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Diction in “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”: Day 30 October 6, 2011

Posted by garvoille in Uncategorized.
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We began our short story unit today by reading the first part of Neil Gaiman’s short, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.”

1. Progress Reports. All students received progress reports. Any students in Honors with a D or F will be encouraged to switch to regular English I. Any students in English I who with an A or a high B may ask to be enrolled in Honors English. Honors English is harder than regular by about 7 points. (An A in regular is a B in Honors.) Your grade will not be changed if you switch, but starting 2nd quarter you will be graded more rigorously. Please sign and return.

2. Short story pretest. Students took a very short assessment on some terminology used to analyze short stories. When finished, they wrote about their favorite short story and why. I had a great time trying to guess which stories they were thinking of: “What’s the one where…” “The Open Window?” “Yes!”

3. Reading. Students began reading “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by following along as the author, Neil Gaiman (wrote Coraline, American Gods, and much more) read it to them. The text of the story can be found online at Gaiman’s blog here. You can listen to Gaiman read his work (as we are in class) here. If you are listening, the story starts at “Part 2.” As we read, students listened for suspicious diction related to “universe” or “galaxy” and recorded it on their listening sheet (get one in the classroom). Students answered two questions about the reading.

HW: Return signed progress reports tomorrow.


Turning in Memoirs: Day 29 October 6, 2011

Posted by garvoille in Uncategorized.
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Today, students were ready to turn in the final draft of their memoir (long-awaited day!).

1. Organizing Papers. Students got out their papers for this project and organized them like this:

  • Final draft
  • Reflection (on notebook paper)
  • Complete rough draft
  • Any checklist or to-do list from complete rough draft
  • Writer’s Workshop #2, #3
  • Any other random rough drafts
  • Memoir Planning Sheet

2. Reflection. Students spent fifteen to twenty minutes answering the following questions about the writing process to help them reflect on their progress:

  1. What parts of your memoir are the best?
  2. What parts are you still not confident about?
  3. What literary techniques helped your writing most?
  4. Which literary techniques are you still not sure how to use well?
  5. What were the most difficult parts of the process?
  6. Tell about your Writer’s Workshop Group (or Partner). What did they do well? What more did you need from them?
  7. What did you think about the visiting editors (Duke students and upperclassmen)?
  8. What have you learned about writing?
  9. What grade would you give yourself on this project and why?
  10. If we could go back in time, what could we have done differently in class to make you more successful on this project? More time in the lab? More work on symbolism? More time in writing groups?
3. Publication. I shared information with the students about the option of entering their memoir to be published in our class book in the Going on 15 series. Students signed up to be published, gave a pen name if desired, and–hopefully–we’ll have the vast majority of students in our next book!
DSA Publishing Club will edit the memoirs and make the book, so you don’t need to do anything. But if you want to be in the club, we will be meeting Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00-5:00 in my classroom. When we have early release days or no school on Mondays, we will meet on Friday as our make-up day. I hope to see lots of new editors at our first meeting on October 10!
HW: None. You’ve done a lot of work this week already.