“This I Believe” Due Date

Good Afternoon,

The “This I Believe” essay and speech will be due on Monday, November 17th.  Students have been given handout with guidelines and the rubric. Copies of the guidelines can be found in the “Handouts” section.

Below is another handout that gives suggestions for adding details and strengthening student writing. I will be reviewing this in class tomorrow and will look for these elements in the essay portion.

Adding Details: “This I Believe”

Hope this helps.

Update: October 21, 2014

Good Morning,

My English class finished notes and the introduction to Anne Frank and the Holocaust. Below are links to the class generated notes (from selected readings and “jigsaw” activity) as well as a copy of the timeline of events reviewed in class. I will place these in the “Handouts” section as well.

Anne Frank Timeline (sorry for the “grainy” quality)

Jigsaw Response-Holocaust

We began The Diary of Anne Frank yesterday in class and will continue reading and analyzing the text the next few weeks. At home, students are expected to be working on their “This I Believe” speech, as well as, reading their book/novel for the upcoming comparison in class exam.

Please let me know if you have any questions,

William Milburn

A new unit brings new possibilities.

Good Afternoon,

We finished our Short Story Unit last Thursday (10.09.2014). Student assessments for the unit were: the Personal Narrative Essay and the in class response essay (connecting elements of a short story to the unit theme, stereotypes).

As a class well will be moving into a new unit, reading and analyzing  The Diary of Anne Frank (play, adapted from The Diary of a Young Girl).  We have two large components to this unit that I am introducing now but have due dates much later in the unit. I anticipate the unit taking us until almost Thanksgiving break to complete. I am still finalizing a unit calendar, and will update the website with said calendar once it is completed. The two unit assessments:

“This I Believe”  Speech:

Students will be asked to write a 500-700 word essay exploring a personal belief they hold, and what life events led them to this conclusion. Below (and I will place it in “Handouts” as well) are the guidelines and expectations for the essay. This essay will then be presented in class as a 3 minute speech.

“This I Believe” Speech and Essay Guidelines

Story Comparison:

On Thursday, we will go to the ISB library to check out  books/novels. These books will share a similar theme of The Diary of Anne Frank. Students will then do an in class essay response comparing and contrasting the story they read to Anne Frank.  Below is the rubric for this essay response.

Comparing Stories Rubric

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Take care,

William Milburn.

Student Portfolios

Students will be keeping their classwork in a portfolio throughout the school year. I have provided each student a folder to be kept in class. They are more than welcome to bring the portfolio home to share their work and progress (this is encouraged). I just ask that they are returned with the required items – I use their portfolio of work when grading.

Portfolio Check Number One: the following items are expected to be in the student portfolio when it is collected on Thursday.

Classwork / Homework  (Formative Assessments) 

  • Introduction Letter (to Mr. Milburn)
  • “This is My Face” Poem
  • Elements of a Short Story Quiz
  • “Walter Mitty” Plot Diagram
  • “The Scholarship Jacket” Plot Organizer
  • On Modern Intelligence
  • “Huron” Snapshot


  • Summer Reading Assessment (Formative Assessment) 
  • Personal Narrative Essay (Summative Assessment) 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

- William Milburn

Update: October 3, 2014

Good Morning,

The Language and Literature and Handouts sections are updated.

English students should be working on their Personal Narrative Essays at home. This score will be reflected in the grade book. The rubric and other supplemental information can be found in the Handouts tab.

Personal Narrative Essays Due: 10.7.2014 

Let me know if you have any questions.


Enjoy the weekend,

W. Milburn

And so the rain begins…

The opportunity to meet parents and families is always delightful, and Tuesday was no exception. I appreciate everyone taking time out of their evening to come learn about the IB curriculum, meet teachers, and support their students.

Grade Eight: Language and Literature. 

I will update the assignments list here shortly. I am having some difficulty uploading handouts (and had to take some down since the could not be opened). I anticipate fixing this problem sometime this afternoon and will upload all current handouts.

Learning Strategies and Academic Seminar: 

Please email me to gain access to the grade level student planner. As I mentioned during Parent Night, I will update the classwork and homework for each teacher in each grade level.

email: william_milburn@beaverton.k12.or.us

For now,

William Milburn