Get Your Read On--9th Reading

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Syllabus Update the Last

A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.

              Wendell Berry

Weeks Seventeen and Eighteen (sort of) (1.4-1.15):

Monday:

Return of the Article of the Week. Our final article is about reading itself, and it will serve as a practice for our final exam, which will essentially be the article of the week process compressed into one finals period (and completed on your own).

As always, the annotations will be collected on Thursday, and your response needs to be posted in the forum by class time that day.

Tuesday:

Continue annotating and working on Article of the Week responses.

Wednesday:

Goal check. We have a full Wednesday, so we will have some time to be discuss what we've been reading.

Thursday:

Collect annotations. Make sure your response is posted in the forum by class time. Reading time and/or beginning our final set of vocabulary, which is due by the end of class Friday.

Friday:

Final set of vocabulary due by the end of class. You should have nine new words--today is a good day to check on this. Quizzes will begin on Monday of next week.

Monday:

Final vocabulary quiz begins. Once again, we will begin with volunteers, and I will ask you about five of your nine words. Reading time for those not quizzing.

Tuesday:

Final vocabulary quiz continues. Reading time for those not quizzing.

Wednesday:

Final goal check of the semester. Go to Google Classroom.

Thursday:

We will discuss the final again, collect any books that haven't been turned in, and take some time for final shelfies.

I will post finals schedules on our Google Classroom.

You are more than welcome to continue to make use of our classroom library next semester.

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Week Fifteen + Holiday Remix Syllabus Update

One of the tragedies of our lives is how much we miss out on because we think there's something

more interesting happening wherever we aren't; it is a lesson always learned too late.

                                            Alex Balk

Week Fifteen + Holiday Remix (12.14-12.23):

Monday:

Return of the Big Question. I will review what constitutes a Big Question, share with you a choice from my most recent book, Wolf by Wolf, and then ask you to think about your own choice of Big Question for whichever book you choose (any book you've finished since our first Big Question during the first quarter).

Your thinking and choice of Big Question will be posted on Google Classroom.

The About section of our Google Classroom also contains the rubric, model Big Question responses, and suggestions for how to approach writing your response.

Tuesday:

Class time to create our Big Question responses.  I am available during class to help.

The Big Question response is due by class time on Tuesday, December 22 (the last day of class before the winter break).

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Goal check. We will have a brief goal check. As we set new goals, realize that we will be setting them for Tuesday of next week, one day less than a full week. This way we can complete a quick goal check next week before the break.

Thursday:

Continue to work on our Big Question responses. I am available during class to help.

Friday:

Vocabulary due by the end of class. Please use the form found on our Google Classroom.

Remember that our next goal check will be on Tuesday, and that is also when your Big Questions need to be posted on Google Classroom.

Monday 21 December:

Final class day to complete Big Question responses. Post your completed response in Google Classroom.

Tuesday 22 December (shortened classes):

Goal check. We will be setting our reading goals for Wednesday, January 6.

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Week Fourteen Syllabus Update

When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.

        Thomas Szasz

Week Fourteen (12.7-12.11):

Monday:

Reading time and approximately ten minutes at the end of the period for groups to finalize presentation strategies for Tuesday's connotation project presentations.

Tuesday:

Begin connotation project presentations. All groups must be prepared to present, though some may not present until Thursday (especially in third period, which has two more groups than the other sections).

Wednesday:

Goal check. A rare full Wednesday, so we will also share some of our reading with each other. Plan on being asked about signposts as part of the response, which means you should identify at least one ahead of time. Quiz over the concepts of connotation, denotation, and euphemism after presentations are done tomorrow.

Thursday:

Complete any remaining connotation presentations. All groups will self assess using the rubric (I will provide a printed copy for each group). We will also take our brief quiz over the concepts of connotation, denotation, and euphemism today. We will have vocabulary due at the end of the class Friday.

Friday:

Vocabulary. Three completed words due by the end of class. Please use the form found on the About section of your Google Classroom.

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Week Thirteen Syllabus Update

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of.
                 Goethe

Week Thirteen (11.30-12.4):

Tuesday:

We will continue with our thinking and discussions about connotation and denotation. We will also add our third concept: euphemism.

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Goal check on Google Classroom.

Thursday:

Begin with our connotation projects. Third period will have six groups of three and one group of four. Sixth period will have five groups of four. Eighth period will have five groups of three.

I am attaching support documents for the project in the About section of our Google Classroom.

Friday: 

Last class day to work on connotation projects. Presentations will begin on Tuesday.

