Well, now that the dust has settled, it’s time to put a close to the 2014-15 school year. It was a tremendous first year for me at the International School of Beaverton. I felt very welcomed to a school full of students and staff who strive to be excellent. I enjoyed my previous years of teaching back in Michigan, but this year created plenty of great memories and I feel at home here in Oregon.
Grades have been posted (and have been available to see on StudentVue all semester…). If you have questions, please email me. I will be checking my staff email frequently and am happy to help if needed.
Enjoy your summer! See some of you in the Fall.
Our English class is still reading the play, Taming of the Shrew. I am aware that we are moving very quickly through the unit as we are rapidly approaching our final days of class. Normally I ask students to only use the “No Fear Shakespeare” series as a supplement and to try and challenge themselves through the text. However, given the press for time, and the inability to completely dissect each component to the story, the following link may be useful: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/shrew/
Students were given a Reading Response worksheet on Monday. I am asking for the sheet to be completely filled out (front side only) by this Friday (June 05). A copy of the sheet can be found below:
Taming of the Shrew – Reading Response Worksheet
Grades: Grades will be updated frequently over the next two weeks . Please keep checking Synergy and let me know if you have questions.
My goal is to let each student know what work is missing and what they can do to improve their grade, if necessary, by early next week. For some, the negligence of turning in assignments, even with extensions, will impact their grade substantially. I have made numerous announcements in class and here on the site encouraging students to get work in!
With that being said, I am happy overall with the growth this English class has demonstrated this year. High school…here they come!
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
My apologies on neglecting to update the website for a few days.
Our English class is in the middle of our final unit, the reading and analysis of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Students have been reading the play in class, and discussing what is occurring (as Early Modern English tends to be a bit tricky to navigate).
Below are the introductory notes for the unit. These will be helpful for the final in-class writing task.
Taming of the Shrew Introduction Notes
Today marked the final day of To Kill a Mockingbird for our class. Students took an in class essay as their final task for the unit. The prompts for the final essay can be found below:
TKAM Final Essay
Students: please return your copy of the novel, to the media center, as soon as possible!
We will spend the remainder of the school year reading, analyzing, and discussing William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.
Book Trailer Projects:
Our class had time reserved in the computer lab to continue working on the book trailer project. Unfortunately, we had an unforeseen issue as the internet went down through out the district for parts of the school day.
Since we were unable to work on the projects and I have extended the due date as a result. Projects need to be submitted by May 26th.
In Class Essay:
Students will be taking an in class essay on Tuesday, May 26th. Students were given some areas to focus and consider to help prepare them. This essay will look at their growth from the start of the school year until now. This essay will be started and completed in class on Monday and will not be homework.
Students (PLEASE READ) – At the end of class Tuesday, you need to turn in your copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. You will not be able to pick up your yearbook until all books and textbooks are turned in.
After Monday our English class will move into our last, albeit brief, final unit – Taming of the Shrew.
Please email me with any questions or concerns.
Our English class has moved on to making trailers for the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Guidelines and rubrics can be found below:
TKAM Book Trailer Guidelines, Book Trailer Rubric
Students are able to work in small groups of three. Students have access to Animoto, a free movie production website, or the ability to use iMovie on the Apple computers in the labs.
For Animoto: the login is, email@example.com, and the password is, tkamisb.
The assignment is tentatively scheduled to be submitted by the end of the day tomorrow (May 20). This may adjust if I feel students have diligently been working in the labs and truly need some extended time on the project.
As always, feel free to email me with any questions or concerns.
Students worked in their book groups to create a summary for the chapters they were assigned. I felt that all of our groups did well on this and created concise but informative summaries, highlighting important events from the remaining chapters of the novel.
Then, as a class, we reviewed themes from the novel. This information can be found in the link below:
Themes in TKAM
Teacher for the Day: Students who have yet to complete this assignment, need to do so independently and submit it to my email by May 18th.
Monologues: Monologues needs to be either handed in, or emailed to me by this Thursday @4:00PM. Students are given the option to perform their monologue in class, or video record themselves and submit via email. More information can be found in the handout in the previous update (scroll down).
Update – 05.11.2015
Film: On Friday, our English class finished the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Students: remember to answer the following prompt in your journal.
Required prompt response: In the famous movie version of the novel, several key events (Miss Maudie’s house fire, visiting Cal’s church, Miss Dubose’s struggle with morphine, Dill’s running away, Christmas with Francis and Aunt Alexandra, the tea party) and characters (Mr. Dolphus Raymond, Aunt Alexandra) are excluded. Choose ONE thing missing from the movie, and explain to the movie’s director why that scene or person MUST be included by describing its importance to the novel’s themes or characters’ development.
Students were also given the guidelines for their character monologues. The link below provides the assignment expectations, as well as, a guided brainstorm to allow students to start collecting their ideas and plan for the monologue.
Monologues need to be a minimum of one page long, and must accurately represent the thoughts and feelings of the character they chose. Monologues are meant to convey important information to the audience.
Students have two options for this assignment:
1. Film the monologue and submit the video, with the typed script, via email by the morning of May 14.
2. Perform the monologue in class on May 14, and submit the script after the performance.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Students will be comparing the film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, to the novel, over the next few class periods. The class was given the following two questions:
1. In the famous movie version of the novel, several key events (Miss Maudie’s house fire, visiting Cal’s church, Miss Dubose’s struggle with morphine, Dill’s running away, Christmas with Francis and Aunt Alexandra, the tea party) and characters (Mr. Dolphus Raymond, Aunt Alexandra) are excluded. Choose ONE thing missing from the movie, and explain to the movie’s director why that scene or person MUST be included by describing its importance to the novel’s themes or characters’ development.
2. A dynamic character is a character that changes in an important way through the course of the novel. Besides Scout, describe a character that changes in a significant way through the course of the novel. What specifically changes in that person? Describe the character initially, what causes him/her to change, and how the change is evident at the end of the novel.
NOTE: Question one was assigned and is a required response that will go in their journals. Question two is extra credit, and can help improve their journal grade.
On Friday we will return to class without anymore disruptions from Smarter Balance. We will spend the upcoming weeks reviewing the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, the themes of the novel, and completing two more summative assessment tasks. Still have plenty to do for this novel!
Until next time,
Yesterday our English class reviewed To Kill a Mockingbird chapters 19 -23. We played a Jeopardy -like game which turned out be very competitive. An overview of the questions and answers can be found here:
TKAM: Quiz Review Game 19-23
Again, we will be putting class on pause as we will be completing our Smarter Balance testing next week. Further information on next week’s schedule will be coming home via email from our school’s administration.
– William Milburn