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2012-13 will be a great school year!

September 6, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Welcome to a new school year in Mrs. Collier’s Regular and Advanced English 8 classes! This school year has begun with a BANG! We have successfully negotiated three weeks of school and have accomplished so much!

It is an honor and privilege to teach your child, and I look forward to watching them grow academically and socially this year.

We have been reviewing and discussing the summer reading selection, The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, for over two weeks. We developed a character list, defined and used vocabulary words from the novel, took copious notes during discussions,  researched the time period of the 1960s to see how historically correct the novel is, learned about and applied the Elements of Literature to this novel, and wrote outlines in preparation for a character analysis essay. Today students took a test and wrote a three paragraph essay as a final assessment . Friday and Monday we will be viewing the video of the novel. Students will then discuss and/or write about the similarities and differences found in the book and video.  We will most likely begin working in our new online textbook  by  Pearson next week and will begin with the short story, “Raymond’s Run”.

I have asked each student to have  and neatly maintain a binder designated only for English work. The binder should have 5 dividers labeled: Literature, Grammar, Vocabulary, Composition, and Tests. Even though we will be working on our new laptops this year, I sometimes will ask that students print some of their work and will give some handouts, etc., which will need to be kept in their English 8 binders. I usually do a notebook check at least every two weeks, although I may be checking laptops files rather than actual notebooks this year!

I am posting my syllabus for both Regular and Advanced English 8, so please review the requirements and expectations as a family, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. You may also download my syllabus to your laptop from this blog so that you can refer to it throughout the school year.

 

English 8 Syllabus

Sandra S. Collier

Whitesburg Middle School

107 Sanders Road / Huntsville, AL 35802

Email:  [email protected]             Phone:  256-428-7780

Course Description:  English 8 integrates the study of literature selections with comprehensive grammar, usage, and composition skills.

Writing will emphasize sound and varied sentence structure and patterns, the logical progression and completeness of the paragraph, and the composition of multiple-paragraph essays.  A conventional, comprehensive study of grammar, usage, and mechanics will give students ample practice in honing their proficiency in capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and agreement rules of standard usage.  The study of literature genres includes the short story, drama, poetry, and the novel.  Short stories will focus on the basic literary elements exhibited by various world authors, using the anthology text as a source.  Vocabulary study will also be incorporated throughout the course, with primary focus on words encountered in the literature selections.  Likewise, improved oral communication and basic research skills will be covered within the context of literature and composition. The use of technology will be incorporated into various lessons, assignments, projects, essays, and tests throughout the school year.

Course Sequence:   English instruction follows a prescribed sequence designed to integrate prior learning with newer or advanced skills and concepts.

Teachers meet students’ needs by sequencing and integrating these skills according to varied learning styles and the individual abilities of students.  I shall select the specific reading selections we will study and teach the reading and writing skills listed in the course outline. I plan to reinforce and teach the grammar and mechanics of standard English concurrently with each specific writing focus.

Course Objectives:  Course objectives for English 8 correspond to the Alabama State Course of Study and the Huntsville City School System’s Course of Study. For a list of the ALCOS objectives, visit the Alabama State Department of Education’s website: www.alsde.edu.

Essential Functions:

Students entering 8th Grade English should read and comprehend the text and supplemental readings; communicate in writing and orally using standard grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph development; understand and respond accurately to higher order test questions; actively participate in class discussions; take accurate and useful class notes; work effectively in groups or teams as assigned.

Course Standards: The following summary of standards will be taught and are from the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts 2010, National Governors Association for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers:

Reading – text complexity and the growth of comprehension

Writing – text types (genres), responding to reading and research through close reading and gathering of evidence

Speaking and listening – flexible communication and collaboration

Language/Grammar – conventions, effective use, and vocabulary

In order to understand and learn the material presented in this course, each student should have the ability to demonstrate the tasks, knowledge, competencies, and skills listed below.

Reading Comprehension:  Students must demonstrate the ability to read, discuss, and evaluate the grade level literature and grammar text.

Composition:  Students must write the four basic types of sentences:  declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory.  They must also know the elements of a coherent paragraph:  topic sentence, developing or supportive sentences, and the clincher or closing sentence. Students will use these skills of basic writing to compose multiple paragraph essays, critiques, reports, and summaries.

Listening Comprehension: Students must comprehend the English spoken by the teacher and follow the teacher’s spoken directions.  Students should also demonstrate the ability to take notes from classroom lectures and discussions.

Oral Presentation:  Students should demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and express, discuss, question, and present their ideas in clearly written and spoken English.

Grammar:  A working knowledge of the major grammatical principles is essential at all levels of Whitesburg Middle School.  These principles include (1) the eight parts of speech, (2) basic sentence structure and types of sentences, (3) basic rules of capitalization, (4) basic rules of punctuation, and (5) simple verb tenses and subject verb agreement.

Class Preparation:  All students are expected to spend adequate time in study and preparation for any assignment, test, quiz, or other project.

Attendance Policy:  It is the policy of the Huntsville City School System that regular school attendance is important to all students, the school system, and the community. It is further believed that course content and grading procedures should be structured in such a way that regular attendance is necessary to successfully complete course requirements.

Subject to parental guidance, students must be responsible for their attendance.  Administrators and teachers shall make every effort to encourage regular attendance by students and solicit assistance from parents to accomplish this objective.

When an absence cannot be avoided, personnel in the WMS main office and Mrs. Collier must see an excused absence form in order for the student to be allowed to make up missed work. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, all missed work and tests are to be completed and submitted within three school days of the absence.

Grading Policy and Assessment:  The student will be assessed using a variety of measures including quizzes (announced and unannounced), in-class assignments, tests, writing assignments, presentations, group work, and special projects.  Class participation is very important to learning and to the development of communication and social skills; therefore it shall be assessed regularly. Tests will be administered based upon the teacher’s opinion that the material has been adequately presented and has been adequately grasped by the majority of the students and will usually occur at the completion of a unit. Material will usually be reviewed/discussed the day prior to the announced test. Tests will be based on all material covered in the classroom and any outside reading that has been assigned. Vocabulary tests will be administered regularly. 

Student grades are divided into the following categories:  daily (class work, homework, and quizzes), tests, writing assignments, student notes, and special projects.  Most assignments are worth 100 points; however, some projects will be worth more. The grading system below is an example of how averages may be determined and may be subject to change based on the assignments, tests, and projects given during a 9 week grading period:

Daily assignments/Participation          15%

Tests                                    35%

Special projects                         25%

Writing assignments               25%

 

Principal Texts:

Prentice Hall Literature – Pearson

*Elements of Literature/Second Course – Holt, Rinehart, & Winston

*The Holt Reader (Elements of Literature/Second Course) – Holt, Rinehart, & Winston

*Writer’s Choice/Grammar and Composition 8 – Glencoe

*Grammar and Composition Workbook 8 – Glencoe

       *These resource texts will be used only in the classroom on as needed basis.

