Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Our Student STAR Spectacular!

Below is a video of the photos from our Student Spectacular on May 28th. (Give it time to buffer, and pause the playlist at the bottom of the blog.)

I want to thank you and your parents for coming out and sharing our successes. It was my privilege to be your teacher this year! I love you all!

Grades, Grades, Grades....AGAIN!

Everything is graded, but I am having problems logging onto the electronic gradebook. I guess all the teachers are trying to input grades, too. I will try again in the morning (or later tonight).

Other than the two essays for 3rd and 6th, I am DONE grading!!!! Yay!

Most of you did REALLY WELL! I am so proud. Some of you dropped the ball, but I know you will do better next school year.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


PERIODS 1, 3 & 6:
Click on the link below to take your FINAL EXAM:

Period 4:
Click on the link below to take you FINAL EXAM:

Type in your user name (first and last name, then 455. There are no spaces OR punctuation. For example, my user name would be: christinerodriguez455). Then you need to enter the password I gave you when you turned in your three pages of notes! Your password, by the way, is case sensitive.

You have 2.5 hours to complete the test from the time you start! You CANNOT save the test then go back. It has to be done in one sitting, which should take about 30 minutes. Once you complete the test, you will know your score, even the ones you got wrong. Remember, you still have the essay portion on 6/3, for 1st & 3rd; and on 6/4, for 6th).

The test will be available from this Thursday at 3 p.m. until Monday, June 1, at 11:59 p.m. By Tuesday morning, all of your scores will have been e-mailed to me. HOW COOL!

Do not wait until the last minute, please. Love you all!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Hey, guys and gals. Some of you missed the deadline to submit your poems for our literary magazine. I will give you partial credit if you email it to me by THIS Sunday at 5 p.m. I am also requesting art work. I have already received some nice pieces. If you would like to submit artwork, please do so by Sunday as well. Scan and email your art to me in JPEG or GIF format. Azharea from third period had a fabulous name for our magazine: Nostalgia. Extra credit for her! Looking forward to your poetry! Submit your items to: (follow the guidelines that I gave you)


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


May 14th - It was dinner for the top dogs at Buca di Beppo's! YUM!

May 15th - The 100 students who passed from my class had a SUNDAE social during lunch. Though you all got rained on, you still came in droves for ice cream and the fixings!

May 19th - All you level 4's and up were treated to doughnuts and juice (that's 90 of you)! What is better is each of the 5's, 5'5's and 6's received "five for a five." There were 15 writers in total to get $5 for getting a five or higher.

To see all of the FCAT Writing stats, scroll down a couple posts in the middle column!

I wish I could do more for all of your efforts! I am so proud of you. Just remember the real reward (and motivation) should be that AWESOME feeling you had when you heard you passed! That is PRICELESS!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:

Monday, May 18, 2009


BRING YOUR HANDOUTS THIS WEEK, as we'll be working in class on getting your notes done. During exam time, you will prepare your notes, then take the exam online by 6/2 (as long as you do ALL of your notes). If not, the exam is on paper, guys!

It's time to get ready for FINAL EXAMS! Woohoo! You may be afraid, but IT WILL BE OK!

Click here for Lit Tools list - periods 1, 2, 3, & 6
Click here for the Vocab List - periods 1, 3, 4, & 6

You will also need:
~ The Greek god vocab list for periods 1, 3, 4, and 6
~ Night and Julius Caesar, periods 1, 3 & 4
~ The Secret Life of Bees, periods 1, 3 & 6
~ The sixteen types of poetry for periods 1 & 3
~ Greek gods/goddesses, Romeo & Juliet, and The Odyssey for period 6
~ Period 2, all the novels we read in class (Speak, Necessary Roughness, Two Badges, Metamorphosis, Stuck in Neutral, and Farewell to Manzanar)
~ Period 4, yours will be on the novels we read in class (Crank, The Secret Life of Bees, The Host, and The Lovely Bones)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Volunteers Needed

I need help! (But we all knew that, right?) Anyway, I am looking for volunteers to assist me with our Student Showcase Spectacular on 5/28. I have already purchased a bunch of items (and plan to buy more), but I could also use the following:

Bottles of soda, homemade desserts (Sylvia, brownies; Jeanette, cookies ~haha!), coolers of ice, help with the door on that night, help with setting up that day/night, help with cleaning up, help with setting up the technology (William/John, that's you~haha!), help getting the displays ready, some kids to read/recite their poem(s), help with assembling our literary magazine, and anything else you can think of.

Please comment to this post if you can help me on that night, or if you can assist me in the days before by preparing the room.

Invitations will go out tomorrow! LOVE YOU!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Of my 102 students who took the FCAT Writes, 100 of you passed! That is 98%!!! YOU ALL ARE AMAZING!

