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!
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. : )
Welp. The will it/won't it conversations can now cease. Our days of being like "omg it might snow, did you hear it might snow?!" are over.
The snow is falling and it's beautiful. And annoying. We've got things to do, y'all!
Besides looking for information on Remind and staying up to date on Google Classroom, here's a breakdown of what needs accomplished between now and the next time I see you face-to-face back in Room 729.
ENGLISH 10 HONORS & ENGLISH 11
Had we been in school today, we would've spent another day drafting our Literacy essays on Darkness. Your deadline was set for tomorrow. But the way it's looking outside, we'll likely have another day in our pajamas.
So, here's the situation: Your final revised essay is DUE the day we return to school. To be on the safe side, plan to submit your paper Thursday.
You also need to cozy up with your My Reading Life Book 2. And remember, this should be a book you actually want to read and hang out with. My kiddos at home are reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and a wacky looking book called Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey. I'm currently reading What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte. There's nothing quite like the quiet of a fresh coat of snow to get in the reading zone.
Oh! Oh! Speaking of reading on a snow day, a few years ago when we had a snow-cation, my students took clever reading selfies in the snow and tweeted them at me for a few bonus points. Anybody want to play? If yes, tweet me a reading selfie @karlahilliard and use #myreadinglife to score a few extra points.
Now, everybody good? Good. Papers. Darkness. Thursday. Google Classroom. Reading. Yes...check, check. Here's to snow!
AP LITERATURE & COMPOSITION
You guys. You GUYS. Insert all the emoji faces here. We've had such great momentum built and broken with Hamlet. It's a turbulent relationship full of indecision. Kind of like if your uncle murdered your father, then married your mother, and assumed the role of your father, only to find your dead ghost dad one night asking you to avenge his death, but you're actually a pretty smart, albeit contemplative guy who's like, c'mon now, I'm in love and in college and have friends and people really like me (except for my girlfriend's father and brother, but that's a different story), but like, I've got to somehow manage this horrible deed and I hate my uncle-father aunt-mother so bad! Like that, right? The agony!
Ok, for real. Here's what you need to do. Listen closely.
You'll need to finish up Act 4 work AND take care of some reading.
You have 3 options for Act 4 work. Please choose whichever option is most helpful to you.
If you were diligent over the weekend and have ample annotations and evidence of your close and careful reading, you may forego the in class assignment and show me your annotations our first day back in school.
Continue the Act 4 work from class. Using the packet provided of "greatest hits" lines, for each SCENE (and this is a change for 7th period, so heads up), record your NOTICINGS & your CONCLUSIONS. Create a bulleted list of no fewer than 5 noticings and 2 conclusions per scene.
Continue the Act 4 work from class. Using the packet provided of "greatest hits" lines, for each BOX (and this is a change for 6th period, so heads up), record your NOTICINGS & your CONCLUSIONS. You may be briefer since you are giving your attention to each excerpt.
Now, let's talk about reading...
For now, carefully read, annotate, and be ready to discuss Act 5.1.
IF, we see that we'll be out of school for an extended number of days, I may ask you to finish the reading on your own. Oy vey. The end is so much fun to read together! But alas, the show must go on. Er, play. You know what I mean.
Questions? Holler at me on Remind. You got it. The readiness is all, Horatio. (You'll get that joke soon....)
Love to all and see you soon(ish)!