September 28

ELA 30: Sept 28 Continue reading “Cross Country Tour” chapter… videos of Canadian culture…

  1. We began class with an essay writing contest that students are elligible to apply for. The first prize is $1000 with the same amount being awarded to the school library. The essay question is whether or not students feel the legal system still has fair and equal practices of whether they believe that is a thing of the past.
  2. We continued with our reading, which detailed in the Ferguson way, the provinces in the west and north. This passage was as equally entertaining as the first.
  3. Once finished reading, with little time left, we watched a few Canadian culture videos on the laptop. (See below.) The students were especially impressed or surprised by Rick Mercer’s video, Talking To Americans, where he asks American people ridiculous questions and shows their poor knowledge of Canadian topics. An example being when he was able to convince them that our national parliament building, made out of ice, was melting because of global warming so Canada was petitioning to build a giant protective dome over the igloo. Americans believed this!
    It was a fun class and they enjoyed both the reading and videos quite a bit.

Here is the link to the youtube clip of the Talking To America video.

Continue reading

Category: ELA 30 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 27

ELA 10: Sept 27 Oral presentations of essays…

  1. Some students were confused about which assignments were due for today. Those who were not prepared will present their essays on Monday, our next class.
  2. The presentations were very impressive. It seemed that they were somewhat rehersed and care was taken with clearly pronouncing and speaking at an appropriate pace. Good job, class.

Brian suddenly turned “homey” on us, which caused quite a turn of laughter, when he mispronounced the word “four” as “fo”. It didn’t take long for his friends to give him a bit of a hard time over it. He recovered nicely though.

Category: ELA 10 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 26

ELA 30: Sept 26 Canada’s vast and varied reality… (a new sub-unit)

  1. We were not able to have computer time today for students to work more on their multi-media projects. Instead, we moved on to review what we have discovered of Canada so far and to consider how it is we are a unified nation when there are so many differences between the people living here.
  2. Students were given a handout from a popular book written by an author with a quirky and odd style of writing. His book, How to be a Canadian, chronicles the ‘need to know’ realities of our varied Canadian regions. When read aloud, it was very humorous and the students had to pause to stop from laughing before we could continue. Yes, literature about Canada can be entertaining and interesting!
  3. We will not have class again until Friday. We will continue then.
Category: ELA 30 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 26

ELA 10: Sept 26 viewing a portion of the movie The Number 23…

  1. Students this afternoon had a guest speaker and were only able to return to class for the last portion of time. Instead of beginning our next project, which we will not be able to continue until Monday, we began watching the movie The Number 23, which students saw a glimpse of yesterday. Through their viewing today, they were able to understand the general idea of the movie, that the number 23 plagues people and can be found in nearly everything. A person’s paranoia and how far they take this odd reality can, like anything, really drive them to extremes.
  2. The students had a great time calculating their own examles of 23 in their lives. It was entertaining.

Here is what Jim Carey had to say about why he chose to do the movie…

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Category: ELA 10 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 25

ELA 10: Sept 25 The Father of Horror… a poem from his imagination…

  1. We started the class discussing an activity we began a few weeks ago where students were attempting to write three paragraphs about the same topic but using very different tones.  They have an assignment sheet they were given and this activity will now be due next Thursday, typed. An example was done on the board so students should be quite clear of what exactly is expected.
  2. Next, we watched a dream sequence from the recent thriller movie The Number 23 staring Jim Carey. We discussed the existence of horror movies and how they originated from one man’s initial work, Edgar Allen Poe.
  3. Students were given a copy of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a short story written by Poe. We gathered around the laptop and watched and read along as Vincent Price, a very famous villainous actor, recited and acted the story by memory. He did a wonderful job!
  4. We discussed when it was that the story was originally written and how, at the time, it would have been a new type of genre. These kids are used to horror and scary movies but we discussed how, ages ago, these ideas would  have been original and any type of horror movie, as laughable and unimpressive as it is now, would have been scary enough at the time.
  5. We watched an animated version of “The Tell-Tale Heart” and then watched a stop animation video by Tim Burton about a little boy who reads Poe and then believes he Is Poe. It’s a great rhyming poem. See what you think?

    [kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This video is narrated by Vincent Price, an actor who is well known for his horror story parts.  

Category: ELA 10 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 25

ELA 20: Sept 25 Poems about parents who push their kids… (none of your parents are like this though!)

