English 10A

Class info

We will analyze three themes through World Literature — Individual vs. Society, Prejudice and Equality, Choices and Consequences — while you explore and begin to answer: Where do you fit in the world today?

While exploring these themes, will follow Colorado’s Oral Expression and Listening, Reading for All Purposes, Writing and Composition, and Research and Reasoning standards.

Tuesday, 12/14

The Inquiry Research (I-Search) projects are due today. I asked students to complete a reflection activity (on paper) at the start of class. We then reviewed for the final using a Roald Dahl story in the textbook and revisiting our previous discussions/notes of small/medium/large questions. Homework: prepare for the final!

Friday, 12/10

Last in-class day for research. I also had students check to see if their research notes were shared with me. At the end of class, I reviewed the instructions for moving your works cited/bibliography from EasyBib to Google Docs. Homework: finish your research notes and bibliography for next class.

Wednesday, 12/8

Today was another work day for the Inquiry Research (I-Search) project. I did ask students to complete this form as a checkpoint to see how everyone is doing. Homework: research!

Monday, 12/6

Today was our first full work day for the I-Search research project. Please refer to the entry for Thursday, 12/2 for important links and information regarding the research notes, rubric, and annotated bibliography. Homework: all research is due at the start of class next Tuesday, the last day of class before finals.

Thursday, 12/2

I introduced the rubric today for the Inquiry Research Project (I-Search). We practiced with the format for the research notes using this article on TSA airport screening. We also used that article to discuss paraphrasing and summarizing, and I showed the class what I was looking for in terms of the annotations on your bibliography entries. Towards the end of class, students copied the actual research notes template into their existing notes document. Homework: clean up your existing research notes and put them into the format I’ve given you. Make sure you have enough research done already so you can comfortably complete this project next week.

Tuesday, 11/30

We tried to ease back into our research project with blog posts about what we’d learned so far about research and our topics. Ms. Cope visited again to talk a little bit about evaluating sources. Most of the rest of class was research time (or getting finished with blog posts/caught up on late assignments), and in the last five minutes of class I gave back all of the Fahrenheit 451 tests.

Friday, 11/19

Smarter research was the goal today. Ms. Cope visited our class and used this page/form to help guide everyone through some strategies for getting the most out of the research databases the Skyline library subscribes to. Afterwards, there was a little bit of independent research time. I introduced this Google form towards the end of class — students who are all caught up should have been able to complete it then and they have no homework over break. As for everyone else.... Homework: Complete enough research to fill out my checkpoint form accurately and honestly; we will be sharing what we’ve learned so far in this research project first thing when we get back from Thanksgiving break.

Wednesday, 11/17

I used a Google Form today to collect research topics and questions, and got much better results. Nearly everyone has a research topic now and used class time today to create a research notes document on Google Docs and begin “real” research using the Skyline online research databases. Homework: have something to show for your research and topic — 2-3 real sources and at least a few notes from each.

Monday, 11/15

Today I spent the majority of the class introducing EasyBib — an online bibliography/works cited tool. Students set up accounts using their @shsfalcons.com e-mail addresses and entered sources into a practice list. I checked topics and large questions, which was the homework, but few students had this finished. The rest of class time was for the continuation of preliminary research.

Thursday, 11/11

More preliminary work for our research unit today (second half of this slide deck). We talked about the importance of research in academic as well as non-academic settings. We reviewed the activity of last class and then worked on topic selection a little more earnestly, talking about how your topics should be related to the broad topic of “Society,” related to multiple aspects of society if possible, something you’re already interested in, and something about which you can ask questions and learn more about. Homework: come to class on Monday with a very specific topic as well as some small, medium, and large questions about your topic.

Tuesday, 11/9

Today we started our research unit with a little what-not-to-do research practice (first half of this slide deck). I gave everyone the same research question and 15 minutes to find out as much about this question as they could. Then we talked about what we learned and why quick-and-dirty searches of Google and Wikipedia can be great for learning a little bit about a topic, but not for “real” research. And then everyone started brainstorming ideas for their research topics under the umbrella of “Society” — yes, very broad.

Friday, 11/5

Today was our test over Fahrenheit 451. Afterwards, I asked students to fill out these questions in response to Wednesday’s Fishbowl. Homework: finish the Fishbowl response if you did not do so in class.

Wednesday, 11/3

We held our final Fishbowl Discussion today for Fahrenheit 451. Friday is the open-book essay test on the novel, focusing on symbolism and theme. Please make sure you use examples from the text in your essay. Homework: review for the test, particularly the online components of our Fishbowls.

Monday, 11/1

Galileo testing took up the first part of class. As students finished, they posted medium-to-large questions on the blogs for the fishbowl discussion on Wednesday. Homework: finish up those questions, if you didn’t in class, and either post them or bring in a hard copy next class.

