Friday, May 28, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 28

Test today...APA Format and Research Process. Let's check out this review of sites.

Of Mice and Men:
  1. Blog posting continues...Last topic: prove (or challenge) this statement "I am my brother's keeper." Use specific evidence (including page references) to prove your chosen theme.
  2. DEADLINE Change! Of Mice and Men blog due today...through tone....may work on theme through the weekend. Previous posts, of course, are already due...past due!
  3. Found your vocab list?
  4. Completed the novel...yes?
  5. Read...and be ready to discuss "To a Mouse."

Semester Test Review:

  • Of Mice and Men: content - @ 50%
  • Of Mice and Men: vocab - @15 %
  • Of Mice and Men: blog topics - @15 %
  • Be sure and review all blog posts for this familiar with anything else we might have read or previewed, for example, Dorothea Lange's photography.
  • Research and APA Format: same info as on today's test @20%

Just a note...having you as students as been great and so grand! NO, I have not forgotten that I owe you snacks...lemon bars, in particular. Yes! We will have snacks on semester test day!

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 26

Please work on your analyis of point of view post.

Then let's spend some time adding some commentary to your previous test.

Of Mice and Men:
  1. Quiz today!
  2. Find your vocabulary!
  3. Read "To a Mouse."
THEN...may we sllllloooooowwwww down a little?
  • Instead of three more sub-topics to your blog about two?
  • Today's topic: Tone. Check your Google Docs for graphic organizer.
  • Last topic: Theme.

Research Process Review:

  1. APA sites.
  2. Know how to create the following: cover, header info, parenthetical citation, reference entry, page format, and the steps in the research process.
  3. Here are some sites for more review on the the steps to writing a research paper: here, here (good site!), and, of course, our friend Owl at Purdue (click "next resource" to advance through steps).
  4. Test on this on Friday!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blog Culminating Project

Reminder: here's the link to the your blog post's sub-topics.

Please check your Google Docs for shared documents/graphic organizers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 24

Take a few moments and reflect on Mrs. Huff's summer assignment here.

Of Mice and Men -- Essential Question: Am I my brother's keeper?
  • Discuss the "detail" writing assignment.
  • Discussion Questions for today:
  1. In your group discuss, are you your brother's keeper?
  2. Had George and Lennie lived in a more affluent situation, would George have felt so compelled to be Lennie's keeper?
Next, phase of this blog post.
  • Point of View: Check your Google Docs for your next form/graphic organizer.
Review a test...

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Robert Burns, Scottish poet
"To a Mouse"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 20

Take a few moments to make any final corrections/changes to your synthesis essay.

Of Mice and Men -- Essential Question: Am I my brother's keeper?

  1. Finalize thoughts on your blog post about Dorothea Lange's photographs.
  2. Discuss Jodi Picoult's bookcovers to My Sister's Keeper.
  3. Analyze this photo for support of our essential question/big idea. What detail(s) would you select to use if writing a paragraph on this topic?
  4. Steinbeck Short Biography here.
  5. Discuss setting...check out Google Maps.
  6. Discuss Reading Notes.
  7. THIS UNIT'S WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Part 1 - Under a heading entitled DETAIL, complete the critique on your blog. See your Google Docs for the graphic organizer I shared with you. As I gave you "view" rights only, you will need to "make a copy of" and then draft your thoughts.

    “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
    Robert Burns, Scottish poet
    "To a Mouse"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 18

3B ~ Vocab Test

Synthesis Essay...due today.
  • Draft your introductions/conclusions. Color-code fonts so that I will know which sentences you contributed!
  • Create a cover page for this essay.
  • Using Easy Bib, create a Reference Page for the sources you utilized.

Of Mice and Men

Essential Question: Am I my brother's keeper?

  1. Steinbeck Short Biography here.
  2. Discuss setting and characterize George and Lennie.
  3. Blog: Respond to Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother photos.
  4. Discuss Jodi Picoult's bookcovers to My Sister's Keeper.


Reading Schedule:

  • Thursday: Chapter 3
  • Monday: Chapter 4-5
  • Wednesday: Chapter 6

Friday, May 14, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 14

3B: Animal Farm Vocab time!
4B: Vocab Test Today!