These following materials are required and should be brought to class daily:

    Laptop, HCS issued

    Ear buds/earphones, supplied by student

    Flash drive, supplied by student

    Pencils/pens (blue or black ink only)

    Three-ring binder designated only for English work

    Loose leaf paper

    Subject dividers (Labeled: Grammar, Literature, Composition, Vocabulary,

    Tests)

    WMS Honor Card

    Textbooks will be provided in the classroom (Grammar and Literature)

Classroom Rules:

In order for classroom instruction to run smoothly, please follow these procedures and/or rules:

1.    Keep your teacher happy, and your experience in English 8 will be far more pleasant!

2.    Show kindness and respect toward your teacher(s) and everyone in your class at all times.

3.    Be in class and seated before the tardy bell rings. Please begin posted board work immediately.

4.    Come to class every day with the necessary materials, which include your textbook, English binder, notebook paper, pen or pencil, and planner, unless you are told otherwise.

5.    During instructional time or class discussion, please raise your hand and wait to be recognized by the teacher if you have something to say.  We should all be polite and not talk while others are talking.

6.    Keep up with assignment due dates.  Being responsible and timely in your work is a true indication of maturity. No late work will be accepted without a valid excuse.  Should your absence be excused, it is your responsibility to get missed notes and assignments.  Unexcused absences will result in a zero for every missed assignment.

7.    Please keep your work area and notebook neat, organized, and clean.

8.    If it does not belong to you, please do not touch it. Please ask to use or borrow materials from your teacher or others.

9.    Please keep your personal opinions to yourself.  Do not say things about others that you would not want said about you.

10.    Please be attentive and alert at all times.  Do not involve yourself in activities (sleeping, talking, passing notes/letter writing, etc.) that will hinder you from paying attention to what is being taught and/or discussed.

11.    Follow rules 1-10 as well as all other rules and policies listed in the HCS Student/Parent Handbook and all WMS rules.

*Course Content and Suggested Time Frame:

First Nine Weeks – Focus on Fiction and Nonfiction

  1. Literature
    1. The Outsiders – review and test
    2. Read/study various reading selections from the textbook while learning/applying literary elements (these will be applied to all texts throughout the year

 Type of genre

Author’s purpose – why the author wrote the selection

Style – the way the author uses language

Plot – sequence of events; pattern of action

Characterization – how characters are introduced and developed

Setting – time, location, culture, and social/political concerns

Mood

Tone

Point-of-View – how the story is told and developed

Theme – main idea, lesson, or morale

Conflict/Climax/Resolution (CCR)

Fact and opinion, biased and unbiased writing

Making predictions and inferences, cause and effect

Allusion

Symbolism

Foreshadowing

Irony

Imagery

Figurative Language

Sound devices

Parody

Similes and Metaphors 

II.  Grammar

A.   Eight Parts of Speech

B.   Singular, Plural, and Possessive Noun Forms

C.   Pronoun Case and Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

D.   Verb Tenses and Forms

III. Composition

A.   Sentence Combining and Revising/Editing

B.   Parallel Structure

Second Nine Weeks- Focus on Poetry

I.   Literature – read/discuss various poetry selections from the textbook and/or other sources. Students will be given a poetry project and will write and share original poetry.

II.   Grammar

A. Sentence Parts

B. Phrases

C. Clauses and Sentence Structure

D. Punctuation/Capitalization

III.  Composition

A. Narrative Writing

B. Expository Writing

C. Persuasive Writing

D. Descriptive Writing

Third Nine Weeks – Focus on Non-fiction

I.   Literature – read/discuss various short story and poetry selections from the text.

II.   Grammar – AHSGE Skills (as preparation for 9th grade)

III.  Composition

A. The Essay 

B. Literary Analysis Essay

Fourth Nine Weeks – Focus on Drama

I.   Literature – read/discuss The Diary of Anne Frank, along with WWII historical background information; read/discuss various short story and poetry selections from the text.

II.  Composition

     A. The Essay 

     B. Literary Analysis Essay

In addition to the reading selections studied/discussed in class, students will be required to read independently throughout the school year. They must read at least one approved novel each 9 week grading period and will be required to write a dialectical journal response and or do an oral presentation, such as a book talk.

This is a tentative course outline; it is subject to change.  Special projects will accompany some of the literature and writing assignments.  Detailed information about such projects will be given when assigned.

 

Advanced English 8 Syllabus

Sandra S. Collier

Whitesburg Middle School

107 Sanders Road / Huntsville, AL 35802

Email:  [email protected]             Phone:  256-428-7780

Course Description:  Advanced English 8 integrates the study of literature selections with comprehensive grammar, usage, and composition skills.

Writing will emphasize sound and varied sentence structure and patterns, the logical progression and completeness of the paragraph, and the composition of multiple-paragraph essays.  A conventional, comprehensive study of grammar, usage, and mechanics will give students ample practice in honing their proficiency in capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and agreement rules of standard usage.  The study of literature genres includes the short story, drama, poetry, and the novel.  Short stories will focus on the basic literary elements exhibited by various world authors, using the anthology text as a source.  Vocabulary study will also be incorporated throughout the course, with primary focus on words encountered in the literature selections.  Likewise, improved oral communication and research skills will be covered within the context of literature and composition. The use of technology will be incorporated into various lessons, assignments, projects, essays, and tests throughout the school year.

Course Sequence:   English instruction follows a prescribed sequence designed to integrate prior learning with newer or advanced skills and concepts.

Teachers meet students’ needs by sequencing and integrating these skills according to varied learning styles and the individual abilities of students.  I shall select the specific reading selections we will study and teach the reading and writing skills listed in the course outline. I plan to reinforce and teach the grammar and mechanics of standard English concurrently with each specific writing focus.

Course Objectives:  Course objectives for Advanced English 8 correspond to the Alabama State Course of Study and the Huntsville City School System’s Course of Study. For a list of the ALCOS objectives, visit the Alabama State Department of Education’s website: www.alsde.edu

Essential Functions:

Students entering Advanced English 8 should be able to read and comprehend the text and supplemental readings; communicate in writing and orally using standard grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph development; understand and respond accurately to higher order test questions; actively participate in class discussions; take accurate and useful class notes; work effectively in groups or teams as assigned.

