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March 25-29, 2013: Fourth Term Begins!

For this final term, you will learn....
  • ...more word cells!
  • ...new vocabulary words.
  • ...to use colons for something besides the eyes in emoticons.
  • ...advanced strategies for close reading literary and informational text.
  • ...writing in various genres for a multitude of purposes: memoirs, letters, analysis, argumentation, exposition.
  • ...VOICE.
  • ...connotations and denotations of words.
  • ...more poems o' the day!

Monday, March 25: A Day
Tuesday, March 26: B Day

  • Welcome to the beginning of the end!
  • Hall Passes, Handouts and Return to Routines
  • Last chance to to something nice for a teacher who made a difference.
  • C'mon! It'll take ya five minutes! (Nominations due Wedensday!)
  • Poem o' the Day: "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
    (MPT, p. 315)
  • All this goes in the Writintg Notebook:
    • Quickwrite (p. 314): Think of a time you made a significant choice in your life. Now imagine you had made a different choice. How would your life be different? (Identify the choice and write three sentences in response.)
    • Copy the poem into your Writing Notebook.
    • Answer questions 1, 4, & 5 on page 318.
    • Tone: Insert an adjective (to describe the tone of the poem) into line 16 before the word sigh: "I shall be telling this with a __________ sigh...."
  • Word Cells List #1 Assignment
    (Quiz on this set will be next time!
  • Homework: Finish the assignment and study the cells!


Wednesday, March 27: A Day
Thursday, March 28: B Day

  • Poem o' the Day: "I Knew a Teacher Once" by William Strong
  • Quiz on Word Cells Set #1 (Turn in Assignment)
  • NBtT: Day 1
  • Nothing But the Truth: Multigenre Documentary Novel
  • This book is not like a traditional novel with a narrator and a story-based plot. It is called a documentary novel because you are presented with a number of documents (transcripts of conversations, diary entries, letters, memos, phone calls, newspaper articles, etc.) that you must consider carefully to decide what really happened. Not all the characters tell you "nothing but the truth," so you have to be the jury, look at the evidence, warrant it, and decide what is true. You will write this into an argumentative essay at midterm, after we have finished the in-class reading.
  • Read pp. 1 - 25: Note the various genres. Which characters do you think will be involved in the main conflict? Is there anyone so far who is not telling "the whole truth and nothing but the truth"?
  • Writing Notebook: "The Star-Spangled Banner" (Show your work!) -- How many times have you heard it? How many of the words do you know?

  • AoW: -- "O Say Can You See...."
    (Read aloud, one paragraph each. Close Reading due next time.)
  • Assign Term Reading Book #1 (100 pages over Spring Break!)


Friday, March 29: A Day

  • Poem o' the Day: "Today" by Billy Collins
  • Close Read of O Say Can You See.... due
  • Writing Notebook: List five facts about "The Star-Spangled Banner" then write a reflection explaining the purpose of such an anthem. Is it a suitable song to represent current American values? Do you have your own personal anthem? (Fill the page!)
  • Also, copy this NBtT Vocabulary List into your Writing Notebook: gallant, animosity, spangled, facilitate, banner, rampart, peril, raucous, misconstrue, patriotism
  • NBtT: Day 2
  • Nothing But the Truth: Read pp. 26 - 54
    What genres of writing have appeared in the novel so far? Which one is obviously missing?
  • NBtT Vocabulary List: gallant, animosity, spangled, facilitate, banner, rampart, peril, raucous, misconstrue, patriotism
  • Word Cells List #2 Assignment
    (Quiz on this set will be on April 11/12.)



April 1-5, 2013: Spring Break!


