Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Welcome Back!

Hello, students and parents! Welcome to the course blog for Pre-IB English II! 

To improve your Pre-IB English experience, please take a few minutes to carefully read the following tips for using and understanding the features of the course blog:

Staying Up To Date: It is strongly recommended that you check the blog for updates on a regular basis. Signing up to follow the blog via email will be the best and easiest option for many of you. Other options - such a following a feed - are also available in the left-hand column of the blog. 

Posts (like this one): This is where you will find information on assignments, assessments, and any general changes or updates. Each post will include a descriptive title, an explanation of the work to be completed, and a due date for the assignment.

Blog Archive: This feature lets you see a full history of - and every full post in - the course blog. If you miss a few posts, it is strongly recommended that you take the time read back through the archive to ensure that you haven't missed any assignments or important news.

Gradebook: Clicking on the link on the lefthand side of the blog will take you to the most current record of each student's progress. This can be checked in lieu of speaking privately, via email, or over the phone with the instructor. To protect student confidentiality, each student will be assigned a random identification number once or twice per quarter. The password that students have been asked to find in this post is the word jelly.

Key things to keep in mind as you use the gradebook:
  • Empty boxes in the gradebook represent assignments that have not yet been logged. When half a column is empty, this likely means that I have not finished recording all grades for an assignment. However, if there a just a few empty boxes, this likely means that a student has missing or late work that needs to be made up as soon as possible. 
  • Empty boxes in the gradebook are automatically counted as zeros. Therefore, any grade in the final righthand column of the gradeboook is NOT accurate until ALL of the boxes in a student's row have been filled. ...Unless the work is never turned in. 
  • Bottom line: If you see empty boxes but know you have turned in the work, you have nothing to worry about - your grade can only go up from the number in the final column. However, if you aren't certain you've turned in the work - or know that you didn't - you should check in with me outside of class time to coordinate a plan for completing your make up work.

Handouts: This section includes PDFs of files including the course syllabus, grading rubrics, graphic organizers, and other useful documents.

Links: This is where you can find links to sites containing important information on Sturgis Charter Public School, the IB, MCAS, research databases, and other key resources.

Search: This gadget - located in the upper right of the window - allows you to search for posts, handouts, and links on the course blog. This feature is especially helpful when searching for information on specific assignments.

Important note for students: Even if you are taking the same course, do not assume that you and your friends should be checking the same blog! While the blogs for many classes look similar and have similar addresses, course content and assignments will vary teacher-to-teacher. When checking the blog for handouts, assignments, or grades, please ensure that you are viewing the correct site by looking for the appropriate course name at the top of the page and the correct teacher name under the "About Me" section.

Now that you've finished reading this post, please take another few minutes to explore and begin to take advantage of the various links and features of the blog.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Macbeth Final Exams: Short Essays

Students will be taking their Macbeth finals on the following dates:

B and F Block - Monday, May 2
C and G Block - Tuesday, May 3

During the test period, students will be presented with a variety of prompts that fall within three different categories: imagery, character, and themes/motifs. Students will choose two prompts, each from a different category. For each prompt, students must write a thought-out and well-developed one-paragraph essay.

Suggested Study Materials
  • Journals
  • Anticipation guides
  • Concordance handouts
  • Class notes

Recommended Essay Structure

Creative and descriptive title

Introductory sentence(s)
·      Introduce the author, title, and general topic/relevance of your paper
·      1-3 sentences
·      Clear statement of your central claim or argument
·      1 sentence
Key points
·      Support and analysis for each           
·      3-5 key points, 6-12 sentences
Summary of arguments
·      Synthesis of your key points
·      1-3 sentences
·      Reiteration of your central claim or argument, with a focus on its broader applications or implications
·      1 sentence

**** Bottom line: essays should be between 10 and 20 sentences. ***

Essay Rubric

Each essay will be graded individually, using the following rubric:

Mechanics – 5 points

·      Indentation of paragraph
·      Accuracy of spelling, capitalization and punctuation
·      Use of complete sentences
·      Sentence clarity, variation and complexity
·      Agreement

Language – 5 points

·      Precise and appropriate use of diction and register
·      Use of the active voice
·      Use of the third person point of view
·      Consistent verb tense

Structure – 5 points

·      Title – present, creative and descriptive
·      Essay is 1 paragraph and no fewer than 10 sentences in length
·      Essay has a clear introduction, clear body, and clear conclusion
·      Essay has a balance of supporting details and analysis
·      Essay uses effective transitions or a flow of ideas

Content – 5 points

·      Thesis – clarity and relevance
·      Demonstrated comprehension of the text
·      Demonstrated awareness and appreciation of literary technique
·      Accuracy of analysis
·      Appropriateness and effectiveness of supporting details

Total per essay:          20 points
Grand total:                   40 points

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Test Retakes

Students who wish to improve their grade for the quarter will be allowed to retake their Macbeth Act IV and V "quest". The highest possible retake score will be the equivalent of a B/85%.

Students who wish to take advantage of this opportunity must complete their retake between now and progress reports (May 13th).

Quarter 4 Gradebook

The Quarter 4 online gradebook is up and running. Please note that student ID numbers have been changed and will be distributed in class.

Students are STRONGLY encouraged to make up any missing work prior to progress reports (May 13th).