Course Standards: The following summary of standards will be taught and are from the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts 2010, National Governors Association for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers:

Reading – text complexity and the growth of comprehension

Writing – text types (genres), responding to reading and research through close reading and gathering of evidence

Speaking and listening – flexible communication and collaboration

Language/Grammar – conventions, effective use, and vocabulary

In order to understand and learn the material presented in this course, students should have the ability to demonstrate the tasks, knowledge, competencies, and skills listed below.

Reading Comprehension:  Students must demonstrate the ability to read, discuss, and evaluate the grade level literature and grammar text.

Composition:  Students must write the four basic types of sentences:  declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory.  They must also know the elements of a coherent paragraph:  topic sentence, developing or supportive sentences, and the clincher or closing sentence. Students will use these skills of basic writing to compose multiple paragraph essays, critiques, reports, and summaries.

Listening Comprehension: Students must comprehend the English spoken by the teacher and follow the teacher’s spoken directions.  Students should also demonstrate the ability to take notes from classroom lectures and discussions.

Oral Presentation:  Students should demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and express, discuss, question, and present their ideas in clearly written and spoken English.

Grammar:  A working knowledge of the major grammatical principles is essential at all levels of Whitesburg Middle School.  These principles include: (1) the eight parts of speech, (2) basic sentence structure and types of sentences, (3) basic rules of capitalization, (4) basic rules of punctuation, and (5) simple verb tenses and subject verb agreement.

Class Preparation:  All students are expected to spend adequate time in study and preparation for any assignment, test, quiz, or other project.

Attendance Policy:  It is the policy of the Huntsville City School System that regular school attendance is important to all students, the school system, and the community. It is further believed that course content and grading procedures should be structured in such a way that regular attendance is necessary to successfully complete course requirements.

Subject to parental guidance, students must be responsible for their attendance.  Administrators and teachers shall make every effort to encourage regular attendance by students and solicit assistance from parents to accomplish this objective.

When an absence cannot be avoided, personnel in the WMS main office and Mrs. Collier must see an excused absence form in order for the student to be allowed to make up missed work. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, all missed work and tests are to be completed and submitted within three school days of the absence. 

Grading Policy and Assessment:  The student will be assessed using a variety of measures including quizzes (announced and unannounced), in-class assignments, tests, writing assignments, presentations, group work, and special projects.  Class participation is very important to learning and to the development of communication and social skills; therefore it shall be assessed regularly. Tests will be administered based upon the teacher’s opinion that the material has been adequately presented and has been adequately grasped by the majority of the students and will usually occur at the completion of a unit. Material will usually be reviewed/discussed the day prior to the announced test. Tests will be based on all material covered in the classroom and any outside reading that has been assigned. Vocabulary tests will be administered regularly. 

Student grades are divided into the following categories:  daily (class work, vocabulary, homework, and quizzes), tests, writing assignments, student notes, and special projects.  Most assignments are worth 100 points; however, some projects will be worth more. The grading system below is an example of how averages may be determined and may be subject to change based on the assignments, tests, and project given during a 9 week grading period:

Daily assignments/Participation          15%

Tests                                    35%

Special projects                         25%

Writing assignments               25%

Principal Texts:

Prentice Hall Literature – Pearson

*Elements of Literature/Second Course – Holt, Rinehart, & Winston

*The Holt Reader (Elements of Literature/Second Course) – Holt, Rinehart, & Winston

*Writer’s Choice/Grammar and Composition 8 – Glencoe

*Grammar and Composition Workbook 8 – Glencoe

*These supplemental texts will be used only in the classroom on as needed basis.

The following materials are required and should be brought to class daily:

    Laptop, HCS issued

    Ear buds/earphones, supplied by student

    Flash drive, supplied by student

    Pencils/pens (blue or black ink only)

    Three-ring binder designated only for English work

    Loose leaf paper

    Subject dividers (Labeled: Grammar, Literature, Composition, Vocabulary,

    Tests)

    WMS Honor Card

    Textbooks will be provided in the classroom (Grammar and Literature)

Classroom Rules:

In order for classroom instruction to run smoothly, please follow these procedures and/or rules:

1.    Keep your teacher happy, and your experience in English 8 will be far more pleasant!

2.    Show kindness and respect toward your teacher(s) and everyone in your class at all times.

3.    Be in class and seated before the tardy bell rings. Please begin posted board work immediately.

4.    Come to class every day with the necessary materials, which include your textbook, English binder, notebook paper, pen or pencil, and planner, unless you are told otherwise.

5.    During instructional time or class discussion, please raise your hand and wait to be recognized by the teacher if you have something to say.  We should all be polite and not talk while others are talking.

6.    Keep up with assignment due dates.  Being responsible and timely in your work is a true indication of maturity. No late work will be accepted without a valid excuse.  Should your absence be excused, it is your responsibility to get missed notes and assignments.  Unexcused absences will result in a zero for every missed assignment.

7.    Please keep your work area and notebook neat, organized, and clean.

8.    If it does not belong to you, please do not touch it. Please ask to use or borrow materials from your teacher or others.

9.    Please keep your personal opinions to yourself.  Do not say things about others that you would not want said about you.

10.    Please be attentive and alert at all times.  Do not involve yourself in activities (sleeping, talking, passing notes/letter writing, etc.) that will hinder you from paying attention to what is being taught and/or discussed.

11.    Follow rules 1-10 as well as all other rules and policies listed in the HCS Student/Parent Handbook and all WMS rules.

 

*Course Content and Suggested Time Frame:

First Nine Weeks – Focus on Fiction and Nonfiction

  1. Literature
    1. The Outsiders review, discussion, essay, and test
    2. Read/discuss various reading selections from the textbook while learning/applying literary elements (these will be applied to all texts throughout the year):

 Type of genre

Author’s purpose – why the author wrote the selection

Style – the way the author uses language

Plot – sequence of events; pattern of action

Characterization – how characters are introduced and developed

Setting – time, location, culture, and social/political concerns

Mood

Tone

Point-of-View – how the story is told and developed

Theme – main idea, lesson, or morale

Conflict/Climax/Resolution (CCR)

Fact and opinion, biased and unbiased writing

Making predictions and inferences, cause and effect

Allusion

Symbolism

Foreshadowing

Irony

Imagery

Figurative Language

Sound devices

Parody

Similes and Metaphors

 

II.  Grammar

A.   Eight Parts of Speech

B.   Singular, Plural, and Possessive Noun Forms

C.   Pronoun Case and Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

D.   Verb Tenses and Forms

III. Composition

A.   Sentence Combining and Revising/Editing

B.   Parallel Structure

Second Nine Weeks- Focus on Poetry

I.   Literature – read/discuss various poetry selections from the textbook and/or other sources. Students will be given a poetry project and will write and share original poetry.

