Tuesday, February 23, 2010


So yesterday we started our unit on Romeo and Juliet with a pair of power points on both Shakespeare the play itself. I purposely left in the slide about how the people in the courtyard would relive themselves where they were just because. Yep, I'm just shallow that way. I kept my students occupied by having them fill out worksheets as we went along and then had them turn them in for points. Nothing like effecting grades to get them interested in a presentation!

Tomorrow we start the play in earnest and we'll take turns listening to the play and watching it. We'll spend time discussing it as we go. My plan is to go after the 'big picture' stuff in the play. They'll get Shakespeare for all four years in HS so there will be plenty of time to dissect it line by line. I want them to understand things like what Shakespearean tragedy is, Star Crossed Lovers, dramatic foils etc. I want them to enjoy the play for what it is, a romantic tragedy with interesting characters.

If there is time this quarter, I want to read a second play called Trifles. What I would really like to do is read 12 Angry Men, but that is going to wait until next year.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WTF? The 2010 Version

So all the English 1 teachers at my school do reading comprehension every Friday to keep students sharp (in theory) with their skills. So last Friday I gave my students a short reading passage on dog shows along with 10 multiple choice questions for them to answer. Now most of my classes did about how you would expect. Some did well, some didn't with most someplace in the middle. Then there was 6th period. Normally they do pretty well but on this assignment they just puked all over the place. As in 1 A, 1 C's, 1 D, and 18 F's. Seriously? I can't tell you how many students thought that this article was a F****** biography! Really? It's not like I've never used the term nonfiction in class before, unless you count all those times we went over those terms. It's not like we went over things like looking at the questions carefully and to pay attention to words in ALL CAPS or in bold, or italizied!

As if this academic vomit was not bad enough I made the mistake of letting my students work on their college/career project in class, thinking (id10t me) that most of the students would actually jump at the chance to avoid homework. I now know better. Tomorrow when the students walk through the door they'll find minimal time to F*** off, er I mean work on their project. Instead they'll find plenty of work to keep them busy, and the poster project is still due on Monday. No more class time for projects for them, now they get to work all period and the projects will be done at home.

Yea and we start Romeo and Juliet next week...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

So much to blog about

And yet I can't seem to get my thoughts organized enough to actually post them here. We're about half way through quarter number three and after this short week we start Romeo and Juliet. This week we'll be working on our research project which went from a formal paper to a poster. We just completed two formal writing projects and I didn't feel like adding to my stack of essays to grade, so I decided it was time to put up new things on my back wall and take down the product reviews from last quarter. I'm hoping to get through Romeo and Juliet fairly quickly so I can do one more play from this century.

If you need any more proof that I am insane I volunteered to help non-proficient students on my prep so they can pass their writing proficiency. So this means I'll lose 4 preps and take on additional grading, but if helps more students pass the writing proficiency so they can graduate I'm happy to help.

Finally I am thrilled that two local radio personalities have agreed to visit my classes and talk about the radio profession and the skills people need to be successful at it. Casey Henrickson and Heather Kidd from KXNT radio will be getting up early on March 2nd. And I am thrilled to have them. I am hoping to get at least one more guest speaker to come to my classroom before the end of the school year.

And in honor of the Olympics... U-S-A! U-S-A!