Class Notes and Homework Tips
It's hard to get it all into your head the first time you hear it
"What did she say to write down? I missed that..."

This page includes a LOT of info so class notes may not be fully updated before 5:30.
HW only will be listed by 4:00.

Video Tutorials: Click on links below for 5 minutes videos on:
Part I: How to use this page for homework help
Part II How to use this page for Homework help

Part I how to use CLASS NOTES entries
Part II How to Use CLASS NOTES

Extra Help
email Mrs Ready at is a VIEW ONLY wiki--you do not need to join to use all the pages. I am not accepting requests to JOIN because you would only need to join if I wanted you to edit the site.
I expect students to at least SKIM through every entry for the week at least once a week and again before tests and quizzes. Remember that rereading, and adding any missing highlighted notes to your own notebook sections, will help you practice "Reread + Rewrite = Remember". How will I know that you checked? By your test and quiz scores of course!

For homework assignment listing only (without tips or exampes) check after the "HW": under that day's date. Longer instructions may be in a separate file you access by clicking on the files that start with "HW" and then the date.

For much more detailed Class notes, scroll down and click on icon with DATE to find:
  • Daily notes to copy
  • Warnings about items that will be on upcoming quizzes, tests...
  • In depth explanation of concepts covered and examples given by your peers to help you understand
  • Did class get any hand-outs? (Many are viewable/printable from Reprints icon)
  • Did I collect work that you need to pass in to get credit? (I won't ask for it!)
  • Links to Journal prompts (Responses not finished in class become homework due the next day. If you are out you are STILL responsible for ALL Journal entries.)
  • List your questions LONG before the quiz/test/project due date....
  • Get Homework Help

  • father-son-13-14_~WESTF11060.jpgRead DETAILED directions I reviewed orally in class
  • Get tips to avoid common problems kids have with homework assignmentsfather_son_success.jpg
  • Click on Reprints if you "forgot" handouts you need at home
  • Find EXTRA CREDIT options--I "hide" them in daily notes to get you to READ the daily notes.

**From Mar 9 on...Please go to

Class Notes and homework page 2. (Cick on title or on Page name in far left menu.)

All future work will be added there to avoid crashing the system again. The instructions on how to use this page are NOT reloaded there. I have been advised NOT to add more here to

New info test

March 8, 2012


1. Quick review of vocab for tomorrow's quiz. You were supposed to have done the serious studying last night when there was no other ELA homework.

2. Complete a chart showing author's use of symbolism in Act II scenes 3 and 4 ONLY. DO THE CORRECT SCENES!!! Chart should be structured like the one done for March 6, scene 1 and 2 homework. Sample in file under Mar 6 entry. Include the page # and column # of the example, an example of a "concrete" detail such as an image, prop, costume or scenery detail, special effect.... and list in column 2. Then explain (in bullet points) what the image means beyond itself (the abstract meaning) in column 3. I will try to post a sample later this afternoon.

Find as many symbols as you can in 15-20 minutes of focused effort. (shoot for a minimum of 2 per page.)
Get symbols from BOTH scenes.

3. Weekend homework will be to find three passages from the text in scenes 3 and 4 that show Scrooge is willing to change for the better. Note page and column number and copy exact quote from text. Then explain why you choose each quotation. Use complete sentences for explanation.

You may want to do this tonight while you are closely reading the scenes for symbolism and have a free weekend.

Class notes to come later tonight.

Mar 7

HW--NO new homework. Use this night to study for Friday's vocab quiz. There may be OTHER homework tomorrow as well as studying. If you have had your writing conference with me, you have a week to revise your work from the day we spoke. Attach revisions on SEPARATE paper and highlight changes. Whenever you finish, (on the day its due or before) turn entire long comp packet with COWS grading sheet I did and the one you did to LAte /makeup bin for me to regrade.

Class Notes: All classes took pop comprehension quiz on scenes read last night. I also checked homework. Note correlations between missing homework and poor reading comprehension score. You can't understand what you don't read.
Many students got credit for doing homework, but did the wrong scenes. BE CAREFUL!!! Reading comprehension include reading DIRECTIONS.. MCAS will not give you credit for providing an answer using info from a different section of the reading than the question asks for. These students may have a 10 for homework, but a low comprehension score. I wanted you to focus INTENSELY on just the first couple of pages--which would have made the quiz a breeze. Understanding symbolism requires slowing down to think deeply aout every choice a writer makes. It is NOT about just getting the plot details basically correct.
We reveiwed the extensive symbolism in scenes 1 and 2--all having to do with THIS particular ghost symbolizing more than just one Christmas for one person--
  • his joy in food symbolizes human joy in simple pleasures
  • his throne is made of food not gold
  • spreads kindness into the baskets of food the workers carry
  • sprinkles kindness in the short time (a single day) that a Ghost of Christmas Present gets to live
  • He has Scrooge touch his heart to fly--the heart symboic of the power of kindness. THe author could have chosen an arm or some other body part but the heart is a rich symbol.
  • shows a tiny bit of kindness, a sprinkling, making a huge difference inhow the workers treat each other--symbolic of how a little kindness might go a long way if each reader spreads it.
  • The ghost carries and EMPTY rusted, scabbord (the container for a sword) showing that in the present he does NOT use physical force and it has gone unused in his family for some time--they live in the present on kindness not violence.
  • The ghost carries light, is surrounded by living greenery, is dressed in a very untraditional way for a ghost--in green--the color of Christmas partying and of living things.
Your homework should have presented at least some of the details above in chart form with the page and column numbers where you found the example.

You will note that the symbols attached to the Ghost of the Future are VERY different.

MARCH 6 7:45 pm and site is back working!!! Sorry to anyone who tried earlier--site was down.

HW : read Act II scenes 1 and 2 (read to understand!! not just to finish homework--possible comprehension pop quiz)

Finish chart started in class that shows one column for at least 4 props, costume details, scenery details or actions of the Ghost of Christmas Past and in second column briefly note what each detail symbolizes (represents beyond the literal). We noted that in general, the Ghost symbolizes the message that people should enjoy living in the NOW and value simple pleasures.

Chart begun in class is in the file below:

mar 6 2012 sample chart and exp of symbolism.doc

Mar 5--Looming deadline: Vocab quiz on words you are doing for homework is scheduled for FRIDAY !!! You have done this often enough so that you will learn these words INDEPENDENTLY. Concentrating on the homework NOW will save studying time this Thursday. I will do VERY little review of these words-if you have questions, raise your hand and ask tomorrow in class.
HW: 1. COMPLETE the 8 vocab cards you started over the weekend for "Scrooge and Marley" Act II(starting on p.662 of purple text.) FOLLOW ALL directions from vocab instruction page in your binder and also in reprints from beginning of the year.!(--Or earn automatic 0 for lack of reading comprehension! Carefully done homework also is a way I measure editing skills.).
2. Also do flash cards for the roots/prefis/suffixes aud, comcon, dis. These cards just need the root/preix/suffix on one side and meaning and 2 examples using the root on other side. Use example that is NOT on vocab list.

OO and GG class, complete revision of Works Cited sheet, MLA format using informtion reviewed in class today about how to READ the style guide and apply what it tells you.

CLass Notes: I modeled how to use Microsoft Word paragraphing buttons to type a citation using a "hanging indent" format, as required for the Works Cited page. We discussed that students may not remember how to do everything when researching or typing, but a sign of intelligence is knowing when to Google Help, or press the "?" or help function in a computer program to get the information you need to help yourself. Currently, if you Google almost any formatting question; such as "How do I set a hanging indent in Microsoft Word version 7 document?", you will probably see a Youtube video or Microsoft tutorial that will walk you through what you need. It is up to you to seek it out. "My teacher never showed me" will not be an excuse for your generation--which has grown up with internet technology to help you find things.

Classes had some in-class time to start homework while I conducted writing conferences to help students improve for MCAS long comp on Mar 20.