II.   Grammar

A. Sentence Parts

B. Phrases

C. Clauses and Sentence Structure

D. Punctuation/Capitalization

III.  Composition

A. Narrative Writing

B. Expository Writing

C. Persuasive Writing

D. Descriptive Writing

Third Nine Weeks – Focus on Non-fiction

I.   Literature – read/discuss various short story and poetry selections

II.  Grammar

     AHSGE Skills (as preparation for 9th grade)

III. Composition

     A. The Essay 

     B. Literary Analysis Essay

 

Fourth Nine Weeks – Focus on Drama

I.   Literature – detailed study of The Diary of Anne Frank, including WWII historical background information; read/discuss other various short story and poetry selections from the text.

II.  Composition

     A. The Essay 

     B. Literary Analysis Essay

     C. Research Paper

In addition to the reading selections studied/discussed in class, Advanced English 8 students will be required to read independently throughout the school year. They must read at least one approved novel each nine week grading period and will be required to write a dialectical journal response and/or do an oral presentation on each novel. During the school year, they will present at least two book talks, one of which will be on a historical fiction novel, on the independently read novels. 

This is a tentative course outline; it is subject to change.  Special projects will accompany many of the literature and writing assignments.  Detailed information about such projects will be given when assigned.

Grammar is GREAT!!!

March 23, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

This week (3/19-23) in all of my English 8 classes, we began our review of the basics of grammar. Much of this material was taught during the first semester, but I thought that many of my students could benefit from a review before standardized testing begins in April.

This week we have covered all of Chapter 8 on Sentences and most of Chapter 9 on Nouns. On Mon., 3/19, I reviewed the material on the four types of sentences, sentence structure, punctuation, etc. We did several sets of exercises in class, and for homework students were to complete the Proofreading Activity and the Mixed Review on p. 366-378.

On Tues., 3/20 we began Chapter 9 on Nouns and did several exercises together in class. Students were to complete Ex. 1, 2, 3, 4, (#1-10) p. 382, 384 for homework.

On Wed., 3/21, we continued reviewing types of nouns. For class work and homework on 3/21, students were to complete Ex. 7, 8 (#1-5) p. 388, Ex. 9, 10 (#1-10) on p. 390, Ex. 11, 12 (#1-5) on p. 392. My advanced students did not have homework as they needed the time to prepare for their Book Talks on 3/22-23.

On Thurs., 3/22, and Fri, 3/23, my Advanced English 8 classes are presenting their Book Talks, which have been informative and creative. I am so glad to see my students developing their public speaking abilities and confidence as they share some of their favorite books with their classmates and me.

In my two regular English 8 classes, on Thurs., 3/22, we thoroughly reviewed Ex. 7-12 and practiced more of the same type of exercises together in class. For homework on 3/22, students were to complete Ex. 4 p. 395 and the Mixed Review on p. 398. Today, 3/23, we will review those two sets of exercises and finish the chapter on Nouns.

I am not assigning any homework, reading, or research for Spring Break as I want the children to rest, relax, and enjoy their time away from school with family and friends.

When we return from Spring Break, we will resume our grammar lessons, beginning with Chapter 11 on Pronouns. On Mon., 4/2, we will do several sets of exercises together in class. For class and homework on 4/2, students will complete Ex. 1-3 (#1-10), Ex. 4 (#1-5), Ex. 5 (#1-10) on p. 436-440.

For the time period 4/3-9, we will continue working through the chapter on Pronouns p. 411-454 and Chapter 10 on Verbs, p. 401-412, p. 419-427, and we may touch on Chapters 12 and 13 on Adjectives and Adverbs, p. 457-477.  I will pace the assignments based on how well the students are grasping this material.

ARMT TESTING is April 9-20! Please encourage your student to take this testing seriously and to get plenty of rest and eat a healthful breakfast each day.

In April we will most likely begin a very important unit in literature on WWII and The Diary of Anne Frank. Homework will not be assigned during standardized testing, but we will be reading, discussing, and doing many activities in class each day as we progress through this fascinating and inspiring unit.

Our new literature unit, entitled “Being There” (Collection 3), is full of descriptive words and passages that allow us “be there” in the story!

March 9, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Please forgive me for not updating my blog a few weeks ago. It has been a very busy time at WMS, plus I was very sick a few weeks ago before and during the President’s Day weekend. I was also out of town Feb. 23-24.

We all enjoyed attending the WMS Book Fair recently. Thank you for supporting our library by buying your students some new books to read!

As a reminder, I sometimes must change the assignments and due dates of my lessons/units based upon my students’ needs, but listed below are the lesson plans I hope to continue to follow.

We completed our poetry unit (Collection 6) with a comprehensive test on 2/23 covering these poems: “Beowulf”, “Casey at the Bat”, “Ode to Thanks”, “On the Grasshopper and the Cricket”, “O Captain! My Captain!”, “I Hear America Singing” and “I, Too”. My students are now more knowledgeable about the poetry types/styles, imagery, figurative language, etc., now that we have explored this poetry unit. The students also wrote odes and other forms of poetry that were very creative!

On 2/23, we began a new unit, Collection 3, entitled “Being There”. We covered four stories entitled: “Green Mamba” by Roald Dahl (autobiographical story), “In Trouble” from Woodsong by Gary Paulsen  (autobiographical story),“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury (futuristic science fiction story), and “The Circuit” by Francisco Jimenez (autobiographical story) .

The students were required to answer the questions following each of the stories: Ques. #1-2 p. 248, #1-4 p. 249; ques. #1-6 and Reading Check p. 259; ques. # 1-5 and Reading Check p. 273, and ques. # 1-5 and Reading Check p. 287.

The students were given a handout with an extensive amount of vocabulary taken from all stories we’ll cover in Collection 3. They were not assigned to define all of these words at one time. Assignments were made in groups of 20 words or less.

In addition to the assignments listed above, the Honors English 8 students were required to write several responses and one essay regarding these four stories.

Students took a test on these four stories on Tues., 3/6.  Also, a notebook check was done on all work assigned on these four stories from the time period of 2/23-3/6.

After the test, we continued our exploration of the literary selections in Collection 6, which include these reading selections:  “Cesar Chavez” (biographical essay), “The Flying Machine” (science fiction set in the ancient past), “The Dragon” (a science fiction graphic story set in both the ancient past and modern day), and “The Fog Horn” (science fiction story).

On 3/7, we discussed the biographical essay, “Cesar Chavez”, p. 290-292, and reviewed the questions on p. 292 (this was class work 3/6 and/or homework if not completed in class). We also began reading/discussing “The Flying Machine”. For home work  on 3/7, students were to finish reading this story and answer ques. #1-4 p. 311 and define all the vocabulary words on the story that are listed on the vocabulary handout.

