Monday 8/29/16
Today we will review the syllabus and take care of other expectations and protocols. The bulk of class will be housekeeping, but there should be time to begin The Post Card Project. This is our getting to know you activity and serves as the initial stage in our semester long quest for greater self awareness and enlightenment. It's also our classroom icebreaker which allows students to get up and speak in front of the class. Public speaking will be a weekly if not daily requirement, so it is best to get comfortable with it early on. No sweat. EA$Y MONEY!!!

Tuesday 8/30/16
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 8/31/16
The vocab unit will begin today. The schedule is going to change in the next few weeks, but for now, here is how it works. Students will be given their six words on Wednesdays. 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 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. We will review the definitions, spelling, and part of speech on Thursdays. For Fridays, 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. Sentences using each word correctly are due on Monday. Tuesday is 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 9/1/16
After reviewing vocab, students began presenting their Post Card Projects. This is always one of the best days of the semester as we get to know each other a bit better.

Friday 9/2/16
Today we will begin class with vocab images. Students will come up to the front and display their image, and we will try to figure out which word it represents. Following that, we will finish off the Post Card Presentations. For homework, students must write a sentence using each vocab word correctly. The sentences cannot be from the internet, but original works by the students. I will be grading on proper punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and use of the word in the sentence.

Tuesday 9/6/16
Because of Labor Day, this is going to be a very heavy vocabulary day. To begin class, students will get in groups of three and discuss, edit, and correct their sentences. They will combine to have two sentences from each person in the group and submit one sheet of paper to me (due on Wednesday). After this, we will play the vocab game. Next, students will take their test.

Wednesday 9/7/16
Alright friends: today, students received 6 new vocab words. Remember, this unit is comprehensive, so the test next Tuesday will have last week's words as well; therefore, it is important to continue studying them. Regardless, the vocab image due this Friday and the six sentences due Monday should only be from this week's words.

After vocab, we started the short Meta-cognition Unit. Essentially, this is a lesson to help students become more aware of their own thinking. Students trained in meta-cognition are better able to maintain focus, are more successful readers, and have more strategies to aid in their learning. The Meta-cognition Guide was not necessarily written for 10th graders, so I went through it and identified difficult vocabulary. I then passed out a sheet with the definitions to these words. Their job was to copy the definitions directly onto the Meta-cognitive Guide. The idea is to get students use to looking up and writing out definitions to words they do not know while reading. In the future, I will not provide definition sheets. For homework, our learners are to read the Meta-cognitive Guide for information and write down 3 things they learned, 2 things they found interesting, and 1 thing they still have a question about.

Thursday 9/8/16
To begin class, we reviewed our vocabulary words.

After this, I broke students into groups of three (w/ a few groups of four). Students discussed their 3-2-1 responses to the Meta-cognition Guide. They were responsible for answering one another's questions. I walked around the room and challenged students' understanding of the concepts discussed in the paper.

Friday 9/9/16
Normally, Fridays begin with Vocab Images, but frankly, there isn't enough time in the day. Therefore, I had to collect the images instead of letting students come up to the front and show them off.

Next, students returned to their Meta-cognitive groups from the day before. I asked them to create an image that represents either the answer to one of their questions or something they found meaningful/useful from the assignment. Students were given 30 minutes to do this. After the time was up, students came up to the front and presented their images.

For homework, students are to complete their vocabulary sentences.

Last week, there were less than three cell phone violations during class; therefore, the students earned the last 23 minutes of the period to enjoy as they pleased.

Monday 9/12/16
Today we reviewed subject verb agreement. During this conversation, we talked about pronouns and antecedents as well as prepositions and their phrases. Next, students reviewed their homework and underlined the subjects and circled the verbs in their sentences. Then they assembled in their groups and checked one another's work. At the end of class, the group members worked together and compiled their sentences to be submitted tomorrow.

Tuesday 9/13/16
Class began with the Vocab Game. After completion, students took their week 2 vocab test consisting of all twelve words from the past two weeks. With the last 30 minutes, we discussed the Western Canon and the origins of our species. This information is building toward our first major literary assignment--a survey of several passages from The Old Testament.

