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Day 63: Benchmark 1, Day 1 November 30, 2010

Posted by garvoille in Annoucements, Homework.
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Progress Reports were distributed in ALL classes today! You should have seven.

Today we took the first half of our first benchmark.

If you were absent, you will begin your benchmark tomorrow. If you have class in the afternoon, please stop by in the morning to talk to me about coming in at lunch tomorrow to work on it as well.

HW: Get progress report signed for tomorrow!

Bring back TKaM and Other Voices, Other Rooms if you checked out a copy from the school.


Day 62: Works Cited and Titles November 29, 2010

Posted by garvoille in Homework.
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1. We all logged in to GoogleDocs.

2. Works Cited. We received W16: The Works Cited Page. We learned the MLA Format Works Cited Song, which you sing to the tune of Old MacDonald:

“Author’s last name – comma – first name.


Title of the Book in italics.


Pub. location colon and then pub. name.

Add a comma, then the date. Ch! You’re almost done with it.

The last thing you add is print or web.


3. Practice with Works Cited. Students unscrambled a works cited entry on their own.

4. Works Cited for your essay. Students created a works cited entry for their own essays using only one edition of To Kill a Mockingbird.

5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Titles. On the back of W16, students read about titles and then came up with an exciting title of their own for the essay.

6. Work time: Students changed page numbers to fit one edition of TKaM, read for flow, and did some general editing. I will print out the essays at 5:00 tonight.

HW: Get some sleep! EOC Benchmark for a quiz grade tomorrow.

Day 61: Finishing our essays November 23, 2010

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1. Intros. Based on W14, The Introduction Paragraph, groups composed an intro together. All groups should have only one intro and one conclusion for the whole essay.

2. Conclusions. Everyone got W15 on The Conclusion Paragraph. We looked over the basics of conclusions together, and then groups worked on writing theirs.

HW: Finish your body paragraph, your intro, and your conclusion. Intros and Conclusions should be written with input from ALL group members.

Email me with any problems.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 60: Typing body paragraphs and beginning intros November 22, 2010

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Today, students typed their body paragraphs in GoogleDocs and some classes wrote their intro paragraphs.

1. Formatting. Double check to see that all of your paragraphs are color-coded according to who wrote them.

2. Finish typing body paragraphs. All body paragraphs should be typed in GoogleDocs by tomorrow at the beginning of class.

3. Intros. We reviewed intro paragraphs and read four examples. Download them here: The Introduction Paragraph.

4. Writing the intro. In 4th and 7th periods only we began writing our intro paragraphs collaboratively, choosing one option out of the four on “The Introduction Paragraph” handout.

HW: Finish typing your body paragraph in GoogleDocs for tomorrow! If you are in 4th or 7th period you must finish your intro paragraph by tomorrow as well! I should be able to tell who wrote what sentence in the paragraph by the colors you use.

Day 59: Turning in Motif Journals and continuing our essays November 19, 2010

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1. Students completed a reflection on their motif journals. If you were absent, please answer the following questions at home and be prepared to turn them in on Monday with your journal entries:
– After looking through your journal, what ideas or images do you see repeated (besides your motif)? Why do you think this is important?
– How did the motif journal change your reading experience? How did you read differently because you had to do a motif journal?
– What grade do you think you deserve and why?
– Do you have any specific suggestions for improving the motif journal experience?

Anyone who forgot their journal on Friday even though it was done needs to bring in a note from a parent or guardian (or have them email me) in order for it to be excused.

2. Review of rules for using quotations. We finished W12 in groups.

3. Writing or typing the body paragraph. 1st, 2nd, and 6th periods wrote their body paragraphs in class after watching a demo. 4th and 7th period went to the computer lab to type their body paragraphs into a GoogleDoc.

HW: 1st, 2nd, and 6th period: The rough draft of your body paragraph on W13 is due Monday.
4th and 7th period: Your body paragraph must be typed into GoogleDocs by Monday. No exceptions!

Day 58: Finding evidence November 18, 2010

Posted by garvoille in Annoucements.
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Today we found evidence for our topic sentences and began writing our body paragraphs.

1. Check your argument. Students checked with their group to make sure that W10 was completely filled out and each group member had a paragraph assigned to them.

2. Do now: Find evidence for your topic sentence. We used a simple graphic organizer, W11, to find three point of evidence to back up our topic sentences. This took between 20 and 50 minutes!

