Per. 1 Honors Sophomore English

Course Materials - Access the syllabus and other general course information.

Google Classroom - This is where you will upload most assignments for this course.

Turnitin - This is where you will upload some final assignments for this course.

Class Mon 2/11 - Thurs 2/14; HW due Tues 2/12 - Thurs 2/14

On Monday, we began reading and discussing Macbeth Act III.

Tuesday was a snow day - NO SCHOOL!

On Wednesday, we reviewed Macbeth through 3.4.

On Thursday, we reviewed Macbeth 3.6, then went to the library for a book talk and to choose our Q3 books. We used any time remaining in the period to read our books!

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Due Tuesday: Read Macbeth 3.2 and 3.3 using the Hernberg Method.

Due Wednesday: Read Macbeth 3.4 and 3.6 using the Hernberg Method.

Due Thursday:

  • If you have not already done so, read Macbeth 3.6 using the Hernberg Method.
  • If you have already chosen a Q3 recreational reading book, please bring it to class on this day.

Due Monday 2/25 by 3:00PM: Q3 Book Survey

There is no homework over Winter Break. Please enjoy your time to rest and recharge!

Class Mon 2/04 - Fri 2/08; HW due Tues 2/05 - Mon 2/11

On Monday, we discussed our triple-sided journal entries for Act I of Macbeth and examined Macbeth's first soliloquy in 1.7; we created tableaus of this soliloquy.

On Tuesday we did an activity with the conversation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in 1.7. We also began reviewing Act 2.

This class dropped on Wednesday.

On Thursday, we examined Macbeth 2.1 and 2.2, focusing on the dagger scene in 2.1.

On Friday, we shared our second triple-sided journal entry drafts (for Macbeth Act II). Then, we examined Macbeth 2.3 and 2.4, focusing on the comic relief in 2.3.

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Due Tuesday:

  • By Class Time:
    • Read Macbeth 2.1 using the Hernberg Method.
    • Come to class prepared with a believable interpretation of an animal. Think about how you can imitate an animal with your body, face, and voice.
  • By 3:00PM: Revise your first triple-sided journal entry for Act I of Macbeth. Submit to Turnitin.

Due Thursday: Read Macbeth 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4 using the Hernberg Method.

Due Friday: Draft your second triple-sided journal entry for Act II of Macbeth.

Due Monday: Revise your second triple-sided journal entry for Act II of Macbeth. Submit to Turnitin by class time.

Class Thurs 1/24 - Fri 2/01; HW due Tues 1/29 - Mon 2/04

On Thursday 1/24, we read, interpreted, and performed Act 1, Scene 1 (1.1) of Macbeth.

This class dropped on Friday 1/25.

On Monday, we performed Act 1, Scene 1 (1.1) of Macbeth.

On Tuesday, we watched and discussed professional interpretations of 1.1. We also began discussing Macbeth 1.2.

On Wednesday, we discussed Macbeth through 1.3, then began reading 1.4.

On Thursday, we watched and discussed a professional version of Macbeth 1.3 and 1.4, paying special attention to Macbeth's reaction to the witches's prophecy, to the news that he is in fact Thane of Cawdor, and to the news that Malcolm is to be the next king. Then, we began discussing 1.5.

On Friday, we practiced performing Shakespearean insults. Then, we examined Lady Macbeth's lines in 1.5.


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Due Tuesday: Read Macbeth 1.2 using the Hernberg Method.

Due Wednesday: Read Macbeth 1.3 using the Hernberg Method.

Due Thursday: Read Macbeth 1.4 and 1.5 using the Hernberg Method.

Due Friday: Read Macbeth 1.6 and 1.7 using the Hernberg Method.

Due Monday: Draft your first triple-sided journal entry for Act I of Macbeth.

Class Mon 1/14 - Wed 1/16; Midterm Exam Thurs 1/17; Poetry Project due Thurs 1/17

Monday was a formal peer review day for the Poetry Projects.

On Tuesday, we learned some performance warm-ups and reviewed the Hernberg Method for Reading Shakespeare. We also reviewed the structure of and rubric for the midterm exam, which will be a reading benchmark.

On Wednesday, we had time to practice for the midterm exam. We also reviewed study strategies, the most important of which is to get plenty of sleep and eat breakfast!

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Due Thursday 1/17:

  • By 7:45AM: Your midterm exam begins at this time; please arrive a few minutes early so you may utilize the full time allotment. Rubric and study materials are available on Google Classroom.
  • By 2:00PM: The final draft of your Poetry Project is due to Turnitin by this time.
Poetry Project Conference Sign-Up

Class Mon 1/07 - Fri 1/11; HW due Wed 1/09; One-Pager due Thurs 1/10; Final Draft due Fri 1/11

On Monday, we experimented with poetic structure by examining Mary Mackey's "All the Way Down."