Wednesday 9/14/16
Today, students received their new vocabulary words. Following this, we returned to our notes from the day before concerning Early Man and the beginnings of Western Society. This discussion included the introduction of the Hebrew people into Mesopotamia from the surrounding deserts of Syria and Arabia. Students then read the opening section of Genesis and answered questions based on the reading.

Thursday 9/15/16
Great class today. We quickly reviewed the vocab, which allowed the bulk of class for grammar and literature. I handed out the sentence structure cheat sheet. This breaks down the difference between clauses and phrases as well as the difference between independent and dependent clauses. All of the vocab sentences for this week should be compound sentences. Check out the cheat sheet if you can't remember what this means. During the last portion of class, students broke into pairs and used the answers they came up with independently, yesterday, to answer a new set of questions with a partner.

Friday 9/16/16
It's the best day of the week, friends. We began class with vocab images. Next, students returned to their literature groups from yesterday and answered another question to help get a better understanding of the Hebrews' God. We discussed several different responses and interpretations. To end class, we reviewed compound sentences. Again, the vocab sentences due on Monday must all be compound. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!!

Monday 9/19/16
Another glorious Monday! Today, the students worked hard to edit one another's vocab sentences and made sure that everyone created compounds. Group leaders will submit their final drafts to me tomorrow. The test tomorrow will have all eighteen words from the first three weeks.. After that, we reviewed students' interpretations of the first section of Genesis and commented on each other's ideas. I tried to make the point that everyone brings something different to a text, and therefore, everyone creates his/her own meaning from the same text. After this conversation, students read the first section of the Garden of Eden story.

Tuesday 9/20/16
We had a full day today. First we played the vocab game. This was followed by the vocab test. With the remainder of class, students were broken into eight groups. Each group was given a different question to focus on from the previous day's questionnaire from the Garden of Eden. Students were given 11 minutes to walk around the room and discuss their question with different members of the class. Eventually, groups met back up and discussed what they learned from their peers. The last part of the assignment was/is to create a visual that represents the answer to their question. This image is due tomorrow at the beginning of class.

Wednesday 9/21/16
Students received their next set of vocabulary words. This puts them at 24 for the year! As long as they are studying 15-20 minutes a night, this is not difficult. The problem comes when a person doesn't learn a week's words and is then tasked with learning a new six the following week. They have to make an effort to stay out in front here because getting behind makes like hard. After vocab, we continued discussing and working with sentence structure--specifically complex sentences. This week's vocab sentences must all be complex. Next, students returned to their literature groups from the day before and voted on the best one or two images depicting the answer to their question. Next, we went through the questionnaire, and each group came up to the front and displayed their image. They explained how their picture represented the answer to their question, and we had deeper discussion on the manner.

Thursday 9/22/16
Today students took their English II Benchmark tests. Those that did not complete it are responsible for doing so on their own time. This must be finished before 9/30/16.

Friday 9/23/16
To start class, students showed off their vocab images. After this, we did a quick review of complex sentences. Next, I described the proper way to prepare for a class discussion and what to take note of when reading:
  • Connections to the modern world/other literature/her life/etc.
  • Questions left unanswered or things that don't make sense
  • Important information to the story ( use meta-cognition to determine what is the most important)
  • Kool aspects: look for information that is funny, odd, interesting, etc. This is info that stands out on a personal level.

After this, students read The Fall of Man and took notes for classroom discussion. Students earned free time the last 20 minutes of class by having less than three cell phone violations through out the week.

Monday 9/26/16
We began class with students reviewing one another's sentences and making a combined list of the top two from each person. These six sentences will be submitted by the group leaders tomorrow. The remainder of class was spent discussing students' notes from the end of The Fall of Man section of Genesis. Today, I introduced the TPEQEA style paragraph. I have attached a sheet at the top that explains what each sentence in a TPEQEA does. Their job is to answer the question, "Some have argued that it was unfair of God to place a tempting but forbidden tree in the Garden before Adam and Eve knew about good and evil. Others feel that without the presence of the tree and the possibility of disobeying God, Adam and Eve would not have had free choice, would not have been fully human. What is your opinion? Give some modern examples to support your opinion," in a TPEQEA style paragraph. Also for homework, VOCAB TEST TOMORROW-- ALL 24 WORDS!

