Mrs. Stoker's English 2 News

February 2017

What's New

First of all, I have to take a moment to tell you that I have been so impressed with the growth that all of the students have shown in their argumentative writing skills. Throughout our Argumentative Writing unit, we have been challenging students to closely read biased articles on both sides of a chosen topic to determine each author's claim, supporting evidence, and reasoning, as well as counter-arguments and rebuttals. In addition, we've been reviewing and evaluating persuasive devices that good writers use to support their arguments. Students then had to put themselves in the author's place and write a micro-argument (paragraph) using information from an assigned article. They are now progressing to writing a structured essay that will support their own opinion, or claim, about a topic and incorporate supporting evidence from a variety of web and print sources. During the first half of February, we are learning how to use web tools to research and create a finished document. Then, students will use peer- and self-editing skills to revise and submit their final essay.

After we return from a long President's Day weekend, we will start our Success unit to apply skills learned this year. In addition to reading and analyzing a biographical novel and informational texts, students will be interviewing successful people about the obstacles they overcame and the keys to their success. They will then share their findings in class. You can view a video interview about the three doctors who wrote the novel we will be reading: The Pact. While growing up amidst poverty, violence, and drugs in tough inner-city Newark, New Jersey, they forge a pact to support each other in rising above their situation and pursuing medical degrees, so they can give back to their community and inspire others to do the same. Their journey is riveting, and their accomplishment is truly inspirational.

Finally, students will continue to work on assigned Study Island topics to reinforce skills they use in class and to prepare them for Missouri End-of-Course (EOC) testing after Spring Break. Every year, our department finds that Study Island helps students to better understand the EOC testing format and to gain confidence in analyzing a variety of written texts. Study Island practice represents a significant portion of your child's grade, so I encourage you to check on progress throughout the quarter.

Key due dates for assignments are provided in detail in the respective curriculum sections below. However, if you would like to receive the same weekly text reminders from me that I send to my students, please text the message "@e04535d" to the cell number "81010" (without the quotation marks, of course).

Mrs. Stoker's Contact Info

I hope you have found this newsletter to be informative. If you ever need to contact me to discuss anything, the best way to reach me immediately is by email at I will respond back via email, or I can call you if you'd like.
The Pact - A Life-Saving Promise of Friendship