2017-18 Week 14 โ€” November 20-21

It was a tough loss on Friday night, Knights, but we couldn’t be more proud of you all and how hard you worked all season. I was super proud of all of the supporters, too–Band, Cheer, Color Guard, Fans–you guys were awesome as well!

We’ve got a short week this week, and I know there will probably be some absences. I thought that we’d make use of our time, though, to do some ACT English/Grammar Review work to help some of you prepare for the Dec 9 ACT exam. It seems like there will be lots of y’all taking that one. That’s what we’ll do in English 11. In AP Lang, we’ll be reading Neil Gaiman’s “Credo” and then working to write our own, using his as a mentor text. This will be a good transition into some of the work that we’ll be doing the last few weeks of the semester as we prepare to transition into discussing Argument Writing. Never fear–we’re not leaving Rhetorical Analysis completely. I know you’re relieved. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also, I want all of you to start thinking about something that you see as a problem for our community. All of my classes will be working on some problem-based research for 2nd semester, and this research will be self-directed. This is the REHUGO project that you may have heard my students talking about last year. I’m expanding it to all 11th graders because I think it’s a valuable project. Think about what kinds of things you’ve been interested in or curious about. I’ll have much more information for you in January, but I want you to start thinking. (And NO–you can’t research “non-uniform jacket policies” or “shaving policies”…I want you to think bigger than that. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I’ll see you all tomorrow! Enjoy the last few hours of the weekend!

ps–Eng 11: no Article of the Week this week!


2017-18 Week 13 โ€” November 13-17

I hope you all had a great long weekend! Many congrats to our Girls and Boys Cross Country teams who both finished 2nd in State and to Amaris Tyynismaa, who finished 1st in State individually. Congrats, y’all! I think I saw some other medals in the photos, too, so I’ll get updated about who won what at school tomorrow. Another big congrats to the Varsity Football team who won against Sipsey Valley and are advancing to the next round of the playoffs. Congrats, too, to cheerleaders, band, and color guard. Everyone did a great job on Friday night!

I know that last week was a very challenging week for our community. We’re moving forward, but please remember that if you need to talk to someone, there are always people available. Come and see me or Mrs. Barranco and we’ll try to help you work through what you need to work through.

We’ve got about one more week until mid-quarter, so make sure that you’re getting caught up and staying caught up! I know that some of you have turned work into the Late Assignments posts in Google Classroom. I’ll be updating those this week. I decided to take this long weekend as an actual long weekend and I did not grade a single thing. It was a weekend off that I sorely needed! I’ll get back to it tomorrow, though! ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s take a look at this week:

  • English 11 — Week of 11/13
    • Monday, Nov 13
      • Finish watching The Great Gatsby
      • Begin American Dream activity
    • Tuesday, Nov 14
      • American Dream quick write
    • Wednesday, Nov 15
      • The Great Gatsby essay test
    • Thursday, Nov 16
      • Introduction to the Harlem Renaissance
    • Friday, Nov 17
      • mass day
      • poetry write-around activity
      • Playoff game at home at 7pm. All tickets $8 each.
  • AP Lang — Week of 11/13
    • Monday, Nov 13
      • finish M/C practice exercise
    • Tues, Nov 14
      • in-class essay
    • Wed, Nov 15
      • Introduction to Narrative Form
      • Read “Salvation” by Langston Hughes
    • Thurs, Nov 16
      • small group Narration stories
    • Fri, Nov 17
      • mass day
      • peer-to-peer feedback on Tuesday’s essays
      • Playoff game at home at 7pm. All tickets $8 each

That’s it for this week! We’ve only got one more week until mid-quarter, and we’ve got only about 20 or 21 days before exams begin. This is the time to tighten up and buckle down. Christmas will be here before you know it!

Happy Sunday, y’all!

Calling all poets! Poetry contest!

If any of you are interested in writing poetry, I’ve got a contest for you to check out. The Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Contest (based out of Princeton University) is sponsoring a contest for student writers in the 11th grade. Prizes are First Prize–$500, Second Prize–$250, Third Prize–$100.

The application deadline is midnight EST on Monday, November 27.

Go here to check it out:ย http://arts.princeton.edu/about/opportunities/high-school-contests/poetry-contest/

2017-18 Week 12 โ€” November 6-9

Hello, everyone. We had some great moments last week and then we ended the week with tragic news. As a school, we’ll be celebrating a mass for Anya on Monday morning as a school (no mass uniforms–just wear your regular uniform) and there will be resources available for you if you need help processing your feelings about this tragic experience.