Tuesday 9/27/16
The vocab game led off the day. This was followed by the week 4 vocab test. We're half way to week 8 and the end of the vocab unit! Next, students took out their TPEQEA paragraphs from the night before. Then they moved into groups of four and shared their responses. When reading a classmate's response, the reader is to respond on the paper in one of four ways: Expand on the person's idea, Provide a different perspective, Clarify the person's idea, Question the person's idea.

Wednesday 9/28/16
Due to a situation with child care, I was absent from school. The substitute disseminated the week 5 vocab words. After this, students read the Cain and Abel story and took their college style notes. Following this, they went through the story and selected what they considered to be the three most significant/important sentences from the story and wrote them down.

Thursday 9/29/16
Today, we started class with a review of the new vocabulary. Afterward, I taught how to properly combine two independent clauses and one dependent clause to create a compound-complex sentence. This week, all the vocab sentences must be compound-complex. Following this, students took out their Old Testament notes and sentences from the day before. After reviewing their questions, comments, and concerns, students formed small groups. Each student had one minute to state what he/she thought was the most important line from the story. After listening, every other student in the group then added a substantive comment to the original speaker's interpretation.

Friday 9/29/16
Class began with vocab images. Following this, we drilled compound-complex sentences. Next, students passed up their TPEQEA paragraphs from Tuesday (WHOOPS--was out Wed and forgot to get these yesterday). Then, we discussed the most important lines from Cain and Abel and why. Lastly, students read The Flood and took notes.

Monday 10/3/16
To start class, students moved into their vocab sentence groups and edited one another's work. After this, I opened the floor to any questions about compound-complex sentences. I worked out the problem sentences on the board. Next, students moved into groups of four and shared what was most important from The Flood Story. Following this, students moved into large groups of eight and created posters that represented their ideas.

Tuesday 10/4/16
We began with the Vocab Game followed by the Vocab Test. Following this, students returned to their groups and completed their posters from the day before. To end class, two students from one of the groups brought their poster to the front of the class and led the discussion concerning questions from/about the story.

Wednesday 10/5/16
Students received their new vocab words. Next, the remaining groups defended their posters from the day before. Following this, students were given notes on the literary term, "theme". Afterward, students were asked to write a TPEQEA paragraph on a common theme from The Garden, Cain and Abel, and The Flood stories.

Thursday 10/6/16
We started with a review of the new vocab words. Then, students took out their TPEQEA paragraphs, and we discussed the common themes from the stories. Next, I provided the students notes on the literary term, "Intertextuality". I gave the students a copy of the John Steinbeck short story, The Chrysanthemums. Their job for homework was to read the story and identify as many biblical allusions as possible.

Friday 10/7/16
First of all we completed the Vocab Image work. Following this, students got into groups of two and compared their biblical allusions from the story.

Tuesday 10/11/16
Because we were out of school Monday, this was a very heavy vocab day. First, students got into groups and worked on their sentences. Then we played the vocab game. After this, students took their tests.

Wednesday 10/12/16
To begin, students received their next 6 vocab words. That makes 42 in total. There will be one week after this, and then vocab is over!!! Following this activity, we continued our close reading of the Steinbeck story. We are going very slowly through this text because I want to model what careful reading looks like. I don't think the students have ever gone through a piece of fiction this carefully, and they are seeing just how much information authors purposely pack into their work. What, at first glance, appeared to be a boring piece about a weird gardener in the 1930s, has opened up to be a powerful story (chock-full of Biblical allusions) about a woman's longing to escape her drab, repressed existence in a male dominated world.

Thursday 10/13/16
We started by reviewing the new vocab words. Afterwards, we started our first conversation about thesis statements, and the students took notes. Next, finished our careful read of The Chrysanthemums and discussed the importance of being an active reader.

Friday 10/14/16
We had a pep rally today, so the bulk of class was cut short. We were able to get through Vocab Images and were able to talk a little bit about The Chrysanthemums, but we still have one assignment to go before we can end this unit. For homework, students were to create 2 compound, 2 complex, and 2 compound-complex sentences out of their vocab words.