Synthesis Essay:


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 10

Please read "Notorious Spelling Mistakes: Famous Mashed Words." Has a spelling error ever "cost" you?

Read "Richard Corey" of your sources for your synthesis essay. Answer the multiple choice questions. You will see this format next year on the End-of-Level Literacy Exam.

Synthesis Essay: A synthesizing song! :)

Synthesizing Song
Let’s go into the book!
Jump in! Take a look!

When you read it,
read it,
Then you learn it,
learn it.
See with new eyes! Synthesize!

Read another book.
Take a different look.
See with new eyes! Synthesize!

Take the things that you are reading every day.
Take the things that you are reading every day.
Piece them all together in a new way.

Let’s go into the book!

Good synthesis papers DO acknowledge the OTHER SIDE.

HOW-To-Synthesize Resources:

Review for test....test on Wednesday!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 6

Work on synthesis essay:
  1. Create outline.
  2. Develop questions for your survey.
  3. Create survey.
  4. Post on a page on your blog.
  5. One of you post a link to one of your surveys on the class wiki.
  6. Here's a "How-To" list of the steps.

TEST date change...we will test on this unit next Wednesday!

HUGE thanks to 3B for helping me put the cookbooks together...the singing and teamwork were wonderful!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today's Menu ~ May 4

  1. Presentations!
  2. New synthesis per group! Here's the prompt.
  3. For your topic create a survey of questions.


  1. Test over three novels.
  2. Good news! The test is open-novel!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 30

Today, may we work on the following:
  1. Check this list of blog topics. Is your blog current?
  2. Twelve-sentence story for your duck...will this be the literary work you submit for publication or are you working on another?
  3. Group Review...Presentations are Tuesday!


  • Presentations.
  • Assign synthesis essay...this one will be an essy per group essay that requires a survey using Google Forms. I know....coolness!
  • Review for test.

On Thursday:

  • Unit test.
  • Work on synthesis essay and survey.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duck Anthology Contest!

Please click on the above "Contest" page to enter your recommended title!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 28

National Poetry Month and our thematic unit continues with "Mirror," which I shared with you (check your Google Docs). REMINDER: "Make a copy." Then please read, complete the TPCASTT, and then share with me.

Ponder on this quote: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."
  • What literary/figurative language term(s) is/are used within Orwell's quote?

NEW BLOG Post: Now that we have completed Animal Farm, write a post about the effectiveness of Orwell's using animal to portray his message about utopias.

Finalize presentations...ready, set, present.

HOMEWORK: Duck Time! Complete a twelve-sentence short story worthy of printing in our anthology. Check here for guidelines for each sentence.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 26

First, let me say thanks for your kindness and understanding as I have dealt with my mother's situation. She is getting to go home today after nearly a two-week stay in the hospital, and I am nearly as excited as she is!

While I am gone today:
  1. Animal Farm quiz!
  2. Work in your groups to prepare your final presentations for Wednesday. Yes, you may use your mini' long as you remain on task. Thanks, in advance, for being responsible.
  3. Read "Shooting an Elephant."

On Wednesday:

  • Presentations
  • Review for Test.


  • Finalize and practice your presentation.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 22

In honor of this month being National Poetry Month and today being Earth Day and tomorrow being William Shakespeare's birthday...time for poetry!

Group Presentations ~ The Giver ~ Today!

Work Time: Animal Farm Presentations

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 20

National Poetry Month continues with "I Can Dance."


Let's meet Lois Lowery: via a word from her (check your Google Docs), here via interviews with her, and her blog Lowery Updates. Please add her blog to your Google Reader.

Let's meet George Orwell.

Now research in your groups for the following definitons:

  1. What is a fable?
  2. What is an allegory?
  3. What is a fairy tale?

Animal Farm Group Projects:

  1. This time each team must prepare a question to ask as each team completes its presentation.


  1. Finish Animal Farm for Monday.

Today's Menu ~ April 16

Today, I am attending the Arkansas Student Council State Convention...