Amidst tragedy, though, we have to keep living. I want to congratulate the Cross Country teams, who both performed exceptionally well at the Sectionals meet last Thursday. The Girls finished 1st and the Boys finished 2nd. They’ll be running in the State meet next weekend. Congrats, too, on a great football game on Friday night. We look forward to our first State Playoff game this coming Friday night. If you’re coming to the game (and I hope you are), please remember a couple of things. First, all season passes and reserved seats are out of play now–all game attendees will need to pay the $8 entrance fee and there will be no reserved seats. Students, to make sure that you have your space in the stands, make sure to come early. (Let’s not have a repeat issue from the ACA game where you had to move. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Make plans to show up early and enjoy some pre-game fun. I’m planning to stake out my seat at about 5:30–you know I love my 50-yard line spot. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re probably fine to show up between 6 and 6:20, but the stands (and parking lots) will be FULL on Friday night, so don’t show up at or after 7 and assume you’ll have space.

The other thing is that the entrance gate will be different this week because of construction. There’s a new bridge and a new entrance from the park parking lot. I imagine that there will be signs to help direct you where to go. Let’s all show up to cheer on our Knights in their first playoff game of the season!

Let’s take a look at this week:

  • English 11 — Week of Nov 6
    • Monday, Nov 6
      • 8am mass for Anya Bennett
      • The American Dream and quickwrite/reading techniques
    • Tues, Nov 7
      • finish non-fiction articles and quickwrite/reflections
      • Begin watching The Great Gatsby
    • Wed, Nov 8
      • Continue watching The Great Gatsby
    • Thurs, Nov 9
      • Finish watching The Great Gatsby
      • Finish answering the discussion/review questions in preparation for Monday’s essay test on The Great Gatsby
    • Fri, Nov 10
      • There’s NO Article of the Week this week! I have already posted the one for next week, though, and it’s a little longer than most of them because it’s got two short issues (one pro article and one con article) on one issue. I wanted to give you something with both viewpoints because I thought it would make an interesting discussion. Check Google Classroom for the articles. I’ll have a few paper copies printed, as well, for those of you who prefer to do these on paper.
      • No school today! Rest up and I’ll see you at the game!
    • Monday, Nov 13
      • Final Essay TEST on The Great Gatsby
  • AP Lang — Week of Nov 6
    • Mon, Nov 6
      • Mass for Anya Bennett (no mass day uniforms required)
      • Work in small groups on Cause/Effect essays
      • Write a precis and a reflection on the essay you worked with
    • Tues, Nov 7
      • AP M/C practice activity
    • Wed, Nov 8
      • Read Stephen Ericsson’s “The Ways We Lie” and discuss classification/definition mode of writing
    • Thurs, Nov 9
      • small group classification/definition essays as mentor texts
      • precis and reflection on either the classification essay or the definition essay that you worked with
    • Fri, Nov 10
      • No school today! Rest up and I’ll see you at the game!

We’re a couple of weeks into 2nd Quarter, so please make sure that you’re keeping up with your assignments. As I’ve been grading this weekend, I’ve noticed that there are some assignments that are not getting turned in. Please be conscious of your deadlines and make sure that you’re meeting them. Once grades have been entered for an assignment, you must put late work into the Late Assignment post in Google Classroom if you want to have it checked. (I will not be going back through assignment posts that I’ve already graded; it is your responsibility to put your work in the right place once you have missed the deadline.) I’ll be working this week to get more things graded and updated, so keep your eye on PowerSchool.

Have a great week and God bless!

2017-18 Week 11 โ€” October 30-November 3

Happy Week 11, y’all! What an exciting game on Friday night! Thanks to all who came, who supported, and who played (both on and off the field). The Knights are the #1 in the Region since 1952! Wow!

We’ve got some work to do this week. I know that Halloween is Tuesday, so let’s make sure that we don’t get distracted while we’re working. Hopefully you won’t be on a sugar crash on Wednesday! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Speaking of Wednesday, don’t forget that we have All Saints Day mass on Wednesday, and you’ll need to be in your mass day uniform. Those of you in SGA will be going to mass at the cemetery on Thursday, so mass day uniform for you again. And, as always, we’ll have our regular mass on Friday, so mass day uniform once again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh! On Tuesday, you have the opportunity to support the annual St. Vincent de Paul canned food drive. Any student who brings 3 cans or $5 (and we’ll just go buy your cans) may wear an athletic team shirt with uniform bottoms.