Mar 2: HW
Vocab cards following ALL required directions (in your binder and in reprints) for "Scrooge and Marley" Act II will be DUE TUES. I would do 4 of the 8 words over the weekend to make this more manageable. List on p. 662 of text book. Meanings in yellow boxes throughout Act II. As explained in class, you will also need cards with roots. AUD is given to you on p. 662. We willl add Com and DIS//
IF you did not do Works Cited list correctly, I decided period 3 today to let you redo the list AFTER READING THE DIRECTIONS--(which I told you to do to begin with) and turn in a correct sheet Monday. PEriod oo and GG will have this chance Monday--but if you are reading this, do it over the weekend and get it out of the way.
An eighth grade student mentor told my BB class that next year NO ONE explains how to cite sourcs or gives you second chances--you get a style sheet and are told to just do it. Don't waste the opportunity I am giving you.
ELA CLASS notes:
Collected Final research paper.
Reviewed symbolism--notes to come on that on Monday or Tuesday.

March 1, 2012
HW: Finish final revisions and editing of the reseach summary and Works Cited List. The final should be DOUBLE-SPACED and either handwritten in ink or typed in a 12 point font. Attach ALL drafts and any planners you used as well. Do not Wait to put this together in class.
This will be a major test grade. If you did not review and follow all the steps I discussed in class and posted on teacherweb for you to refer to, you will lose points.

Final Revisions tonight MUST include
  • improving word choice by adding and highlighting at LEAST ONE active verb that was NOT in prior versions.
  • adding one vocabulary word we learned ANY time this year (look through vocab cards in binder and the 30 words on the Black Cat list) and insert at least one that fits neatly into your summary and improves it. You MAY NOT USE DESTITUTE as your addition. You MAY NOT SAY THERE ARE NO words that you can use.
  • Highlight these final changes, as well as any additional revisions you make tonight that were NOT highlighted in last night's version. YES--I know its a final, but I do want it marked up.
  • GET rid of "you" --It gives your paper the WRONG TONE for the audience and format. Research should be presented formally and very clealy. Mrs. Ready is not going to a workhouse, so don't write "You would be put in solitary confinement for talking.'" Be precise!!! WHO actually went to solitary confinement-- residents? children who didn't work? Men who talked to their wives? SHOW you did detailed research.
  • Don't use "I" either in research. Does your social studies text author write, "I believe Egyptians should not have enslaved people"? You don't have to wirte "I" --you are the author so I know that you are the one who thinks and believes the FACTS stated in the piece. The tone of researcxh writing should be that of an expert.

EDITS: USE the CHEKCMATE folder in the Writing Tips section of your notebook to double-check grammar, spelling and punctuation rules to apply.
  • Edit for puncutation. Be extra careful to add commas after introcutory clauses and phrases. We took notes on this in class today. Transitioins at the beginning of sentences, are introductory phrases; such as "As a result of malnutriton, many children died" "For Example, inmates ate bread and water." In additon, children worked as hard as adults." I will deduct points for missing commas.
  • Edit for correct capitalization. i.e Victorian London.
  • Edit for spelling: a lot, realize, business....LOOK up ANY word you are unsure of. Type to get the advantage of spell check.
  • Edit for correct paragraphing. Remember to indent 5 spaces for new paragraphs.
Works Cited list should be on a separate piece of paper. Set up is modeled on the MLA Style Guide handout you have in your English Notebook. (also priintable from LINKS page of theis site.) You did all these for homework and revised so you should do one last check of the format you used against the examples on the MLA style guide. May people received a check for having done the homework, but that does not mean you had nothing to correct.

COMMON ERRORS I found in today's revisions included
  • LACK of thesis. Students must choose 2 or 3 CATAEGORIES of the kinds of conditions that wold cause someone to rather DIE than go to a workhouse and then group examples and explanations into a paragraph to make each point. If you cite poor food, and hard work as the conditions that kept people away, then you should have at least 3 examples of what the food was and explanations of why it was among the 2 or 3 worst things about a workhouse or prison. Then you should have 3 specifics about Work--what people had to do, who did what kind of jobs,why this kind of work was almost worse than death...
  • NOT paying attention to the topic and just listing ANY fact. One student lead with the fact that old people had to sit on benches....hard detail that shows why someone would RATHER DIE. Don't just show me you took notes...Show me YOU THOUGHT!!!!

If you have done all the work up to now in careful steps, tonight will be easy. Now I bet many of you wish you had typed drafts.... If you did not --you will spend more that 30-40 minutes.
CLass WORK for day--All students took vocab quiz.
Plan on staying after next Wed. for makeup if you were out today.


Feb 29, 2012
1. Study a little more for vocab quiz to be given tomorrow. (You should have done most of this yesterday)

2. REVISE draft paragraphs you wrote about workhouse and prison conditions to create better CONTENT and ORGANIZATION. Do NOT yet edit for spelling, punctuation, etc. We will also do one more revision to improve word choice so you can leave that for later as well. This is still a draft.
  • You must highlight changes or write them in a different color. If your changes are extensive—rewrite and highlight what is different on the revision from the original (not only changed and added words, but note if you MOVED sentences to create more logical flow).
  • You must CIRCLE all transitions used.

The file below shows the before and after model that classes contributed to in class today. We revised following the steps I outlined in yesterday’s class notes file. All students received a hard copy of yesterday’s notes to add to the Writing Tips section of their binders. Read it to see how YOU can revise to achieve a much more informative and persuasive summary. Learn from the model but DO NOT COPY MY language for your revision –that would be plagiarism!!!
CLASS notes file with Before and After model:

Feb 28, 2012
HW: Study vocabulary words from ACT I of "Scrooge and Marley" for a quiz on THURSDAY. You should not cram the night before and you may also have OTHER homework from me tomorrow, so use tonight for a 20 minute review. You did vocab cards on these words and I gave LOTS of notes on teacherweb and you took notes in vocab section of notebooks the weeks before vacation. Refer back to these and notes you CORRECTED when I passed back vocabulary cards. Quiz on Thursday. Words were all reviewed briefly today and students were to write down any def, POS, or other issue they did not know during our "lightining review."

Words are: destitute, ponderous, morose, misanthrope, implored, void, benevolence. Roots/prefixes/suffixes you must know the meaning of include: mal, bene, volen, phil, anthrop, mis, trans. You must also have examples of words that use these roots. Also know how to spell "business" and the spelling rule it follows.

ELA CLASS NOTES on revising research paper summaries and transitions in file below.

Copy of handout on TRANSITIONS

Feb 27, 2012
Click on link for NEW page I've added titled "Civil Rights Enrichment HW" for VERY brief entry to help you with homework for next class.

ELA Welcome back to work!
HW: All classes will do prewriting and first draft of a 2-3 paragraph summary or the answer to the prompt "Why would the destitute rather die than go to a Victorian workhouse or prison?" Use your webquest notes to draft a response. (Finish the webquest if necessary. )
DOUBLE SPACE this draft so you can revise in class. If you spend 20-30 QUIET focused minutes and do not complete the draft, have a parent write a note. If, however, you never finished the web quest when it was due before vacation, that completion time does not count as part of the 20-30 minutes spent on tonight's work.

Step one: check and upgrade your notes if necessary

We reviewed that the notes in the webquest are a "paraphrase" : they should have used bullet points, coverered lots of details in YOUR OWN WORDS (to avoid plagiarism and show you really understood what you copied); and have some specific nouns and verbs. You might also have drawn pictures, or copied some parts of charts to help you remember interesting points. You MAY NEED TO GO BACK into the sites if you do not have enough specfics. Just the way I want character names, and actions when you paraphrase a story, you should have short but clear, specific notes:
  • example: inmates at the Anderson Workhouse = starving. Ate off bones they were crushing as part of their workhouse jobs. Scandal showed worst conditions--not common. (I have bolded the more specific nouns and verbs that you might want to go back to find so you do not just talk about "They were" "It was..." Avoiding vague pronouns in notes helps you write more clearly.
Step 2: review your notes and Top 10 lists (if you did one with your group) and find the BEST examples to use to show why people would rather die--not just any slightly uncomfortable part of workhouse life. Use a graphic organizer of your choice. Then
  • Delete less effective details/examples/evidence
  • Group similar ideas,
  • Develop topics (maybe the bone crushing scandal fact makes you think of other details related either to "worK" or to "Food" that might be a main topic of your response.) Go back into the sites if necessary to find an example you remember but may not have written down; or review notes to see which kinds of topics you seem to have the most information about.
  • ORGANIZE ideas into the general order you might use each detail in.

