Friday, March 16, 2018

Writing 1 Class Notes -- Week 8 (March 15)


We had another good class.  This is such a friendly group of students, and they interact well with each other and with our discussion topics.

I gave the students four ideas for Quick Writes.  Firstly, it was the Ides of March (3/15), which is the date that the Roman Senators killed Julius Caesar, so they could write about something political.  Wednesday was Pi Day (3/14), so they could write about something mathematical.  I also gave them a prompt from one of my creative writing books:  "Eva looked at the egg in her hand.  There was nothing left for her to do but contact the FBI."  And finally, if nothing inspired them with these prompts, they could draw a picture of a flower yawning.  I had quite a variety of creative responses!

Our Words of the Day came from one of our short stories by O. Henry.  Instead of looking the words up, we looked at the context of the words to determine the definitions.
decorum -- referring to behavior that is in good taste and appropriate
matrimonial -- related to marriage or married people
poultice -- a soft packet of herbs, etc. applied to the body to relieve inflammation

I handed back the Rough Drafts of their literary analysis of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I've told them that this is probably the most challenging writing assignment of the year, and they have done a wonderful job.  As I do when I hand back rough drafts, we went over common errors that I found in their papers.  We talked about commas, compound sentences, and contractions.  We also went over how to incorporate quoted material into an essay and whether a paraphrase should be used instead of a direct quote.

The next item on our agenda was to discuss our Short Stories.  (I hope the students are enjoying the O. Henry stories as much as I am!)  This week, we discussed "Makes the Whole World Kin" that is a quirky story about a burglar and rheumatism. O. Henry writes stories with quirky endings, and this one is a favorite of mine.  This class has done a great job keeping up with the reading assignments, but I did warn them that next week they could have a pop quiz.  Just sayin' . . .

For the grammar section, our lesson today was identifying prepositional phrases and then determining if they are adjective phrases or adverbial phrases.  They have one worksheet to  do.

A note about absences and homework:  When students are absent due to an illness, travel, or some other activity, it is up to them to find out what they are missing.  All missing worksheets can be found in at least one of the following places:  attached to the class notes, a shared Google document (f it's a pdf), or as a blog post (if it's a Word doc).  The content of the class and homework assignments can be found in the class notes e-mail, the related blog post, and the syllabus.  They can always check with me if something is unclear, but they should also check these other resources.

Assignments for Next Week:
-- Read Retrieved Reformation (p. 49); The Pimenta Pancakes (p. 29) 
-- Complete one worksheet (front and back)
-- Finish Final Drafts
-- 1 Grammar worksheet

Links for this Week:
Class Notes

Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Prichard

Friday, March 9, 2018

Writing 1 Class Notes -- Week 7 (March 8)


We had a productive class today.  The students were alert and engaged in our work and discussions!

I took our Quick Write prompts from a list of table topic prompts that Toastmasters uses.  Our prompts:  #27.  Would you break the law to save a loved one?  and #15.  If not now, when?  We discussed what it might look like to stand up and talk off the cuff on one of these topics.

Because of a couple of conversations at the beginning of class, we got started a little late, so we didn't take time for Words of the Day.  Next week.

Students have handed in the rough drafts of their literary analysis of a Theme or Character of The Strange Adventures of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Writing papers that analyze a piece of literature via one of its literary elements is great practice, but it is also hard work.  They should pat themselves on the back for working so hard.  I will hand them back next week.

We had some great discussion time about our two short stories by O. Henry this week.  The whole class was engaged in our discussion, adding good comments and insights about the stories.  Our two stories for next week are two of my favorites.  In truth, all of O. Henry's stories are in my list of favorites.

We worked on sentence patterns again during our Grammar section. We worked on building sentences according to N-LV-N, N-LV-Adj, N-V-DO, and N-V-IO-DO patterns in addition to the worksheets that call on students to identify sentence parts.  Many students finished at least one of the worksheets in class.

Assignments for Next Week
-- Read "Makes the Whole World Kin" and "The Furnished Room"
-- Fill out the Short Story Worksheet, both sides
-- Grammar Worksheets

Links for This Week
Class Notes

Have a great weekend.  Spring is just around the corner, so enjoy your winter activities while you can!
Mrs. Prichard

Sentence Complements

Name:  _____________________________________

Part I – Identifying Direct and Indirect Objects
Underline and label the direct objects and the indirect objects.