Let’s take a look at this week:

  • English 11 — Week of Oct 30-Nov 3
    • Mon, Oct 30
      • work on major scenes for The Great Gatsby
    • Tues, Oct 31
      • continue Tuesday’s work
      • Canned Food drive–bring 3 cans or $5 and wear any athletic team shirt + uniform bottoms
    • Wed, Nov 1
      • All Saints Day mass — mass uniforms
      • whole group discussion of Gatsby major scenes
    • Thurs, Nov 2
      • American Dream non-fiction pieces
    • Fri, Nov 3
      • American Dream response writing
      • mass day
  • AP Lang — Week of Oct 30-Nov 3
    • Mon, Oct 30
      • in-class essay
    • Tues, Oct 31
      • Canned Food drive–bring 3 cans or $5 and wear any athletic team shirt + uniform bottoms
      • “Why We Crave Horror Movies”
      • cause/effect readings and precis
    • Wed, Nov 1
      • All Saints Day mass — mass uniforms
      • Read student exemplars for AP essay
    • Thurs, Nov 2
      • peer reviews
    • Fri, Nov 3
      • mass day
      • M/C practice

Let’s have a great week!

AP Lang–Parallelism and Rhetorical Device Weeklies

I’m done grading (I think–there may be a couple more) rhetorical device weeklies, and I noticed that most of you have a strong grasp on the first five devices–except parallelism. You seem to be able to recognize it, but you’re struggling a little with the student definition and the topic sentence for that one. Parallelism is a device used to make sure that a sentence structure is balanced (when you’re talking about a specific sentence).

On the sentence level, we see parallelism when we look at the syntax (the wording and structure). If I use an -ing verb when I’m using a series of verbs, for example, I should use all -ing verbs:

  • Correct and parallel: ย We were running, playing, and jumping.
  • Incorrect: We were running, jumped, and playing.

Do you see how the lack of parallel structure creates a discordant note in the sentence? Read it out loud–it just sounds wrong.

In a longer piece, particularly a piece of rhetoric, you see parallelism used as a device to accomplish something. There’s a pattern of structure that is repeated. Your goal, then, is to determine WHY.

Look at this excerpt from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech:

And those who hope that the face the difficulties of today and tomorrow (Uh-huh), I still have a dream. (Yes) It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. (Yes)

I have a dream (Mhm) that one day (Yes) this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed (Hah): โ€œWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.โ€ (Yeah, Uh-huh, Hear hear) [applause]

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia (Yes, Talk), the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream (Yes) [applause] that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice (Yeah), sweltering with the heat of oppression (Mhm), will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream (Yeah) [applause] that my four little children (Well) will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. (My Lord) I have a dream today. [enthusiastic applause]

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists (Yes, Yeah), with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of โ€œinterpositionโ€ and โ€œnullificationโ€ (Yes), one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. [applause] (God help him, Preach)

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted (Yes), every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain (Yes), and the crooked places will be made straight (Yes), and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed [cheering], and all flesh shall see it together. (Yes Lord)

Do you see the repetition ofย I have a dream? Dr. King comes back to this over and over again. He’s emphasizing there that he has a dream and a hope for a future that is different than what he’s experiencing right now. The repetition of that phrase is also pleasing to the ear–it’s easier to hear and figure out what he’s saying and what his purpose is. It’s also easier to remember, so, as someone who is making a speech that he hopes to have great impact on society, this is a major goal. This is what parallelism does. It is pleasing to the ear when it’s found in a piece of rhetoric. It helps the audience to hear and organize the points that are being made, and it helps the rhetor (the speaker) to convey the ideas in a way that will have the most impact for the audience.

Does that help? We’ll talk about it in class this week, too, but I wanted to take a minute to share that with you right now before I forget. Overall, I’m really impressed with the work that you’ve done on the rhetorical device weekly assignment. The examples are good and you have done a good job with the topic sentences and the paragraphs. I think that this work is going to help you with the practice of that kind of writing, which will ultimately help you as you work towards being stronger writers and (hopefully) doing well on the exam.

