17 September 2007

Finalizing our F14 laptop policy

This assignment is due Monday, Sept. 24 before class starts.

Earlier this month, all of you contributed ideas about how we should best utilize our laptops in F14. I've had a chance to read your responses, and now I want you to take a second look at what your classmates wrote.

Begin by reading through your classmates' comments from Getting Started with Classroom Laptops. Our goal will be to generate a list of guidelines that will help make our use of laptops a rewarding experience. Your assignment is to select the best ideas from your classmates. Write your answer in the comment section of this posting, and please use the following guidelines.

  • First, complete this sentence stem. "I really liked the comment(s) from _________________ because... (Note at least two)"

  • Next, finish this sentence stem. "The following guidelines should become part of our Laptop Etiquette Policy in F14: (Suggest at least three)..."
Remember, no last names. Put your own first name, last initial, and class period on the posting to earn credit.

16 September 2007

Writing an impromptu essay

Our next unit is devoted to discussing several short stories, and during that time we will examine the difficulties faced by several of the characters in those stories. In several instances, those difficulties are caused by poor decisions made by the main character. It is something we can all relate to. Your first assignment, then, is to examine a decision from your own life which you regret. Read the following prompt and write a well-formed, thoughtful essay.

Each person has been in trouble at one time or another because he or she did something bad or said something wrong. Write a multi-paragraph essay describing an instance when you did something wrong you later regretted and the lesson you learned in the process.

Before writing, you should:

  • brainstorm your thoughts or create an idea web
  • Select a topic worthy of writing about
  • Sketch out a rough organization for your essay

The essay is due Tuesday, Sept. 18

To complete this writing assignment, open up a Microsoft Word document and write it there. You will be given class time, but will also likely need to work on it outside class. You will hand in an electronic copy of the assignment.

13 September 2007

New Vocabulary

The following ten (10) words have been assigned as vocabulary in connection with the unit on The Moustache. You can find definitions for all of them at Dictionary.com. You'll notice at that site that there are different definitions. Use the ones from the American Heritage Dictionary.

There will be a quiz on Sept. 21. Check the calendar to the right for the latest due dates.


Throughout the semester, all the vocabulary will be compiled in anticipation for the midterm, which will include all the words. You can find the cumulative list here.

06 September 2007

Crafting a Laptop Etiquette Policy

Complete this task after you have posted comments on how we should best use our laptops in this class.

As we finish up our responses to our Getting Started with Laptops topic, I'd like you to next read through your classmates comments. Our goal will be to generate a list of guidelines that will help make our use of laptops a rewarding experience in this class. Please open up a MS Word file and type notes for the following statements below as you read through the comments from your classmates. In additionn to our class, Ms. Baker's English 10 classes have also weighed in on the issue. Read their ideas here.

We will use what you write as part of a class discussion.

From your classmates' ideas, please suggest at least three guidelines that should become part of our Laptop Etiquite Policy in F14.

02 September 2007

Getting started with classroom laptops

As you may have noticed in the front of our classroom sits a big metal box. Inside are 25 laptops, purchased for use in this classroom. Having such technology at our fingertips provides a wonderful opportunity to utilize the latest technology as we learn 21st Century literacy skills and concepts.

However, it is more than simply putting laptops in a classroom. Some schools across the country who have experimented with laptops have reconsidered their decision. In Liverpool, N.Y., officials have decided to phase out the laptops in their school starting this year. Their decision made the front page of the New York Times in May. It also prompted many people in education to think harder about the best way to use laptops in the classroom. In response to Liverpool's decision, one educator criticized schools for giving up on technology so easily.

I want you to think about the issue and help us craft a set of classroom guidelines for the use of our laptops. Click on the two links from the above paragraph and read the first page of both articles. Then, as a writing assignment, make suggestions about what we can do in F14 to get the best use out of the laptops. How should we use them in class? What should we be using them to learn? What guidelines do we need? What would you suggest the teacher do to make the most out of the laptops?

Post your response in the comment section of the blog. Write your answer in a few paragraphs, using complete sentences and proper grammar. An honors-level answer will properly make reference to one of the articles. Sign your first name (no last names) and class period after your posting.