Please complete...
  1. Quiz: Chapters 1-2.
  2. The handout...and turn in.
  3. Read chapters 3-4 for Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 14

More about The Giver:

  1. My theme from my previous school: "Remember, it's all in your presentation!" Now remember that as you present today!

  2. Let's meet Lois Lowery: via a word from her (check your Google Docs) and her blog Lowery Updates. Please add her blog to your Google Reader.

  3. Discuss characterization and your group's created Utopias.

"The Red Wheelbarrow"...please share your version!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 12

On being socially responsible, please read Six Career Killing Facebook Mistakes.

In celebration, please read "Hands UP!"

NEW blog topic: For what can you celebrate? No, your response does NOT have to be in poetic format, BUT to do so would be a nice challenge!

Ducks GALORE Returns!

Choose or create a selection for our class anthology.

Enter one of two contests:

  1. Enter a title for our anthology.
  2. Create a cover for our anthology.
The Giver
  • Quiz!
  • Work on group presentation....present!
  • Let's meet Lois Lowery: via a word from her (check your Google Docs) and her blog Lowery Updates. Please add her blog to your Google Reader.

  • Discuss characterization and your group's created Utopias.

  • "The Red Wheelbarrow"...check here for some interpretations of this novel.

  • NEW BLOG POST TOPIC: Your turn...write a poem modeled after William Carlos Williams' poem.


  • Work on blog assignments.
  • Study Animal Farm vocabulary.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 8

I'm in a meeting, please...
  • complete the packet of info I left relating to novel.
  • Hand in when your work is completed and read The Giver.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 6

Planning time for your presentations...remember to practice! Yes, it is all in your presentation today! Think positive!

The Giver:

How much do you know about chapters 1-12?

Work on The Giver Vocabulary Google Presentation.

This novel's group presentation topics....

  1. What is it about Jonas's community that seems appealing? At what point are we convinced that, actually, something is wrong in with their way of life?
  2. The Giver asks whether it's worth sacrificing freedom, choice, and individuality for peace, contentment, and ease. Well…is it?
  3. This question is a little more complicated than we just portrayed . Life is not exactly a black and white choice between pain and freedom or happiness and subjugation. So where do we draw the line? How much freedom can we sacrifice in the name of safety? How much risk do we want to take for the sake of choice?
  4. Why does the community portrayed in The Giver sacrifice individual identity? What do differences have to do with instability?
  5. Rationalize, based on the novel, the setting (time, place, and culture) of this novel.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Today's Menu ~ April 2, 2010

I completed Days 1 and 2 of the 30-Day Challenge to write a poem-a-day! View my literary creations here (April 1) and here (April 2).

Please read this feel-good story...
Take few moments and review your vocabulary (you have a hard copy or you may access the words here also...TODAY IS TEST DAY!

In your group, practice a read-aloud of this poem:

Giggle Poem

Giggle giggle
Grin grin.
Let it out.
Don't hold it in.

Chuckle chuckle
Tee hee.
Louder now,
Set it free!


-Stephanie Calmenson
(Poem provided via a Random House newsletter, March 29, 2010)
INDEPENDENT GROUP PROJECTs: Plan a presentations (your group determines what tech tools to utilize for your presentation) for your assigned project for next Tuesday's class. If your group chooses, one of your minis may be linked to the LCD. In your presentation, DELIBERATELY plan a pathos and logos appeal....remember to plan ahead for this!
  1. Defend Ayn Rand's choice of her title for the novel Anthem.
  2. Research the Greek myths about Gaea and Prometheus, and explain why Ayn Rand chose these names for her characters in Anthem.
  3. Prove or disprove this statement: Anthem is a heroic and inspiring story about the triumph of the individual’s independent spirit. Even though, at the end of the novel, Equality is greatly outnumbered, and modern society lies in ruins, it is a story of liberation and hope—not of despair.
  4. To fully control a man, dictators must not only enslave his body, but also destroy his mind. Discuss how the leaders in Anthem seek to accomplish this tyrannical end.
  5. Liberty chooses "Unconquered" as a fitting name for Equality. Similarly, William Henley's most famous poem is entitled "Invictus," which is Latin for "Unconquered." Develop a rationale for her choice. You may use the poem below or access other sources via the Internet to support your argument.

