Monday, September 30, 2013


Finish watching Lucianne Walkowicz's TED Talk, "Look Up for a Change" to model 3-2-1-1 discussion prep. Share quotations/details worth discussing, talk about rhetorical techniques, and model rhetorical analysis claim.

Discuss how to write an argument "While...ultimately,...because" claim by modeling with a favorite holiday. Then, discuss process: why start an academic discussion with this kind of claim statement?

HW: Read John Steinbeck's "Americans and the Land," pages 667-671 of The McGraw-Hill Reader, and write down 3 quotations worth discussing.

Friday, September 27, 2013


Template for Allusion Rhetorical Terms Entry (hint: download me! I will make your life easier!!!)
Here is my sample allusion rhetorical terms entry that you can use as a resource

Quiz over Verbs
Begin to discuss Lucianne Walkowicz's "Look Up for a Change"

HW: Upload your rhetorical terms entry #2: allusion to before 11:59pm on Sunday. If you're using my template (and why wouldn't you?) make sure to change the filename and document type to .doc or .docx or .rtf or .pdf so will accept it. :-) Complete 500 pages of independent reading and have a book conference with me before next Thursday!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Grammar: Verbs 11.6
Begin watching Lucianne Walkowicz's TED Talk, "Look Up for a Change" to model 3-2-1-1 discussion prep

HW: Upload rhetorical terms entry #1: device from a poem to Study for tomorrow's grammar quiz over verbs. Refer to the "Problems with Verbs" sheet and your half-sheets from Grammar Fridays.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Review and peer-revise rhetorical terms entries analysis paragraphs:
1) highlight the author's name (Is it capitalized? Spelled correctly? Full name used the first time, then just the last name for all remaining times?)
2) highlight direct quotations (Are they introduced properly by the author's name and argument verbs? If the quotation begins a sentence, make a note to revise. Also, the first quotation should be roughly sentence-length, then individual words or short phrases should be quoted in subsequent sentences)
3) highlight argument verbs (e.g., illustrates, suggests, reveals, shows,
4) highlight "the speaker"
5) highlight parenthetical citation, e.g., (lines 1-4)

If your partner uses "the reader" or "you" or "your" in his/her paper, please make notes to revise. The paragraph should probably use the author's name at least three times to help you retain control over the argument and stay focused on the poem's "message" or meaning.

HW: Revise analysis paragraph for tomorrow's class. Final draft due Thursday to Grammar quiz Friday--please complete Verbs 11.6 before Wednesday's class so we can review it quickly. Please bring ID card tomorrow as we're heading to the textbook room, and remember to complete your book conference with me before 10/3 (500 pages of independent reading).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Apply TPS-FAST method for analyzing poetry and to T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in groups of 3 or 4

HW: Review "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and focus on one small portion of the poem--use every strategy you have as a skilled reader to be sure that you "get" that portion and be prepared to discuss tomorrow!

Monday, September 16, 2013


Introduce TPS-FAST method for analyzing poetry and apply to Emily Dickinson's "There's a certain Slant of light"

Discuss each element of TPS-FAST and model along with the class

HW: Complete "Thesis" portion of TPS-FAST for "There's a certain Slant of light" and continue to make progress toward completing 500 pages of independent reading by 10/3

Friday, September 13, 2013


Grammar Practice: Verbs 11.4

Troubleshooting Sense of Place uploads to

Independent Reading (500 pages due by 10/3!): keep track of progress in your Reading Record and see me for a book conference before 10/3.

Bring The Fault in Our Stars next week.

HW: Upload Sense of Place essay to before 11:59pm tonight!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Reminders: MLA Format and Sense of Place essays - check out pages 34 and 35 of your Binder Reminders! Upload Sense of Place essays to before 11:59pm tomorrow.  Check out the scoring guide on Turnitin (stairstep icon by assignment name). Contact me ASAP if you have any trouble with Turnitin!

Jigsaw activity: Review levels of questions, then share out with your group from yesterday to become "experts" on your chapter. Next, meet with two people from the other groups--a new group of three with representatives from chapters 22, 26, and 30. Answer these questions together and take notes:

1) Key Ideas and Details: What is the most significant idea Steinbeck presents in your chapter?
2) Craft and Structure: What technique most helps Steinbeck convey the idea expressed in #1 above? Show evidence from the text.
3) Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: How do these three chapters intersect with each other? What ideas build across chapters? How does this inform our understanding of Humanism?
4) Reflect and Share: What do you now understand about these chapters or the book as a whole? What did all of these questions/discussion help you notice in the text?

HW: Sense of Place essays due by 11:59pm on Friday to Review pages 34 and 35 of Binder Reminder for help with MLA formatting.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Group work: Close Reading Discussion of Ch 14 of The Grapes of Wrath
Select two questions from each set of boxes to answer as a group. On a separate sheet of paper, take notes as to what your group members discuss, and label the textual evidence that would support your answers (e.g., page 151, paragraph #2) along with your notes.

HW: On the blank side of the worksheet, generate one question for each box for your assigned chapter (these questions are individual--your group members should each create their own questions so we can confer about them tomorrow), and on your notes page that you started today, write down textual evidence for your questions that would help to answer the questions. This is due tomorrow at the beginning of class and I will award points for this assignment. Please remember to bring your copy of The Grapes of Wrath tomorrow. Continue to revise Sense of Place essay, due to by Friday at 11:59pm.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Peer revision #2 of Sense of Place essay - model MLA formatting for the class using a student's essay. Refer to pages 34 and 35 of your Binder Reminder for proper MLA format.

Model login - please enroll through the same email address/password you've used in previous years, then click on "Enroll in a Class" and put in the class ID# and password to join my class.

Discuss Ch 4 notes on Jim Casy's character with a partner.

HW:  Please revise your Sense of Place essay draft, incorporating your revisions from Tuesday's and today's peer review. Final draft of your Sense of Place essay is due by 11:59pm on Friday to No hard copy required. Here's a terrific student sample from last year (name was changed to protect the student's privacy since this essay is posted online), and here's my sample again if you need it.  Here's the scoring guide as well. Please save your two hard copy rough drafts and your Peer Review sheet in your binder.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Vocabulary quiz over the words from The Fault in Our Stars and The Grapes of Wrath

Grammar Practice - Verbs 11.3

HW: Reread Chapter 4 of  The Grapes of Wrath and prepare notes about Jim Casy's character:

  1. quotations worth discussing
  2. questions:
  • clarifying - What's going on in this part of the text? What is confusing?
  • author's craft and structure: Why does Steinbeck make that particular choice? What effects does he create?
  • critical questions - How does this text relate to other texts? How does it fit in with your background knowledge? What does the text reveal about gender, class, race, power, or society? What is its lasting significance?
     3. summarize Jim Casy's philosophy in your own words

Prepare 2nd draft of your Sense of Place essay--here's a terrific student sample from last year (name was changed to protect the student's privacy since this essay is posted online), and here's my sample again if you need it.  Here's the scoring guide as well. Please bring a new typed draft, incorporating your revisions from Tuesday's peer review. Bring 1st draft and Peer Review sheet back to class as well. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013



Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Tweet revisions: please review the #bestbookever handout and correct any mistakes in formatting. Bring a new revised copy on Friday (or email it to before class on Friday and I'll print it for you).

In groups of five, discuss the questions and share your quotations for the California: Myth vs. Reality chart

HW: Study for vocabulary test on Friday by reviewing your vocabulary notebook. If you wish, complete the Word Search (solution is here) and the additional vocabulary warm-up practice to help you. As you study, make sure that you know how to spell each word, how the word is pronounced, how to provide synonyms and antonyms, how to construct a sentence that defines the word's meaning in context, and how to illustrate the meaning of the word with a brief picture.  Continue to revise Sense of Place essay--clean, revised, typed draft #2 due in class on Monday for second peer review. Revise #bestbookever Tweet if needed. Please bring an independent reading book for approval to class on Friday (or you may choose a book from my classroom library).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Vocabulary Warm-up #1: TFiOS and The Grapes of Wrath
Turn in Tweet #bestbookever assignment to bin
Review Sense of Place essay scoring guide and excerpts from student samples
Complete peer review activity #1 for a partner

HW: Complete Vocabulary Warm-up #2: TFiOS and The Grapes of Wrath and complete the six-box quotation chart only (not the questions) for the California: Myth vs. Reality chart