What's Happening in English 3!

1st Six Weeks of the 2015-16 School Year

As you read this, we will be coming into the 6th week of our first six-week period. We have covered quite a bit of material during these weeks. We started the year reading Native American literature, we moved to texts written during the Colonial and Revolutionary times. There were days that we struggled to get through the stories and tales, as the language is very different than the language we speak today. But your learners were awesome and pushed through. They did a great job.

The images below demonstrate a little of what we did this six week period. First, students walked around the 2nd floor, scanning QR codes that would take them to various American Literature websites and videos where they were able to answer questions based on this search. Second, I asked students to think of one single word that defined themselves, and they were to write that word on the palm of their hands. I then photographed their hand (since their face was in the distance, it was out of focus). Lastly, we keep a "shout out" wall in the room where learners can give a "shout out" to a work partner, a friend, a teacher, or a parent.

All that we do, even if it seems a little unorthodox at times, directs students to specific learning goals.

Membean Vocabulary

Your learners should also be studying Membean vocabulary time every week for at least 45 minutes. The program is meant to be done in short bursts, so 5 to 10 minutes of training at a time is the best way to fully engage in the program and to remember the vocabulary. We have had one graded quiz and we'll have another one next week. As we move into the 2nd six weeks, those quizzes will move to weekly.

Silent Sustained Reading (SSR)

Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between reading and writing. Learners, for example, who read frequently and for fun, are often much stronger writers. With that knowledge at hand, learners in English III spend about 40 minutes of class time per week reading a book of their own choosing. We typically read on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Learners are keeping up with their reading progress on Goodreads. Please encourage your student to continue reading at home and updating his or her Goodreads account to reflect their progress.

Travel Narrative Project

The formal writing project for this six weeks is a travel narrative where learners write about a very limited and specific experience they have had that changed them in some way. We started the six-week period by reading Native American literature, literature written during the Colonial time period, and Revolutionary War literature. What these texts have in common is humankind's desire to explore, to conquer, to assimilate, to control, or to create something new. These depictions are the foundation of travel narratives.

What's Next? (2nd six weeks)

During the 2nd six week period, we will read continue with SSR and Membean, and we will continue to read and analyze literature. The literature of the first six weeks has been a struggle for most learners, as the language was old and difficult. But the literature this six-week period is much more accessible, and it includes poetry by Walt Whitman and Emily DIckinson, stories by Mark Twain, and essays by Thoreau and Emerson. The writing component this grading period will be a research paper. It'll be fun!

Classroom Needs

At the beginning of the year, I sent notes home with your students about supplies we need for the year. These included two yellow writing pads, two boxes of tissue or one bottle of hand sanitizer. To date, only a few students have brought these supplies. As we move into cooler weather, the likelihood of colds and cold symptoms will increase. Tissues and hand sanitizer would be greatly welcomed. Thank you for your help.

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