Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Today we talked a bit about values, our class's and our own. Then, after a short circle about our names, we went over a few more policies from the course description.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday & Tuesday: Welcome Back!

In addition to taking care of some introductory business, we spent most of the last two days thinking and writing about first impressions and why they are problematic.

For tomorrow:

By Friday, 9/2: Read and sign the course description.
By Tuesday, 9/6: Have materials organized and labelled. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Writing Time

Today students worked on their essays, with many students finishing their first drafts and moving on to revision. Handouts and details are at Google classroom.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Essay Bodies

Today students continued to work on their essays in class. By now, they should be well into the body paragraphs and should be ready to start the conclusion tomorrow. Details are at Google Classroom.
As a side note, some students asked why I don't allow headphones in class while they are typing. I gave my reasons and promised to post research-based sources.
  • Here's an article from Psychology Today which includes this illuminating quotation based on neuroscience research: "Each time we move from hearing music to writing a text or talking to someone, there is a stop/start process that goes on in the brain. That start/stop/start process is rough on us: rather than saving time, it costs time (even very small micro seconds), it’s less efficient, we make more mistakes, and over time it can be energy sapping."
  • Here is a blog post that summarizes various research into music and studying (much of which is admittedly inconclusive) and includes the following quotation: "In other words, whether students enjoyed the music or not, having it on while they worked was just as distracting as hearing someone talk. Scores were significantly higher for tests taken in a quiet environment."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Intro Paragraph

Today, students finished up their essay planning and started the introduction. Many even got to work on the body paragraphs! First drafts of the completed essay are due Friday!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Essay Planning

Today we continued essay planning, and some students got started on the actual first draft. Essay handouts and templates are at Google Classroom.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Essay Prep

Today we started by focusing on these statements for next week's essay. For the remainder of the period, students used their act recaps and the text to find quotations to support their chosen theme. The handout is here. At the end of the period, students turned in their Act 4/5 recaps.