Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Daily Agenda: Wednesday, November 7 - Friday, November 9

Here is what we are working on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week:

We had a heartwarming reading of the rest of the personal narratives about an experience that has meant a lot to you this fall.  After anonymous compliments, some folks made their compliments a new bookmark for Hoose!

We are going to the Harvard Public Library to check out a quarter two choice book and began reading those novels.  One-on-one conferences with Ms. Hodgens took place about strengths and areas to develop on the quarter 1 book reviews.

We had an incisive student-directed lesson on how history/politics and literature go together.  As a PBS roundup-styled analysis, we reviewed three key maps of last night's elections, linked here, and then created a Venn Diagram on what is common and uncommon between two juxtaposed objects of inquiry: The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and our lives as informed citizens today.
  • We found that what is common is the emphasis on how history/politics and literature go together; on how "all politics is local" as the Churchill Club scours the streets of Aalborg and Odense and how Massachusetts is both a blue state for Congressional offices and a red state for the gubernatorial elections yesterday; how in both cases students can't vote but can get substantial information about politics; and the overall spirit and power of youth.
  • We found that what is uncommon is the emphasis on boys in the Churchill Club in 1941 and the surge of female candidates in 2018; the lethargy among adult citizens of Denmark in 1941 as compared to the high midterm turnout in 2018; the Danish monarchy in 1941 and the American republic in 2018.
HW Eng due Thursday: Read Chapters 6 and 7 for tomorrow in Hoose.  A + B periods, if you did not have your rubric in class today for our conferences at the Harvard Public Library, please remember to e-mail me to set up a brief conference. 

HW Eng due Friday: Complete your version of the Venn Diagram on what is common and uncommon between two objects: The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and our lives as informed citizens today.  Remember, an accurate and well-developed response will have at least three specific commonalities and at least three specific contrasts, as in the model on the blog.  Bring your choice book to school tomorrow along with any books to return tot he HPL. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Daily Agenda: Monday, November 5

Today we took some time at the beginning of class to respond to this prompt:

Write about an experience that has really meant a lot to you in any facet of your life in September and October.  This is about you, so tap the power of I!  Use colors.  Go for specifics and imagery.  Start fast in your hook and use the feather technique.

We read aloud and spoke about experiences that have meant a lot to us since school started.  We focused our attention for a brief bit of time on an upcoming narrative assignment, a story of a friendship.

We also talked about core characteristics for each day in class: be gracious, be responsible, be a problem-solver, be of service, be respectful, be patient, be kind and understanding, be a team player.

Next, we turned our attention to page 34 in Hoose, noting how his portrayel of Knud Pedersen's resistance comes from the artistic identity integral to Pedersen's being.  We met Preben, who is a scientist.  As you read Hoose, look for examples of how art propels actions.

HW Eng due Wednesday: Read Chapters 4 + 5 in Hoose.  A + B periods to the HPL on Wednesday; bring books checked out this summer and in September to return.  Bring a choice book to read if you already have one; you may also bring choice books checked out in October which you want to abandon.

This week's schedule is as follows:
Monday: Write and read aloud; close reading of page 34 in Hoose.  Little Women filming today.

Tuesday: No school -- Election Day.  Little Women filming today.

Wednesday: Read Chapters 4 + 5 in Hoose for today.  A + B periods to the HPL today; bring books checked out this summer and in September to return.  Bring a choice book to read if you already have one; you may also bring choice books checked out in October which you want to abandon.

Thursday: Read Chapters 6 + 7 in Hoose for today; pep rally at the end of the day.

Friday: In class focus on Hoose & The Boys Who Challenged Hitler.  G + C periods to the HPL today; bring books checked out this summer and in September to return.  Bring a choice book to read if you already have one; you may also bring choice books checked out in October which you want to abandon.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Daily Agenda: Friday, November 2

Today we reviewed accurate usage of the six vocabulary words studied these days, and in the process, we touched on how some of the ways we build a mature prose style means acquiring not only a definition but also an appreciation of usage and connotation.  Simply defined, connotation is the charge or vibe a word gives off.  Is it positive or negative? Neutral? Based in factual or inference-based thinking?

  • Intervene has a positive connotation and usually relates to a not-so-great situation which is changed through the intervention.
  • Integrity is often expressed with the phrase "integral to." Example: The Churchill boys' camaraderie and spirit is integral to their political takedowns.
  • Indubitable and indubitably are words for making inferences, rather than stating facts.
We reviewed and revised sentences for accuracy and then passed them in for assessment of accuracy. Remember, you must capitalize proper nouns.  In the context of our book, these are words like German, Danish, and Knud Pedersen.  Remember to put a period at the end of each sentence.  

We rehearsed, watched, and enacted vocabulary performances.

We started reading Chapter 3 and in most classes analyzed how word choice reveals Phillip Hoose's non-fiction style in a close reading of the first page of chapter three, which details the Pedersen's move from Odense to Aalborg amidst the Germans' movement from southern Denmark to Jutland.