Step 3: DRAFT SUMARY. Remember a summary is:
  • in complete sentences and paragraphs. This assignment calls for 2-3 full paragraphs. (Be sure you have topic sentences for these paragraphs and closing sentences the help explain WHY the details you choose PROVE your point.
  • The summary should be begin by rephrasing the question into a statement--using key words from the question to show you are going to focus your writing on the prompt.
  • The summary should include the GENERAL CATEGORY of details (Poor nutrition, disease, harsh physical work; extreme punishments; family life; etc) followed by sentences giving at least 3 pieces of evidence and explanation of the points your evidence shows. If you must, follow details with phrases like "This shows ..." THis matters because..." This would make someone risk death to avoid a prison or workhouse because..."
  • Wrap up the summary with a final point about why the conditions of prisons or workhouses for the poor is worth thinking about today.
This summary is not a full research report, which could go on for 2,800 pages as Higginbotham's does.
  • Remember a summary is challenging because you have to boil a LOT of interesting facts down to a few of the MOST compelling and then make a point using those facts.
  • If you have trouble boiling this all down in the draft and go a little long--that is OK because it IS only a draft--we can trim in the NEXT step in class tomorrow.
  • WORD CHOICE and sentence structure DOES NOT have to be perfect for this draft---just get some sentences down to work with.

Feb 17, 2012
HW: No new homework. If you owe me a webquest with 4 citations of sources done in MLA format, finish is over vacation and if possible email me the completed work. If you do not have adequate internet access at home, try to get to a library.
Rest up and come back ready to work to show your collective brilliance.
Class Notes:
All classes took Act I open-note test. If you were out, expect to stay after with me or another teacher upon return from vacation to make up the test by theThursday after we return. The webquest is in a file in the Feb 9 hw entry.

Feb 16, 2012
I. Study for Act I quiz. It will NOT include vocabulary, only comprehension and critical thinking about ACT I text based on the questions and packets you have completed for homework this week and last.
You will be able to use any homework or notes, but may NOT use the text. You may not go back to lockers so bring notes to class!
II. All classes must also finish MLA source citations for all 4 sources used during webquest.
Finish any unfinished portion of Webquest. Make any corrections necessary. We will finish TOP 10 list in class. If you have computer issues, get a note from home noting the reason work could not be completed.

Class Notes:
I reviewed answers to all Act I questions. I am not posting the answers we reviewed since tomorrow's is an open note quiz and you need to show YOU did the work or at least listened and took notes productively in class.
I also reviewed and modeled how to correct a web source citation using the style guide so students could correct their own and use that as a model for completing correctly formatted citations.

Extra credit question possibilities for tomorrow's quiz:
How many years had Marley been dead before he came to visit Scrooge?
What is the full name of Scrooge's friend at Fezziwig's?
What trait does Fan show when she talks to Scrooge's schoolmaster and what words or actions specifically show this trait?
What would we call the "comforter" Cratchit wears?
What does Scrooge "doff" at the end of Act I?
What are two specific details about the punishment Scrooge will face in the afterlife if he does not listen to Marley and change his ways?

February 15, 2012
OO class: complete one full MLA style source citation for ONE of the web pages you used as a source for a fact you paraphrased on your WebQuest packet.
GG YY BB and RR classes: All other classes will complete the Webquest research and complete the web source citation for TWO sources used on the webquiz using the format given for Source Cited pages on the MLA style quide . (We already started on in class--you may have to put the pieces we found into the right format. This means you will find all of the required parts of a proper citation (author, article title, etc.) and ALSO rewrite the citation following the model provided on the handout you received today. The handout is reprintable from the Links to Websites page under Writing resources. You do NOT have to do the top ten list of facts yet on the last page of the quest packet--that will be in class group work.
You can do this work on the back page of the webquest packet.
I will check to see that you have EVERY word capitalized that should be, every period is in the right place, the items are listed in the correct order.... This does not require brilliance, but you do have to CAREFULLY compare what you write to the model.
ALL students in ALL classes will need to have citations for all 4 web sources used in this quest and finish finding all the required facts for FRIDAY if you want to get ahead.
CLass NOTES: We reviewed how to use the MLA style guide as a reference for citing sources for a Works Cited list. We then completed one source citation together, scrolling through sections of the site. A few pointers:
  • Check the very top and bottom of HOME pages and article pages to find authors and dates.
  • Some sites do not have authors-in which case you move to the next item required.
  • Dates that articles were written are often found at the base of the page. They do not always include a month.
  • Look for tabs along the top or side of web pages for anything that says "authors" "Copyright" "Credits" and even "for Teachers" --these tabs often lead to information about how the site was put together.
  • Many sites do not have Publisher or Sponsors--if they do, the name of an organization or group (for example "Powys Digital History Project" or "PBS", or "The History Channel" or "Discovery" might appear as a logo on the page or at the base of a homepage.
  • The "date of access" is different from the "date of publication." Date of Access is the last time YOU clicked on the site to take notes. Date of Publication is the most recent date you can find for when the site was written or updated.
Feb 14, 2012
HW: OO class only: complete chart for Act I scenes 4 and 5. Instructions and copy of HW packet in Feb 13 entry for other classes below.
No new homework for other classes. Use this time to reread Act I to prepare for quiz on Friday. If you have any quetions about the content, ask them at the beginning of class tomorrow.

Class Notes: Students self-graded 1 critical thinking question response from the ACT I Check Your Comprehension and Critical Thinking questions assigned last week and revised for clarity and completion. Students used the bullet points I passed out and posted on teacherweb to remind them of minimum expectations for written responses. Students marked up which elements of a satisfactory answer they included, and which elements they still need to work on.
I re-collected the assignments to finish grading. Any student receiving below a B- may redo the work one more time and I will average the grades for the new quiz grade. I will not chase you for your revisions--just put them in the late /makeup work orange folder if you take the time to improve your work.
Most classes then went to computer lab to complete more of Victorian Workhouses Web quest. We will finish tomorrow.

February 13, 2012

I will give an OPEN NOTE --mostly multiple choice--QUIZ on Act I this Friday. I do not want to wait until after vacation. If you review the Act and if you did the homework carefully, you should need to do little to prepare for this. You will be allowed to use ANY notes or homework you have on Act I during the quiz.
HW: OO class: complete your REVISIONS to last Friday's Act I questions for a quiz grade worth up to 100 points. See explanation I wrote for other classes in Feb 10 entry below.

HW : ALL other classes (GG YY BB and RR) : Complete packet titles Act I scenes 4 and 5. I warned students to double check directions, especially items written in bold.

You may have trouble finding two examples for Part B--"TELL"--you may use anything the ghosts say or do that implies that Scrooge was different when he was younger.
Remember that a quotation is when you copy ANYTHING that was written by Horovitz/Dickens in the text... not just dialoguYou can quote stage directions too.
A copy of the packet is in the file below.

Class Notes: No separate file today.

In all but OO class, I collected last Friday's Act I questions from students who were out Friday or who had not completed last week's work due to an excused absence. These students received feedback on what additional work they need to do by THURSDAY to earn the revision quiz grade.
I then collected REVISED answers all other students. Missing work earned a 0 out of 100 points for a quiz grade and the student MUST stay after Tuesday this week to do ADDITIONAL work.

In OO class I returned corrected homework to all who had turned it in last Friday. These student have until tomorrow to revise for quiz grade (see above).
Most classes spent part of class beginning tonight's homework and part of class in computer lab working on webquest begun last Thursday.

February 10, 2012

HW: Students in my GG, YY, BB and RR classes are to revise the homework collected on Friday to meet ALL the expectations I have for reasonable quality work. This revision will count as a 100 point quiz. Students who met minimal expectations for responding to all the questions in the required number of sentences using character names received up to 20 homework points, but may still need to revise to get the 100 quiz points that are required to show ability to support answers with specifics that PROVE you read closely and thought deeply about Act I.
STUDENTS IN OO class will have the same requirement for revising the homework for a quiz grade when I return their responses Monday. I had no idea had inadequate much of the work was until period 2 today. oo revisions will be due TUESDAY.