    Title: "Invictus"
    Poet: William Ernest Henley

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gait,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate;
    I am the captain of my soul.

    William Ernest Henley


  • Read The Giver.
  • Work on your vocabulary. Add definitions and sentences from novel to your slides in the Google Presentation.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today's Menu ~ March 31

3B: I will not be there for most of your class.

BLOG far:
  1. St. Patrick's Day...or Spring Break
  2. Recommendation of Anthem...or your "mask" poem.
So far, based on the "mask" poems that I have read thus far...VERY good job!
  1. Please re-read your poem, now that this work of poetic art has gone "cold," and proof for punctuation, for, unfortunately, your teacher does not approve of Emily Dickinson style of writing.
While the teacher is away, please work, in groups, on the following...remember, as you work, to keep our theme in mind: Utopia vs. Dystopia:

  1. TPCASTT "Emily and Elvis."
  2. Explain the significance of these similes in Anthem.
  3. Conduct a literary autopsy on Equality 72522.

Each of you must complete the three assignments above. You may either type them on the documents provided or fill out the provided hard copies.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Today's Menu ~ March 29

Welcome Back!

Early kick-off...April is National Poetry Month! I have accepted a challenge...want to be a part of the fun?

Utopia vs Dystopia Unit...continues.


Anthem overview

Today's poetic focus:

  • Please read this biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar and then read his poem "We Wear the Mask"
  • Terms to know...meter, rhyme scheme, paradox, alliteration, metaphor, apostrophe.
  • Be creative with your mask...using only colors, create a Utopian and a Dystopian mask.
  • Your turn...In a Google Doc, write a poem in response to today's discussion entitled either "I Wear the Mask" or "No Mask I Wear." Within the poem, create an appeal to pathos and use a minimum of one vocabulary word. Then share the document with me.


  • Complete your mask assignments: you via colors and your poem.
  • Study your vocab words. Use at least one vocab word in your poem.
  • Please finish Anthem...if you have not.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today's Menu ~ March 8

New novel...Anthem....essay contest info here. Yes, we are entering the contest.

Review for test today! Test on clauses on Thursday.
  • Know the three types of subordinate clauses.
  • Know the difference between independent (sentence) and dependent (subordinate) clauses.
  • Be ready to diagram the three types of subordinate clauses.

Work on essay. Email your outline/intros to

Essay due on Friday.

  • Cover page.
  • Outline
  • Essay

Blogs are due by Saturday at 5:00.


  • Thursday: Claust Test
  • Friday: Essay due.
  • Saturday: Blog posts due.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Today's Menu ~ March 5

List of blog topics may be found here.

Continue complex clauses.

The Call of the Wild

  • Quiz!
  • Author background.
  • Discuss essay. Creat outline. Draft introduction.
  • Essay: include complex sentences!
  • Essay draft due on Tuesday.


  • Diagram: 3B Sentences 1-5. 4B Sentences 1-5.
  • Essay: 3B and 4B Create an outline and draft your introduction.
  • Work on blog posts.
  • Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today's Menu ~ March 3

In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday yesterday:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.”

I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent.
~Dr. Seuss

What figurative language term in used within this quote?

Time to Diagram Clauses!
Review NEW essay assignment.
  • Discuss/define the word synthesis.
  • Discuss embedding quotes.
Review examples of pathos.
Reading time....shhhh!
  • Complete Call of the Wild for Friday. Think...think, I say...about your upcoming essay!
  • Are all your blog posts published?
  • Diagramming: Sentences 6-10

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today's Menu ~ March 1

Today, the Student Council and I are attending the district meeting.

Please turn in your example of pathos.

Now, email your essay to me at ...if you have not done so already.

Then, read the remainder of this post and complete the following:
  • Open this document and preview your next essay assignment.
  • You may read "Belief" and "A Short Jack London Biography" until no later than 12:20 for 3B and 2:00 for 4B.
  • Once you have read "Belief" and a biography of Jack London, log off and close your computer.
  • Read Call of the Wild for the remainder of the class.