HW Eng: Finish reading Chapter 3 in The Boys Who Challenged Hitler.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Daily Agenda: Wednesday, October 31-Thursday, November 1

We started reading pages 3-23 of The Boys Who Challenged Hitler today during our shortened classes. Each student received back their graded book review rubric.  Keep the rubrics in your binders, please.

As we read The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, we will learn lots of new vocabulary words and concepts! Here are six words we learned today: intervene, incense, innocuous, indifferent, integrity, and indubitably. The definitions on a sample vocabulary tree are here.

1) Create a folder called "The Boys Who Challenged Hitler" and a document within that folder called "Vocab 1." You can make a copy of this document here.

2) Review and read 1-23 of The Boys Who Challenged Hitler and, after defining each word using this graphic organizer, write an accurate sentence about events on 1-23 using the six new vocabulary words: intervene, incense, innocuous, indifferent, integrity, and indubitably.  

HW Eng: Write an accurate sentence about events on 1-23 in The Boys Who Challenged Hitler using the six new vocabulary words: intervene, incense, innocuous, indifferent, integrity, and indubitably.  

Monday, October 22, 2018

Daily Agenda: Monday, October 22 - Friday, October 26

The quarter one independent reading book review will be due this Friday, October 26 OR next Monday, October 29.  The choice of due dates is yours.  The rubric for this book review is the same as the rubric for the summer reading book review.  That rubric seems to be the one that classmates are truly the most comfortable with, and therefore, that is the one we will use.

This week, we will be putting the theme, summary, and other writing into a draft form.

Action items include the following:
1. Create a roadmap.  We will use Synthesis Notes to discover the literary areas you will write about and which you will announce in your roadmap.  Today's demonstration lesson on The Pearl showcases a couple of important aspects of putting this type of thinking first:

  • The theme is #1 in your thinking.  
  • You will need to have a theme which is a sentence, and which is an idea you can defend.
  • The literary areas on Synthesis Notes are some, not all, of the literary areas you may write about.
  • Synthesis Notes allows you to keep going back to the theme and asking, "so what"?  Why does this theme matter, and if it doesn't seem like a strong, important, bold theme, it might be a sign that the book is not one to recommend.  
The rubric for this book review the same as the rubric for the summer reading book review.  That rubric seems to be the one that classmates are truly the most comfortable with, and therefore, that is the one we will use.

2. Find moments of significance to quote, describe, and write about in your "literary areas" body paragraphs.

3. Draft the full review, complete with an introduction and conclusion -- this will happen on Wednesday in class.

4. Peer review -- Thursday in class.

HW Eng: Begin to create a roadmap by writing some ideas on the Synthesis Notes handout.  Synthesis Notes on your independent reading book review is due at the end of class tomorrow.  Bring your independent reading book with you to class each day this week.  Read today's blogpost for important info on when the book review is due!!

Write and complete the Synthesis Notes after a demonstration on a theme and roadmap setup.
HW Eng: Complete Synthesis Notes.  Optional: Think and/or write the theme and roadmap.  You may also write the larger essay, though tomorrow in class is a drafting day.

Today was a drafting day.  Thanks for the calm and comfortable setting you all created as we wrote, conferenced, and thought deeply about our choice books.

HW Eng: Complete a full rough draft of your book review for peer review tomorrow.  Struggling with writer's block?  Reach out to me, and I will help you.  Also, look for your returned and graded Stylized Summary from Google Classroom.

We had a demonstration lesson on peer review.  Thank you to each classmate who volunteered.
HW Eng: Read your partner's essay and complete the peer review worksheet passed out today in class.

We finished peer review.  Each volunteer responded to class feedback.  Each individual responded to partner feedback.  Extension activities for revising -- on style and structure -- are here. 
HW Eng: Revise your book review using your partner's feedback and your response to their feedback.  The book review is due on Google classroom in class on Monday.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Daily Agenda: Friday, October 19

Do Now: Vocabulary presentations.

Today’s lesson: All narrative texts have themes within them, and when readers start to look for those themes, they ask questions like, “what is this text really about?” or “what is this text trying to teach me about life?”  Then, they sometimes write long to grow their ideas.

The book review assignment is here. Another sample book review is here.

Next Tuesday 10/23: In class book review draft
Friday 1026/: Book review final due on Google classroom.

Watch 4 Year Old’s Bucket List: Water is Life.

What do you think the artists who created the commercial are trying to say?
  • Theme: Problems are severe in some places, and it can feel hard to figure out how to solve them.
  • Theme: Be thankful for what we have.
  • Theme: Hope and determination go together as we know we can change the world.
  • Theme: Live life to the fullest and have no regrets!
  • REMEMBER, all narrative texts have themes within them...many themes.

What’s on your bucket list?  Share with the class.  