Fewer than 8 out of 115 students received a 100 on the homework, showing that they read and could cite an example from a specific scene in ACT I to support each answer. Only the students who have a "100" marked at the top of thier homework are exempt from revising thier ACT I answers. I discussed what was missing individually with nearly every student who handed work in today.

The homework passed in today by 80% of the students in house B does NOT show that students are applying what I have taught are the MINIMUM expectations for writing about literature. Revisions due MONDAY must include changes to ensure ALL of the following conditions are met:
  • All answers are written in complete sentences. (No diagrams, or lists, or fragments are acceptable.) Include periods and proper capitalization.
  • Check Comprehension responses are at least one full sentence. Critical Thinking responses are at least 2-3 full sentences.
  • All answers begin by turning the question around to include SPECIFIC key words from the question.
  • All answers include SPECIFIC characters names--Not "he", "she," "it" "they".
  • All answers include SPECIFIC reference (not necessarily quotations) to PROVE you read the piece and know how the AUTHOR makes a particular point. Include character names, locations ( at the school, at Fezziwig's...), reference to the action or dialogue in a specific scene....
  • All answers must draw information from ACT I ONLY. These questions DO NOT pertain to ACT II, which has not yet been assigned.

For example, when answering the question about how Scrooge treats Cratchit, do not merely write:
  • "He treats him badly." POOR ANSWER.!!!
A 7th grade answer that PROVES you read and understood the text should read,
  • "Scrooge is cruel and selfish toward Cratchit. For example, Scrooge threatens to fire Cratchit if Cratchit dares to agree with Fred about enjoying Christmas. He also does not let Cratchit have enough of a fire to stay warm, so Cratchit has to leave his scarf on as he works. In addition, Scrooge is so greedy he says he does not think it is fair to give Cratchit Christmas Day off with pay."

IF you did not reread sections of ACT I to look for the BEST examples to back up ANY point you make in an answer, you did NOT do the homework correctly.

  • Anyone who did not do the homework today receives a 0 out of 20 homework grade that will not be changed.
  • All students (even those who received a 20/20 for completing the assigned work in complete sentences) will receive a second grade on Monday out of 100 points. This grade will measure not only whether you followed directions, but also will measure whether your answers show DEEP comprehension of the text by using specifics to support correct answers.
  • Any homework not done for MONDAY will receive a 0 out of 100 points.
  • In addition, students who turned in NO work today (and did not have a note from home) MUST stay after on Tuesday and during that session these students will do ADDITIONAL work which will count for a grade..
Class Notes: Students had the period to complete the benchmark. Any student needing more time should plan to stay after Tuesday to finish up. There will be no more class time.

Feb 9, 2012
HW: See ongoing assignmnet posted under Feb 6 and 7 listing below. Note again that you had three days for this so I do not want excuse notes if you left it for the last minute, unless the note clearly states that you spent at least one FOCUSED hour on this.
If you were out today, see webquest file with directions (below) for completing the portion of the webquest we did in class today at home over the weekend so you will be caught up when we return to the lab to finish on Monday. Students completed Parts A and B and were partially through Part C by the end of class.

Class Notes:
Handed out: WEBQUEST directions. If you were out today, print and use these directions at home to complete this through the end of PART C. of the directions. Students took a break from MCAS practice bootcamp and went to computer lab to discover why Dickens wrote that many people would rather die than go to a Workhouse or Debtor's prison. Students should all have completed Parts A and B and part of C.
The Webqquest is intended to
  • give you practice using search engines, topic words, and URL addresses to find information
  • practice scroling through long and complicated sites to find the details that answer your questions.
  • Help you understand how Dickens used real life information to create his fictional characters and story
  • Help you empathize with the conditions of the poor in Dickens time, and perhaps in our own time and explore Dickens theme that we should NOT remain Ignorant. We should base our opinions on facts we seek for ourselves.
You will use
  • primary sources (letters written by people who visited or lived in workhouses, photographs of rule books, menus, and pictures of people and rooms) as well as
  • Secondary Sources (articles written by British school children and by historians after they reviewed primary sources and other literature on the topic.) A copy of the text of the Webquest

Feb 8
HW: No new homework. See yesterday's entry for ongoing assignment due FRIDAY. I expect the assignment to take at least 2 nights --working for 20-30 minutes each night. If you do not complete it by Friday, you must have a note from home clearly stating that you worked for at least a total of an hour of concentrated effort.

CLass Notes: Benmarks continued. Grade 7 ELA teachers assessed student progress and there will be ONE more inclass day to work this week (Friday in House B). Students needing time beyond the 4 periods we have alotted should plan to stay after next Wednesday to finish.

February 6 and 7

HW: None yet. Due to need to spend one more class on Benchmark, the homework posted on the board today will be due FRIDAY, not Thursday as I posted.

HW; Due Friday: Read Scenes 4 and 5 of Act I of "Scrooge and Marley" in purple text p. 654-660
and then do the following questions from p. 660.
  • All 7 "Check Comprehension" questions at end of ACT I. Use at least one complete sentence per answer.
  • Critical Thinking Questions 1-5 ("Interpret" questions only) Use 2-4 sentences per answer.

Class Notes: Students writing practice long comp benchmark. Most have completed prewriting and a draft. Students will have one more complete class to REVISE and then write a final. Students may stay after Wednesday if they expect to need more time. After that, I will grade what has been completed.

February 1-3
HW: Use COWS grading guide to mark up sample composition F in packet following instructions used in class.
Instructions used in class are reprinted below and were distributed in class. Unfortunately I cannot post the marked up version of sample C that these instructions refer to--but the unmarked text of sample C and the state's comments are viewable by going to the Link to Packet in reprints, Feb 6-7 entries, and click on the blue 3 on the MCAS page that comes up to access Composition C.

Students switched gears from Dickens to prepare for Monday-Wed benchmark long comp writing assessment. Students worked in groups to "decode" prompts using TNT (identify the Topic your essay must cover; the NUMBER of examples or subtopics to include; and the writer's TASK(s) -- (words that tell you how to cover the topic, describe AND explain? State, Define, List, Explain why, Tell what, where, who?)
We looked at all of the long composition prompts the state has used since 2004 to help anticipate the kind of prompt you will likely get for the March Long Comp MCAS.
Link toTNT explanation and prompts used in class

Students then looked at scoring guides and sample answers to the MCAS 2011 Long Comp prompts. Go to Reprints , entries for Feb 1 and 2, to print copies of any of the following items distributed in class.
  • my COWS scoring guide ( what exactly goes into great Content;Organization;Word Choice; Sentence Flow)
  • MCAS scoring guide (scoring 1-6 for content and ideas and 1-4 for mechanics)
  • link to packet reviewed in class and for homework of sample student essays that earn a 1-6)

We reviewed how to score 2 or 3 of the pieces together in class.
Students should note what is DIFFERENT about the best samples, and compare that to what is missing from the lesser pieces. Items B and F were scored as the best by the State graders. Notice that they do all the basic, on-topic things correctly, but then go beyond to SHOW not TELL. The examples in the best essays don't merely summarize--they ZOOM in on specific moments. They use ACTIVE VERBS for lively, precise descriptions that involve the reader and make the reader feel, see, hear the details. They personify non-living things to add interest. They use SENSORY language--espcially SOUND. These pieces go beyond just answering the prompt to give readers a reason to read and enjoy the writing.
DO NOT throw out packets!! We will use them several times before the MCAS.

