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August 29: Planning Memoirs August 29, 2014

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Today we began planning our own memoirs! 

1. First, students handed in their homework, in which they responded in a journal to another’s memoir. If not turned in, they will need to make up the work and then come in for 30 minutes during lunch or after school.

2. Ms. Garvoille modeled how to plan a memoir using the planning sheet. Here’s what first period used: Stones in the River and Planning Scene Selection Chart. Sixth and seventh period used this: My Plot Diagram and Planning Scene Selection Chart.

3. Students had time to sit and work on planning their memoir topics.

HW: Complete your planning sheets by Tuesday!


August 28: Example Memoir reading August 28, 2014

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1. Students took notes on the Purposes of Writing on this sheet (W1): PIE notes. Here is the teacher copy of the notes if you were gone: PIE notes teacher version

2. Students continued reading example student memoirs in class. They chose the memoir to read and then wrote a one-page reflection on what they read. Honors will read two and Standard will read one. However, students can get extra credit by reading extra memoirs and doing journal responses.

Here are the guidelines for the journal response: Student Memoir Journal Response

Here are some links to the previous memoir books so you can read at home!

Going on 15

Other People + Me

Freshman vs. Self


Giants of the Earth

HW: Finish your Journal Response to the student memoir you read. If in Honors you must read TWO memoirs and complete TWO journal responses.

August 27: Wordy Wednesday! August 27, 2014

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Today we started our vocabulary program!

1. Students picked up their guided notes sheets at the door.

This is for Honors: V1.5 WS Honors Lesson 1 SAT Words

This is for Standard: V1 WS Standard Workbook plus SAT Lesson 1

2. We then learned some word roots and talked about the definition of ambivalent (1st period) or ambiguous (6th and 7th). We also identified parts of speech. Here’s a cheat sheet for that: Identifying Parts of Speech Cheat Sheet.

3. Student then chose a memoir written by a student to read. We began reading these in class and will continue tomorrow.

HW: None! Start thinking about what you could write a memoir about.

August 26: Memoir and Self-Portraits August 26, 2014

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We continued our discussion of a writer’s purpose today through examining some self-portraits.

1. Students either arranged their binders (6th and 7th periods) into five sections or wrote on this topic (1st): 

-What was your summer reading about?

-Why do you think your author decided to write the memoir?

2. We turned in our Media Release Forms. If you didn’t, get it signed and turn it in!

3. Students drew a visual explanation of WHY the author of their summer reading wrote that memoir — in other words, what was the author’s PURPOSE? We drew these on dry-erase boards and shared with the class.

4. We then examined four self-portraits: 

Four self-portraits

(There are links to more detailed pictures here.)

We wrote down what we noticed and answered the following questions about them:

– How do you know this is a self-portrait?

– What is one theme word or topic you would say this self-portrait addresses?

– What is one feeling you get when you look at it or one feeling the artist may have had creating it?

– What is the PURPOSE the artist had for making the self-portrait (think to persuade/inform/entertain)?

5. We then shifted our thoughts to why we might write our own memoirs. Do we want to entertain? Persuade? Or inform? Students filled out a 3-2-1 to get out some initial ideas on their own memoir project (321 Memoir Planning).

HW: Start thinking about what kinds of stories you have to tell.


Self-Portrait Class Work August 26, 2014

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Click on the links to see:

The Artist and his Museum

Stereo Styles

Las dos Fridas (Two Fridas)

The Desperate Man

August 25: Procedures and Getting to Know You (and Authorial Intent!) August 25, 2014

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Hello everyone! Sorry this post is a little bit late! The first day of the school year was awesome and I’m excited to move forward!

1. Students picked out an updated syllabus and media release form (Syllabus 14) at the door as they came in.

2. Students (except 1st pd. — it’s coming!) wrote in their journals on this prompt: 

-What was your summer reading about?

-Why do you think your author decided to write the memoir?

3. We then talked briefly about the different reasons for writing — to inform, to persuade, or to entertain. Students then categorized their summer memoirs to fit one of the categories.

4. Students turned in their summer assignments. A few students received their assignment for the first time, which is to read Tobias Wolff’s “The Last Shot” and complete one reading log (Summer Assignment for New to DSA Students).

5. People Search. Students mingled in a people-finding icebreaker that included questions about the summer reading (Memoir PeopleSearch HS).

6. Next, we reviewed the syllabus and policies and students could ask questions.

7. Finally, in some classes we moved on to looking at some artists’ self-portraits. We will continue this tomorrow!

HW: Sign and return Media Release Form so I can share what we are doing in class with you on this site!

Welcome to Open House! August 21, 2014

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It’s going to be a great year!

Here is our overview for parents: Syllabus 14

You should also communicate to me some contact information and whether or not you would be available to chaperone field trips or staff events, either during or after school.

Thanks! I’m so excited to be with you!


Ms. G.