Um, has my teacher completely lost it, or is it just Halloween?

For all of you wondering what on earth my Halloween costume is, this may help:

The Birds Fan-made Trailer

This is a great film by a great director — Alfred Hitchcock. I studied his work extensively in grad school, and thought this year I’d pay homage to The Birds for Halloween. It’s based on a short story of the same name by Daphne DuMaurier.





What did I miss? 10/29

English IV Regular & Honors: We took a vocabulary quiz that you MUST make up tomorrow or your grade will be incomplete for this nine weeks. After the quiz, we watched about 20 more minutes of the movie. Don’t forget to keep working on your Quest for Chivalry journal project. ***Please note: there was an error in yesterday’s post which has now been fixed. I accidentally uploaded a rough-draft version of your handout, but the link has been corrected to provide you with the “production-quality” one. Sorry for any confusion.

Pre-AP English: We did some vocabulary review at the beginning of class, then introduced The Paradox of Choice. Over the weekend you will need to read portions of this book excerpt and write a response (directions will be posted tomorrow).

English II: We shared and critiqued some of the vocab creative writing pieces with the class as a method of reviewing for tomorrow’s quiz, then discussed chapter 6 of A Separate Peace.

What did I miss? 10/28

English IV Regular and Honors: We began watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You will need to print and read this handout (*note: this link has been fixed now, so you will get the correct handout by clicking on it). In order to answer the questions, you will need to watch the first 32 minutes of the film. You can do this in one of three ways: (1) Stop in during 6th, 7th, or 8th period to watch the portion of the film you missed. (2) Get the movie from the library, Netflix, or other means of borrowing DVDs and watch it at home. (3) Watch some of the scenes (“Coconuts and Swallows”, “Bring Out Your Dead”, The Annoying Peasant, The Black Knight, “She’s a Witch!”, “The Blessing”, and “French Taunting”)on YouTube. If you go with the YouTube option, be sure to watch them in the order I’ve posted them. This will cover almost the entire portion we viewed today.

Pre-AP English — Quickwrite: What is the difference between pleasure and happiness? After the QW, we discussed how the two concepts fit in with both the novel and the time period during which it was written. Reading time was allowed for the last 15 minutes of class (The Sieve and the Sand is due on Friday). *** All makeup Antigone tests must be completed tomorrow in class.

English II Regular: Vocab Creative Writing due today; finally, you were given the majority of the period to read and work on your study guide for chapter 6. Don’t forget that your vocabulary quiz has been moved to FRIDAY.

What did I miss? 10/27

English IV Regular: We reviewed Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by identifying five things that qualify it as a romance, and five instances of chivalry in it. Try this on your own if you were absent. Be specific — don’t just say Sir Gawain goes on a quest; indicate what his quest is. Don’t just say he exhibited self-control, explain a situation in which he did so. I will want to see this (written down) by the end of the week from each senior who was absent today. We also did a vocabulary activity (semantic maps) that I can give you when you return. Please remember Thursday’s vocabulary quiz!

English IV Honors: Please note that Thursday’s vocab quiz will be the first “honors version” vocab quiz of the year. If you have questions about what this means, please ask me before/after class tomorrow.

* M.M. from 4th period,  I hope you’re starting to feel better after having your wisdom teeth out. I’ll even use an emoticon to prove it. 🙂 See?

Pre-AP: Study Island is up and running. Be sure to do both (reading AND writing) pretests by 10:00 tonight. In class we broke into discussion groups, each of which had an individual question to answer and then share with the class. Check a classmate’s notes or ask me for a copy of the questions to ponder on your own. Bring your VOCAB list tomorrow.

English II: Everyone was present, however, here are the directions for the Vocabulary Creative Writing Assignment I said I’d post. Please also remember to do your SI tonight if you haven’t already!

What did I miss? 10/26

English IV Regular and Honors: VERY busy class today with three major phases. (1) We went over your homework from this weekend — you were to have read the green handout and the excerpt of SGGK in your textbook, then answered questions 1-4, 7, and 11 on page 203. (2) I handed out a vocabulary activity. We did part of it in class to get everyone started, and then the rest was assigned for homework. (3) The Quest for Chivalry assignment officially began. It was handed out as a booklet, but you can still download and print it. *** Tomorrow I will check your vocab sentences and your progress in the Quest.

Pre-AP English — We went over your homework questions and discussed some of the major/most interesting parts of The Hearth and the Salamander. This will continue tomorrow, and we will also be WRITING about the section. Be prepared!

English II — We took some notes (they are in Keynote, so if you use a Mac I will happily email them to you if requested; otherwise, I’ll give you a printout when you return), went over chapter 5 questions, and began an “epiphany” assignment. When you return, you will need to turn in the following within 24 hours: (1) a QuickWrite explaining whether you believe Gene DID or DID NOT intentionally hurt Finny at the end of chapter four, and WHY. You must use textual evidence to support your claim. (2) The Epiphany handout, which I can’t upload at the moment — when I get home I’ll upload it from there.