Jan 31:
HW: If you were out yesterday with same bug I had, or if you did not do last night's work correctly, (see what I may grade for below) FINISH LAST NIGHT'S WORK.
The worksheets and instructions are in the file below. Follow MY examples carefully.
Homework Revision pointers discussed in class: You MUST correct your homework tonight if you did not do any of the following items below---or if you left ANY BLANKS.
  • include scene, page and column number. There are only 2 columns per page-- some students were making this more complicated than necessary. Every entry is either col 1 of col 2 so I can find your quote more quickly.
  • NAME the TRAIT: In the "trait shown" space, include a WORD to name the trait --not just a description. Choose a noun or adjective: Scrooge is a MISANTHROPE (noun) or he is MISANTHROPIC (adj). If you have the word in your description, circle or highlight it. If all you have is something like: "Scrooge doesn't like eating with his nephew" ...just add "He is misanthropic, which is shown by the fact that he doesn't even want to spend time with his own family, let alone anyone else.
  • EXPLAIN how the quote SHOWS the trait: If all you did was list the trait name, you have to add some explanation, as I did in the above answer. When you write and ORQ you ALWAYS need to EXPLAIN how your evidence proves your point.
  • Choose quotes that are STRONG evidence. If you just scribbled down the first example you saw that might show a trait in some way, you probably will not have the quote you need for a great answer when I have you use this to write an ORQ about how the author shows what kind of person Scrooge is at different parts of the play.
HW instructions and blank worksheets:

Jan 30_ Mrs. R absent. Class read scenes 1-3 of Act I and did worksheets. Finished worksheets for homework

Jan 27--no school
January 26, 2012
HW: Reread the teacherweb notes from Jan 24 and 25 on vocabulary for the next quiz/test and practice ALL words at least twice. Write down any questions you may still have about how to use the words. I will answer any questions Monday and do no further class review. Expect a "pop test" any time--you should be ready because OF COURSE you have been practicing with the words since they were assigned more than a week ago.
CLass Notes:
I gave background on Dickens' and his supercharged, work hard/play hard rock star life during most classes. I will post a copy of the bullet points put together by students from this talk later this weekend.

OO class: completed a chart on the differences between what fiction looks like on the page and what drama looks like. They are TWO different genres (important literary term) with their own "rules" for presentation and different advantages and disadvantages for the writer. We will discuss this with all classes Monday or Tuesday and share the chart then.

All other classes: students split up reading of different sections of the pages that introduce the play to share bullet points on key ways to read and ideas to read for as we proceed. I wil post the results once all classes report out.

January 25, 2012
No New Homework. Practice with at least two of your vocab cards every night to stay sharp for test in a week or so.
Class Notes file on tips for using words correctly

January 24, 2012
HW: 1. Create a chart sorting the 7 vocabualry words into columns by part of speech (as we do for EVERY vocab test. ) This should take about two minutes -- but it shows you how many words will be in each column on the next test and should be used as a reminder if you misuse a word and it sounds awkard--there's a good change you've not used it as the correct part of speech.

2. Then review meanings of each word TWICE out loud or in writing. This is test prep and will save time later.


Jan 23:
Classes went to Exchange City.
HW: Be sure you have homework that was assigned on Fri and is due tomorrow (Tues) . See below.
January 19 AND Jan 20, 2012
HOMEROOM: EXCHANGE CITY PERMISSION SLIPS must be in by Friday morning or you do not go with us Monday!!! You will bring a lunch (NO peanut products--we have a student who is highy allergic and it is close quarters there) and do NOT bring a drink--you are supposed to use your Exchange City dollars to purchase water or lemondae to support the snack shop.

Make vocabulary cards for the 7 words in the yellow "Build Vocabulary" boxes in Act I of "A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley" in your purple text. (Implored through benevolence). Use Table of Contents or index to find the pages. (DO NOT DO THE footnotes words--just the ones in yellow boxes.) Cards must follow ALL instructions from the reference sheet in your binder. Copies of the format template and detailed instructions are reprintable from Reprints. A sample of a card from an earlier unit is below the instructions in Reprints. Doing the"cards" on looseleaf paper or using the computer template is actually a better choice than using index cards because you can keep the words to review in your binder and have more room to write.

You do NOT have to read the text yet. We will begin that together in class. The homework is to preview some vocabulary so the words mean more the second time we work with them during the reading.
Class Notes:
Thursday Jan 19:Students finished yesterday's test after I pointed out some common errors in reading directions. Students had some time to start the homework if done with the test.
Friday Jan: 20 We finished reading "The Black Cat." We discussed specific passages, pausing to note the ABSENCE of emotion in the author's choice of words when he relates horrific events. This tone (athor's attitude toward the story's events and charcters) makes the story more chilling. We also noted that the narrator's tone about the wife is actually warm--he says she was "uncomplaining", had a lot of "docility" and "humanity", and loved animals. This kind tone is at odds with his seeming lack of emotion about the murder. He is concerned for his fate, but does not express emotion about what she has endured or what joys she has been deprived of.Some students noted that the narrator justifies killing the cat by saying it is part of human nature to want to do wrong, and he also said he killed the cat "because it loved" him. Students noted a foreshadowing of this sick logic when he mentions how sweet his wife is, just before he kills her. Perhaps the phrasing implies he killed her "because she loved him."
I read Poe aloud, pausing to put some of the more complex vocabulary into my own words every few paragraphs and acting out portions, asking questions, making connections. Students were told they should (and will) use these same strategies to better understand and enjoy the complex language Dickens uses as we begin the next reading. THis unit will require more independent reading.
Go Pats!!!
January 18, 2012
HW: No new homework.

All students took test today. Some additional time will be given tomorrow. Anyone who did not take it today SHOULD have stayed for review after school. Those needing makeup test---You MUST see me during 20 minutes since term ENDS next Thursday and the test takes about 60 minutes--more than one afterschool session.

Due to a family medical issue, notes will be very brief for the next few weeks. I will be cutting back to 10 hour days.

January 17, 2012
HW: Study for test using EVERYTHING I have taught you to do--Review ALL teacherweb class notes and handouts from Jan 3 to today. Quiz yourself out loud and in writing. Look over all homeworks. Use the flashcards you made every few days to chunk the learing. If you are doing ALL your studying tonight you have earned yourself some pain.
If you were absent during class, you MUST make your OWN word bank for tomorrow's test. We did this in class today. Just write down the the following words, SPELLED CORRECTLY-- and add the 5 words from the "Black Cat" list that you were assigned to write sentences about for homework last week. I will NOT provide an additional word bank, so bring these to class for the test.

CLASS NOTES: no separate file today. ALL STUDENTS MUST bring word bank we made in class to test.
Create your OWN Word Bank for test tomorrow. COPY your five words correctly spelled. You will use this on test. I will not provide another one on the test tomorrow.

MY 5 words

Felicity theme
Fidelity tone
Sagacious antagonist
Reverberation mood
Conflagration protagonist

Tranquilly connotation

Macabre denotation

ALSO review meaning of prefixes/roots
anti, pro, re, agon, con--some are new and the others you are Supposed to have learned for prior tests.

Word usage notes covered in class:
  • Sagacious always has a positive tone
  • macabre always has a scary connotation, while morbid is used more generally to describe anything connected with death, whether it is scary, sad, or medical.
  • When using felicity, substitute the word happiness into the sentence to be sure you have used it as a noun.
  • When using the word fidelity, substitute the word faithfulness to be sure to use it as a noun.
  • When using the adverb tranquilly, use it near a verb to be sure you are using it as an adverb to describe something being done calmly.
  • When using macabre, link it to a noun to be sure you are using it correctly as an adjective.
You will also have to apply the terms Tone and Mood to identify the tone and mood in sample text. I will use examples from the handout I gave you that SHOULD be in the Literary Notes section of your note book titled" Tone ( Author's Attitude) Words' on side one and "Compare Tones" on back. Know that discussing tone is ALWAYS done following 3 steps: 1. Note if tone is formal or informal; 2. Note if it is postive, negative or neutral; and 3. specify a word that defines the tone (depressing, haunting, frustrated, joyful, informative, factual etc.).

Extra credit will include knowing
defintions for connotation and denotation,
knowing the meaning of the prefixes volen, and mal;
Know that the exceprt about the Radley Place in my handouts is from "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

I will add some surprise extra credit to keep things interesting.

January 12, 2012
1. Final edited version of ORQ with all prewriting and drafts attached. See last two days entries for complete review of what is required. Have packet of work stapled or paperclipped together BEFORE you come to class tomorrow. I will not allow you to use class time to dig through notebooks to see if you have all drafts in class.
NO LATE WORK accepted--you have had 4 days warning that this would be due today and little other homework. Only a note from a parent stating you were very sick TODAY is a reasonable excuse.
2. CONTINUE review of the 5 literary terms you KNOW you are supposed to have been practicing for the last week on the off chance I give another POP QUIZ to encourage you to use time wisely.
Notes on Class and how I will test you on the "Black Cat" words on next week's quiz/test in the following file.

