29 September 2008

Examining your classmates' short story wiki pages

This response is due before class starts Thursday, Oct. 2

We've all had a chance to work on our short story pages on the classroom wiki. If you haven't done so, you should have information about three short stories on your page.

For this assignment, you are required to look at several of the pages compiled by your classmates, either in your class or a different period. You can view them all by clicking this link. View several of them and then decide who has posted the best symbolic picture on their page. In the comment section on THIS page, answer the following:

Who posted the picture that provided the best symbolic image from a short story? What made the picture so interesting and appropriate for the story? How does it help us understand important ideas from the story? Paste the address of the student wiki page you examined.

24 September 2008

Who made a tougher decision?

This response is due before class starts Friday, Sept. 26

We've read about Jerry's swim through the tunnel, Millicent's personal initiation, and Michael's moustache.

The question for today is this: Which of the three characters do you respect the most for what they did? Select one of the characters and explain your decision using references to specific events in the short story.

21 September 2008

Blog assignment: Update your wiki page

The assignment described below is due before class starts on Tuesday, Sept. 23

We have begun creating short story resource pages on the class wiki site, which is at http://millersenglish.pbwiki.com.

So far, you've begun posting information about the story "Through the Tunnel." To satisfy the homework requirements for this blog posting, you must complete your entry on "Through the Tunnel." That means you must have the following on your individual page:
  • Title and author of the story
  • An insightful passage from the story
  • A several sentence response written by you about why you chose the passage you did
  • A picture or image related to a theme or idea in the story
  • A several sentence response written by you about why you chose the picture you did
Reminder: Go the main wiki page here. Once at the main page, find your individual page in the folder titled 'short story pages.' The folders are listed to the right on the main page. Open the folder and find your page. Remember, you need your username and password to edit the page.

14 September 2008

Jerry, his swim through the tunnel, and us...

This response is due before class starts on Sept. 17, 2008

In the short story "Through the Tunnel," Jerry makes a treacherous swim through an underwater tunnel. It was not an easy accomplishment, but at the end of the story, Jerry is changed by his experiences. Although he is 11 years old in the story, we all can share in his ordeal.

In what way can you relate to Jerry? How are his experiences like some that you've had? What is it that makes Jerry similar to you or to typical teenagers?

Look to go beyond the purely literal in your answer. Don't just view his swim through the tunnel on a literal level. Think about what it can represent as a part of his growing up process.

photo credit: boy swimming in the big blue ocean by NanakofiAcquah on Flickr

09 September 2008

Using participles to write descriptive sentences

In class, we've begun studying the use of participles and participle phrases to help us write more descriptive, evocative sentences. You will also need to do this as part of the Vivid Vignette assignment.

As a way to practice, I'd like you to share an example of a sentence that includes a participle or participle phrase in it. Post your sentence in the comment section. I have posted the first one in the comments as a model ...

Here are the definitions to remind you:

Participle: An -ing word tagged onto the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence

Participle phrase: An -ing phrase tagged onto the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence

If you need help writing a grammatically correct sentence, refer to the following resource page to review the notes and definitions that we have used in class. And remember, if it is a participle or participle phrase, you will need commas to set it off from the base sentence.

02 September 2008

What do we need to learn about using computers?

Hello English 10 students.

Throughout the school year, you will be using this site to review information, share ideas, and complete assignments. To help make that work in class, we also will be regularly using a class set of laptops. It is my hope that by using these computers, the educational experience in English 10 will be broadened.

However, not everyone has shared the same positive experiences when it comes to using laptops. We've read about one school, in Liverpool, N.Y., which has decided to scrap its initiative to issue laptops to all students. The plan, the school officials say, did not lead to improved learning. Here is the link to that article for your reference. The publicity about what happend in Liverpool 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 the laptops and computers in class. 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. Sign your first name (no last names) and class period after your posting.

photo credit: NY Times, published May 4, 2007