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September 17-21, 2018

Monday, September 17: Professional Day (No School for Students)

  • Wish you were here....

Tuesday, September 18: B Day



Wednesday, September 19: A Day (Writing Lab 202)

Thursday, September 20: B Day (Writing Lab 202)

  • Turn in Journals for scoring!
  • Writing Assignment!
  • Cursive Handwriting: There is much recent debate over whether or not schools should continue to teach cursive handwriting as they once did. Typing and texting are now much more common than longhand, and some cursive critics argue that time in school would be better spent teaching students to master those skills instead of requiring them to practice writing letters that, while attractive and flowery, serve little purpose in the modern world. Others, however, claim that the discipline and fine-motor-skill development of learning cursive is a valuable and necessary way to spend time in school. Using textual evidence from any/all of the sources (and this website), write a multi-paragraph argumentative essay in response to this question: Should schools teach cursive handwriting to students?
  • Organize it according to the Academic Essay Format.
  • The Cursive Debate: New York Times Articles
  • Write the essay.
  • Elements of the Argumentative Essay: Here is how it wil be scored. Check yours against this rubric before you print.
  • Print one copy (two-sided) and turn in.
  • Submit the essay to Utah Compose. Request peer review.


Friday, September 21: A Day [Autumnal Equinox]


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

September 24-28, 2018

Monday, September 24: B Day

  • Word Study
  • Resources: Prefix/Suffix Lists
  • Neologolusion: Creating New Words & Making Sense of Unfamiliar Ones
    • Using your lists of prefixes/suffixes and the Word Cells we've learned so far, create a new word and its dictionary definition. Fill in ALL the blanks!
  • Word Cells o' the Week: -gram-/-graph-, -scrib-/script-, -dict-,
    -string- / -strict- / -strain-
  • Neologolusion: Creating New Words & Making Sense of Unfamiliar Ones
  • Using your lists of prefixes/suffixes and two of the Word Cells we learned today, create a new word and its dictionary definition. Fill in ALL the blanks! (We've now done the first two on this page.)
  • [Return Journals -- Keep scored journals in the back of the Journal section of your English Binder!]
  • Journal #_: "Honesty is the best policy." Or is it? Is there ever a time when it is right to lie? Consider the many different sorts of lies that have been told in The Pigman. Are you a good liar? Why or why not? (Give an example of a time you either lied very well and got away with it or lied poorly and got caught.) What are some of the reasons we lie? Fill the page!
  • Finish Chapter 10
  • The Pigman: Read/Discuss Chapter 11
  • [Update Chapter Titles]
  • Use the Literary Elements Handout to begin this Assignment on The Pigman.

Tuesday, September 25: A Day
Wednesday, September 26: B Day [PT Conferences -- 3:45 - 7:15 P.M.]


Thursday, September 27: A Day [PT Conferences -- 3:45 - 7:15 P.M.]
Friday, September 28: B Day


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

October 1-5, 2018

Monday, October 1: A Day
Tuesday, October 2: B Day


Wednesday, October 3: A Day
Thursday, October 4: B Day (Writing Lab 202)


Friday, October 5: A Day (Writing Lab 202)

  • Pigman Objective Test
  • Journal #3: Copy the quotation that you think best applies to the last chapter of The Pigman and explain why in a RACE response.
    "It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do."
    --John Baptiste Moliére

    "Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will - his personal responsibility."
    --Albert Einstein

    "When we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone."
    --George O'Neil

