Quick Update–more to follow

Thank you all for a great night at Prom. Your SGA leaders and the Prom committee did a great job with the planning and execution of prom this year, so please thank them and be appreciative of the hard work that they put in so that you could have a great time!

I’m working on lesson plans for the week right now, but I wanted to share a quick reminder to my English 11 folks. Don’t forget that you have an essay test on Farewell to Arms tomorrow. You should have finished it over Easter Break, but I gave you a few extra days to read in case some of you were behind.

After this, we’ll move on to listening to and working with parts of the Serial podcast and we’ll continue working on your REHUGO final speech.

AP folks, make sure that you’re ready to discuss Orthodoxy with Fr. Driscoll. I’m still waiting for confirmation on when he’ll be able to visit with us.

I’ll be back later with more details about the week!


REHUGO Benchmark 3 checked and upcoming deadlines

Hello, all! I hope that you’re enjoying a happy Easter Break with lots of fun time with family (and good choices)!

I’ve checked all of your REHUGO Benchmarks and either marked them as Collected or as 0 with Late/Missing. If you submit these components by Monday, 4/9, you will have a 20 point penalty for each component, with a highest grade possible of 80. The final opportunity to turn these components in will be Friday, 4/13, with a 50 point penalty on each component and a highest grade possible of 50. These components will not be accepted after that point. When you complete your work, you must submit the REHUGO components to the Late Assignments (Q4 to April 9) post in Google Classroom.

Please take some of the remaining Easter Break time to complete this work.

Your next REHUGO deadlines are Monday, April 23, when the final draft of your speech and your visual aid will be due in Google Classroom, and Monday, April 30, when you will all begin presenting your speeches to your classmates. We will spend some time discussing these speeches next week when we return to school, but start thinking about what you want to say–your synthesis essay might be a good place to start for some ideas.

Thank you. Be safe over the remainder of your Easter Break and make good choices (and get those REHUGO components turned in to the Late Assignments (Q4 to April 9) post in Google Classroom!).

REHUGO grades update

I hope that you’re all enjoying this long weekend! I also hope that some of you are working to get caught up!

For those of you who are behind on REHUGO deadlines, please take note of the following information:

Benchmark 1 components:

At this point, you may still submit Benchmark 1 components, but the highest possible grade will be a 60. That means that if everything is perfect, then you’ll earn a 60 instead of a 100.

The last day that you can submit these to earn any credit on them is Friday, March 9, at 3pm. After that date, the 0s will be permanent and no credit will be given.

Benchmark 2 components:

At this point, you may still submit Benchmark 2 components, but the highest possible grade will be an 80. That means that if everything is perfect, then you’ll earn an 80 instead of a 100.

The last day that you can submit these to earn any credit on them is Friday, March 9, at 3pm. After that date, the 0s will be permanent and no credit will be given.

About the Benchmark 1 and Benchmark 2 grades in PowerSchool:

These are the two grades that are listed in the category of Independent Reading/Daily Grades, and these are grades that you get for turning in your components (or some of your components) in on time. If you did not submit at least one of your components for each benchmark on the due date (Benchmark 1 was Jan 26 and Benchmark 2 was Feb 26), then this will remain a 0. You may not earn credit for this grade even if you turn your work in late.

I strongly advise you to use your time wisely this weekend, especially since you have an extra day. A 0 in any of these categories has the power to do serious damage to your average, and you are running out of time to get these components completed. The components were spread out and the benchmarks were designed to keep you guys focused and working. Don’t forget that you have had all of these assignments since Jan 9 and that you have had at least four or five full class periods that were designated as REHUGO work days.

One more reminder:

You do not have school on Monday. The teachers will be at a faculty retreat all day. Enjoy the day off (and use it wisely!)!

Welcome 2017-2018 Juniors!

Hello new Juniors! I’m hoping that you’ll be able to subscribe to this and start seeing my posts now. As we move through the rest of the summer, I’ll post from time to time just to keep you up to date on things. I might also post random articles or stories that I think you might find interesting or inspiring.

Please make sure to sign up for email notifications so that you get an email when I post a new post. This will make it easier for you to keep up with things (and you won’t have to remember to keep coming back here to check!). In the right sidebar, there’s a section labeled “Follow Blog via Email.” Simply put your email address in the white text box in that section and click Follow and you’ll get an email whenever I post.

