Monday, January 25, 2010

Science Fiction/Fantasy Class

Second semester Sci-Fi/Fan has gotten off to a great start. What a great bunch of students! Today, we started working on creativity and their own protagonist. They are to create a hero for their own writing. The assignment is due on Friday, January 29.

On a personal note

In November, I accepted the position of Language Arts Chair with the new Herriman High School. I'm really excited about creating some great traditions and an excellent Language Arts Department.It was a tough decision. I have absolutely LOVED teaching at Riverton High and will always be part Silverwolf.

I'm hoping to see familiar faces at HHS next fall and would love to teach any of my students again if the classes I will be assigned are what they need.

Sophomore English

Sophomores are in the middle of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. We are reading the play, listening to a dramatization and watching the film. I’ve been pretty pleased with the questions and comments that have come up in class. The students are starting to understand the complexities of Roman Politics. After we are done with Julius Caesar, we will be studying Dante’s Inferno – a greatly abbreviated version.

Feb 2, 3, and 4, Sophomores will be taking the UBSCT test. They should report to their PACK teacher and he/she will give them some punch and cookies to get their brains going and then they will have the opportunity of showing how incredibly smart they are.

The UBSCT has three days of tests. The first test is reading and will go over all kinds of reading, not just stories. The second test is Math. Math problems will be given up to the Algebra 1 level, so look for Pre-Algebra and Geometry questions. Students can use a calculator for half the test. The other half, they will have handouts to help you remember formulas. The last test is on Writing. Students will be given a prompt about a school issue and will be asked to write a persuasive letter, essay or speech that takes a stand on one side or the other of the issue. In the past, topics have been things like school uniforms, vending machines, movies in class, fines for smoking or swearing and so on. We will be doing a little bit of review just before the test.

Other dates to keep in mind... Feb 1 and 2 is registration in your history classes. There are several of my sophomore students who definitely should take an honors class. If your student is going to Herriman High there is a chance he/she will have me again for a teacher. I would love that.

Junior Honors Update

The research article is due on Thursday/Friday, the 28th and 29th. If you know you won't be here, please send it early so you can get adequate feedback. After seeing some of your articles, I hope that many of you choose to take the chance and submit your article for publication. It's very cool to see your name in print.

Everyone should have a copy of Huck Finn that they are reading feverishly. As you read, don't forget that in each chapter, you must find: A theme, an example of characterization, a figure of speech, and a particularly potent passage. This will help you as you start your Huck Finn Project next week.

Don't forget! The first quiz for Huck Finn is February 1st and 2nd.

Other dates to keep in mind... Feb 1 and 2 is registration in your history classes. Feb 2, 3, and 4, Sophomores will be taking the UBSCT test. If you have passed that test, you get to sleep in a bit - school will start about 9:45 those three days.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Science Fiction/Fantasy Class on You-Tube!

Hello Everyone,

This is Phillip Jones, author of the Worlds of the Crystal Moon series. Below is a link to a YouTube video. It explains how the Worlds of the Crystal Moon series came to life.


A note from Mrs. Hunter:
Phillip Jones has been to our classroom numerous times. Our class is featured in this video - check it out! We have a great bunch of kids.

Science Fiction/Fantasy Class - a schedule

January 7th is film clip day
January 11th is our Lit Circle Meeting
January 13th - Lit Circle Presentations
January 15th - We will be watching Slade’s film (this should be interesting…) and having our last conversation/experience together as a class.

Junior Honors

I don’t want to totally spoil the surprise for sixth and eighth periods, but today I assigned a research project to second period and I want to make sure parents are aware of the assignment and the timelines we will be working with.

Each student will be doing a little research of magazines and choosing a magazine he/she would like to write an article for. I have attached the assignment sheet so you can see what is expected. Each student is an expert at something – it could be that he/she is great at snowboarding, or sewing. Perhaps he/she moved around a lot as a child and has learned to adapt to new surroundings. Whatever the experience/skill, what this assignment requires is that the student takes his/her skill or experience, do some research and then write an article for a magazine audience. Whether or not the student actually submits the article is irrelevant. (I have had several middle school students get published in local and national magazines before, though, so it is worth a try). If you have questions or concerns, please let me know.

This is the research timeline:
Jan 8/11 – students will be in media center to do research of magazines. Ms. Miles will help with finding magazines on line and so on.
Jan 12/13 – Pre-write is due (25 points)
Jan 14/15 – research Alphabet Notes are due (25 points)
Jan 22/25 – peer review in class (50 points for preparation and participation)
Final assignment due by 3:00 Jan 28/29

This will mainly be homework, but I am always available to clarify or help.

We will be starting The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on January 20th. Students should have their copy in class for credit at that time. We will work on Huck Finn, a Portfolio Assignment and the Very Last Commonplace Book (90% in class again).

Sophomore English

Those students who turned in a research paper got their projects back today (1/6). Most were evaluated by two honors students who were grateful for the opportunity to give feedback an learn from the experience. The sophomores evaluated the feedback they received as well. If your student had more than 5 typos or grammatical errors of any kind, they received a zero and the chance to fix it.

Here is how it will work: Students can just clean up the errors and give me the edited version by Tuesday, January 12 and I will give them the higher score of the two evaluators. Or, they can use the feedback and do a rewrite and try for 200 points instead. Ask your student what their plan is. Normally, I would expect the rewrites back by Friday, but I will be out of the building on Friday. Therefore, I will expect the new version stapled to the old version in my basket by 3:00 on Tuesday.

Today, we decided what we will be studying for the rest of the year. After talking to first and fourth periods, they decided to study Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; Dante’s Inferno (four of the 34 chapters of this classic, plus some background knowledge about the times of Dante), Dandelion Wine, (a book by Ray Bradbury based on his childhood experiences), and Animal Farm, (a historically significant novel about the evils of communism and its rise in the Soviet Union). So, that is a basic outline as we go on towards June.