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Week Twelve Holiday Remix Syllabus Update

Everywhere in enormous numbers turkeys will be dying

and other birds, all their wings.

They never greatly flew. Did they wish to?

I should know. Off away somewhere once I knew

such things.

John Berryman Dream Song 385

Week Twelve Remix (11.23-11:24):

Monday:

What's Going On In This Picture? We'll look at last week's reveal.

Then we'll have our snow-delayed introduction to connotation, denotation, and euphemism. Our interactive presentation will lead to our second quarter small group project/presentation, which we will begin after Thanksgiving break.

Tuesday:

We will continue our connotation and denotation work. Enjoy your break and do some reading.

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Week Twelve Syllabus Update

I don't read self-help books--unless you count every book I've read.

                  Donalyn Miller

 

Week Thirteen (11.16-11.20):

 

Monday:

What’s Going On In This Picture? Observing, inferring, and sharing.

Below is the link to view the truth behind last week's photo and look at this week's photo.

What's Going On In This Picture?

 

Article of the Week, about the use of the word “Redskins” by Washington’s professional football team and the idea of offensive language in general. The response is due on Thursday. Below are my initial annotations; please add them to your article copy.

 

Tuesday:

Continue working on the Article of the Week annotations and response. We will begin our next vocabulary quiz today. Same protocol as last time: We will begin with volunteers, and then those volunteers may choose who goes next if they so wish. You will be asked about five of your nine words.

 

Wednesday (shortened classes):

 Goal check to be completed on Google Classroom. Vocabulary quiz continues while you are responding.

 

Thursday:

Vocabulary quiz continues. Reading time for those not quizzing.

 

Friday:

Finish any remaining vocabulary quizzes. Then we will begin our second quarter group presentation/project, on connotation and denotation, with a little bit of euphemism thrown in for good measure.

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Week Eleven Syllabus Update

Most of what makes a book "good" is that we're reading it at the right moment for us.

           Alain de Botton

Week Eleven (11.9-11.13):

Monday:

Once again we will begin the week with some visual inference practice.

What's Going On In This Picture?

Then we will complete a nonfiction book pass. Some of you who haven't moved out of your comfort zones need to begin doing so--the end of the semester is closer than you think.

Tuesday:

We will combine the visual inferencing with our shared nonfiction reading using a site called Wordless News.

After reading the linked article, you need to complete a 17-word summary using Google Classroom.

Wednesday:

We have a rare full Wednesday, so we will have time to share our reading and respond in full to the Signposts as part of our goal check.

Thursday: 

I will take some class time to talk about Large Group and Individual Speech. Not only because I coach these activities, but also because Speech and Drama are part of the English curriculum. And the speech opportunities are not available to you in middle school, so many freshmen are unaware of what these activities actually entail. 

With whatever time remains, we will have reading time.

Friday:

The reveal of What's Going On In This Picture for the week. And then the final vocabulary words for this cycle are due by the end of class. Use the form found in the About section of our Google Classroom. We will begin our next vocabulary quiz on Tuesday of next week.

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Week Ten Syllabus Update

We do not learn from experience. . . we learn from reflecting on experience.

                                         John Dewey

Week Ten (11.2-11.6):

Monday:

New quarter, new seating chart. Now that we have established the importance of visual literacy, we will use it often as practice.

What is Going On In This Picture?

What's Going On In This Picture?

Then we will return to the Article of the Week, continuing to work on annotating and reading nonfiction. This week's article is about health care and cost. We will read with partners and annotate together. My opening annotations can be seen below and should make their way onto your article:

Because we are also working on the What Is Going On In This Picture?, we will have class time on Tuesday to continue annotating and responding to the Article of the Week. The response is due in the Get Your Read On forum by class time on Thursday. 

Tuesday:

What is Going On In This Picture? Revealed!

Time to continue annotating and responding to the Article of the Week.

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Goal check. As we have shortened classes, today's goal check will be brief.

Thursday:

Make sure your article response is posted in the forum by class time. Due to the musical matinee performance, I will be gone during the afternoon. We will have reading time today. You may also want to get a head start on your vocabulary, which returns on Friday. Three words due by the end of class Friday.

Friday:

Due to the musical matinee performance, I will be gone in the morning. Three vocabulary words are due by the end of the class period.

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Week Nine Syllabus Update

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.

       Georg Christoph Lichtenber

Week Nine (10.26-10.30):

Monday:


We will continue to work on our Visual Inference group projects. Presentations will begin tomorrow. All groups need to be ready to present, though not all groups will present tomorrow.

