Classroom Library Book Bonus

The classroom library book bonus is back for third and fourth quarter. Students in English I, English II, English III, and High School Reading can turn in books from the independent reading list for bonus points. Each book is worth five bonus points and students can turn in up to two books per quarter. If you have read the book and passed a quiz on it for journals, then you can turn in one book for ten points.

Keep in mind that the goal is to donate books that either (1) you already own or (2) you find really cheap somewhere. I do not recommend that you go out and buy a new copy of the book simply to donate as that might be quite expensive. Instead, keep your eyes open for cheap copies or if there is a book you really want to read, buy it, then donate it when you are through OR donate it, then check it back out to read it yourself. Then just return it to the library when you are finished.

I almost always find a handful of books from the list when I visit any thrift store. When I visit the Goodwill in Ozark, I sometimes buy books for the library myself, but if I bought them all, I would spend hundreds of dollars of my own money each year. So often I move them to the top shelf all the way to the left to make them easier for my students to find. This might be a good place to start looking if you have the chance.

The point of this bonus is two-fold: (1) it helps familiarize students with titles and authors on the list and (2) it helps build up our classroom library, which makes it easier for all students to find books on the list.

If you have questions, let me know.

The Great Whoever vs. Whomever Debate


This video (starting at about 64 seconds in) does a pretty good job of summing up how people feel about grammatical issues like when to use “whoever” vs. “whomever.”

For the record, though, Pam is right. You use “who” when it is the subject of the sentence and “whom” when it is the object. So “whoever” does an action, and “whomever” receives it.

Online Resources Bonus

To complete the Online Resources Bonus click here. Only the first 10 students to complete the task correctly will receive the 5 bonus points. Must be completed by Friday, February 2, 2018. Only students in English 1, 2, and 3 are eligible.

Romeo and Juliet on Broadway…Again!

The freshman English class has been writing plans for their own Broadway musicals mirroring the plot of Romeo and Juliet. Here are some of the highlights:

Bob: (singing) As a bird with a broken wing
like a sheep in a lion’s den
gonna fall, but you won’t know when…
-D.M.

Michael: (singing) Come at me bro! Wanna donate some blood?/They call me Mr. Phlebotomist!
-P.G.

Alice: (singing) I don’t know. I feel like someone else is out there. Someone I have never met before.
Gabriella: (singing) How do you know his is out there?/He could be a stalker?
-K.M.

Trump: I’m not saying they can’t come to America.
I’m not saying that at all.
All I want is to build a wall!
Trump & Americans: (singing) Trump’s wall! Trump’s wall!
We all love Trump’s wall!
Some say it’s bad.
Some say it’s expensive,
but we don’t care because it’s Trump’s Wall!
Trump: (singing) My wall is so big–but expensive–but who really cares? I’m a billionare!
-Z.L. & B.W.

Ryan: (singing) Do you belive in Miracles?
Because right now, I really do!
Fiona: (singing) This is truly mystical…
Ryan and Fionna: (singing)…finally meeting you!
-M.A. & C.R.

Mary: (singing) How could I be so dumb?
I don’t understand.
My whole life is almost done
and I’m still young!
-T.V. & J.V.

Johnny: (gasping) Not Jenny!
Zakiko: It’s true!
Johnny: It can’t be! Not you!
Zakiko: (singing) Yes, I’m afriad it is real.
Johnny: (singing slowly) But you’re a Muslim…
And she’s Christian…
Ugh! I don’t know how to feel!
-K.P.

Don the Dog: (singing)Oh, since the time I saw you…
I knew you were the one for me…
You were like no other.
You were the cat of my dreams.
I know that we are different.
I’m a dog and you’re a cat,
but past that fact…
There’s only one cat like youuuu!
-C.P.

Emily and Jorge:(singing while slowdancing) A rose by any other color
would smell just as sweet as any other!
Jorge: (singing and swaying) Who cares about our heritage?
Emily: (stopping) I don’t!
Jorge: (contining to sway) Who cares about our skin?
Emily: (stopping again) Not me!
Emily and Jorge:(singing) We’re free!
-K.P.

Shakespearean Sonnets

The freshmen are currently working on writing their own Shakespearean sonnets. Here’s a little bit about the form from the Academy of American Poetry:

From the Italian sonetto, which means “a little sound or song,” the sonnet is a popular classical form that has compelled poets for centuries. Traditionally, the sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, which employ one of several rhyme schemes and adhere to a tightly structured thematic organization. Two sonnet forms provide the models from which all other sonnets are formed: the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean.

 *         *         *

The second major type of sonnet, the Shakespearean, or English sonnet, follows a different set of rules. Here, three quatrains and a couplet follow this rhyme scheme: abab, cdcd, efef, gg. The couplet plays a pivotal role, usually arriving in the form of a conclusion, amplification, or even refutation of the previous three stanzas, often creating an epiphanic quality to the end.

In Sonnet 130 of William Shakespeare’s epic sonnet cycle, the first twelve lines compare the speaker’s mistress unfavorably with nature’s beauties. But the concluding couplet swerves in a surprising direction:

     My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

Punctuating Words as Words

We recently finished up some definition essays in my college level courses. A question that kept coming up was “How do I punctuate words that refer to themselves?”

Do I use quotation marks or italics? Which of the following is correct?

“Humblebrag” is now in the dictionary.

Humblebrag is now in the dictionary.

There’s some debate about which is best, but ultimately it comes down to which style manual you are following. Since we are using MLA style, we follow their rules and use italics.

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue offered this summation:

Do not use quotation marks for words used as words themselves. In this case, you should use italics.

EX: The English word nuance comes from a Middle French word meaning “shades of color.”