What Did I Miss? 10/22

English IV Regular & Honors: We did the first half of the introduction to our 2nd unit of Middle Ages literature. I’ll post the notes and handouts tomorrow when we’ve finished the introduction. No homework tonight, but BRING YOUR TEXTBOOK tomorrow!

English II: We continued our examination of chapter 3 from yesterday — rules, blitzball, etc. Chapter 4 is due tomorrow, along with two handouts that I can’t attach here because of copyright laws. I’ve saved copies of them for the two of you who were absent.

Pre-AP English: All of Part 1 (The Hearth and the Salamander) of Fahrenheit 451 will be due Monday.  We took a delightful “quiz” today that was more like a series of baffling questions intended to point out how little most people absorb of the world immediately around them; this kicked off a discussion of the first twenty or so pages of the novel. For tomorrow, please be prepared to discuss figurative language and characterization.

What did I miss? 10/21

Pre-AP English: All students need to download and print a copy of the Fahrenheit 451 Study Guide. You need to read p. 3-21 and answer S.G. questions 1-13 (you may skip #8) for tomorrow. If you were absent, please complete a Quick Write (give yourself 15 minutes) explaining whether you think technology does more HARM or GOOD for us.

English II: We began class with a Quick Write: We all follow many sets of rules: school rules, family rules, team rules, etc. As you grow older, you’re probably starting to develop your own philosophies and regulations to follow. List and explain one or several of your own “rules for life”. Chapter 3 study guide was checked for homework points; we then briefly examined Finny’s rules and their significance to his character development.  Ten minutes of class time was allowed for silent reading. 

English IV Regular: The Guidance Department visited today to provide you with information regarding the college application process, FAFSA, etc. See Dr. Termini ASAP to get caught up on this. Also, if you did not do your presentation yesterday you MUST be ready to go tomorrow.

English IV Honors: Same as Reg. English IV; don’t forget to finish your AP-style CT questions for tomorrow.

What Did I Miss? 10/20

English IV: Class presentations today — no homework. If your group did not present today, be prepared to do so on Thursday (we will have a guest speaker tomorrow).

Honors English IV: — Same as Regular Eng. IV. If you did not pick up the AP-style assignment from your folders, please be sure to do so tomorrow so you can have it done by the due date (Thursday).

English II: We went over study guide questions for chapter 2 of A Separate Peace (I’ll check yours for homework points when you return). In class we began a comparison/contrast of Gene and Finny that you should continue to fill out as you read chapter 3 (due tomorrow). I also passed out your new vocabulary list (words from A Separate Peace chapters 1-5) to start studying, and a list of Study Island assignments due dates.

Pre-AP English: We mainly worked on developing strong thesis statements for our Antigone essays. We also briefly discussed how to document direct quotes from the play. Please remember that a hard copy of your essay with proper heading/formatting is due in class tomorrow. You will have a chance to revise it further, but I need a neat (typed) hard copy in order to give you feedback and points.

Flu News

Oh boy. Flu season is here.

Everyone here at IHS is of course doing all we can to try to control the spread of the nasty little bug, but in order to deal with inevitable absences and such here is the plan for my English classes:

1.) Starting tomorrow, I will post as much downloadable class material as possible (lecture notes, activities, Quick Write prompts, readings, etc.) on this site DAILY . Since a decent number of you will probably have to miss class at some point or another, this will allow you to keep up with what we’re doing at school. I will continue to Tweet reminders as usual, but for the duration of this flu season you should also check this site for assignments. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

2.) To keep germs from passing back and forth on paper, I will be having you download/turn in some assignments online. You’ll hear more about this in class.

3.) Please be sure you take care of yourself. Go to sleep at a reasonable time, drink water, eat healthful foods, and WASH YOUR HANDS or use hand sanitizer as often as possible.

4.) If you get sick, please stay home. When I was in high school I NEVER stayed home (perfect attendance all four years!), so I understand how many of you may hate to miss a day and get a little behind — but please understand that I will be happy to help you catch up when you get back.

Upcoming Author Appearances

I know several of my students (present and former) have read and enjoyed the book First They Killed My Father. Loung Ung, the memoir’s author, will be speaking at the Cleveland Public Library at 2:00 PM on Sunday, November 15th. Admission is free, but seating is limited. I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity — and yes, a bonus activity can be completed for my class if you go.

This is part of a speaker series that the CPL has done for nearly a decade. Last week Neil Gaiman spoke; I’m quite disappointed I had to miss it (and that I didn’t find out in time to encourage YOU to go). You may want to scan the list of upcoming speakers for others you find interesting (Kareem Abdul Jabbar, perhaps?).