September 12 and 13

Apologies for the lack of posts everyone! The website wasn’t updating correctly this week. We’re back!

1A, 1B, and 4B

1. Organizing binder. Students should have I1 and L1-4 in their binders. We put them in order and ensured everyone had all the papers.

2. Storytelling. We listened to a few more oral stories to help students understand story shapes (climax, resolution, etc.).

3. Vocabulary. Students received V1 (first day notes) and V2. We learned the word “ambivalent,” so ask your child about it tonight!

4. Imagery practice. Students examined the painting The Oxbow by Thomas Cole (an American landscape painter):

Looking at the image, they created a t-chart in their notebooks of positive and negative ways to describe the landscape. We focused on describing rain (showers cleanse the earth vs. torrents pour down), the hills (rolling vs. rocky), and the bend in the river using a simile (the river bends like a swan’s neck vs. the river bends like a noose waiting for a victim!). Students wrote for three minutes. I collected their writings at the door.

HW: None. If you have 1B or 4B English, make sure you finish reading the story The Family Hour (read online here) by Jo Ann Beard and answering these questions: Beard Family Hour Questions. You also need to write a 1-2 page story in the casual, humorous style of Beard or Margot Leitman (see “The Moth” video below). Here’s the Childhood Memory assignment.


We start every day with 20 minutes of silent reading. Students have selected their own books and make an entry about their reading after every session. On Thursday we finished reading a story about domestic violence and on Friday we read aloud from Sherman Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Students then wrote to the prompt, “Who or what in your life is holding you back or ‘killing you’ like the reservation is holding back Arnold? How ill you get away from it or find hope?”


We didn’t have Freshman Focus because of the evacuation.