Monday 10/17/16
As vocabulary phases out (students receive their final six words Wednesday), we are about to begin our Intertextuality Unit. Here we will be studying the symbols, characters, situations, etc. that occur within and throughout all of literature. Therefore, today we will be going to the library where our resident librarian, Mrs. Absi, has an activity arranged to expose students to books they may not have otherwise discovered. There will be more about the Intertexuality Unit to come.

After this activity, we returned to the room, and students worked in groups to correct their vocab sentences. Tomorrow's vocab test has 42 words; make sure your little darling is studying!

Tudesday 10/18/16
We started class today with the Vocab game. After this, students took their 7th test. This means they had 42 words with their parts of speech as well as spellings without a word bank. Kudos to them--this unit isn't easy! With the remainder of class, we went over more notes concerning the Intertextuality Unit.

Wednesday 10/19/16
Today was kind of crazy because of PSAT testing and being displaced out of our room. Regardless, we soldiered on. Students received their new vocab words, and we returned to the library so that students could select a novel for the Intertextuality Unit. We finished going over the notes for the Unit and students spent the rest of the day reading. I am attaching the notes about Intertextuality at the top of the page.

Thursday 10/20/16
Starting today, students entered the room, took out their books, and started reading. We will begin the day like this from now on. Afterward, we discussed the connections the students are making between their books and the rest of the body of literature that exists. We spent the remainder of the period talking about the different layers of culture. For homework, students were to make a list of values and behaviors that define us as citizens of the United States. Students' vocab images are also due tomorrow.

Friday 10/21/16
As with our new custom, we started class with 10 minutes of sustained silent reading (usually it's 15). Afterwards, we spent a little more time discussing symbolism in students' books. I'm finding that people are trying to summarize what is going on and not look for connections and symbols. This has to change. Following that activity, students presented their vocab images. Next, we continued our talk about US culture and Greek mythology. For homework, their vocab sentences must be 2 compound, 2 complex, and 2 compound-complex.

Monday 10/24/16
We started class with 15 minutes of sustained silent reading. Following this, students worked together to create their group sentences. Next, we continued talking about issues leading up to the Trojan War. Students will be reading Edith Hamilton's summary of the story. When we finish, we will read two sections of the translation.

Tomorrow is the final vocab test for the year. It will be used as a midterm. Make sure your little darlings study hard!

Tuesday 10/25/16
It's the final Vocabulary Test! They've completed the unit!!! Woo-Hoo!!!! Congratulations to everyone that learned their 48 words. It wasn't easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Wednesday 10/26/16
I was absent today, but the students had a very important assignment. They took their first steps towards their Sophomore Projects. The Critical Inquiry Assignment is meant to help students focus their minds on what is important to them and what they care about. I will review their answers with them in a one-on-one setting, and together, we will come up with an appropriate research topic.

Thursday 10/27/16
We started class with 15 minutes of sustained silent reading. Next, students continued reading Edith Hamilton's summary of The Iliad and answered close reading questions.

Friday 10/28/16
Students began class with 10 minutes of reading. After that, they returned to the summary of The Iliad and continued working on the close reading questions. I thought that we would have time to go over the questions, but by the end of class, some folks still were not finished. Therefore, those students took their books home and will complete the assignment over the weekend. We will review on Monday, and they will begin to read sections from the translation.

Monday 10/31/16
Hola! I hope everyone had a terrific weekend. I did. Sunday combined my daughter's first birthday and a much needed Carolina Panthers' victory--quite a day of excitement.

As is our custom, we started the day with 15 minutes of sustained silent reading. We also agreed that next Wednesday (11/9/16) students' will have finished their first book and submit their notes for their Intertextuality Project. If they have already finished the first book, their job is to select another and complete the notes again.

Following this, we reviewed the guided reading questions from The Iliad summary that they read. Afterwards, they began reading the first section of the translation, and they took their college style notes while reading.

