Last blog of the year…

Hi!

Well, we’re arrived. Mostly. Capstone Projects are recent history. Those grueling AP exams are done. The books are read (and SHOULD be returned…). The final vocabulary quizzes are tomorrow (if you’re a senior, both List 20 and the review quiz are on the agenda, along with allusions and Caught’ya quizzes; just List 20 if you’re a junior… the other quizzes are your “final exam” on Tuesday). So here we are at the last blog of the year. We’ve already said our fond farewells to—or shared our fond memories of—our seniors. I’ve sought your advice, asked you all sorts of personal questions, annoyed you with questions from books you haven’t read, and the whole nine yards. (Did I tell you I got a Kindle for Christmas and have discovered thousands of classics to download for free? Wow.)

Anyway, today’s last and final blog, is simply to discuss the seniors’ projects, which you’ve viewed the past two days. While I want you to consider the good, the bad, and the ugly, I don’t really want you to write about the bad and the ugly. Juniors, I want you to reflect on the projects in light of what you may do next year—maybe discuss what you thought worked well, maybe consider a different way to “experience” something new or a different way to present it, or maybe applaud what you thought went well. Seniors, consider similar things—but in light of having gone through it yourselves and maybe offering some advice to the junior class. Obviously, I don’t want you to not address the proverbial elephant in the living room, but while you may mention what you consider that to be, sandwich any criticisms between two praises!

Thanks!
Mrs. D

To prank or not to prank?

Ah!

That DOES seem to be the question, doesn’t it? I thought we could banter about the idea of pulling pranks as a senior class, give feedback on the prank done Friday, consider WHY pranks are done, who should bear the brunt of pranks, etc. I know at least one teacher was VERY upset about the prank Friday, and I know Mr. Lawson suggested that pulling a prank that BENEFITS someone is a better idea (and, no, seniors, it was not beneficial for the other students that class should start late).

So what are your thoughts?

I may add my two cents later… because, of course, I certainly have my thoughts.

P.S. Seniors (and Greg), I will see you about 8:45 a.m. Monday; your project should be perfect, perfectly timed, and on a flash drive. (Kelley, if at all possible, your group should be present or at least a faction of them to go through the motions to check the timing.) You will be uploading it to Ku’s computer. All final versions of the speeches were due to the original link (available on the Capstone Projects page) FRIDAY; Mrs. Muni will be looking for them.

Mrs. D

Kudos, seniors!

Hi!

At the end of every school year, I try to give my students, via the blog, an opportunity to applaud and thank our seniors for the role they have played in our lives. This is your chance to simply gush over our dear seniors (and, seniors, you should certainly gush over your fellows as well). Point out the positive character traits you see, applaud their finer moments, admit how you’ve admired them or how they’ve influenced you… and say good-bye, sort of…

By now we have usually completed Capstone Projects (and we will never be this late in the future, if I can help it!), so you will have an opportunity next Thursday to applaud and “nitpick” the projects you’ll have seen on Tuesday and Wednesday. We could, technically, say our fond farewells then and save this blog for the happy thoughts…

Have at it!
Mrs. D

Monday stomach-drop, panic moment…

Hi!

Ever have those moments when you realize you forgot something—like waking up for an AP exam or forgetting to write a paper or study for a test? It’s that weird feeling you get in your stomach, that moment of panic (that often lasts). I’m about to flip the calendar from April to May—and flip out in the process. AP exams begin THIS WEEK. Those of you who are taking the English Language & Composition test have today, Tuesday, and Wednesday to prepare… The English Language & Composition test is next Thursday.

Today’s assignments are to work on vocabulary A-C (different than usual) and to study literary terms via quizlet.com. (The info/links are on the assignment block for today on the Home page)—and answer this blog, of course!

For this blog post, simply respond by telling me the user name you are using on quizlet.com. I have posted seven new lists of literary terms (10-25 terms per list) and will be looking for your activity. Be sure to follow the instructions on our Information page for being part of my quizlet site, so I can tell that you’ve participated. I would recommend tackling one list at a time until you have relative success. You can play games or take quizzes (my personal favorite), and you can custom-make your quizzes so they’re all multiple choice or whatever.

Have a great last TWO weeks of regular classes… not so regular due to AP tests, however! We will taking practice exams for the language and, perhaps, literature exams, in preparation. You can also check out the library’s free AP tests online to practice independently (see Information page on our Website for info on accessing those. You will need a library card number.)

Love,
Mrs. D

Historically yours…

Hi!

In honor of the annual History Festival, please share your favorite subject/time period in history, your favorite remembrance of our history festival (whether you were a participant or an audience member), and what you feel secondary’s role should be in the history festival in the future.

Don’t forget you have assignments for Thursday and Monday—as well as a take-home quiz over vocabulary (and Scripture memory).

Thanks!
Mrs. D

He is risen!

Hi!

I hope that all of you have had a wonderful spring break and that you topped it off by celebrating the fact the Jesus rose from the dead after dying on the cross for our sins. Sometimes I find that I lose the significance of those holidays—Christmas and Easter—because I’ve celebrated them so many times and they seem, well, old and commonplace. How do you keep the significance of those holidays fresh in your own families? How are you/did you celebrate Easter, Resurrection Day?