I want to give a special shout out to my Regular English Class...100% of you passed! That goes to show that honors or not, success is possible! With hard work, success is the end result! In the history of me teaching tenth grade, this is the FIRST regular class that had a 100% success rate! I AM BEAMING WITH PRIDE!

The state average of passing students was 77%; you all were 98%. The state average of students earning a score of 4 or higher was 60%; you all were 87%. The state's mean score was 3.8; your
mean score was 4.4!!! That's AMAZING! My hat's off to you!

Here are my TOP DOGS:
Level 6 - Heather, Adrian, Michael L., Jessica Mart. (The only four in our school to earn a 6)
Level 5.5 - Yovanni T., Blanca R., Maite, Angel V., Marvin M.,
Level 5 - Fanny, Kassandra, David, Javier, Ivana, Michelle G., Karina, Carel, Jennifer M., Gina, Pablo, Jessica Men., Nelson M., Richard P., Nahobi, Katherine

There were 30 4.5's; and 34 4.0's, which is INCREDIBLE!

Be ready for your rewards and recognition - YOU ALL DESERVE IT!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pinwheels for Peace

Thanks to Mr. Binder, our trust counselor, for gathering all of us to show that peace reigns at HGHS. Now, lets take that out into our homes and community! Many of you wrote amazing haikus! I am so impressed with your talent, enthusiasm, and kindness! Keep up the good work!

A special thanks to Mrs. Davis for arranging for Mr. Louis Schneider, a Holocaust survivor, to come and speak to the tenth graders. This week our classes have been reading Night, which recounts Elie Wiesel's ordeal in Auschwitz. All of these wonderful activities have made this week a vital learning experience to remember! I hope my students will always use this experience as a guide for how to be instruments of peace throughout their lives!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Pinwheels for Peace

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shakespeare Day Slideshow

I wanted to thank those of you who made our Shakespeare Day/Renaissance Fair so special! I had a wonderful time, and it looked like you all did, too! A special shout out to Mrs. Davis and her crew for a JOB WELL DONE! We look forward to our school-wide fair next year!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Shakespeare Day!
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pinwheels for Peace

Next week, we will be doing Pinwheels for Peace. Please see below for a sneak peak. I look forward to doing this activity with you in class. Peace be with you and your family now and always :o) Love you guys


Your final drafts will be due a couple days after I return your papers. I have not returned all of the rough drafts yet, but when I do, I will announce the due date. I was trying to meet with each of you, but with my large class sizes, it's been a challenge. I am actually up grading right now :o) It's 4:30 a.m. haha!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hear ye, hear ye!

We're celebrating Shakespeare on April 23rd! During class that day, we will have our "Ye Olde Renaissance Faire." In preparation for our celebration, you will need to select a committee. I am asking that you look at the categories below, ponder on them, and choose one based on your abilities, interests, and schedule.

We will need Fortune Tellers, Bards & Actors, Musicians, Craft and Game Supervisors, Food Folks, a Decorations/Banner Crew, and a Shakespeare History table.

Check out the sites below for some help:

Wear your toga in honor of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar! Below are sites to help you form your toga Remember, you have to wear your uniform under your toga, no exceptions :o)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Questions About Critical Response Papers

Hey! Happy Spring Break!

If you have any questions about the paper, post them here. I will check this daily and offer some help if you need it.

SMILE! I miss you already!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Remember, there is a literary tools test this Thursday (periods 1 & 3) and Friday (period 6). BE READY! The list of lit tools is posted on the column on the left about half way down! Study, and you will do great!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


If you feel like quitting on your critical response paper, DON'T. Remember, pain is weakness leaving the body (in this case, weakness is leaving your mind). YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

Now, if that pep talk did not help, know that I am only a phone call away. If hearing my lovely voice (barf) is going to be the only thing to keep you from quitting, please call me.


Friday, March 27, 2009


Your rough draft due date has changed SLIGHTLY, so pay close attention:

You can turn in your rough draft the day you return from Spring Break (Monday, April 13 for periods 1 & 3; Tuesday, April 14 for period 6). However, if you turn it in by THIS Wednesday (period 6), or Thursday (periods 1 & 3), you will get extra points added to your rough draft score. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO IT BEFORE BREAK, AS IT WILL BE A MONKEY ON YOUR BACK THE WHOLE WEEK! Below is a sample, as well as some helpful websites to assist you with your in-text citations. Rest assured, we will review this in class on Monday and Tuesday. If you want to start your rough draft this weekend, you can do so...and add your citations in later.

The page requirements for your papers are 4-5 for sophomores, and 3-4 for freshmen.


To see a sample of a rough draft, CLICK HERE!

Click HERE to learn how to use "in-text" citations.

Click here to see another source to cite your work... A GOOD ONE, TOO!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Grades are completed for the following periods: 1, 3, 4, 6. I will finish period 2 tonight or first thing in the morning.

