Sunday, September 23, 2012

I love Fall

This is my favorite time of year! Boots, sweatshirts, football games and colorful leaves are just a few of my favorite things this season. I really love the literature we cover during this time period and that each year during Speech this is when the Demonstration Speeches take place.

In English 11 we will be getting into a few scary stories and it is very fitting for this time of year. Students, do not forget your grammar worksheets on Monday!!

In Speech we are starting and finishing our Demonstration Speeches! Lots of students are bringing in food or something to give to each student, that is wonderful, BUT not required! Please see me if you have any questions.

Please keep checking your grades on PowerSchool, as we near the end of the quarter (October 12th) the final grades become more and more important. Be sure to stay on top of your assignments since I DO NOT give extra credit at the end of the term!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Finished Fall Festival

This week was full of crazy costumes, contests and smiles. I loved seeing all the school spirit! The seniors did a great job with all the activities and I can't wait t to see all the seniors tonight at the football game. I still remember my senior night! So much fun- I can't believe how fast it goes by. Enjoy all the good times folks!

This week was not only full of fun outside the classroom, it was full of fun in the classroom too! Each class is finishing up chapters/units/speeches/projects. The midterm was this week! That means we are half way done in Speech! We are over half way done with all our speeches now. Time is really flying by.

Next week in Speech:
Start Chapter 5 and the next project: Demonstration Speech. It is going fast!

Next week in English 11:
Finishing the Cover Letter/Resume project and finishing Unit 2. We are also getting new seats!!! Check out the picture below for a preview.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I was a once a freshman in high school. Just like many of my students, I was outgoing and I loved my elective classes. September 11th, 2001 was just a normal day in my high school. We were finishing first period, I had Drama and Theatrical Studies, and a student came running in from the hallway and said "A freak accident happened in NYC, a plane hit a tower!" So we turned on the t.v. and watched replay of the plane hitting.

The bell rang and I wondered down the hall to my second period class, science. My teacher was very upset and I was confused. As the second period bell rang, the second plane hit. My class sat silently and the news reported the terrorist attacks. There was also news of a plane heading to the Pentagon. My teacher became very upset. I went to school in Dayton, Ohio. Many students had family that worked at Wright-Patt Air Force Base. My teacher's husband was a high ranking officer who was traveling to the Pentagon that very day, by plane. Thankfully, in the end he was on a later flight and never even boarded.

There was an announcement for all teachers to turn off the t.v.'s in the classrooms, but no teacher did. I am thankful for this. I saw images that made me grow up and I realized that the world would change forever. There are so many memories from that day. My mom came home early, Air Force One landed at Wright-Patt, my grandmother had just moved out of the World Trade Center after living there for a year while working for a bank.

I knew a day would come where students would only have verbal memories of what people said happened on that day. I plan to share my memories with the students and hopefully they understand how, when I sat in those same chairs, as a high school student my worries went from, boyfriends, homework, and practices to the pain so many people were feeling. For the first time in my life, I felt small and this day will always remind me how lucky I am to be alive.

This website has a graphic timeline where students and parents alike can view the anniversary in a linear atmosphere. There are also victim profiles. People with families and loved ones died that day. People just like you and me. Take a look and reflect on this day with care.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A little view into our Monday.

Today in English 11 we are reading the Declaration of Independence and discussing historical connections from the past to current day issues. We watched this video and many students seemed to enjoy a different spin on a past song.

Just a reminder to all students: this week is Fall Festival be sure to dress up and bring food and nonperishable items for the food drive!

Monday: Mismatch Day
Tuesday: Superhero Day
Wednesday: Class Day
Thursday: Cowboy and Indians Day
Friday: Gridiron - School Spirit Day

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weeks are flying by....

I have few activities to share. Both English 11 and Speech are working hard on new chapters or unit after finishing some tough material and at the same time proving themselves as "top-achieving" students. I am really enjoying the classes and how well they work together.

In Speech a few weeks ago we did an exercise with communication. The students got into pairs and one student faced the board while the other had paper and pencil and could not see the board. Students able to see the whiteboard were told to try and articulate the images I drew on the board to their partner. Sometimes they weren't allowed to use their hands, other times they weren't allowed to use the shape words (like, circle or square). This proved to show some of the students strengths and weakness in communication. Either way, the students did learn how important shared meanings and team work really are. Below are some images from my 4th period Speech class and the image I came up on the board.

Could you verbally describe this image?
In English 11 we just finished Unit 1 and we are starting Unit 2. This new Unit covers early America and all the Nonfiction that helped us gain our freedom. We started of with Benjamin Franklin and some of his funny work and some of his "self-help" writings as well. (Ask your students about all the information). Benjamin Franklin was also famous for some of his Aphorisms (short sayings with a  life meaning of purpose). The students really seemed to enjoy reading some of them and picking them apart to find the meaning behind the small amount of words.

This made me think about "The Shortest Short Story" by Ernest Hemingway. See Ernest was once challenged to write a story using only six words (or so the literary legend goes). His response , which matched his sense of brevity, was:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn. 

I asked the English 11 students to try and make their own six word short story! Though many turned into aphorisms (I am really happy with those too) others really did have some stories in small words. 

  • Broke my leg: shattered all dreams.
  • I haven't lived, until we met.
  • Half court shot. Buzzer Rings. Victory!
  • Bright headlights: over corrected. Never again.
  • We ran: until our hearts hurt.
  • My Drill. My Dot. My Life.
  • Same identity, yet different birth times.
  • Shy to society; Genius by night.
  • We over me; team over superstar. 
  • Fear the beard: Today and Tomorrow.
  • Forever we said: Forever it stayed.
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