Weekly Plans

In Class Updates on August 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Check out this Shakespearean insult creator!  And here’s a bunch of funny cat pictures…with Shakespearean insults as captions.   Typical curse words don’t show much thought, but these Shakespearean insults are hilarious.

Week of May 5–the final creative project assignment  for A Midsummer Night’s Dream was given to students on Tuesday, May 6 in class.  It is due Wednesday, May 21, and will not be accepted for evaluation past this due date.  It will be evaluated using the narrative writing rubric.

The students are doing a great job overall with Shakespeare; please, though, encourage them to work through it as much as they can themselves before resorting to Spark Notes or Shakespeare Made Easy.  I certainly don’t mind them getting help wherever they can find it, but I know they can figure out a better way to struggle through the tough stuff besides copying directly from those sources.  I give them lots of strategies and practice with the skills they need to be able to read Shakespeare (this week’s work includes information about Shakespeare’s unusual usage of words as well as work with literary devices) and if they do the work, they won’t need to resort to cheating.  This week includes more Shakespeare as well as poetry recitations.

Working our way toward summer--here’s the calendar.  We’re reading Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and completing a variety of fiction reading activities, none of which will be accepted past the due date.  Poetry lit crits are due Tuesday, April 29, and presentations begin that day as well.

Students may print out this week’s calendar if they’d like; however, we are no longer making copies for the entire class since few of them actually seem to make use of it.  Please make note of the change of due date for the Q4 poetry literary critique as I have discovered through grading the TKaM critiques that more work needs to be done.  Please encourage your student to have you or someone else help proofread/read aloud their work prior to turning it in as many simple mistakes are being made on a regular basis.

April 14:  Regarding M&M notebooks–If students have turned in EVERY notebook and earned a score better than incomplete (inc.), they don’t need to turn in any more this year.  If they’ve turned in all but ONE and earned a score better than incomplete or if they’ve only earned one incomplete, they may skip the final round.  They may turn the notebook in if they wish to impact their score positively.

T.S. Eliot noted in “The Waste Land” that “April is the cruellest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land,” and in many ways this reflects what our students are feeling at this time of the year.  It’s starting to feel like spring out there, and the kids (and frankly–the adults as well!) want to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine.  We have seven weeks left, and students need to keep up with their work or get crackin’!  This week includes peer review of the informational report essay plus the District Writing Assessment, which is much more rigorous than in the past due to the alignment with PARCC.  Students should be working on memorizing their poems–please encourage them to recite them for you!  Here is the planning sheet for the Q4 poetry lit crit, which will be scored using the informational writing rubric, and here is an example lit crit of a poem.  Students will also receive information to help with their Q4 poetry presentation as well as the presentation rubric.

We are making the final push toward the end of your student’s first year of high school; for some, this has been a year of hard work and learning how to navigate the social and educational aspects of high school while others are still struggling with those increased expectations and more rigorous work.  The calendar for this week offers time in the computer lab to complete the initial response for the Q4 poetry project, which is due Tuesday; to work on and complete the literary critique for To Kill a Mockingbird, which is due Friday (here is the peer review sheet from Wednesday); and time in the LMC to complete research for the informational research paper (here’s an example), which is due April 9.  Though this seems like a lot of work, we have structured the time to assist students in planning for due dates.

The week before Spring Break is often a bit crazy especially since it’s Spirit Week, and there’s a pep assembly on Friday.  Work goes on, however, and we’re busy!  Students will learn how to plan for and write a literary critique and receive an example; they will also begin working with their Q4 poem by completing storyboard OR sensory notes, a 3-2-1 summary, a HANDWRITTEN transcription, a paraphrase, and an initial response (example is located here; requirements are on the Q4 Poetry Project handout).  The notes/summary/transcription for the Q4 poem are due this Friday.  The initial response is due Tuesday, April 1.  The literary critique for To Kill a Mockingbird is due Friday, April 4.  Please encourage your student to pay attention to due dates and to use the time allotted for these projects rather than trying to do them all at the last minute or not at all!

Long term planning calendar for Q4 poetry is here.  I did NOT hand copies of this to students; however, it is posted in the classroom, and I have notified them that it is available on the blog.

