Tuesday, January 9
We focused on review for the final exam which is next Wednesday at 9:00am. We did a Kahoot to review the poetry terms/literary devices and then students watched a video on strategies for answering multiple choice questions. We discussed these strategies and added any more we could think of. Next, I gave three sets of practice multiple choice questions from previous exams and I modelled how to answer the questions with help from the students. Students did a great job. A few students arrived late and they missed out on this important activity. In short, these are the strategies we used:
1. Skim the entire exam quickly and plan how much time you will spend on each part.
2. Read the instructions carefully.
3. Read the multiple choice questions before you read the poem or story.
4. After reading the poem or story, read each question again, covering the answers. Try to answer the question using your own ideas.
5. Uncover the answers and eliminate any that are obviously not correct. There are usually two answers you can eliminate by focusing on the key words in the question.
6. From the remaining two answers, choose the answer that is most correct.
7. If you have no idea what the answer is, then skip the question and go back to it later. It is possible that later on in the test you will learn some info that could help you answer this question.
8. Go over your answers after you have finished a page of questions rather than waiting until the end.
9. Only change answers if you are sure your first answer is wrong because you misread the question or you found some helpful info later in the test that applies to that question. Otherwise, stick to your first answer.
10. Never leave a question blank unless there is a penalty for giving the wrong answer.
We spent the last 20 minutes of class in the library using the computers to revise or, in many cases, finish writing the compare and contrast essay. The essay should be handed in tomorrow so I can assess it and then you will still have time to revise it one last time. All revision work is due on Friday.
Monday, January 8
Today students were to review a classmate's essay using the compare and contrast criteria checklist; however, only a few students had a first draft prepared!
Reminder: All Romeo and Juliet assignments are due today by midnight. The final draft of the essay is due on Wednesday.
Thursday, January 4
Today students were very productive working on incomplete assignments. We postponed typing up the essay until tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 3
Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great holiday. The countdown is on...there are only eight classes left before final exams begin. Before the holidays students were given the exam format and tomorrow and we will begin reviewing for the exam. Today students spent the class completing the outline for the compare and contrast essay and tomorrow they will begin typing up the essay.
Friday, December 15
We will finish viewing the movie from yesterday and complete the compare and contrast graphic organizer. Students will begin the essay outline. Act III questions are due today.
Thursday, December 14
We will view Baz Luhrmann's 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet and fill in a graphic organizer comparing and contrasting the two films in preparation for the compare and contrast essay students will write next week.
Wednesday, December 13
We will read Act V and finish watching the 2013 version of Romeo and Juliet.
Tuesday, December 12
We had a special presentation from Mr. Soujah. He used to teach a film studies course and is a big fan of movies. His presentation was on film techniques and the purpose of the first ten minutes of Baz Luhrmann's 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet.
Monday, December 11
We read Act IV and then viewed the movie version of this act. Reminder: The Act III questions are due by Friday.
Friday, December 8
We watched Act III and students worked on the Act III questions.
Wednesday, December 6 - Thursday, December 7
I am in Vancouver for medical appointments. On Wednesday, students write the Acts I and II quiz. It is open book. On Thursday, students will take on a role and read Act III aloud.
Tuesday, December 5
We will finish reading Act II and then we will watch the movie version.
Monday, December 4
Today we viewed Act I of the 2013 version of Romeo and Juliet. We compared the prologue to the previous prologues we have viewed. We also noted any differences between the play and the movie version. Next, we read Act II scenes 2 and 3. Many students still need to complete the Act I questions. Reminder: Tomorrow we are going to the pancake breakfast!
Wednesday, November 29 - Friday, December 1
We read all of Act I and Act II scene one of Romeo and Juliet. Students had the choice of either working alone or with a partner to answer comprehension questions for Act I. These were due by the end of Friday's class.
Tuesday, November 28
Compare and contrast two different versions of the prologue of Romeo and Juliet in terms of setting, music, and mood (use compare and contrast chart provided). List three things the prologue tells us about the play. Finish the Virtual Globe tour started yesterday.
