How It All Ends

Changes … always keeping  up with all the changes.

After direction from and discussion with certain high-powered individuals, I am making the following changes to end our school year together:

  • Due Friday (tomorrow): Questions about “Harrison Bergeron,” on Google Classroom.
  • Be sure to check in for your attendance on Google Classroom between Friday (tomorrow) and next Wednesday, May 20.
  • Due by next Friday (5/22): The <Commonly Confused Words> assignment from NoRedInk. Ten percent (10%) extra credit will be applied to the grade of those students who complete all the assignments by Wednesday, May 20, at noon.
  • Due by Friday (5/22): An *optional* multi-paragraph essay, for which further directions will be given on Monday. If you choose *not* to write the essay, no problem. If you choose *to* write the essay, you’ll get the points available (which I am doubling, to 50).

There will be no end-of-semester exam. Nope, nada, nothing.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am available through Remind, email, and Google Voice (and, upon advance request, I will make myself available through Google Meet).

 

This Week

Happy Monday!

Be sure to click in for your ATTENDANCE on Google Classroom before Wednesday at noon.

By now you should have signed up at NoRedInk.com so you can complete the Commonly Confused Words activities I have assigned. They will be due May 22. (If you haven’t signed up, check the Stream on Google Classroom for your class code and directions.)

I have uploaded the files you will need for this week’s short story, “Harrison Bergeron,” to Google Classroom. These questions are due this Friday, May 15. Please be sure your answers are clear, concise, and correct. I *want* to give you these points but cannot do so if you do not do your part.

Next week, you will finish your Commonly Confused Words activities on NoRedInk.com and write a multi-paragraph essay using Google Classroom. The week after (unless I hear differently), you will take a test that will cover the content covered in this class since January (i.e. Fahrenheit 451, Romeo and Juliet, Commonly Confused Words, literary terms, drama terms — all things you should know if you’ve been doing the work, I promise.)

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am available through Remind, email, and Google Voice (and, upon advance request, make myself available through Google Meet).

 

Finish Line In Sight

Although things are certainly subject to change, this is how I believe we will be ending the school year for our class.

May 4 – May 8:

  • Read Act V of Romeo and Juliet, and complete the Guided Reading Questions on Google Classroom — 25 points
  • Take the Act V test on Friday — 50 points
  • Sign up for No Red Ink (directions are on Google Classroom, where you sign up for Attendance) — 10 points, for signing up by Friday, May 8.

May 11 – May 15:

  • Read “Harrison Bergeron” and answer Guided Reading Questions (on Google Classroom) — 25 points
  • Work on Commonly Confused Words activities on No Red Ink — 100 points, due on May 22

May 18 – May 22:

  • Write an essay (topic to be revealed on Google Classroom 5/18) — 25 points
  • Complete Commonly Confused Words activities on No Red Ink by May 22 — 100 points

May 26 – May 29:

  • I am awaiting more specific information from the school, but I assume we will use this week to take an end-of-course exam

 

NoRedInk is a great program for fine-tuning your skills as a writer. I will be using this site extensively in future years, I think, but for our purposes I’m merely assigning you the sections on Commonly Confused Words. (Those of you who have expressed a desire to increase your language and grammar skills are more than welcome to go further into this site, but all I will be grading is the Commonly Confused Words sections I have assigned.) 

I’m going to make this site available to you immediately, once you sign up for the site and enter our class code (which is now in the directions on Google Classroom). Officially, however, I am not assigning you this work until May 11, and all of the work is due on May 22.

That’s two weeks of school time to complete the activities (for what might be three days of actual in-class activity).  Work at your own pace, and be sure that you finish on time so that I can award you the points I am offering.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

English Expectations

Just about everybody is up to speed technologically now, understanding how we do things for English I and English I Honors during this period of isolation. I thought it would be a good idea to restate how we’re doing business, including any changes.
  • All assignments go through Google Classroom.
  • Click the Attendance button on Google Classroom between Monday and Wednesday. I have to mark official attendance with the school early Thursday and contact parents of students who have not yet checked in with me.
  • On Mondays, I post Guided Reading Questions for an Act of Romeo and Juliet. These GRQs are due on Friday. We finished Act II this week and will start Act III next Monday. (You can get links to the play, the audio of the play, and the No Fear version if you CLICK HERE.)
  • I will offer whatever support you will allow me on Mondays through Thursdays. I will open a Google Meet video conference once a day (see below), and we can talk about the plot and characters and language; we can read the play (or portions of the play) together; we can discuss the GRQs — if you ask for my help, I’m going to do all I can for you. You can also contact me through Google Voice (813-603-6607), Remind, or email.
  • On Friday morning, I post a test for the Act we just read. Complete in before 6 p.m. and Submit it through Google Classroom for scoring. I will release the scores once the testing window has ended and I have had time to do whatever I might need to do on my end.