NOTE:  Though this week marks the end of Quarter 3, it is NOT the end of the grading period for English 9.  The grade of record will be entered on May 22; students who are currently failing or not earning the grade they would like to end up with have NINE weeks to make changes to their habits.  They may not turn in late work.  If they start now and turn EVERYTHING in completed to the best of their ability, they can still earn a decent grade in the class.  If they continue to procrastinate, not turn in work, and turn in incomplete work, their grade will not improve.  Please don’t wait until April or May to check on your student’s progress:  the best thing you can do is keep an eye on the weekly calendars and encourage your student to do the current work completely and thoroughly.

It’s not yet 4th quarter, but we will begin the Q4 Poetry Project this week (March 10-14) since it’s a project in parts.  Students must choose from this list of contemporary poets.  Additionally, students are still reading/keeping notes on To Kill a Mockingbird, and they should know about Tom Robinson’s trial and what’s going on at a deeper level.  It’s interesting that Scout, the narrator, reports to the readers so that they actually know more about what’s going on than she does.

Why memorize poetry?  Here are some links:

A Memorized Poem Lives With You Forever

In Defense of Memorization

Got Poetry?

The Well-Trained Mind

Mission to Learn

Poetry at the gym

Gifted Guru

Five Benefits of Memorizing Poetry

Memorize Poetry

Why I Force Students to Memorize Poetry

Welcome to the last week of February and week 26 of the school year!  Students will have time to read/take notes for To Kill a Mockingbird this week in preparation for Friday’s reading circle discussion and activity.

The end of February is quickly approaching, and we are beginning week 25 of the school year.  As we read To Kill a Mockingbird (bookmark here), students need to keep track of characters and theme to help them with the final writing assignment for the book.  Students will also be responsible for one of the reading circle role sheets for each section of the book, which they will receive the week prior to the reading circle discussion.

Happy Valentine’s Week!  Students should be working on their childhood story personal essay, which is due on Friday.  Their persuasive letter is due tomorrow (Tuesday, February 11), and their work with “Without Commercials” is due Wednesday, February 12.  “I Want to Be Miss America” will be assigned Wednesday, February 12 and due Wednesday, February 19.  Additionally, ode recitations begin this Wednesday; students were notified of their presentation date two weeks ago, and the chart of all the dates has been hanging in the classroom since.  It is important that presentations happen on schedule.  Busy week!  We will begin reading To Kill a Mockingbird next week, and students will have weekly reading circle work rather than traditional “did ja read it?” quizzes.  They will receive this long-term calendar for planning purposes.  Students received this anticipation guide on Wednesday to fill out prior to reading To Kill a Mockingbird.  The statements would make great topics of exploration in M&Ms Notebooks!

We’ve made it to February and are beginning week 23.  Students are registering for their sophomore year this week!  On Monday, they will receive one of these reading circle note sheets (as determined by their reading circle group) as well as this individual work to go with “Roots:  Random Thoughts on Random Hair.”  They need to complete both before participating in the reading circle activity on Thursday.  The due date for the persuasive letter/annotated bibliographies has been moved to Tuesday, February 11.  Before drafting your childhood story/personal essay assignment that is due Friday, February 14, complete this pre-drafting activity on a piece of unlined paper:  Make a MAP of your life from birth to today.  Illustrate the hills and valleys, the thrills and conflicts.  Use color or don’t, use pictures or don’t.  It’s your map.

An experiment:  I don’t post on the weekends, and I can’t think of another time when I’ve posted something on my class blog as a parent rather than as a teacher.  However, I just read this, and it brought tears to my eyes, so I thought other parents might like to read it as well.  If you enjoy posts like this, let me know!

Week 22 brings some answers to the questions about Quarter 3 poetry:  the poems students will be reciting are odes that are about their research topics.  Students receive their odes on Monday, along with storyboard notes and a 3-2-1 summary organizer, both due on Thursday, January 30.  These will be evaluated using the EGE Fiction Reading rubric.  Counselors are in the classroom on Monday to discuss registration for sophomore year with students, and they’ll be back next week to finish up that process.  On Tuesday, students will learn about tying their research and ode together in order to write a persuasive letter to Mr. Peters and on Wednesday, we’ll learn about persuasive letter organization; we have lab time scheduled for Thursday so students can type up their rough drafts, which are due Tuesday, Feb. 4 for peer review.  On Friday, we’ll discuss the importance of introductions.