    "A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make."
    --Denis Waitley
    R(eword): This statement best applies to the last chapter in The Pigman because...
  • A(nswer): ...
  • C(ite): In Chapter 15 John says, "........"
  • E(laborate): This shows that John..., which is exactly what the quotation above is referring to. Also, .....
  • Review your scored essay about cursive (with the argumentative rubric).
  • Review the comments and suggestions.
  • Then log in to Utah Compose and open up the digital version of that essay that you submitted last time.
  • If you have not already requested peer feedback, do so now.
  • Read and review two or three of your classmates' essays.
  • Give useful, constructive suggestions based on the comments you got on your own paper and/or rubric.
  • Help them improve their essays.
  • Go back and see what your classmates said about your essay.
  • Taking all the suggestions into account, revise your essay. (Don't just edit!)
  • Print the improved version + staple it on top of the first draft so the reader can compare your first draft to the revision.
  • Independent Reading Assignments: Assign New Books
  • Homework: Start reading that book!
  • Extra Credit Option: Enter a short story (750-2000 words) in the school Reflections Contest.
  • Entry Form
  • Extra credit will never make up more than 3% of a grade, so don't expect it to raise your B- to a straight-A on the last day of the term!
  • Due to the school office with all forms filled out and signed by October 13th.


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

October 8-12, 2018

Monday, October 8: B Day


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


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

  • Word Cells o' the Week: -fer-, -port, -lat-, -mort-, -rupt-
  • Listen to the podcasts (headphones in lab) and finish Neologolusion page for First Term Word Cells!
    • Using your lists of prefixes/suffixes and the Word Cells we've learned so far, create a new word and its dictionary definition. Fill in ALL the blanks!
  • Turn in completed Neologolusion next time! (70 points!)
  • Journal #6: Write a R.A.C.E. response that includes at least two separate, specific examples from the story.
  • Explain two instances of irony in "The Cask of Amontillado." (Identify the type of irony.)
  • Put "A Poison Tree" questions (2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13 + paragraph response) at the back of the journals.
  • Staple neatly and turn in! (70 points!)
  • Poem o' the Day & Close Read/Analysis Assignment: The Raven
  • Read, Listen, and Translate!
  • Ask your questions now!
  • Paraphrase your assigned section.
  • Should be written in the first person -- I, me, myself – as though you are the narrator
  • Should include all the details: setting, description, quotations, what happened, etc.
  • Does not include any rhyme or repetition
  • Present paraphrased passages aloud.
  • Summary Statements for Each Stanza
  • Study Questions
  • Terror of the Soul: Poe Biography (nope -- no time)
  • Poe Bio notes


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

October 15-19, 2018

Monday, October 15: A Day
Tuesday, October 16: B Day (Writing Lab 202)

  • Word Cells o' the Week: -fer-, -port, -lat-, -mort-, -rupt-
  • Listen to the podcasts (headphones in lab) and finish Neologolusion page for First Term Word Cells!
    • Using your lists of prefixes/suffixes and the Word Cells we've learned so far, create a new word and its dictionary definition. Fill in ALL the blanks!
  • Turn in completed Neologolusion next time! (70 points!)
  • Journal #6: Write a R.A.C.E. response that includes at least two separate, specific examples from the story.
  • Explain two instances of irony in "The Cask of Amontillado." (Identify the type of irony.)
  • Put "A Poison Tree" questions (2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 13 + paragraph response) at the back of the journals.
  • Staple neatly and turn in! (70 points!)
  • Poem o' the Day & Close Read/Analysis Assignment: The Raven
  • Read, Listen, and Translate!
  • Ask your questions now!
  • Paraphrase your assigned section.
  • Should be written in the first person -- I, me, myself – as though you are the narrator
  • Should include all the details: setting, description, quotations, what happened, etc.
  • Does not include any rhyme or repetition
  • Present paraphrased passages aloud.
  • Summary Statements for Each Stanza
  • Study Questions
  • Terror of the Soul: Poe Biography (nope -- no time)
  • Poe Bio notes


Wednesday, October 17: A Day (Writing Lab 202)


Thursday, October 18: Fall Recess
Friday, October 19: Fall Recess



Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

October 22-26, 2018

Monday, October 22: B Day



Tuesday, October 23: A Day
Wednesday, October 24: B Day

  • Turn in Hall Pass for extra credit.
  • Independent Reading Book Tests + Term Test
  • Terror of the Soul: "The Cask of Amontillado"
  • See you next term!


