Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Extended Metaphor

Why is this poem an extended metaphor?

Constructing an extended metaphor

Report Card: Learning Reflections
C/D Class Learning Class
E/F Class Learning Class
G/H Class Learning Class

Missing You...


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gather Ye Rose Buds While Thee May...

Enjoy Elena's engaging work...

Use the file in class. Gather Ye Rose Buds While Thee May...

Make YOUR lives extraordinary

  • 15 minutes of Membean
  • Reading Response video due Wed

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What is an 'A'?

For Today's class
Crafting Engaging Poetry

Diction and Details: Grammar Assessment C/D Class

Diction and Details: Grammar Assessment  E/F Class

  • You used precise diction to express your articulately?
  • You selected only specific details to include in your description that captured a certain mood?
  • You varied the details you included in your description using vivid imagery that appealed to a variety of the senses?
  • You clearly communicated an emotion through your description?
  • You wrote for a minimum of 120 words?
Read Kalia's excellent piece - Notice her use of the grammar technique we learned earlier in the year?

What emotions are being clearly communicated in this piece?

Monday: Write x2 examples of similes, metaphors, and personification (total =6)  in your chart on the 'Crafting Engaging Poetry' Lesson gird H/W section

Tuesday: 15minutes of Membean

Due Wednesday: Digital Reading Response - The response should be on your blog and also on the sheet on the right side of my blog.

G/H Class only

  • Monday: Write x2 examples of similes, metaphors, and personification (total =6)  in your chart on the 'Crafting Engaging Poetry' Lesson gird H/W section
  • Monday: Slam poems are due Wednesday.  

Light H/W load this week. You've worked hard recently, spend any spare time you have to catch up on your independent reading.

You must read this piece of work from Marium. This was very impressive. If you know why, then you do it too!

Friday, January 24, 2014



1) MEMBEAN online test. and start their test.
Write any words that you did incorrectly into your quizlet file

2) Reading Independently.
During their reading you must do this and you can choose to do this:
Must Do: Go to their Talking and Thinking About Reading file and write one comment about their reading.

Choose to do:  Use your independent reading time to work on your video reading response. (Due next Wed)

3) Slam Poem This is a work-in-progress. All students are at different stages
You may use the remainder of the class to work on your slam poems.
Due: Monday

Drop me an email if you have any questions!

Reminders: Next Week
E/F & C/D - Slam poems ready for Monday
First reading response due Wednesday

G/H - Your slam poem will be due Wed.

Enjoy Ethan's "Poetry Portfolio" so far... This is what your finished pieces should look like!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Poetic Journey...Expecting

For G/H Class only...

Step 1) You must search the internet for an interesting image
Step 2) You must describe the image as effectively as possible using precise diction. Their description should ensure:
1) - Describe JUST the most important details (less is more)
2) - Use details that connect to multiple SENSES (see, feel, hear, etc)
3) - Have a REASON for the details you provide (does each detail add to ‘author’s purpose?’)
4) - State the 'reason' for your description. What emotion were you trying to convey?

Step 3) The image and piece of writing should be copied into the file on my blog : (Dictation and Details) - Assessment next to their name

Diction and Details: Grammar Assessment G/H Class

See Think Wonder Activity: G/H Class only

For C/D and E/F classes: Poem due Monday
(this is your slam video)

This is the link to my poem: Expecting again

Sometimes the simplest topics are the most effective!

You will use these files on Monday. Ignore them for now
Diction and Details: Grammar Assessment C/D Class

Diction and Details: Grammar Assessment  E/F Class

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Harmonica

Make a copy of this file: Thinking and Talking about Reading E/F class make sure you have dropped this file in the RLA drop!

Wednesday H/W: 10minutes of Membean

  • Don't forget to have your notes for your slam poem for tomorrow. I will be checking what you have done between classes
  • Write 1-3 comments about your independent reading in today's chart: Due Friday
  • Thursday night's H/W: Use quizlet to practice any of your tougher Membean words (optional - but recommended)

Fri: Membean 30 question assessment

Friday: First 'Learning Behaviors grade' will be given.

