Hey kids! How's everybody?
Me? I found this extremely relatable this morning:
I hope you've had a good weekend and begun to feel somewhat settled in these unsettling times. This post is to give you a brief overview of the week.
Take a few moments & read up on the info that applies to you.
For AP Lit
For this week, we'll maintain last week's schedule. I'll be available via Zoom on Tuesday & Thursday from 10-11 and digitally via Schoology, Remind, or email on and off throughout the day. Remind is the quickest way to get in touch.
Here's the link for Tuesday's office hours: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/575852014
Suggested Completion Dates & Deadlines:
Virtual Class Meeting:
You're invited to meet as a class face-to-face on Zoom THIS THURSDAY, 3/26 at 7:00 PM. I will share the link with you later this week. Just save the date & time.
We will discuss AP exams and plans moving forward. I encourage you to attend so we can see your face! (Have I mentioned I miss y'all? Ok...I know...well, I do.)
For English 11 H
For this week, we'll maintain last week's schedule. I'll be available via Zoom on Monday & Wednesday from 10-11 and digitally via Schoology, Remind, or email on and off throughout the day. Remind is the quickest way to get in touch. Office hours is a great time to conference about your writing and get one-on-one feedback.
Here's the link for tomorrow's office hours: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/906296281
Suggested Completion Dates & Deadlines:
Virtual Class Meeting:
You're invited to meet as a class face-to-face on Zoom MONDAY, 3/30 at 7:00 PM. I will share the link with you later this week. Just save the date & time.
We will discuss how we'll move forward & review new tasks and assignments. Make plans to join!
In the next post, look for some more/new free & fun things out there that might be good for your hearts and minds. And if you have to be out, remember keep on washin' your hands!
Sending love to all, stay safe, & be in touch (just not with your face).
All the best,
Well everybody, we've made it (successfully? yes, no, maybe?) through Week 1 of Quarantine and distance learning. As I've said several times, we are just getting our feet under us. These first couple of weeks are an experiment, and I want to make sure to respond to your needs—what goes well, what goes not-so-well, and how we can all best move forward together as a class.
In today's post, I'll answer a few FAQs from this first week:
For English 11 Honors
1. When is our 1-pager due?
Remember that before school closed, your one-pager for your independent choice reading book #2 was due Monday, 3.16. You can submit your one-pager NOW and through the weekend by snapping a pic and sending through Remind or Schoology.
2. And what about editorial notes? Didn't you say something about submitting those, too?
Yes, same as above. This is listed in your pacing guide. By the end of the day Monday, snap a pic of your notebook notes and submit through Remind or Schoology. I'm looking for: your topic; what mentor texts you studied; and what sources you consulted for your chosen topic.
3. When is the editorial due?
All editorial work is DUE by Monday, March 30.
For AP Lit...
1. Where is the Extend Your Analysis Flipgrid?
HERE! It is here, my friends
2. Do I just pick any Q3?
Yes. Pick literally any Question 3. Set the timer, and write the essay for Hamlet. Type & submit in Google Classroom.
3. What about the exam?
Hot off the presses from the College Board. Click here to read more & stay tuned for details.
Finally, before I sign off, a few loose ends.
Remember, I am available through:
And I'll be back tomorrow with another list of free fun things to do or watch in quarantine.
All the best to all, miss you, stay IN, and stay safe!
I'll admit, I've had some trouble closing my social media, putting own my phone, and looking away from all of the scary. Part of it for me, I think, is not that I'm looking for the terrible, but for the collective silver lining that always seems to emerge among us when we are at our most vulnerable.
Here's a quick post on some of that goodness I've come across today:
1. COSTURA CREATIVE VIRTUAL POETRY READINGS
If you dig living poets and you enjoyed José Olivarez & Keegan Lester's reading at school (shout out José & Keegan!), then consider tuning in for to one of these virtual readings. I now get to attend a poetry reading for my b-day. Quarantine problems solved!
Register HERE at Costura Creative's Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/costura-creative-living-room-reading-series-tickets-99999605512
2. SENTROCK DIGITAL DOWNLOAD COLORING BOOK
Speaking of José Olivarez, remember the beautiful cover of Citizen Illegal? Sentrock, a Chicago-based street artist, did the cover art, and now he's released this amazing Digital download coloring book! GOODNESS.