This class dropped Tuesday.

Wednesday was a full peer-review session for the Poetry Projects.

On Thursday, we discussed a series of strong statements about the themes of Macbeth.

On Friday, we reviewed G/U/M resources for the Lord of the Flies essay. We then had time to work on our Lord of the Flies thesis essays or our Poetry Projects.

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Homework All Week: Poetry Project conferences take place this week. A full draft of your Poetry Project (poem + explication) is due by your conference time.

Due Wednesday: Come to class prepared for a peer review session on the Poetry Projects.

Due Thursday by 10:00PM: Q2 One-Pager (submit to Google Classroom)

Due Friday by 10:00PM: Lord of the Flies final draft (submit to Turnitin)

Class Wed 1/02 - Fri 1/04; HW due Thurs 1/03 - Mon 1/07; One-Pager due Thurs 1/10; Final Draft due Fri 1/11

On Wednesday, we reviewed requirements for the Poetry Project explication and reflection; we also examined model explications and reflections.

On Thursday, we split into our Poetry Circles groups and conducted formal peer review sessions for our poems.

On Friday, we spent the first half of class reviewing Ms. Hernberg's feedback on our Lord of the Flies essays and planning our revisions. The remainder of class was a work day; we had a choice to work on our Poetry Projects, our Lord of the Flies thesis essays, or our Q2 One-Pagers. Finally, we signed up for next week's mandatory conference slots for the Poetry Projects.

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Due Thursday: Outline or draft your Poetry Project explication. If you have time, you can also continue revising your chosen poem.

Due Friday:

  • Spend 20-30 minutes revising your Poetry Project poem.
  • Your Lord of the Flies essay feedback will be available on Turnitin at 11:00AM Thursday. Please review the feedback and come to class Friday with any questions/clarifications.

Due Monday:

  • Keep in mind that Poetry Project conferences begin this day. A full draft of your Poetry Project (poem + explication) is due by your conference time.
  • Come to class Monday ready for a peer review session on your Lord of the Flies thesis essay.

Due Thursday January 10 by 10:00PM: Q2 One-Pager (submit to Google Classroom)

Due Friday January 11 by 10:00PM: Lord of the Flies final draft (submit to Turnitin)

Class Mon 12/17 - Fri 12/21; HW due Wed 12/19 - Fri 12/21

On Monday, we composed "blackout poetry" with our newspaper/magazine articles. We also reviewed the structure of Shakespearean sonnets (and learned about iambic pentameter, quatrains, and couplets).

This class dropped on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, we composed "scent memory poems," inspired by food.

On Thursday we wrote "art-inspired" poems. We also had an initial conversation with our peer groups to narrow down our Poetry Project poem possibilities.

Friday was a work day. Student had the choice to work on either the Poetry Project or the Q2 One-Pager.

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Due Wednesday: Compose one quatrain in iambic pentameter with an ABAB rhyme structure. Use dictionary.com to check your meter! You will hand in a hard copy of this poem.

Due Thursday:

  • Revise your quatrain as needed.
  • Narrow your poems down to two possibilities for your Poetry Projects.

Due Friday:

  • Spend 10-20 minutes revising and/or typing your poem. If you still aren’t sure which poem to use, spend half the time brainstorming/revising one poem and half the time brainstorming/revising the other.
  • Bring your Q2 book to class Friday.

Class Mon 12/10 - Fri 12/14; HW due Tues 12/11 - Mon 12/17

On Monday, we composed an "adopted voice" poem based on the photograph we brought to class. We also discussed and annotated the third poem in our poetry packets.

On Tuesday, we continued analyzing our third Poetry Circles poem, began work on an outline for our group response, and began free-writing activity with poetry chosen from Ms. Hernberg's collection.

On Wednesday, we composed a group response about our Poetry Circles poet. We also began work on a poem inspired by poetry chosen from Ms. Hernberg's collection.

On Thursday, we worked on an original poem inspired by the writing style of our Poetry Circles poet. We also had time to continue writing/revising one of our five partially-written poems.

On Friday, we reflected on our creative choices in writing our Thursday poems. We also did a free-writing activity based on the most recent student art exhibition at NCHS.

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Due Tuesday: Spend 10-15 minutes preparing notes for your group response to the Poetry Circles poems. Pay attention to *patterns* you noticed in the poems (patterns may be thematic, symbolic, or structural). Come to class prepared to discuss these patterns with your group.

Due Wednesday: Set a timer for 15-20 FOCUSED minutes. Use that time to revise one of your four partially-written poems:

  • Scene poem: inspired by "First Warm Morning, Amsterdam Avenue"
  • Homework poem: Select a line from the poem you found and use it as your own first line.
  • Adopted voice poem: Inspired by and in the voice (from the perspective) of the photo of the loved one you brought to class.
  • Poem of appreciation/love poem (for the loved one whose photo you brought to class).

