Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Junior Honors

Today second period started work on the Commonplace Book. There are several handouts that go along with the assignment, so if your student was not here, he/she needs to come see me right away.

Here’s the time line for this:
Dec 1 &2, assignment given, time in class to get started
Dec 3&4, time in library to work as groups to identify literary devices and find examples of them
Dec 7&8, time in English writing lab to work on literary devices and poetry
If time is used well on those days, more time in class will be given. I will be out of the building for training at the District Offices December 7th and 8th and the substitute will monitor class progress.
11th and 14th of December, presentations on the Commonplace Books are due
15th and 16th of December, groups will present on different poems from the packet
17th and 18th of December, the Commonplace Books are due in class
21st and 22nd of December, the big test on all of the Commonplace Book terms. This is the only “regular” test I give. Students will know what is on the test and be given a chance to study for it.

Just a reminder that your student will need a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by January 12th. We will also be reading The Great Gatsby beginning in March. I don’t care if the book is used or new, but the student needs to be able to mark the book up in order to benefit the most from the reading experience.

The Sophomore Research Paper

Students are being assigned the research paper today in class. Basically, what it boils down to is this: Students are to find a social problem of some kind and research it. Since some topics are a little controversial, a parent needs to okay a topic by Thursday. Your student should have a signature on the cover page by then and it is worth points. We will then go down to the library and learn about citations and research.

Here’s the timeline:
3 December, topic is chosen, students will be taken to the media center to research
7 December, students will betaken to the English writing lab to research and write. I will not be here as I am expected to spend the day in training at the district offices. Depending on their behavior, they will be given more time after I am back. I will assume that if they use this time wisely, they need more time to write and research.
15 December, in-class peer review. The paper should be typed, double-spaced in traditional font and with citations and a bibliography. The paper should be about 6 pages long.
21 December, the paper is due. No papers will be accepted after December 22, since I do not want any student working on anything for my class over the break.

In addition to the research paper, which will take some time at home or after school here in the library, we will be working on test-taking skills and brushing up on writing.

Part of the expectation of this research paper is that students will find a problem that they can help solve. Each student is really a force that can make this world better. It is my hope that students will realize that one person can make an incredible difference in the world, and that they will find something they want to change for the better.