The advanced students are also to do the Reading Check activity on p. 311. They are also to complete a 4-5 sentence, well-written paragraph about why the Emperor acted wisely or unwisely in “The Flying Machine” We’ll share their responses to the writing prompt in class tomorrow.

On 3/8 and 3/9 we’ll read/discuss “The Flying Machine” and “The Dragon”, both are by Ray Bradbury. For Thurs. night’s homework  students will answer ques. #1-3 and do the Reading Check on p. 318. For Fri. night’s homework, they will define the vocabulary from “The Dragon” if not done in class.  Honors English 8 students should also be  reading their novels IF their choices have been approved by  me.

On 3/8, advanced students will be told to choose a novel and immediately to begin reading it. I am allowing them to choose the type of novel for this assignment, but I still must approve their choice by Mon., 3/12. They will present Book Talks on 3/22-23 on the novels they choose. They will be following the presentation guidelines given to them for the previous Book Talk (see the blue handout). However, they will not need to take notes of each chapter, do a character or vocabulary list, etc. This assignment is in addition to the reading selections we will be doing in class. Because of the limited amount of time (only10 days), the students should choose a shorter novel (or one they have already been reading) for this project.

On Monday, 3/12, will review/discuss “The Dragon”, the questions from p. 311, and the vocabulary words. We will then read/discuss the last story of this unit, which is “The Fog Horn”, p. 320-328. For homework on 3/12, students will define all vocabulary words from the story and answer questions #1-5 and do the Reading Check activity on p. 329.

On Tuesday, 3/13, we will review/discuss “The Fog Horn” and the questions from p. 329, and review the vocabulary on this story. For homework, students are to complete any work not yet completed on the stories from p. 303-329 as there will be a Notebook Check on Wed., 3/14, or  Thurs., 3/15.

On Wed., 3/14 we will review all stories from p. 303-329. For homework, students are to STUDY for a TEST to be given on 3/15, Thurs., and they are to organize their work regarding these stories as there will be a notebook check on 3/15.

On Thurs., 3/15 all students will take a TEST on Collection 3, p. 303-329. Advanced students will have an essay to write or a few discussion questions to answer on their test.

On Fri., 3/16, all classes will take the STAR Reading Test in the Computer Lab. They may also have a vocabulary quiz from the words from Collection 3 after the STAR Test.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all on March 17th!

HCS SPRING BREAK will be March 24th  through April 1st. I hope all of you have an enjoyable, restful week with your family.

On 3/19-23 (and possibly 4/2-5) we will return to grammar and do a thorough, but quickly paced, review of the 8 parts of speech in preparation for standardized testing which will be conducted 4/9-20.  

During standardized testing, the students will not have homework or be given tests, but we will either continue reviewing on grammar or begin a new unit, Collection 4, entitled “The Human Spirit”, p. 354-462, p. 468-497. This is one of my favorite units to teach! It includes “The People Could Fly” and “The Diary of Anne Frank” and some other pertinent selections relating to the time period of WWII. Students will also have lessons on historical and cultural information relating to the time before, during, and after WWII. There will be a multitude of assignments, discussions, vocabulary words, and several tests and/or essays on this unit.

Later in April and through most of May, Ms. Bax and I will be collaborating on a medieval unit and my Honors English 8 students will be writing a research paper. More information will be given at a later date.

More about our poetry unit . . .

February 6, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

We are progressing through our poetry unit which is in Collection 6 in the red literature book.

Since 1/24, we’ve read and discussed 5 poems:  “Riding Lesson”, “Introduction to Poetry”, “Valentine for Ernest Mann”,  “Paul Revere’s  Ride”, and “The Cremation of Sam McGee” found on pages 620-645.

I have introduced/reviewed the elements of poetry and literature (p. 530-532 and p. 616-619) that we’ll be using throughout this unit as we study various types of poetry.

Students were given a pink handout on poetry/literary terms to use as a reference tool when reading and discussing the poems. They were to take notes on this important introductory information. Not only are these terms and concepts necessary for the best understanding and comprehension of the selections in this unit, but many of these terms and concepts will appear on future standardized tests so it is important for all students to master this information concerning poetry.

Homework since 1/24:

Students were assigned to read the 4 poems mentioned above. They were to answer ques.  #1-6 and do the Writing Ex. on p. 627 as homework on Wed., 1/25.  Homework for Thurs., 1/26 was to answer ques. #12-6 and complete the Reading Check ques. a, b, c, d on p. 635. Homework for Mon., 1/30, was for the students to define words #1-30 on the white Vocabulary handout.  I took a homework grade on this activity.

We had a FUN and Creative Learning Activity on 1/31! Students worked with partners or in groups to illustrate either 3 or 4 scenes from “Paul Revere’s Ride”.  I am very pleased to say that many of my students are very creative and quite artistic!

On 1/31, all classes read “The Cremation of Sam McGee” and answered ques. #1-4 and completed the Reading Check ques. a, b, c on p. 636-645. We reviewed/discussed the poem and students’ answers on Wed., 2/1.

Thurs., 2/2 and Fri., 2/3:

My Advanced English 8 classes presented Book Talks on historical fiction novels chosen by each student. Every student in each class read and presented a different novel. Students were required to have a visual (poster) or prop and/or dress like a character or come up with any other innovation way to present their book to the class. I encouraged the students to be innovative and creative in creating their “trailer” for their novel and they were!

On 2/2-3, in my Regular English 8 classes we read “Maiden Savin’ Sam” and discussed/reviewed the poem and students’ answers from p. 645.  We reviewed the poetry terms and the three poems found on p. 628-645 for a TEST on Monday, 2/6.

Regular English 8 students — Weekend Homework, Fri., 2/3:   Students were to STUDY for the TEST and to get their English binders/notebooks ready for checking on Monday, 2/6.

Advanced English 8 students Weekend Homework, Fri., 2/3:  define Vocab. words # 31-49.

Advanced English 8 students Homework, Mon. 2/6:   STUDY the poetry terms found on p. 530-532, 616-618, and STUDY the three poems on p. 628-645. The TEST and notebook check will be Tues., 23/7.

The week of 2/6-10 (and possibly into the next week, 2/13-15) we’ll cover p. 654-656 reading/discussing three more poems:  “On the Grasshopper and the Cricket” p. 662-665 and answer ques. # 1-5 on p. 665, “O Captain!  My Captain!”  on p. 666-669 and answer ques. #1-5 669, and “I Hear America Singing” on p. 670-673 and answer ques. #1-5 and complete the Writing Ex. p. 673. We will have another notebook check and TEST at the conclusion of the poetry unit.

Also, during the time frame of 2/6-14 we will define (and write sentences using some of) the remaining words on the white Vocabulary handout.

