or on your essay revision), I will be assigning you work to keep you busy and engaged.

Our Junior Class Retreat is next weekend (Dec 4-5). If you have not turned in your permission form, please be sure to do that on Monday!

Let’s take a look at the plan for the week:

  • English 11
    • Monday, Nov 28
      • Finalize End of Semester Reflection Forms
      • Record End of Semester Reflection videos (5-10 min long)
    • Tuesday, Nov 29
      • Turn in End of Semester Reflection Forms (to bins in my classroom)
      • Turn in End of Semester Reflection Videos (to post in Google Classroom)
      • Choose which essay you will be revising and begin Rough Draft Evaluation sheet (due Wed, 11/30)
    • Wednesday, Nov 30
      • Turn in Rough Draft Evaluation sheet
      • Begin working on 2nd draft revision of your essay. **Substantial changes must be made.
      • One-on-one conferences will begin
    • Thursday, Dec 1
      • Continue working on 2nd draft revision of your essay. You should have a good draft complete by the end of class. Peer revision process will be on Friday, 12/2
      • One-on-one conferences will continue
    • Friday, Dec 2
      • Peer Revision time
      • Informative Analysis Paper Response Sheet must be completed for the essay that you review for a classmate
      • One-on-one conferences will continue
  • AP English Language & Composition
    • Monday, Nov 28
      • Finalize End of Semester Reflection Forms
      • Record End of Semester Reflection videos (5-10 min long)
      • Read Ch 3 of textbook p. 81-111 (What is an Argument, Staking a Claim, Presenting Evidence) for discussion on Thursday, 12/1
    • Tuesday, Nov 29
      • Turn in End of Semester Reflection Forms (to bins in my classroom)
      • Turn in End of Semester Reflection Videos (to post in Google Classroom)
      • Choose which essay you will be revising and begin Rough Draft Evaluation sheet (due Wed, 11/30)
    • Wednesday, Nov 30
      • Turn in Rough Draft Evaluation sheet
      • Begin working on 2nd draft revision of your essay. **Substantial changes must be made.
      • One-on-one conferences will begin
    • Thursday, Dec 1
      • Continue working on 2nd draft revision of your essay. You should have a good draft complete by the end of class. Peer revision process will be on Friday, 12/2
      • One-on-one conferences will continue
      • Peer Revision time
      • Informative Analysis Paper Response Sheet must be completed for the essay that you review for a classmate
      • One-on-one conferences will continueFriday, Dec 2

Let’s have a great week!

2016-17 Week 14 — November 14

Hello, all! I hope that you’ve been enjoying the 3 day weekend! I have enjoyed some much-needed down time with my family (and some time to get caught up on some grading!).

All students–you will have a End of Semester project (details coming this week) that will involve you doing some self-reflection on your performance in class so far. You will each create a video reflection piece for this project and you’ll schedule a one-on one conference with me. We’re at mid-quarter this week, so it’s time to start thinking about how things are going this semester and what your role in that is and should be.

AP folks–there are many of you who are behind with the target deadlines for some of those ongoing assignments, despite me giving you time on Thursday and Friday to get caught up. I STRONGLY encourage you to keep up with those target deadlines. We’re at mid-quarter this week, and the semester will be over before you know it. I am caught up on everything that should have been turned in so far (except the IKoM essays, which I’m still working on), so if you missed a target deadline, you need to go to the Late Assignment post in Google Classroom and add a comment asking me to review your assignment once you have it edited. Another reminder is that you MUST edit the documents that I share with you through Google Drive. Do not create your own document and try to share it with me or email it with me (unless this was part of the directions). Failing to follow these directions will mean that you risk not having your assignment points counted. Everyone must follow directions–there are too many assignments and too many students for each person to do things his or her own way. I appreciate your help with this matter.

Let’s take a look at the week ahead:

  • English 11
    • Upcoming deadlines
    • Monday, Nov 14
      • in-class essay: ACT-style prompt
    • Tuesday, Nov 15
      • Read Tim O’Brien’s “Ambush” and discuss questions
    • Wednesday, Nov 16
      • Discuss censorship and analyze examples of censorship in contemporary current events articles
    • Thursday, Nov 17
      • Discuss and analyze propaganda techniques used in print ads
    • Friday, Nov 18
      • Discuss and analyze propaganda techniques used in commercial ads
  • AP English Lang & Comp
    • Upcoming deadlines
      • Rhetorical Device Weekly set #3 (due 11/18)–edit document shared with you through Google Drive
      • Past-due précis assignments–Some of you are missing ALL of these. There is a reading assignment and a writing assignment for EACH.
        • Cause-effect précis
        • Example précis
        • Classification précis
        • Definition précis
        • Process précis
    • Monday, Nov 14
      • Abe Lincoln prompt analysis project
    • Tuesday, Nov 15
      • Finish Abe Lincoln prompt analysis project
    • Wednesday, Nov 16
      • Read Firoozeh Dumas’ essay “The ‘F’ Word”
      • Discuss elements of descriptive writing and their impact on author’s purpose
    • Thursday, Nov 17
      • Read Langston Hughes’ essay “Salvation”
      • Discuss elements of narrative writing and their impact on author’s purpose
    • Friday, Nov 18
      • Using Dumas’ “The ‘F’ Word” or Hughes’ “Salvation” as a mentor text, write your own piece of description or narration

 

In the Company of Heroes interview

Some of you read (or might read next semester) Michael Durant’s In the Company of Heroes as your Lit Circle book this semester. I thought you might like to see an interview with Mr. Durant.

