The Hughes News

Sophomore Honors English Newsletter ~ Fall 2019

Our Class Website: The Lifelong Learner

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Throughout Term 1, your student and I discussed the allure of fear--which was perfect for the Halloween season! For Term 2, we'll be asking, What does it mean to see?

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WHAT: Parent/Teacher Conferences

WHEN: Thursday, November 21, 2019; 12-2 PM & 6-8 PM

WHERE: In Teachers' Classrooms

The fall parent/teacher conferences are on Thursday, November 21st, during two blocks of time: 12-2 PM and 6-8 PM. Rather than waiting in the "deli-style" lines in larger spaces, (e.g., cafeteria, library), this year's conferences will be happening in your student's classrooms. While there will still be a deli line outside of the rooms, it will hopefully be more like the lines on, say, a Tuesday night rather than a Sunday afternoon! To be able to conference with as many families as possible, teachers will continue to keep conferences to five minutes. If more time is needed, feel free to email me to schedule an individual conference.

Or skip the lines altogether and simply email me for an update of how your student is doing in Honors English.

And there is nothing significant about this particular day--other than our being a quarter of the way through the year. So, please feel free to reach out any time you have a question or concern.


For decades, we have done writing instruction all wrong: Students wrote essays, turned them into Teacher-Lady (or -Man), and received feedback after a (permanent) score was in the gradebook. We educators envisioned students curling up with our (20-minutes-per--paper) feedback, scouring through our comments to learn from their mistakes.

The reality? Many students quickly peruse our feedback (if we're lucky) and then log in to IPASS to see what effect--if any--the score has on their average. If their grade hasn't budged a whole lot, neither will their writing.

And little learning has occurred.

To thwart that depressing cycle--and to restore writing to exactly what it was meant to be--a process, my student authors have been responding and returning to the same prompt throughout the term. Prior to submission of their first draft, students will type into their essays one to three questions for me as a starting place for our digital, asynchronous writing conference. Once they receive feedback, they can begin revising and will then submit a final draft. With this model, true growth has occurred in the student writers, and the revision process works as it should--all before a permanent grade is recorded.

This is how real-world writing works: an idea is born and fleshed out several times before it is just right. And if the students play their cards right, the final essay at the end of the unit is glorious.

Take a look at the video below that illustrates this process beautifully!

Austin's Butterfly: Building Excellence in Student Work

PASSION BLOGS: We Are Live, Folks!

In an effort to create a positive digital footprint--while writing for an authentic audience beyond Teacher-Lady, the students have officially launched their Passion Blogs! The students have also published their About Me pages and are currently working on Blog Post #1. We are in the throes of customizing our sites, so in about a week--when Blog Post #1 goes live and the site represents your student, you might want to ask to take a look. In the meantime, check out some of the benefits of blogging in the infographic below.
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Follow Our Class on Instagram!

If you have an Instagram account, follow our class shenanigans @msbethhugheswmhs!

How to Contact Me

Have a question or concern about your learner? Email is the best way to reach teachers. With the exception of weekends, we will always get back to you within 24 hours.