  1. We discussed all the things parents have made us do in our childhood that we maybe didn’t want to do at the time. When guests would come over, one person said their parents would make them dress alike and sing for them. Piano lessons seem to be a common issue, too, where practicing and recitals were something more desired by the parents than the students.
  2. We watched a short portion of a video clip about a comedian who was sharing how his parents used to make him breakdance in front of their friends. He wasn’t impressed at having to do this. The students laughed and related and this set the tone for the poem we were about to discuss.
  3. “The Piano” is a poem about a small boy who’s parents ask him to play for their guests but no one listens, until a false note is played. The first line of the poem, “I sit on the edge…” is a compelling opening statement. We discussed the poem in detail and answered questions.
  4. Students had some class time to work on their “Should Have Been…” poem as well at the end of class.
Category: ELA 20 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 25

ELA 30: Sept 25 Pc time to work on multi-media project…

  1. I am glad to see that people are well on their way with their projects. Those who were not using computers for their work brought with them what was necessary and worked in the room.
  2. We will not have another pc period for a while, we are unable to get in to free time in the room, so we will be moving on with the rest of our unit and come back to this project a few more times in the next week.
  3. The due date for the assignment and oral presentation is going to be three weeks from now. We will pick a specific deadline soon.
Category: ELA 30 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 24

ELA 20: Sept 24 Common errors in essays / Comma usage / “Should’ve Been…” poetry writing…

  1. Students did a great job with their reflective essays recently completed. We reviewed with a handout, though, some of the more common errors made with essay writing in the Sr. English classes. Many of the errors were not ones I found in their essays but reminders are always helpful.
  2. We, next, looked at a review of comma usage and when and where it applies. Some of it seemed to be review for them as well and they seemed to understand carefully the examples given. It will come in handy soon when we do a paragraph writing assignment designed to incorporate the eight types of comma usage that we covered today.
  3. Once that was out of the way, we moved on to their next assignment. They are to write a poem that comes with a set structure.  They are to choose a certain role of something related to childhood. It can be a parent, sports player, sister, student, etc. In the first four stanzas, they are to describe the ideals of that role, the ideal look, skills they would have, actions they would take, and thoughts they would have. In the final stanza, though, the tone changes when they describe the reality of that role, no longer what the ideal example of that role would be. If done carefully, they can create some really moving poems.
  4. Several examples were read to them of poems written by my students from last year. Three or four poems should be enough guidance to help clarify what is asked of the assignment and its focus; the final stanza’s tone should really turn the poem around. This poem, the class decided, will be due next Monday, October 1.
Category: ELA 20 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 24

ELA 30: Sept 24 Pc time for research / poetry analysis in classroom…

  1. Students had two classes today. One of those classes was used in the computer room and the second was in the English classroom. Most of the students showed a good use of their time.
  2. They should be comfortable by now with their choice of poem. (No one should be starting over at this point.) I’ve heard some great ideas coming from the kids and they seem to be enjoying the process.
  3. We were unable to book the pc room for the second class, so students worked in the classroom on the written portion of the assignment. They will have to orally present an analysis of their poem to the class at the time of their mult-media presentation. They used this class to look deeper into the poem they are working with to find its true meaning, forms of figurative language that are most effective and such things. (They have a list of six areas they need to consider for their evaluation.)
  4. We will set the due date for this project for three weeks away (mid October). There may be a few classes scattered here and there for them to work on this. However, I made it clear that class time will only be given as much as they show me they need it. If little work is being completed, my understanding, then, will be that they are ready and capable on their own time and we will only continue to move forward through the unit. They really control the speed we go.

PS: I was so excited about the potential of their multi-media assignment so I’ve started a project of my own! I’m looking forward to sharing it with the class when they present their own. We’ll see if I am as creative as they seem to be!

Category: ELA 30 | LEAVE A COMMENT
September 24

ELA 10: Sept 24 Final pc period for essay writing and research…

  1. Students were given handouts today that detail the specifics of the essay they are writing. They will have to orally present their essay in front of their peers for the second portion of the assignment. They were given rubrics in advance so they can know exactly how they will be evaluated.
  2. We moved to the pc room again for them to get the final bits of information they need to make a convincing argument in their ‘for’ and ‘against’ paragraphs. Some of them have been typing their essays out already as well, so they are well on their way to being complete.
  3. These essays will be due on Thursday and we will use part of their first period class, Math 10, so they can all get through their speeches in one day.
Category: ELA 10 | LEAVE A COMMENT