Thursday, 10/28

I gave the final Fahrenheit 451 quiz today. I was also able to get the netbooks last minute, so we continued our blogging about symbolism from yesterday. We also went over the plan for the next few days: Monday, Galileo testing and writing medium-to-large questions for 451; Wednesday, final Fishbowl on 451; Friday, 451 in-class essay test. Toward the end of class, I read a Bradbury short story out loud — “All in a Summer Day.” We used this story to draw comparisons between characters and begin talking about our universal themes, particularly Individual vs. Society. Homework: if you are behind on the reading, you have a great opportunity to get caught up over the weekend and still participate in Wednesday’s Fishbowl and hopefully do well on Friday’s test.

Tuesday, 10/26

After a quiz on the reading assigned for today, we talked about symbolism in a little more depth than we had before — we reviewed a definition and identified some examples through exploring the symbolism of fire in our culture. We then used the class blogs (A3, A4) for some identification and explanation of symbols in the novel. Homework: finish the novel for Thursday; finish your symbolism blog post if you did not get it done in class.

Friday, 10/22

Class today started with a quiz over the reading due today. We then reviewed the purpose of our Fishbowl discussions as well as how everyone thought our discussion went last class. Then we talked about the beginning of Part Three of Fahrenheit 451 and  reviewed the end of Part Two a little bit. Homework: please read to p. 154 for next class.

Wednesday, 10/20

Today was our first “real” Fishbowl discussion covering Part One and Part Two of Fahrenheit 451. I checked students questions beforehand, and then students had to write a blog post reflection on how the Fishbowl went after we finished. Homework: read to p. 130 in Fahrenheit 451.

Monday, 10/18

Starting today with a quiz, we focused on Fahrenheit 451 and the beginning of Part Two. I also talked about the Auto Ethnography Essays, which are now graded — please check Google Docs and Infinite Campus. We also spent time preparing for a 451 Fishbowl discussion on Wednesday. Homework: please read through the end of Part Two and bring in at least 3 medium-to-large questions for the discussion.

Wednesday, 10/13

Today we had only a brief class due to PLAN testing this morning. We practiced writing small and medium questions from Part One of Fahrenheit 451, and then we used these questions to drive a short, catch-up discussion over that part of the novel. Homework: please read through p. 91 for next class; there will be a quiz.

Monday, 10/10

Today was our first practice fishbowl discussion — but first, we had to review levels of questioning:

We used Dr. Seuss’s The Butter Battle Book as our text for both practicing levels of questioning as well as the practice fishbowl discussion. We will build on our practice today with our first “real” fishbowl over Fahrenheit 451 next week. Homework: finish Part One in Fahrenheit 451 — to the end of p. 68 — for Wednesday.

Thursday, 10/7

I introduced the class blogs today (period 3, period 4). We spent a good deal of class setting up accounts, getting logged in, learning how to post, and writing our first journal entries. The prompt for today’s entry was:

Review your writing from last class — both the reflection prompt as well as your agree/disagree responses. Please type up (and revise/clean-up as necessary) your thoughts on life without books. Afterwards, pick three of the agree/disagree responses, and type them here. Elaborate on each, particularly how our small group/class discussions/debates may have shaped, changed, or solidified your feelings on those topics.

Then students learned how to comment on each others’ posts. Lastly, we briefly discussed the beginning of the novel. Homework: read through the natural break on p. 48.

Tuesday, 10/5

We did some writing today to start off our Fahrenheit 451 unit. I also gave students 12 statements to agree or disagree with — we wrote about and discussed these.

Afterwards, I signed out copies of the novel to everyone and students had a chance to get started on tonight’s reading. Homework: read to the break on p. 40.

Friday, 10/1

Today I was absent from school. The sub should have distributed copies of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for students to begin reading in class. Everyone should have also completed this handout before leaving.

Wednesday, 9/29

Today was the last work day before the essay is due on Friday. We went over some formatting requirements; I reviewed Introduce, Explain, and Pertain from yesterday’s slide deck; and I suggested that students check their essays against the rubric I e-mailed out a few days ago. The rest of class was work time to try and finish up essays. Homework: the Auto Ethnography Essay is due at the start of class Friday.

Monday, 9/27

I handed out printed copies of everyone’s rough draft, and we reviewed what all should be in your draft at this point — essentially, an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion (see the very end of this slide deck for more). Students then made a checklist of things they still need to complete. Next, we went through a mini-lesson on Introduce, Explain, and Pertain — a way to make sure the examples in an essay are relevant and connected to the thesis (see the second half of this slide deck for more). Students then traded essays and completed more focused peer reviewing using this worksheet to try and give relevant and helpful feedback. Everyone was supposed to give feedback on two essays, and to get feedback from two classmates on their own essays. Students who finished this had time on netbooks to continue working towards a final draft, which is due at the start of class on Friday. Homework: knock out that checklist and get your essay ready to submit on Friday.

Thursday, 9/24

Today we worked on introductions and conclusions for the Auto Ethnography essay. We particularly spent time on writing attention grabbers for the beginnings of the introduction paragraphs. Please review the first half of this slide deck for more information. Homework:  have a complete rough draft — introduction, three body paragraphs, and conclusion — finished for class on Monday.

Tuesday, 9/21

I checked everyone’s progress on their thesis statements and body paragraphs for the auto ethnography essay. We talked a little bit more about thesis statements and answered questions students had about them from last class. The rest of class was for students to read each other’s thesis statements and body paragraphs, make sure they connected, and to make suggestions on showing vs. telling (detail! active verbs!). It was also the last opportunity students who are behind on this assignment will have to get caught up during class time.

Friday, 9/17

Today we reviewed the rubric for the auto ethnography personal essay. After this, we split into two groups to work on thesis statements for the essay as well as typing your three body paragraphs into SHS Google Docs. Please make sure to name your document starting with the class period (A3 or A4), followed by your last name, and the name of the assignment — e.g., “A3 Everson Auto Ethnography Essay.” Then make sure to share the document with me. If you don’t share it or name it correctly, I may not count it as being turned in. Homework: finish whatever you were unable to in class; you need to have typed your thesis statement as well as three body paragraphs and shared the document with me by the start of class on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 9/15

Today was more pre-writing for the auto-ethnography essay. I checked web #1, had students write webs #2 and #3 in class, and then we started converting these webs into body paragraphs. We also talked about topic sentences for the beginnings of these paragraphs. Homework: finish all 3 webs and body paragraphs for Friday.

Monday, 9/13

I checked the agree/disagree brainstorming homework to start off class. Then we did more brainstorming for each of our themes (first page of today’s handout), trying to tease out more details and specific, individual experiences. We discussed thesis statements as a combination of topic and opinion (topic + opinion = thesis). Homework: pick one anecdote from any of the brainstorming, and do the web on the second page of today’s handout.

Thursday, 9/9

Today we finished our universal theme sample texts — “Geraldo No Last Name” for Prejudice and Equality and bridging into Individual vs. Society, which was reinforced by an excerpt from Three Cups of Tea. After reading and discussing these, I introduced the auto ethnography assignment. I also handed out a brainstorming worksheet for this paper. Students filled in agree/disagree for every statement, and then went back to fill in the “why” for each with personal examples from their lives. Homework: complete the brainstorming document for class next Monday.

Tuesday, 9/7

I collected — and then graded and returned — the homework due today. Please check Infinite Campus to see your current grade in my class. Many of you failed to complete this assignment, and your grade reflects this. We then read an excerpt from Scott Westerfeld’s novel Uglies as a way to introduce and discuss the Prejudice and Equality unit. 

Thursday, 9/2

Today we finished reading the beginning of Tuesdays with Morrie and discussed it as an example of our Choices and Consequences theme. We also used Morrie and a related video to discuss Primary and Secondary Sources, which will become very relevant as we begin our first project soon (more on Primary/Secondary Sources here and here). Next we introduced our Individual vs. Society theme by discussing how society encourages or discourages individuality and conformity. Homework: write a 3-5 paragraph reflection in which you reflect on a situation that took place in your life where you felt it was you against society, or society against you. Describe the situation. How did it feel? How did you deal with it? What was the outcome? Another way to think about this: Have you ever been in a situation in which you had to make a decision you knew would be unpopular — with friends, with your family, etc.? We can define "society" as narrowly or as broadly as we want. Or have you been in a situation where some group of people held an opinion that you disagreed with? This reflection is due at the start of class on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 8/31

We finally got around to discussing “Sigurd the Dragon Slayer” in class today — we talked about our impressions of the story, what other stories it reminded us of, and which of our three universal themes for the semester best fits. Next, we spent a little bit of time introducing/reviewing Skyline Google Docs, which we will use throughout the semester. Lastly, we started reading the first 23 pages of Tuesdays With Morrie, which we’ll use to properly introduce our Choices and Consequences theme next class.

Friday, 8/27

After collecting the signed page 2 of the course guidelines, we continued our discussion of the class themes for the year. Students then finished reading “Sigurd the Dragon Slayer” (p. 676 in the lit text) and attempted to answer some questions regarding its similarity to other stories as well as which theme it best fits.

Wednesday, 8/25

Today we reviewed the guidelines for the course. We also began our exploration and discussion of our themes for the yearHomework: have your parents read the guidelines and sign the bottom of page 2; bring this back next class.

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