Monday, November 27
I was at home sick with a flu bug today. Students discussed their theatre experiences in Whitehorse and they predicted what going to the theatre would have been like during Shakespeare's time in the 1500's. Next, they went on a virtual tour of the Globe Theatre during Shakespeare's time. They filled in a note sheet with some of the key ideas. This assignment should be handed in for assessment.
Friday, November 24
Today students finished the questions for the short story "The Skating Party". They were due today but some students did not finished. They will have to finish them on the weekend. I showed a timeline of the history of South Africa as well as a short video on the Soweto uprising in preparation for the play students will see this afternoon. We discussed apartheid and Nelson Mandela's role in ending apartheid. The rest of the class was spent working on any incomplete assignments or making revising assignments.
Thursday, November 23
Students worked on the questions for short story "The Skating Party". I gave out a Venn diagram to use for the compare and contrast question as well as a list of character traits to assist students with the characterization question. Everyone was focussed and worked really well today. Well done! The answers to the questions are due by the end of tomorrow's class. Tomorrow will be a day to revise assignments and catch-up on any unfinished work. On Monday, we begin Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet!
Wednesday, November 22
Today we finished reading the short story "The Skating Party" (it is a pretty long short story) and students were to answer at least the first three questions. We will continue working on the questions tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 21
We finished comparing the two poems and then we began reading the short story "The Skating Party". Before we started reading the story, we went over the comprehension and analysis questions students will be expected to answer. As we read the story, students hi-lighted potential answers to the questions including examples of foreshadowing and character traits.
Monday, November 20
Today we began the rebellion unit and started with a quick Kahoot survey which generated some class discussion. Next, we read two poems and compared and contrasted them in terms of structure, devices, voice, character situation, and character reaction. We will finish this assignment tomorrow. I also gave out permission forms for a field trip to view a play on Wednesday afternoon. The signed permission form and $10 fee is needed by tomorrow. I apologize for the short notice.
Friday, November 17
Students worked on the brochure/poster on the laptop computers in the library and most had the assignment completed by the end of class. It was due today.
Thursday, November 16
Today students wrote a quiz on run-ons and fragments as well as sentence types and sentence combining. Afterwards we went to the library to work on the research project. Students are expected to have the research and brochure/poster completed by the end of tomorrow's class. Everyone worked really hard today. Well done!
Wednesday, November 15
Sorry for the missing post. Yesterday I reviewed how to organize research notes on note cards and I discussed the visual component of the research project. Students expressed interest in creating a brochure or informational poster. I showed a short video on graphic texts and another on how to create an effective brochure. I passed around sample brochures and students noted the elements of graphic texts including: use of titles and captions, use of boxes to organize ideas, changes in font size and colours of text, use of photos and charts/graphs. Next, students went to the computer lab to continue their research work.
Today I gave a note on sentence types: simple, compound, complex and compound-complex. We watched a short video depicting the four sentence types and then we highlighted the key ideas in our notes. Afterwards, students worked through some practice questions and we went over the answers. Tomorrow there will be a quiz on fragments and run-ons as well as sentence types and sentence combining. We spent the last half hour of class in the library doing research on the computers. Research and brochure/poster should be completed by this Friday.
Thursday, November 9
I did a short lesson on fragments using the notes from the booklet given a couple days ago. Students did a practice sheet on correcting fragments and we went over the answers. Next, I introduced the research project that is an extension of the novel study. I gave a booklet outlining the three components of the project: research and report, action/awareness (poster or brochure, etc.) and presentation to class. Students formed their groups or worked individually; they chose their topic and developed three probing questions upon which to focus their research. We then went to the computer lab to begin research and to do revision work.
Wednesday, November 8
Today we went over the answers to the correcting run-ons practice sheet. I gave out calendars for the months of November and December which include the upcoming assignments, due dates and quizzes. I also returned Letter Essay #1 and students went to the computer to make revisions or to finish Letter Essay #2 which was due at the end of the class. We also held the last lit. circle for To Kill a Mockingbird.
Tuesday, November 7
There was a short assembly that included a presentation from Raven Recycling about the zero-waste program that is being implemented at the school starting today. Afterwards, students went to the computer lab to complete the school survey. I did a short lesson on run-on sentences (fused and comma splices) and ways to correct them (add a period, use a semi-colon, add a conjunction, use a subordinate conjunction and a comma). Students practiced correcting run-ons and tomorrow we will go over the answers.