Tuesday 11/1/16
Students will come in and read their novels for fifteen minutes. After this, we will spend about 20 minutes reviewing sentence structure with a little Sentence Structure Improv. Next, students will continue reading sections of The Iliad and take their college style notes. I hope that they can finish the sections today so that we can get to analyzing why this story matters.

Wednesday 11/2/16
Following 15 minutes of sustained silent reading, students read the final scene of The Iliad where Priam and Achilles make up, and they took their college style notes. Next, we reviewed students' notes. After this, they were broken into groups of four and asked to answer one of the following four questions:
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)

Thursday 11/3/16
Today, students will read for 15 minutes (they must complete their book and notes by next Wednesday). Afterward, students will get into groups with other people that had the same question. Once they discussed their responses, they were moved into groups with people that had the other three questions and increased their notes. Lastly, students were given an essential question from this unit and asked to create a thesis statement by using their notes from the four questions.

Friday 11/4/16
Today students will take their next step in their Sophomore Projects. First, I will return their graded Critical Inquiry Assignments. Following that, students will carefully review their responses and select three potential ideas for a research project.

Next, on a new Google document, Microsoft word document, or separate sheet of paper, they will write the three possible topics down and give a brief justification for why they may be interested in researching each topic as well as what they would hope to gain from researching these topics (this must be completed today and emailed or turned in by the end of class).

Upon completion, students will create another google or word document or sheet of paper labeled “Initial Research”. They should then begin browsing the internet for potential sources. They may use the computers in the room or their own smart phones. The main purpose here is to see what kind of information is available on each of their three possible topics. When they find articles or websites that are really potent, they should record the URL and title of the article/website on the “Initial Research” document they created.

I will have computers in class, but they aren't terribly reliable. I suggest, if possible, students bring in their own computers and devices for research. Cell phones are acceptable devices for research.

Monday 11/7/16
Students began class with 15 minutes of silent reading. For homework, they should finish the books and complete all the notes to be passed in on Wednesday.

Next we continued our conversation on thesis writing from last Thursday. We used students' previous statements to brainstorm one for class. After that, the students were given an outline, and we talked about how to fill it out. Students were broken into three groups and assigned one of the three prongs/sections.

Wednesday 11/9/16
Students turned in their Intertextuality Notes from the novel they were reading. After that, they returned to their groups and continued filling in the outline discussing The Iliad. Next, we reviewed the outline.

Thursday 11/10/16
I started class with a questionnaire about credible sources. Following this, we reviewed the answers to the questions, and students took some notes on scholarly sources versus popular sources as well as primary sources versus secondary sources. At the end of class, students selected 3 potential sources for their research paper and wrote 3-5 sentences about each's credibility using language from their questionnaire/handout.

Monday 11/14/16
We went to the library. Students were asked to find 10 sources for their papers.

Tuesday 11/15/16
We began class with a discussion of thesis writing and a review of filling in their outlines. Next I passed out the instructions for their Annotated Bibliographies. We reviewed how these should be written. After that, we started reading our next in class book, Unspun. It is a nonfiction piece about how to see through political and marketing spin in order to make rational decisions. This book will also help them determine which sources are credible from those that are not.

Wednesday 11/16/16
As we continue our march forward with the Sophomore Research Project, we soldiered on to the library. Before leaving, we had a brief conversation about thesis sentences. Students need to understand that their papers will house three sections defined by their thesis. Each of these three sections will contain three paragraphs. They will need a quote for each of these paragraphs; therefore, it is imperative that students use their time wisely and make intelligent choices with their sources. By the end of class, students need to have their 10 sources and should be starting to establish their claim and their three sections.

Thursday 11/17/16
We will begin class reviewing different students' thesis statements. We have to make sure that each claim makes a specific statement, each reason is completely different and capable of housing a point, a counter point, and a counter to the previous counter, and each claim has parallelism.

Next, we will look at how to create intro paragraphs. For homework, students need to write their introductory paragraphs for their papers.

To end class, we reviewed students' answers to the Unspun introduction questions and started reading chapter 1.

Friday 11/18/16
To start class, we looked at two students' introductory paragraphs and made edits to strengthen them. After that, I collected their paragraphs.