I will hand out the paper copy of the rubric for each group. You will need this while we present.

After each group has presented their observations and inferences, other groups can add, for extra credit, observations and inferences that have not been mentioned. However, if the observations and inferences have, in fact, been mentioned, that group will lose a point.

Tuesday:

Visual Inference group presentations begin. 

Wednesday:

We interrupt the group presentations for our weekly goal check. A full class period today, so we will also share our reading with each other. As always, we will complete the weekly goal check in our Google Classroom.

Thursday:

Group presentations continue (and finish). Each group will be asked to self-assess your presentation on the printed rubric I provided earlier in the week.

Friday:

Three vocabulary words due at the end of class. Upon further review, we may well need to be finishing some presentations today. As such, no new vocabulary this week. We will complee any remaining presentations and then have time to read and take shelfies, celebrating the end of the first quarter.

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Week Eight Syllabus Update

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.            

     Jalaluddin Rumi

Week Eight (10.19-10.23):

My school picture this year was THE WORST:

Monday:

We will begin talking about the concept of inference, leading up to a small-group project and presentation next week.

Tuesday:

Continue to work with inference as a concept and practice with visual inference.

Wednesday (shortened day):

Goal check. Go to Google Classroom to complete the goal check.

Thursday:

I will be gone on a field trip with my DMACC Comp students. In my absence, you will have time to complete vocabulary for this week. It is still due on Friday, but we will not have class time on Friday this week.

Friday:

We will discuss the visual inference project. The assignment sheet and rubric are attached below, and are also found in the About section of our Google Classroom.

VisualInferenceGroupProject.doc

VisualInferenceProjectRubric.doc

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Week Seven Syllabus Update

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.            

                                  Robertson Davies

Week Seven (10.12-10.16):

Monday (shortened classes):

I will explain the protocol for the vocabulary quizzes, which will begin on Tuesday. Then we will have some time to read.

Tuesday:

Vocabulary quizzes begin. I will start with volunteers. You will be asked about five of your nine words, and for each word you will be asked first how to pronounce it. Then I will give you a series of prompt questions to assess your understanding of the word.

You will NOT simply be asked to define your word--we can all memorize definitions, but that ability does not always translate into actual understanding of the word. The quiz is meant to be a form of instruction as well as an assessment.

I will have the list of words on my computer for you to look at.

The rest of us should be reading while I quiz students at my desk. No reason for anyone not to meet their goal this week with the class time we will have to read.

Wednesday:

Vocabulary quizzes continue. Students will complete this week's goal check while I am quizzing students.

Thursday (shortened classes):

We will finish any remaining quizzes, and then have EVEN MORE reading time.

Friday:

No school. For any of us. Next week we will begin our inference project.

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Week Six Syllabus Update

“You are not teaching reading and writing, you are teaching PEOPLE who read and write.”

                           Peter Johnston

Week Six (10.5-10.9):

Monday:

Remember to submit your Big Question response in Google Classroom by class time today.

Return of our Article of the Week. This week's article is about football and concussions.

We will read and annotate in class, and your response is due by Thursday in the forum found in the "Get Your Read On" tab on the menu bar to your right.

Below are my beginning annotations (apologies for the crinkled paper):

Tuesday:

Historical fiction book pass. As we enter the second half of the first quarter, we will "speed date" with many historical fiction titles.

You do not have to switch to a historical fiction title now (though you can); you are asked, however, to read at least one title from this genre during the semester.

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Goal check on Google Classroom.

Thursday:

Time to read, take shelfies, share our reading.

Friday:

Return of vocabulary--you have three completed words due by the end of class today. 

This brings us to nine, which means our first vocabulary quiz will be next week. More details on that in next week's update.

The Google Form is also available in the About section of our Google Classroom.

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Week Five Syllabus Update

We tell ourselves lies in order to live.

                                Joyce Carol Oates

Week Five (9.28-10.2):

Monday:

No school for students. Unfair.

Due to another shortened week, no vocabulary again this week.

Tuesday:

Remember those Big Question we talked about on Thursday of last week? Now it's time to start writing our own Big Question responses. Directions and sample A level student responses are found below:

BigQuestionrubric

BigQuestionStudentModelOne.docx

StudentBigQuestionmodel2.docx

StudentBigQuestionModel3.docx

You will have class time today, Wednesday, maybe a little on Thursday, and Friday to complete this and complete this well.

