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Archive for the category “Assignments & Directions”

Independence Days

Hi Folks!

Last week was the start of student-choice days where the 9th graders got to choose which task (of three) they wished to prioritize each day. They had two and a half class sessions to complete all three.

English 9 & English 9H: All students had a grammar sheet, and an inquiry task.

English 9: Students had a short story (with discussion questions), and an individual inquiry (research into a topic that fascinates him or her) and inquiry journal entry. All were assigned and explained on Wednesday and had to be completed by the first half of the class period on Friday. I will attach ALL of the documents here, except the journal piece. That was to be done in student notebooks.

This week we will do a grammar lesson, writing prompt and inquiry.

English 9H: Students read Moby Dick or The Odyssey. Their reading will prepare them for discussion leadership projects that I will attach to a separate post. They will also do the grammar sheet.

How you can help: Ask your student if he or she needs help in doing the independent work. Remind him or her that I am available EVERY DAY before homeroom in Room 36 to give guidance, extra help or to discuss grades/revisions.

Here are the materials: Nouns-Common vs. ProperShort Story (TMDG) Questions


This Week in English Classes

Hello Again!

Just a quick note to let you in on what’s happening in English classes this week.

English 9H: Students are finishing up their group presentations based on a quote from the book Great Expectations. All students should have finished the reading the week after April break. For the rest of this week, both English 9 and 9H will be engaging in the same activities.

English 9 & 9H: all students did a quick, ten-question grammar quiz on Monday. After doing some brainstorming/pre-writing exercises, all students are doing an in-class process writing (“hot to” do something) today, Wed., May 10. When they’re done, they have to share their instructions with another students who will evaluate whether or not the language and organization of ideas make sense and can be followed as directions. Thursday during class time, we will attempt to test out some of the processes that students wrote about.

On Friday, May 12, all students will be taking a spelling and “vernacular” (every day use) vocabulary quiz during class. We’ve done a lot of practice with grammar lately.

How you can help: Ask your 9H student if he/she finished the research paper and what grade they’ve earned on it. Ask your student what their current lexile (reading level) score is and what he or she likes to read. Ninth grade students should have a lexile of 1035. Most students were above that. If your student scored below, then we will plan some ways for them to strengthen their reading skills.

Explorations and Storytelling

The SearchEnglish 9 – This week, the students have focused on coming up with topics to explore for our research unit. We will spend time focusing on the PROCESS of research. That includes: generating ideas, conducting inquiries, developing a thesis, finding academic sources to support the thesis, constructing a works cited page, outlining and properly formatting in-text citations. It’s a lot, but it’s broken down into workable parts. I am attaching the week’s class plan and ALL class materials have been attached to a post in Google classroom for students to access.

How you can help: Students were advised to discuss their research topic with adults to get some generalized information and perspective on it. Please ask your student about the topic he/she might be exploring for this unit.

English 9H The students in honors have begun a narrative writing unit. We started by experimenting with descriptive writing about setting, then moved on to character. The setting writing prompt involved giving each student a picture of a natural or landscape setting and having them write about the scene. Students also wrote about themselves in terms of character, then had a classmate do a characterization of them. We had some fun reading aloud the descriptions students wrote about one another.

On Thursday we will resume our student-led, research seminar discussions. Friday may be either a “Wordplay” activity or writing day.

How you can help: Please remind students that every week they need to prepare for their peers’ research seminars by reading the assigned articles and answering the questions posted on Google classroom. Each Wednesday I post the materials for the following week’s presentations. Many students procrastinate and are turning in the assignments late. Since it is now the third quarter I will be taking off points for late submissions of assignments. Some students are also losing points on the assignments because they are not being detailed enough in their responses.

Monday, December 5, 2016




Hi Folks! As I posted in Google Classroom to all of my classes today, Happy Monday and Yay! It’s snowing!

Every English class had a vocabulary/language assessment today. As usual, students were not required to study for it, they are given most of the definitions and then must respond to questions about how the words are used in context or about the parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb).

Students in all classes also were given a non-fiction reading to do on NEWSELA. I am attaching the link to the article as part of this post. Each of the classes were given the same article and two questions to answer as part of the assignment. I will attach the questions here as well.

How you can help: Please remind students to do the assignment. English 9H students also have TWO important readings to do this week to prepare for a student-led research seminar discussion on Thursday. BOTH articles AND accompanying questions were assigned last week.

English 9H Parents/Guardians: Please encourage your student to make an appointment for a help session with me regarding their research project. Some students reported having trouble with their research topics and searches, but they have not taken the time to come in for extra help. I have posted appointment sheets and my available time periods on the board at the front of the classroom!! I will be calling some parents this week about my concerns for some students who are already behind in their work on this project.

Article Questions 12/5

Explorers! Assignments for 9H

I just posted an assignment to Google Classroom for the English 9H students. I am providing the post and the links here so parents can see what the students SHOULD be working on or have completed by Monday.

The assignment (due MONDAY) is to find either a second article on a topic they’ve chosen or to find an article about a different topic they want to explore from the list they generated earlier this week. *I am attaching the guide question/prompt sheet that students did for yesterday’s assignment so that they can fill it in based on today’s exploration. Research Prompt Sheet 1

During class today I required students to create a document in their Google drive and to title it E9H Bib1 (for English 9 H Bibliography #1). On it, they should document any article they read about their first topic. If they explore a second topic, then they should create a SECOND document titled E9H Bib2. These will serve as bibliographies for their research papers. It is important for students to list any article, website, video or interview source that they consult during their research. If they’re in period 8, they have to do these assignments independently and as homework until their class period’s group presentations are over.

