December 17

ELA 20: Dec 17 Review / discussion qualities of Mr. Hundert…

  1. We had a very small class today, but finished watching the last five or so minutes of the film. Students were asked to write their immediate responses down on paper after having seen the whole film. The majority of comments were positive.
  2. We compiled a list of the qualities or characteristics Mr. Hundert (the teacher in the film) exhibited. The discussion was fairly good with consideration whether he deserved some qualities because of slight infractions, like giving away Martin Blythe’s spot in the competition.
    We also talked about the background of the two boys, Martin and Sedgwick, and whether it seemed they were equally supported by parents. Sedgewick’s father gave little to his son in the way of encouragement, but instead gave only pressure. It seemed to make sense, then, that Mr. Hundert recognizes the potential Sedgewick shows and decides to give him the spot, believing that Martin would not be damaged by the loss of the position. We agreed with the decision, for the most part.
  3. We discussed and wrote out the “perspective” of the Mr. Hundert, Sedgewick, and also the other boys. While Mr. Hundert may have believed he failed Sedgewick in the end, and Sedgewick as an adult unfortunately does not recognize or value Mr. Hundert’s influence, it is clear the other boys from the class held him in high esteem and his contribution was great. I shared with students my own experience with teachers making a contribution in my life and my aim (hope) to do the same for at least a few in my career.
  4. I read out to the students here an “introduction” that a student wrote for me during a farewell party the class had planned. It was nearly a year ago in Goodsoil where my homeroom class, the Grade tens, surprised me with one boy having even written out this introduction. I kept the paper it was written on, as tattered and crumpled as it was. It meant a lot to me. The students here now have the assignment of writing an Introduction for Mr. Hundert. They are to imagine he is coming to our school to speak to our class, his topic something along the lines of our unit on Perspectives or Anticipation, and they have to orally give a two minute minimum introduction to him. (The specifics are detailed in the PDF of the notes. I cannot get it to upload into this blog but will give a copy to students who were missing when they return.)
  5. Tomorrow, they will have a short figurative language quiz and some time to work on the introduction speech.
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December 16

ELA 20: Dec 16 Second half of film viewing…

  1. This was the first day back this week, as Monday was a snow day. Students were reminded that the deadline for last week’s essay was Friday. We discussed the new essay topic, but I relented and said if the essays were handed in by the afternoon, I would accept them. It NEEDS to be completed by the holidays, this Friday!
  2. Students watched the second half of the movie. I think, because it is about students and teachers, it is a film they can relate to very well, whether they’re willing to discuss it or not.
  3. The very last part of the film that we watched is the climax moment of the plot – when Mr. Hundert confronts Sedgewick as an adult about the realization that he is still a cheat. It is a strong scene. Have a look in the video attached.


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December 12

ELA 20: Dec 12 Summary of Perspectives / Passages sub-unit… movie viewing…

  1. I reminded students that their essays were due by the end of the day, the length of their extension. Any essays not handed in will no longer be accepted and their essay topic will change.
  2. We looked at the “bigger picture” of the unit to see how it all pieces together. I focused on the definitions and meaning of both the words “Perspectives” and “Passages”. Then we reviewed the literature we’ve studied to see the theme they all have in common – young people struggling through attaining independence and navigating their way while the adults in their lives stand nearby wanting to help, able to help, but are restricted by that exact independence being tested by the youth.
  3. We watched the first part of a wonderful movie that directly speaks to our overall unit of “Anticipation” and specifically looks at perspectives and passages. Here is a link to a summary of the movie’s plot.
  4. Here’s a link to a video of the beginning of the film. It’s such a great movie!
December 11

ELA 20: Dec 11 Two poems from parent perspectives…

  1. We started the class with a quick review of the figurative language used in poetry. Students wrote a copy of the same notes in their books along with the examples for each.
  2. Then we looked, again, at the poem we started yesterday. They were reminded that, when reading poetry, your best practice is to read through the poem entirely twice, then paraphrase each stanza (break the poem apart into pieces and gain a firm understanding bit by bit), and then look at the whole again to see it more clearly.
  3. I underlined portions of this poem and asked students, individually, to consider each of the phrase and write on their page the significance or true meaning behind the phrase. Then we discussed these all.
  4. I showed them a picture of a former student of mine to help them understand a line from the poem. The father looked in the yearbook and saw a “sullen face [he] didn’t recognize”. The idea that a parent wouldn’t recognize their child’s yearbook picture doesn’t make sense. The reality, though, is that the father didn’t recognize the person that son was becoming. As their children grow up, they become so much their own person that parents, at times, can’t seem to connect or understand them anymore.
  5. We did a quick read through of the next poem and students said they recognized it. They wrote the transitions from the poem on their own page and then were dismissed for the day. We’ll look at the questions for both poems tomorrow and move on to our next assignment soon.
  6. To remind, as well: any late essays will be accepted until this Friday after which the topic will be switched and they will have to begin again.
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December 11

ELA 20: Dec 10 “The Broken Globe” discussions / questions…

  1. We finished reading through the story together and students did a “free write” for three minutes, just writing a personal response to one of four prompts offered as a reflection of the story.
  2. We discussed the questions, with everyone adding a contribution to our answers. We talked about the comparison of the father in this story to yesterday’s “Goalie” parent who felt helpless to do more to connect with his son.
  3. We read through the first of two poems we will be looking at. It was a quick read through but also follows the same line of thinking that young people can “anticipate” growing more independent and apart from their parents. This literature just gives a perspective from the parent’s point of view on that same stage of their child’s life.