January 11, 2012
Complete the "shredding" ORQ writing assignment. (Full prompt and format instruction reprinted in Journal section of this website.) This will be in FINAL PUBLISHABLE form.
1. Edit for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. Use the notes I have given you over the past week and refer to the summary of rules to follow in the "CHECKMATE" handout I gave to most classes (OO class will receive it tomorrow.)
2. SINGLE space this final if it is HANDWRITTEN. DO NOT show markups or changes made on the final--this will be a clean copy.
  • If HANDWRITTEN, it must be in blue or black ink and NEATLY done. I will not struggle to decipher--so type if you have problematic handwriting.
  • If typed--use 12 point font, black ink.
You should also be studying the terms Mood, Tone, Antagonist, Protagonist, and Theme. You should have made flashcards to help you study by now, or reviewed FREQUENTLY with someone at home since I told you I would test you on these terms January 3. If you did not take adequate notes, reread MY class notes from Jan 3,
and this week.
Class notes in file below include info on Test WARNINGS; grading of ORQ assignment due Friday, and notes on Poe's life.
Jan 10, 2012
HW: NO NEW Homework, Finish 2 items posted yesterday: the RE-revision of ORQ on "Shredding" and the sentences about a picture using at least 3 of the 5 words I assigned you.
No separate class notes today.. We shared my sample (posted on line at end of yesterday's Class Notes file) of how to do the vocabulary. Volunteers from each class who finished the assignment early shared their pictures and sentences with the class and classmates took notes on what the student examples taught them about the words. ALL STUDENTS will be responsible for being able to use every word on the list, so these notes are very important. I am not assigning separate work on every word. Your effort to take notes and your close attention to your classmates will prepare you for the vocabulary portion of the next quiz. If I don't see you writing when I tell you what each example shows, I can only assume you are an expert on all the words and ready for a test tomorrow.--Therefore- I expect LOTS of writing and excellent attention during presentations.
I also read more of "The Black Cat" out loud and discussed some of the tragic facts concerning Poe's life and death. Students are to listen for Mood, Tone, and vocabulary.
Jan 9, 2012
1. Students will RE-revise journal one last time before editing using the 6 steps we reviewed in class. THESE SAME POINTERS WILL IMPROVE YOUR SOCIAL STUDIES ESSAY TOO!!!
I will post the handout in reprints later this evening. Most of it is already in the class notes file from Jan 6.
The first 3 steps have to do with the content--double-check that you have
  • answered the prompt in the correct format (FAP) , and
  • have at least 3 details and 3 explanations; and
  • that these details appeal to a reader's heart and head (logic and emotion, senses).
The second three steps have to do with STYLE.
  • Check to improve word choice (add strong verbs!!! Eliminate repetition and "baby" words like "good" "bad")
  • Improve sentence flow (no run-ns, fragments, choppy or confused rambling sentences.)
  • Have a CLINCHER at end the restates topic and WHY it matters--a sample of how to do this on handout.
2. Vocabulary work for "Black Cat" words.
  • Students will find a picture on-line or in an advertising mailer, newspaper, or magazine. I have attached a link below to a publication I get in the class room that you could leaf through for pictures. You might also check or the advertizing for a favorite product. You can even use pictures from the comics.
  • Students will review the 5 words (with their definitions and parts of speech) their group was assigned from the 30 word list in the vocab section of notebook. (Reprintable from Reprints.) Look at meaning, part of speech, think about the connections you already have to the word, look at suffixes, prefixes, and roots to see how parts of the word can give clues to what it means and how you'd use it.
  • Use at least 3 of the five words you are assigned to discuss the picture. Attach the sentences you write to the picture. Do not change the words to different forms --I want to see that you understand the part of speech.
  • If you use more than three words you will get extra credit of 2 points per word. Do NOT try to use lots of words in a single sentence. The objective is to have your sentences help those who are not assigned your words tomore CLEARLY understand the words through your examples.
  • DO NOT print out separate pictures for each word--Write all sentences about one picture. THis makes you think more deeply about the word.
If you were out today, you are assigned the first 5 words on the list in column 1: succinctly, fidelity, unfathomable, compressed, imperceptible.

Below are detailed class notes on revising and an explanation and EXAMPLE of how to do the vocabulary assignment for this week.

sample publication to print pictures from

Jan 6 2012
Server was down Friday afternoon. Posting on Saturday.
HW: Revise this first draft you composed for "shredding" prompt. A complete review of the kinds of things to look for as you revise is in the Class Notes file posted below.

In general, your revision should ensure that you have met the purpose of ANY writing assignment which is to make a POINT clearly, completely, and convincingly.

You will do at least one more revision after this so you do not have to put this in final format yet. You may just mark up your draft.
  • If you just mark up your double-spaced draft, then do so in another color or highlight so I can easily tell what is new from your weekend’s work.
  • If you did not double-space the draft (--as you have been told to do this year and EVERY year—) you must create a double-spaced draft to mark up; or completely rewrite the draft with changes from draft one highlighted. I CANNOT read drafts with miniscule markings squeezed between lines.
  • If you DO generate a revision on a separate sheet of paper, please HIGHLIGHT ALL the changes you make from the original.

Class Notes on how to revise and lecture notes on Tone and Mood below:

Class handout on Tone Words below:

Jan 5 2012
HW: Choose the single topic you had the BEST details and examples for from last night's homework and write your DRAFT response to the "shredding" prompt. (See complete explanation of prompt, format, and how to begin in class notes file below). Double space the draft so we can revise for better work choice and sentence flow tomorrow. This does not have to be perfect--just get ideas down in paragraph form.

Jan 4, 2012
HW: Take the 3 topics you bullet-pointed as possible ways to answer the "shredding 2011" prompt and draft bullet points on 3 details and 3 explanations that you would use to compose a paragraph or two on each of the topics. This means you will have 6 bullet points per topic x3 topics for a total of 18 bullet points.

READ the class notes file below for COMPLETE explanation and a model of how to do tonight's homework.

Blank Organizer for tonight's Homework if you prefer to use my setup. You can also just write the answers in the Journal Section of your notebook where you started the work yesterday.

Jan 3, 2012
WELCOME BACK--now back to WORK!!
1. study for open note quiz on "The Elevator" . Reread story and your paraphrase notes to review characters and events. Review the packets you did for homework and bring them to class. Be sure you corrected anything necessary after our review the day before vacation. See the VIDEO review of common errors to correct in the packet in the link in the Dec 23 hw listing.
2. Write 3 bullet points as possible topics for our next journal about "Shredding something form 2011". Open the Class Notes file below for the prompt, class notes you should have copied, and a review that will REALLY help with one question on tomorrow's quiz.

Dec 23: NO HOMEWORK for the vacation UNLESS you did not do the "Exploring Moods through reading 'The elevator' " packet. We will use this packet for an open note quiz on the Wednesday we return, so students need to finish items they may have skipped and correct items they answered incorrectly. I will post the common errors Wednesday or Thursday during vacation week (I need to finish getting ready for my own holidays right now!) for anyone who missed class today.

All classes also finished filling in notes on the Trinity Rep production to use NEXT YEAR (in a week) .


CLASS NOTES VIDEO REVIEW!!! I have posted a screencast that reveiws what was discussed in class Dec 23. View this if you missed class so your are prepared for open-note quiz on Jan 4.

part I: Dec 23 Class notes video

Part II class notes video

Dec 22 HW:different classes have slightly different assignments tonight, depending on where we left off in class. Read the specifics below CAREFULLY! A sample showing one set of bullet points filled in is in the file labeled "Dec 22 per rr chart" below. Blank forms are available in REPRINTS.

If you were absent yesterday and did not see the show, try to see any version of A Christmas Carol (Muppets, Mr Magoo, The 3d version with Jim Carey….) and fill in the chart with that information over break. LOTS of versions run on TV over the next few days.