Thanks! I’m looking forward to a great year!

AP score interpretation

AP folks,

I know that some of you have already gotten your scores through earlyscore.org and that some of you will be getting them tomorrow. As you look at your scores, I want you to make sure that you interpret them the right way. A score of 3 is not “passing” and a score of 1 or 2 is not “failing.” There is no passing or failing on this exam.

This class is taught on a college level, and the exam is really testing your readiness for college-level learning. This is how the AP folks interpret your scores with regards for meeting the demands of first-year college English.

  • 5 = extremely well qualified
  • 4 = well qualified
  • 3 = qualified
  • 2 = possibly qualified
  • 1 = no recommendation

If you scored a 3, 4, or 5, then AP believes that you would be successful in college level English classes right now. (Remember that most of you took this as a JUNIOR, one year away from college.) If you scored a 2, then you’re possibly qualified–there’s power in a 2! If you scored a 1, then it means that College Board believes that you still need more time to develop your thinking and writing–but guess what? You have that!

Regardless of how you scored, you have learned a ton this year, and you will be more successful in your college-level English/writing classes now than you would have been before. You are leaving my class more qualified, competent, and capable to interpret the world around you, so any score on this exam, whether a 1 or a 5, should be considered successful. This is one test: one day, one indicator of what you know and are able to do. I’m super proud of you all!

The Benefits of Adding 10 minutes of Reading a Day

I’m reading this amazing book–Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Dr. Robert Probst. (AP–Kylene Beers is the one who wrote the open letter to the new Secretary of Education. Do you remember that prompt?) At any rate, one of things discussed in this book is the importance of reading and not just of reading, but choice reading. I just read a part that reminded me of something I knew but that lit a fire in me to share with you.

In 1988, there was a study done that showed that 5th graders who tested in the 95th percentile read about 65 min a day outside of school. That adds up to 4.3 million words in a year. Here’s the rest of the data:

95% @ 65 min/day = 4.3 mil words/yr

70% @ 10 min/day = 622,000 words/yr

50% @ 5 min/day = 282,000 words/yr

20% @ 0 min/day = 21,000 words/yr

So those numbers are interesting enough. But then another guy did a study in 2006. He wanted to see what would happen if students added just 10 min of reading a day. Now look:

20% +10 min = 321,000 words/yr

And now, data shows, he’d be more likely to test in the 55%!! What about a different group?

70% +10 min (so 20 min total a day) = 2,269,917 words/yr

That student would likely now test in the 85%!!

Just 10 minutes of reading a day has the opportunity to CHANGE YOUR LIFE, especially if you score on the lower to middle portion of the percentiles. I worked with several of you a couple of weeks ago on some last minute ACT work. I’m telling you that the single best thing you can do to improve your understanding and to improve those test scores is to read. Here’s an article that supports some of this info: http://www.scilearn.com/sites/default/files/imported/alldocs/rsrch/30388RAExtra10min.pdf

Just because I’m not there with you every day doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be reading. Grab a book and get busy. If you’re not sure what to read next, email me and I’ll give you some suggestions. Just READ!

Speaking of reading, don’t forget that you have summer reading to do. You can find the details here:


Happy Reading!



Reading Comprehension practice

Hello, all!

I know that many of you are planning to take the ACT this week. If you want to work on your Reading (and really, all of you should consider doing this at least once a week this summer), you should be working through some of the practice passages on Read Theory.

Go to ReadTheory.org. If you don’t remember your username, just let me know (shoot me an email!) and I’ll get it to you, as well as the class code. This is the single best way that I can think of to help you work on that Reading score on the ACT. The other thing is that you should be reading, reading, reading…that’ll help, too!

Weekend Reminders for AP Lang and Eng 11

Happy long weekend! Don’t come to school tomorrow (Monday)–we won’t be there. Teachers and staff will be on retreat at Holy Spirit all day.

AP Lang folks–

Make sure that you have read the short story “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor by Tuesday morning. Fr. Driscoll will be joining us for discussion.

Also, your final Rhetorical Device weekly assignment is due in Google Classroom on Tuesday. Make sure that you get this finished and uploaded.