Due tomorrow: Letter Essay #2
Monday, November 6
I apologize for the missing posts last week. We spent Thursday and Friday working on the children's book and revising assignments. The children's book was due today. Today students wrote letter essay #2. the lit. circles were postponed until tomorrow as no one in the two groups had finished the novel! Please finish reading your novel tonight and be prepared for a lit. circle discussion tomorrow. Letter essay #2 is due on Wednesday.
Wednesday, November 1
Today students worked on the final copy of the children's book. Some students were away on a field trip so lit. circles were not held. The students who were in class were extremely productive. Excellent work! Remember the final copy of the children's book should be handed in by Monday, November 6.
Here is the schedule for the rest of the lit. circles:
Thursday - To Kill a Mockingbird
Monday - Thirteen Reasons Why and To Kill a Mockingbird
Tuesday - Looking for Alaska
Tuesday, October 31
Happy Hallowe'en! Sorry for the missing posts. Students have been reading their novels and participating in lit. circles the last few classes as well as working on the final copy of the children's book. The novels should be fully read by Monday, November 6 at the latest. I am still missing some letter essays. Hand them in as soon as possible please.
Thursday, October 26
After reading their novel for 35 minutes, students went to the computer lab to write the letter essay. We also continued the lit. circle from yesterday. Students are reminded to come with at least three questions to stimulate a discussion and at least one quote. These should be written down on sticky notes or on a sheet of looseleaf. Tomorrow those students reading TKMB will meet for a lit. circle discussion. The first draft of the letter essay is due tomorrow by the end of class.
Wednesday, October 25
Today students read their novels and then we held lit. circles for those reading Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska; however, we ran out of time, so we will continue our discussion tomorrow for those reading Looking for Alaska. Students not involved in lit. circle discussions worked on the letter essay. On Friday we will a hold lit. circle for those reading To Kill a Mockingbird.
Tuesday, October 24
I was away yesterday but students were given specific instructions to help them prepare for the upcoming lit. circle discussions. They were expected to read their novels and prepare their discussion notes. Some students needed the weekend to complete the planning sheets for the children's book, and these should have been handed in on Monday. We held a lit. circle for To Kill a Mockingbird and it went really well. Those students reading a different novel went to the computer lab to work on Letter Essay #1 (see handouts tab for assignment). I explained this assignment earlier in class and we read a sample letter essay which we discussed. I also gave a rubric and I explained which particular skills are being assessed and how to fully meet the expectations. We will hold lit. circle discussions for Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska tomorrow. Be ready!
Thursday, October 19
Sorry for the late post. Students had the choice of reading their novels for fifteen minutes and preparing for the lit. circle discussions that are scheduled for Monday or getting right to work on completing the storyboard for the children's book. The planning for the book should be completed today and if it isn't then students are expected to complete it this weekend. Remember: There is no school tomorrow so you have a three-day weekend to work on incomplete assignments! The end of the term is next Friday, so all revision work is due by the end of that day.
Wednesday, October 18
Today students spent most of the class reading their novels and preparing for the lit. circle discussion next week. We discussed how far along in the novel they should be for each lit. circle: a quarter of the way for lit. circle #1, half way for #2, three-quarters of the way for #3, and finished the novel for lit. circle #4. The last twenty minutes of class was spent working on the storyboard for the children's book. We will spend the majority of tomorrow's class on the storyboard as it is due by the end of the class.
Tuesday, October 17
Students read their novels for half of the class. They were given sticky notes to mark important or confusing passages and were expected to write down ideas and questions to bring to the lit. circle. Our FADS students are away Thursday and Friday on a trip to Vancouver, so we will hold our first lit. circles on Monday. I also gave each student a print-out of their marks. I am still missing some book reviews. Get your missing assignments in ASAP! I encourage students to keep revising their work and submitting it for further assessment, particularly their pieces of writing.