Due Thursday: Select a line, phrase, or word from a poem in Ms. Hernberg's collection (or another poem of your choice). Use it to either inspire your own poem, OR try to integrate the line/phrase/word into your own poem.

Due Friday: Set a timer for 15-20 FOCUSED minutes. Use that time to polish/revise the poem you began in class Thursday.

Due Monday: Print out or cut out 1 - 3 newspaper or magazine articles that really speak to you. The articles could be about anything. It is most important that you bring a hard copy that you can write on to class.

Class Mon 12/03 - Fri 12/07; HW Tues 12/04 - Mon 12/10

On Monday, we continued our work examining the enjambment in "Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World," then re-examined the first and second poems in our poetry packets based on the biographical information we found on our Poetry Circles poet. Finally, we examined Marcus Jackson's poem "First Warm Morning, Amsterdam Avenue" and began writing our own scene poems.

On Tuesday, we read an excerpt from Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook, then re-read Marcus Jackson's poem "First Warm Morning, Amsterdam Avenue" to review alliteration, assonance, and consonance. We also learned about spoken word poetry, and listened to two poems: Taylor Mali's "Totally like whatever, you know?" and Sarah Kay's "If I should have a daughter."

On Wednesday, we did a free-writing activity based on the poems we found for last night's homework. We also learned about the connection between songwriting and poetry.

This class dropped on Thursday.

On Friday, we shared our poem/song pairings. Then, we examined the structure of Helen Klein Ross' "Adventure" and an excerpt from Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street, "Darius & the Clouds." We discussed the question of what poetry actually is, and in what ways poetry differs from prose.

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Due Tuesday:

  • Taking Jackson's poem as your inspiration, compose your own "scene poem."
  • Bring a pair of headphones to class tomorrow.
  • If applicable: Revise your haiku. Remember that you must attach the previously graded version to your revised version; Ms. Hernberg will not grade it otherwise.

Due Wednesday: Search http://poetryfoundation.org/ or http://www.poets.org/ for a poem (ANY poem--it does NOT have to be related to your Poetry Circles group). Find one that speaks to you, and print it out.

Due Friday: Pair the poem you found for last night's homework with a song (instrumental and/or lyrical) of your choosing. Then, write a paragraph explaining your choice. Be sure to use textual evidence and details from the song to explain your pairing! Submit to Google Classroom.

Due Monday: Bring a photograph of a loved one to class (yes, it can be on your phone).

FUN BONUS: This is the podcast (Serial) Ms. Hernberg was talking about in class this week, and here is the article discussing narrative structure. The part of the article I found most thought-provoking was this quote: "There is a chance, a good chance, every chance, that this story is going to end in frustration and discomfort, maybe in near equipoise, and it will be nonsensical to blame for that writers who didn't know what they were doing. What's good about this wrinkle, and what seems healthy about it, is that it raises the question of what stories are for. Must there be a lesson or a moral? Must we sense a particular idea about life at the end, and can it be futility? If you raise a question, do you have to answer it?"

Class Tues 11/27 - Fri 11/30; HW due Wed 11/28 - Mon 12/03

This class dropped on Monday.

On Tuesday, we continued reviewing the difference between mood and tone by examining Norman Rockwell's "Boy and Father: Homework" and Gjertrud Schnackenberg's "The Bicyclist." We also read, annotated, and discussed our first Poetry Circles poem.

On Wednesday, we read Sherman Alexie's "Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World." We examined Alexie's word choice in this poem and discussed the power of language in conveying emotion. We also discussed mood vs. tone in Alexie's poem and learned about the structure of the English haiku. Finally, we continued annotating, discussing, and reflecting on the first poem in our Poetry Circles groups.

On Thursday, we learned about haikus and "terrible poetry."

On Friday, we continued learning about "terrible poetry" and composed our own purposefully terrible poems. We also learned about enjambment and discussed how the enjambment in Schnackenberg's and Alexie's poems creates meaning.

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Due Wednesday: Your homework for tonight depends on your Poetry Circles poet:

Due Friday: Compose two properly structured English haikus. Label the kigo, the kireji, and the images/ideas. PRINT OUT A HARD COPY to bring to class.

Due Monday: Conduct informal biographical research on your Poetry Circles poet. For the purposes of this assignment, Wikipedia and similar sites are fine. Come to class prepared to share with your group.

Class Mon 11/19 - Wed 11/21; Rough Draft due Mon 11/19; HW due Wed 11/21

On Monday, we reviewed and did an exercise on passive voice. We also examined model conclusions. and had a chance to touch base with our peer conferencing groups and work on edits for our LOTF thesis essays.

