Monday, September 28, 2015

Tomorrow College Reps

Friday, September 18, 2015

Are you special?

David McCullough’s commencement speech went viral, earning more than 2.5 million views on YouTube. While many viewers praised his message, he also was criticized by people such as Yale Professor Erika Christakis, who argued that his tone was unnecessarily harsh and that children should be raised to believe they are unique and special. Specifically, she argued that celebrating the individual has helped to create a generation that is more open to diversity and differences than previous generations and that teens who do good works in the world primarily to pad their college applications are still improving the world. “Don’t we sometimes acquire our moral values as a result of our actions, and not always the reverse?” she asked in a public response to McCullough’s speech in Time Magazine. “Isn’t building a medical clinic in Guatemala–even if the motivation was, as McCullough suggests, ‘What does it get me?’–better than not building one?” Thinking about these two opposing philosophies, where do you stand?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Game day!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Featured Projects Unit 1 Project 1 Juniors and Seniors

I am going to (try) to feature awesome projects every time we are done with the projects.

Unit 1 Project 1-Seniors
The Seniors are looking at ethos, pathos, and logos for this project. This awesome group's project looked at ethos, pathos, and logos in commercials. They identified examples in each commercial and provided the commercial as well.

Unit 1 Project 1-Juniors
The Juniors are starting at the beginning of American Literature with Puritan Literature. But first, we need to get a good idea of who Puritans were. Students compared the Puritan culture, current American culture, and a culture of their choice. The featured group used a cool Web 2.0 tool called Smore. Smore lets you create online flyers. This group compared Spain, the US, and Puritans in regards to family values. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Recent Twitter Grammar Games Points

Juniors and Seniors-I just found out I can put the specific tweets for you to respond to on my blog rather than you having to scroll through Twitter! Reply if you have not yet for Grammar Games points!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Grammar Games

The Grammar Games

Students will compete in groups of four in “The Grammar Games” over the course of the quarter. New teams will be assigned at the beginning of each quarter. The winning team each quarter will win a prize for their group. Occasional incentive bonuses will be offered to keep energy high. (Bonus prizes may include: ability to change another team’s name, ability to switch three members of other groups, ability to remove three points total from other teams)

Ways to Earn Points
  • Get noticed by Miss Seabaugh performing an act of kindness
  • Taking a picture of a real-life grammar crime/spelling and tweeting it to @StClairTheatre (must include your team name and how to fix the grammar issue-no hand written grammar crimes/spelling errors will be accepted)
  • Review games
  • ACT quizzes
  • Using vocabulary words in discussion
  • Find vocabulary words in real life (no hand written) and tweeting it to @StClairTheatre
  • Write a one page review of a movie that is based on a book comparing and contrasting the two
  • Create a piece of blackout poetry
  • Noticing a Zombie Word used in discussion and offering a replacement word
  • Tweet @StClairTheatre how you showed grit

Have an idea of a way to earn points? Let me know!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

End of the Year

All apologies for being completely MIA on the blog! It has been so busy with end of the year stuff. ACT prep, finals, etc. It has been a crazy and exciting first year and I cannot wait for next school year! I have so many things on my to do list of things to improve for next year. (Don't worry I will still take some time to relax too). Next year, I am going to incorporate Project Based Learning (PBL). I hope this will be a fun and meaningful adventure for my students and myself. This should help show the students the real world applications of their learning. I am also going to try a whole new classroom set up next year! I will post pictures before school starts and keep you updated on how it's working out. My goal is to make the learning environment of a more effective learning space through "zoning" my classroom and increasing "flow". More on this in August! I will also be ditching Google Classroom for Schoology. Schoology appears to be more of an organized format with more integration for web 2.0 features directly in it. 

Be prepared for a long blog in August of all back to school goodies and throughout the school year on how PBL, the new classroom setup, Schoology, and much more is going! Happy summer!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Project: Global Inform aka Book Club With a Purpose

Project: Global Inform - Join the Movement from AJ Juliani on Vimeo.

The Juniors were approaching their last unit-book clubs. The unit asks students to choose a novel of their choice, read it, and complete a project. I was reading A.J. Juliani's "Teach Different" blog and saw a post that described "Project: Global Inform". I thought that this would be the perfect way to transform the book club unit into something even more meaningful and impactful. In this, students have spent the past few classes discussing what human rights are, where are human rights violations occurring, and what can we do to help. Students created Thing Links to showcase these violations. See their Thing Links here. Students will then a novel of their choice that discusses a human rights violation. This can be fiction or nonfiction. Students will blog about this along the way, summarizing and reacting to their novel. See their blogs here. Students will then create a project that shows others about the human rights issue that the read about. Their goal is to create a campaign to get others involved to help with the issues. Follow their blogs and discuss with them as they go!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"A Rose for Emily"

The Juniors read "A Rose for Emily" and create the following thing links. Thing links allow students to add videos, links, and text to an image.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tuesdays With Morrie

The Seniors have been reading "Tuesdays With Morrie". This is the perfect novel for them to read right before they go to college. The book is full of aphorisms about life that let them contemplate important themes like the meaning of life, influence of media and others, the importance of family, and death. See their blogs here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Senior Poetry Project

The Seniors just finished their Poetry Projects. For this, they completed the following:

Task: You are the teacher.  You will need to create a Google Slide that demonstrates your understanding of the poetry elements in the poems and the messages from the poems.  You will then need to connect the messages to the historical time period of the poems and how the poems relate to our society today. You will then need to record a “webinar” using Screencastify.

  1. You must choose three poems (only two may be from Shakespeare).
  2. No spelling or grammar errors.
  3. For each poem, you must include the following in your presentation:
    1. the title of the poem
    2. the poet of the poem
    3. a brief historical background to set up an understanding of your poem
    4. “show” your audience the words of the poem and how the poetry terms relate to those words-this means you need to find a way to highlight or underline the words in the poem which show the simile, metaphor, etc.
    5. an analysis of theme
    6. explain the connection to the poem’s historical time period and how it relates to our society today (and maybe even the future!).  
  4. Be creative!
  5. Use Screencasify to record your presentation. Pretend like you are hosting a “webinar” on these poems. Explain to your audience and elaborate on your slides.
  6. You must discuss as many of the following poetry elements as found in the poem:
Rhyme scheme Iambic pentameter Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet
Tone/tonal shift Metaphor Simile
Setting Paradox Speaker of the poem
Shakespearean sonnet Inversion Pastoral poetry
Repetition Hyperbole Imagery
Stanzas Allusions Purpose
Conceits (metaphysical) Alliteration Metaphysical poetry

Poems to choose from:
Edmund Spenser: “Sonnet 30” (273), “Sonnet 73” (274)
Christopher Marlowe: “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” (278)
Andrew Marvell: “To His Coy Mistress” (285)
John Donne: “Song” (290), “Death be not Proud” (301)
William Shakespeare: “Sonnet 18” (391), “Sonnet 29” (392), “Sonnet 30” (393), “Sonnet 71” (395), “Sonnet 73” (396), “Sonnet 116” (397), “Sonnet 130” (398)

Click here for the YouTube playlist of their projects!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Technical Theatre Project

The Theatre class recently finished their Technical Theatre Project. This project was an expansive project that asked students to perform the roles of multiple technical theatre personnel. Here are the project directions.

Director: Answer the following questions:

  1. Summarize the play?
  2. Where is the play set?
  3. When is the play set (year)?
  4. Describe your director’s concept of the show.

Sound: List all sound cues in the script and what page they are on. Then, list 10 songs you might use for pre and post show music. (Songs must be school appropriate and fit the tone of your play)

Lights: Describe what color lights you would use for each scene. Keep in mind what colors look like when they are on paint. What areas of the stage are lit?