Please check with your student regarding the due dates of this work on p. 654-656. Before giving exact due dates, I’d rather wait to see how many days it will take us to thoroughly review the various poems I’ve listed. Also, occasionally I’ll change my assignments based on my students’ needs and/or time constraints. I may also elect to add some poetry selections from outside sources.

Sometime around 2/13-15 we will most likely have a comprehensive TEST on Collection 6. Always encourage your student to STUDY before tests by re-reading the material and reviewing all assignments and vocabulary done in class or for homework.

Poetry is our next genre to explore!

January 23, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Tuesday, 1/24,  we  concluded our review of Collection 2, entitled “Do The Right Thing”, with a vocabulary test over all the reading selections we’ve covered. I think that the students have learned a great deal from these wonderful biographical, historical fiction, and autobiographical pieces. We have explored such things as the positive traits that the characters exhibited, their motivations in doing what they did or said, and identified the elements of literature (such as author’s purpose, methods of characterization, setting, theme, plot, etc.) in each selection. A comprehensive test over the unit was given last Fri., 1/20. I have the tests graded, but the grades are not recorded in INow as yet. A notebook check on all the work done in this unit was also done last Thurs. and/or Fri.
On Tues. after the vocabulary test, we began a new unit focusing on all types of poetry (Collection 6, pages 615-673). The poetry selections will be from the literature textbook and some from other sources. Students will be given the opportunity to write and share their own poetry, too. I estimate that this will be a 2-3 week unit.  Students will be taking notes, defining & learning poetry and literary terms & vocabulary, and reading & discussing lots of wonderful poetry during this unit.

I will update my blog in a few days to include the various homework assignments that will be assigned as we cover this unit.
Tues. through Thurs. of this week we will review/discuss the introductory material on poetry and the poems found on pages 530-532 and 620-635.  The first two homework assignments on this unit will be to answer questions #1-6 and complete the Writing Exercise on p. 627 and to answer questions #1-6 and complete the Reading Check questions a-d on p. 635.

On Fri. of this week all of my classes will go to the Computer Lab for STAR Testing. Please encourage your student to do his or her best on this test and to get plenty of sleep the night before the test.
Next week, on Feb. 2-3, the three advanced English 8 classes will be presenting their Book Talks! Please encourage your student to continue reading his or her historical fiction novel, to be taking notes, and begin preparing their oral presentation and deciding on a visual (or prop) for this project. On Monday,  I shared with my students some Book Talk visuals from some of my former students to help spur their creativity regarding their own projects.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! A new semester has begun!

January 6, 2012 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

It’s GREAT to be back at school and teaching my students again! Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding while I was away for two weeks on medical leave.
In all classes we began a new unit in the red literature book, Collection 2, entitled “Do the Right Thing”, p. 134-216. Through the reading and discussion of various selections (especially historical and historical fiction) the students will work toward improving their skills in comprehension, recognizing fact/fiction/opinion, vocabulary understanding and usage, listening, note-taking, group or partner cooperation, understanding plot and character development, character motivation, comparison/contrast, sequence of events, and summarization.
This week we listened to the audio CD and discussed an excerpt from the biography, Harriet Tubman, A Conductor on the Underground Railroad, by Ann Petry. For homework on 1/5, the students had to answer questions and do the Reading Check questions on p. 154. On 1/6, with a partner, they reviewed their answers and had to decide on three important facts they learned from this reading selection. We then discussed the answers and facts so that everyone could be sure to have the correct information. For homework on 1/6, students were given a handout with vocabulary words from this selection as well as from the next two selections we will be reading. They are to define the 35 words from the “Harriet Tubman” selection for homework on 1/6.
The following literary selections will be read/discussed and these assignments will be given:
1/9 – Review vocabulary words from handout. Read/review “The Fugitive Slave Acts”, p. 156-158. Homework: answer all questions on p. 159.
1/10-11 – Review questions on p. 159. Read/discuss the poem, “Barbara Frietchie”, p. 162-165. Homework: answer ques. #1-4 and Reading Check questions a, b on p. 166 and finish defining all vocabulary on the handout.
1/11-12 – Review questions on p. 166 and all remaining vocabulary words. Read/discuss “Too Soon A Woman”, p. 169-175. Homework: answer questions #1-5 and Reading Check Activity p. 175.
1/12-13—Review ques. p. 175. Read/review reading selections p. 178-182. Homework: answer all questions on p. 183.
1/17 — Review questions on p. 183. Read or listen to, then discuss “Mrs. Flowers”, p. 186-190. Homework: answer questions #1.5 and Reading Check p. 191.
1/18 – Review questions p. 191. Read reading selections p. 194-201 and discuss elements and examples of historical fiction. Homework: answer all questions p. 212.
1/19 – Review all reading selections (questions and vocabulary) in Collection 2 in preparation for a TEST to be given 1/20, Friday. We also may read “Green Gulch” and “My Parents”, p. 214-217. Homework for 1/19 will be to STUDY for the TEST!
1/20 – TEST on Collection 2.

The Honors English 8 classes will also begin a special project on Monday, 1/9, which will require them to read a novel chosen from a list of historical fiction books in the WMS library and plan/present a Book Talk on or about 2/2-3/12. A handout with directions and explanations will be given, and I will review all requirements of the project and do a Book Talk for them sometime during the week. On Tuesday, 1/10/12, we will go to the library so they may select a historical fiction book to read and do some research on the historical setting of their chosen novel.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

November 28, 2011 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. We are now continuing our reading and reviewing of the five short stories in Collection 1, p. 71-125, in the red literature book. We will review all of the vocabulary and the stories on Wed., 11/30, and will have a test on Thurs. 12/1. Please remind your student to begin studying NOW for this comprehensive test.

May you and yours experience all the joys of Christmas and the upcoming holiday season. I hope all of my students learn and do well these last three weeks before we have our time away from school to enjoy our families and friends. No matter how your family celebrates the season, please know that I care for all my students and sincerely wish them much peace, happiness, and laughter during this most wonderful season.

Unfortunately, I will need to be away from school and my beloved students for two weeks, 12/5-16/11. I have not told my students about my upcoming absence, but will do so on Wed. or Thurs. of this week.
I have secured a wonderful substitute teacher whose name is Ms. Julia Davis. She came highly recommended by other educators at Ridgecrest Elementary where she’s been working on a long-term sub assignment. I’ve talked and met with Ms. Davis, and we have planned for all of my classes to do a grammar unit on prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, with a review of the other basic parts of speech.
Listed below you will find basic information about what she plans to cover with the students while I am away. She may elect to change some of the assignments once the lessons are progressing.
Thank you for your understanding during this time of transition. I plan to return to school healthy and well-rested at the beginning of the second semester.

