Happy Monday! I apologize for neglecting my blog. I have been extremely busy. Yesterday, I heard an important message. The orator discussed the importance of placing a "watch" on our mouth. He asked his audience to quit saying negative things about themselves. Oftentimes, we fall into that trap due to disappointments regarding employment, school, family, relationships, etc . . . We need to spend time saying, "Despite these obstacles, I am a wonderful person." This made me think of the scene from my favorite film, "The Help." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H50llsHm3k Please remember that you IS kind. You IS smart, and most definitely, you IS IMPORTANT!
Your final exams are 1.5 weeks away. Please study during your "down" time. For my class, your test is comprehensive. Freshman, it is imperative that you begin preparing for the final. Start reviewing your notes and creating a study guide.
You may also be interested in the following information:
This year, you have found yourself taking several English quizzes/examinations that contain quotations. You are asked to identify the speaker and discuss the quotation's relevance to the assigned text. A significant number of you struggle with these types of tests. Please review the following Powerpoint Presentation (PPT). I ask that you review this information on my Fusion page.
* Pay attention to what you read. Do not simply go through the motions.
* Identify the passage's speaker, tone, etc. . . What clues help you realize who the speaker is?
* Ask yourself, "How does this quotations pertain to the entire work?
I have assigned Where'd You Go, Bernadette for your extra credit opportunity. Y'all know how much I love digital literacy! Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I read the description for this book:
Happy Monday! I hope that you enjoyed Desert Vista's wonderful Homecoming activities. GO THUNDER!
Yesterday, I heard a wonderful message regarding togetherness. A significant number of students have labeled me as a "difficult" instructor. Personally, I prefer the adjective, challenging. There is a reason as to why your "steps" have been "ordered" into my classroom. Take time to reflect upon the following questions:
* What about Dr. Cobb is pushing me to surpass the norm?
* What is the ultimate goal for me being in Dr. Cobb's class?
I hope that you are enjoying your weekend! Was I missed on Friday?
I would like to discuss the following topic with you: extra credit. I go "back and forth" about this topic. I was a student who benefited from extra credit; however, by the time that I entered college, EC was a thing of the past. Granted, there were professors who gave me a break; however, I worked for that "break." In regards to my education, nothing was given to me.
Many high school instructors refuse to give extra credit opportunities. They believe that EC promotes "vanity grades." By vanity grades, I mean grades that "look good" and serve as a "conversation piece."
:Parents at a dinner party:" Why, yes, my son attends ______ High School. He has a 3.75."
: Students at lunch:" "I have a 3.75. I am so smart."
Questions to consider:
* Was the GPA in both situations due to grade inflation (i.e. extra credit), or were the students denied EC and earned their grades?
* Does EC have a place in school's curriculum?
Based on today's lecture, I sense that a significant number of you are reading Sparknotes.com rather than The Canterbury Tales. Please realize that I am an exceptionally intelligent woman. If you think that you can squeak through the next week or so by going to sparknotes.com, think again. As a reminder, I was once a student. You cannot con the Con Artist.
1. Not score well on your quizzes or exams if you cheat yourself by solely reading sparknotes.com Your exams will reflect questions that will require you to read the literary work. Specific quotations will be needed to support your statements. In short, plot summary will not work.
2. Not score well on your essay
Recognize that I recognize that you are not reading the text! :) Spread the WORD!!!!!!
Please review today's video. It's LONG, yet the message is extremely important.
Yesterday, I saw The Words. I highly recommend the film. For those students under 17, see if your parents will take you to see it. Do NOT inform them that it is mandatory. The film deals with plagiarism, and I would love to know your sentiments about Rory and his actions. I haven't been that engrossed in a movie since The Help. If you have not read The Help, do so. I will never view chocolate pie the same way. Hee! Hee!
Please leave comments regarding the video. I am interested in reading your thoughts. My Seniors - - - I want to hear from YOU.