1.     John Updike has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays.
2.     Janet read me one of his short stories.
3.     Mrs. Smith showed us Updike's list of greatest authors.
4.     We gave his choices our full attention.
5.     His choices included Homer, Proust, and Shakespeare.
6.     Updike places William Shakespeare at the top of his list of favorite authors.
7.     Many would commend him for that choice.
8.     Shakespeare's genius for words changed the English language.
9.     His plots captivate readers.
10.                        His themes include human wisdom and folly, joy and sorrow, love and revenge.

Part II – Identifying Predicate Nouns and Predicate Adjective
Underline the subject once and the linking verb twice.  Label.  Circle and label the predicate noun or predicate adjectives

1.     The roses smell fresh and fragrant.
2.     Joan is both a great gardener and landscape architect.
3.     We feel cheerful in this well-designed space.
4.     Two common shade plants are hydrangeas and hostas.
5.     Fresh, edible flowers look spectacular on a salad or cake.

Part III – Mixing it Up!
In each sentence below, identify the italicized word or words. After the sentence, write DO (direct object), IO (indirect object), PA (predicate adjective), or PN (predicate noun), depending on what the italicized word is in the sentence.

1.     Many people use their hands in conversation.
2.     At times, such gestures may seem silly or unnecessary.
3.     At other times, such gestures appear meaningful.
4.     Patrick read me an article on a recent scientific study about using hands during speech.
  1. People in the study were either blind or sighted.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Class Notes -- Week 6 (March 1)


We had a great class yesterday.  The room has been set up in rows instead of the U-shape that I started the year with.  A number of students said that they prefer the U-shape, so we began the class by rearranging the tables and chairs.

Our Quick Write prompts came from the National Days for March 1:  National Peanut Butter Lovers/ Minnesota/ Pig/ Horse Protection/ and "Dadgum that's Good" Day.  The other option was inspired by the March 2 birthday of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss).

Our Words of the Day were not from my book of foreign words and phrases but are words from "The Gift of the Magi," our next literature assignment.
parsimony -- Latin, parcere, "to be sparing" -- to be extremely unwilling to spend money or to part with resources
mendicancy -- Latin, mendicare, to beg -- the practice of begging
meretricious -- Latin, merere, "to earn, gain, or deserve" -- describing something that has a good outward appearance but little inward value.

After our beginning of class activities, we looked over the homework that I had handed back. One piece was of particular interest -- the list of finished and/or missing assignments with scores. If an assignment had a zero, it is too late to hand it in unless a student had been absent due to an illness. If an assignment hasn't been handed in but is still within the allowed time, I wrote the "last chance date" on it.  As of yesterday, My GradeBook was up to date with all assignments.  If you have any questions about scores or homework, please don't hesitate to send an e-mail.

We talked at length about their next essays, their Literary Analysis of a theme or character from our book, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  As I've told them, this is probably the hardest paper they will write all year.  We discussed ways to organize the essay and to develop a thesis statement.  

We've finished one book and are headed into our next, a series of short stories by O. Henry.  For next week, we will read two, "The Gift of the Magi" and "After Twenty Years."  They are to read the stories and write on the worksheet that I gave them three questions that come to mind that we can use for classroom discussion.

For Grammar, we worked again on sentence patterns with linking verbs, predicate nouns, predicate adjectives, and direct objects. They have one worksheet to do.

Assignments for Next Week:
-- Read "Gift of the Magi" (p. 1) and "After Twenty Years" (p. 21)
-- Complete Worksheet with 2 discussion questions
-- Rough Draft of Themes or Character Essay
-- Complete Themes, Character, and Vocabulary Handouts
-- Sentence Patterns Practice Worksheet

Links for this Week
Class Notes

Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Prichard

Short Stories Worksheet (Discussion Questions)

Story Title:  _______________________________

Author:  ___________________________________

As you read, jot down 3 discussion questions that come to mind.





N-LV-N, N-LV-Adj, N-V-N

N-LV-N and N-LV-Adj Practice
In each of the sentences below
Underline the subject and label it “S”
Underline the linking verb twice and label it “LV”
Underline the predicate noun and label it “PN”
Underline the predicate adjective and label it “PAdj”
            Note:  A sentence will have either a predicate noun or a predicate adjective, but not both.  Don’t mistake adjectives that modify predicate nouns as predicate adjectives.

1.     Mr. Jackson is a librarian at Smith County Library.
2.     He is very patient, especially with young children.
3.     He is also a source of great stories.
4.     The children seem appreciative of his help.
5.     This red sweater is the one from the store.
6.     It feels soft and cozy.
7.     The squirrels in the yard seem tame.
8.     The lake looks very calm in the moonlight.
9.     The book on sale is A Tale of Two Cities.
10.            He will be a member of the band this year.

N-V-N  Practice
In each of the sentences below
Underline the subject and label it “S”
Underline the linking verb twice and label it “V”
Underline the direct object and label it “DO”

1.     Our dog chased a squirrel out of the yard.
2.     Janet likes carrot juice with her lunch.
3.     Mark Twain published many books in his lifetime.
4.     Our family ate dinner at the new restaurant.
5.     We visited Aunt Betty in New York last year.
6.     I brought five DVDs to my cousin’s house.
7.     James Bond drove an Aston Martin.
8.     Jacques is delivering newspapers to his neighbors.
9.     We saw the Northern Lights in the sky.
10.            Peter gave me a baseball, a bat, and a jersey for my birthday.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Writing 1 Class Notes -- Week 5 (February 15)


We had a great class again!  Because our class followed Valentine's Day, for the Quick Write I had the students write the annual "Literary Love Letter."  They could write to an author, a character, a part of speech, a punctuation, etc.  Below are three links to letters written in past years.  I will let you know when I've gotten this year's letters posted on the blog.

Our Words of the Day were a bit of a mystery.  After setting up the classroom for the day, I went downstairs to the cafe and got a cup of coffee.  Upon returning to the room, I found three words on the board, which became our words for this week.  One student claimed responsibility for one word, by the origin of the other two are still a myster.
  • Morior invictus -- Latin, "death before defeat" -- This phrase has become a motto for sports teams and heavy metal groups.
  • Sputnik -- Russian, "fellow traveler" -- an artificial satellite launched by the Soviet's in 1957 
  • pine cone -- While there was an insistence that the definition of this word is "tree poop," as proposed by the videos "Neature Walks,"  a pine cone is a conical or rounded woody fruit of a pine tree, with scales that open to release seeds.  This word brings up interesting information about compound words.  We all know that compound words are two nouns that are put together to make one words.  These are considered closed compounds.  However, we also have open compounds that are two words that must go together but have a space between them.
Students handed in the Final Drafts of their Narrative Essays.  With those in the homework bin, I introduced the next essay, which we have been preparing for since the beginning of the semester.  This will probably be the hardest essay that they will write all year for three reasons:  they don't have a choice about what they can write; they are writing a literary analysis, which can be challenging for some; they might not have done a thorough reading of the book, so they are not well-prepared to write the essay.  They were given two charts to be filling out as read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  One for a character and one for a theme.  For the next essay, they are to choose a character or theme to write about.  The pre-write is due when we get back from break on March 1, and the rough draft is due the following week.

We went on to our literature discussion, I'm afraid I caused a bit of confusion.  I started reading from a chapter they had not yet read and couldn't figure out why they weren't responding very much.    I realized that I had gotten ahead of myself in the schedule.  We still have a couple of chapters to the end of the book when all of the mysteries will be explained.  

Our final discussion centered on sentence patterns, N-LV-ADJ and N-LV-N patterns, to be specific.  They have 3 worksheets to do for our next class time.

Remember -- no class next week!

Assignments for Next Week
-- Themes or Character Essay Pre-Write
-- Finish The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
-- Finish the Themes and Character charts (due 3/1)
-- Finish the Vocabulary chart (due 3/2)
-- No study guide questions
-- 3 Grammar worksheets

Links for this Week
Class Notes

Have a wonderful weekend and a good break!
Mrsl Prichard