NOTE: Schedule Change — When we first started out and I thought about the idea of having three separate videoconferences per day, I thought I would probably have 10 to 15 people per meeting. Shakespeare is not easy, and I thought people would seek out my assistance. I didn’t want to make mandatory videoconferences, as some other teachers are doing, because I was trying to be respectful of your time and needs. Nevertheless, the biggest number of people I’ve had in any videoconference so far has been four, and that was just the first day. Since then, I do not think I have had more than three at any one session, and quite often I have had zero.

Therefore, effective Monday, I’m going to open Google Meet sessions at the following times:

            • Mondays: 10 a.m.
            • Tuesdays: 1 p.m.
            • Wednesday: 6 p.m.
            • Thursdays: 6 p.m.

If no one is in a Meet session for 15 consecutive minutes, I reserve the right to exit that Meet.  I will still be available by email, Remind, and Google Voice (see above), and I can make myself available for a Meet upon request.

And as always, if you have questions about anything, communicate with me and I will try to help.

*I* Think This Is a Good Idea …

So, this is my suggestion. *I* think it’s a good idea, but take it or leave it — it’s up to you.

How about if every evening, from 6-7, we meet in a Meet to do what we’d do if we were still physically in the classroom? That is, have student-readers select roles and work our way through the scenes. I’d be there to assist with pronunciations and meaning, and we could have whatever discussions you’d like. Completely student-driven, with me as a support person. Sound worth your time?

If we do this, I’d suggest we do Scenes 1 and 2 tonight … Scenes 3 and 4 tomorrow … Scenes 5 and 6 Wednesday. We’ll save Thursday for a review session before Friday’s test. I don’t care if I have to stay a little after 7, and you know I’d love (a) to see you and (b) to help as much as I can.

And it’s not required. Just something extra I can do to help you. If you’re interested in reading, try to swing in about 5:45 so we can choose roles. And you won’t *have* to read just because you’re there.

If you show up at or after 6, please mute your microphone upon entering the room.

I hope to see you there!

Last Meet Before the Test

Tonight is the last Meet before the test for Act I. I would be glad to help you figure out the answers to any questions or help you understand anything that is confusing you. I’m here for you; all you need to do is show up and ask me for help.

After that Meet is over, I will be posting the test over Act I on Google Classroom. You will have until noon Monday to take it and to submit your answers. I will not be able to answer text-related questions during that time.

On Monday morning, I will upload the questions for Act II. My suggestion is still that you listen as you read the play, and that you read the act at least twice. Some people have found a video to watch — that does not bother me in the least, but be aware that the test is derived from the text, not the video.

Anyhow, I hope to see you tonight so I can offer assistance. I hope your first week of Virtual Learning has been beneficial 🙂

Questions That Have Arisen

ISSUE #1 – ATTENDANCE

Please go to Google Classroom to sign in for your attendance between now and Wednesday evening. You will also see your current assignment there. Be sure to start on this early rather than waiting until late.

ISSUE #2 – ASSIGNMENTS

While reading Romeo and Juliet, I will be assigning you Guided Reading Questions each Monday. You will have all week to read (and, I hope, listen to) the play. One Act per week.

I will be available for video conferencing every day. During those times, I will help as much as I am able. If you ask me to explain a scene or a monologue, I will. If you want to talk about character motivations, we can do that. If you’re confused by the language, I can try to help with that.

You will have a test each Friday over the Act you were to have read. As always, it will not be an “easy” quiz, so you will feel rewarded for the amount of effort you have put forth. At the same time, you will be able to use your book and GRQs as you take the test, so you should be fine.

ISSUE #3 – EASTER WEEKEND

I forgot that Friday was a school holiday, so it would seem wrong to schedule the test for Act I to occur then. Instead, for this test, I will post it to Google Classroom on Thursday evening (4/9) and make it due Monday afternoon. I will upload the Guided Reading Questions for Act II on Monday morning and will accept your Act I GRQs until then. (I know most of you are already finished with those – well done! I just want to be sure I am taking care of those with other plans for this holiday weekend.)

ISSUE #4 – VIDEO CONFERENCING

I just wanted to say thank you to those of you have come to one or more of the video conferences this past week — some to ask questions, some to read through passages of R&J, and a few just to hang out for a bit and be social. I value you and appreciate you allowing me to assist you however I can. If you don’t choose to come to a video conference, that is you prerogative, but please know that I LIKE TO SEE YOU AN TO HELP!!!

ISSUE #5: THE TEST

The test over Act I has twenty multiple choice questions and two questions that will require written responses. I encourage you to LISTEN to the performance either before, after, during your reading — or all three! As with all things (and especially with Shakespeare), the more you practice, the better you’ll get.