Next, students began reading chapter 1 of Unspun and answered careful reading questions.

Monday 11/21/16
We started class with me answering questions concerning outlining and sophomore project. After this, students finished reading chapter 1 of Unspun. Next, students moved into groups and combined their answers from the chapter and shared them with the class.

Tuesday 11/22/16
We returned to the library to further complete our papers and outlines. I did not OFFICIALLY assign homework over the break, but in order to stay on pace after the holiday, wise students will continue to put in time and effort. They should have their outlines finished by the time they return as well as have some annotations completed. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYBODY!!!

Monday 11/28/16
We spent some time in the beginning of class discussing in-text citations. After that, we talked more about what I am looking for with the intertextuality project, and I handed back the students' first drafts. They will need to correct these and get them back to me before the end of the semester. I did not make a hard deadline. To end class, students read chapter 2 of Unspun and took their college style notes.

Tuesday 11/29/16
We started class by finishing the reading and note taking for Chapter 2 of Unspun. Following this, we answered some questions based on the chapter. To end class, students were put in small groups and given the task of creating a commercial for an imaginary candidate or product using one of the seven deceptive tricks discussed in the chapter.

Wednesday 11/30/16
Today students returned to their groups from the day before. Each group performed their commercials, and we guessed which deceptive technique they were employing. It was a blast. I love days where the students get to show off their creativity and humor. At the end of class, students started reading Unspun Chapter 3 and taking their college style notes. Their first Annotation for their Annotated Bibliography is due tomorrow.

Thursday 12/1/16
Before taking off, we spent some time in the room where I went over some research techniques that I learned the day before from our excellent librarian, Mrs. Absi. Next, we went to the library, and I assisted some students with some formatting issues with the annotation, and they completed more researching and writing.

Friday 12/2/16
Today, students completed their county required 2nd benchmark test. We have to prepare for those ever-so-important EOCs!

Students' completed outlines are due on Monday, and they have three body paragraphs due next Wednesday. These can be the A,B,Cs from one of the three Prongs/Sections, or they can be the As from Prongs/Sections I,II, and III. If this language doesn't make sense, I have provided an outline at the top of the page which should provide clarification.

Monday 12/5/16
First and foremost, I need to extend my humblest apology for neglecting the website for so long. Work and family has been crazy, but I will do my best to not go on such a long hiatus again.
Our sophomore guidance counselor came into the class and talked to the students about GPA, Fafsa, college requirements and other necessary information for rising juniors.

Tuesday 12/6/16
First, we reviewed questions from chapter 3 of Unspun. Next. students worked in groups to try and find actual commercials that displayed the spin and deceptive techniques described in the chapter.

Wednesday 12/7/16
Students showed off their examples of spin and deception from their commercials, and we talked about how the commercials represented information from the chapter.

Thursday 12/8/16
Students read chapter 4 of Unspun and took their college style notes. Next they answered questions from the chapter.

Friday 12/9/16
I was absent due to a family emergency. Students continued to work on Chapter 4 and their research papers.

Monday 12/12/16
Today, I explained how to create a proper conclusion paragraph. I gave an example, and we covered the dos and don'ts. Next, we reviewed the answers from chapter 4. I told students that their remaining body paragraphs as well as their conclusion paragraph is due next Tuesday 12/20/16.

Tuesday 12/13/16
Students spent the day in the library researching and writing their papers.

Wednesday 12/14/16
This was the students last day in the library before the winter break.

Thursday 12/15/16
Students read Unspun chapter 5 and took notes. Afterward, we completed a protocol to help solidify the information.

Friday 12/16/16
Today, we finished the protocol from the day before. Here, small groups of students were able to look at all of the other students' answers to questions from the book and determine the best two. Then, as a class, we voted on the better answer out of the two. This helps students see what goes into crafting an excellent response. Following this activity, we discussed parallel structure.

Monday 12/19/16
We started class with a discussion of dangling and misplaced modifiers. Following this, students read Unspun chapter 7 and took their college style notes.

