Monday, May 15, 2017

Reading and Writing Work

With our final completed, this week we will finish important reading and writing tasks and move on to our final project.  Ninth graders will finish The Great Gatsby this week.  They should be prepared for a pop reading comprehension quiz any day this week.  We are having great discussions about different themes in this book.

Tenth graders started working on a final writing assignment using a classwork assignment they completed earlier this quarter.  They are taking their most valuable idea from Animal Farm and the current news articles they found that represents this idea.  Students are wriitng to explain how this important idea shows up in various genres of literature, from Animal Farm, to a current news article, to a fable, to their own book, or maybe even to a Dr. Suess book.  This essay is due on Thursday.  We will also spend class time on their #adulting website project.  Both classes have graded assignments so please encourage your student to stay engaged and keep working!  Have a great week!

Monday, May 8, 2017

English Final This Week

This week we will take the English final in all classes on Tuesday.  All classes have had a list of topics that will appear on the final.  We have reviewed ways to prepare for this final as well.  Students may use their notes, but will only have the class period to complete their exam.  Of course, we still have three weeks of school left so there will be additional grades in the fourth quarter, but the final counts as 20% towards the semester grade.

Ninth graders will continue on reading The Great Gatsby after the final.  We are enjoying reading that book and had fun acting different parts of it out last week.  Tenth graders will have some companion texts to compare with a valuable idea they found in reading Animal Farm.

In addition to the final for all classes, the reading log assignment goes back into effect this week.  We suspended that assignment with state testing for the last two weeks, but we are back to reading a minimum of 20 minutes a night.

Have a great week!

Monday, May 1, 2017

More Testing

This week starts another week with standardized testing.  This week we are focusing on the End of Course exams, which students are required to pass before high school graduation.  Congratulations to the Sophomores who already passed and get a little break with a delayed start time this week.  Freshmen have full days all week.

All students will take their English final in class on Tuesday, May 9.  All classes have a study list on Classroom, which includes categories that will be covered on the final exam.  This test counts for 20% of the semester grade, but not for the fourth quarter.  Freshmen will not have finished The Great Gatsby by the time of the final, so the final will cover chapters 1-5.  We will still finish the book and have a test on that book.  This week we are working with all 9th graders to prepare skits from the book as a way of reviewing for the final.

Tenth graders are finding the Most Valuable Idea from Animal Farm and then taking that idea to apply to a current news item.  Then will find a few articles and then compare the book to the article and how their chosen idea presents itself in both texts.

Have a great week!

Monday, April 24, 2017


This is the first week of a few weeks of testing.  We will take the ACT Aspire on Tuesday and Thursday.  Because of that, we will not have homework on the two nights beforehand.  Actually, I have directed that all students should go to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier to help to be ready to do well on the test.   Also, a healthy, low-sugar breakfast will help students be able to concentrate better through the morning of testing.  Testing begins at 9 am on both days.  We will have a rotating schedule so there will probably be one class they do not have each of the testing days this week.

In 9th grade, we are reading The Great Gatsby.  Students have reading assigned in class each day and read with their group and discuss what they read.  We discuss as a class as well.  Students should read so well that they could take a comprehension quiz each day, resolving any issues on the day they read.

In tenth grade, we have finished Animal Farm and will begin reading several companion texts to support a deeper understanding.  Both books will be covered on the class final, which will be on May 9.  Tenth graders will complete an in class book report on May 8 about Animal Farm as well.

Have a great week!

Monday, April 17, 2017


This week all students are working on completing our books to line up with our testing and finals.  Tenth graders are reading Animal Farm, with plans to finish by the end of the week.  This book has prompted some great discussions during class time.  Tenth graders are also having a vocabulary quiz, possibly the last one of the quarter.  As students know, only a quiz can raise a low quiz average in the quarter, so hopefully all students will be prepared to do well on this quiz.
Ninth graders are presenting their group research about one aspect of the 1920s in class, then beginning The Great Gatsby.  It is a fun book to read, but it can be a difficult read.  I recommend that students read the assigned chapters in class and plan to reread at home.  They can count that for their reading log time, but it will help anyone who may be confused about what is happening in the book. Ninth graders also have some IXL standards due this week.
All students will take the ACT Aspire test next week, which will modify our normal class schedule.  
All in all, we are off to a strong start this week!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reading Literature

We are well into the fourth quarter now and all classes are in full swing.  Tenth graders are reading Animal Farm by George Orwell.  The connections they are making during class and group discussions are really meaningful.  They are almost half way through the book.  We are working on IXL to improve sentence structure and we will have some formal writing assignments as we continue with the book, along with vocabulary quizzes, usually on Tuesdays.  

Ninth graders finished presenting their Life Lessons projects.  I heard a lot of positive feedback and we are really appreciative of all the parents and family members that were able to attend.  Each of the presentation times had special guests present, which made the experience better for the students. Ninth graders just started a writing assignment to inform and explain about advantages they have had in their life.  This ties in with the first sentence of The Great Gatsby, which we will start reading soon.

Have a great week!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Projects and New Books

It's a new week, a big week of presentations in ninth grade.  After reading The Last Lecture, interviewing a graduating senior and reflecting on our own important lessons, the students are ready to present.  They will present this week on Wednesday or Thursday, during their class time (9 Blue - 810 - 9:20, 9 White - 1:10 - 2:20) in the Hangout room.  Your student knows which day he or she will present, so check to make sure you arrive on the right day for your child.  Please join us and bring any family members who might like to see these presentations.  Each one contains brilliance and I have loved watching them develop from an idea from a book into their presentations.

Tenth graders completed their revolution project, and after some discussion on elements of a revolution and some literary terms, they are ready to start reading Animal Farm this week.  This is a quick read and we will pair it with some other texts before we finish this reading unit.  Tenth graders will have a vocabulary quiz on Tuesday and should read so that they are ready for a comprehension quiz on any day.  They also have four IXL standards that are due next Monday.  No late work is accepted on IXL.

Thank you 10th grade parents for coming to conferences last week.  Your involvement is influential for your student.  It was a pleasure meeting with you and sharing what your child has been doing this quarter. Have a great week!