Unit for 12/5-16/11:

TEXTBOOK – Writer’s Choice Grammar and Composition, Unit 13, p. 481-502

WORKBOOK – Writer’s Choice Grammar and Language Workbook, Unit 6, p. 141-154
Objectives: Define a preposition and prepositional phrase. Locate prepositional phrases in writing. Describe Adjective and Adverb forms. Demonstrate an understanding of prepositional phrases as adjectives and adverbs. Demonstrate an understanding of and use of interjections. Identify and use conjunctive adverbs. Demonstrate an understanding and usage of the 8 parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjective, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections).

Class work/Homework:
Textbook: Review p. 481-483, do Ex. 1, 2; Review p. 469, 474-475, do. Ex. 1 & 3; Review p. 486-489, do Ex. 8, 9; Review p. 491-493, do Ex. 10, 11, 13; do Unit Review Ex. 1-8 & 10 p. 496-502
Workbook: Review, do Ex. 1, 2 p. 141-142 and Ex. 1, 2 p. 143-144; Review, do Ex. 1, 2 p. 145-146; Review, do Ex. 1, 2 p. 149-150; Cumulative Review, do Ex. 1-3 p. 152-154

Unit 13 TEST will be given on or about 12/14 or 12/15.

Let’s Be Thankful . . .

November 18, 2011 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

I trust that all of you had a peaceful VETERAN’S DAY. On 11/10 in all of my English 8 classes, I taught a patriotism lesson on the Congressional Medal of Honor. Students were given basic information about this prestigious award, and the characteristics exhibited by the recipients were discussed. Also featured was a video clip of Col. Robert Howard who grew up in Opelika, AL and joined the army when he was just 17. He served 36 years in the army doing 5 tours of duty in Viet Nam. He was recommended for his medal for bravery, selflessness, duty, leadership, and commitment in a battle on Dec. 28, 1968. He received the medal from Pres. Nixon in 1971. I chose this recipient because he was from Ala., and he is the only MoH recipient who was recommended THREE times for three separate incidents, and all were within 13 months! Most classes were also able to learn about another MoH recipient, Leo Thorsness. Students completed a detailed worksheet on the video, and the advanced English 8 students also had to write an essay on the characteristics of a true hero. Grades for these activities have been posted.
No matter what we are studying, I always take the time to do a patriotic lesson in honor of our veterans the day before Veteran’s Day. The kids love hearing the recipients’ stories and learn from them, and so do I. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A. and all who serve!!!
This week, the Honors English 8 classes have been busy, busy, busy WRITING and CREATING!
On 11/14-16 students collaborated in groups of 4 or 5 to write their own mystery, ghost, or detective short stories and presented those to the class on 11/17. I was very pleased with their efforts, and everyone found the stories to be very entertaining! I am in the process of assessing the stories and should soon be able enter those grades. I plan to combine all three classes’ stories to make a book for everyone to enjoy.
Short Story Unit begun 11/18:
On 11/18 we returned to our red literature book and are reading/discussing the five short stories in Collection 1: “The Landlady”, “The Monkey’s Paw”, “The Third Wish”, “the Open Window” and “These Three Wishes” (pages 71-125). We will be studying this unit from 11/18 through 12/2.
This short story unit focuses on evaluation of the plot’s structure and development, the way conflicts are introduced and resolved, the effects of setting and characterization on the plot, theme, tone and mood, and the use of foreshadowing, suspense, and flashback.
Homework assignments will consist of reading the stories, defining vocabulary words and using them correctly in a sentence, and answering review questions that are located in the textbook after each story. Students are expected to be prepared and to participate in all class discussions which require that they read the stories at home.
In class on 11/18, I discussed the students’ STAR Enterprise test results and reviewed what strategies they can use to progress. Students were given a copy of their test results to share with their parents. Please ask them about this and review with your student how to assure their continued learning.
Class and/or Homework for 11/17 – 12/2:
11/17 Read “The Landlady”, p. 71-81, define vocabulary words, answer ques. # 2-5, and complete the Reading Check activity on p. 81
11/18 Read “The Monkey’s Paw”, p. 84-99, define vocabulary words, answer ques. #1-4, and complete the Reading Check activity on p. 100.
11/21 Read “The Third Wish”, p. 101-107, define vocabulary words, answer ques. #1-6 on p. 108.
Because I truly believe that thankfulness is a life lesson . . . we will write (in class) briefly about those people and things in our lives for which we are most grateful/thankful on Tues., 11/22.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS!
11/28 Read “The Open Window”, p. 110-115, define vocabulary words and answer ques. #1-10 on the handout.
11/29 Read “Those Three Wishes”, p. 123-124, complete questions #1-10 p. 125.
11/30 In class we will review the five stories, the elements of literature as they apply to each story, vocabulary, and do some comparing/contrasting of the stories. Students should STUDY for a comprehensive TEST on Thurs., 12/1.
Regular English 8 classes have been busy, busy, busy READING this week!
I also met with each student this week to review/discuss his or her STAR Enterprise test results and recommended activities that they can use to learn and improve their performance. Students were given a copy of their test results to share with their parents. Please ask them about this and review with your student how to assure their continued learning.
Short Story Unit begun 11/9:
On 11/9 we returned to our red literature book and are reading/discussing the five short stories in Collection 1: “The Landlady”, “The Monkey’s Paw”, “The Third Wish”, “the Open Window” and “These Three Wishes” (pages 71-125). We will be studying this unit of short stories from 11/9 through 12/2.
This short story unit focuses on evaluation of the plot’s structure and development, the way conflicts are introduced and resolved, the effects of setting and characterization on the plot, theme, tone and mood, and the use of foreshadowing, suspense, and flashback.
Homework assignments will consist of reading the stories, defining vocabulary words and using them correctly in a sentence, and answering review questions that are located in the textbook after each story. Students are expected to be prepared daily and to participate in all class discussions which require that they do a good bit of reading at home.
Assignments and/or Homework for 11/9 – 12/2:
11/9 and 11/14 Read “The Landlady”, p. 71-81, define vocabulary words, answer ques. # 2-5, and complete the Reading Check activity on p. 81, make a character list and describe each character.
11/15 Read “The Monkey’s Paw”, p. 84-99, define vocabulary words, answer ques. #1-4, and complete the Reading Check activity on p. 100.
11/16 Read “The Third Wish”, p. 101-107, define vocabulary words, answer ques. #1-6 on p. 108.
11/17 Make a character list and describe each character in “The Third Wish”.
11/18 Read “The Open Window”, p. 110-115, define vocabulary words and answer ques. #1-10 on the handout.
11/21 Make a character list and describe each character in “The Open Window”.