Get your copy here:
3. ZUMBA AT HOME WITH DIANA REYES
Here for some local goodness?! Hop on over to Facebook at 5:30 for some FREE Zumba cardio dance party with local teacher & Zumba goddess extraordinaire, Diana Reyes. I promise you'll have a great time.
Interested? Go here: https://www.facebook.com/events/801594570329678/
If you decide to check out these fun things or others, tag me with #LOOKKHILLI!
Yours, always, in raising up the good,
Alright, how we doing? What's good? What questions/fears/successes/celebrations do you have?
Me? Oh, yeah...well, I successfully (with limited grievances) homeschooled my two kids today, got a decent amount of school work done, took our nutso dog for a walk, and went on a quick bike ride! The sun is beautiful and warm today. I'll take the wins where I can get 'em.
Here are my updates for you for today, March 17:
1. PARENT ACCESS TO GOOGLE CLASSROOM
If your parent or guardian would like access to Google Classroom to better support your distance learning, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/uKndENjDRd5giQnJA
2. UPDATES TO TASK SHEETS
- English 11 Honors: You are working from an assignment in Google Classroom entitled 'Quarantine! Editorial and Work From Home Menu.' Within that assignment, there are a few documents: the Write an Editorial task sheet; editorial rubric with self assessment; an overview with fun learning opportunities; and new today a suggested pacing guide.
*Directional task sheets may be edited and updated. Make sure you refer back to these periodically.*
The pacing guide is only for 2 weeks and only a suggestion. Together, we'll learn as we go.
I have zero intention of filling your time with busywork...just keep your hand on the tiller. Remember our course goals: to become better, stronger, more independent readers, writers, thinkers, speakers, and listeners. There's about a million ways to get there. In these weeks we are out of school, be attentive and pay attention to more than what's on the other end of the screen.
*Also! Lots of folks asking about submitting One-pagers. I'd like to see these pop up in my inbox by Friday, 3.20. Just snap a pic and share via Remind, Schoology, or email (Remind preferred.)
- AP Lit: Brilliant Seniors, we're keeping it simple. You have the following to be attentive to: submit Act IV promptbook; finish the play & be accountable for Act V (through whatever vehicle you choose -- film STRONGLY encouraged); analysis meaning of the work extension (+ a Flipgrid); and a Q3. ALL directions are posted to your Google Classroom assignment entitled 'Quarantine Work From Home Part 1.'
*Directional task sheets may be edited and updated. Make sure you refer back to these periodically.*
3. OFFICE HOURS
I have set the following office hours on Zoom. If you visit during office hours, you'll have a chance to ask questions face-to-face and work out any issues you might be having with any assignments. Of course, you are ALWAYS welcome to message on #allthethings: Remind, Schoology, and email. I will be available for a quick response in the hours listed below.
IMPORTANT: Set up Zoom and any necessary plug ins ahead of time. It's super simple, but you may need an update, a test call, etc. before you're fulling up and running.
Here's the schedule: Office hours are every day M-F from 10:00-11:00. You DO NOT need to be present for the entire meeting. A pop in is fine.
If you'd like to attend Zoom office hours,
CLICK HERE FOR ENGLISH 11 HONORS.
And CLICK HERE FOR AP LIT.
These links will direct you to our virtual meeting space.
Finally! In the spirit of learning that extends beyond the classroom, here are 3 of my favorite virtual learning opportunities that have popped up on my feeds this week. I encourage you to have fun & learn something new! (And tag me at #LOOKKHILLI when you do! shout outs Jill, Emily, & Nick for joining in!).
1. DROPKICK MURPHYS STREAMING SHOW!!!
What's not to love?! 90s nostalgia! Saint Paddy's Day! Mosh-worthy jams! Click the link & tune in for some fun.
Guys, SO MUCH GOODNESS here. Tons of links and tons of topics. Check it out!
And with that, I'm signing off. Remember, I'm here; we're here. Be in touch, take care of yourselves, get some sunshine, and reach out if you need.
All the best,
Hello from social distancing Day 2 in the Hilliard home!
So, here we are. Last Thursday when I prepped you for "here's what might happen," I honestly thought I'd see you tomorrow (Monday) to assign work, tell you not to stress too much about it, encourage you take care of yourselves and your families, and remind you there's SO much more you can learn and ways to learn beyond what's in our curriculum. As I said on Remind, I would've hugged some necks (OK, maybe just air hugs, given our present circumstances), and told ya' I loved ya'.
