Google Classroom and Supply Lists

Hello! Welcome back (almost) to another school year! This is your Junior year and you’ll find that things move incredibly fast. Let’s have a great year!

Go ahead and join the Google Classroom for your class. Go to, click the + symbol and Join Class and enter the code below:

  • English 11:  c7nrz1
  • AP Lang: b8s4sa

These codes are for students. Once I have the students established, I will activate the Guardian/Parent access so that parents can check on assignments as needed.

Since we are approaching tax-free sales weekend, I wanted to share with you my supply lists so that your students can be prepared for English 11 or AP Lang. We’ll hit the ground running from Week 1, so it is important that they are prepared to work.

Supply list for Eng:

  • 1.5″ binder
  • 5 divider tabs
  • bound composition book (100pgs or more…i.e., marbled Mead composition books)
  • pen pouch
  • pens (blue or black ink) and pencils
  • pens in other colors for annotations
  • highlighters
  • post-its
  • box of tissues (for the classroom)

You will also need a copy of They Say, I Say (from the school book list), 2 novels to be announced and chosen Week 2, and Great Gatsby for Semester 1, plus Flannery O’Connor’s Complete Stories and Farewell to Arms for Semester 2.

Supply list for AP Lang:

–2″ binder
–8 divider tabs
–bound composition book (100pgs or more…i.e., marbled Mead composition books)
–pen pouch
–pens (blue or black ink) and pencils
–pens in other colors for annotations
–box of tissues (for the classroom)

You will also need a copy of They Say, I Say (from the school book list) and 2 novels to be announced and chosen Week 2 for Semester 1, plus Flannery O’Connor’s Complete Stories and Orthodoxy (also from the school’s textbook list) for Semester 2.

Dream List

All teachers have dream lists. Here’s mine, just in case you’re ever wondering… 😉

  • Contemporary books, especially YA fiction and current non-fiction
  • Amazon or Wal-Mart gift cards
  • Sharpies
  • White card stock
  • Pentel EnerGel pens (assorted colors but especially green and purple)
  • Elmo document camera

We’ll see you soon! Feel free to email me or post a message in Google Classroom if you have any questions or need assistance!


Summer Reading

Happy Summer, y’all! I wanted to touch base with y’all to make sure that you know what you should be working on this summer. First of all, everyone should go ahead and subscribe to my blog. There’s a box on the right of this post where you can subscribe by entering your email. Then you’ll get an email every time I post something new, so you don’t have to remember to come and check. 🙂
AP Lang students:
The first part of your AP Lang summer work is to read the first 14 chapters of the book Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs. There are several editions out there. I have the newest one listed in my syllabus/requirements, but an earlier edition is acceptable, too. Part particular attention to the rhetorical appeals that Heinrichs discusses.
When you finish that, you will choose one of the non-fiction novels below:
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
As you read the novel, you should mark with post-its or flags 5 examples of rhetorical appeals. You may also want to consider the central theme.
ENG 11 students
Read one novel from the list below. You will likely have to order this book from Amazon or another online vendor so make sure you do this early in the summer.
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley)
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
  • Solo by Kwame Alexander
  • Columbine by Dave Cullen
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • In the Company of Heroes by Michael Durant
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself by Frederick Douglass
  • Winger by Andrew Smith

As you read, take notes to help you respond to the following questions:

  • What journey is your main character taking (this could be an actual journey or a mental or spiritual journey)?
  • What is the character’s goal (or quest)?
  • Identify the journey with concrete steps (at least 5) towards that character’s goal.
  • What does the character learn on this journey? What lessons does he or she take away from this?
Have a great summer! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to shoot me an email!

REHUGO Speech Schedules

Students, we’re on the last leg of the REHUGO project! You will present your speeches next week to your class. Remember that your speech should be 5-10 min long and memorized. You will be allowed to have one notecard with a bullet point list (not a card covered in tiny mice type with every word and syllable of your speech!). You have already turned in your Visual Aid, so I will pull that up for you on the Smartboard when you are ready to present. We will also set up a computer to record your speech as you give it. Remember that the speech itself counts as a test grade.

Here are the speech schedules:

  • English 11 — 1st period
    • Monday, April 30
      • Luke Voorhies
      • Ben Wilke
      • Tommy Valdez
      • Dalton Shoemaker
    • Tuesday, May 1
      • Epiphany Burris
      • Carson Binns
      • Gus Hodges
      • Gabe McBeal
    • Wednesday, May 2
      • Kendall Couey
      • Chris Waring
      • Sydney Hall
      • Jeremy Ramirez
    • Thursday, May 3
      • Brock Hudson
      • Byron Simmons
      • Clint Williams
      • Kendra Myers
    • Friday, May 4
      • Sami Hodge
      • Victoria Hubbard
    • Monday, May 7
      • Derrick Parker
      • Cam Prince
      • MK Main
      • Kate Koontz
  • English 11 — 2nd period
    • Monday, April 30
      • Miah Fenderson
      • Anthony Nguyen
      • Nick Brown
      • Austin Hankins
    • Tuesday, May 1
      • Marie Bristol
      • Leo Smith
      • Trip Carter
      • Ralph Clements
    • Wednesday, May 2
      • Rachel Davis
      • Zach Moore
      • Ricky Treloar
    • Thursday, May 3
      • Cred Thomas
      • Victoria Rodriguez
      • Demetrios Philippou
    • Friday, May 4
      • Erica Blackburn
  • AP Lang — 3rd period
    • Monday, April 30
      • Anna Catherine Barranco
      • Maddie Losik
      • Zy’Keria King
      • Cole Faucheux
    • Tuesday, May 1
      • Jonah Gier
      • Mari Caitlin Riggles
      • Zac Kroeger
      • Caroline Justice
    • Wednesday, May 2
      • Hunter Vaccaro
      • Maddie Jarman
      • Claire Mills
      • Johnney Guevara
    • Thursday, May 3
      • Mia Scarpino
      • Isabelle Saliba
      • Mary Katherine Foley
      • Chloe Smith
    • Friday, May 4
      • Hayden Rhodes
      • Sydney Sprowl
  • English 11 — 5th period
    • Monday, April 30
      • Nick Bowden
      • Amaris Tyynismaa
      • Thomas McLaughlin
    • Tuesday, May 1
      • Tate Holifield
      • Anthony Jaimes
      • Aaron Hall
    • Wednesday, May 2
      • Maggie Hall
      • Jacob Holston
      • Katie Stembridge
    • Thursday, May 3
      • Drew Smith
      • Rhys Holifield
      • Jevon Murdock
    • Friday, May 4
      • Bethany White
  • AP Lang — 7th period
    • Monday, April 30
      • Isabelle Cochran
      • Reagan Herbek
      • Kathleen Madden
      • Emma Gandy
    • Tuesday, May 1
      • Jacob Flowers
      • Manny Caceres
      • Katie Galvin
      • Zoe Rutland
      • Nico Gacha
    • Wednesday, May 2
      • CJ Person
      • Annamary Gilbert
      • Grace Leslie
      • Emily Talbot
      • Grant Walker
    • Thursday, May 3
      • Annie Bach
      • Virginia Speirs
      • Teresa Nguyen
      • Ellie Talbot
      • Zeke Gonzalez
    • Friday, May 4
      • Christian Friday
      • Josie Blanks
    • Monday, May 7
      • Austin Collett
      • Mitch Aaron
      • Burke Rothstein
      • Melody Taylor

Good luck! Make sure that you’re practicing!

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 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:

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 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!