Let us know what you did for spring break and how you celebrated the remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Hoping you come back refreshed and ready for the final weeks of school,
Mrs. D

This Old Man…

Hi!

For some reason, when I started thinking of The Old Man and the Sea this morning, my mind went to an old, childhood song and simply made that the title. Today is the day we should be working together to fill out the questions on the study guide for The Old Man and the Sea, but other than the usual grumbling and complaining and the also usual pop quizzes, we have not yet discussed the book in class.

Perhaps it is simple enough to discuss in one day and then take a test? Or would you prefer to create some sort of project about the book that would replace the test grade? The junior class and I talked about this one day in class; if you like art, you could create a marvelous artwork that would somehow depict The Old Man and the Sea. If you like to sing, you could write and perform a song (videotape it) that would somehow tell the story. If you want to rap it, go for it. If you want to create a comic book, feel free. If you want to create a digital story (video tape) of the story, do that. Or create a video book report. Create a lesson plan for teaching the book and demonstrate teaching it (video). Make up a review game for the book. Really, the possibilities are endless. We could even discuss the book over both Tuesday and Wednesday, and I could create an online version of the test that you could take sometime before we return on the 25th.

What do you think?

What I’d like from you today is your “vote,” in a sense, about what you’d like to do to demonstrate your reading and knowledge of The Old Man and the Sea. If you’d like to complete a project instead of take a test, then list the criteria by which you think I could measure both effort and knowledge of the project and book. In other words, I don’t want wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. I want hefty, hefty, hefty. If you were to create a project, I’d like it to be something of substance, not “the least” you can do to get by (and, yet, somehow, still expect an A) but “the best” you can do to reflect your knowledge and your skills.

I’m even OK with having some people take the test and others creating projects, but in that case I would have the test taken online so that half the class isn’t merely waiting for students to take the test.

Please share what you’d like to do with The Old Man and the Sea. (By the way, if you’d like to contribute to the study guide, go for it.)

Before you decide, check out some of these digital projects created by others:

The Old Man and the Sea digital project (created using prezi)
Student project depicting the book
Student project depicting the loneliness of Santiago
Some resources you might want to use if you choose to make a project

Regardless of what you choose, we will be discussing The Old Man and the Sea Tuesday in class. Be sure you’ve read the entire book by then and are prepared for a pop quiz as well as intelligent discussion.

Love,
Mrs. D

Formally yours…

Hi!

I thought, since all your minds are on the spring formal instead of all things academic, that we could talk about that today. A Night on Cloud Nine seems the perfect retreat to me (although I wasn’t invited—except by Nile. Thanks, Nile.). So what are your thoughts?

Some questions you might answer:

Why do we call it the spring formal instead of prom?
Do you like that we include ninth through twelfth grades—and parents?
Was planning the formal more difficult than you’d imagined? What was the most difficult part?
What aspect of the formal event is your favorite?
Which part is your least favorite?

What are you thinking?

Have a great day! (And don’t be wimpy!)
Mrs. D

Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy…

Hi!

I don’t know. Just reading through many of the responses to Thursday’s blog post brought to mind that trash bag commercial from years ago. In it, you’d see someone hoisting a bag of trash only to have the bag tear and the contents fall all over the place while hearing the words “wimpy, wimpy, wimpy” in a silly little voice. Then you’d see someone with a bulging Hefty Cinch Sack staying intact despite the load while you heard the words “hefty, hefty, hefty” in a tough voice. Clearly, no one would be silly enough to buy anything but the Hefty Cinch Sack. And yet, rather than giving me hefty, helpful ideas, I got “Bingo” and “ditto” and “what she said” or “I don’t care; just give me the grade.” The comments were so lame that my seniors pointed them out to me.

Really? Is that all you’re going to give me? “Ditto,” “Bingo,” and “I can’t be bothered.” “Gee, thanks for not making us do any research or find information in the book we’re reading.” “My favorite kind of blogs—ones that require no effort.”

Thank you to those of you who did bother.

For today, I’d like you to do a little research on the author of The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway. Go, find a credible source, find one fact that is new to us (in other words not already captured by your classmates), and type it as your response, along with your citation of your source. “Facts” such as “He was a man” or “he wrote novels” won’t cut it. Find some interesting, sticky facts, ones that you actually find interesting; then hurry back and share it here before someone else does. First come, first served, as usual.

Have a hefty day.
Mrs. D

P.S. When you get to the AP Quizzes Online page, click on “Poetry Selections” in the Table of Contents, and you’ll be taken to Passage 5, your assigned “you’ll get out of it what you put into it; I sure hope it’s $87 worth…” quiz for the day. You’ll see that you have a poem to read that is a separate link. Read it; you might like it.

Rhetorical terms, anyone?

Hi!

I thought today you could give me your thoughts on how you might want to study the literary terms before tackling the AP tests in May. What can you do as an individual? With friends? What “formal” method of study and learning might we employ in class? (I’m open to suggestions!)

Have a great Thursday!
Mrs. D