Week 1:7 (Sept. 20–24)

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Freshmen: Journal Expectations, MLA Template“Once Upon a Time” E-text“Harrison Bergeron” E-textShort Stories Journal #1, Colormarking Guidelines, Subordinate Conjunctions, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” E-text“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” E-textSubordinate Conjunctions, Transitions Toolbox, PDF Scanning Directions, Comparative Analysis Task, Vocab.com Join Link, Write Score Outline, Data Chat Form (9th) / Persepolis: Notes, E-textGraphic Novel Terms & Features

Sophomores: Syllabus, Rhetorical Situation Venn Diagram, Bush speech transcipt & video, MLA TemplateThunberg speech (video & transcript), Golub article, Subordinate Conjunctions, PDF Scanning Directions, Vocab.com Join LinkThe Catcher in the Rye: E-text 1 (for Small Screens), E-text 2 (for Larger Screens), Presentation Rubric, CatcherJournals (#1–5), Writing Handbook, Write Score Outline, Data Chat Form (10th)

Diploma Support: 5th Period Rosters, Diploma Support Contract, Rotation Calendar, IB Academic Guidelines, IB Honor Code, EE & AA Rosters & Meeting Dates

Week 1:6 (Sept. 13–17)

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Freshmen: Journal Expectations, MLA Template“Once Upon a Time” E-text“Harrison Bergeron” E-textShort Stories Journal #1, Colormarking Guidelines, Subordinate Conjunctions, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” E-text“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” E-textSubordinate Conjunctions, Transitions Toolbox, PDF Scanning Directions, Comparative Analysis Task, Vocab.com Join Link, Write Score Outline, Data Chat Form (9th)

Sophomores: Syllabus, Rhetorical Situation Venn Diagram, Bush speech transcipt & video, MLA TemplateThunberg speech (video & transcript), Golub article, Subordinate Conjunctions, PDF Scanning Directions, Vocab.com Join LinkThe Catcher in the Rye: E-text 1 (for Small Screens), E-text 2 (for Larger Screens), Presentation Rubric, Catcher Journals (#1–5), Writing Handbook, Write Score Outline, Data Chat Form (10th)

Diploma Support: 5th Period Rosters, Diploma Support Contract, Rotation Calendar, IB Academic Guidelines, IB Honor Code, EE & AA Rosters & Meeting Dates

Week 1:5 (Sept. 7–10)

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Freshmen: Journal Expectations, “Once Upon a Time” E-text“Harrison Bergeron” E-textShort Stories Journal #1, Colormarking Guidelines, Subordinate Conjunctions, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” E-text, MLA Template (click ‘File’, then ‘Make a Copy’), “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Assignment, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” E-text, Le Guin Background, Stated & Implied ThemeSubordinate Conjunctions, Transitions Toolbox, PDF Scanning Directions, Comparative Analysis Task, Vocab.com Join Link, Write Score Outline, Data Chat Form (9th)

Sophomores: Syllabus, Rhetorical Situation Venn Diagram, Bush speech transcipt & video, Thunberg speech (video & transcript), Golub article, Subordinate Conjunctions, PDF Scanning Directions, Vocab.com Join LinkThe Catcher in the Rye: E-text 1 (for Small Screens), E-text 2 (for Larger Screens), Presentation Rubric, Catcher Journals (#1–5), Writing Handbook, Write Score Outline, Data Chat Form (10th)

Diploma Support: 5th Period Rosters, Diploma Support Contract, Rotation Calendar, IB Academic Guidelines, IB Honor Code, EE & AA Rosters & Meeting Dates

Week 1:4 (Aug. 30–Sept. 3)

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Freshmen: Syllabus, Journal Expectations, “Once Upon a Time” E-text“Harrison Bergeron” E-textShort Stories Journal #1, Colormarking Guidelines, Subordinate Conjunctions, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” E-text, MLA Template (click ‘File’, then ‘Make a Copy’), “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Assignment, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” E-text, Le Guin Background, Stated & Implied ThemeSubordinate Conjunctions, Transitions Toolbox, PDF Scanning Directions, Vocab.com Join Link

Sophomores: Syllabus, Rhetorical Situation Venn Diagram, Bush speech transcipt & video, Thunberg speech (video & transcript), Golub article, Subordinate Conjunctions, PDF Scanning Directions, Vocab.com Join LinkThe Catcher in the Rye: E-text 1 (for Small Screens), E-text 2 (for Larger Screens), Presentation Rubric, Catcher Journals (#1–5), Writing Handbook

