Juniors: An Introduction to Modernism

This week, the Juniors in Room G17 will begin their new unit on Modernism. The modernist time period occurs roughly between World War I and World War II, and the art and literature produced during this time was revolutionary in content and style. Students will learn about the historical events that resulted in a shift in human nature, ultimately impacting the literature of the era. After learning the background of the time period, students will begin applying their knowledge through poetry study. Students will study a few modernist poems, considering how the time period might have impacted the style and content. Ultimately, students should be able to answer: How does this text reflect the time period from which it came?

Students should continue their reader’s workshop reading and article of the week annotation and response this week.

Juniors: Welcome 2017!

We’ll begin and end our first week back to school with some reflection about 2016 and goal setting for 2017. First, we’ll read a news article about successful business men and women who see significance in sharing their resolutions, then we’ll write our own. We’ll end the week by discussing the most significant events of 2016, and students will choose the event that they think is MOST significant, providing specific reasons to support their claim.

In addition to this personal reflection, we’ll also do some future planning, specifically considering the ACT that all Olmsted Falls juniors will take in the spring during the school day. On Wednesday, the career and college guidance counselor will be leading a lesson, and on Thursday, students will research ACT scores (for acceptance and non-remediation) at colleges or universities of their choice. They will also consider what ACT scores can replace AIR test scores if students have not earned enough points through that option. Students will see and practice a sample English portion from the ACT, discussing what they notice and how prepared they currently feel.

Parents, how can you help?

  • If you use my daily lesson plans, I started a new document for the second semester. Just as a reminder, parents, students and tutors can find the daily agenda, hyperlinks to all handouts and slideshows, and homework expectations on this document.
  • Ask your child about his or her resolution. How can you support them on their quest for self-improvement in 2017?

Juniors: Research Paper Due This Thursday

This is the final week of the research unit for the Juniors in Room G17. We will be reviewing the following skills in class:

  • Integrating evidence with style and with correct punctuation
  • Creating meaningful transitions between paragraphs and between ideas within a paragraph
  • Avoiding run-ons and using commas after introductory clauses

Students have kept on pace will have class time to draft, peer review, and use Criterion as an editing tool. Students who have fallen behind in the process should be working at home.

The paper is due on Turnitin.com and shared with me on Google Docs before class on Thursday, December 15.

Junior Midterm Exam Information

Students will take midterm exams Friday, December 16 through Tuesday, December 20.

The Junior exam will consist of one essay response that mirrors the research task we’ve been working on the last month. Students will receive a copy of the short story on Monday. They should study the story before the exam, reading and annotating in preparation. At the exam, students will receive a packet of literary criticism excerpts that they will incorporate into their essays. Students will apply skills of citation, quote integration, thesis writing, and paragraph organization. They will incorporate evidence from the story and criticism, analyzing each.

Please encourage your child to approach me with any questions about the exam!

Juniors: Drafting the Research Paper

With two weeks left in the research process, students are continuing to make progress at their pace. Though students may work on steps at their own pace, the final due date for this research paper is Thursday, December 15.

This week, your child should be making the following progress:

  • Students should take notes on the 3-7 sources they will use in their research paper. Note-taking strategies were discussed before Thanksgiving break.
  • Students should outline their essay in order to ensure they have a well-supported and well-organized argument.
  • Students should be drafting their essays, keeping in mind the models we studied in class.

Most class periods are used as work periods, during which I conference with students for the entire period about their process. If your child has questions or struggles, there is ample time in class to work through those with me.

As a reminder, in the gradebook, I will list the steps of the process, and award each step 1 point. As students complete the step, I will enter 1 point into the gradebook so that you can watch their progress through the process. If no score is entered in the gradebook, this means your child has not submitted or has chosen not to complete this step.

Juniors: Developing a Research Plan

With three weeks left in the research process, students are continuing to make progress at their pace. Though students may work on steps at their own pace, the final due date for this research paper is Thursday, December 15.

This week, your child should be making the following progress:

  • If s/he has not finished skimming the available resources, this should be complete early in the week.
  • If s/he has not submitted a research plan, this should be complete early in the week.
  • Students should take notes on the 3-7 sources they will use in their research paper. Note-taking strategies were discussed before Thanksgiving break.
  • Students should outline their essay in order to ensure they have a well-supported and well-organized argument.

As a reminder, in the gradebook, I will list the steps of the process, and award each step 1 point. As students complete the step, I will enter 1 point into the gradebook so that you can watch their progress through the process. If no score is entered in the gradebook, this means your child has not submitted or has chosen not to complete this step.

Juniors: Making a Research Plan

During this short week, the Juniors in Room G17 will finish skimming resources and begin to refine their research plan. All students submitted a preliminary thesis statement last week, and I will conference will students on Monday and Tuesday about those early plans. After skimming the available research, students will determine if their original plan is best, or if they should change or revise that original plan. Students will be given instruction on varying methods of note-taking in order for students who are ready to begin this next step.

Over Thanksgiving break, students should continue to read for readers workshop. Though there is no specific portion of the research process due when they return, students who feel behind or need a little more time than their peers to make progress should consider continuing their work over break.

Juniors: Embarking on the Research Process

Having concluded their unit on theme in The Crucible, students will begin their work on the Junior Year research assignment. Students will read three short stories in class this week, and they will choose one short story on which to focus their research. Just as with The Crucible, students will identify a theme of the story; however, they will use literary criticism in additional to textual evidence from the story to support their theme. In class this week, students will learn about literary criticism as they read some excerpts of criticism about The Crucible. After reading all three short stories, students will choose the story of their choice and begin skimming the available criticism. Students do not need to locate the research on their own. Rather, I will provide a collection of articles for each story. The work students will be completing will be digital, so you and I can monitor their progress online.

In the gradebook, I will list the steps of the process, and award each step 1 point. As students complete the step, I will enter 1 point into the gradebook so that you can watch their progress through the process. If you see a 0 in the gradebook, that means that the student is way behind his or her classmates on this step.

Juniors: Reading Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Last week, the students in Room G17 read Act I of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, analyzing the development of theme and character in small groups and as a whole class. This week, students will complete the reading of the play in class. While we will read some of the play aloud, students will be expected to read some independently. As students read, they will continue to track the development of theme in preparation for a formal outline assignment they will complete next week. Outside of class, students should read their choice books in order to meet their independent reading goals and complete their article of the week assignment.

Juniors: Getting Started with Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Having established the context of the play last week, the Juniors in Room G17 are ready to begin their reading of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in class this week. Each day, we’ll make progress on the play, considering how the major characters and conflicts are introduced, how themes are developed, and how characters use rhetoric in their dealings with one another. While we will read all of Act I aloud as a class, students will read Act II independently. Students are expected to annotate as they read, preparing for a theme analysis paper at the conclusion of our reading.
Students will continue reading their readers workshop books and completing an article of the week.