3. Review of tips for writing essays. We reviewed the following tips: use lots of transitions, write in present tense, don’t use first person, and novels don’t talk. This was all on W12, which some classes will not receive until tomorrow.

4. Using Quotes in an English Essay. We reviewed three rules for using quotes and practiced fixing poorly formatted evidence.

HW: For some classes, all I asked for you was to finish finding your three quotes. However, for others, I needed you to write your entire body paragraph rough draft on W13.

The final paper (all together) will be due on Tuesday in class.


Day 57: Outlining the TKaM essay November 17, 2010

Posted by garvoille in Annoucements, Homework.
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1. Passbacks. Students received the quiz grades they earned during the seminar yesterday. We put them in our folders. If you were absent, we put yours in your folder for you. You’re welcome!

2. Intro to an argument. We reviewed the basic parts of an essay: the intro, thesis, body paragraphs with topic sentences, conclusion, all that good stuff. Especially, we discussed how to incorporate the grounds into an essay. The grounds is the basis for your argument; if your audience doesn’t agree with the grounds you’re assuming, they cannot get on board with your argument.

For example, if this is your thesis:

DSA should not adopt school uniforms because they would limit the freedoms of students.

You’re assuming everyone believes this grounds:

Students have freedoms in school that are worth fighting for.

Now, not everyone believes that right away. “So what?” they say. “Students give up their freedoms at the door in order to get a free education. Search and seizure procedures are different, dress code is enforced, so what quote-unquote freedoms are you so concerned about?!”

You’ve got to get that person on board by proving your grounds. Like this:

Religious freedom is maintained in school. Students are free to express their religions, or lack thereof, through dress (headscarves or turbans), jewelry (crucifixes, stars of David), or not participating in the Pledge of Allegiance because it uses the word God. As religious freedom is maintained, we should aim to maintain other freedoms as well.

There. Your grounds are proven.

3. Outlining your TKaM essay. First, students got feedback on the theses they wrote. All theses must be approved! Then, they began filling out their outline sheet: Basic Essay Outline. If you were absent, download and print out this sheet. You will fill it out tomorrow in class with your group members, who already decided what the steps of your argument will be. You can write your topic sentence at the beginning of class tomorrow if you were gone.

4. Divvying out the paragraphs. Students decided which of the body paragraphs each group member would write.

HW: Each student must write the topic sentence for their body paragraph. You may write the topic sentence on the top of W10.

Day 56: Socratic Seminar on TKaM November 16, 2010

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1. Groups write theses. We met in motif groups for five minutes to write down our thesis statements from yesterday.

2. Socratic Seminar. We had a class discussion in which students were graded (quiz grade) based on the quality of their participation and notes. Download the directions here if you’re interested: TKAM Socratic Seminar Rules. We took notes on this notes sheet: TKAM Seminar Notes Organizer.

HW: If you have been working on reading packets during class, your second packet is due tomorrow. Otherwise, none. Motif journals are all due on Friday!

Day 55: Writing thesis statement for TKaM November 15, 2010

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1. Review of DADS theses. As a group, we filled out the back of W8 for about eight minutes. We reviewed any questions about rewriting the thesis statements as a whole class.

2. Writing your own group thesis. In motif groups, we went through at least the first side of W9. Download here:Writing a Thesis Statement.

HW: Write one deep discussion question about any part of To Kill a Mockingbird on a sheet of notebook paper. This will be your entry ticket into our seminar discussion tomorrow.

Your group should be ready to write a thesis at the beginning of class tomorrow.

Absentees: Finish the back of W8, then download Writing a Thesis Statement. Finally, write a deep discussion question about To Kill a Mockingbird for tomorrow.

Day 54: The end of the book! November 13, 2010

Posted by garvoille in Annoucements, Homework.
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Today we took an oral quiz on Ch. 28-31. It took the whole period. If you are in 4th or 6th period, we will watch a scene from the film on Monday.

Some topics we discussed:

  • Where Heck Tate got the switchblade. Was it really off a drunk downtown? Or was it off Bob Ewell at the scene of the crime? This is just a probability.
  • Whether there are really people in the world who need to be shot before they can say ‘hidy.
  • Why The Gray Ghost is a significant title, in its relation to both Boo Radley and Dill.
  • Why the whole book ends with reading.

HW: None. If you aren’t done reading you MUST DO SO. Everyone else, just digest the book. Go back, look at key parts, come up with questions to help you next week as we write our essays, etc. No homework to be graded, though.