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Memoir Day 17: Snapshots September 26, 2016

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  1. Students all took their second Vocab Quiz!
  2. Next, we looked over what we’ve written so far and started typing up sections that we think are worth keeping. Here are the directions for the assignment: snapshot-of-your-writing.

HW: Finish your “Snapshot” in Google Drive for tomorrow. (UNLESS you’re in second period–then you don’t have to do it YET.)

Also, finish reading 3/4 of your memoir book, do your role sheet, and LOOK CUTE TOMORROW ‘CAUSE IT’S PICTURE DAY!

Memoir Day 16: Writing Day! September 23, 2016

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Today we spent the majority of the day writing in our writer’s notebooks, exploring ideas and topics to write about for our own memoir projects.

 1. Free read.

2.  Writing. Students continued lesson on indirect characterization by writing a physical description that hints at how they feel about a person they love and how they feel about a person that challenges them.

3.     Writing. Afterwards, students abandoned their school desks to find a comfortable and inspiring place to write. It can be difficult coming up with something to write for your own memoir. To help students find memoir writing topics, we asked everyone to draw a prompt from a box and begin writing whatever comes to mind.  If the prompt didn’t inspire them they drew another prompt from the box. We wrote for 20 minutes and spent the last ten minutes of class reviewing what students wrote, what topics were easiest to write about, surprising memories that surfaced while writing, and topics they want to continue writing about. Some example prompts from the activity include:

            “Tell me everything you know about ice cream.“

            “Write about your mother’s jewelry.”

            “We all come from someplace. Where you come from?”

            “Over the years what Halloween costumes have you worn?”

4. When students finished, each answered the following three questions:

  • The words really started flowing when I was writing about ___.
  • A memory that surprised me was ____. I think I remembered it because ___.
  • A topic or idea I would like to continue writing about is ____.

HW: Finish reading 3/4 of your memoir book for Tuesday. Complete Role Sheet #3 by Tuesday. 

Honors: Complete blog #3 for Monday.

Memoir Day 16: Characterization Practice September 22, 2016

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Today we continued to talk about characterization with a focus on indirect characterization.

1.     Students free read for first ten minutes.

2.     We looked at Diane Arbus’s Identical Twin photograph and students wrote a physical description of one twin in their writer’s notebooks. They shared their descriptions with classmates, trying to get each other to figure out which twin they wrote about.

3.     Then we went over how we can use physical description to describe the personality of a character. We used this note sheet (insert hyperlink) to talk about how dialogue, action, and description can hint at the personality of a character.

4.     Afterwards, students worked in partners to identify uses of indirect characterization through excerpts taken from Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac, “Georgy Porgy” by Roald Dahl, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and “Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin.

5.     At the end of class, we went back to the Diane Arbus photograph and pretended like the twin on the left just killed her sister’s puppy and the twin on the right was a typical spoiled, parents’ favorite. With this knowledge, the students edited their first description of the twin of their choosing and used new descriptive words to hint at the twin’s personality.

15_e2809cidentical-twins-roselle-new-jersey-1967e2809d-di-diane-arbus

Diane Arbus photograph, Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967

Honors HW: Write 2 comments on memoir blog by tomorrow, 9/23.

Wordy Wednesday 2 September 21, 2016

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1.     Free read.

2.     We continued our empowering journey into learning new words parts and vocabulary. We tweaked our vocab activity from last week—Instead of identifying prefix patterns in a set of words, we first learned the meaning of each prefix and then came up with example words for each prefix. We used this Unit 1, Part 2 worksheet to guide us: unit-1-week-2

HW: Review the prefixes dis, di, dif, endo, exo, extra, extro, hetero and the SAT vocabulary words disdain and divergent in addition to last week’s prefixes a/an, ambi, anti, circum, de and the SAT words ambiguous and condescending for Monday’s mini-quiz. Honors extra word: ambivalent.

Memoir Day 15: Book Club Meeting 2 September 20, 2016

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  1. Students had five minutes to free read or review their reading for book clubs.
  2. We discussed our memoir books. Here is the procedure we used: book-club-procedure (and here is the PowerPoint that explains the grading: book-club-ppt).
  3. At the end of the discussion, students began writing one page of their own life stories using the connector’s question.

HW: Complete one page of writing in your notebook responding to the connector’s prompt. Due tomorrow.

Memoir Day 14: Intro to Character Description September 19, 2016

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We continue learning about the use of detail in writing and characterization.

