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.
Last year’s great comma debate, in which millions of dollars hinged on a missing piece of punctuation, has been resolved. A missing Oxford comma cost the company involved a $5 million settlement. Click here to read the full story.
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.
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…
Michael: (singing) Come at me bro! Wanna donate some blood?/They call me Mr. Phlebotomist!
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?
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!
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!
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!
Time Magazine recently highlighted a tumblr account dedicated to rewriting pop songs as sonnets. Check these out for fun, but keep in mind some of them follow the form more closely than others: Pop 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.
If you are struggling with comprehension in general or just with a particular text, the following strategy could help. It’s designed to get readers to do on paper what many stronger readers do naturally in their head. That being said, even if you are a strong reader, these strategies could help you deal with complex texts.
1. Chunk the text. Divide the reading into smaller chunks. These chunks could be each stanza for a poem or every few paragraphs for prose. It’s better if this is not done randomly, but at divisions that sort of make sense.
2. Underline and circle with a purpose. Underline main ideas and key phrases. Ciricle key words; strong verbs; repeated words or phrases; important names, places, and dates; etc.
3. Summarize each chunk. In ten words or less, summarize what’s happening in that section. It’s recommended to write this in the left margin. Also, draw a simple picture that illustrates the main idea.
4. For each chunk, write in one word what the author is doing. In other words, “informing,” “persuading,” “proving,” “describing,” “complaining,” “questioning,” “explaining,” etc.
5. Ask and answer the “5 Ws and How” (who, what, when, where, why and how) for each section. If you can’t answer them, re-read to get the answers.