April 8-12, 2013

Monday, April 8: B Day

  • Poem o' the Day: "Today" by Billy Collins
  • Turn in Close Read of O Say Can You See....
  • Writing Notebook: List five facts about "The Star-Spangled Banner" then write a reflection explaining the purpose of such an anthem. Is it a suitable song to represent current American values? Do you have your own personal anthem? (Fill the page!)
  • Also, copy this NBtT Vocabulary List into your Writing Notebook: gallant, animosity, spangled, facilitate, banner, rampart, peril, raucous, misconstrue, patriotism
  • NBtT: Day 2
  • Nothing But the Truth: Read pp. 26 - 54
    What genres of writing have appeared in the novel so far? Which one is obviously missing?
  • Word Cells List #2 Assignment
    (Quiz on this set will be on April 11/12.)


Tuesday, April 9: A Day
Wednesday, April 10: B Day

  • Poem o' the Day: "Tuesday, 9:00 A.M." by Denver Butson
  • NBtT: Day 3
  • Nothing But the Truth: Read pp. 55 - 90
  • Writing Notebook: What's really going on at this point in the story? No one has mentioned track or grades for quite a while, and clearly some of the characters have plans that they haven't fully explained. Write for a few minutes about what you think is really going on beneath the surface and between the lines.
  • Grammar Punk: Colon Rule #1
  • When Not to Use a Colon: Check for Understanding
  • Poetry Month Assignment: On your own time, choose one of the "Poems o' the Day" from this year to present aloud to this class during National Poetry Month. You will need a copy of the poem, and you will need to sign up for the one you choose as soon as you select it. No duplicates! More to come on this assignment....
  • Homework: Study Word Cells List #2



Thursday, April 11: A Day
Friday, April 12: B Day

  • Quiz on Word Cells Set #2
  • Poem o' the Day: "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins
  • Handout: How to Torture a Confession Out of a Poem
  • Writing Notebook: Torture a confession out of today's poem o' the day.
  • Poetry Month Assignment: On your own time, choose one of the "Poems o' the Day" from this year to present aloud to this class during National Poetry Month. You will need a copy of the poem, and you will need to sign up for the one you choose as soon as you select it. No duplicates! More to come on this assignment....
  • NBtT: Day 4
  • Read pp. 91 - 120. (I get to be Palleni!)
  • Word Cells List #3 Assignment
    (Quiz on this set will be on April 17/18.)



April 15-19, 2013

Monday, April 15: A Day
Tuesday, April 16: B Day

  • Poem o' the Day: What am I?
  • Bias: What is it, and how does it apply to this story?
  • Facts vs. Opinions: Do you know the difference?
  • Writing Notebook: Rewrite the newspaper article (p. 113 or p. 120 of NBtT) so that it is objective and non-biased like this one. (BTW: Does this story sound anything like Phillip's?)
  • Start by identifying the things that are not true.
  • Next, identify the words and sentences that bias the articles.
  • Finally, consider the "whole truth". What part of the story is the article not addressing?
  • Conventions of the genre of news writing include the following: third-person, objective facts only, no personal opinions of writer or biases, allow readers to draw their own conclusions. In other words, a good news article tells all sides of the story ("the whole truth") and does not depend on opinions or biases ("nothing but the truth"). Editorials and opinion pieces may include attempts to persuade with emotion, half-truths, and even outright lies, but YOU HAVE TO BE SMART ENOUGH to recognize a faulty or biased argument. (A powerful argument is always based on clear evidence and logic, not emotional appeals.)
  • NBtT: Day 5
  • Read pp. 121 - 150
  • Homework: Study Word Cells List #3


Wednesday, April 17: A Day
Thursday, April 18: B Day

  • Quiz on Word Cells Set #3
  • Poem o' the Day: "Dandelion" by Julie Lechevsky
  • Patriotism: Use the information in the magazine to answer these questions on the handout.
  • NBtT: Day 6
  • Nothing But the Truth: Read pp. 150-17_
  • Character Values Chart: Use this side of the handout to start crafting your argument. Who is responsible for the situation described in Nothing But the Truth? (In the final column, include quotes from the book as evidence to support your argument.)
  • Word Cells List #4 Assignment
    (Quiz on this set will be on April 25/26.)