Reading is important. If you do not read, your writing will remain stagnant. Daily, I see students struggle with their writing. When I ask, "Do you read outside of school?," the answer is typically, "NO."
Read the following sentence carefully: You. Need. To. Read. Period. Technology has made children lazy. I will admit it. Rather than reading books, many students are on Facebook or texting their friends. I have to point the finger at our society's parents. We want our children to be on the same page as our international counterparts; however, we are not encouraging our children to read outside of the classroom. If a child is living in your house, you need to ensure that they are reading. This should be a daily activity. Children should not have the option to say, "I don't want to do it."
Recently, 125 Harvard students were cited for cheating. It is the largest cheating scandal that has hit a major university. Please review the following link: http://ideas.time.com/2012/09/04/harvard-cheating-scandal-is-academic-dishonesty-on-the-rise/
Is academic cheating on the rise, or has it always been present? How has the Internet led to the alleged rise?
As my students were taking a vocabulary quiz, I found this article on dictionary.com: http://hotword.dictionary.com/workplace-grammar/
My sentiments: YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! I am amazed by the average American's grammar skills. Regardless of your profession, you will be required to write. The excuse, "I don't write well" no longer works. Years ago, I was amazed by my former colleagues' poor writing skills. They would send emails to the entire company, and the messages would contain multiple spelling and grammar errors. It would literally take me 10 minutes to read a five sentence email.
Do you agree with Kyle Wiens, or should he worry about the "bigger fish" that he has to "fry?"
My favorite book is Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.As aforementioned, I attended parochial school from K-12.I had a hard time during elementary and high school.I wore thick glasses.The students bullied me, and I sought refuge at the library.
During the summer of 1983, I told the librarian, “I would like a book that depicts a little girl who shares my experiences.”She had me read Taylor’s novel, and I was hooked.I became Cassie Logan.I could relate to her racial injustices, because at my young age, I was facing the hardships associated with being “the other.”I read the entire Logan series, and I thirsted for more.
Nearly 20 years later, I revisited Taylor’s novels as I developed a topic for my dissertation.Indeed, my “steps” were “ordered.”I never thought that I would write a dissertation about a novel that impacted my life.I spent months analyzing Cassie’s words, her actions, and how double consciousness impacts both black adults and children.Together, Cassie Logan and I “cried for TJ; we cried for the land.” Nearly 30 years have gone by since I was first introduced to Cassie.WOW.
I attended Catholic school from K-12th grade. Recently, my elementary school was demolished. It made me think of the countless hours that I spent there. The expectations were fierce.The teachers (some were nuns) ran a “tight ship,” and you did not dare rock their “boat.” Our parents worked extremely hard. They were not making six figure salaries, yet they sacrificied and sent us to St. Mary's. We knew to study hard, "or else."
One of my skills that I will forever thank Sister Margaret for is grammar.The woman put the “c” in crazy.She would make us stand for an hour and recite our prepositions; adverbs; etc. . . .If we did not recite as loudly as she desired, we would have to WRITE grammar rules on SHEETS of paper.
Years later, I recognized her dedication to the English language.As discussed in my Freshman Honors course, grammar has been placed on the ‘backburner.’ A significant number of students deem it appropriate to write “IDK” on their exams.Fortunately, Desert Vista places an emphasis on grammar.If your grammar skills are poor, there is a strong likelihood that you have problems with writing.Learn and embrace grammar rules!
I would like to know your sentiments regarding grammar:Should it be taught in high school, or by 9th grade, students should know that a simple subject needs a simple verb; compound sentences have two or more main clauses; and the list goes on?
Tonight is Curriculum Night at DV. I am extremely excited about the opportunity to meet my students' parents. I sense that a significant number of my learners are worried about what I may to their parents. Trust me, I will shine a positive light on you.
Be sure to:
* Have you homework prepared for tomorrow's class. Freshman, work on RN #2.