What will your first 'Digital Reading Response' be like?
The Music that gave the family so much 'hope'

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Slam Poetry

H/W - All Classes
Slam Poetry: For Thursday, you must have a minimum of 20-30 details related to your topic for your slam poem. You will be given 30mins of classtime to work on this poem
Tips on Slam Poetry
If you are stuck, brainstorm around these topics:
  • What are some of the strongest emotions you feel?
  • What events/situations cause these emotions to grow?
  • What  are you thinking when these events happen?
  • What would you like to do (others should do) about these situations?

Due Monday
Create a video 'slam' of your poem. Jumpcut would be an excellent way to present this idea. Upload the video to youtube and insert the verb into your poetry portfolio.


  • Approx. 20-30 lines
  • Covers a topic or an emotion that you are passionate about
  • Uses precise details not generalities
  • Integrates some poetic devices
  • Contains a poetic journey (we will discuss this more Thursday)
  • Delivered in a powerful way that uses B.E.V.E.S.)
Mentor Examples
Touchscreen (Thanks Devon)
What do teachers make...?

 Look at these mentor poems. Anybody can resubmit their work for an improved grade between now and CNY. In order to resubmit, you need to tell me three things that any of these students did that you didn't. Remember: Do not 'resolve comments' on your google slideshow. This should be used as a guide for future poems/interpretations.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday's H/W

H/W:  C/D and E/F classes only
  • 15 minutes of Membean (by Wed)
No other official H/W
  • Use tonight to catch up on your independent reading. Remember, by the end of next week, you will need to have your first digital reading response finished (optional)
Enjoy the lyrics from one of your poems from today.

Did you manage to spot any of the contradictory images?

The song is about his desire to avoid pain and brokenheartedness. He doesn't want to be hurt again, so he refuses to make friends, to fall in love, he'll be a hermit. It may sound determined, but by the end of the song it's obvious it's all a lie he tells himself to get through the days. He's alone and it hurts him, but he'll tell himself he likes it that way, hoping it won't hurt so badly. The last two lines explain it; he's not a rock, he's been hurt and has cried, but will pretend not to. The "island never cries" line is possibly the most meaningful part. As he says this, he may as well be crying.

But, he is only fooling himself into thinking he can because every symbol he uses is not permanent. Walls get knocked down. You wake up from sleep. You come out of your mother womb after 9 months. Your memory will always come back. Snow melts. December is only 31 days.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Weekly Reflection

Emotions database

Dinner Conversation
In the second semester, it is hoped that you begin to have academic conversations with your parents about your learning over each weekend. The way this works is simple. I give you a list of topics that we have covered in the week, and you  encourage your parents to ask you questions about these topics:

List of topics we have covered this week:
  • Ways to improve word choice in writing
  • What is good diction
  • The difference between connotation and denotation
  • Meanings hidden in the poem, "Do not go gentle into that good night"
  • Protocols for interpreting poetry
  • Video Reading Responses
  • Membean words that you are learning
  • Turning prose (your article) into poetry (your poem) - Your poetic moves
A conversation might go like this:
Mum ask me about to talk about the themes in the book I am reading at the moment
Dad, ask me about the difference between connotation and denotation with an example
Dad, did you know that there are six ways that a writer can improve word choice: There are...
Mum, ask me a question about any of these topics we've covered (show them the list)

This is optional but encouraged - When you can talk about what you are learning, you are really learning! - Plus points (plural) for students who share a sample of their conversations with their parents on the blog.

Next Week
Monday:  (E/F & C/D classes only) Poetry Interpretation - You will be given about 45mins of class time to write your interpretation of ONE of these three pieces of poetry below. Any notes you prepare on one of the poems, you can use in class.