But...here we are.
We—all of us—are going to operate the best we can.
This update is to review a few important things as we head into this first week of shutdown:
Teachers have been directed to have tasks prepared and ready to share with students by Thursday, March 19, BUT I have already posted your tasks in Google Classroom. ALL DIRECTIONS are outlined on the posted handouts, but briefly:
2. COMMUNICATIONS & Office Hours
Just when I thought I was ready to pull the plug on this class web site and blog we go and have a pandemic. I'll be posting periodical updates here and checking in with you on Schoology and Remind. To join Remind, text the number 810-10 and in the body of the text, use the following code @khilli + class period + 19 (e.g. @khilli119)
I plan to hold virtual office hours and class meetings (likely on Zoom or Google Hangouts), BUT I'm waiting to see if we'll have a coordinated schedule as a school before I make my own. You will not be required to attend these meetings, but they will be available to you.
3. OPTIONAL LEARNING/Something to do when you're bored
Life is weird now. There's nowhere to go really, there's no school, no practices, no concerts, no games. If you find yourself feeling listless and bored and just need something to do, consider the things you always aim to do but never get around to. Maybe you're a musician and you've wanted to learn a new tune, maybe there's a really hard TikTok dance you haven't yet mastered, maybe you'd love to learn how to bake a cake from scratch.
Whatever it is, do some things and learn some things and share! (I've posted lots of suggestions in Classroom.)
Let's spread some joy and fun in this time of uncertainty. Like Jennifer Garner's #heyjenlookatme, use hashtag #LOOKKHILLI and show us what you're up to.
Many of you will have some pretty heavy adult responsibilities during this time, and I want to be mindful of that. This is only for fun, for community, and for raising up the good while we're stuck at home.
Last, and importantly, REACH OUT. If you are lonely, tired, need something, feel afraid or confused, I want to assure you that your school community and your teachers are here. I am here.
In the meantime, wishing you and your families health and peace of mind.
I'll be in touch again soon with a schedule for virtual office hours and directions for adding your parents or guardians to Google Classroom.
Remember: reach out of if you need and take care of yourselves!
All the best,
Juniors! Holy scheduling insanity!
As you probably already know, we're expecting more snow (...more...snow...nooooooo). If you don't believe me, just consult your parents' Facebook and you'll see all sorts of weather related anxieties. Get the bread and milk folks because it will be flying off the shelves!
Speaking of parents, currently, I'm at my folks' in Hurricane and traveling home tonight. In between rounds of board games and puppy snuggles, I'm here to remind you of some REALLY IMPORTANT information and deadlines relating to mock interviews.
So, here we go...
FIRST: Review the full mock interviews task HERE.
NEXT: Let's spell out requirements one more time with feeling. You MUST have prepared, PRINTED, and placed in your portfolios...
Let's also, take a moment to talk about where you can build these essential items. Last week, we created PathwaysWV accounts and used their resume and cover letter generators.
Here is the handout from class explaining Pathways and resume and cover letter tips.
Alright. So that's the skinny. You already have all of this information, but here is what I really need to stress.
Come rain, snow, sleet, or shine,
You MUST have your portfolios complete and prepared by WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6.
Now, for a bit more housekeeping.
You'll need to be prepared with professional dress for your interview next Friday, March 8. Table numbers and interview times will be provided in class next week.
1st & 5th - You need a portfolio cover.
4th & 7th - Ms. Hutchinson has your portfolios.
If you do not have an access to a printer, here are some options. It is up to YOU to prepare for your interview Friday. We will use every minute of class time we have this week, but you should think ahead.
I have no doubt you'll be awesome and give a great interview! You are all such kind, engaged, and interesting people. This will be a solid experience for your moving on and up in the world.
So, put in the work, get things done, reach out if you need help, and build a snowman if you want!
All the best,
The best laid plans...I'd aimed to write and reflect every month, but time gets away. Here we are with FOUR MORE DAYS to go until the end of Semester 1! I'm so proud of all of you and of each class. I'm proud, epecially, of every small gain, the small meaningful moments, and the lightbulb that has clicked (or is yet to click) in each of you.