Diploma Support: 5th Period Rosters, Diploma Support Contract, Rotation Calendar

Week 1:3 (Aug. 23–27)

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Freshmen: Syllabus, Plot ElementsJournal Expectations, “Once Upon a Time” E-textGordimer Background“Harrison Bergeron” E-textVonnegut Background, Short Stories Journal #1, Colormarking Guidelines, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” E-text, Le Guin Background, Stated & Implied ThemeSubordinate Conjunctions, Transitions Toolbox, PDF Scanning Directions, Vocab.com Join Link

Sophomores: Syllabus, Rhetorical Situation Venn Diagram, Bush speech transcipt & video, Thunberg speech (video & transcript), Golub article, Subordinate Conjunctions, PDF Scanning Directions, Vocab.com Join LinkThe Catcher in the Rye: “Teenage Brains” ArticleE-text 1 (for Small Screens), E-text 2 (for Larger Screens), Opening Passage Colormarking Task, Presentation Rubric

Diploma Support: 5th Period Rosters, Diploma Support Contract, Rotation Calendar

Week 1:2 (Aug. 16–20)

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Freshmen: Syllabus, Plot Elements (Prose Vocabulary), “Little Red Riding Hood”Journal Expectations, “Once Upon a Time” E-textGordimer Background“Harrison Bergeron” E-textVonnegut Background, Short Stories Journal #1Stated & Implied ThemeSubordinate Conjunctions, Transitions Toolbox, PDF Scanning Directions

Sophomores: Syllabus, Rhetorical Situation Venn Diagram, Bush SpeechSubordinate Conjunctions, PDF Scanning Directions, The Catcher in the Rye: “Teenage Brains” ArticleE-text 1 (for Small Screens), E-text 2 (for Larger Screens), Opening Passage Colormarking Task

Diploma Support: 5th Period Rosters, Diploma Support Contract, Rotation Calendar

Week 1:1 (Aug. 11–13)

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Week 1:1 schedule

Welcome to a new school year!

I’ve posted my classes’ agendas, and you can expect this on a weekly basis (usually done on Thursday afternoon for the week which follows). Please refer to the key to the left to make clearest sense of the agenda. You can also click on the schedule for a larger zoom-able image of the board. Below, you’ll find digital version of important handouts as well as other useful links:

Freshmen: Course Syllabus

Sophomores: Course Syllabus

Diploma Support: 5th Period Rosters, Diploma Support Contract, Rotation Calendar

Literature Improves Empathy


Have you ever felt that reading a good book makes you better able to connect with your fellow human beings? If so, the results of a new scientific study back you up, but only if your reading material is literary fiction – pop fiction or non-fiction will not do.

Great Expectations from great literature … empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip, pictured here in the 2012 film adaptation. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Empathy occurs in the spaces between characters, such as Joe and Pip in Great Expectations, pictured here in the 2012 film adaptation. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex Features

Psychologists David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, at the New School for Social Research in New York, have proved that reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions, a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships.

Continue reading

Literature Improves Thinking

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little-girl-reading-book

Are you uncomfortable with ambiguity? It’s a common condition, but a highly problematic one. The compulsion to quell that unease can inspire snap judgments, rigid thinking, and bad decision-making.

Fortunately, new research suggests a simple antidote for this affliction: Read more literary fiction.

A trio of University of Toronto scholars, led by psychologist Maja Djikic, report that people who have just read a short story have less need for what psychologists call “cognitive closure.” Compared with peers who have just read an essay, they expressed more comfort with disorder and uncertainty—attitudes that allow for both sophisticated thinking and greater creativity.

“Exposure to literature,” the researchers write in the Creativity Research Journal, “may offer a (way for people) to become more likely to open their minds.”

Djikic and her colleagues describe an experiment featuring 100 University of Toronto students. After arriving at the lab and providing some personal information, the students read either one of eight short stories or one of eight essays. The fictional stories were by authors including Wallace Stegner, Jean Stafford, and Paul Bowles; the non-fiction essays were by equally illustrious writers such as George Bernard Shaw and Stephen Jay Gould.

Afterwards, each participant filled out a survey measuring their emotional need for certainty and stability. They expressed their agreement or disagreement with such statements as “I don’t like situations that are uncertain” and “I dislike questions that can be answered in many different ways.” Continue reading