Watch: ‘Black Hawk Down’ pilot Michael Durant- ‘I thought I was dead’

Make sure that you watch the video in th story, too!

Here’s another great article, too!

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/14/us/mike-durant-rewind/index.html

2016-17 Week 13 — November 7

Happy Sunday, y’all! Before I talk about this week, I’ve got three things to say–

  1. CONGRATULATIONS to our Cross Country Team! They ranked 1st (Girls) and 3rd (Boys) at Sectionals and are heading to State this weekend. That’s fabulous! We’re proud of you!
  2. CONGRATULATIONS to the football team on an outstanding season! I know that the game didn’t end the way that you hoped on Friday, but you should be incredibly proud of what you have done this season. Coach Blackwell and Coach J were right in what they said–you guys have been a part of turning this program and this school around, and it’s inspired. I’m so proud of all of you!
  3. THANK YOU to all who have supported our teams so far this year! The crowds were PACKED on Friday night. Thank you for your patience as we all waited on those crazy buses. Thank you, Band and Color Guard, for rolling with the challenges and playing and cheering your hearts out! Thank you, Cheerleaders, for your smiling faces as you urged us on toward victory. Thank you, students, for making the drive to cheer on your classmates. I’m so proud of all of you!

So another cool thing today is that I’ve just gotten word that Mrs. Riggles–yes, the same Mrs. Riggles who was hit by a truck almost 7 months ago and who almost died–has finished the NYC Marathon. That’s amazing!! There was an awesome interview with her in the Montgomery Advertiser. You can read that here. Mrs. Riggles is such an amazing example of faith and perseverence–we could all learn something from her!

Let’s take a look at this week. It’s another short one (YAY!)–we’re out on Friday for Veteran’s Day. Please remember to thank a Veteran this week. It’s because of their sacrifice that we are able to live the lives that we live. There are several on staff, and I’m sure there are several in your family!

  • AP English Language and Composition
    • Monday, Nov 7
      • In class essay on Impossible Knife of Memory. Bring your book!
      • Make sure that you start reading All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. You should have purchased this novel when you bought your books, but you can also find it at Books-a-Million and Amazon. You will be doing a video discussion about the first half of the novel on 11/21, so make sure you’ve gotten that far by then. Pay particular attention to the language McCarthy uses to convey his ideas. This is your reading schedule:
        • Nov 14–100 pages
        • Nov 21–200 pages
        • Nov 28–complete
    • Tues, Nov 8
      • Finish in-class essay
    • Wed, Nov 9
    • Thurs, Nov 10
      • MASS DAY–Wear your mass uniform!
      • Work on Process readings and work on Process precís
      • NO ARTICLE OF THE WEEK THIS WEEK
  • English 11
    • Monday, Nov 7
      • Discuss Comparison/Contrast
    • Tues, Nov 8
      • Review Comparison/Contrast examples
    • Wed, Nov 9
    • Thurs, Nov 10
      • MASS DAY–Wear your mass uniform!
      • NO ARTICLE OF THE WEEK THIS WEEK
      • Finish discussion of Hemingway article
      • Record Lit Circle video for final section of Fahrenheit 451

Let’s have a great week!

2016-17 Week 12 — November 1

Don’t forget–no school on Monday (today!)! Enjoy your day off! The other teachers and I will be at school working to give you our best every day. 🙂 We’ll be happy to have you back with us on Tuesday!

Novena for the Election

I should have shared this with you last week, but you can always jump in where we are. I’d like to invite you to pray a Novena for the Election between now and Election Day. This isn’t to pray for a certain candidate over another but rather to pray that God’s will is done and that our country makes the best decisions possible. If you’re interested, you can read more here.

Big Game This Week!

On Friday, we’ll go to our first Football Playoff game since 2008! Whether you’re going to the game or not, please keep our athletes, band, cheer, color guard members, students, faculty, and coaches in your prayers. For anyone traveling to the game, we ask for travel mercies and the safety of all involved. It’ll be an exciting week here at MCPS, so let’s do our best to cheer our team on to victory!