If your draft is ready for me to look at and shared with me on Google Docs (you need to send me an e-mail so I know it's ready to read) by the end of school on Thursday, I will read and comment on it either online or in class Friday. Then you can make it even better by the submission date of Monday, October 5.

Wednesday:

Brief goal check--I will only ask for the "bookkeeping" where you tell me your progress toward your goal and what your new goal is. That way we have more time to work on our Big Question responses.

Thursday:

Brandie Ledford, the librarian from the Carroll Public Library, will be here to tell us about the print and online services offered by our public library. Those who do not have library cards will be given one (they're free, you know). Particularly as we do not have a librarian at the high school, it is important that we know what is available at the public library.

Any time that remains will again be used on Big Question responses and conferences.

Friday:

Last class day to work on Big Question responses. Last class day to receive feedback from me before you submit.

Your Big Question response must be submitted as an attachment in our Google Classroom by class time on Monday, October 5. See the Google Classroom for further instructions.

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Week Four Syllabus Update

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

                                  --Samuel Johnson

Week Four:

Note: Due to the early-out for Homecoming on Friday, and the disruptions of NWEA testing, we will not have vocabulary due this week.

Monday:

Our next Article of the Week, this time about teenagers and Internet usage. We will use the same process as we did last week with our initial article. I will post my annotations of the first page to serve as a guide.

The annotations and the article response are both due on Thursday.

Tuesday:

All periods will be disrupted by NWEA testing. As such, those who are hear will have class time to complete their article responses. Those who are testing will need to complete their article responses on their own by Thursday.

Wednesday:

As we have a full period, we will partner up and talk about our books first, and then respond to this week's goal check.

 

Thursday:

I will collect your annotations at the beginning of class; make sure your response is posted in the "Get Your Read On" forum by class time.

We will talk about theme in general and work on identifying theme in our own books, and then work on turning theme around and forming Big Questions.

Friday:

Shortened class periods, as we are dismissing early for the Homecoming Parade.

 

We will have reading time to get everyone off to a good start for their goal for next Wednesday.

 

Remember that you do not have school on Monday--do some reading!
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Week Three Syllabus Update

People don't read books to 'escape'. We read to find new parts of ourselves. We think we are in a one-room house. Books make you a mansion.

                                         --Matt Haig

Week Three:

Monday:

We will read and respond to our first article of the week. Articles of the Week are our shared nonfiction articles, where we practice close reading and work some of our writing muscles as well.

Because this is the first time, we will spend both Monday and Tuesday in class working on the reading and the responding. The response is always due in the "Get Your Read On" forum (found in the menu tab on the right hand side) by class time on Thursday.

We will start with discussing annotation, a great reading comprehension strategy that I use to some degree with all of my classes. Below is a link to a Prezi we will be using to introduce this strategy:

Annotating Prezi

We will read with partners, stopping to discuss and annotate.

Here are my annotations for the first page:

Tuesday:

Continue with any reading and annotating still left, and then time to write your individual responses. I will always post my model response, and yours should be approximately the same length as mine. I will also provide prompts and further instruction in the forum itself, found in the "Get Your Read On" tab on the menu bar. Your response is due by class time on Thursday.

Wednesday (shortened day):

Goal check. You will be asked to show some signpost analysis as part of your response. We will once again use Google Classroom for our responses.

Thursday:

Time to read, share what we are reading, take shelfies, tweet authors. Make sure your Article of the Week response is posted by class time, and I will collect your annotations at the beginning of class.

Friday:

Three vocabulary due by the end of the class period. As always, you will have the option of working solo or with a partner. The form is embedded below, and can also be linked to directly in the "About" section of our Google Classroom.

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Week Two Syllabus Update

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

                               Samuel Johnson

Please watch this Kid President video and comment below about which is your favorite statement and why:

Monday:

No school.

Tuesday:

We will discuss a Prezi about reading and why it matters. Then we will have some reading time--remember that your first goal check is tomorrow.

Wednesday:

Goal check. We will use Google Classroom and the question feature to complete our goal checks. So if you haven't joined our Google Classroom yet, you really should. Here, once again, is the code: 2pjorw9

For tomorrow, you should watch these videos and look at the linked site so we can most effectively talk about Signposts in class:

NoticeandNoteSignposts.pdf

Thursday:

Introduction to the concept of Signposts. We will analyze clips from The Hunger Games to help us with this. Your assignment for Monday is to go to our Google Classroom and complete the Real-Life signposts assignment, which will provide us with a)evidence that fiction helps us understand our real lives, and b)practice in applying the signposts.

