This week in English

Notes for the week of December 15:



Peer edit and review of argumentative essay rough draft. Students were asked to go beyond fixing spelling and grammar errors. Students looked at clarity, organization, and overall effectiveness of their peer’s argumentative essay.


As a class we shared some of the proposed changes or additions to the amendments. I was pleased to hear a wide range of interesting ideas and perspectives. Then we started the film version of The Diary of Anne Frank.  Our class has worked exceptionally hard and put together three writing pieces over the past six weeks. We did not get to watch the film after we read the play and I figured this was a well deserved time to do so.


We will finish watching The Diary of Anne Frank.  There will be no homework assigned for Winter Break. Relax and stay safe!

- William Milburn


Grade Update

English Class:

Progress reports were sent home last week and reflected a collection of summative assessments at that time. Since then, grades from the “This I Believe” speech and essay were added. If you would like an updated grade, please feel free to email me and I will correspond accordingly.

- William Milburn

Argumentative Essay

We are well into our research and writing for our argumentative essays.

On Friday we discussed credible sources using the CARRDSS method. A copy of this handout can be found in the entry below and in the Handouts sections as well.

Tuesday we reviewed a possible outline for the Argumentative Essay. A copy of this can be found below:

Argumentative Essay: ModelOutline

Friday and Tuesday were spent working in the computer labs researching and beginning a rough draft of the essay. I am going to ask students to have a full rough draft of their essay by December, 15 (Monday). 

Let me know if you have any questions.

William Milburn

New Unit: Argumentative Essays.

Our class wrapped up our previous unit Wednesday morning as we finished our final speeches. As a class our writing has shown improvement and the speeches students gave were great.

We will be moving into our new unit on argumentative essay writing. Students are being asked to either change or create and amendment to the US Constitution. We will be conducting research, analyzing sources, determining pros and cons, and synthesizing the information into a concise and coherent essay. I attached the guidelines and rubric below.

Argumentative Essay Guidelines

Argumentative Essay Rubric

Also, I gave an outline of expectations yesterday in class. The PowerPoint can be found here:

Argumentation PowerPoint

Lastly, the two handouts below will assist with finding credible sources and organizing notes. We will review this tomorrow in class.

Note Taking for Research


Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

- William Milburn

Season of Caring

Good Morning,

Advisory classes at ISB are partaking in community service projects for our “ Season of Caring”. Our class voted, and decided to collect items for individuals who are homeless and/or displaced.

Between now and December 17, we will be collecting items that may help people feel a bit more comfortable during the cooler winter months. The ideas generated by our class for collection are listed below. We will be looking at smaller, “travel” sizes of these items as we collecting them into shoeboxes (the project is inspired by The United Way’s “Project Shoebox”).


  • Soap/Shampoo
  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand warmers
  • Hats, gloves, scarves
  • Rain ponchos
  • Combs, brushes
  • Deodorant

Other suggestions and donations are more than welcomed.  If you and your family are able to help contribute, our class greatly appreciates it.

Students: You can bring items to my class any day, even if it’s not a day we meet for Advisory.

If you have any questions please let me know!

Thank you,

William Milburn


Updates and Notes

Good Morning,

A few updates and notes as we move into the end of this portion of the semester.

Comparison Essay:  Students were given the class period Wednesday and half of Friday to work on their Comparison Essay. Some students did ask for additional time at home. This was okay, but in the future, we will look to complete these tasks in class. This will help students prepare for the expectations of the high school classes. The essays will be graded and included in the upcoming progress report.

“This I Believe” Speech and Essay: Speeches and essays were collected and checked in on Friday. We had a handful of students volunteer and give their speeches during the remainder of the class period Friday. The speeches have been pretty good so far and I look forward to hearing the interesting and compelling thoughts of our class during the next class session. My hope is that we will conclude speeches during the class period on Tuesday (November 25) and I will be able to grade and include them into the upcoming progress report. However, given the changes in the class timeline and the extension given on the comparison essay, we may not finish before the break. If this is the case, we will conclude speeches upon our return and grades will be entered after this progress report.


Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Enjoy the break!

-Mr. Milburn

Updated Assessment Timeline

Good Morning,

I sent this in an email, but figured it would be worth adding to the site as well:

Since school was cancelled on Thursday, ACT Explore testing has been pushed back to this Monday (November 17). As a result our class will not meet tomorrow and our timeline will need to adjust. Here is the new timeline:

November 17: Explore Testing

November 19: In class essay response (Compare your outside reading novel to “The Diary of Anne Frank”. Intro and conclusion need to be done before class, and I highly suggest having an outline ready, with quotes.

November 21, 25: “This I Believe” Speeches. I was hoping to watch the film version of “The Diary of Anne Frank” on the 25th. However, we most likely won’t have time. We should be able to fit all speeches in those two class periods. I am also willing to have students stay after school this Friday (November 21) and give speeches.

Hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions!

- Mr. Milburn