Collect ideas about themes in a text.
Name a central problem or issue that characters in the story face.
The Pearl: greed, injustice, racism, poverty, discrimination, abuse…

Reflect on parts of the story that pertain to this problem.
We focused on greed. Problems include how the doctor’s greed causes him to make the baby sick; the pearl buyers collude to scam Kino; Kino abuses Juana when she insists on getting rid of the pearl; the assassins are hired by a greedy person; Kino attacks the assassins and Coyotito is killed.

Think to yourself, “What is the story teaching me about this problem, this issue?”
The Pearl: Greed is almost as bad as a crime.

Write long about your thinking to grow your ideas, perhaps by asking how different characters relate to that issue.  
Beginning of a long write on the theme of greed: In life, greed is almost as bad as a crime.  One theory on why things fall apart in The Pearl is that mother nature has a cruel hand and causes bad luck: a scorpion wanders into the brush hut and bites the baby.  A pearl, called an “accident,” gives Kino much more than he can handle, and mother nature burdens him with ill fortune.  The desert even catches Kino’s family in its parched trap.  On the other hand, perhaps greed is like a man-made disease, a “monstrosity” engineered out of the Frankenstein-like lab of twisted ambitions. Steinbeck shows us that greed, like a man-made strain of the pneumonia, can become so potent that it overtakes a person’s being and makes criminal behavior suddenly so rampant.  Kino seems like such a simple, loving husband, but when greed infects his being, he becomes a criminal.  The greed is the first crime, and the violence, death, and loss that comes next is the result...

Use this model to complete a couple of theme long writes this weekend.

Further handouts:

HW: For 30 minutes, write one and half or two pages in your notebook.  

  • Write a theme entry or two, to dig deeper into the book review.
  • Use notebook paper, or start a google doc.  
  • Writing about themes will help you with building up your in-class book review.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Daily Agenda: Tuesday, October 15 through Thursday, October 18

Tuesday, October 16
The first quarter book review of your independent reading assignment will be due on Friday, October 26.  The rubric will be the same as the summer reading book review.

Today we learned about writing a summary.  We read a sample student essay, on Fish in a Tree, focusing on the outstanding summary.

Next, we used the top-down web approach with a sample from Ms. Hodgens' quarter one book Brick Lane, to focus our thinking on character and conflict to set up a summary.

The top of the top-down web includes your name, the character, and the essential conflict.  Nazneen's essential conflict in Monica Ali's novel is with fate, and I typified her conflict like this:

Brick Lane's central conflict is about the obligations that are inherited, which are unwanted.

Three aspects of the essential conflict are...
Her mother's (Amma's) unresolved death (aspect 1)
Her sister's (Hasina's) struggle because of her choices (aspect 2)
Her husband's inability to follow through on his work.

Next, we followed these directions and read my model:
Write an introductory sentence that states the conflict in a summary:
Nazneen carries the burden of memory as struggles with a central conflict about unwanted obligations linger from her past and disorient her present.

Next, turn your three aspects of the top-down web into sentences, using your own words along with quotes and moments.  This writing can be super in depth and that will help you transform it into a paragraph summary tomorrow in class!
1. Amma's death never leaves Nazneen.  Quote?  Moment?
2. Her sister, Hasina, drops in and out of her life through letters, but the letters offer no hope of being able to shift Hasina's fate because she is out of reach.  Quote?  Moment?
3.  Her husband hoards furniture and books which creates actual physical obstacles in Nazneen's life. Brief overview of the setting of their apartment?

HW Eng: Finish your top-down web, introductory sentence, and aspect sentences which we started today in class.  Follow the notes on the blog for a summary of today's lesson.  Re-read the model essay on Fish in a Tree from class today (also linked on the blog) and bring your quarter 1 choice book to class tomorrow as we continue to draft the book review in class.

Wednesday, October 17 -- Half Day Today
Time to write a draft summary paragraph which will be a component of your quarter 1 choice book review.  Remember, this summary paragraph is a 10 point component of the rubric, and the purpose of the summary is to "provide an overview of the plot that sets up the main conflict or problem but leaves the reader wanting more."

HW Eng: Finish typing a draft summary paragraph for your quarter 1 choice book review.

Thursday, October 18
Open up your draft summary and highlight two or three words which need more lift, more gusto.  Use a thesaurus or your natural intelligence with words to use more precise, bold language.  Share one or two revisions with the class.

Join in a Kahoot on etymology -- the roots and shared parts of words -- and on some related words.

Learn seven new word roots: ob, pro, in, com/con, sub, im, ex.  As a class, study vocabulary with the "in" root -- this study model is an example of how deep we can go with the goal of learning at least one new word a day. Choose a root and a related word from the given list to create a graphic and clear definition for a word; then, create and rehearse a performance for the class.

Go back to your quarter one choice book summary.  What are some additional words which would exemplify a more mature prose style?  Highlight those words and begin to use a thesaurus to find alternatives.

HW Eng: Use a thesaurus and your propitious, perspicacious vocabulary knowledge to revise your summary for STYLE.  Describe elegantly, using bold adjectives and vivid verbs.  This assignment is due tomorrow on Google classroom and is 10 points.