On Tuesday, we began our poetry unit by reading Billy Collins' "Introduction to Poetry." We also read Gjertrud Schnackenberg's "The Bicyclist" and learned about the difference between mood and tone.

Wednesday was a reading day for our Q2 books.

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Due Monday by 10:00PM: A full, polished rough draft of your LOTF thesis statement is due to Turnitin for Ms. Hernberg's feedback.

Due Wednesday:

There is no homework over Thanksgiving Break. Please enjoy your time to rest and be with your family!

Class Tues 11/13 & - Fri 11/16; HW due Tues 11/13 - Fri 11/16; Draft due Mon 11/19

This class dropped on Monday.

On Tuesday, we learned about body paragraph structure and quote integration. We examined model body paragraphs and reviewed in-text citation formatting.

On Wednesday, we went to the library to choose our Q2 books.

On Thursday, we learned about quote selection: using quotes for analysis rather than for plot summary.

On Friday, we held a formal peer review session for our drafts.

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Due Tuesday:

  • Finalize your quotes from Lord of the Flies, and locate any additional (outside) sources you may need to make your argument.
  • Come to class with at least one fully drafted body paragraph.

Due Wednesday: Set a timer for 20-30 minutes, then begin working through this to-do list. Some of you may already be done with part of this list, in which case you can feel free to skip certain elements. So long as you remain focused during those 20-30 minutes, when the timer goes off, find a good place to pause in your work and then set it aside.

  • Don't forget to sign up for a conference! The sign-up sheet was sent to your email over the weekend.
  • Revise your thesis statement based on Ms. Hernberg's feedback.
  • Revise your introduction based on peer feedback.
  • Finalize your quotes from Lord of the Flies, and locate any additional (outside) sources you may need to make your argument.
  • Come to class with two fully drafted body paragraphs.

Due Thursday:

  • By Class Time:
    • Finalize any (outside) sources/quotes you may need to make your argument. Format your Works Cited page for these sources.
    • If necessary for your argument, draft one additional body paragraph (total = 3).
  • By 10:00PM: Q2 Book Survey

Due Friday:

    • If necessary for your argument, draft one additional body paragraph (total = 4).
    • Draft your conclusion.

Due Monday 11/19 by 10:00PM: A full, polished rough draft of your LOTF thesis statement is due to Turnitin for Ms. Hernberg's feedback.

Class Mon 11/05 - Fri 11/09; HW due Wed 11/07 - Tues 11/13

On Monday, we continued our discussion of Lord of the Flies.

Tuesday was Election Day - no school for students.

On Wednesday, we learned a technique for writing topic sentences. We also had time to peer-review our thesis statements.

On Thursday, we reviewed introduction structure and the "so what." We also had time for an initial peer conversation about our drafts. Students had the choice to focus these conversations on:

  • Thesis statement
  • Topic sentences
  • Line of inquiry
  • Introduction
  • "So what"

On Friday, we held a formal peer review session for our introductions. We also learned about body paragraph structure and quote integration.

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Due Thursday:

  • Revise your thesis statement based on peer feedback.
  • Come to class with 2-4 drafted topic sentences. Use the technique we learned about in class Wednesday to get started!

Due Friday:

  • Revise your topic sentences.
  • Come to class with a fully drafted introduction and "so what."
  • Begin collecting evidence from Lord of the Flies. Ms. Hernberg recommends starting with six meaty quotes for analysis.

Due Tuesday 11/13:

  • Finalize your quotes from Lord of the Flies, and locate any additional (outside) sources you may need to make your argument.
  • Come to class with at least one fully drafted body paragraph.

Class Mon 10/29 - Fri 11/02; One-Pager due Tues 10/30; HW due Wed 10/31 - Mon 11/05

Our Philosopher/Scientist Project Presentations took place on Monday and Wednesday. We also reviewed thesis statement structure, introduction structure, and the "so what" on Wednesday.

This class dropped on Tuesday.

On Thursday, we continued last week's discussion of Lord of the Flies, this time with the new knowledge of the philosopher/scientist theories as lenses for interpretation. We also spent time writing and revising our thesis statements.

On Friday, we continued our discussions of Lord of the Flies.

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Due Tuesday by 10:00PM: Your Q1 One-Pager is due to Google Classroom by this time.

Due Wednesday: Review the sections on thesis statements and topic sentences on the Writing Center website.

Due Thursday:

  • We will have a full-class discussion on Thursday.
  • Come to class with a draft of your thesis statement.

Class Mon 10/22 - Fri 10/26; HW due Tues 10/23 - Fri 10/26; Presentation due Mon 10/29; One-Pager due Tues 10/30

On Monday, we discussed the motifs of the glasses and the conch in chapters 10 and 11.

On Tuesday, we watched a short clip from Parks and Recreation 3.13 ("The Fight"), which has a Lord of the Flies reference. Then, we discussed the book through chapter 12.

Wednesday was a work day for the Philosopher/Scientist Project.

On Thursday, we reviewed speaking skills requirements for the philosopher/scientist presentation. We also had a full-class discussion on the whole of Lord of the Flies.

On Friday, we continued our full-class discussion on the whole of Lord of the Flies. We learned about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. We also spent time refining our projects, reading our Q1 books, and/or composing our Q1 One-Pagers.

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Due Tuesday: Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter 12 of Lord of the Flies.

Due Wednesday: LOTF Response 3: Choose any three motifs and explain how they are connected, using textual evidence. What is the significance of that connection? (1 paragraph)

Due Thursday: Compose two open-ended discussion questions for LOTF.

Due Friday:

  • LOTF Response 4 DRAFT: Choose one question from the class spreadsheet of open-ended questions. Use evidence (QUOTES!) from the book to support your response. Organize your analysis into paragraphs.
  • We will have a full-class discussion on Friday.

Due Monday 10/29:

  • Philosopher/Scientist Project Presentations will begin on this day.
  • OPTIONAL: Revise and resubmit LOTF Response 4.

Due Tuesday 10/30 by 10:00PM: Your Q1 One-Pager is due to Google Classroom by this time.

Class Mon 10/15 - Wed 10/17; HW due Tues 10/16 & Wed 10/17

On Monday, we continued discussing symbols in Lord of the Flies, focusing on the mask and the beast.

On Tuesday we did a close reading of passages from chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies.

On Wednesday we continued our discussions of passages from chapters 8 and 9 of Lord of the Flies, focusing on the blood motif and on Simon's hallucination. We also had some time to work on the Philosopher/Scientist Project.

This class dropped on Thursday.

On Friday, we continued discussing Simon's scenes in chapters 8 and 9.

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Due Tuesday: Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter 9 of Lord of the Flies.

Due Wednesday: Spend 15-20 minutes working on your Philosopher/Scientist Project. You may choose to spend this time conducting additional research or planning your presentation. Please coordinate with your group!

Due Friday:

  • Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter 10 of Lord of the Flies.
  • Coordinate with your group to outline/draft your visual for the Philosopher/Scientist Project.

Due Monday: Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter 11 of Lord of the Flies.

Class Mon 10/08 - Fri 10/12; Podcast due Tues 10/09; HW due Thurs 10/11 - 10/15

This class dropped on Monday.

On Tuesday, we reviewed our weekend research on our philosopher/scientists. We also began a close analysis of three major symbols in Lord of the Flies: fire, glasses, and conch. Then, we discussed the initial characterization of Jack, Ralph, and Piggy.

On Wednesday, we did a close reading of key scenes in chapter 4 of Lord of the Flies.

On Thursday, we continued discussing Lord of the Flies through chapter 7.

On Friday, we discussed LOTF Response 2, then continued discussing the book through chapter 7.

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Due Tuesday by 10:00PM: Record and edit your This I Believe podcast. Upload to YouTube (your .mp3 will transform into a .mp4). Change the video privacy to "Unlisted." Name the YouTube video as follows: "Title of Essay by Firstname LastInitial." Share the link to your uploaded video with Ms. Hernberg.

Due Thursday: Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapters 6 & 7 of Lord of the Flies.

Due Friday: LOTF Response 2.

Due Monday:

  • OPTIONAL: Revise & Resubmit LOTF Response 2.
  • Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter 8 of Lord of the Flies.

Class Mon 10/01 - Fri 10/05; Final Draft due Tues 10/02; HW due Mon 10/02 - Tues 10/09; Podcast due Tues 10/09

On Monday, we took day 1 of the first sophomore reading benchmark assessment.

On Tuesday, we reviewed comma splices and spent some time making final edits to our This I Believe essays. We also began discussing through chapter 3 of Lord of the Flies, focusing on the Progression of the Hunt Chart .

On Wednesday, we prepared for our This I Believe podcasts.

On Thursday, we had "play time" to experiment with audio software and to help one another with technical issues. We continued discussing Lord of the Flies and did a close reading of pages 48-49. We discussed LOTF Response 1. Finally, we assigned philosopher/scientist research presentation topics

On Friday, we discussed the symbols in Lord of the Flies through chapter 5 Lord of the Flies. We also began working on our philosopher/scientist presentations and discussed what a "reliable resource" is.

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Due Tuesday 10/02:

  • By Class Time: Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapters two and three of Lord of the Flies.
  • By 10:00PM: The final draft of your This I Believe assignment is due to Turnitin by this time.

Due Thursday: LOTF Reader Response 1: Choose a quotation from chapters 1 - 3 and analyze how the author uses literary elements such as metaphor, imagery, motif, and/or symbolism to effectively develop a theme in the story. Submit to Google Classroom.

Due Friday:

  • Comb through the Wikipedia entry on your assigned philosopher/scientist to gain a basic understanding of his theories and to gather key words for a research project. As you read this entry, keep in mind that Wikipedia is ultimately an unreliable resource; there may be details that are not correct.
  1. John Locke: Lillie, Blake, Jack, Ian
  2. Thomas Hobbes: Max, Jake, Becky, Olivia
  3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Alexandra, Teddy, Emma, Dhiraj
  4. David Hume: Aaron, Natalie, Andrew, Charlotte
  5. Jeremy Bentham: Dylan, Will, Peter, Vivi
  6. B.F. Skinner: Kendall, Shea, Denis, Gavin
  • Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter 4 of Lord of the Flies.
  • OPTIONAL: Revise and resubmit LOTF Reader Response 1.

Due Tuesday 10/09:

  • Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter 5 of Lord of the Flies.
  • Create a group Google Doc or Sheet for the philosopher project. Conduct more guided, reliable research on your philosopher/scientist, and use this document to combine your research and begin planning your presentation. As you research, think about: What are your philosopher/scientist's most important ideas? How do these ideas connect to Lord of the Flies? Would your philosopher/scientist agree or disagree with Golding's ideas regarding human nature? Do not spend any more than 20 minutes on this initial research!
  • Record and edit your This I Believe podcast. Upload to YouTube (your .mp3 will transform into a .mp4). Change the video privacy to "Unlisted." Name the YouTube video as follows: "Title of Essay by Firstname LastInitial." Share the link to your uploaded video with Ms. Hernberg.

Hernberg's Tip of the Week: Get that Stress Out Ya Shoulders!

Once place many of us hold our stress is in our shoulders, which makes them feel tight and painful. Here are a few simple and quick shoulder exercises you can use to make yourself feel better:

  • Scapular Retraction: Squeeze your shoulder blades down and back. It may help you to also move your elbows slightly behind you and to thrust your chest out slightly as you do this. Hold for ten seconds; repeat as needed.
  • Shake It Out: Shake your hand at the wrist, your forearm at the elbow, then your arm at the shoulder. Reach up, back, out, and across in all directions. Be careful to give yourself space so you don't hit anyone, and start slow so you don't hurt yourself!
  • Ladder Ladder: Move your shoulders up to your chin by small degrees, in alternating form, until both of your shoulders are up high. Then, shrug both shoulders up, and let them drop. Repeat as needed.
  • Forward/Up/Back/Down: Rotate your shoulders forward, then up to your chin, then behind you, then down. Repeat or reverse as needed.

Class Mon 9/24 - Fri 9/28; HW due Tues 9/25 - Tues 10/02; Final Draft due Tues 10/02

On Monday, we did some voice work by reading our favorite childhood books out loud, and reviewed expectations for the This I Believe podcast project. We also reviewed the rubric and questions for the first sophomore reading benchmark assessment.

On Tuesday, we took day 1 of the first sophomore reading benchmark assessment.

This class dropped on Wednesday.

On Thursday, we had a full-class discussion about how to define evil.

On Friday, we discussed chapter 1 of Lord of the Flies.

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Due Tuesday: Come to class prepared for the multiple choice section of the September reading benchmark. You can prepare by getting a solid night of sleep and eating some breakfast! Make sure your device is fully charged for the benchmark.

Due Friday: Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapter one of Lord of the Flies.

Due Monday: Come to class prepared for the short essay section of the September reading benchmark. You can prepare by practicing with Heynen's "What Happened During the Ice Storm" (on Google Classroom), and by being well-rested and eating breakfast! Make sure your device is fully charged for the benchmark.

Due Tuesday 10/02:

  • By Class Time: Read/annotate (with stickie notes) chapters two and three of Lord of the Flies.
  • By 10:00PM: The final draft of your This I Believe assignment is due by this time.

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Hernberg's Tip of the Week: Kindness and School Spirit

Having school spirit and showing Ram Pride goes beyond wearing red and black-it also means helping to create a positive school environment where everyone feels included. This week-heck, every week!-I challenge you to make an extra effort to be kind to your fellow Rams:

  • See someone sitting alone during lunch? Invite them to sit and eat with you!
  • Know someone who is new to the school? Invite them to coordinate costumes with your friend group!
  • Notice trash in the library or the cafeteria? Coordinate your friends to help clean it up!

Class Mon 9/17 - Fri 9/21; HW due Tues 9/18 - Tues 9/24

On Monday, we reviewed annotation using an excerpt from Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time. Then, we read and discussed the Dr. Seuss' allegory Yertle the Turtle.

On Tuesday, we discussed the allegorical elements of John Cheever's "The Swimmer."

Wednesday was Yom Kippur - no school.

On Thursday, we composed group responses to "The Swimmer" (What is a theme in this story? What pattern of details best illuminates this theme? Analyze at least THREE quotes in your response). We spent the remainder of the class working on our TIB essays.

On Friday, we worked with our peer conferencing groups on final edits for our This I Believe drafts. Then, we discussed and practiced voice inflection in preparation for the recording of our This I Believe podcasts using the sentence "I never stole your money" and an excerpt from "My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me" by Little Green Cars.

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Due Tuesday 9/18: Read OR listen to John Cheever's "The Swimmer." You can find an audio version of the story on iTunes (New Yorker: Fiction episode 93). As you read, focus your initial annotations on *questions.*

Due Thursday 9/20: Re-read “The Swimmer”; focus your annotations on your group’s selected theme to prepare for your group response. Gather evidence based on a pattern of details (a central motif, or perhaps a motif and a topic that work together) that gets at that theme.

Between Friday September 7 and Friday September 21:

  • Each school night during this period, you should average 20-30 minutes writing or revising your TIB piece.
  • Drop into the Writing Center at least once during this time period. Please go to the Writing Center with a focus in mind.

Due Monday 9/24: Bring your favorite childhood book to class.

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Hernberg's Tip of the Week: Bedtime Reading

One of the best things you can do for your physical, emotional, and intellectual health is avoiding screen time before bed. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through your social media feed as you try to fall asleep, try putting your phone away and starting a new bedtime ritual: pleasure reading. Doing pleasure reading before bed, even if only for a few minutes, can reduce stress and help you fall asleep faster. As an added benefit, you'll be able to get through your quarterly recreational reading! Here's the caveat: don't use a light-emitting e-reader like a Kindle, Nook, or iPad; that's just as bad as a smart phone!

Class Tues 9/11 - Fri 9/14; HW due Wed 9/12 - Mon 9/17; Draft due Fri 9/14

Monday was Rosh Hashanah - no school. Shanah Tovah Umetukah!

On Tuesday, we engaged in peer review for our This I Believe drafts. We also discussed the importance of making a personal essay actually personal.

On Wednesday, we completed our initial peer review and discussed conclusions, focusing on the technique of ending with a symbolic image that "shows" the belief/purpose rather than "telling" it. We took the remainder of the period to focus our revisions on developing imagery, in particular for our conclusions.

This class dropped on Thursday.

On Friday, we discussed John McPhee's "Omission," focusing on the revision technique of "greening." We practiced this technique with "The Gettysburg Address." We took the remainder of the period to focus our revisions on "greening."

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Due Wednesday: Log into Turnitin and make sure you can access this class. If you received a temporary password, you may want to change it to your school password. This account is where you will turn in certain long-term reading and writing assignments.

Due Friday:

  • By Class Time: Read the excerpt from John McPhee's "Omission" that Ms. Hernberg gave you in class.
  • By 10:00PM:
    • Please write one point of focus for the TIB essay for Ms. H. on the top of your Google Doc.
    • Submit a complete rough draft of your TIB essay to Google Classroom.

Due Monday: Review the annotation guidelines I handed out in class on Friday.

Between Friday September 7 and Friday September 21:

  • Each school night during this period, you should average 20-30 minutes writing or revising your TIB piece.
  • Drop into the Writing Center at least once during this time period. Please go to the Writing Center with a focus in mind.

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BONUS RESOURCE: Reinforce your purpose through ending imagery! Check out these example book endings:

  • "But on that day as she sat at her grandmother's bedside in the fading evening light, Grace was not contemplating her future. She simply held her grandmother's hand, the palm thickened from years of making pottery." ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck
  • "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • "I go back to that one moment when I stood in the driveway with small rocks and clumps of dirt around my feet and looked back at the porch. And there they were. All these mothers. I have more mothers than any eight girls off the street. They are the moons shining over me." ~Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
  • "A sound of clicking heels on the pavement punctured the quiet. Alex snapped open his eyes, and he and Bennie both turned--whirled, really, peering for Sasha in the ashy dark. But it was another girl, young and new to the city, fiddling with her keys." ~Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • "Then starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat." ~Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
  • "Rowdy and I played one-on-one for hours. We played until dark. We played until the streetlights lit up the court. We played until the bats swooped down at our heads. We played until the moon was huge and golden and perfect in the dark sky. We didn't keep score." ~Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  • "Up out of the lampshade, startled by the overhead light, flew a large nocturnal butterfly that began circling the room. The strains of the piano and violin rose up weakly from below." ~Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • "She looked into the distance, and the old terror flamed up for an instant, then sank again. Edna heard her father's voice and her sister Margaret's. She heard the barking of an old cavalry officer chained to the sycamore tree. The spurs of the cavalry officer clanged as he walked across the porch. There was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air." ~Kate Chopin, The Awakening
  • "I ran. A grown man running with a swarm of screaming children. But I didn't care. I ran with the wind blowing in my face, and a smile as wide as the Valley of Panjsher on my lips. I ran." ~Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
  • "But after I had got them out and shut the door and turned off the light it wasn't any good. It was like saying good-bye to a statue. After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain." ~Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
  • "She turned out the light and I patted my son's body lightly and went back to sleep." ~Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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Hernberg's Tip of the Week: Calendar Coordination