Eng 11 folks–

We have one more Book Club/Lit Circle book to pick, so refer to the list and start thinking. You’ll write down your preferences on Tuesday. I’ll post the list here later today. Once books and groups are assigned, you’ll need to get a copy of the book and start working. There may be copies out there floating around with the other 11th graders so check with your friends first. Both reg Eng and AP have the same book list.

To all–

I’m still grading like a crazy person. Hopefully I’ll be finished by Tuesday morning. If you see unpleasant grades between now and then or a 0 on something you know you have turned in, don’t panic. I’m working on it. (Unless, of course, the 0 is for something that you didn’t do–work won’t materialize from nothing.)

Enjoy your extra day!

2016-17 Week 8 — October 3

Homecoming Week! Let’s see your school spirit this week! Here are the dress-up days:

  • Monday–Game of Life–Character Day!
  • Tuesday–Trouble in Paradise–Tacky Tourist Day!
  • Wednesday–Battleship!–Field Day!
  • Thursday–America’s Past Time–USA Day!
    • Don’t forget the Parade and Bonfire on Thursday!
    • 6:30pm in the field next to the gym
    • All K4-12 families are invited
    • Concessions will be sold
  • Friday–Fear Factor–Spirit Day!

It’ll be a great week! Let’s cheer our Knights on to victory!

School will still be going on throughout all of the exciting Homecoming events, of course, so let’s review our schedule for this week.

AP English Language & Composition

  • Monday, Oct 3
    • Read Christopher Morley’s “On Laziness” in textbook p. 64-65
    • Annotate
    • Develop a thesis statement
    • Homework–read Kennedy Inaugural Address p. 69-72
  • Tuesday, Oct 4
    • Discuss Kennedy address and questions on p. 72
    • Create a thesis for a rhetorical essay on the address
    • Lit Circle Wrap-up–(in groups)create an AP style analysis question using your Lit Circle group
  • Wednesday, Oct 5–Field Day
  • Thursday, Oct 6
    • Read “I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read” p. 176-186 in textbook
    • Annotate for rhetorical appeals and figurative language
  • Friday, Oct 7
    • Create a thesis statement and outline for a rhetorical analysis essay based on “I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read”

English 11

  • Monday, Oct 3
    • College Choice Project–RESEARCH DUE–PROJECT GRADE
    • Individual conferences to assess research
  • Tuesday, Oct 4
    • Utilizing sources in research
    • Synthesizing information (without just copying and pasting)
    • Work time on Research paper
  • Wednesday, Oct 5–Field Day
  • Thursday, Oct 6
    • One-on-one conferencing on research essays so far
    • Work time on Research paper
  • Friday, Oct 7
    • Continued work on quoting and paraphrasing/MLA formatting
    • Work time on Research paper
    • Research Paper due on Monday, 10/10 (WRITING GRADE)

Have a great week!

Supply Lists for 11th grade English and AP Language

I know that we’ve still got a month to go before school comes back, but some of the Back to School sales are starting (Office Depot has penny deals starting today!). I thought some of you might want a head’s up about what you’ll need this year. 🙂

Right now my list is the same for 11th grade English and AP Language:

  • 1 3″ 3-ring binder
  • 1 2″ 3-ring binder
  • 1 3-subject spiral bound notebook
  • loose leaf paper (college ruled, preferably)
  • index cards **
  • pens and pencils
  • tab dividers (2)
  • 12 pk Sharpie highlighters (3 yellow, 2 orange, 2 blue, 2 pink, 2 green, 1 purple)

They’re not on the list for me, but we will be doing things with crayons or colored pencils and markers, so make sure you have something like that, too. You know I like a bit of Arts and Crafts in my days sometimes. 🙂

The index cards will need to be bound in some way for our purposes. There are spiral bound index cards (but those aren’t on sale). I did see a little notebook of sorts for index cards at Office Depot last year. Another option is to just use a hole puncher and a spiral ring to keep them together. Any of those options would be good. I just want you to be able to keep your notecards together and not have them disappear in the wind as we go through the year.

Right now at Office Depot, index cards, Sharpie highlighters (and Sharpie Colored pens–I’m going to have to get more!) are on sale. Ticonderoga pencils are on sale, too, and it looks like binders are in a Buy 2 Get 1 sale.

Happy shopping, my friends! It’s hard to believe that it’s already school supply time!