Costumes: Draw a costume sketch for each character in the play.

Props: Go through the script and create a list of props you will need.

Set: For each scene, draw a sketch of what the scene will look like. This will not be judged on artistic ability but on the placement of the items and the appropriateness of the items.

Stage Manager: List items you would put in your Stage Manager kit. Then, create all of the following paperwork and fill in when appropriate:

  1. Audition Schedule
  2. Audition Form
  3. Production Fact Sheet
  4. Audition Scenes
  5. Cast List
  6. Tech Checklist
  7. Sign in Sheet
  8. Rehearsal Report
  9. Performance Report
  10. Schedule (performance is 5/15-17; no more than 5 rehearsals a week)
  11. Weekly Attendance Sheet
  12. Contact Sheet
  13. Program Approval Sheet
  14. Scene Breakdown
  15. Scenic Notes
  16. Prop Notes
  17. Costume Notes
  18. Lighting Notes
  19. Sound Notes
  20. Shift Assignments
  21. Costume Change Plot
  22. Lighting Cue Sheet
  23. Sound Cue Sheet
  24. Crew List

See some of their work here!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Junior Poetry Projects

The Juniors just finished their poetry projects. For this project, students chose two Emily Dickinson  and two Walt Whitman poems. They annotated all four poems, made a timeline of both author's lives, found or create pictures that illustrate the poem, and create a chart showing how the poems were relevant during that time period and how they are relevant how. Students could choose any means to present these. Here are some of their projects!

“Because I Could Not Stop for Death”

“A Bird came down the Walk”


“Beat! Beat! Drums!”


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3rd Hour New Endevour

Much research shows that self-reflection, especially in education, is imperative for growth. How can we know what we need to work on if we don't ever examine our work and see what we did well on and what we didn't? Yet, I often found myself examining my student's progress and examining their work for them. Sure I explained to them what they did wrong, but wouldn't it be better if they were able to assess what they need work on and what they have mastered? Shouldn't this be an every day occurrence? I encourage student-centered work in my classroom and decided I need to encourage student self-reflection as well. I am going to start with one class, 3rd Hour English 3, and have them self-reflect on their learning through a blog daily. They are asked to really look at their work in class that day and describe what they need to do better and/or what skills they are doing well on. The goal is this purposeful self-reflection will help them to see which skills they need more work on, which they have mastered, as well as which activities help them learn the best.

We started by reading this article together and discuss why should we self reflect and what does that mean. We discussed all three components of reflection the article discusses: metacognition, applicable, and shared. For the first blog post, the students wrote what they should reflect on, what their reflection should include, and why as a reminder for themselves and to explain it to others. We are experimenting with how long it will take them to complete this as the end of the day. We decided that currently it will not be graded, but everyone will still be expected to complete it. We decided we will review this as we get better at reflection and see if we want this to be graded or remain not graded. We decided that we will not require anyone to comment on others, but are encouraged to do so. We want everyone in the class to know the information so we will help each other and share our strengths. We discussed how looking at what activities we learn best at will help us now and in the future. We discussed how if it is an activity we struggle with now, we will get more help from our peers and our teacher. We discussed that knowing this will help us in the future to supplement our learning in college.

See their blogs here!

Click here for student reflections and Bloom's Taxonomy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Comparing Common Themes Across Two Texts

In English 3, we compare all of the texts from two units (Romantic and Gothic Literature and Civil War Literature). The students created a mind-map that showed the themes of these. The students listed the texts associated each theme, quotes that demonstrate how that text is part of that theme, and essential questions for each theme. Here is some of their work:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

English 4 Hip Hop and Shakespeare

The seniors are working on Shakespeare as part of their poetry unit. They were asked to either turn a song into a Shakespearean sonnet or a Shakespearean sonnet into a song. Below are their videos:

2nd Hour:

5th Hour:

6th hour: