Monday 1-30-17
Hello new students and thank you for visiting the page. This was our first day together, and we mostly went over the syllabus and expectations. We discussed future goals and the importance of planning to make those dreams come true. I passed out the syllabus for the class which had a list of the necessary materials. Students need to have those things by Friday and their syllabuses signed by a parent. I told the students that if they were unable to purchase any of the required materials, they had to let me know by this Wednesday (2-1-17), and I can make sure that they get what they need.

Tuesday 1-31-17
Unfortunately, I was out of school today with pink eye (eeehhhwww, gross.) Regardless, class goes on without me.

Students worked on their Post Card Projects during the entire period. The projects consist of the following five boards hanging vertically in descending order:
1. Name
2. Something that you deeply care about.
3. Something that you deeply care about that is completely different than the other one
4. Something that you deeply care about that is completely different than the other two
5. A future goal that you have set for yourself

Each board must have a nice clean border, and the entire piece must be very neat. The boards need to be filled with images that are either drawn, painted, or cut-out. Anything not completed in class today should be finished for homework. To receive credit, the projects must be presented in class.

Wednesday 2-1-17
Alright, I was back today and feeling spry! We started class today with an explanation of the 8 week Vocabulary Unit. Here's the run down.

Wednesdays: Students will receive 6 words.This is a listening activity, so I call out the word, name the part of speech, recite the definition, and use the word in a sentence. I suggest that students take these notes on regular paper during class and transfer them to note cards that night for homework. It is a requirement that the words are on note cards. The word and part of speech should be on one side and the definition on the other.
Thursdays: We will review the definitions, spelling, and part of speech
Fridays: Vocab Image is due. Students must select the word for the week that they think is the most difficult and draw, print- off, or cut-out an image that represents it. The image should have color and a border. I grade this based off of effort, so the harder one tries to make an impressive image representing his/her word, the better the grade will be. Also, the word cannot appear on the image. It should be an abstract representation, and the class will try to figure out which word it represents.
Mondays: Students must create a sentence using each word correctly. During class, they will team up with one or two other students and edit each other's work. One student from the group will be the leader for that week. That student's job is to make a final list of six sentences to be turned in the next day. The final list should have an equal number of sentences from each group member, and each sentence must labeled by who originally wrote it.
Tuesdays: TEST DAY!

The eight week vocabulary unit is comprehensive, so students will begin with six words, and by the 8th week, they will be responsible for having mastered 48 words.

Thursday 2-2-17
We began class by reviewing the six words from the day before as well as the spelling, parts of speech, and use of the words in a sentence. Following this, students were given 30 minutes to put the finishing touches on their Postcard Projects. In the end, students began to present their projects to the class.

Friday 2/3/17
We started class with students presenting their vocab images. After this, people presented their Postcard Projects. I was able to learn quite a bit about the new students. This is always one of my favorite days of the year. A sentence for each vocab word is due on Monday. Students should edit their work before bringing them in. ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!

Monday 2/6/17
We began class by going over students' sentences. After checking to see who had them, students were given 20 minutes to form groups of two or three and edit one another's work. The group leaders will take home all the sentences and create a master list of the top two or three from each person. These will be turned in on Tuesday morning. I will be grading for proper usage and spelling of the word, capitalization, and end punctuation. When we finished with the sentences, students continued presenting their Postcard Projects. Following this, we started a short unit on metacognition.

Tuesday 2/7/17
To begin class, we played the vocab game. I call two students up to the board where I've already written down each of this week's words. Next, I call out a definition, and the first student to slap the correct word wins. This is a single elimination tournament, and the winner of the game receives a 100% on the test and doesn't have to take it. After the game, students took their first vocab test. Next, any student that still needed to present his/her Postcard Project was given the opportunity. Lastly, we continued to read the metacognition handout and use the accompanying definitions list to help make meaning out of the information.

Wednesday 2/8/17
Students received their next six words. Following this, we reviewed the information from the Metacognitive handout that we started a few days ago, and we discussed the proper way for students to take notes. To end class, we watched some segments from a former Harvard professor concerning the way powerful messages are embedded into myths and children's stories as well as the importance of dealing with new, unfamiliar, and/or scary situations immediately instead of letting them fester and get worse.

