Health Update

I went in for what I thought would be a two-day deal, and it’s now been over two months. Ugh.

I started chemotherapy – have now done two sessions of what will be six – and it hasn’t been too bad yet. I get mouth sores and nausea, plus I just feel yucky. But it’s the next round that has me worried, and that’s the biggest thing keeping me from coming back quite yet: The next round includes daily radiation on top of the chemo, and I’ve been told that it will make my backside feel sunburned. Can you imagine what that would feel like? And remember, I’m in a wheelchair; I’m *always* on my backside.

So we’ll see what happens. I’m still planning to come back, but I know you all are mature enough to take your education into your own hands and find success within yourselves. Don’t let my absence take away from the opportunities for learning you’ve been given.

And be nice to the subs, okay?

Advertisements

End of First Marking Period

Hi gang, remember me?

On the last day I was with you – September 7 – I provided an opportunity for you to make up assignments for which you had been absent or to complete assignments you need more time on.  My expectation was that i would be out the next Monday and Tuesday, so I was going to grade the papers and enter grades on that Tuesday. Of course, that’s not what happened and I have ended up out of service for the past 5 weeks or so now.  Nevertheless, earlier this week I got out of bed specifically to grade those papers. I was unable to put grades into the grade book program because I’m on temporary leave, but I did send Mrs. McCown a list of every assignment and the points that should be entered into the grade book on your behalf.  She assured me that she would take care of it, and I wanted you to know that I did not forget about you and the work that you have done. I hope the rest of the semester has gone well for you.

I know you probably have questions about my health, and so I wanted to drop a quick note here about that as well. I have stage 4 cancer and will be going through chemotherapy and radiation therapy for several months. I am not sure when I’m going to be able to return. It might be soon, but it will probably be later.  I realize that may be a little vague, but cancer is not a pretty process and I do not want to violate anyone’s sensibilities.

I do plan to return to work, and I do *want* to return to work. You may not believe me, but I miss you and wish that I were there with you every day. Please take care of yourselves and do what you need to do to ensure your success  in class.

Update

OK, well, on to the next stage. I made it through the surgery OK. I’m in quite a bit of pain, but  I wanted to let you all know as soon as I could.

I don’t know any details. Sorry i won’t be there this week.

Update

I will be straight with you guys. I have cancer. I have to have surgery on Friday, and the recuperation will keep me in the hospital at least all of next week as well. Probably the week after. I’m not sure of any details beyond that.

I’ve given the sub good directions to keep you moving forward. She says some people are making the wrong decisions regarding their work ethic. I have no respect for that and would ask you – politely – to make different decisions moving forward.

I am so sad not to be there. Help me, please, by encouraging your friends to keep up with the work. I am working for your success FROM THE HOSPITAL where I am suffering WITH CANCER to still lead to your success. I’m sure you can do what you need to do on your part to succeed as well.

 

Hospital Stay

Well, I was hoping to be in and out of the hospital today and take tomorrow for a recuperation day. Unfortunately, however, I’m being admitted to the hospital and will probably be here all week.

The sub you have tomorrow should be the same sub that you have all week.  I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that you have meaningful work. I would never waste your time. Please respect me by making sure you do what you are supposed to do.

On Friday, I provided you the opportunity to make up work that you were absent for as well as to redo and/or finish certain assignments. I have not yet gotten those grades posted, unfortunately. They will not be changed before interims are given, so make your parents aware if your revised grade should be different.

Have a good week. I’m sorry i won’t be there with you.

End of Week Four

English 3R and 4R

This week all classes did the county-required Performance Task #1, which required them to read and highlight three articles and then use what they read as they responded to an essay prompt. They had two days to do this: We read and highlighted on Tuesday; then I read the articles with them on Wednesday and helped them think of things that should be highlighted. On Thursday we wrote the essay. On Friday we had a make-up day, where students had the opportunity to submit work they had been absent for and to work on other assignments I had marked as <<Redo>> or <<Finish and Show Me.>>

English 3H

We did the same things as above, but we used Wednesday to perform scripts the students had written Friday of the week before. Only a few students had any make-up work to do on Friday, so we made cat’s cradles and watched videos about how to manipulate the yarn. Then we watched a speech Vonnegut gave in 1999. Students should read chapters 1 – 37 of Cat’s Cradle before Monday, September 17, and complete the Guided Reading Questions that I provided to them in class.