Monday, October 16
Friday, October 13
Whew! Was it ever warm in our classroom today. It felt like a sauna so we decided to work in the cafeteria. By the end of the class many students were well on their way in the planning process of the children's book. As soon as the rough draft is complete and the layout of each page is sketched out, students can begin work on the final product. I have been giving feedback and suggestions throughout the planning process and so far I am impressed with the creativity of these students! On Monday we will begin our novel study. We have three groups for literature circles based on student novel preferences: To Kill a Mockingbird, Looking for Alaska, and Thirteen Reasons Why. I love working with these students! Have a great weekend and work on your children's book!
Thursday, October 12
Students read their books; however, silent reading was interrupted by a last call to have school photos taken. Afterwards, students worked on their children's book. They were given a graphic organizer to use to create rough drafts of each page of the book. Text, including dialogue, and illustrations must be completed for each page of the book. For each illustration a brief explanation should be included that explains how the illustration adds meaning; for example: shows character emotion, shows character relationships, adds to plot, shows the setting, shows physical motion, etc. (refer to the notes and example we did in class). A few students were ready to move on to this stage of the project but many still had yet to finish the plot diagram. Reminder: If you are getting behind on the work done in class you are expected to complete it for homework.
Wednesday, October 11
Tuesday, October 10
Welcome back! I hope you had a restful holiday. Today students read independently and then I introduced the summative assignment for unit one. Students had the option of writing a children's book, a short story, or a memoir. Everyone chose to create a children's book and some students are working with a partner. By the end of the class they had sketched their protagonist (human, animal, alien, inanimate object?), created any other characters, developed the plot and could explain the theme and conflict. Note: Today is the cut-off for handing in the lyric assignment, poem/narrative essay and all assignments that prepared students to write the review of a children's book.
Thursday, October 5
Students read silently and independently for fifteen minutes and then we did a quick review before students wrote the re-do literary terms quiz. Afterwards, many students did the peer review for a classmate's book review. Revisions were made and students worked on completing outstanding assignments or revising assignments.
Wednesday, October 4
Tuesday, October 3
Students read for fifteen minutes and then I gave out progress reports to each student that showed their current mark and the assignments that are missing. I also returned assignments and explained how students could revise any of these to earn a higher mark. Students spent the class revising assignments and working on the book review (which many still had not completed). Reminder: the re-test for the literary devices quiz occurs this Thursday.
Monday, October 2
After silent reading I handed back the literary terms quiz written last Friday. We went over the answers and students who would like to re-test can do so this Thursday. Students went to the computer lab to finish typing up the book review, but many students still did not have the outline completed! We could not do the peer review activity because students did not have their work ready. I am available at lunch if students need assistance completing their work; however, it appears some students in the class just don't do any schoolwork outside of this class. This must change immediately. I explained that students who have not yet handed in the following assignments for assessment will be able to do so until Tuesday of next week: lyric assignment, poem/narrative essay, and all assignments having to do with children's books (purpose of illustrations sticky note assignment, theme in the Lion King, character types). Again, the cut-off for these assignments is Tuesday, October 10. After this date a mark of zero will be assigned.
Friday, September 29
After fifteen minutes of silent reading, we played a game of Kahoot to review figurative language/literary terms. Students then wrote the quiz on figurative language. Afterwards, students worked on revising assignments and finishing the first draft of the book review. Only one student had the draft of the book review completed by the end of the class! I am not impressed. On Monday students will be peer reviewing another student's book review. Be ready!
Thursday, September 28
Students read for fifteen minutes and then handed in their reading log for assessment. Some students have not been keeping track of the pages and books they are reading! Next, I gave some tips on how to write a good title and encouraged students to spend the time and effort to attempt to create a good title for the book review assignment. We went to the computer lab to type up the book review using the outline students should have completed yesterday. The first draft of the book review is due by the end of tomorrow's class. Reminder: There is a quiz on figurative language/literary terms tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 27
After silent reading, I gave a checklist of all the assignments we have done or are currently working on in the course. Next, I provided students with exemplars of book reviews for Willy and Hugh. We read the samples and identified the strengths and weaknesses of each. Students continued working on the outline for the book review and this should have been completed by the end of the class.