  • Might consider taking notes or annotating as you read for evidence to support your chosen thesis. Please have all three sources read by Friday.
  • Continue to review your literary terms.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Heard You, Crist!

Crist asked if I might place all your assignments together, and I responded it's all on the blog.

Then, I began to think and to re-scan today's blog post and saw that the assignments are throughout the post, as I am sure that is how they are on most of the daily blog posts.

SOOOOO: from this day forth, I will sum up each day's assignments/expectations at the conclusion of the post.

Great idea...right?

I really heard you, Crist! Thanks!

  1. Essay due on Monday! Essay needs a cover page, a typed outline, and your essay...all formatted APA style.
  2. An example of Pathos due on Monday.
  3. Read Call of the Wild for next Friday.
  4. Work on your blog posts.

Have a great weekend!

Today's Menu

Read the Batesville Guard.
  • 3B: Identify complex sentences on pages 2-3.
  • 4B: Identify complex sentences on pages 4-5.
Literary Terms: Test...part!

  1. Share your example of pathos.
  2. Pathos via apostrophe...using Julius Caesar.
  3. Essays due today!
  4. Assignment: Find another example of pathos.
Assign Call of the Wild.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Today's Menu ~ February 23

Writer's Notebook/Blog Topic: Persuasion. How often do you utilize this technique? Are you good at it? To get your way, what tactics to you most often use? Is persuation important in your life? Think of often do you witness persuasion being used?

Top 20 Terms:

  • Test...part!
  • Test...part 2...Thursday!

Essay: Review assignment!

Clauses: Time to get a little complex!

"If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away."
(Henry David Thoreau)

"Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it by being a slave himself."
(Abraham Lincoln)
  • Know your conjunctions! In Thoreau's sentence above, identify the two type of clauses being used. Now identify the two clauses in President Lincoln's statement.
  • Be creative here.
  • Now...go to your essay draft and analyze your writing style for sentence types. Out beside each paragraph, create a list of sentence types per paragraph. Are you using a variety of sentence types? Yes? Great! No? Then revise for next time!

Today's Menu ~ Feb. 19

Mrs. G ~ Not in class today...

  • Quiz today!
  • Continue drafting your essay. Whole draft (3 point essay) due Tuesday. For each paragraph, include two chunks.

Top 20 Lit Terms

  • Test on Tuesday! See Google Presentation to review!

Your Blog:

  • Are you caught up on your blog posts?

Today's Menu ~ Feb. 17

Mrs. G ~ not in class today...

Writer's Notebook: The US is winning! Reflect on what being a winner means. Does winning always mean receiving a tangible reward? Of what are you most proud of winning ?

Phrase Test:
  1. Complete pages 7-10 of packet and turn in. No notes on this part.
  2. Then complete pages 5-6 and turn in...yes, you may use you notes on this part.
  • Finish reading the drama.
  • Develop your outline for the essay and draft the introduction and at least one body paragraph for next time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Today's Menu ~ February 15

Shhh...Silent Sustained Reading.

Writer's Notebook/Blog Topic: The Winter Olympics have arrived. Think about the commitment, the determination, the pressure, the privilege, the reward...that each will receive, whether the representatives come home with medals or not. Now ponder on this question:

  • For what would you make such a commitment? Compare this commitment to someone else who has made such a pledge.
  • Turn this question into a statement and reflect on it in your Writer's Notebook in preparation for placing an entry on this topic on your blog.
  • Yes, you may draft on your blog!
  • Create at least one parallel structure within this post. (See below for an example.)


  1. Who vs. Whom: Click here to review!
  2. Passive vs. Active
  3. Phrases: Complete these three quizzes...Quiz 1, Quiz 2, Quiz 3. In the Priest's first speaking part in Oedipus the King, identify one of each type of if the verbals is actually not a phrase, just a verbal.
  4. Phrase Test on Wednesday!

Taking a Stand:

  • Riddle of the Sphinx: What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening? (What is parallel in this sentence?)

  • Compare Star Wars and Oedipus the King. Read here about literary connections.

  • Define archetypes. Read here about archetypes.

  • Define tragic hero. Defend or refute this statement: Oedipus was a tragic hero.