 

I will not be in school Monday or Tuesday of next week, and students have been assured that I am leaving them meaningful work. Juniors will read Native American origin stories, and seniors will do some preliminary work leading into a reading of Beowulf.

 

You can send me emails or REMIND messages if you have any questions. I’ll see you Wednesday.

End of Week Three

English 3R

On Monday we did a Vocabulary Warm-Up activity sheet where students were given sixteen vocabulary words on two separate lists and then given two separate exercises to complete with these words.

On Tuesday we discussed the PROCESS that I want students to follow when they read new text:

  1. Take notes on the skills page info;
  2. Preview the selection (looking at pictures, sidebars, and pull quotes) to make PREDICTIONS about what you expect to be reading;
  3. Read the questions at the end, taking quick notes, in order to set yourself a PURPOSE for reading.

We then read the first few pages of “Of Plymouth Plantation” together.

I was absent on Wednesday, so students read the last few pages of “Of Plymouth Plantation” and responded to two questions at the end.

On Thursday we reviewed for the test on “Of Plymouth Plantation” by using several Kahoot tests that had been created by others.

On Friday I had to *not* give the test because of Picture Day, so we did a Literary Analysis worksheet and Vocabulary Builder worksheet instead.

 

English 3H

On Monday we did a Vocabulary Warm-Up activity sheet where students were given sixteen vocabulary words on two separate lists and then given two separate exercises to complete with these words.

On Tuesday we discussed the PROCESS that I want students to follow when they read new text: 

  1. Take notes on the skills page info;
  2. Preview the selection (looking at pictures, sidebars, and pull quotes) to make PREDICTIONS about what you expect to be reading;
  3. Read the questions at the end, taking quick notes, in order to set yourself a PURPOSE for reading.

We then read the first few pages of “Of Plymouth Plantation” together.

I was absent on Wednesday, so students read the last few pages of “Of Plymouth Plantation” and responded to two questions at the end.

On Thursday we reviewed for the test on “Of Plymouth Plantation” by creating a 10-question Kahoot test in groups. To do this, we discussed the concept of viable distracters and valid questions.

On Friday I had to *not* give the test because of Picture Day, so students had the opportunity to do creative writing instead (they created a play). Because of pull-outs for pictures, students were told they could finish over the weekend.

 

English 4R

On Monday we did a Vocabulary Warm-Up activity sheet where students were given sixteen vocabulary words on two separate lists and then given two separate exercises to complete with these words.

On Tuesday we discussed the PROCESS that I want students to follow when they read new text:

  1. Take notes on the skills page info;
  2. Preview the selection (looking at pictures, sidebars, and pull quotes) to make PREDICTIONS about what you expect to be reading;
  3. Read the questions at the end, taking quick notes, in order to set yourself a PURPOSE for reading.

We then read “The Seafarer” together, and students had the opportunity to work together to find quotes to support the answers they thought they might offer for the CRQs.

I was absent on Wednesday, so students read “The Wanderer” by themselves and responded to the Critical Reading Questions.

On Thursday we read “The Wife’s Lament” together, and students had the opportunity to work together to find quotes to support the answers they thought they might offer for the CRQs.

On Friday we discussed the proper way to respond to the CRQs. Responses to these questions

  • must be at least 50 words long;
  • should not be separated into (a) and (b); and
  • must feature at least one correctly-cited direct quote

Following this conversation, students were asked to answer one CRQ of their choice from each of the three poems.

 

NEXT WEEK: The county requires students to complete Performance Task #1, which is a Cold Read of unfamiliar text (one class) followed by a Timed Writing (one class). We will offset this with other activity, but that will be the main focus of the week for all three classes.

Weekend Warriors #2

WHAT TO DO WITH A GLOPSNERCH

[NOTE: “Glopsnerch” is a made-up word; it can be whatever you want it to be. Be creative; have fun.]

You have just given someone a glopsnerch.  This person is not at all familiar with glopsnerches – only you are.  Write instructions to go with your gift.  Describe what to do with a glopsnerch, explaining carefully everything that is important to know.

Directions:

  1. Write about the following questions:
    • Is a glopsnerch large or small? What are the benefits and/or detriments of its size?
    • Is it an animal, a plant, a machine, an object, or what?
    • To whom are you giving this glopsnerch—a friend, a relative, an enemy, an acquaintance? Why are you giving it to this person? What response do you expect from this person?
    • What special characteristics does your glopsnerch have? Does it have special talents, capabilities or needs?  Does it require special care?
    • What is the best thing to do with a glopsnerch? What should one *never* do with a glopsnerch?
  2. Write a short description of the glopsnerch, using as many senses as appropriate.
  3. Write a bulleted detailed list of instructions to go with your glopsnerch. You must have at least 8 bullet points.
  4. Draw a picture of your glopsnerch. Include diagrams or illustrations for its use, if necessary.

