The Hughes News

Sophomore Honors English Newsletter ~ March 2018

Our Class Website: The Lifelong Learner

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SNL's Newest Caricature: The Teenager!

Saturday Night Live (SNL) hit it out of the park last month with their new character: Bailey Gismert, teen film critic (played by newcomer Heidi Gardner). Watch to the end to see Gardner's mastery of adolescent eye-rolling, emotional turbulence, and, of course, lots and lots of drama. (But maybe that's just in the Hughes household.)
Is the Experience of Being an Outsider Universal?

This term, the sophomores and I are examining the Essential Question above. Click on the box to see the entire unit.

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Students Reflect on Their Own Growth

When we make space for ongoing reflection throughout the day, across the curriculum,

we create the conditions that make learning in school

more closely reflect learning in the world.

~Heidi Mills in Education Week

As an English teacher, it's my job to facilitate your student's growth as a reader, writer, and thinker. To help me monitor growth, students complete this self-assessment every term, which I created using the Honors Sophomore English course description in our school's Program of Studies. This self-assessment shines a light on how much the students are developing, how I can better support them as learners, and what goals the students set for the coming term(s).

Take a look at what the students are saying about their own growth as English students. It's all sorts of fabulous!

  • I feel like this term I really got my stuff together. My writing in and out of school was better ten fold, and I read SOOOOO much more.

  • My love for writing has only grown stronger in this class. I use to write stories when I was younger but school kind of took away the fun by making me write about boring topics. But this year is different considering our passion blogs. Now I can write about things that actually interest me...When I am older, I want to do something in writing...I am going to be doing everything I can to improve myself in this class and my future English/Writing classes to come.

  • Halfway there! It’s definitely bittersweet to realize how far we’ve come in English… bitter because the time flew by and sweet because in those first two terms I’ve grown tremendously...What I find most astounding is the evolution I’ve unknowingly gone through as a reader. In the beginning of the year, I did not read on a daily basis. Now I read every day. Who would’ve thought I’d end up here! Another thing I consider noteworthy is my confidence. I’ve never liked comparing myself to other students but now, feeling a little more confident in my own abilities, I don’t really mind. It’s refreshing to know that a class is actually benefiting you in the long run.

  • Over the last few months, I have participated more in class discussions, but I know I could push myself to be a more active and engaged participant, rather than feeling like I have to participate in order to get a good grade.

  • Looking back at this term, I think that I grew a lot as a reader and writer. During the seminars...I feel like I went outside of my comfort zone to try to do my best...Also, I think that the process of writing two narratives helped me grow as a writer...Of course, there is always room for improvement and I am looking forward to becoming a better writer by the end of this term. Reading outside of class is something that I could definitely improve upon next term. At the end of term one and beginning of term two my reading stamina was strong, but I got out of the groove a little bit between winter break and midterms.

  • I can work really well now in terms of working on my own because I feel like I’ve been able to draw inspiration from my own thoughts rather than my peers...I feel like I have been thinking abstractly without the use of Sparknotes...I have been reading more, sleeping more, paying more attention, and I love writing a lot! It’s just that I’m struggling a little bit with my voice when it comes to writing, because in my head I have some pretty good ideas, but I just don't know how to execute them as well as I would like to.

  • I think I improved a lot as an Honors English student during Term 2. I got a lot better at working independently and not needing constant help or feedback...I still can participate in class discussions more and ask more in-depth questions to spark my peer’s thinking...I usually read my monthly book during the weekends but rarely find time to read at home on the weekdays. I’m sure that I could work a little harder to find time during Term 3. My passion for writing has grown over the course of Term 2, because I think I have gotten a lot better at it and therefore am more proud of my essays and narrative.

  • From what I scored myself in September, to what I have now, there has been much improvement on my part in English class.
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