Sunday, September 28, 2008

Guess what?!? I'm sick! Yay Interwebs!

If you are reading this then it means that they cold/flu in my body is winning and I will regretable have to call in sick...that doesn't mean that you slackers get off easy though. The directions are on the slide...See you Tuesday. Watch the Slide show and find your class (Creative Writing, Freshmen, Juniors). The directions are on each slide.

Monday, September 22, 2008

7 weeks and counting...

I thought that it would be an appropriate time to adress my classes individually in the hopes that they would have something to say. We are atleast past the progress report mark so that is good in spite of what your grade might have been.

To help shed some light on how it works I will explain...Since I work from a straight scale (100% being an "A" and 59% being an "F") the fewer points that you have in the grade book, the more that they count. An average class of mine in the 5th week of school will have anywhere from 60-85 points. That translates out into 6-8 point deficit per letter grade level. Hopefully you can see that any loss of points at this level really destroys grades. This is also why it is critical that students turn in ALL of their work. The only compensation that I can offer you is that everyday we are adding more assignments to the total so the gap between letter grades becomes wider. If you have any questions regarding grades, scores, or just want to check in on how folks are doing, please e-mail me at .

On to the post!!! Look for your class...respond accordingly.

Creative Writing:
I hope that everyone has been getting on well with the class. Lots of what we are focusing in on now is designed to put tools in your hands when it comes to creating characters/short stories/flash fiction etc.... Probably the single most important piece of advice that I can give you at the present moment is to develop stories that you care about. The reader needs to care the way that you do about what is happening on the page...

Man oh man, we are knee deep in Of Mice and Men and are looking at trying to finish the project that we started with this novel. Remember, 3 Quotes per Chapter and 5 new vocab words per chapter. Quiz is on Tuesday with us Wrapping up all of this business by Friday (Chap 5-6). After OM&M we will look to a unit on Edgar Allan Poe interspersed with work by Stephen King. Fun October reading and excellent examples of writing!

We have just finished The Crucible and in all sincerity, I had forgotten how much I liked this play. A love triangle set to the backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials. Sounds a lot like what you might pick up on the current best sellers list (Stephanie Meyer, Anita Blake,...). Arthur Miller, the plays author, wrote TC as a response to the Communist Witch Hunt that took place in the 40's. Pretty amazing piece of work. This week should wrap up the remainder of the work for The Crucible. If you have been working hard at producing a good Found Poem, Thank you! The really good ones we will put on display. Once we finish this week we will be back in our Interactive Readers for American Revolution Lit. Excellent Essays from days of Yore.

Well there is more, but I will save it for later...besides nobody likes a know-it-all!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ello poppet....

Well, school is underway and I am already swamped with papers. I am literally taking "time to write" out of my "time to grade" schedule. That in and of itself is not so amazing really. Grading is really pretty tough to do, especially when it is essay work. I am not one of those, slap a grade on it fellows and keep on truckin' into the next assignment. I like to leave commentaries, even though I know that a good portion of students don't/won't read them. If you are reading this and think, "Wait! That's not me. I kinda like the commentaries..." Thanks for the vote of confidence! Everyone else, you need to get on board with the program.
Anyhoo...the begining of school signifies my favorite times of the year, Fall! The leaves and the weather, and ohhhhhh the pretty colorssss... Yeah Fall is pretty great. As a kid it meant a great layout of awesome holidays back to back to back to back: Halloween to My Birthday to Thanksgiving to Christmas. My father-in-law takes the month to celebrate his birthday with the same furvor! He calls it "Johnny-Gra" and I like the idea though "Chris-Gra" sounds lame... Free sticker to anyone of my students who guess my Birthday!
My family and I recently went on an overnight excursion to the Montery Bay Aquarium I was able to get some neat footage of the shark exhibit that they have. I could have sat in front of that tank all day. It is two stories tall and full of the freakiest and most dangerous fish in the ocean. The Montery Aquarium has the only Great White Shark in captivity. It is still a baby at 4 1/2 feet long. Yikes and Zoinks Shagg! Click the film to check it out! Check back soon to see what stuff we are up to in class!