OO and GG class:
Finish page of chart packet titled “MY NOTES on Ways Director of Trinity Rep version brought novel to life on stage” for the 4 ghosts. List at least one bullet point in each of the 20 squares on the page.

YY, BB and RR classes:
1. finish page of chart packet titled “MY NOTES on Ways Director of Trinity Rep version brought novel to life on stage” for the 4 ghosts. List at least one bullet point in each of the 20 squares on the page.
2. finish FIRST page of packet titled My Notes on Ways Director of Trinity Rep version brought novel to life for NON-ghost characters (Scrooge, Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Other –you choose) . List at least one bullet point in each of the 20 squares on the page.

Class Notes for Dec 22: No separate file today.
Collected or checked in class: "Mood: Elevator" homework packets.
Reviewed answers to packet in Per. OO only.
All classes discussed elements of drama and how sets, costumes, staging, special effects from yesterday's performance showed innovative ways to tell a familiar story, set mood, and create believable characters. We also discussed some of the themes about the clash between loving the benefits of progress, technolgy, material goods; and the fear of losing a sense of human kindness and being able to find joy in the every day.

Dec 21:
HW: All classes will complete entire "Moods" packet as noted in yesterday's listing. The packet can be reprinted by going to reprints section of this website. I am not posting the story due to copyright laws, but a student found the text through a site called "". Do entire packet EXCEPT for the ORQ paragraphs which are item 2 for Parts E and F. The FIRST PART of D and F (the charts showing an internal and an external conflict) are still due.
No Class Notes today. All classes went to see "A Christmas Carol". Very well behaved group and everyone seemed to have a great time. Periods OO and BB met and discussed some of the sensory language in "The Elevator."
Dec 20 HW: Dress neatly for field trip tomorrow.
ALL classes must complete Exploring Mood by Reading "The Elevator" packet (go to reprints if you forgot your copy. ) by THURSDAY. DO ALL except the ORQs, (PART 2, under the charts, for Items D and F.) You STILL do the charts showing conflict, however. I showed all classes and had all mark which items to do in class.
For oo, and bb classes--do Parts D, E, and F for us to review in class tomorrow. Then do the rest.
Class notes . We read our paraphrases of the story and tried for the thousandth time to get ALL students to realize that paraphrases RETELL the story events and NOTHING MORE!! You are just writing what the author SHOWS you happening--not commenting on it, making inferences, or asking questions.- I selected kids to each read one page worth of stickies to the class--which should have clearly retold all major events in order. I am NOT posting the paraphrase because I do not want kids who did not do the work right to depend on class discussion to pass the next quiz. You have to learn to read and take notes to make sense of stories independently. I am not teaching ANY more about HOW to paraphrase. You will need to stay after if you still do not know how to do it correctly. I WILL quiz on paraphrasing and have you paraphrase EVERYTHING we read for the rest of the year--so you must start applying what we have learned consistently. I was suprised at how many people did three days of exercises correctly including a noun and verb in every paraphrase in class--and then going home at "forgetting" while doing the homework.

Dec19 HW:
Final call for missing permision slips. No slip means you stay behind and do work in the Library.
1. PARAPHRASE "The Elevator" using stickies. (Do NOT paraphrase the introduction about the author.) You will write a paraphrase retelling any part of the story that is a significant plot event.
I am not setting a specific number of stickies for you to do because you should now be able to tell the difference between significant and insignificant events.
As with "If Cornered, Scream", any conflict (external or internal) that moves the plot forward is significant. Any event that build the mood--(which is tense, suspenseful, ominous...) is ALSO significant.
HINT- I would expect, however, that you would certainly find more than one__ event per page that is significant. If nothing significant happens for entire page in a short story--then the writer is wasting your time--and I would not have you reading this.

REMEMBER THAT PARAPHRASING IS RETELLING IN BULLET POINTS. It is NOT reacting, asking questions or making connections--those three things were the OTHER active reading steps you were supposed to have done over the weekend.

Class Review notes on portion of HW done together in class and on how to paraphrase Patriot's game action/ grammar analysis in file below.

Dec 16: HW:
A few field trip permission slips still missing! Get them in Monday!
1. Read "The Elevator" handout. Not available in Reprints on this site due to copyright laws.
2. Mark up as you read using first 5 steps of Active Reading (see Reprints for Active Reading handout from September) Do NOT paraphrase yet. That is step 6.
3. Make 1 or 2 Active reading marks and or notes per page of text. The handout puts 2 pages on each sheet.
Read and mark up the introduction about the author as well as the story. The intro has some pretty surpising info about the author's odd childhood.

Active Reading instructions should ALSO be at the very beginning of the Literature Notes section of your binders. (If you did not have it there during binder check you got points off and are supposed to have reprinted it and added it by now.)
Notes from Dec 16 on using headlines as a way to think about paraphrasing. TEST ISSUE!!! Open file below for class notes and review of class activity:

Dec: 15: Test all period. No homework.
Dec 14 HW: Bring in permission slip and cash for field trip by FRIDAY. Notify us if there is a financial issue and we will cover cost of field trip participation with scholarship money.
Study FOR QUIZ/TEST. Items to study listed in Looming Deadlines.
Remember that flashcards for terms earn 5 extra credit points. You need cards with term on one side and definition and an example or picture on other for conlict; plot; internal conlict, external conflict; infamy/infamous; the root "in"; Rule of 3.
Review your notes and ALL of the files I have below of class notes from Dec 5 to today. I can ask ANYTHING from any bolded material. You should also be ready to CORRECTLY paraphrase a piece you have never seen before (so check notes on how to paraphrase) and you will give examples of kinds of conflict in stories and be able to answer ANY of the comprehension questions you did for homework on "If Cornered, Scream".

Class notes from Dec 14

Dec 13: HW:
Remeber to bring in $10 and get field trip permission slip signedby FRIDAY.
1. Finish "If Cornered, Scream" packet (Part II, Conflicts)
I will TAKE OFF POINTS is you do not follow pointers we reviewed in class today. Open class notes file below and scroll to item II for reminders about how to answer short answer questions effectively. Packet and story reprintable from reprints.
2. Begin review for quiz--see topics in "Looming Deadlines" . A portion of quiz/test will be open notebook to check how well you have been updating notes in class and rechecking on this site. Any students absent or on field trip will STILL be responsible for updating notebook using printout and review of notes from this site.

Class Notes below:

Dec 12: Complete PART I of "If Cornered, Scream" packet (chart plus first 8 questions). READ ALL introductory directions at top or you will miss important instruction about number of sentences required and what to do with questions that have the word "explain. "
Copy in file below and in Reprints

CLass notes on paraphrasing for test and on sissy fights/ great hair

Dec 8: My Exchange City grades for cover letters and resumes posted in POWERSCHOOL 2 STUDENTS FAILING because NO COVER LETTER OR RESUME RECEIVED.
Dec 8 ELA HW: No New homework. REVISE paraphrasing of "If Cornered, Scream" if you did not write character names and EVENTS from the story. A paraphrase is NOT just reacting or connecting to events--that is a different Active Reading step. Work must be done on stickies!!!

Good luck with INTERVIEWS for Exchange City tomorrow. Dress neatly and REMEMBER YOUR RESUMES AND COVER LETTERS!

Click on file below for Class notes from ELA today

Dec 8: Due to Exhange City interviews, no new concepts introduced. No new homework. Some students picked up hard copy of questions on "If Cornered, Scream" which will be dueTuesday to get a head start. I will post the questions on Monday.
Extra credit research on Pearl Harbor (see Dec 7 entry) due Monday. Students having trouble citing sources can hand in research during class and stay after school to complete the Works Cited list.
Dec. 7: No new homework. If you did not do LAST night's reading and paraphrasing ON STICKIES, you have a chance to catch up. If you took notes on the sheet, TRANSFER to stickies because we will be moving them into different order on separate pieces of paper for tomorrow's lesson. See yesterday's entry for complete instructions.

Class notes on "infamy" for next quiz

Below is the file with instructions for a 25 point extra-credit writing assignment on Pearl Harbor, due Monday, Dec 12 for those who are curious or who need the points. Go to the Links section of this site for a link to a website about the attack on Pearl Harbor to use for the writing assignment.