Have a great Homecoming dance tonight, my friends. Congrats, football, on an awesome win, and congrats to cheer, band, color guard, and fans on a great night celebrating Montgomery Catholic. It’s a great day to be a Knight. Love y’all! Make good choices!

Eng 11 Essay Test on Tuesday

Hello, all!

Happy Homecoming Day!

I wanted to give you a head’s up about our plans for the beginning of next week. I was going to give English 11 an essay test on Monday, but we’re moving that to Tuesday. On Monday, we’ll do some small group work with the four texts that we’re testing on: “Story of an Hour”, “A Jury of Her Peers”, “Declaration of Sentiments”, and “The Yellow Wallpaper.” On Tuesday, they’ll write an essay that will incorporate ideas from all of these texts. The students should have copies of these texts, but I’ll add digital versions to Google Classroom.


2017-18 Week 9 โ€” October 16-20

It’s Homecoming Week, y’all! Yay!

I want to congratulate the football team and all of their supporters (cheer, band, color guard) on a great win on Friday night. I didn’t get the make the trip down, but it sounded like (on the radio) a crazy game. I’m proud of y’all for keeping your cool and getting the job done. Great job!

I’m also super proud of our Racing Knights! Both boys and girls took 1st place at the AUM War Hawk Invitational this weekend. Great job, Knights!

Our theme for Homecoming this week is High School Musical.

  • Monday = Sharpay and Ryan (Twin Day)
  • Tuesday = Stick to the Status Quo (Dress like a clique–jocks, nerds, etc.)
  • Wednesday = Field Day (Wear your unaltered Field Day shirt and show your class spirit)
  • Thursday = Country Club Day (Wear your preppy best!)
  • Friday = Spirit Day (Change into spirit wear after mass)

Don’t forget that doors and Homecoming wagons need to be completed by Wednesday morning so that they can be judged during Field Day. (Well, doors, anyway–not sure when they’re judging the wagons.)

We’ve also got the parade and Bonfire on Thursday night at 6:30. This will be our last event on the green before construction begins, so let’s make it one to remember!

There’s lots of excitement this week, and we may all be dressed in crazy ways, but we’ve still got lots of work to do. Friday is the end of the quarter, so if you’re missing any work, this is the time to get it done. I need all late work submitted by Thursday. Some of you have submitted late stuff to Google Classroom already–I’ll get that graded this week. You’ll need to see me in tutorials after school to find out about anything that you have missed. Let’s take a look at the calendar for this week:

  • English 11 — Week of Oct 16-20
    • Monday, Oct 16 — Twin Day
      • 1st period–reading quiz on “A Jury of Her Peers”
      • Read “The Yellow Wallpaper”
      • Answer discussion questions
    • Tuesday, Oct 17 — Status Quo Day
      • Read “Why I Wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper'”
      • Discuss the ‘Rest cure’ and the ‘West cure’
    • Wednesday, Oct 18 — Field Day
      • Field Day! Show your class spirit!
    • Thursday, Oct 19 — Country Club Day
      • Small group about the four texts we’ve been reading (“Story of an Hour”, “Declaration of Sentiments”, “A Jury of Her Peers”, and “Yellow Wallpaper”) and the connections between them
    • Friday, Oct 20 — Spirit Day
      • Finish with whole class discussion of the four texts mentioned above. Prepare for an essay test on Monday, Oct 23
  • AP English Lang & Comp — Week of Oct 16-20
    • Monday, Oct 16 — Twin Day
      • 3rd period:
        • work on reading and annotating either “Shooting Dad”, “How It Feels to be Colored Me”, “Once More to the Lake”, or “The Four Horsemen”
        • discuss in small groups
        • write a rhetorical precis for the essay you read. Turn in on Google Classroom
      • 7th period:
        • Read and annotate Firoozeh Dumas’ “The ‘F’ Word”
        • Discuss
        • Work on completing essay study sheets
    • Tuesday, Oct 17 — Status Quo Day
      • Read and annotate “This isn’t the Last Dance”
      • Using Bragg text as a mentor text, students will write their own version of a “What a Place” essay.
    • Wednesday, Oct 18 — Field Day
    • Thursday, Oct 19 — Country Club Day
      • Anonymous peer to peer feedback on “What a Place” essays
    • Friday, Oct 20 — Spirit Day
      • Revision of “What a Place essays

Let’s have a great week and get ready to end the week with a great win against Bullock County!