  • In your Writer's Notebook, respond to these questions: Is war ever just? When is it right to question authority?

  • Assign persuasive essay. Complete graphic organizer/outline. Draft introduction. Email introduction to before class on Wednesday.

  • Read Antigone page 13-35 for Wednesday.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Today's Menu ~ Feb. 11

Shhh...Silent Sustained Reading.

Finish Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Today's Menu ~ Feb. 5

Shhhh...Silent Sustained Reading.

  1. Quiz Time!
  2. Review phrases.
  3. We'll review on Tuesday and test on Thursday!

Thematic Unit: Taking a Stand

  1. Background of Oedipus. Read the reader's theater version here or the full-text version here.
  2. Questions about the move Star Wars. Now make connections.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today's Menu - Feb. 3

Shhhh...Silent Sustained Reading.

Grammar Time:
  1. Review gerunds.
  2. 3B - Complete page 35, exercise 2. Diagram 1-4.
  3. 4B - Complete page 35, exercise 1. Diagram 1-4.

Thematic Unit:

  1. Watch Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. We will watch for parallels to Oedipus.
  2. REMINDER: Read pages 65-69 in Antigone.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's Menu ~ January

Silent Sustained Reading.

Paragraphs due today. Email to

Click here to read this overview of Greek Theater.

Reminder blog posts due!
  1. Topic of your choice...needs embedded link and phrases used as transitions.


  1. Review infinitives.
  2. Discuss gerunds.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shhhh...Silent Sustained Reading in progress!

TOP 20 Figurative Terms
  • Check email for "shared" Google presention.
  • Copy/paste your examples onto your selected slides.
  1. Today review participials, continue with infinitives, and preview gerunds.
  2. Go to your Gmail and open the Housseini email. Color code the phrases you see; email back to me.
  3. Assignment:


  1. Please meet....Sophocles.
  2. Write a paragraph (graphic organizer here). Use embedded quotes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today's Menu

Shhhhh...Silent Sustained Reading in progress, or if you have completed your novel and need to write/post your book review, you may work on that.

  1. Taking a Stand...about you.

  2. Taking a Stand...about others.


  1. The journey with participials, infinitives, and gerunds continues. Please diagram the previous sentence.

  2. Check your email for the Housseini passage.


  1. Post by Monday on a topic of your choice that includes bolded phrases and a link to another site.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today's Menu!

Shhhh...Silent Sustained Reading is in action!

Writer's Notebook: View this picture by babykailan. Now reflect on something in your part of the world on which you wish you could take a stand. (Important Note: Many of the pictures posted on Flickr have no copyright! Yes, you may use them! BUT you should still give credit where credit is due!)

TOP 20 TERMS...for now...

  • Today let's focus on litotes...pronounced lahy-toh-teez.
  • A litotes is "an understatement , esp. that in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary, as in 'not bad at all.'" (Punctuation question: why did I use single quotations within my double quotation marks?)
  • "A figure of speech, conscious understatement in which emphasis is achieved by negation; examples are the common expressions "not bad!" and "no mean feat." Litotes is a stylistic feature of Old English poetry and of the Icelandic sagas, and it is responsible for much of their characteristic stoical restraint. The term meiosis means understatement generally, and litotes is considered a form of meiosis." (
  • An understatement is "Restraint or lack of emphasis in expression." A form of irony in which something is intentionally represented as less than it is: “Hank Aaron was a pretty good ball player.” (

Grammar Time!

The Kite Runner, Chapter Two, Paragraph 1

When we were children, Hassan and I used to climb the poplar trees in the driveway of my father’s house and annoy our neighbors by reflecting sunlight into their homes with a shard of mirror. We would sit across from each other on a pair of high branches, our naked feet dangling, our trouser pockets filled with dried mulberries and walnuts. We took turns with the mirror as we ate mulberries, pelted each other with them, giggling, laughing. I can still see Hassan up on that tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfectly round face, a face like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose and slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire. I can still see his tiny low-set ears and that pointed stub of a chin, a meaty appendage that looked like it was added as a mere afterthought. And the cleft lip, just left of midline, where the Chinese doll maker’s instrument may have slipped, or perhaps he had simply grown tired and careless.

