End of the Year.

It’s strange to sit here and type an “end of the year” message. This school year moved more quickly than any other in my career. It has been an exciting, challenging, but altogether rewarding year.

Below are the links to the Summer Reading Assignments. If you are staying at ISB for the next school year, take a moment and look at the list. You will need to have one or two books read in their entirety by fall.

Incoming 9th Summer Reading 2016-17Incoming 10th Summer Reading 2016-17

Take care and thank you for a great year!

William Milburn


Both of my English classes are in Shakespeare units of study.

Freshmen have already read Romeo and Juliet and are now working on determining the more effective film adaptation. Currently, they are viewing the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli adaptation.

Eighth grade is beginning Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. 

Handouts and further information can be found in each grade level tab. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Mr. Milburn

Upcoming Assessments.

Both English classes have an assessment coming up on Wednesday of this week.

English 09: 

On Wednesday, students will have an in-class essay for the play Romeo and Juliet.  They will have the majority of the period to plan and write their essay.

Students, remember to bring the quiz you have selected to be graded. Your options were between quiz one, three, and four.

English 08: 

On Wednesday, our class will do an “unseen poem analysis”. Students will be given a poem to read and analyze using the TPCASTT system. I will also collect journals for a check in on Wednesday as well. 

New Units.

Both grade levels are moving forward with new units of study. The freshmen have started a unit on Romeo and Juliet while the eighth graders began their unit on poetry today. Please check the grade level tabs for notes, handouts, and other pertinent information.

-Mr. Milburn

English 08: Important Updates

English 08 Students:

Thank you for representing ISB in a positive manner on yesterday’s field trip to the Oregon Jewish Museum.  Please read the information below as it pertains to grades, upcoming adjustments in due dates, and our new assignment.

  1.  Grades are up to date. Make sure you pick up your rubrics  in class. However, all grades for this progress report are now in Synergy. Remember, we have a few more summative assessments left until you reach the “final” grade (the one that will go on your transcript ) for the year. If you would like to speak about your grade, email me and set up a time to meet.
  2. I have decided to extend your due date for the “Add a Chapter” assignment. I still want you to bring a “near-final” draft for class on Tuesday. During our class activity, you will receive feedback and then submit a final draft  to the Google Classroom on Thursday, May 05. 
  3. Please also submit your short story, inspired by a Ruth Gruber photograph to the Google Classroom by Thursday, May 05. A Ruth Gruber Inspired Short Story – Rubric

Please email me if you have any questions. Enjoy your weekend.

Mr. Milburn


Final Field Trip Note

Grade 08 Students:

Here are a few reminders for our field trip tomorrow.

  • When you come to school in the morning, find your name on the list posted outside of my classroom and report to the correct teacher.
  • Find someone from our class that will be your “buddy” for the day.
  • Make sure you bring a sack lunch that does not require a heat source.
  • Bring a writing utensil and your journal.
  • Positive attitudes.

Thank you,

Mr. Milburn.

Grade 08 – English Class Field Trip

On Thursday, April 28, our eighth-grade class will visit the Oregon Jewish Museum to view an exhibit by photojournalist Ruth Gruber. Students will depart ISB at 9:00AM and return to campus at 1:45.

This trip will connect to our earlier unit on the Holocaust, but will also echo many of the humanitarian ideas discussed through out the year.

Students were given permission slips in class today. Here are the next steps:

  1. Please sign and return the permission slip (Friday preferably; Tuesday at the latest).
  2. Students need to bring in $2.00 to help cover the cost of the trip. Please turn the money in with your permission slip.
  3. Students will need to bring a “sack lunch” for next Thursday. If you need the school cafeteria to provide one, please leave a note on the permission slip (with dietary restrictions).
  4. Hayward and I are looking for 6 adult chaperones for the trip. If you are interested in chaperoning, please email me at william_milburn@beaverton.k12.or.us

Some additional information on the exhibit can be found here: Ruth Gruber @ The Oregon Jewish Museum

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!

William Milburn

Recommended Read #2

The coming-of-age, epistolary, novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower solidified itself as a favorite of mine when I was the age of the students I teach. There were parts of the novel that felt as if someone had delved into my own journal and read the awkward feelings of wanting to fit in but also remain a “wallflower”.

The story is of friendship and the power people have in our lives. Charlie, our protagonist, is on the sidelines watching as his peers navigate high school. Charlie is lured into participation with the help of two older and more outgoing students who help him feel safe and welcomed in their social circle (of the most endearing weirdos). Charlie develops a passion for writing through the mentorship of a teacher at his school, and through his journal, the reader experiences the highs of Charlie’s freshmen year and feel the devastating blows of his lower points. Moving, thought-provoking, and funny, The Perks of Being a  Wallflower is a superb read (double check with your folks first).


Recommended Read

Students often ask me to recommend a novel for them to read. So, I will update with some of my favorites, here and there, throughout the remainder of the school year.

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, is an absolute favorite of mine (currently re-reading it for the third time). The story is stark, bleak, but still profoundly moving and beautiful.

This searing novel is set in a post-apocalyptic America and follows a father and son heading for the southern oceans. They navigate a charred setting where “Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark”. The story is of survival, from starvation and the lawless bands of other survivors, and finding hope through love in the darkest and most desolate of settings.