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.