Tuesday, September 26
Students read for 15 minutes and recorded the number of pages read in their reading logs. Afterwards, I handed back some completed assignments and explained that students could make revisions and hand these in for further assessment. I introduced the children's book review assignment and some students chose a book to review and began working on the outline, while others finished assignments from the previous couple days.
Monday, September 25
I was absent today. Students were given a checklist and rubric to assist them in making sure the sticky note activity from Friday is fully completed. They were given time to complete the sticky note activity and then chose a different book to use for the character type assignment. There were many students absent on Friday, so a copy of the Powerpoint and notes were available for them to complete. The instructions and outline for the children's book review were also available for those who have completed all the previous assignments.
Friday, September 22
After silent reading, we read the essay "The Truth About Why There Are No Illustrations in Novels" and hi-lighted the key ideas. I read the children's book Willy and Hugh and then I showed a Powerpoint on the purpose of illustrations in children's book. Students filled in a note while watching this Powerpoint and then they began the sticky note activity. They chose a children's book from the collection and, working individually or with a partner, they found at least one example of each of the purposes of illustrations and marked it with a sticky note making sure to fully explain HOW each illustration adds meaning to the story. Note: I am still missing lyric assignments and poems/narrative essays! Get them in to me asap!
Thursday, September 21
We studied conflict and types of characters in a story today. Students viewed a PowerPoint on the types of conflict and then they created a chart illustrating the types of conflict in "The Lion King". Next, they created a chart illustrating the types of characters in the film using: Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Timon, the hyenas, Rafiki and Nala. Types of characters include: round or flat, static or dynamic, and stock.
Wednesday, September 20
After silent reading we finished going over the fiction terms in the literary terms booklet. We discussed the elements of a plot and students completed a plot diagram for the film "The Lion King". We also discussed characteristics of a story/film in terms of audience. Students viewed two clips from "The Lion King" and categorized them in a chart in terms of audience appeal: children, adults or both. Next, we began looking at how to find theme. Students were given a note with the steps to writing a theme statement.
Tuesday, September 19
We had a fire drill first thing this morning. When we returned to the classroom, we read for fifteen minutes and entered the pages read in the reading log. I showed a Prezi on the themes in the story "Thus I Refute Beelzy". Students learned that theme is not just a single word but a statement, and a theme statement should be supported by evidence from the text. Next, we viewed a short video about the original versions of fairytales, such as: Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Pinocchio, and the Little Mermaid. Students worked with a partner to determine the theme of one of the fairytales. Lastly, we started going over the fiction terms in the literary terms booklet. We will finish this tomorrow. I collected the lyric assignment. It is now past due so hand it in as soon as possible.
Monday, September 18
Today students read for fifteen minutes and then we listened to an audio version of the story "Thus I Refute Beelzy", narrated by Vincent Price. This was in preparation for the small group discussions. I also gave out a rubric for assessing group activities and we went over the expectations for this particular group discussion. Students were then put into groups to discuss the story using the questions they answered last week as a guideline. Some groups had a little trouble starting but most groups were able to sustain a discussion. Students did a self-assessment of their performance using the rubric and these were handed in. Next, we went to the computer lab to revise or in some cases finish the narrative essay or poem. Please have a completed poem with illustration or a narrative essay handed in by this Friday for assessment.
Friday, September 15
After reading for twenty minutes, students wrote an open book quiz on the poetry terms from the literary devices booklet. Students could work with a partner. This took some students the rest of the class to complete. I returned some of the students' work with feedback and further revisions can be made. We postponed the group discussion on the short story questions until Monday.
Thursday, September 14
I was away today. Students read the short story "Thus I Refute Beelzy" and answered some questions to help prepare them for a group discussion that will take place tomorrow. Next, they continued working on the lyric assignment.
Wednesday, September 13
Students read for fifteen minutes and recorded the number of pages read in their reading log. Next, we hi-lighted and I went over some additional petty terms in the literary terms and devices booklet. We examined the differences between two types of sonnets and then read the sonnet "The Cave". Students determined the rhyme scheme and form, and found five literary devices. Afterwards, I showed a video for the song "Erin Go Bragh" in the lyric assignment. We discussed the allusions in the lyrics as well as examples of connotation and denotation. The lyric assignment is due Friday.