Friday:

Three completed vocabulary words due by the end of class. You may work on your own or with a partner. The form is found on Google Classroom and is also embedded below:

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Week One Syllabus Update

Watch this video--it's the most wisdom I found in any online video this summer:

Monday:

Didn't complete your online reading survey? You still can/should--you can find it on last week's update and on our Google Classroom.

We'll watch this video to show you how I feel about reading time:

We'll look at our syllabus--I'll give you a print copy, and you can always look at it electronically in the "About" section of our Google Classroom.

We'll have a quiz over that syllabus on Thursday.

Then we'll spend some time exploring polkingclassroom.com--especially the "Shelfies" and "Freshmen Favorites" pages. You will be asked to respond on this blog update to our classroom rules, which are part of the syllabus and can also be found at the end of this week's update. And, finally, my hope is that we can all have some reading time as well.

Tuesday:

Now that class rosters are stable (we hope), we'll complete a clock face activity to help us find partners throughout the semester. And then we'll have some reading time.

Wednesday:

I'll meet with each of you individually to set your reading goals for the next week. Normally we will complete our weekly goal setting and goal checks online in the "Get Your Read On" forum found on the menu bar to your right. 

I will also share my reading for this week and set my own goal for next Wednesday.

Thursday:

Syllabus Quiz! Be sure to study the syllabus and pay particular attention to the parts in BOLD. We will use the quiz as a way to talk about some practices and procedures in our class.

For Friday--you need to have one vocabulary world from your book ready to work with, as I will be showing everyone how we do our vocabulary study in our class.

Friday:

Introduction of our vocabulary study. I will model the process for you with a word from my reading, and then ask you to complete the process using your words. The Google Form for this process in in the "About" section of our Google Classroom. I am also embedding it below--you can always use either one.

Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend, and do some reading.

Here are our classroom rules:

Polking’s Class Rules (adapted from Sister Corita Kent):

 

Rule One: What I have to offer is me. What you have to offer is you. Offer it.

 

Rule Two: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it. Do the same for people.

 

Rule Three: General duties of a student—pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

 

Rule Four: General duties of a teacher—pull everything out of your students.

 

Rule Five: Be self-disciplined—this means finding someone wiser or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

 

Rule Six: The only rule is work. If you work, it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

 

Rule Seven: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

 

Rule Eight: Always be around. Always go to class.

 

Rule Nine: Read everything you can get your hands on.

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Week Zero Syllabus Update

Here's how I feel at the beginning of the semester:

And here's how I feel by the end of the semester:

Welcome to Freshman Reading! If you are reading this, you've checked your e-mail and used the link to set up an account. Well done, you. 

We will also make use of Google Classroom. The code to join our class=2pjorw9

Thursday:

1. Collect questionnaires from freshman orientation. And then a brief word from my good friend John Green about why we are really here in school together:

Then we will go a speed dating session to introduce you to great books--and invite you to read them.

2. For Monday, please respond to this online questionnaire about you as a reader:

Friday:

1. We will continue our speed dating/book pass.

2. The final part of class will be used to choose our first books and get everyone successfully logged in to this online site.

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Week The Last:

Monday:

Work on Big Question responses. Your response must be posted by the end of the school day on Friday, May 15 (the final day of class).

The rubric is found in last week’s syllabus update.

Remember to share your response with me for feedback.

Our final vocabulary quiz begins tomorrow. Today is the final day to make up any words you might be missing.

Tuesday:

Begin final vocabulary quiz. Same protocol as before—we will quiz over five of your nine words, and we will begin with volunteers.

Those not quizzing should be working on their Big Question responses.

Wednesday:

Our final goal check. It will be a brief one, so we can continue our vocabulary quizzes and our Big Question responses.

Thursday:

Complete any remaining vocabulary quizzes. Continue to work on Big Question responses. Anyone done with both is urged to take some final shelfies for the semester.

Friday:

Make sure your Big Question response is posted by the end of the day.

Turn in all books. However, once you’ve done so for inventory purposes, you are more than welcome to check books out of our classroom library over the summer. Just let me know which titles you are taking so I can enter that on the computer.

I will be asking to take shelfie of you with your favorite book of the semester. In fact, I will offer extra credit on the Big Question response to all those who take part.

We will discuss the final exam and I will provide you with the rubric.

The final for second period is Monday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m.

The final for eighth period is Wednesday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m.

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