Looking ahead

We do have exciting things going on this week, but we’ve also got lots of work to do! Let’s take a few moments to review what’s happening in AP Lang and English 11 this week. 🙂

  • AP English Language and Composition
    • Monday, Oct 31–no school!
    • Tuesday, Nov 1
      • MASS DAY! All Saints’ Day
      • Work with your music video to analyze video and lyrics
      • Make sure to complete in AP Example precis (target deadline of 10/28)
      • Begin work on AP Classification & Definition precis (target deadline of 11/4)
    • Wednesday, Nov 2
      • MASS DAY for SGA members
      • Read and discuss Judy Brady’s “I Want a Wife”
    • Thursday, Nov 3
      • The Impossible Knife of Memory (remainder of book finished) Lit Circle video
      • Read and discuss Stephanie Ericsson’s “The Ways We Lie”
    • Friday, Nov 4
      • MASS DAY!
      • your Article of the Week due (edit document shared in Google Drive)
      • In-class writing
  • English 11
    • Monday, Oct 31–no school!
    • Tuesday, Nov 1
      • MASS DAY–All Saints’ Day
      • Read Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”
    • Wednesday, Nov 2
      • Discuss and practice 3 Levels of Reading with “A Worn Path”
    • Thursday, Nov 3
      • Lit Circle videos for parts 1 and 2 of Fahrenheit 451
      • Begin work on composing reviews (Favorable and Critical)
    • Friday, Nov 4
      • MASS DAY!
      • your Article of the Week due (edit document shared in Google Drive)
      • In-class writing

Let’s have a great week! Go Knights!

2016-17 Week 11 — October 24

Congrats on a great win to our football team on Friday night! One more regular season game on Friday night and then it’s a playoff game. The last time our team was in the playoffs was 2008, but the last time we won a playoff game was 1989. Let’s go break some records! Our cheerleaders did an awesome job of cheering us on (that pre-game dance with the middle school and JV squads was wonderful!), and as always, our band and color guard rocked out! Our Cross Country team–boys and girls–came in with 2nd place in their meet, beating out the team that they consider to be the biggest challenge in the region. On to Sectionals! Finally, our band and color guard had a competition on Saturday and walked away with all Superior ratings. Henry even won Best in Class for Drum Major! It looks like we’re on a winning streak all around! Go Knights! I hope to see a lot of you at the football game against Marbury on Thursday night!

Let’s take a look at this week. For novel reading, the AP folks should be 230 pages in with Impossible Knife of Memory by Friday. You’ll do a Lit Circle video discussion on the first 200 pages on Tuesday of this week, so make sure that you’re prepared. My regular English classes should be 68 pages in with Fahrenheit 451 by Friday, 10/28. You’ll record a Lit Circle video discussion of that section (Part 1) of the novel in class on Friday.

There is NO Article of the Week this week because I figure we’ll all be at the football game supporting our Knights (or winning the game on the field itself!) on Thursday night. 🙂

Week of 10/24

  • AP English Language & Composition
    • Monday, 10/24
      • Work on rhetorical analysis of a music video
      • Homework: choose your own video to analyze. Complete the document shared in Google Drive with song title and link and lyrics. Analysis will be done later this week.
    • Tuesday, 10/25
      • Lit Circle 1 video for Impossible Knife of Memory
        • focus on theme thus far in novel
        • discuss the work/strategies/tools author is using to convey her ideas
      • Complete analysis of music video begun on Monday
      • Discuss use of quotes in writing
    • Wednesday, 10/26
      • Work on developing claims for analysis
      • Informal/Reflection writing
    • Thursday, 10/27
      • Using Close Reading 1 handout, work on analysis of your Homework video
      • Using Close Reading 2 handout, create a claim and include at least 3 pieces of evidence and analysis
    • Friday, 10/28
  • English 11
    • Monday, 10/24
      • Complete in-class Technology/”The Veldt” essay
    • Tuesday, 10/25
      • Informal writing/discussion
      • Read Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Harrison Bergeron”
      • Work in pairs to answer discussion questions
    • Wednesday, 10/26
      • Discuss answers to discussion questions
      • Begin watching video version of “Harrison Bergeron”
    • Thursday, 10/27
      • Finish watching “Harrison Bergeron” video
      • Complete 2081 handout
    • Friday, 10/28
      • Lit Circle video for part 1 of Fahrenheit 451

Let’s have a great week!

 

A cool little interview for you 😊

Hi all! Someone shared this interview with me, and I immediately thought of you guys. It’s an interview with Matt Maher about how he played for the Pope in Rio at World Youth Day last year. The song he’s talking about is “Lord, I Need You,” and I know that’s a favorite for some of y’all (and for me).

Plus here is the song by itself (so you can hear the whole thing!):

Love you guys! One more little happy for you because this one just makes me smile–listen to it before testing tomorrow.

http://www.praise1065.com/praise-updates/2016/08/07/a-special-message-from-matt-maher

😊 Good luck on the PSAT tomorrow. You’re going to rock it!