I know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I am A Rock
Where the Sidewalk Ends

You will be expected to follow your 'poetry reading protocol' and write an analysis/interpretation of one of these poems. Look at the categories in your protocol to decide the things that you might want to write about.

Grammar: Purposeful 'detailed' writing
Writing: Slam Poetry

Membean: Share your learning day+Quizlet
Reading: Figurative Language

Grammar: Writing Details in color
Poetry Writing: See Think Wonder

Membean Assessment Day
Reading: Symbolism in poetry

Ready to 'slam' some poetry next week?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Choose a poem from this list
Due Fri:
Look at Wednesday's post to make sure you have all the requirements ready as expected for your first grade of this new semester.

C/D -E/F Classes.
I will be checking you Membean practice tonight to make sure you have completed  between 50-60mins in total for the week.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What makes you... (state your emotion)

Recap: We learned in a Word Choice Grammar unit today about diction and how words often have either a positive or negative connotation.

Ready to write an 'unforgettable' piece of poetry?   :-)

Finish your first poem: DUE: FRI
Step 1 - Identify the strong ideas

Step 2 - Turn those ideas into poetry


  • Think about whose perspective you want to write the poem from
  • Think about the story you want to tell. Is it before, during, or after the event?
  • How will you show your emotions about the topic?

Grading Criteria
1) Your poem in someway tells the story of your article. (literately and/or figuratively)
2) Your poem in someway communicates your feelings about the topic behind your article (literately and/or figuratively)
3) Your poem uses a variety of poetic devices
4) Approx. length 12-20 lines in poetry format
5) You have an effective title that powerfully relates to your poem
6)  Strong diction is used throughout the poem (Words like 'IS, ARE, WAS, & Pronouns are mostly avoided)

In class in Friday, you will write a brief explanation about the 'poetic choices' you made when writing your poem. e.g. I used this title because...

Make sure you have the first three slides of your poetry portfolio created like the example

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


  • Monday's H/W - Check Monday's blog post
  • 15 minutes of Membean
  • Independent Reading 30 mins (Get back into your routines

Reading logs DO NOT need completing anymore - see right side of blog -sidebar- to see what we will do instead. I will go over this in Thursday's class

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rise and Shine

What will  you do to excel this semester?

For Tuesday (C/D & E/F classes only)
  • Poetry Reading Unit: How to Eat a Poem (Make sure you have a copy of this file)
  • You need to bring to Tuesday's class the lyrics of a song you really like. (Choose 'age appropriate' song)
For Wednesday
Bring a printed version of an article that you have found on the internet about a topic that makes you angry e.g. $70,000 Missing from Newton Town Donations
You will be writing on this paper, so make sure you have a printed copy

2) Finish your brainstorm about all possible topics for your poems. Just write bullet point ideas
What has really affected your heart?
What people have been important to you?
What are some experiences or central events you'll never forget?
What happy or sad memories do you have?
What secrets have you kept in your heart?
What small things or objects are important to you?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Welcome Back

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday. I did!

We hit the ground running with new units when we return. Make copies of these files and place them into your shortcuts. Remove all 'old' shortcuts.

Poetry Reading Unit: How to Eat a Poem
H/W: You need to bring to Tuesday's class the lyrics of a song you really like. (Choose 'age appropriate' song)

Poetry Writing Unit: Crafting Engaging Poetry
H/W: For Wednesday's class Bring a printed version of an article that you have found on the internet about a topic that makes you angry e.g. $70,000 Missing from Newton Town Donations
You will be writing on this paper, so make sure you have a printed copy

Grammar: Unit 6 Word Choice

The expectation is that you will complete at least 30minutes of Membean practice between Monday and Friday. Those of you that did not complete the last Membean test on  the last day of school last semester will take that test on Tuesday. Well done to those who choose to continue praticing Membean into January: Jess, Jordan, Ethan, Marium and the most hardworking student on Membean over the break (notice the superlative!) ZACK!

What will you do this sesmester to be..."the best that you can be?"
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