Monday, December 14, 2009

Week of December 14

It's almost time for Christmas break! Happy holidays!

This week our work again walks us through the writing process, which includes:

Freshmen- Creating and presenting a PowerPoint presentation, including note cards for delivering the presentation about the students' "cheese," or a goal the student has. This is based on the book Who Stole My Cheese? which we read and took notes on last week.

Sophomores- Finish up practicing the elements of a short story, then creating a short story that includes each of the elements: introduction, rise of action, climax, and resolution. We will revisit the ideas in War of the Worlds as a starting point for the students' short stories.

Seniors- Continuing to read Catcher in the Rye and writing a letter to the soldiers in Afghanistan, just in time for Christmas. Writing this letter ties in with the state's goal of having seniors learn to be leaders in the world outside the classroom.

After break, we will be tying up and reviewing what we've learned during the semester. Progress report grades will be sent out this week.

Take care for the next few weeks!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week of December 7th

11 Days until Christmas Break, and it's snowing!

This week we are finishing up books and beginning genre study. Mad Libs is used as a classroom opener to review parts of speech.

Freshmen- We are finishing Who Stole My Cheese and creating a professional PowerPoint presentation on personal "cheese", or what each student really wants in life. Monday and Tuesday we are writing down what will be written on each slide and note card; the rest of the week will be in the computer lab creating the presentation including words, pictures, and possibly music!

Sophomores-We are finishing War of the Worlds and practicing elements of a short story. We will be creating a complete short story, moving through the writing process, next week. Monday is introductions, Tuesday is rising action, Thursday is climax, and next Monday will be review and resolution.

Seniors- We will continue to read Catcher in the Rye and will be selecting a volunteer opportunity to practice being a leader in the community.

Tuesday, the students will receive a printout of their grades. Any missing assignments can be made up with extra credit and either sent to the class facebook page or in a hard copy in class. Extra credit must be done as a home assignment! Anyone who wants an 'A' and does the work will have one.

Have a great week!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

November-Week of November 30th Post

While Studying the Writing Process, the students wrote three paragraph essays. We ended with a Writing Process Jeopardy game. The topic of the papers varied with each grade:
Freshmen: A Bad Day
Sophomores: Defending their opinion of Hemingway's, "Cat in the Rain."
Seniors: Analyzing the husband and wife's relationship in Hemingway's, "Cat in the Rain."

Each grade went through each stage of the Writing Process with a final, polished and typed paper. I was impressed!

After the Writing Process, there were a few lessons on adjectives and adverbs. We wrote our own sentences, did some bookwork, played some jeopardy, and even diagrammed a few sentences. :)

Just before Thanksgiving, we watched movies that pertained to books we are now reading based on the Michigan curriculum focus for each grade level. These can be found on the Michigan Education website. The movies that we watched were:
Freshmen: Pursuit of Happiness
Sophomores: War of the Worlds
Seniors: The beginning of 1984, followed by a lecture about world history.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

Upon return from the Thanksgiving holiday, we started reading a novel.
Freshmen: Who Stole My Cheese?
Sophomores: War of the Worlds
Seniors: Catcher in the Rye

We will revisit reading comprehension strategies as we read the novels. We will start a genre study after the novels. The students will write a paper based on the genre study, revisiting stages of the Writing Process as many struggled with that test. Review of parts of speech will continue with the Mad Libs game throughout the semester.