* Seniors - Study for tomorrow's vocabulary quiz
While cleaning my desk, I came across a Mentoring Minds chart.It is called “Critical Thinking.”This is one of the major components to having a successful college experience. As Aretha Franklin says, "You better THINK!!!" My critical thinking skills did not blossom until I took Dr. Alan McKenzie’s “Short Story” course.He showed me how to ‘dissect’ a novel.I learned how to question the narrative’s title; character names and development; foreshadowing, and the list goes on.Reading has never been the same for me.
This year, I am challenging you to embrace critical thinking.Move beyond the basic journalist questions.As your critical thinking skills improve, so will your writing.This chart can be found at MentoringMinds.com. You may also find it at Lakeshore Learning Center (next to my favorite store, Ross).Be sure to read:
Thank you for helping me create a strong start for Week 2. Freshman Honors - your PPTs are wonderful. I am glad to see that you are honing your critical thinking skills via our analysis of C.S. Lewis' novel. Keep up the excellent work. Seniors - It is good to see that you are taking full advantage of my post-class assistance. Spread the word. :)
THANK YOU for today's class! It was great to see you begin the Smash process. I loved watching you get into the "trenches" as you chronicle your first/last year of high school. I was correct - some of my greatest opposers were the ones who were diligently decorating their Smash cover; placing photos into their book, etc. .. WONDERFUL!!!!!
During my childhood, one of my favorite television shows was "Fame." I admired Debbie Allen's role, Ms. Grant. She was a no-nonsense dance instructor who had faith that her students would achieve FAME. I had her infamous statement memorized. Today, I could not help but reflect that I have become Lydia Grant:
Students, "you've got big dreams?" What are they? Please share them in your replies to this post. What are you going to do in order to achieve them?
I hope that you had a relaxing weekend. Please review the following information:
* Seniors - Your Week 2 agenda will be available by Sunday (8pm)
* Freshman - Be prepared to work on your PPT during Monday's class.
* All: Review my Fusion page prior to Monday's class
* Watch the following video
It has been one whirlwind of a week. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my return to work. Students were extremely excited about their new classes, seeing old friends, etc. . .
The week ended with a lot of frustration. Many students were feeling overwhelmed due to the large amount of assignments. I kept telling myself, "Do these kids (both upper and lower classman) want to go to college? If so, they need to start embracing these assignments and the assistance that is provided." College is no joke. There is no one to hold your hand. Both Freshman Honors and Senior English is the nice "jolt" of reality that my students need. At universities, there is not much leeway. You choose to come to class ill-prepared? There's the door, and the universities laugh all the way to the bank when you are removed from their class, get a failing grade, and have to repeat the course. The best example of karma is when students act inappropriately in a college course, drop the class, and later find out that the only person that teaches that particular course, is the person who they disrespected.
Time management is extremely important. If students create a solid plan, they will make it to the finish line.
I push my students. I push them hard, because I have high expectations for them. If it takes them getting mad at me to do the work, wonderful! ;) My students need to embrace my challenge, and make some long-term goals. The only thing that their parents is asking them to do is to excel in school. That's not hard to do.
I had a wonderful time during today's class. Thank you for your participation. A significant number of you are feeling overwhelmed. That largely stems from being taken out of your comfort zone. The work is challenging, yet do-able. I have high expectations for you, and I am confident that you will meet them.
* What was the highlight of your day?
* What are some of your writing strengths and weaknesses?
* In regards to school, what motivates you?
* Which assignments are you finding difficult?
Teaching high school English is something that I take seriously. I am extremely concerned about the quality of writing that occurs at the workplace. My aim is to provide each of you with the skills needed to share your ideas on paper and electronically.
We made it! I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to meet you. I hope that you spend some time talking with your parents about your 1st day of school.
This evening, I would like for you to:
* Review the information located on my Fusion page.
* Respond to at least one of my posts.
* Inform your parents about my course's expectations
* Complete your homework AND remember to place the assignments in your folder/backpack.
* Engage in some leisure reading.
* Reflect upon your day. Be prepared to discuss your 1st day tomorrow in class.