Week 21!  “Big names, logos, and you” activity–in class on Friday.  “Black Men and Public Space” thinksheet — due Wednesday.  We revisited the idea of annotated bibliographies on Wednesday.  An example annotated bibliography for your use is here, and here are several resources on the web to help with annotated bibliographies:

University of Wisconsin

Language and Learning Online

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Colorado State University

University of Maryland (note that this one is not formatted in MLA style but is clear that this is a teacher-preference issue)

If you want a head start on next week, here’s a handout that I won’t assign until Tuesday.  It’s due Wednesday, so I want to give you the opportunity to start on it so it’s not overnight homework.

Week 20!

We made it to second semester!  Here’s the calendar for this first week back–we are beginning a research project and will have time in the LMC and the computer labs.  I am also trying out a new web-based ‘filing system’ called Live Binders; you can check it out here.  Please go over this contract with your student, and encourage him/her to return it by Friday, January 10.  Before assigning an annotated bibliography to accompany the research project, we practiced with this handout in class on Wednesday, January 8.  This grade will be the first practice grade for the Research and Reasoning standard and will be evaluated with the appropriate categories on the Research and Reasoning rubric.

How is my grade determined in Mrs. Scow’s English 9?–update for 2nd semester:  The grade weight categories remain the same; however, I am no longer “trending” formative work to determine grades.  The following “summative” assessments will be assigned this semester:  3 written papers, 3 reading activities, 2 research and reasoning activities, and 2 oral expression activities.

Thursday, December 12:  The 14th Amendment and Brown v. Board on YouTube

This penultimate week of the semester brings a team Supreme Court case research project with lots of time in the LMC and computer labs as well as some “human interest” readings about the amendments/court cases.  Once teams have gathered research, they will work together to fill out this graphic organizer before presenting their assigned case to the rest of the class next week.

Here’s Cirbo’s PPT from Thursday, December 5.–we didn’t go through the whole presentation!

Welcome back!  We are hitting the ground running–here’s the calendar for the first week of December.  We’ll be discussing the First Amendment and reading two non-fiction pieces to support what the First Amendment is all about:  “Banning the Veil” by Linda Chavez and “Tinker Case Guides Court as Student’s Parody of Principal is Ruled Protected Speech” by Beth Hawkins.  Students will answer questions about “Banning the Veil”; their answers will be evaluated using the non-fiction reading rubric.

It’s a short week, but there’s still learning going on in our classroom!  Here’s the calendar and Monday’s discussion questions for “Words.”  Additionally, here’s a link to “Generation Plagiarism.”  Finally, here are the questions to explore in an M&Ms entry about “The Quality of Mercy,” which is in the And Justice for All book.

Updated November 15:  In an effort to get ahead of myself vs. behind, I am posting the calendar for the week of November 18 even though it doesn’t include Mr. Cirbo’s work.  He will post the completed calendar to his website once he has added his work for the week. Students should come to class Monday having read “Crossing the Line” in the And Justice for All books they checked out on Thursday and be ready to make some decisions about a variety of issues regarding the 4th Amendment.  They will then read “And Justice for All” and complete the work that goes with that before learning a little bit about Lizzie Borden (remember the old jump rope song that went “Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother 40 whacks…”?) and doing some group work.

Updated November 12 (11.12.13!):  Here is the calendar for the week.  Students are not taking the opportunity to improve their writing when they are not writing in their M&Ms Notebooks.  We are noticing a drastic decrease in these being turned in.  They are not optional, nor are they “not worth points.”  They do count as they give us opportunities to give feedback on writing as well as being a grade in the grade book.  They are part of a body of evidence used to determine proficiency in both informational and narrative writing skills.  Wednesday has time set aside for peer review of the literary analysis essay that is part of the Quarter 2 poetry work.  Essays are due  on Friday and will not be accepted late.  If students are not in school on Friday, please have them email their essay to me.  We will be checking out books on Thursday, and the first reading from the book is due Monday.  If students do not have an id, they can’t check out a book; while I won’t be able to do this for every reading assignment in the book, I did find the first, “Crossing the Line” online.  On Friday, students will be participating in reading circles with some Langston Hughes poems and receiving the narrative writing assignment, which is due Tuesday.