Thursday, October 25: A Day
Friday, October 26: B Day (First Term Ends)

  • Journal #1a: First Term Reflection -- Your first term of high school is now behind you. How do you feel about that? How did it go? What were the highlights and lowlights? Were there unexpected things that happened, or did it go about as you thought it would?What did you learn during the last 10 weeks? Do you like 9th grade? Why or why not?
  • Journal #1b Second Term Pre-flection [Get it? PREflection, not REflection: -flect-/-flex- = bend; -re- = back/again; -pre- = before -- "bend before" to look on the coming term.]
  • Since the second term begins today, write a PRE-flection (looking before) of your expectations for the next two months. Based on the lessons you learned last term, what are you going to do differently this term? Remember that the second term includes two long holiday breaks. (The term ends on January 12, 2018! Think of it!) Do you have any big plans for those breaks? What books will you be reading independently this term? Are you planning to do more homework? Less homework? Are you going to have fun? Are you going to make me keep asking all these questions, or can’t you just write for a page about the future on your own? Honestly! Fill the page!
  • Goal Setting: In your journal, on the page after your reflection & preflection, set three goals for the second term, phrased as "I will" statements:
    • Academic: a school goal
    • Social: a goal about your interactions with peers
    • Personal: a goal to improve something in your family or life
  • Grammar Punk: Verbs + Mr. Morton
  • Write sentences that are actually sentences! (Do you know how to tell?)
  • Slay the Jabberwock!
  • Poem o' the Day: "Halloween" by Mac Hammond
  • Halloween Horror: Critical Thinking/Inquiry/Argumentation Exercise
  • Vocab: Means, Motive, Opprtunity, sometimes M.O., Narrative (for jury)
  • Have fun trick-or-treating, but watch out for the Butterfingers!
  • English Binder Check: Everything in its place!


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

August 20-24, 2018: Welcome Back!
Term 1: "Why?" and "How to..."

Monday, August 20 (Back-to-School Night, 6:00 P.M.)
Tuesday, August 21

  • This term you will learn HOW TO...
  • ...ask questions.
  • ...keep an amazingly organized English Notebook.
  • ...write on demand every day for a variety of purposes.
  • ...develop an argument: evidence, reasoning, counterclaim/rebuttal, conclusion.
  • ...write a text-based informational and/or argumentative essay.
  • ...close read and annotate text.
  • ...deduce the meaning of an unfamiliar word by recognizing its "cells.".
  • ...define and classify words according to their parts of speech.
  • ...accept responsibility.
  • ...analyze the elements of fiction in various texts.
Poem o' the Day: "Do you have any advice for those of us just starting out?" by Ron Koertge

So, let's get started!
Wednesday , August 22: A Day
Thursday, August 23: B Day

  • Seating Chart: Find your seat!
  • Read. Write. Repeat.
  • [Reading Literature] Poem o' the Day: "Invitation" by Shel Silverstein
  • [Word Study] "In the beginning was the Word...."
  • Suffixes that refer to people create nouns: -ant / -ar / -ard / -arian / -ee / -ent / -er / -ess / -eur / -ier/yer / -or / -ist
  • These are nouns: servant, liar, wizard, librarian, payee, resident, painter, countess, chauffeur, cashier, lawyer, doctor, biologist
  • Prewrite: Think of nouns that apply to you. (Who are you? What do you do?)
  • I am a(n)....breather, eater, friend, swimmer, brother, writer, metalhead, ranter, resident (of Utah), technophile...
  • [Reading/Writing Informational] Now let's get a bit more descriptive: Are you the kind of student who...?
  • [Composition] Finish/Discuss/Turn in.
  • So, what are we in for?
  • [Reading Informational] Letters from the past....
  • Discussions, and Didgeridoos
  • If possible, have a 1½” three-ring binder (for this class only) with you on or before August 30/31.