Thursday 2/9/17
Today we began with a vocabulary review. Following this, students took out their metacognitive handouts and took notes on the next section on their own. After that, we watched more of the Jordan Peterson video.

Friday 2/10/17
We started class with vocab images. After that, students got into groups of three and discussed the 1) Main ideas 2) Connections 3) Questions and 4) Interesting/Cool facts they found in the sections they took notes on yesterday. We also watched a video about resisting negative thoughts and focusing on positivity. Vocab sentences are due Monday.

Monday 2/13/17
Today, students brought in their rough draft vocab sentences, and they spent the first 15 minutes of class working in small groups to edit and compile their sentences into a master list. Following this, we discussed the Why Teach Metacognition section of the document that they read and worked on last week. After this, students read and took their college style notes on the How to Metacognition of the sheet. During the last 10 minutes of class, we watched more of the Jordan Peterson video.

Tuesday 2/14/17
Students will begin by playing the vocab game. After this, they will take their test. Following this, students will return to their Metacognition Guide and take notes on the final section.

Wednesday 2/15/17
At the beginning of class, students will receive their new vocab words for the week. After that, we will discuss the difference between clauses and phrases as well as the four types of sentences. If there is time remaining, we will finish our discussion of the Metacognitive Guide, and students will receive their finals.

Thursday 2/16/17
We began class by reviewing the new vocab words. Afterwards, students brainstormed issues that interfere with their thinking and learning. We ended the day by watching more of the Jordan Peterson video.

Friday 2/17/17
Students completed their 1st spring benchmark test for the county.

Monday 2/20/17
We began class with students displaying their vocab images. After this, they were given time to work on their group sentences. Next, I chose one of the possible problems that can get in the way of learning: Procrastinating on assignments. I modeled how to research effective strategies for dealing with procrastination.

Tuesday 2/21/17
First, we played the vocab game. Following this, students took their vocab test. After this, one class had enough time to go to the library to begin their research on the issue they feel most negatively effects their learning. The other class did not have time, so we finished the Jordan Peterson video.

Wednesday 2/22/17
Students received their new vocab words. Following this, they went to the library and researched what ever area of learning that they felt like they need help in. They found three web articles devoted to their purpose and found three unique strategies from each article.

Thursday 2/23/17
Class began with a review of the new vocab words. After this, we discussed compound sentences. After that, students established their groups for the metacognitive final.

Friday 2/24/17
Today was a lovely half day that the students and staff seemed to appreciate. We started with vocab image. After that, we did some drills with writing compound sentences. That was all we had time for. Student's sentences are due on Monday. They must all be compound.

Monday 2/27/17
Today, students will show me their sentences. Following this, they will work together to edit one another's sentences to make sure that they are all properly formed compounds. After this, they will watch a short video of the top 10 after school specials from the 80s. Next, they will get into their metacognitive groups to work on their projects.

Tuesday 2/28/17
This was a weird day due to the juniors' ACT testing. I ended up seeing 3rd and 4th periods for about 45 minutes. We played the vocab game, but did not take the test since so many people were out. Following this, we finished the Jordan Peterson video and discussed the main ideas and their importance.

Wednesday 3/1/17
We began class with the week 4 vocab test. Following this, students received their next six words for the week. Afterward, I gave another explanation of what is expected on their Metacognitive Final, and they were given the remainder of the period to work on it.

Thursday 3/2/17
I started class by reviewing the week 5 vocab words. After this, we talked about independent and dependent clauses and how to create complex sentences. To end class, students were given more time to work with their groups on their projects. We discussed how long they anticipate that it will take them to complete the assignment, and we agreed that they will start presenting next Wednesday. Week 5 vocab images are due tomorrow.

Friday 3/3/17
We will begin class with the vocab images. After that, students will work to create an outline of what they are going to do in their presentations.

Monday 3/6/17
To begin class, students moved into their vocab sentence groups and edited one another's sentences. Afterwards, students moved into their meta cognition groups and practiced their presentations.

Tuesday 3/7/17
We started with the vocab game. After this, students took their vocab test. Next, students put the final touches on their Metacognition presentations.

Wednesday 3/8/17
Students received their week 6 vocab words. Following this, groups began presenting their Metacognitive finals.