REMINDERS ~ Homework for Tuesday, January 19
  1. Two blog posts due.
  2. Literary term examples due.
  3. Have you posted a pic of your duck?
  4. READ!

Enjoy your three-day weekend!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Today's Menu

Shhhh...Silent Sustained Reading in progress!

Featured Blog of the Semester! Who is the writer of this blog?!

Check out these inverted sentences. Click here to see a list of prepositions.

Today's let's continue with diagramming and participial phrases.

  • Homework:


  • Two blog posts due this week on taking a stand.
  • Term examples due next Tuesday, January 19.
  • READ!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grammar Time!

Shhh...Silent Sustained Reading is happening!

Writer's Notebook

Let's re-acquaint ourselves with our friends...yes, the ducks. First read this excerpt from a blog post of mine discussing the novel The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which, by the way, I highly recommend!


In this novel, Connie Goodwin begins the research process to discover more information about Deliverance Dane, a thus -far unknown witch during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. Throughout her journey, Connie meets other family members of Deliverance, one in particular being Prudence who keeps a journal…barely, but a journal.

Connie paged deeper into the journal, finding several entries of an almost identical content. She sifted through the stultifying repetition, trying to read between the lines to uncover details that Prudence would not have thought to state explicitly….Connie could feel frustrated that this distant daughter of taciturn Puritans would not have had the cultural knowledge necessary to reflect in print on her inner life.

Yes, Prudence’s lack of elaboration proves most frustrating for main character Connie, for her job is much harder because, basically, Prudence is just too closed-mouthed!

Here she held in her hands a daily log of the entire second half of another woman’s life, and Connie felt like she knew her even less. Prudence’s cold practicality, her obstinate refusal to reveal her feelings, no matter how culturally proscribed, created in Connie a whistling void of incomprehension. She wanted to throw the journal across the room, to bunch its fragile pages up in her hands and rip them into shreds, to shake Prudence out of her reserve. But Prudence sat removed from her [Connie's] frustration, insulated by a two-hundred-year-wall.

Did you catch that hidden agenda for every writer? Do you sense Connie’s great wish for Prudence to write more…and more? Yes…write! Details and lots of them.

Details is what makes the difference between an interesting and a boring blog, story, letter…whatever the genre of choice might be. You see, I have felt Connie’s frustration after reading a set of students’ paper , especially those who skimmed on the details, those who did not paint that picture with vivid words.

Now, it's your turn: create a scene in which your duck describes the setting of his/her/its world. Finished? Now return to the setting...enhance with even more details.

Can you complete this challenge? Include an inverted sentence in your very descriptive setting. Check out this example:

Situated on the bend of a horseshoe-shaped dirt road that intersects a back country highway is the place I called home as a child. (Click here to see source.)


  1. Post a picture of your duck here.
  2. Using your duck as your inspiration, create examples of your assigned literary terms.

Next, let's hand back and file paperwork.


Today, you will need a set of ear the basket by the door. Then click here to listen to a podcast reviewing appositives.

Next, let's review diagramming and participials. The inverted sentence above begins with a participial phrase (yes, all that in bold)...check that out!


  1. See previous post about blog topic assignments.
  2. Read...and read your out-of-class read.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome Back!

We have a new class blog!

To make life a little easier for me, I am returning to my homework Gmail; therefore, over Christmas, I created new blogs. Please commit this URL to memory!

Yes! Please submit your work to

For the next couple of weeks, we will be intently studying phrases, clauses, and sentence get ready!

For Wednesday...
  1. Check out/select your first out-of class read for 2010! Our next thematic theme is Taking a Stand. Please find evidence of this theme in your chosen novel as you read. Deadline: Monday, January 18. Book review due on blog then.
  2. We must complete a Target Test today. Enjoy!

NEW THEMATIC UNIT: Over the next two weeks, post twice about a taking a stand: 1) about someone(s) you admire/respect for taking a stand and 2) about a time when you took a stand. Please plan for these entries to contain multiple chunks and to reflect the grammar we will be discussing.

REMINDER: you should be reading and commenting on the four blogs following your name as listed on the Info Page.