The students' remaining six body paragraphs and conclusion paragraph are due tomorrow. As a rule of thumb, before submitting a paper to a teacher, I expect students to proofread carefully on their computers. The next step is to print, if possible, and proofread again. Then, students should read the paper out loud while paying special attention to the actual words on the page and not what they think they wrote or intended to write. Lastly, students should have someone that they trust, read the paper out loud to them, making sure to read exactly what is on the page. After this process, the document should be pretty close to error free. GOOD LUCK!!! :)

Tuesday 12/20/16
Today I asked students questions concerning UnSpun chapter 6. The chapter dealt with how we form opinions on things and where we get our ideas that inform those opinions. I want the students to be active, critical readers that use the information from the book to look for bias, spin, and deception in the media and advertising. After answering the questions from the chapter, we read an article from the Washington Post. Next, we watched a video from an outside news source that questioned evidence used in the article. To end class, students read another article from the New York Times which quoted the questionable evidence from the Post. Students were to read the Times article and look for questionable reporting. We will discuss their findings tomorrow.

Wednesday 12/21/16
We began discussing the biases and questionable reporting in the New York Times article from the day before. Following this, students pulled their papers up on their computers, and they made peer edits on one another's papers for the remainder of the period. HAPPY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!

Tuesday 1-3-17
Alright friends, we had a pretty easy day this afternoon getting ourselves accustomed to school again. I planned on a fairly quick review of the book, UnSpun. Unfortunately, before I knew it, class was almost over. Regardless, students got a nice review, and we even worked in a little subject-verb agreement practice before the bell rang.

Wednesday 1-4-17
I can't believe how fast this semester flew by. Unfortunately, I am still working on people's first three body paragraphs. I apologized to the students and let them know that I will not have time to edit their final six body paragraphs and that they will have to use the criticism from the first three to guide the editing of the rest of their papers. During class, students read the next chapter of UnSpun and took their notes. Following this, I provided questions about the chapter. I randomly selected students to answer.

Thursday 1-5-17
Today we read the final chapter of UnSpun. We repeated the process from the day before. They took notes while reading, and once everyone was finished, I asked them questions and randomly selected students to answer. There is a conclusion section of the book, but I feel like UnSpun has run its course. Hopefully they have gleaned the wisdom from it and will avoid falling for deceptive advertisements, political spin, and bad information.

Friday 1-6-17
It seems like a good time to start studying up on the literary terms that will be used on the EOC. I handed out a sheet of notes which we reviewed as a class. Next, we watched a 5 minute video on Existentialism and discussed some of the terms from the handout. Following this, students read the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, Young Goodman Brown. This story is full of symbolism and is rife with EOC type discussion material.

Monday 1-9-17
To start class, I asked students what questions they had based on their homework. It became apparent that over half the class had not completed the assignment. Instead of freaking out, I gave the students a little history lesson on the background of the story, and we started reading it in class. I think that they have a better foothold on what is going on in the narrative. Their job is to finish reading it for homework and be ready for an activity in class tomorrow.

Tuesday 1-10-17
Today, students were put into groups of three and four and moved around the room to answer a series of 8 critical thinking or EOC style questions based on their homework. They had 7 minutes per question. Tomorrow, we will review the students answers. The only homework is for students to continue editing their papers and finishing up their Intertextuality Projects. The papers will be due on 1-18-17, and the Intertextuality Projects will be due on 1-19-17.

Wednesday 1-11-17
To begin class, students returned to their groups from yesterday, and I passed back the answers. Each group was responsible for one of the eight questions. They had to read each group's answer of the question that they were responsible for and select the best one. Then, each member of the group had to be able to defend why the answer the group selected was the best choice. This activity created excellent classroom discussion, and the students seemed to have a firm understanding of the story as well as some terms that they will see on the approaching EOC.

Thursday 1-12-17
This was our last day with the computers before the Sophomore Project research papers were due. Students asked questions and about the edits that I made on their papers.

Friday 1-13-17
Unfortunately, we had to take a tutorial on how to operate the computers during the EOCs. It took the entire period. :(

Tuesday 1-17-17
Today, students read the short story, "Symbols and Signs" by Vladimir Nabokov. They answered EOC style questions. It's a deep, difficult four page story that took the entire class.