Friday, April 19: A Day



April 22-26, 2013

Monday, April 22: B Day


Tuesday, April 23: A Day (Writing Lab)
Wednesday, April 24: B Day (Writing Lab)


Thursday, April 25: A Day
Friday, April 26: B Day



April 29 - May 3, 2013

Monday, April 29: A Day
Tuesday, April 30: B Day


Wednesday, May 1: A Day
Thursday, May 2: B Day


Friday, May 3: A Day



May 6-10, 2013

Monday, May 6: B Day


Tuesday, May 7: A Day
Wednesday, May 8: B Day


Thursday, May 9: A Day
Friday, May 10: B Day



May 13-17, 2013

Monday, May 13: A Day (CRT)
Tuesday, May 14: B Day (CRT)


Wednesday, May 15: A Day (CRT)
Thursday, May 16: B Day (CRT)

  • 7
  • Finish State-Mandated Testing
  • Final Draft of Life Soundtrack on Wiki.
  • (You should type it in Word first.)
  • Sample Life Soundtrack
  • Poem o' the Day: "Free Verses" by Sarah Kirsch
    (The verses are you! The speaker is me.)


Friday, May 17: A Day

  • 6
  • Why are you wearing glasses today? (Uh-oh! Here we go again!)
  • (Wanna see something really gross?)
  • Grammar Punk Review: Comma Rule 6
  • Dice Roll for Rule 6: TE4 adjective eyeballs
  • Stargirl: Read Chapters 15-17
  • Poem o' the Day: "The Way to Start a Day" by Byrd Baylor
  • While out in the desert with Leo (Chapter 17), Stargirl seems to find special insight and inner peace by "erasing herself" through meditation. Consider an activity you are especially familiar with in which you find peace and insight into Life and the world. Write a non-literal poem describing the way to do that activity. Instead of just listing the steps involved, describe the process from the inside. Create metaphors to explain the thoughts and emotions that the activity conjures in you. This fill-in-the-blank outline is only for those who aren't creative enough to come up with all the lines on their own. Don't use it if you don't absolutely need to. You may create a decorated final draft that is suitable for classroom display. Here's an example. Here's another. Be creative and artistic!
  • Neil's Solo: Think of the state of mind one must be in to perform a task this well. Imagine the thousands of hours of thought and practice that went into it. Then consider how he has to put all that aside for the eight minutes in which it all coalesces. He can't stop to think about each of the basic mechanics that make up his craft; he has to "get in the zone" where it all comes together without thinking. Your "The Way to _________" poem should focus on this zone, this state of mind, not on the literal how-to instructions of the activity you describe.
  • Writing Notebook: Continue the Order of Operations
  • (Most students in class finished Chapter 17, but many were absent for AP testing, Science Olympiad, etc.)
  • Finish Independent Reading Book #2 for next time!



May 20-24, 2013

Monday, May 20: B Day

  • 6
  • Why are you wearing glasses today? (Uh-oh! Here we go again!)
  • (Wanna see something really gross?)
  • Grammar Punk Review: Comma Rule 6
  • Dice Roll for Rule 6: TE4 adjective eyeballs
  • Stargirl: Read Chapters 15-17
  • Poem o' the Day: "The Way to Start a Day" by Byrd Baylor
  • While out in the desert with Leo (Chapter 17), Stargirl seems to find special insight and inner peace by "erasing herself" through meditation. Consider an activity you are especially familiar with in which you find peace and insight into Life and the world. Write a non-literal poem describing the way to do that activity. Instead of just listing the steps involved, describe the process from the inside. Create metaphors to explain the thoughts and emotions that the activity conjures in you. This fill-in-the-blank outline is only for those who aren't creative enough to come up with all the lines on their own. Don't use it if you don't absolutely need to. You may create a decorated final draft that is suitable for classroom display. Here's an example. Here's another. Be creative and artistic!
  • Neil's Solo: Think of the state of mind one must be in to perform a task this well. Imagine the thousands of hours of thought and practice that went into it. Then consider how he has to put all that aside for the eight minutes in which it all coalesces. He can't stop to think about each of the basic mechanics that make up his craft; he has to "get in the zone" where it all comes together without thinking. Your "The Way to _________" poem should focus on this zone, this state of mind, not on the literal how-to instructions of the activity you describe.
  • Writing Notebook: Continue the Order of Operations
  • (Most students in class finished Chapter 17, but many were absent for AP testing, Science Olympiad, etc.)
  • Finish Independent Reading Book #2 for next time!