Because I truly believe that thankfulness is a life lesson . . . we will write briefly about those people and things in our lives for which we are most grateful/thankful on Tues., 11/22.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS!
11/28 Read “Those Three Wishes”, p. 123-124, complete questions #1-10 p. 125.
11/29-30 In class we will review the five stories, the elements of literature as they apply to each story, vocabulary, and do some comparing/contrasting of the stories. Students should STUDY for a comprehensive TEST to be given either on Thurs., 12/1 or Fri., 12/2.

English 8 is great!

November 3, 2011 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Fall is a fabulous time for learning at WMS!
ADVANCED ENGLISH 8 We are having a wonderful time in Advanced English 8 reading/discussing mystery and ghost stories. This week we are focusing on “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. The students are working in groups on their elements of literature, answering study guide questions, and making group presentations.
For tonight’s homework each student selected a past or present country, civilization, culture, religion, or society to research in an effort to identify and explain an unusual custom, ritual, tradition, or belief. They are to share their information with the class tomorrow and Friday. Another research assignment was to look up the origin and symbolism of the surnames mentioned in the story. Hopefully we can complete our discussion and review of this short story by Friday, and they will take a test on Monday, 11/7.
Beginning 11/7-9 we will read/discuss “The Tale Tell Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. If time permits I want the students to have Socratic Circles on some of the issues we’ve explored in the three mystery stories (“The Reaper’s Image” by S. King, “The Lottery” by S. Jackson, and “The Tell Tale Heart” by E.A. Poe).
On 11/10 I will break away from the stories and have a special lesson on The United States Medal of Honor recipients or a lesson on patriotism. This is always an informative and inspiring lesson that helps us remember all the things for which our beloved country stands and to be thankful to those who have so faithfully served our country. I hope everyone enjoys a peaceful, reflective Veterans Day on 11/11.
On 11/14-15 the students will be working in groups to write their own mystery, ghost, or detective short story and present those to the class. This is always a fun activity, as well as a great way to improve their writing, vocabulary, and collaborative skills.
After they write and present their stories, we will go back to the red literature book and read/discuss the following stories: “The Landlady”, “The Monkey’s Paw”, “The Third Wish”, “the Open Window” and “These Three Wishes”. We will be studying this unit of short stories from 11/16 through 12/2. Homework assignments will consist of reading the stories and answering review questions that are located in the textbook after each story. A comprehensive test on all the stories will be given 12/2 or 12/5.
As we move toward Thanksgiving, the students and I will take some time in class to discuss and/or write about those things in our lives for which we are most grateful.
REGULAR ENGLISH 8 Since 10/26 we’ve been studying Unit 12 on Adjectives and Adverbs in the green grammar book and making great progress. While we learning about these two new parts of speech, we are continuing to constantly review and apply what we know about sentences structure, subjects, predicates, nouns, pronouns, active and linking verbs, verb phrases, etc. I can tell that the students are really building a good base in their understanding and application of the parts of speech.
Here is a list of the class work and homework for Unit 12:
10/26 Ex. 1 & 2 (all on each) p. 458
10/27 Ex. 3 & 4 (#1-10 on each) p. 460
10/28 Ex. 5 & 6 (#1-10 on each) AND Ex. 7 & 8 (all)
10/31 No homework, but students were to do Ex. 9 & 10 in class (#1-10 on each) p. 466
11/1-2 Class work and/ or homework — Ex. 11 & 12 (#1-15 on each) p. 468
11/3 Ex. 13 & 14 (#1-10 on each) p. 470
We may do some or all of the Unit 12 Review Ex. 1-6 on p. 474-476 on 11/3 and/or 11/4.
I prefer to wait and see how much we can cover in class between now and then before determining the homework/class work assignments. I’ll do a final notebook check on all work completed for Unit 12 and give a test either 11/7 or 11/8. Please help your student by encouraging him or her to stay focused in class and to keep a neat, organized, and complete English 8 binder. Also, please understand that I often have to change my lesson plans and assignments to better suit the needs and comprehension of my students.
After completing Unit 12, we will go back to the red literature book and read/discuss the following 5 short stories: “The Landlady”, “The Monkey’s Paw”, “The Third Wish”, “The Open Window” and “These Three Wishes”. We will be studying this unit of short stories from 11/8 through 12/2. Homework assignments will consist of reading the stories and answering review questions that are located in the textbook after each story. A comprehensive test on all the stories will be given on or about 12/2.
On 11/10 I will break away from the stories and have a special lesson on The United States Medal of Honor recipients or a lesson on patriotism. This is always an informative and inspiring lesson that helps us remember all the things for which our beloved country stands and to be thankful to those who have so faithfully served our country. I hope everyone enjoys a peaceful, reflective Veterans Day on 11/11.
As we move toward Thanksgiving, the students and I will take some time in class to discuss and/or write about those things in our lives for which we are most grateful.

Flowers for Algernon

October 4, 2011 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

We are continuing our unit on the short story entitled, “Flowers for Algernon,” pages 32-64. All students have been assigned a red literature book, so they may have it at home to complete their reading and written assignments.
Today we reviewed the 20 vocabulary words, discussed the five main characters, and began our discussion of the elements of literature as they pertain to this story. Tomorrow, 10/5, we will review all the questions from page 50. By the time they return to school on Tues., 10/11, students should read the entire story through page 64. Next week, we will review the questions on page 64, further develop the character list, and discuss more concerning the elements of literature. Students are to be copying information displayed on the board or screen and taking notes during class discussions.
I expect that we will do a final review of the story on Thurs., 10/13, and take a test on Fri., 10/14. If we are able to complete the unit in a timely manner and behavior is good, we will most likely watch the video of the story on 10/17-18. Students will then compare/contrast the story and the video.
In my two regular English 8 classes it may be necessary to review some of the material from the Sentence and Verb Units before progressing in the literature book.
In my three advanced classes we will begin a ghost and mystery story unit. We will read/discuss 2 or 3 stories that are not in the literature book; I will provide a handout to be used only in class for them to use when reading/discussing these stories. The stories are: “The Reaper’s Image”, “A Tell Tale Heart”, and The Lottery”. Students will then be placed in groups and the group will write a ghost or mystery story to present to the class. I’ll then combine all the students’ stories in a notebook for others to read and enjoy.
In the coming weeks, all of my classes will read/discuss these 5 stories found in the literature book: “The Landlady”, “The Monkey’s Paw”, “The Third Wish”, “The Open Window”, and “Those Three Wishes”.
Please continue to encourage your student to follow instructions and submit his/her assignments on time, maintain a neat and complete English binder, focus and participate in class, study for tests, and to just be nice!
Please call (256-428-7780) or email me at any time if you’d like to discuss your child’s progress, grades, or behavior. My email address is: [email protected]