Friday, August 24: A Day

  • Is this good writing? Why or why not? (Discussion)
  • Poem o' the Day: "Did I miss anything?" by Tom Wayman
  • (This puts the Tone in SOAPSTone!)
  • Lesson: How you say something is often as important as what you say.
  • Review scored Are you the kind of student who...?
  • Assignment: Write a one-page letter to yourself at the end of the school year.
  • Staple/Turn in.
  • Details, Disclosures, Discussions, and Didgeridoos
  • Parents: NEXT WEEK, please log in to your MyDSD Account and digitally "sign" to indicate you have seen the class disclosure.
  • Here's why you need that 1½” three-ring binder by next week!
  • (Listen not only to what they say but also to how they say it.)
  • How does Thompson do business?
  • Website Review: Look around for a few minutes.
  • Hall Passes: You get one per term. Use it wisely.
  • Want to keep the ogre happy? Don't say or do any of these things. (Tone!)
  • If possible, have a 1½” three-ring binder (for this class only) with you on or before August 30/31.


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

August 27-31, 2018

Monday, August 27: B Day

  • Is this good writing? Why or why not? (Discussion)
  • Poem o' the Day: "Did I miss anything?" by Tom Wayman
  • (This puts the Tone in SOAPSTone!)
  • Lesson: How you say something is often as important as what you say.
  • Review scored Are you the kind of student who...?
  • Assignment: Write a one-page letter to yourself at the end of the school year.
  • Staple/Turn in.
  • Details, Disclosures, Discussions, and Didgeridoos
  • Parents: Please log in to your MyDSD Account and digitally "sign" to indicate you have seen the class disclosure.
  • Here's why you need that 1½” three-ring binder by Friday!
  • (Listen not only to what they say but also to how they say it.)
  • How does Thompson do business?
  • Website Review: Look around for a few minutes.
  • Hall Passes: You get one per term. Use it wisely.
  • Want to keep the ogre happy? Don't say or do any of these things. (Tone!)
  • If possible, have a 1½” three-ring binder (for this class only) with you on or before August 30/31.


Tuesday, August 28: A Day (Writing Lab 202)
Wednesday, August 29: B Day (Writing Lab 202)

  • Welcome to the Computer Lab: Our Home Away from Home!
  • Seating Chart
  • Reading Inventory: NetApps > Students > Read 180 Reading Inventory
  • Login, take test, write down your reading (lexile), log out.
  • Poem o' the Day: "Writer Waiting" by Shel Silverstein
  • Here's your first (timed) argumentative essay topic!
  • Read the Instructions and the Texts
  • Open a Word document and save it to a place you can access from home or another lab.
  • Specifications: No Spacing, Times New Roman, size 12
  • Heading: First and Last Names, Period, Date (Justify Right)
  • Write the best argumentative essay you can in the time allotted.
  • Print a copy from Word AND submit it to Utah Compose!
  • Turn in printed copy.
  • Here's how it will be evaluated.
  • Homework: Bring a three-ring binder next time!


Thursday, August 30: A Day
Friday, August 31: B Day

  • If you didn't turn them in last time, turn in essays now!
  • The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  • Chapter 1: Meet John!
  • Chapter 2: Meet Lorraine!
  • Note the different narrative tones!
  • In-Class Assignment: First Impressions (of John and Lorraine).
    • Find and copy a sentence in each of the first two chapters in which the voices of John and Lorraine seem particularly strong.
    • Now look at that thing you did last time: Are you the kind of student who...?
    • Write a sentence about each narrator: John is the kind of _________ who.... Lorraine is the sort of________ who...
    • Do the sentences you copied serve as textual evidence to support these claims? (They should!)
  • Which narrator would you be more likely to befriend? With whom do you have the most in common?
  • Who will make the better narrator? Do these characters remind you of anyone you know? (Who and why?)
  • This assignment goes in the Reading/Literature of the English Binder, which brings us to....
  • ...Three-ring Binder (in class today!): Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions
  • Journal Entry #1:
  • Write for ten minutes. Introduce yourself! How is ninth grade different than eighth grade? What did your do over the summer? How was the first week of school? What you write about is not as important as the fact that you write a coherent and complete reflection, story, or description. You may be called upon to share parts of this entry aloud. Fill the page!
  • The Pigman: Chapter 3