Tuesday, May 21: A Day
Wednesday, May 22: B Day

  • 5
  • Indepedent Reading: Book #2 Test (Turn in books!)
  • Grammar Punk Review: Semicolons
  • Rule #1: ED4 adjective [novel #2]
  • I tried to read the classic novel Call of the Wild in bed; I dozed off.
  • Rule #2: UR3 preposition Stargirl
  • Our purpose is to read Stargirl before the last day of school; however, I refuse to read the entire novel aloud.
  • Rule #3: ON3 pronoun WILD
  • In my nose, I keep two smooth, brown stones; one spiny, yellow brush; and a half pound of flavorful, dark coffee beans.
  • Poem o' the Day (for the young women):
    "For a Girl I Know About to Be a Woman" by Miller Williams
  • Writing Notebook: Continue the Order of Operations
  • Stargirl Final Project Examples
  • Homework: STUDY ALL THE WORD CELLS!


Thursday, May 23: A Day
Friday, May 24: B Day

  • 4
  • GIANT WORD CELLS TEST
  • Poem o' the Day (for the young men):
    "If--" by Rudyard Kipling
  • Grammar Punk Review: Colons
  • Rule #1: IM4 preposition [teachers]
  • In the back of my mind, I imagine there are a limited number of words to describe Thompson: mystical, amazing, and mad as a hatter.
  • Rule #2: LE3 adjective 9th Grade
  • Attention: Clever squirrels leave ninth grade early!
  • Grammar Punk Review due next time!
  • Writing Notebook: Continue the Order of Operations



May 27-31, 2013

Monday, May 27: Memorial Day

  • No School


Tuesday, May 28: A Day
Wednesday, May 29: B Day


Stargirl Projects/Serenades
Thursday, May 30: A Day
Friday, May 31: B Day

  • 2 -- Last "Real" Day in 198
  • Life Soundtracks due (on Wiki) Friday by midnight
  • Poem o' the Day: "George Grey"
  • Writing Notebook: Get it ready to be scored!
  • Finish the Order of Operations
  • The Final Entry: Write a letter to yourself in ten years. Keep the journal until then and read it. Then write me a letter or an e-mail (or whatever the latest communication technology is by then) to tell me if things turned out as you planned.
  • Copy this on the last page:
    Thompson's Words of Wisdom as You Head to High School
    Life is Short: Don't be a George Grey!
    Be Nice: We're all in this together, and nobody gets out alive!
  • Now, take the notebooks home.
  • Hide 'em somewhere safe.
  • You'll be glad you did.
  • Serenades, Anyone?




June 3-7, 2013

Monday, June 3: A Day
Tuesday, June 4: B Day


Wednesday, June 5: A Day
Thursday, June 6: B Day (Lagoon Day)

  • Clean up!


Friday, June 7: A/B Day

  • School's Out for Summer!



"Did I miss anything?" This is the most annoying question students who have been absent can ask. My usual sarcastic reply is something like this: "Oh, heck no! We knew you were gone, so we just sat around all day and looked at each other. You don't really think I'm going to assign work on a day you're not here, do you?" So, in order to keep everyone (students and their parents) apprised of what exactly is going on each day in class, I am going to put it here. Check back often!


Despite the absence of any support from the school district, I have made every reasonable attempt to insure that this website is educationally sound and does not contain direct links to inappropriate material.
2013 M. Wolfman Thompson - All rights reserved.

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