The calendar for this first week of November is here.  Students worked with the examples (located on the Oct. 30 update) for “Mother to Son” and “justice” literary analyses; their own outline for their analysis is due Friday.  Additionally, they worked on the sensory notes and theme for their Quarter 2 poems; those handouts are also located below with the Oct. 30 update.

Updated October 30:  Halloween week brings the beginning of work with Quarter 2 poem choices as well as skill work with flashbacks from the short story “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” and movie adaptation Smoke Signals.  Students will work in class on Wednesday to transcribe and paraphrase their poems, then they will begin working on storyboard notes and summarizing.  Storyboard and summaries are due Friday.  On Friday, they will begin working on sensory notes and theme, and that work is due Tuesday, November 5.  We will be using the poem “justice” as an example poem; students will begin working with it by answering the questions on this handout.  All of this work is in preparation for writing a literary analysis of their chosen poem and for Quarter 2 poetry recitations.  Here is the literary analysis work with “justice.”  We will also be using a sample analysis with “Mother to Son”  as well as an outline activity before students write their own literary analysis.

Updated October 21:  Welcome to Quarter 2 at Legacy and EGE–here’s the calendar for the week.  Notice that we are starting our Quarter 2 poetry study right away–here are the expectations as well as a refresher on theme.  After spending some time with Langston Hughes’ poem “Mother to Son,” students will write the son’s response to his mother; this will be scored using the narrative rubric and is due Tuesday, October 29.  Students will finish out the week by reading “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” from their Multicultural Reader texts and working with their reading circles–each student will be responsible for using one of the note sheets in discussion on Monday.

Updated October 14:  Can you believe I’m posting the calendar for week 9?  We are beginning our in-depth study of the U. S. Constitution this week with a variety of readings (please check calendar for due dates):

Updated October 7:  Here we are staring the end of first quarter right in the face!  Hard to believe we’ve spent almost nine weeks together.  Please remember that the grade of record doesn’t get recorded until December–students have lots of time to show their skills prior to then.  Here is the calendar for this week along with the peer review feedback form for the narrative tribute.

Updated September 30:  We’ll do some narrative writing this week in addition to the informational writing skills on which students are working.  The standards say that students need to be able to “[m]aster the techniques of effective informational, literary, and persuasive writing”; therefore, the genres of writing on which we work will often overlap.  Students will be using the narrative rubric to evaluate these example essays written by other 9th grade students.  On Wednesday, students will be assigned their reading circle groups, and they will use their completed DEJs and character analysis sheets to begin a discussion of the reading “Papi.”  Then they will complete the relevant detail work and begin work on their narrative writing assignment.

Updated September 23:  September marches on (in its galoshes!), and here we are near the end of the month.  We begin poetry recitations this week, so please encourage your student to practice for you.  They’ve all seen me do a recitation and used the rubric; I encouraged them to take the rubric home to go over with you.  Click here for the calendar.  I created this Simple Booklet as my visual aid for my 2nd poetry recitation.

Updated September 18:  Sorry for the late update.  My daughter was married last weekend, so I took some time off to celebrate with her!  Here is this week’s calendar, and here is the thinksheet to accompany “Two Kinds,” which was assigned on Monday.  As far as our poetry study goes, students worked on summarizing their poem in order to determine its theme on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, students will put together a model 8-sentence paragraph to help them when they write their own as an introduction to their poem.  I will give an example poetry recitation on Thursday using this visual aid and going over the Oral Expression rubric.  We have the computer lab booked Friday and Tuesday of next week for students to work on their visual aid and finish up their Quarter 1 poetry paperwork, which includes the following:

  • Transcription (turned in previously)
  • Paraphrase (turned in previously)
  • Summary and theme work (due 9.20)–links above
  • Literary elements work (due 9.20)
  • Story Board and Sensory Notes organizers (due 9.25)
  • 8-sentence introduction paragraph (due 9.25)–Mrs. Scow’s example above
  • Visual aid (should be in folder on P drive by 9.25)–Mrs. Scow’s example above
  • Parent Signature sheet (due 9.25)

Updated September 9:  Click here for week 4’s calendar.  We are working hard on the 8-sentence paragraph format, which will help students with their expository/explanatory writing skills.  We will continue working on Quarter 1 poetry.  After checking out The Multicultural Reader, students will read “Aunt” and complete the thinksheet — I much prefer this term to the old-fashioned “worksheet” with which I grew up!  Students will also be given this topic for M&M notebook writing on Friday.

Updated September 3:  Week 3 is here already (click here for the calendar), and some scores will be making their way into the “Trend Data” section of the gradebook.  Your students have written narrative letters, which have been scored on portions of the narrative rubric; these scores fell about where I thought they would as many students come to 9th grade having had lots of practice with narrative writing.  Expository writing is a bit more difficult for most students, and it is not something with which they’ve had lots of practice, so we begin our week with an introduction to one organizational style that helps students begin to write in this way.  Please check your student’s poem choice, and remind her/him that the transcribed copy of the poem as well as a second reading copy for him/her is due on Friday of this week.

Welcome to Week 2 of EGE with Mr. Cirbo and Mrs. Scow.  Click here to find out what we’re up to this week.  See the “Poetry Recitation Information” page on this blog for info regarding the poetry project, which we began in class on Monday.  Remember that the “Letter About Me” is due Tuesday, and members of rotation #1 have M&Ms notebooks due on Friday.  Here are some FAQs about the M&Ms notebooks, and here is the assessment rubric.  Students received their rotation schedules in class on Friday, August 23.

Click here to find our class calendar for the first week of school, which includes HOMEWORK that is due on Wednesday, August 21.

Your student received page 3 of this document in class; please read the syllabus, sign the page your student brought home (or print it!), and send it back with your student no later than Thursday, August 29.  Please note the reminder about cell phones.

Mr. Cirbo and Mrs. Scow both wrote example letters of introduction and asked students to use the checklist to evaluate those letters.  That checklist and a template for an introduction letter are here.

August 20:  Welcome to Legacy High School and to Mr. Cirbo’s and Mrs. Scow’s English 9/Economics/Government class!  We will post as much information to this blog as possible, so feel free to “follow” us so you’ll know when updates have occurred.

Optional Activity for Computer Lab Orientation:  Congratulations on finding our class blog!  Now, open a new Word document by clicking on the Start button.  Choose “Student Apps,” then “Microsoft Word 2010.”  Then click File, Open, and look for the P drive (public) under “My Computer.”  Open the P Drive, and then choose the Teacher folder.  You’ll find a folder for every teacher.  For practice, open Mrs. Scow’s folder.  Open the file called “Brain Teasers,” then choose one or two or three or more of the brain teasers to solve.  Copy and paste them into a new document, figure out the answers, put your name at the top, and then save your file to the appropriate folder within Mrs. Scow’s folder on the STUDENT side of the P drive.  Title your document “LASTNAME.BrainTeasers” (make sure to use your own last name!).  Saving your work to the student side of the P drive is useful because you can access the file from anyone’s login.  If many students are presenting during a class, you can save time and frustration when you don’t have to log off and then login over and over again.

  1. Mrs. Scow,
    I loved you own poem of “The White Man’s Burdern
    It gave me ideas on how to write mine
    Thanks for sharing
    Oasis Tyagi

  2. Hello Mrs. Scow I tried really hard but the blog keeps calling my post invalid and I forgot what you said your email was so this was the only way I could think to contact you. Can I just print out my narrative and bring it tomorrow?

    • You need to see me. Yes, you may print out your narrative, but you can’t score any better than “Below Standards” if you don’t post it to your blog. I need to help you to figure out how to do that. Mrs. Scow

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