ISSUE #6 – FAHRENHEIT 451

The questions on Google Classroom for Part Three of Fahrenheit 451 are optional, and for extra credit. I would like to think that you were inspired to complete reading a novel, and if so I would like to be to reward you for your efforts. If not, however, I can respect that as well. Pay attention to the due date on that assignment, if you’re planning to do it.

ISSUE #7 – SYNTHESIS ESSAY

The Synthesis Essay, as far as I’m concerned, is unwritable at this point. I said this before, in the original post, but I would’ve needed that entire week before Spring Break in order to properly instruct you on how to write such a massive essay (literally, it would have been at least 2000 words). Not having that time, not having direct face-to-face instruction, and not expecting you to be able to remember several of the deeper aspects of the novel that we had been reading, I don’t think it fair to expect that essay of you. If you wish to take a crack at it, be my guest — directions are on Google Classroom.

ISSUE #8 – COMMUNICATION

If you have any questions whatsoever, make it your business to ask me. I think that I’m doing a wonderful job keeping in communication with everyone and providing clear instructions. If you do not understand something, please take it upon yourself to send me a text message using Remind or an email or a note on Google Classroom –- whatever it takes so that I know you have something that I can help with. I’m here for you, but I won’t know you need help unless you let me know.

Working with Google Classroom

These are meant to be helpful directions as you complete the Intro to Drama assignment.

Intro to Drama

To COPY the questions, use your mouse to select the text you want. Hit Ctrl-C to copy.

On the right, click + Add or Create. When you do, you will see several options. Select Docs under Create New. You will see a document being created on the top right. When it is done, click to open your Word Processing document. Hit Ctrl-V to PASTE.

Now you have the questions in a Word Processing area, like this:

WP

 

You can type directly on the page as is, just providing spaces between the questions where you can type your responses. Be sure your answers are clear and correct.

When you’re finished, click TURN IN (in the upper-righthand corner) and I will know you are finished with this assignment.

See me in one of our interactive video meetings if you have questions 🙂

I Need to Hear from You

You are reading this because I sent you an email or a text message. If you are reading this and did NOT get an email or text message from me, this information does not necessarily apply to you.

Over the past week, I have been trying to contact each student using Remind and Google Classroom. At this point, I have not heard from your child and must do so before noon today (04-02-20), or I must mark them absent.

If your child needs to sign up for the Remind service for this class, please have them GO TO THIS PAGE and follow the directions. I recommend that parents also sign up for the Remind service for this class, so you can provide support to your child and so you can contact me easily.

Students should also sign into Google Classroom; there is an assignment there for them to complete so that I can have proof of their “attendance” and determine who does and does not have access to the literature book online. I have also posted their first “real”assignment, which should be completed today or tomorrow.

Here are some other posts from the past several days you might find informative:

Working With Google Classroom

What’s Coming

Clarifications

Midweek Reminders

Moving to Virtual Learning

What We Know Now

Contact Info

Please send me any questions, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

 

NaPoWriMo

NaPoWriMo is National Poetry Writing Month, and it happens every year between April 1 and April 30. The goal of NaPoWriMo is to encourage people to write a poem a day, every day, in April. That’s it.  That’s all there is to it. Every day,  carve out a niche of time and write an original poem.

This is not a school assignment; it is an opportunity for personal growth. Think of how you will grow as a person — as a thinker, a writer, a social critic, a subjective historian, a human being, a survivor — if you take the time to write just one poem a day.

It doesn’t even have to be a *good* poem. The idea is to start and/or to keep writing. If you write 30 bad poems, at least you wrote 30 poems. And if just 10% of them are good, that’s 3 good poems — nothing wrong with that!

So who am I in all this? Let’s start by telling who I’m *not.* I’m not going to grade your poems. I’m not going to tell you whether they’re good or bad. I’m not going to require a word count or a line count or anything like that. Forget about me — the only person who matters in all this is you.

Then who am I? I am a fellow poet. I will be writing a poem a day, every day, in April. Just like you. That’s it; that’s all there is.

Because I am your mentor, though, I am going to provide encouragement and guidance and positivity. So every day, I will post some sort of prompt — maybe a word, maybe a quote, maybe a poetic form to play with (such as rondelle, ghazal, villanelle, etc.), maybe just an idea. You don’t have to do any of these if you don’t want to — just write a poem a day.

I have started a Google Classroom just for those of you who want to sign up for it. Signing up doesn’t commit you to anything; I just don’t want to clutter up this website with things many people won’t care about. Maybe once a week I’ll open a Google Meet just for us, to share our poems (if we choose) and talk about the experience and encourage one another. The Google Classroom code is kto5n5g.

I hope you’ll do this; I really do. I  think it’s a valuable experience, and I hope you do too.