This is due Tuesday when you come to class.

 

[NOTE: <<Weekend Warriors>> is my ongoing attempt to allow students to earn extra good grades during the school year. Sometimes students feel they can approach a teacher at the end of a marking period and ask for an extra credit assignment in order to boost a lagging grade, but I do not believe in miracle grades. Grades are earned by doing the assigned work well, when it is due. Nevertheless, the current school environment places teachers in the position of feeling that we should provide “grade recovery” opportunities. To this end, I am providing these creative writing opportunities every week so students who need a boost have “grade recovery” opportunities. I will not assign end-of-marking-period miracle assignments.

ALSO NOTE: These writing opportunities are also intended to be *fun* and to promote creative thinking, so anyone who wishes can participate. I look forward to seeing your creative minds at work.]

End of Week Two

On Monday and Tuesday this week, students were given a Guided Reading packet to lead them through the textbook reading about the first span of time our literature will cover (Juniors = Native American Myths to 1800; Seniors = 449 – 1485).

On Wednesday, we did a review of this material by using Kahoot. The winner in each class got a prize 🙂

On Thursday and Friday, I shared with classes the rubric for scoring essay writing at their level and then read their essays aloud (keeping the identities of the writers anonymous), discussing what made their writing strong or what needed they needed to work on to strengthen their essay skills. Students were encouraged to take notes.

[NOTE: Due to an assembly last week, English 3H did their diagnostic writing on Monday, their packets on Tuesday and Wednesday, then their Kahoot review on Thursday. I planned to review essays (as discussed above) on Friday, but because this class’s diagnostic writing dealt with more personal topics than the other classes’, I asked if anyone specifically did *not* want their essays read aloud and a significant number of students raised their hands. Therefore, we did not get to engage in the writing review/critique session I had hoped for.

Similarly,  because I was pulled away to a meeting on Wednesday, 2nd period English 3R did a textbook activity on Wednesday and had their Kahoot review on Thursday. We read aloud and discussed essays (as discussed above) on Friday.]

Next week, English 3R and English 3H will read and discuss William Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation.” English 4 will study three very early pieces of literature: “The Seafarer,” “The Wanderer,” and “The Wife’s Lament.”

On Friday, I sent out on REMIND a creative writing opportunity. Students who complete this writing activity at an acceptable level of proficiency will receive an easy-A for the assignment (which will help grades, of course). This assignment is due Monday when students come to class and can be either handwritten or typed. Those who wish may email their stories to me as an attached file (NOT as a shared file): richard.stanton@polk-fl.net

BEHAVIOR NOTE: I have been liberal in allowing students to listen to their music as they work on their own assignments (essays, packets, etc.), but I will not allow electronic devices to be in use while I am directly instructing my class. Students are given fair warning of this, yet some insist on violating my professional directive; these students cannot be allowed to openly disregard my policies, and I doubt anyone can satisfactorily explain why a student would need to use their device rather than listen to my instruction. I am being patient, but unfortunately this merely leads some individuals to believe they can oppose me without recourse. Such behavior is not only disrespectful to me but is also disruptive to their learning and – moreover, more than anything – disruptive to the learning of others in my classroom. I will *not* allow this to continue, and I am sure I can count on parental support if/when I am forced to call/email because of this poor decision. I hope my clear statements in class as well as this very politely-worded note will prevent future occurrences.

Please let me know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions either by commenting below or by sending me an email.

 

Weekend Warriors – English 4

Write a short story about A TIME TRAVELER using (and underlining) the following words:

  • exile
  • feudal
  • geography
  • inheritance
  • legend
  • pilgrimage
  • sociologist
  • traditional
  • turbulent

[NOTE: These words were the “Essential Vocabulary” from pages 6 – 13 in the literature book, which you read at the beginning of the week.]

This is an optional assignment – worth points, of course – and is due Monday when you come to class. Your story may be shared with others, so do work that you are proud of. Be creative and have fun!

[ANOTHER NOTE: If I do not feel your work is sufficient to be worth the points I am offering, I will not award those points. This is an opportunity to help your grade, and I hope you will taje advantage of this creative writing opportunity.]

Helpful Link? — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0HEqI3pJIM