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December 9

ELA 20: Dec 9 “Goalie” discussion / questions…

  1. Students were reminded today that their Character Analysis essays were due today. I will accept them until Friday and then I will change the essay topic and anyone late will have to start their essay from scratch.
  2. We have a small class for a few days (five or six students) so I encouraged those here that they’re going to have to really pick up the slack in our discussion! We talked about their first impressions from reading the short story “Goalie” and any comments. Then we looked at the questions and they each carefully and thoughtfully added to each other’s responses. There is a PDF file attached of our written answers to the questions.
  3. We talked about the theme and the realization that parents can feel at a loss or helpless when they recognize significant changes in their children but are unable to do anything for them. The father in this story, “Goalie” admires his son’s growing independence but feels sad that he is no longer able to protect his son (literally and physically as well as figuratively speaking). I shared a few examples of occasions I’ve had with my own parents where I scolded them for their actions, which seems contrary to the way a parent-child relationship should be. The reality is, though, that all people can “Anticipate” going through the same stages where your relationship with adults in general begins to change. No longer do you have to assume that the adults are always correct, but you can begin to make your own moral / ethical / personal decisions for yourself and accept your own consequences.
  4. We started reading aloud together the short story titled “The Broken Globe”. There is a definitive writing style in this particular story through the author’s use of dialogue. It is clear to understand the characterization of the older man / father through his broken use of English. It’s also a story that creates a great deal of tension towards the climax and also includes excellent examples of symbolism, which we’ll discuss soon. I asked students to have the rest of the story read for our class tomorrow. (There are only a few paragraphs left on the final page to read.)


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December 8

ELA 20: Dec 8 Anticipation Unit begins…

  1. Students were given back the TKAM final exams they wrote on Friday. They did very well on the questions. I also added the marks from any other assignments past due that were handed in, so students were given their mark as it currently stands.
  2. We began the second half of the unit and looked through the literature sources we will study in it. Like the previous unit’s content list, this sheet also listed the specific assignments they will have as well, so they have a good idea of what to expect for the last four weeks of the course.
    On a side note, the novel study from the first part of the unit took quite a bit more time to read than I had planned for, so the units are obviously not well-balanced, but we are not studying another novel in the second unit so we should be able to discuss the topics / content in detail in a much shorter amount of time.
  3. We talked about the idea of Anticipation, the reality that we all have events we are certain to encounter in our future that are like a “right of passage” and things we all experience. Events such as falling in love for the first time, the first major disappointment in your professional career, the first time you do something you truely regret, or getting married. These are events that all young people can expect to encounter in their near or far future. It’s looking to that future that is the purpose of this second part of the unit.
  4. Students had to brainstorm a list of 20 things they Anticipate in their future. Once this was done, they had a story titled “Goalie” to read independently and answer a few questions on the handout. We’ll discuss the story and questions tomorrow.
  5. Their Character Analysis essay is due tomorrow, as well. I reminded them today and mentioned that they should be ready to hand in the essay since they had been preparing for the essay for several weeks (as we finished reading the novel) and they were given Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to work on it during class time. I’ll accept late essays until this Friday, but after that point I will change the essay topic and anyone who hasn’t handed it in yet will have to begin their essay again from the beginning.
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December 3

ELA 20: Dec 3 Essay writing class…

  1. I was away today but left strict instructions and even had a heart-to-heart to one particular student and tried to emphasize the value of the time given to work on developing these essays. I’m hoping, when I return tomorrow, that I’ll find substantially well-developed essays.
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December 3

Visual Arts 20: Online assignment today…. yay!

  1. Hey, class! Welcome to the PC Lab and your online assignment for the day. I’m sure it’s been mentioned to you before settling in your seat, but you’re restricted from using any YouTube videos today, although for this assignment I know there are some useful videos to watch. We’ll get to that tomorrow, together, but for today just focus on your task without the use of that famous resource.
  2. There is a powerpoint attached. In it, it gives an overview for our next type of art. Read through it carefully, focusing on the art terms used. If you forget the meaning of some of these, you can refer to your notes in your binder or check for a definition online.
  3. Once you’ve gone through the powerpoint, there is an assignment task on the second last page of the slideshow. Do this work carefully, not skipping ahead to the final task. You may be evaluated tomorrow by the degree to which you can respond to questions from me regarding what you’ve discovered in your time today. Have fun!!
  4. It also asks you to come prepared with some tools tomorrow. Bring what you can from home, but we may have a day or two before we really get into it.
  5. Email me your findings and responses to the questions at