Last week alone was, for me, one that was truly inspiring, humbling, and affirming (& exhausting...I won't lie...exhausting, too.) I watched Honors 11 make meaning and grapple with Clint Smith poetry; AP Lit approach the work of two living poets, both of whom we had the honor of hosting at our school, with a level of maturity and thoughtfulness that has, so far, been unparalleled this semester; and English 11 come together as a classroom community to break bread and be human with one another. Not every week of teaching and learning is as special and unique as this one, but it is one I won't forget anytime soon.
I could go on, but no. Let's get to what we're really here for...some reminders about all the things coming and going this week.
English 11 Honors
Reminder: Counting Descent graphic essays DUE MONDAY, December, 17.
1st period exam: Tuesday, December 18
5th period exam: Wednesday, December 19
Remember that your graphic essay needs to have the following parts:
1st period: Breakfast day! Look for details in Remind.
5th period: Snacks & celebrations Thursday.
Reminders: Hanif imitation essay DUE MONDAY, December 17; Review sweater due day of exam; sweater Flipgrid due day of exam
6th period exam: Tuesday, December 18
3rd period exam: Wednesday, December 19
Ok, now all of the things.
First up, let's talk about "August 9, 2014" imitation essay. Remember that you're writing creative, lyrical prose, striking through most of the language, and creating your own found or blackout poem. Here are your turn in options:
- Google Classroom
- Hard copy printed (turned in in class)
- Hand written (turned in in class)
Next up, let's talk about LITmas sweaters! They are looking SO GOOD! I'm really excited to see what you've made and how you unpack your thinking.
Remember, wear your sweater the day of your exam and record your Flipgrid response by exam day, too. Flipgrid link is posted in Google Classroom.
Now, let's talk about exams. Your exam will be 3 parts: AP public release Question 1 poetry timed writing; AP practice test multiple choice selection; reflection. There will also be a class picture in the mix. ; )
Reminder: Narrative essays due the day of your exam. Please submit in Google Classroom OR turn in a hard copy in class.
7th period exam - Monday, December 17
4th period exam - Wednesday, December 19
Guys! Great Food Lit Family Dinner day! Much deliciousness and a lovely time all around. Much gratitude for your participation for keeping this tradition alive in my classroom.
As discussed in class, the semester exam will ask you to demonstrate skills we've worked on this semester -- mainly reading and developing meaning from multiple texts and identifying how they connect. Next semester, we'll be moving on to career writing, novel study, and research.
But for now a few pics from Friday!
We're getting settled in to class now, yes? In these past four weeks, I've be so excited and encouraged by how much y'all are willing to dig in, to talk to one another and to me, and to begin peeling back the layers of what it takes to become better, stronger readers, writers, thinkers, speakers, and listeners.
Here's a brief(ish) rundown for each class:
- English 11 Honors:
We began this week by reading "Affrilachia" by Frank X Walker and an essay featured in TIME magazine, "Growing Up in a Sundown town" by Silas House. I'm not sure you knew what to expect from these opening texts, but it didn't take you long to realize that in this unit, you will examine texts and media that subvert and challenge Appalachia's "single story" -- that of the shoeless, toothless, uneducated hillbilly.
We also took a look at Roger May's Looking At Appalachia project. What's exciting for me to see is the slow churn of ideas and realizations about audience and purpose and how you have a voice and perspective that is a part of this Appalachian region. Remember that by next Friday you are "making" your own picture, creating a short, imagined narrative for Call and Response, OR writing a straight up analysis essay on a photo you choose and arguing whether or not it fulfills the mission of LAA.
As always, links and task sheets and texts are posted to Google Classroom. And if you're logged into your BCS Google Drive, you can access daily agendas here.
We ended the week strong, and I am so excited to see the pictures you make and the stories you tell. My pro tip for you while you contemplate and begin working on your Looking At Appalachia extension project:
Look around, there's so much beauty.
- English 11
Real footage of an English 11 student drafting a This I Believe essay this week:
You guys did a FANTASTIC job focusing in, telling your stories, and sitting down to conference with me, Mrs. Hutchinson, or...The Lead Cardinal. That's right, Mr. Myers helped out with writing conferences in 7th period, and several of you had the opportunity to learn from your principal, which was really cool collaboration.
Essays are due Monday, and then we're moving on y'all.
I can't tell you how proud I am of your work, your courage, and your authenticity in your writing. But I can try...I'm proud of you. Keep up the (thoughtful and honest and) great work!
- AP Lit
We read like readers and we read like writers.