Dec 6: read "If Cornered,Scream" --text in reprints if you forgot handout. All classes except OO were told to paraphrase significant plot events that move the story forward (conflicts that cause the next event to happen). You should use sticky notes to write the paraphrases since there is too little room on the handout. You should have at LEAST 4 or 5 events, but no more than 10.

What is a "good enough" paraphrase?
If you draw pictures, be sure to add enough labels and words to clearly state each step in the action. INCLUDE CHARACTER NAMES! You know you have a decent paraphrase if you could put your sticky notes in order on a clean sheet of paper and use them to retell the basic events of the story to someone six months from now. If you would have to look back at the story, your notes are not specific enough. If you are filling more than a sticky note per event--you have TOO much and have to narrow it down to the most important details.

If you are OO class you will have to do this in class tomorrow, so be prepared. If you do it for homework, you will have 10 minutes of free time in class!!!)

EXCHANGE CITY: Put any revised resumes and cover letters in my "late/makeup work" bin if you want me to grade the revision instead of the original.

Dec. 6 CLASS NOTES TO REVIEW and Check against your binder notes. this notes page ends with complete review of how to use "Rudolph" story to show you can give examples of internal and external conflicts as well as how internal conflicts CAUSE external and vice-versa.
WAY COOL visual by student in BB class to summarize our Dec 5 class on how conflicts unfold in the plot map of most fiction.


ELA HW: No new homework. This would be a good night to begin vocabular study cards for the terms PLOT and CONFLICT. The definitions are on the sheet "Literary Terms to Memorize Related to Plot and Conflict" posted in REPRINTS and handed out today. Expect a quiz by Dec 15 that will include these terms.

Class Notes: Dec 5, 2011. Open file below and add to your class notes in Lit Terms section of notebook if you have notebook at home and are missing anything.

Dec 1 HW: Study for verb test/quiz! Know definitions; Be able to answer questions similar to the ones you have done in class and for homework; Be ready to write sentences with linking verbs, helping verbs, participial phrases, transitive verbs, instransitive verbs, action verbs, etc.
Review all notes on line and in your notebooks and scan text one last time. I KNOW you have been reviewing all week since I gave NO HW for two nights--so tonight should be a quick 20 minute review.
ALSO be prepared for binder and folder check. You will NOT be allowed to go back to lockers--so be fully prepared for class.

Nov 30 HW:
Review handout of last night's Class Notes (click Nov 29 classnotes Verb Fanily Tree.doc file below if you "misplaced" today's handout). Classes should have put handout in Grammar section of binder.
(A line about auxilliary verbs that I thought I had deleted is sitting at the top of the page with the Verb Family Tree graphic--It is a typo but the info in it will be used as an extra credit answer.)
Highlight anything you have a question about before Friday's quiz/test on verbs. Keep working on extra credit verb term definition cards as review for quiz. I will add Notes later tonight to sum up our review of the "transitive verb train to Nounville" and the fun we had with participial phrases.
No new written homework.
Class Notes on Transitive Verbs and Participial Phrases:

Nov 29 HW:
I. Finish "Flint" questions if not done in class. Put in Literature Section of binder.
  1. Read the poem “Flint” on page 81 in the PURPLE literature text.
  2. Look up definition of FLINT—and write down definition that best matches the way the word is used in the poem.
  3. Using at least ONE complete sentence for each response, answer “Check Comprehension” questions 3 and 4 on p. 83.
  4. Using at least 3 complete sentences answer “Critical Thinking” question 3.

II. Prepare for binder check, using sheet I handed out today (which is copy of the current Looming Deadlines page available on this website).

III. Study definitions for Verb Test Friday. (See Looming Deadlines page for more info on definitions. I am preparing notes on the discussions we had in classes on verbs today. ) See Nov 28 entry for info on earning extra credit by studying with flashcards.

Nov 29 Class notes on Verbs
Nov 28 HW: No new homework. Use time to begin studying for Friday's test on the definitions of types of verbs and evaluation of how to use them. You will be responsible for examples similar to the what you did for homework Nov 15 and 16.
Extra credit for vocabulary cards for verb term definitions (printed in red in textbook) that you copied for your homework Nov 15 and 16. These cards need the word on one side, and the definition and an example on the other side. I will give extra credit if you have them with you for test on Friday. Practice with them during the week to help study.

I will add some class notes later this evening on what we reviewed about action, helping, and linking verbs. I will also provide a few brief notes on requirements for the BINDER CHECK this Friday. You should, however, have been taking notes from the board and writing down changes you need to make as I showed you the student notebook in class today.
EXCHANGE CITY: Be sure to check important deadlines from connection on the AHERN web page. Click here for link to Exchange City
Nov 23: No HW:
ALL students took ELA Open Response Benchmark during period 1. Absent students will have some time Monday in class, but should plan to stay after school Wednesday to make up the time missed.

Students passed in REDONE work, revised to show they could follow directions and complete missing sections. No more late work will be accepted. Test on the verb information next Thursday or Friday, so do the work even if you get no credit so you know what to ask questions about for the Verb test.
Happy Turkey Day.

Nov. 21: No new homework. Students who have not yet passed in the Apathy Vs. Empathy journal (following ALL 6 steps) (instructions in Nov 16th file below) or the grammar homework I collected on Friday, (instructions in Nov 15 and 16 files below) MUST pass in completed work tomorrow to receive any credit--even if I do not meet with your class. These were due FRIDAY!!

Nov 17: HW
1. If you did not complete grammar work last night, spend another 15-30-minutes of QUIET,FOCUSED time on it and then if you STILL haven't finished, have parent/guardian write note saying effort was made.
2. Then spend 15-20 minutes reviewing for tomorrow's quiz. All elements of quiz are listed in Looming Deadlines section of site and have been there since we reviewed EACH ITEM on Monday and again today. I assume you have been following directions to review vocabulary in chunks for 5 minutes a night from the day you RECEIVE the words--so there should be little need for much review tonight.

Note: If you check my Mostly for Parents section, it includes the homework policy that most, if not all, house B teachers share: If a student is working with great focus (not wathcing TV, texting, Facebooking, or arguing with siblings) and cannot finish the assignment within 20-30 minutes, the student should bring in a note or have parent send an email vouching for the fact that the student made a reasonable effort to complete the assigned work. The student will then receive an extra day.
Parents may want to check any Class notes I post for the day to see if the student had time to begin work in class. If students had 30-40 minutes in class, I expect an additional 30 minutes at home. Also, if the student had 2 days for an assignment, or a week for an assignment, the parent/guardian should not write the note unless the student put in 20-30 minutes per night EACH night. If a student puts off work, they should expect to have to spend more time than the average 20-30 minutes.

November 16: Mrs. R out sick. File below has grammar review class and homework

November 15: Click on file below for class and homework notes

November 14 HW AND class notes in one file today.

NOV 10 HW--go to Journal Prompts by clicking here or in left margin menu. Click on file for Veternan's Day journal instructions to complete 3 bullet points and draft paragraph if you did not complete it in class.

HW NOV 9, 2011 No NEW ELA homework. See reprints for photos of 2 Soto poems classes read today if you were absent.

HW NOV 8 is same as Nov 7. Click on "HWNOV 7" file below for detailed directions and go to reprints for model and copy of worksheets. Poem is also in text, pp 82-83. ELA spent final inclass session on benchmark. Students not done, or who missed the "Seventh Grade" Test part 1 or 2, MUST stay after tomorrow. Grades close this week.
Homeroom: Bring in canned goods and have parents/guardians go on line to sign up for conferences or turn in request on sheet sent home yesterday.

Go to Reprints for sample paraphrase and worksheets pages.

HW Nov 3- NONE. Took first half of benchmark test in class. No homework. No new handouts. Absent students must plan to stay after next Wednesday to make up this portion of testing.

No class notes Nov 2. Students took vocabulary portion of unit test.
Go to Looming Deadlines for review of items on Monday's portion of test

Plot map handouts and writing summary assignment in reprints

click on looming deadlines for test study guide

Instructions and organizer in reprints

sample in reprints

vocab template for oct 3,4,5,6 hw in reprints