MLA format: In order to help with proper formatting for bibliography entries, **I am attaching to this post a link to the Perdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) website. it, students can find the correct MLA format for any of their sources.

We will spend Tuesday and Wednesday next week in the library where Mrs. Malizia and the library aides will assist students in creating a file folder for the research project, finding articles using the library databases, compiling bibliography entries, and using proper MLA formatting for their sources.

Today’s Tasks


Hello Parents!

Here are the things we covered in English classes today, along with links you can remind your student(s) about to help them accomplish their tasks.

English 9: We reviewed the end of Romeo and Juliet, then, in most classes, students did read alouds of pages 237 – 243. Students were directed to check Google Classroom for the final quiz/assignment, which tests their analysis of the text and its final events. There are two questions they need to answer and INCLUDE details from the text to support their responses. They should submit their writing on Google Classroom.

How you can help: Review the pages with them or encourage them to listen to the audio book version of Act V, Scene 3 or to go to YouTube to watch the final scene and listen to the lines spoken  by the prince. Those are the words they need to analyze and respond to for their assignment.

English 9H – Students were given an assignment to begin their research process. There is a specific task posted to Google Classroom. They should follow the directions of the task in order to access and evaluate at least ONE article to explore ONE of their topics of interest for the research project.

How you can help: Please remind your student to access the assignment on Google classroom. This project requires the students to work independently and this particular assignment will help them to begin their work. They should read at least one article and respond to the prompts posted by Friday, Nov. 4th.

English 9H Assignment!

HomeworkI sent an e-mail to parents via the portal with details about some confusion regarding an assignment for English 9H. I have edited the due date for it on Google Classroom and shown students specific steps to accessing articles so they can learn more about potential topics for their yearlong research projects.

Please have your student email me at over the weekend if he or she has questions they need answered. Either that, or they can come to Writing Lab in Room 36 before homeroom (7:15-7:40am) Monday in order to get some one-on-one assistance from me.

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

heartsjpgIn both classes we have literary characters who are very much in love. 

English 9H – Odysseus has finally reunited with his beloved wife, Penelope, but he can’t yet reveal to her that he is her husband in disguise. Yeeesh! What a mess! But we venture onward in our tale and hope that Penelope will not give in and marry one of those guys who has been hanging around her house, eating her food and drinking her wine during the nearly 20 years her husband has been away.

How you can help: Ask your student about the reading and what they like/dislike about it so far. You might also want to rent the movie, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” starring George Clooney. It’s a modernized version of The Odyssey and quite entertaining.

English 9 – Today we went over Act III in Romeo and Juliet. It was interesting because the students answered questions/prompts in a whole class discussion format so everyone got to talk through aspects of the play, including the time period and culture in which it was produced and how people valued different things, especially qualities of a person one might marry. We discussed the notion of Juliet coming to terms with what it might mean to spend the night with Romeo and the idea of her knowing that her duty as a wife was to be loyal to her husband, even if he did kill her cousin! Then, at the end of the discussion, students were given a sheet called “The Perfect Mate” Activity to do for homework. I’ve posted it and our discussion questions here: R & J Perfect Mate ActivityR & J WIS/WIM #4

How you can help: You have an assignment as well. The second part of the Perfect Mate Activity requires your student to ask you, or a trusted adult who knows him/her well, to list 7 characteristics YOU would look for in a perfect mate for him or her. Last year I had some families where BOTH mom and dad wanted to participate and I was fine with that. Have fun.

Week of Oct. 24 – 28, 2016

Hello Folks! This week has been a busy one so far in both classes. Here are some highlights and my regular “How Parents Can Help” feature.

English 9H – Students were given a packet describing the year-long research project called “Changing the World.” In it, they are challenged to come up with a topic of interest to them that they will explore in depth using multiple sources and experiences, including writing a research paper. I will update parents on that as we move along through it. The effort this week should focus on what your student wants to explore. Meanwhile, we are still doing group presentations of chapters from Homer’s “Odyssey” and the students are improving their speaking and presentation skills.

How you can help: Talk to your son/daughter about topics which might interest them and spark their curiosity. Have them show you the packet (I will attach it here, too, but don’t tell them!) English 9H Project and the list of possible topics. Research projects are much more meaningful when students choose the topics.

English 9 – We continue going over the text of Romeo and Juliet. Students were expected to finish reading the play last week. This week, we are focusing on pivotal events in the play and working on deciphering Shakespeare’s words and students’ interpretations of them. Again, students are seeing excerpts from the film, but I am torturing them by stopping at climactic moments and making them READ what happens next.

How you can help: The students will be given a rather fun assignment this week where they will have to define what characteristics they would look for in a “perfect mate.” They are supposed to ask YOU to make a list as well – as though you are being given the chance to choose a mate for him or her.

Communication – feel free to email me at if you have any questions or concerns about this week’s work.

English 9 Dual Assignments

AssignmentsFor English 9 I posted a vocabulary sheet in Google classroom. You should look up the definitions and use them to create a study guide for a quiz you’ll have next week.

Another assignment students were given in class was to choose a side in the issue about police use of tasers. Think about whether you are FOR or AGAINST the use of these devices. Then, use the article you read in class last week, “Questions Linger About Tasers,” to find information in it that supports the side you choose. After that, you must find ONE MORE ARTICLE from a different source, that supports your position. Print it, read it, and annotate it to find appropriate information.

I am linking the vocabulary sheet to this post as well so it saves you a trip to Google classroom. You’re welcome!

Vocab Trial Terms

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