This week's playlist included, Clint Smith's "There is a Lake Here", Jamaal May's "There Are Birds Here", and if you're in 6th period "Dinosaurs in the Hood" by Danez Smith and "Left" by Nikky Finney.
And here's the thing I love about teaching this course (besides all of you). It is Advanced Placement Literature AND Composition. So, my job is not only to help you become more careful readers, it is to help you become stronger writers. But it ain't easy. Almost all of you come into AP Lit having deeply internalized and mastered the mechanics of sentence and paragraph structure. You know the parts of sentences and of essays, and you can identify the characteristics of great writing. Chances are, by now, you've even made some great writing of your own.
So here's how I try to help my AP Literature AND Composition students: by challenging you to find your voice. The real one...not the SAT one. The voice that is solely and uniquely yours -- the one that will tell stories and express ideas in a way that no one else in the world can or will because this voice and these ideas belong only to you.
As (over)stated in class, I am a major fan of the work of Hanif Abdurraqib. And just like we all have a taste in music, we do in writing as well, and well, his work is up my alley. It's smart, observant, funny, moving, challenging, compelling, experimental, and...real. He's a writer I read and say I want to write like that.
My hope for us this year is that we use his (generously donated and for which I am inexpressibly grateful) collection of essays They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us as monthly mentor texts for deep analysis, intention, and style and voice. We will supplement this collection with other essays from periodicals like The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and other places publishing smart analysis that can guide and inspire our writing, and we will study these too to find our voices and become stronger writers.
Nothing to it, right?
As you're drafting your poetry blogs for publishing tomorrow, consider a "move" Abdurraqib makes in the first essay we tackled "A Night in Bruce Springsteen's America".
Now, here are some pictures from class I love:
I'm looking forward to another meaningful week with each and every one of you.
All the best,
I have been absolutely positively delighted to have met you lovely, lovely warm and engaging students. It may sound like I'm gushing, and you know what? I am. I love meeting my new students at the beginning of a fresh year. After all, we're going to be spending a lot of time together, and we want it to be as awesome as we can make it.
But the First Days are no joke. We set our alarms, pull our sleepy selves out of bed, inhale a waffle, fight the traffic, and somehow make it to first period by 7:25 AM. Honestly, it's been a feat of strength for me so far to be up and at 'em and maintain my energy throughout the day. But the good news is -- I get to see you! And there's coffee.
Last week we focused on only a few essential things:
Typical beginning of the year stuff, I know. But what I saw in these four days of class was so, so encouraging. I saw you taking risks, having conversations with people you said you'd never talked to before, making other classmates feel welcome, participating in classroom discussion, and sharing your stories with me in your student surveys.
From where I'm sitting, we're off to a GREAT start! I'm already so proud of what you're accomplishing in each of your classes and I can't wait to see where this year takes us!
All the best,
P.S. And remember, to see #alltheslides from class, go here.
P.P.S AP Kids! Here are your beautiful, sunny class pics. Other classes -- we've gotta get some group pics. : )
AP Lit Exam kids:
As promised, here is a post taking you through all things exam related. I'll keep my editorializing to a minimum, pinkie promise. So, let's cut to the chase, shall we?
First off, here's a reminder of when the exam is (MAY 9 AT 8:00 -- delicious breakfast in 729 7:15, be there!), how the AP exam is structured, and how it is scored:
Next, here are some places you can click to review:
HERE FOR READING STUDY SKILLS.
HERE FOR WRITING STUDY SKILLS.
And HERE for some really great PRACTICE.
And HERE for LOTS of PROMPTS & ANCHOR PAPERS & scoring commentary. These are your friends. Invest the time.
Next up, I'd like to offer you some advice from real, live AP readers. These videos are great, and so are the people, my Internet and IRL friends. We'll watch them in class, but watch them again, and consider the advice these pros have to offer.
Next, let's talk Hilliard's common exam-related refrains from class. And let's keep the list brief, so you can hold on to 'em:
But let's get for really real, shall we?
You are insightful, perceptive students. You are adept at close reading, writing in your authentic voice, and identifying moments of beauty, meaning, and depth in literary works. You have impressed me time and again this year with your attitudes and aptitudes, your insights and your outlooks. YOU, AP Lit Class of 2018, are the cream of the crop. You will own this test. I believe in you. You believe in you. The readiness is all.