Patton's Newsletter

Mrs. Patton * English I Honors * 2016-2017

Welcome Parents to the English I Honors newsletter!

I want to introduce you to myself and the class. I gathered your e-mail addresses from the parent survey you took the first week of school. It is my goal to keep you updated on the happenings of English I Honors.

About Myself

I am a Boone grad and product of OCPS. I am a proud graduate of UCF where I earned both my degrees. This is my 14th year teaching and 13th year at Boone. Each year I am excited to work with freshman to help them be successful in their transition into high school. Having two kids myself, I want to make sure that your son or daughter is able to feel comfortable and successful in my class. Please contact me when you have questions and concerns about the class and we work together to make this a great year.

Google Classroom

I communicate to the students with Google Classroom. I have already invited most of you to join the Classroom. If you have not already joined, send me a message with your email address and I'll send you an invitation. I post most assignments and homework on the Classroom. Once you join, you will be able to keep up with your student's assignments.

This Week in English I Honors

"Harrison Bergeron"

We are reading Vonnegut's short story "Harrison Bergeron". The students are doing a great job finding inferences and meaning in the text. This weekend, for homework, the students need to finish annotating the short story looking for inferences about character. We spent this week working on characterization so that they are equipped to do this assignment on their own.

Next week we will be working on academic paragraphs and an essay analyzing characterization and theme in "Harrison Bergeron". I encourage you to read the short story yourself so you can discuss it with your student.

The Word Within the Word

Each week the students receive a list with 25 stems. Each week they are tested on the current week's stems as well as the stems from the previous weeks. Studying the stems is a systematic approach that doesn't just "cover" the vocabulary but requires the students to internalize it. Vocabulary is a weekly effort, built on the cumulative basis throughout the year. No words will be left behind. Every test forces the students to review every list.

I want to avoid having the students simply memorize rote definitions to unfamiliar words. Since the lists make heavy use of etymologies the definitions make sense and seem logical. Thus vocabulary is presented not as a set of lists of words but as a system of thinking, a way of building, analyzing, spelling, pronouncing, using, and choosing words. Just as a distant galaxy of stars appears in the telescope as a single luminous astronomical object, so this system is the vocabulary system which appears as a fascinating language object, composed of thousands of sparkling words and word pieces. In this method, the system is not offered as a mere way of learning words, rather the example words serve to illustrate and expand the system in the student's mind.

I have had many students come visit me after leaving my class to tell me how knowing the stems has helped them in other courses and on college-level tests such as the PSAT, SAT, and AP tests.

Throughout the week I offer opportunities for the students to use and study the stems. Also, study sites such as let students create flashcards and practice tests.

khan Academy

The students are required to spend at least 30 minutes a week using the Khan Academy program. It's easy to use and it creates lessons specifically for your students based on his or her skills. I try to give the students time in class during the week to fulfill the requirement but sometimes I do assign Khan Academy lessons for homework. Currently, the lessons count as participation points since it is new to the students. All the students should have finished the diagnostic test and can begin on their personalized lessons. Let me know if you have any questions about this program. It's a great resource for the students to study for the October PSAT.

Poetry Out Loud

Next week I will be introducing the Poetry Out Loud contest to the students. Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation. On Monday, a student of mine from last year and winner of the contest for Boone High School, will be coming to each of the classes to recite her award winning poem. She represented Boone at the state level in St. Petersburg, FL.

On Monday the students will be looking through the poems on the Poetry Out Loud website to pick a poem they would like to memorize and recite to the class and possibly take to the Boone competition in November. I encourage you to look at the poems with your child to help him or her pick the right fit.

Open House

Tuesday, Sep. 27th, 6pm

1000 East Kaley Street

Orlando, FL


Wednesday, Oct. 19th, 7:30am

1000 East Kaley Street

Orlando, FL

All freshman are taking the PSAT for free on Wednesday, October 12. Watch for information and practice booklets to come home in the next two weeks.

Contact Information

I am available for extra help most days before and after school. Your student can either drop by or schedule an appointment. I encourage students to see me before major assignments are due and when working on essays. I can help the student generate ideas or proofread an assignment. The Boone Writing Center is also available during both lunch shifts to help students with all steps of the writing process.