Thursday 3/9/17
We will begin class with a review of the vocab words. Next, I will review how to write compound-complex sentences. Following this, students will continue with their Metacognitive Final Presentations.

Friday 3/10/17
Class started with Vocab Image. After that, we had a few more Meta Cognitive Final Presentations. We used the remainder of class to study compound-complex sentences. The vocab sentences for this week must all be compound-complex; they are due Monday.

Monday 3/13/17
To begin class, students lined up and showed me their vocab sentences. Following that, I did another review of compound-complex sentences. Next, they were given time to edit their sentences in their groups. After this, the last remaining groups presented. Then, students answered a few questions about their own level of engagement in their projects and their perceived quality of what they presented. Lastly, students began their Critical Inquiry Assessment. This is the first step of the sophomore project. It is designed to help students find their passion. For homework, group sentence leaders must compile the edited sentences, and students should prepare for the week six test which is tomorrow.

Tuesday 3/14/17
We started with the Vocab game. After that, we took the test. With the remainder of class, we began working on notes for the Mythology Unit.

Wednesday 3/15/17
Students received their vocab words. Next, we worked on sentence structure. To end class, we finished the notes on Mythology.

Thursday 3/16/17
We began with a review of the new vocab words. After that, we took some time to discuss the journey of mankind from hunter/gatherers to agrarian society. Next, we read the first section of The Garden of Eden story, and students answered some questions.

Friday 3/17/17
Students presented their vocab images. Next, we went over their answers from the day before and reiterated why we are reading sections from the Old Testament. For students to be better readers, they need to be aware of and knowledgeable of the most alluded to work of art in the Western Cannon. Also, we are not reading through a religious or scientific lens. We are dissecting the text for mythological/metaphysical truths being passed down to us from ancient peoples. We will do the exact same thing when we read The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Iliad. Lastly, students read the next section of The Garden of Eden story, and we made different inferences of what the story could be about.

Monday 3/20/17
We will start class with vocab sentences. Students will move into groups and edit one another's work. After that, we will finish off the Garden of Eden story and move into Cain and Abel.

Tuesday 3/21/17
Students played the vocab game. Following this, they took their test. Students used the remaining few minutes to work on their Critical Inquiry Assignment. Questions A-I (the first nine) are due tomorrow.

Wednesday 3/22/17
We started with vocab. This is the last week! Congrats to those that have learned new words and mastered sentence structure--you've worked hard and deserve praise. After that, we looked at the Cain and Abel story and discussed its ability to break down the human psyche into two patterns: people that humble themselves and make the proper sacrifices to the universe and arrogant people that try to keep everything for themselves and grow resentful and envious of the former. We also looked at the archetypal Great Father/King and Great Mother/Nature.

Thursday 3/23/17
We reviewed the new vocab words in the beginning of class. Following this, we pushed the archetypes further and introduced several more characters. Next, we talked about the Hero's Journey in regards to the different stages that nearly all stories share.

Friday 3/24/17
Students showed off their vocab images. Afterwards, we looked at the birthplace of our civilization, the Middle East, and talked about all the contributions that came from the Fertile Crescent. Next, I gave some backstory on the Epic of Gilgamesh as we prepare to embark on this ancient tale--the oldest recorded story that we know of. Sentences are due Monday: two compound, two complex, and two compound-complex all properly labeled. Also, the final four questions on the Critical Inquiry Assignment are due next Tuesday.

Monday 3/27/17

To begin, students formed their groups and worked to edit their sentences. Next, we talked a little bit more about the back story on Gilgamesh and how he is representative of the mythological Great King that offers security, but becomes too overbearing. He represents the order side of the Yin and Yang, and the danger of order turning into tyranny. His people complain, and the gods create Inkidu, the wild man of nature, to balance out Gilgamesh's energies. After this lecture, we read about Gilgamesh's battle with the might Humbaba. Here we see Gilgamesh truly humbled for the first time.

Tuesday 3/28/17
I was absent today due to a sore throat. Regardless, the students had lots to do. Their Critical Inquiry Assignment was due as well as their week 8 sentences. Students read The Death of Inkidu story and answered questions.

Wednesday 3/29/17
Luckily, I was back today at full strength. Because the Midterm is tomorrow, we spent most of the class reviewing the sentence structure section of the test. After that, we reviewed the students' answers to the Gilgamesh story.

Thursday 3/30/17
Students completed their midterms today. It was a combination of the final vocab test as well as eleven questions about sentence structure.

Friday 3/31/17
I returned the graded Critical Inquiry Assignment to those that completed it. Their job was then to figure out what they want to research for their sophomore project. Students came up with two possible topics and worked to frame their topics into one of the following four example questions:

“What is the effect of (x) on (y)?”

“What is the role of (x) in (y)?”

“How has the use of (x) affected (y)?”

“Why has (x) led to (y)?”

Once they finish that, their job is to begin research. They should find three articles or websites dealing with each of their questions. That means that students will be finished when they have a total of six websites or articles (three on each topic).

Monday 4/3/17
Today, we reviewed what's been going on with Gilgamesh and how it can be seen as a story about life. We read the final two sections in the book and discussed how Gilgamesh was humbled and redeemed.

Tuesday 4/4/17
Today was about the Sophomore Project. Students were given a short quiz about how to evaluate the credibility of websites. Next they were given information about how to evaluate the credibility of websites. After that, they evaluated three of the six websites that they found on their topics.

Wednesday 4/5/17
We went to the library today, and Mrs. Absi instructed students on how to find credible and scholarly sources using the library's data bases. Next, I informed students about creating Works Cited pages. Following the presentation, students continued their research and began building their Works Cited pages.

Thursday 4/6/17
We started class by reviewing ways to evaluate website and article sources to ensure that students are only quoting credible sources in their papers. After this, we discussed how to craft a thesis sentence. Students must have their thesis written by the time they return from Spring Break. Next, I gave students a copy of the final for the Mythology Unit. They will be creating a modern day myth where each student is the hero of his/her story and will go on to save the world by defeating Evil. Their incarnation of Good and Evil is due on 4/19/17. I am attaching the sophomore project checklist, thesis sentence handout, and Mythology Project at the top of the page.

Friday 4/7/17
One of our guidance councilors, Mrs. Craven stopped by and shared information with the students concerning what classes they need to graduate and college requirements.

Monday 4/17/17
We're back! And it's a lovely time to be alive! Today, we are working on thesis statements. These are due to me as soon as the little darlings enter the room. I will be anonymously putting several up on the board and discussing their quality. The most important aspects of a thesis are the claim (should be controversial) and the three supporting reasons for the claim.

Afterward, the students will form their groups for the Myth Project and begin working on their stories. They need to have their Good and Evil (from the handout section 1) A,B,C, and D from both bullet points) all figured out and on paper by Thursday (4-19).

Tuesday 4/18/17
As students came in, they took out their thesis sentences, and we talked about how to create introductory paragraphs. Basically, I am asking for four sentences in the intro. The piece should begin with a broad general statement. This should be something that people can't agree with. The next sentence should be more specific and move the reader toward the thesis. The third sentence needs to move the reader even closer to the thesis. Finally, the thesis is added so the reader knows EXACTLY what the paper will be arguing. Students were given class time to work on this.

The remaining class time was given to the students to work on their Mythology Projects. The Battle of Good and Evil section is due on Thursday.

Wednesday 4/19/17
To begin, I distributed outlines and discussed the proper way to fill them out. The completed outlines are due next Monday (4-24). The rest of the class period was given to students to work on their Mythology Projects.

As far as the Mythology Project, I reiterated the structure of the hero's journey and how each student must be a hero in his/her/their myth. The myths will begin in the normal world--this world in present time--but he/she/they will soon become aware of a supernatural evil capable of destroying the world as we know it. This supernatural evil must be representative of current, dangerous human behavior. As would be expected, the hero(s) question what was seen and reject responsibility to respond. Soon after, the mentor will show up and confirm what the hero(s) saw and convince them to join the fight for good. The students' ideas of Good vs Evil must be able to fall into this narrative structure.

Thursday 4/20/17
I took up students' Good vs Evil explanations. Next, I passed out computers, and students continued to work on their papers and filled in their outlines.

Friday 4/21/17
To begin class, students passed in the first draft of their introductory paragraphs. After that, I explained how I would like for them to write their body paragraphs. They will be using the TPEQEA paragraph style which I have attached at the top of the page. This formula keeps it simple and makes sure that students are covering all the important aspects of a paragraph and not being redundant or vague. Next, I went over how to cite information within the body of the paper. I have attached this handout at the top of the page as well.

Students must complete their outlines by Monday 4/24/17.

Monday 4/24/17
I started class by collecting students' outlines. Next, students read background information on Homer and The Iliad. While reading, they wrote down the five most important pieces of information from the section. After that, students got into groups of two or three and determined what was the most important out of their combined lists. Next, I created a word document and called on the different groups to put their notes up on the board.

After discussing the text, students used the remaining class period to work on the biographies for their mythology project. These are due Wednesday 4/26/17. As far as the heroes' biographies, I don't need much information. All I really want is the fatal flaw. This must be rooted in reality. It is something the students see in themselves that has the potential to keep them from reaching their goals in life. As far as the other characters (the Shadow, the Mentor, the Sidekick--if the student is not in a group, and the Threshold Guardian(s)), I need 3 to 4 sentence of description/background info.

Tuesday 4/25/17
We began with me going over the four essential questions for the Iliad. When we are finished reading this story, students should have these questions answered.
1. Why does The Iliad matter? (List the reasons)
2. What lessons can be learned from this story? (List the lessons)
3. What similarities exist between the events in this story and the modern world—your life? (List the similarities)
4. Who is the hero from The Iliad? (Name the character then list the reasons why)
Next, I handed out guided reading questions as well as Edith Hamilton's book Mythology. I read The Judgement of Paris out loud, and students read along. Then, we closed the books, and students answered questions based on the text. This page will serve as students notes for the story. Also, we are modeling a very successful reading strategy--reading, then closing the book and writing about what was just read.

Lastly, I modernized Paris's plight. I had them imagine that Hera, Athena,and Aphrodite came to them and asked them to choose between A) becoming the richest most powerful world leader/CEO B) becoming the greatest athlete/most skilled fighter-warrior in the world or C) marrying the most beautiful and loyal as well as best suited to them spouse in the world. They must respond in a TPEQEA paragraph. This is their first practice with the paragraph structure that they will use to compose all of their body paragraphs in the Sophomore Project.

Wednesday 4/26/17
We started with my reading of the students' TPEQEA paragraphs from the day before. Following that, students returned to their groups and worked on their Mythology Projects. The biographies were due at the end of the period. If students finished before the class was over, they were to go ahead ahead and begin outlining their stories. This requires them to write two sentences for each of the 12 stages of the hero's journey.

Thursday 4/27/17
We started with a brief discussion of expectations for the sophomore project outline as well as their examples and quotes. I reiterated how this paper needs to show a learning stretch. Their quotes and examples cannot be documented cases of general knowledge. I need to feel certain that students are gaining wisdom and information through this process. I am still working on the official rubric. Tomorrow, the students will be in the library writing their body paragraphs. The first one will be due on Monday. After grading these body paragraphs, I am confident that I will be able to complete the rubric for exactly what the final paper should entail.

We spent the remainder of class reading about the Trojan War. Students read along with me and answered their guided reading questions. I also worked to try and put the story in perspective so that they could find parallels between then and now.

Friday 4/28/17
We were in the library today working on the Sophomore Project. Students needs to complete their Prong I paragraphs over the weekend. If they finish, they should move on to Prongs II and III.

Monday 5/1/176
I was absent today. The baby was sick and required of a lot of attention. Regardless, students had computers in class and were to work on the first 15 questions on their Spring Benchmark test. After completing the first 15, they were to work on their next paragraph in their Sophomore Project papers.

Tuesday 5/2/17
Students had computers again today. Their job was to complete the Benchmark test and write down the questions that they missed. We will be working on EOC testing, at some capacity, for the rest of the week. Once they finished the test, they were to continue to use the computers for research and writing.

Wednesday 5/3/17
We began class by examining the standards that the state uses to evaluate proficiency in English. First, students were assigned a standard and worked to put it in their own words. Next, people with the same standard grouped together to come up with the most useful explanation/definition. After that, we reviewed what we have read about The Iliad thus far.

Thursday 5/4/17
We finished our discussion of standards as we heard more examples of students' own versions. I am compiling a list for each class. After that, we read more summary of The Iliad and answered questions for notes.

Friday 5/5/17
I passed out the list of standards in the students' own words. After that, I told them which standards were attached to the different questions from the benchmark, and we compiled a list of which questions were missed the most. Following this, we finished the Edith Hamilton summary of The Iliad.

Monday 5/8/17
We will begin by discussing how I would like the conclusion paragraphs to be structured. After that, students will have some time to work on them. Following this, students will be working on their Mythology Projects--more specifically, writing their two sentence summaries for each stage of the hero's journey.

Tuesday 5/9/17
We were in the library all day to work on students' sophomore projects.

Wednesday 5/10/17
We started class with a pop quiz on The Iliad summary we completed last week. After that, we read the first scene of The Iliad in which Agamemnon and Achilles have their famous argument. We stopped several times during the reading to summarize what was taking place in the story. At the end of the selection, students wrote a TPEQEA paragraph that answered the question, "Who is the most responsible for the tremendous loss of Greek lives after Achilles refuses to continue fighting--Agamemnon or Achilles?"

Thursday 5/11/17
We were in the library today so that students had computers to work on their Sophomore Projects.

Friday 5/12/17
Today, we read the final chapter of The Iliad. This is where King Priam and Achilles come to terms. Following the reading. We started to address the four fundamental questions for this story:

1. Why does The Iliad matter (Don’t speak in platitudes. Because it’s part of the Western Cannon is not an answer. (List the reasons))?

2. What lessons can be learned from this ancient story and carried over into the modern world (List the lessons)?

3. What similarities exist between the events in this story and the modern world—your life? (List the similarities)

4. Who is the hero from The Iliad (Explain why)?

Monday 5/15/17
This was our last day in the library for Sophomore Project. Students' papers are due tomorrow.

Tuesday 5/16/17
We started class with a return to the essential questions from The Iliad. Students worked on a specific question. Then they moved into groups and discussed their question. To end the discussion, students moved into groups with students that had different questions and discussed their findings. Following this, students were given one final TPEQEA based off The Iliad and metacognition.

Wednesday 5/17/17
With the English II EOC rapidly approaching, it's time to get down to business. Today, we looked at how authors plant symbols and allusions in their work to add layers of depth and meaning to a work of fiction. For example, it's not a dip in the pool--IT'S A REBIRTH!!! Also, the students are responsible for being able to embed their own symbols and allusions into their mythology projects.

Thursday 5/18/17
Today, we spoke a little bit more about why authors use these symbols and allusions. For example, why spend a bunch of time explaining what's going on, when one can use a symbol that explains everything by itself? Next, we read the short story Symbols and Signs by Vladimir Nobokov. At the end, students answered questions about the story that they will use in an activity tomorrow.

Friday 5/19/17
Students used their answers from the day before to complete a collaborative group work protocol. The protocol forced the students to communicate with one another to determine the best possible answers for their questions. Also, they evaluated other students' ideas to gain more insight into the story.

Monday 5/22/17
Today, I provided students notes on characterization in literature. Following this, we read the Flannery O'Connor short story, A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

Tuesday 5/23/17
Students chose one character from yesterday's story and filled out a chart with specific information from the text that helped the audience to better understand the character. Following this, we discussed the information and used it to make further meaning out of the story.

Wednesday 5/24/17
Today, students took the tutorial on how to navigate the EOC. Anytime left over was used to work on their Mythology Projects. Speaking of the Mythology Projects, I decided to push the due date back until Tuesday 5/30.

Thursday 5/25/17
We began class with a definition on the literary term Tone. Following this, students were shown a list of tone terms and asked to write down at least three for the following categories positive, negative, objective, and words they like. Next, I put six sentences on the board with six tone terms, and students matched the tone to the sentence. After that, we watched three clips, and students used their words to write down the tone. For our next activity, I showed clips of movies that had been altered so that the new tone of the film was completely different than was originally intended. Students then wrote down the definition of mood, and we talked about how mood is affected by tone. To end class, students picked one tone word and wrote it on a slip of paper. I used name cards to randomly call students to the front of the room. Each student had to say the sentence, "These pretzels are making me thirsty," in the tone they had picked. Audience members made guesses at the student's intended tone.