One of the major reasons I have such a thorough website is to help students plan ahead. Many of the assignments for this course are long-term, meaning you should work on them a little bit each night. That said, I recognize that some nights are just difficult to manage your time. Maybe you have a game, or scheduled family time, or a test the next day. I suggest taking the following steps to keep up with your work:

  1. Keep track of your assignments. Write down your homework as soon as it is assigned. Maintain an updated calendar, either in a physical planner or an electronic calendar.
  2. Identify scheduling conflicts. Do you have any tests or major assignments due?Do you have drama practice or a game? Do you have any family obligations?
  3. Plan around your scheduling conflicts. If you have a big chunk of reading due Wednesday, but you also have a biology test on Wednesday, do the bulk of your reading homework Monday night so that you have time to study for the test on Tuesday night.
  4. Know thyself. If you are the sort of person who works better in short spurts, split up your large assignments into smaller chunks. Give yourself a nightly goal for each large assignment.

Class Tues 9/04 - Fri 9/07; HW due Wed 9/05 - Tues 9/11

Monday was Labor Day - no school.

On Tuesday, we took our syllabus quiz and discussed our ideas for creating a positive and supportive classroom community. Then, we began our first writing unit by examining model This I Believe essays, focusing on how the structure/organization of each essay reinforced its meaning. We also began brainstorming a list of TIB essay possibilities.

On Wednesday, Mrs. Luhtala and Ms. Pacelli gave us a book talk in the library. We spent the remainder of the class period back in room 213 with Mr. C., reading our recreational books.

On Thursday, we continued examining potential structures for the This I Believe essay. Then, we spent some time drafting and/or outlining our pieces. Finally, we began discussing the peer review process.

On Friday, we discussed and practiced the peer review process.

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BONUS READINGS: Anne Lamott's "Shitty First Drafts" (from Bird by Bird) & George Dila's critical response "Rethinking the Shitty First Draft." There are as many ways to approach a first draft as there are writers!

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Due Wednesday:

Due Thursday:

  • By Class Time: Make an electronic copy of a This I Believe essay on a topic that interests you. Annotate the essay, focusing on structure/organization. Below the essay, answer this question: "How does the organization of this essay reinforce its meaning?" This reflection should be at least one paragraph (half page double-spaced). Submit to Google Classroom.
    • NOTE: If you prefer to annotate by hand, you may do so-just print the essay out, annotate it, and attach a scanned copy of your annotations to Google Classroom along with your typed reflection.
  • By 3:00 PM: If you have a STRONG preference with regard to who you are/are not comfortable with being in your peer review group, please send Ms. Hernberg an email by 3:00 PM.
  • By 10:00PM: Q1 Book Survey (see Google Classroom).

Due Friday: Spend 20-30 minutes working on your This I Believe "ugly draft." Put your ugly draft on a Google Doc.

Due Tuesday 9/11: Continue working on your TIB piece (see below).

Between Friday September 7 and Friday September 21:

  • Each school night during this period, you should average 20-30 minutes writing or revising your TIB piece.
  • Drop into the Writing Center at least once during this time period. Please go to the Writing Center with a focus in mind.

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Hernberg's Tip of the Week: Focused Efficiency

When I suggest you spend, say, 20 minutes on an assignment, I really mean it-so long as you are focused during that time:

  1. Set a timer for the allotted time. When the timer goes off, finish your thought and put the assignment aside.
  2. Eliminate distractions. I admit to being very easily distracted by my phone, so I simply put it in another room while I am working. There are also Chrome extensions (I use Forest, but there are a ton out there) and apps (e.g. Focus) that set timers and block distracting websites and apps.
  3. Reward yourself. Once time is up, give yourself a little reward for staying focused. Depending on your personality, that reward might be a little snack, a bit of exercise, or just the thrill of crossing something off your to-do list.

When you stay truly focused during a timed assignment, you will have time for other things beyond homework--you know, like living your life!

Class Thurs 8/30 & Fri 8/31; HW due Fri 8/31 & Tues 9/04

On Thursday and Friday, we reviewed the syllabus, learned "fun facts" about one another, and examined and revised a "classroom citizenship and participation" rubric. We also learned about the recreational reading requirement.

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Due Friday:

  • Bookmark this website!
  • Set up email forwarding if you do not habitually check your school email.

Due Tuesday: