Today was a work day to finish the research paper. I walked students through thesis statements, intros, conclusions, and exporting Works Cited. I reminded everyone of the late policy — on-time essays can be revised after I grade them, while late essays are a zero while they’re missing and lose the revision option after I receive them. Homework: your research paper is due at 11:59 tomorrow night in Classroom.
This class is an opportunity for students to develop and practice their skills in reading and analysis of literature as well as writing. Our various texts will be the vehicles through which they will hone their critical thinking abilities, and our writing exercises will be an outlet of expression for these abilities. We will be reading poetry, short fiction, novels, and dramatic texts. Our objectives are to master the elements of literature, practice the writing process, and improve organization of writing.
After reviewing the Power Paragraph format, students outlined and then typed their first body paragraph of the research paper using the notes they previously took on note cards. Homework: finish outlining/typing this first body paragraph over the long weekend, as well as any lingering research you need to wrap up.
Students started class with some reading time for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Anyone who is not at least half way through the novel by now should consider coming in at lunch to get caught up. Students then evaluated their note cards and identified which inquiry question(s) need the most attention. Research time today was focused on shoring up those questions that need more/better note cards. Homework: you should have 9–12 note cards ready for Wednesday so that we can begin writing the research paper; utilize the Academic Center after school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays if you need help catching up on your research.
More research time today, but this time we discussed and then attempted to use sources from the web. We will start writing next week, so students need to be wrapping up their research soon. Homework: if you don’t have 6–9 note cards done, you should complete some over the weekend or visit the Academic Center in the Skyline Library from 2:30–3:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Students had a bit of reading time to start off today, and then it was back to the research project. We reviewed EasyBib from last semester and talked a little bit about the purpose of formal citations in research. Students re-evaluated their inquiry questions from last class to make sure all three were viable, and made revisions or replacements where necessary. They then had time to complete another note card or two before class was over. Homework: everyone should have 3–5 note cards complete by now; if you don’t, you should get caught up over the weekend.
I introduced the details of the research project today. Students landed on three inquiry questions they are going to try to answer through their research — and the answer to each question will form the claim of a Power Paragraph for the body of the essay. Students had research time to start on their note cards, with the goal being 2–3 cards by the end of class today.
Students read the Alexie novel and completed some questions relating to the chapters as Junior is contemplating moving to a new school. While they were working on this, I e-mailed topics and inquiry questions to every student for the upcoming research paper. Students began some preliminary reading for their topics during the last 30 minutes of class.
We finished discussing the reading from Tuesday before annotating an essay written by the author of our novel, Sherman Alexie, looking especially for connections to the novel. Students then came up with inquiry questions in groups to the topics I will assign for our big research paper next week.
We dove into reading The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian today in class. Students kept track of small and medium questions while I read ch. 3 aloud and then they read ch. 4 and 5 quietly to themselves. After finishing their reading, students completed a handout that asked them to predict what will happen and to give advice to Junior. Anyone who finished early continued reading in the novel.
After turning in their annotated second chapters of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, students completed a one-slide research presentation about reservations with a partner in Google Classroom. At the end of class, we discussed some of the agree/disagree statements from Monday.
We began our unit on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian with a few different anticipatory activities, including a general discussion of Native Americans, an agree/disagree activity, and defining some key vocabulary. Students received photocopies of the first chapter of the novel which they annotated while I read out loud. We discussed these annotations to wrap up class. Homework: read and annotate the second chapter, provided at the end of class, for next time.
We finished our viewing of To Kill a Mockingbird today and discussed the differences between the film and the novel.
Because we didn't get to it last semester, we began viewing the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird today. Students took notes on differences between the film and the novel, which we will discuss next time after finishing the film.
For our last day before the final, we reviewed identifying theme in “The Gift of the Magi” and discussed it together as a class. Students were then given a similar handout and worked through it to identify the theme of To Kill a Mockingbird. We also took time to discuss this handout together as a class. Lastly, students were given the guidelines and preparation packet for their final, and were given the last portion of class to work through it. Homework: make sure to prepare as much as possible for the final using the materials from today’s class.
Students spent the first 30 minutes of class writing the Power Paragraph that we began outlining last class. After this, we read a short story called “The Gift of the Magi” out loud together as a class, and completed a handout which helped students identify the theme of the story.
Today, we discussed the ending of To Kill a Mockingbird, and spent the first half hour of class completing a handout on the final chapters to prepare them for the discussion. The final portion of class was devoted to having students complete a practice Power Paragraph outline, in which they developed a claim to answer the following question: “Were Scout’s assumptions about Boo Radley at the beginning of the novel accurate?”
Today was our Socratic seminar. We took 15 minutes to give students the opportunity to complete their entry tickets for the discussion, since many did not complete them at home. We then discussed Socratic Seminar norms, some tools to help you with the discussion, deficit language, and began the discussion. Students spent the final 10 minutes of class completing a reflection, in which they had to discuss how they felt the discussion went, and one new thing that they learned.
Today in class, we read and annotated an article from The New York Times, watched a video on the reported incident, and answered a series of questions on these materials in small groups in order to help students prepare for the Socratic seminar on Friday. Homework: finish reading To Kill a Mockingbird.
Students’ research assessments were due at the very beginning of class. Many either did not submit their bibliographies or had difficulty exporting them from home, so we took the first ten minutes of class to allow for those who were missing their bibliographies ask for help and get them turned in. We then discussed the guidelines for our Socratic seminar, which is designed to help students connect the research that they completed for their research projects to To kill a Mockingbird. We concluded class with reading and annotating an article from the Washington Post, and answering a series of questions on the article in small groups. Homework: read To Kill a Mockingbird ch. 27–28.
Students were given an hour’s worth of class time to work on their notecards. They were encouraged to finish their assessments in class, but were also permitted to take whatever they did not finish home with them to complete over the break if they need the extra time. This assessment will be due first thing on Monday, November 30th. After work time, we discussed the courtroom witness guide, and then continued to work on the Missouri football article activity from last class. Homework: read ch. 21–26 in TKAM over Thanksgiving break; finish your notecards if you didn’t get done with them in class today.