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

September 3-7, 2018

Monday, September 3: Labor Day

  • No School: Labor Day Holiday
  • Poem o' the Day: "What Work Is" by Philip Levine

Tuesday, September 4: A Day
Wednesday, September 5: B Day

  • The Pigman: Chapter 4
  • Reading/Literature: Pigman Chapter Titles. None of the chapters in this novel have chapter titles...yet. You are going to give each chapter a title and explain why it is appropriate. On the next blank page in your Reading/Literature Section, number (1-15) on every other line. As we finish each chapter, assign it a title that you believe works for the content of that chapter and write a brief explanation of why you think that is an appropriate title for the chapter. Leave room on the same page to do this with the remaining chapters. (There are 15 in all, so you will be returning to this page often for the next couple weeks.)
  • Reading/Literature -- Literary Concepts to Review and Watch For (Handout)
    Today: Setting, Foreshadowing, First-Person Narrator (x2), Motif
  • Humorous Devices in The Pigman: Euphemism
  • [Add this to your Literary Concepts handout.]
  • What euphemisms do you use and why?
  • The Pigman: Chapter 5
  • Poem o' the Day: "Writing" by Howard Nemerov
  • Close Reading & Annotation: What does it mean? (Models)
  • Do YOU actually close read stuff, Thompson?
  • Now you close read the Poem o' the Day. (Ten Quiet Minutes)
  • Strategies for Close Reading:
  • The physical act of reading (eyes) vs. Making meaning (brain)
  • Metacognition: Know what you don't know! And don't just ignore it.
  • CARE! Everything is boring to those who don't.
  • Connect the text to your experience/life in some way.
  • Minimize distractions, mental and otherwise.
  • Journal #2: Handwriting (Write Now!) -- Copy the sentence in your neatest cursive. [If time permits] Respond to the prompt (not necessarily in cursive).

Thursday, September 6: A Day (Writing Lab)
Friday, September 7: B Day (Writing Lab)

  • Turn in your close read of the Poem o' the Day.
  • Log in to MyDSD and sign your computer use agreement. Immediately!
  • Elements of the Argumentative Essay: Analyze your scored essay from last week. (Yes, use a pencil and fill in the blanks!)
  • Revision: What is it?
  • Rubric/Suggestions (from human reader) for Improvement: Junk Food Essays from Last Week
  • Follow the Academic Essay Format.
  • Don't be a Bubba by announcing yourself: "I am going to tell you...," "I have to write about...," "Thompson is forcing us to write...."
    • Don't make it more about you than about the topic: Third-person, avoid "I" and "me".
  • Revise your essay from last week, making significant improvements.
    • When you are finished, save it with a new file name.
    • Print a revised copy.
    • Staple it on top of the analysis and the first draft with the scorer's rubric still attached.
  • Log in to Utah Compose.
  • Submit your revision for a score.
  • Write the Utah Compose score at the bottom of your analysis.
  • DO NOT PRINT ANYTHING FROM UTAH COMPOSE!
  • Turn in the stapled packet of stuff.
  • This one will be scored on quality of writing/revision!
  • If you have extra time in the lab, do one or more of these things:
  • Handwriting, Continued....
  • Finish Journal #2
  • Finish the close read of the Poem o' the Day from last time according to these standards....
  • ...so it looks sorta like this when you're done.


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

September 10-14, 2018

Monday, September 10: A Day
Tuesday, September 11: B Day


Wednesday, September 12: A Day
Thursday, September 13: B Day


Friday, September 14: A Day


Sections of English Binder: Journal, Word Study, Composition, Reading/Literature, Grammar/Conventions

Q: "Did I miss anything?"
A: Yes.
^ Scroll up to find it. ^

Despite the absence of any support from the school district, I have made every reasonable attempt to ensure that this website is educationally sound and does not contain direct links to inappropriate material.
©2018 M. Wolfman Thompson - All rights reserved.

*<%^)