2017-18 Week 8 โ€” October 9-13

I hope y’all had a great weekend! We’ve got a big week this week with the Groundbreaking, the National Day of Testing, and the Eucharistic Procession for the Anniversary of Our Lady’s Visitation to Fatima. The Groundbreaking will occur during school on Tuesday, so we’ll be running a special schedule and will have mass with the Archbishop before the Groundbreaking. On Friday, Oct 13, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Visitation of Our Lady to the children at Fatima. We have a special Eucharistic Procession planned for this celebration–more information to come on that.

All Juniors will take the PSAT on Wednesday. (Freshmen and Sophomores will take a Pre-ACT.) This is a LIVE test, which means that it will be reported. PSAT is the test that is used to determine National Merit Scholars, so this is an important test. Please make sure that you get some good rest this week leading up to National Day of Testing and that you eat a good breakfast on Wednesday.

Let’s get to this week:

  • English 11 — Week of October 9-13
    • Monday, Oct 9
      • You should continue to read The Great Gatsby outside of class. You should finish that this week.
      • In-class essay on Ch 1-5 of The Great Gatsby
    • Tuesday, Oct 10
      • Read and discuss “A Jury of Her Peers”
    • Wednesday, Oct 11
      • National Day of Testing–PSAT for all Juniors
      • Do NOT bring anything to school today except pencils and calculators. We have special plans for the afternoon and you will not be going to class. ๐Ÿ™‚
    • Thursday, Oct 12
      • Finish discussing “A Jury of Her Peers”
    • Friday, Oct 13
      • Article of the Week due
      • Read and discuss “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • AP Lang — Week of October 9-13
    • Monday, Oct 9
      • Read and discuss “The ‘F’ Word” by Firoozeh Dumas
      • Descriptive assignment
    • Tuesday, Oct 10
      • Work on Descriptive assignment
    • Wednesday, Oct 11
      • National Day of Testing–PSAT for all Juniors
      • Do NOT bring anything to school today except pencils and calculators. We have special plans for the afternoon and you will not be going to class. ๐Ÿ™‚
    • Thursday, Oct 12
      • Read and discuss Rick Bragg’s “This isn’t the last dance”
      • Write a descriptive piece
    • Friday, Oct 13
      • Share descriptive pieces with class and provide peer feedback

So that’s this week! We’ve got a lot going on this week, and then we’ll have Homecoming next week. Fun times! Let’s have a great week!

2017-18 Week 7 โ€” October 2-7

Happy Fall, y’all! Maybe it’ll start to feel like it now! ๐Ÿ™‚ We had an exciting week this week–we received news that our Building Plan was approved by the Archbishop, Cross Country had a great meet, and then we had a great game on Friday night! Congrats to all!

We’re moving forward with another busy week in English 11 and AP Lang. Let’s take a look:

  • English 11 — Week of Oct 2-7
    • Monday, October 2
      • Make sure that you’re reading The Great Gatsby outside of class. You should be through Chapter 5 by now.
      • “Declaration of Independence” and “Declaration of Sentiments” reading
    • Tuesday, October 3
      • close reading of “Declaration of Sentiments” and discussion of the changes Stanton made
    • Wednesday, October 4
      • Read and annotate “A Jury of Her Peers”
    • Thursday, October 5
      • Discuss “A Jury of Her Peers”
    • Friday, October 6
      • Mrs. Turner will be absent. Mrs. Hutcherson will be your sub.
      • In-class essay on Ch 1-5 ofย The Great Gatsby.ย You may use your novel to cite quotes to support your position.
  • AP Lang — Week of Oct 2-7
    • Monday, October 2
      • If you haven’t returned your Field Trip form or completed the AP field trip lunch survey in Google Classroom, please do these immediately.
      • Read and analyze low/middle/high student sample essays from the Welty prompt
    • Tuesday, October 3
      • peer-to-peer feedback on anonymous essays
    • Wednesday, October 4
      • George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant”
    • Thursday, October 5
      • Firoozeh Dumas’ “The ‘F’ Word”
      • Begin AP Description precis & response assignment
    • Friday, October 6
      • Mrs. Turner will be absent. Mrs. Hutcherson will be your sub.
      • Complete AP Description precis & response assignment

Let’s have a great week, everyone!