1.     At the beginning of class everyone took the Unit 1, Part 1 vocab/word part mini-quiz.

2.     After the quiz, students free read.

3.     Character Description continued: We reviewed our Padlet characterization activity from last Thursday.

4.     Character Description. Students spent time writing in their writer’s notebooks. We asked everyone to think of a person they like A LOT and a person they don’t like so much and to write a few sentences describing the physical characteristics of each person. We discussed how we usually describe the physical traits of a person we love with a positive spin and tend to describe the physical traits of people we don’t like so much with a negative spin. The goal was to think about how a physical description of someone can reveal how the author feels about a certain character.

5.     Character Description. Then the students applied the same technique to describe their school desks in order to convey their feelings about going school. For example, if someone loves going to school then they might describe the color of their desk as a nice, sandy, brown color and if they hate going to school they might say their desk is a beige color similar to when someone throws-up boiled potatoes (ew, gross).

HW: Finish reading for Book Club # 2 and complete Role Sheet #2 for tomorrow, 9/20.

Guidance Visit September 16, 2016

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DSA 9th grade guidance counselors Shonda Middleton and Heather Chambers visited our classroom today and talked about DSA’s Student Services and life as high school student at DSA. Ms. Middleton and Ms. Chambers went over how to best prepare for high school in the 9th grade, discussed general Internet safety, and outlined North Carolina high school graduation requirements and DSA’s ten point GPA scale.

If there are any questions for Ms. Middleton or Ms. Chambers they can be reached by email:

shonda.middleton@dpsnc.net

heather.chambers@dpsnc.net

HW: Finish reading for Book Club #2 and complete Role Sheet #2 by Tuesday, 9/20!

Honors: Post blog entry 2 by Monday, 9/19.

Memoir Day 13: Character Descriptions September 15, 2016

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1. Free read.

2. We finished going over word parts and vocabulary for the week.

3. We turned a game of Simon Says into a fun word part and vocab review.

4. Characterization. Students gathered in their book clubs and identified passages in their book club reading where the author uses characterization. Students typed their selected characterization passage into Padlet and we read out loud the passages that students selected. Afterwards, students commented on patterns of characterization that they noticed across the book club readings.

5. Characterization. Then, students spent a few minutes writing in their writer’s notebook about the different authors’ use of characterization and characterization patterns in the book club readings.

6. Finally, we returned Summer Assignments and discussed revision options. If students want to revise their summer assignments then they have one week from today (9/22) to finish. If after finishing their first revision students still aren’t satisfied with their grade then they can revise again. Students will be graded on their mastery of skill as they revise. If students don’t want to revise then they leave their summer assignment  in their “Returned Work” folder in the classroom. General areas of improvement include identifying literary devices and connecting author’s use of literary device to something meaningful in the book such as character development or theme, making sure to analyze a quote instead of summarizing a quote, and addressing the structure of the memoir and how the structure of the memoir impacts the reading experience. i-want-a-higher-grade-on-my-summer-assignment.

Honors HW: Two Blog comments due tomorrow, 9/16.

Remember: Vocab Mini-Quiz on Monday 9/19

Word Parts

1. A, an

2. Anti

3.Ambi

4. De

5. Circum

Vocab Words

Ambiguous

Condescending

Ambivalent (Honors only)    

Memoir Day 12: Wordy Wednesday! September 14, 2016

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Today was an early release day, so we didn’t get through a lot! But we did learn some new words.

  1. Free read!
  2. Students received V1: Vocab Words for Unit 1
  3. We then worked in groups through guessing the meaning of the word roots 1-5 and using context clues to figure out our “SAT” words. The goal of vocabulary instruction in my room is to empower students to use language, to figure it out themselves, and realize they already have all the tools needed to access the power than language affords. Here is the notes sheet: V2: Unit 1 Week 1 Notes.

HW: Review vocab prefixes a/an, ambi, anti, circum, de and the SAT words ambiguous and condescending for Monday’s mini-quiz. Honors extra word: ambivalent.

 

Memoir Day 11: Book Club Meeting 1 September 13, 2016

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  1. Students had five minutes to free read or review their reading for book clubs.
  2. We discussed our memoir books. Here is the procedure we used: book-club-procedure (and here is the PowerPoint that explains the grading: book-club-ppt).
  3. At the end of the discussion, students began writing one page of their own life stories using the connector’s question.

HW: Complete one page of writing in your notebook responding to the connector’s prompt. Due tomorrow.