Tuesday, September 12
Today students were given more time to work on the lyric assignment with a partner or in a group of no more than three. Most students worked very productively. I also returned the allusion assignment with a mark and written feedback. Students are encouraged to revise this assignment and hand it in again for assessment. I am still missing some poem assignments. Please get those in today!
Monday, September 11
After silent reading I introduced the lyric assignment that we will be working on over the next couple days (see handouts tab). Students were reminded to hand in the allusion assignment from last week.
Friday, September 8
Students read for twenty minutes and then went to the computer lab to type up their poem or narrative essay. The first draft is due Monday. Remember to "show rather than tell" and use descriptive verbs and adjectives. I reminded students the cut-off for handing in the reading list activity is today and the cut-off for the poem assignment and allusion assignment is Tuesday. Please ask me for help on Monday if you are having difficulty completing these. Enjoy your weekend!
Thursday, September 7
After twenty minutes of silent reading, students began working on the writing assignment. They need to choose to write a poem in any form or a narrative essay about an experience in their past, childhood or more recent. I circulated around the room assisting students brainstorm ideas. Many had a good start on their first drafts by the end of the class, while others...not so much. Tomorrow is the last day I will give to work on this in class.
Wednesday, September 6
Today was the last day to work on the reading list activity. Many students are finished or very close to being finished. The books will be on the table in the library until Friday, so please finish and hand the assignment in soon as possible as I would like to give you the opportunity to make revisions while the books are still there! Students did a practice activity in order to increase their understanding of literary allusions. They researched three common allusions, recorded the source or origin of each allusion and explained the meaning. This activity is to be finished for homework. Next, we viewed a video of the poem we are analyzing (see below) and continued working on the questions from yesterday. Lastly, I explained the writing assignment. Students may choose to write a poem in any form or a narrative essay about an experience in their childhood that may or may not involve imagination. I gave part of a sample poem that has the same form and style as "The Key of the Kingdom". I also explained and gave a hand-out with the format, writing tips, and an outline for those students who choose to write a narrative essay. We will work on this assignment tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 5
Students worked on the reading list activity and many have now completed it. I returned the ones that were handed in on Friday for assessment gave suggestions for revision. We also read the poem "Key to the Kingdom" and discussed the meaning of the poem, the mood, and the style. Students were given the task of finding some allusions and metaphors in the poem (see handouts tab). There seems to be some confusion about allusions, so I will give some more examples and we will do some more practice with this literary device tomorrow.
Friday, September 1
Today we continued working on the reading list activity in the library. A couple students finished it by the end of the class. Everyone worked steadily and productively. Well done! On Tuesday we will spend part of the class in the library finishing this activity; as well, there will be a bit of time in the computer lab finishing the posters, and we will begin a writing assignment. Posters and the reading list activity are due on Wednesday.
Thursday, August 31
We finished going over the poetry terms in the booklet from yesterday and then we played a game of Kahoot as review for all the poetry terms. Next, I explained the Reading List Activity, its purpose as well as how it will be assessed. We went over the rubric and exemplars. I also explained the importance of using the language of literature for this assignment:
- novel instead of book
- character instead of guy
- protagonist instead of main character
- plot instead of story
- illustrations instead of pictures
- conflict instead of problem
Wednesday, August 30
Today students worked in the computer lab to research and create a 8.5 X 11" poster of one or two literary terms. They were given a graphic organizer with the necessary information to include, such as: title, definition, synonym or key word, example(s) and an illustration. We also viewed some sample posters and discussed the criteria for assessing the posters. Many students finished the assignment during class and those who did not are expected to finish it by Friday. Afterwards, students were given the Grade Ten Literary Terms and Devices Booklet for the course. Please do not lose this! We went over the poetry terms in the booklet and students hi-lighted them. We ran out of time so we will play the review game tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 29
Students went to an assembly at the beginning of the day, so our class was cut short. Once in class, I discussed classroom expectations and went over the course outline. I also showed them how to find my teacher page online. Students wrote a letter of introduction which is due by the end of this week, but most students finished it in class. We ran out of time so we will begin the literary terms assignment tomorrow!