Be advised that if you made a B or C, you likely received a 2 in effort. With a little more umph, you would have had a higher grade. The few D's and F's I had received a 3 in effort. In addition, conduct grades dropped slightly. If you were caught cheating, you received a "B" in conduct, no matter how quiet you were.

Congratulations to many of you for your improvement! I am proud of you. Those of you who backslid a little, use it as a motivation to be your best you. It is crunch time, and it is only going to get harder this last quarter. One thing I know is...YOU CAN DO IT! You just need to give your full effort.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Looking Ahead to Next Week!

OK - 6th Period, I will not see you on Monday to prepare you for the title and reference pages. I am adding a sample of each, along with comments on those pages. Remember, one inch margins, 12 pt Times New Roman for EVERYTHING!

Periods 1 & 3, if you want to do yours this weekend, feel free to take a gander at this post, too!

Remember, this is due on Wednesday for 6th, and Thursday for 1st & 3rd.




For your "Running head," it can be aligned at the left margin, or the center. Thanks to David (per. 3) for pointing it out and correcting me. Every "great" teacher needs humbling at some point. In this case, a mediocre teacher! haha!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Notes Page

For those of you unclear about the notes page, allow me to elucidate. You can arrange your notes any way you want. I made suggestions about what to include to help you later on. All I ask is you type them. If you look to the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left. haha! No, really, look to the left, there is a sample there. If you want to use mine, go ahead. If not, do what is best for you.

The outline, however, has to be done correctly. See the post below for more info on outlines.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Would an architect construct a building without developing a blueprint? Why should research paper writing be any different? An outline functions as a blueprint by providing definition to your research paper. It is a glimpse of your final copy. An outline reveals weakness in how your thoughts have been organized, lack of a presentation style, deviance from the subject at hand that needs to be corrected before you start writing.

An outline is basically your writing plan. There are different kinds of outlines, but the sentence outline is most often used when organizing a long essay or research paper. Because it requires sentences to express each idea or detail, this outline forces you to think each point through carefully before including it in your paper.

The above information was taken from:

Below are some samples. You can do either, though the sentence format is more APAish, while the topic format is more MLAish.

Here are some other sites you can use to get some ideas:

Remember to use one inch margins for your outline, and it must be in 12 pt Times New Roman. You must also include your revised thesis statement. We will discuss this in class.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


To my beautiful, brilliant and fabulous students ~

I just wanted to apologize if I have seemed cranky lately. Some of it stems from watching some of you not live up to your academic potential. You all have no idea the immense ability you have, and when you squander your ability, I get a little nuts.

Some of it also results from the FCAT. I so badly want you all to pass! EVERY student of mine has the skills to pass. With all my heart, I believe this. I just worry you will fall asleep, leave questions blank, and not give it the effort it deserves. You all
not putting forth your maximum effort this week, and leaving questions blank in your packets, just got me down. The fear in me takes over and then I worry that you will do the same thing on the FCAT (even though I have WAY more faith in you than that). Even still, worry leads to crankiness. :o)

Not to mention, all the boo-hooing about the research paper. Listen, you CAN do it! I know it seems a little foreign right now, but YOU WILL GET IT! All I am asking is that you look at this challenge as an opportunity for growth. If you can look at life's obstacles this way, you will be just fine.

The course selection situation got to me, too. For this, I am most apologetic. Much of my frustration came from that, which you had no control over. I also apologize for the missed class time. You deserved my FULL attention, and I could not deliver it.

Basically, I could have handled all of these situations better. You deserve the best of me, and I could not give it to you this week. I promise, promise, promise to be better next time . . . all because you mean so much to me!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Your thesis statements are due this week. I will help you in class on Wednesday if you need it. I cannot help you if your topic has not been posted AND approved. Rest assured, I will explain this in class, but this is for my students who want to come to class with something in hand.

First, you need to find the major points of your topic that relate to the themes, events or characters in the novel. AS YOU ARE DOING THIS, START A NOTES PAGE with each source you use, the name of the book, author, year it was written, and/or the URL of site you may use, as well as the page numbers you select quotes from, and the quotes you plan to use. Just save a document with this info on your desktop because you will need to refer to it as you write your paper; and when you have to write your reference page (bibliography), you will already have much of the info.

You may be asking, what kind of paper will you be writing? Well, it's an argumentative paper. An argumentative
paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that your claim is true based on the evidence provided.

Some tips on writing your
thesis statement:

  • for most student work, it's a one- or two- sentence statement that explicitly outlines the purpose or point of your paper. A thesis is to a paper what a topic sentence is to a paragraph

  • it should point toward the development or course of argument the reader can expect your argument to take, but does not have to specifically include 'three supporting points' as you may have once learned

  • because the rest of the paper will support or back up your thesis, a thesis is normally placed at or near the end of the introductory paragraph.

  • it is an assertion that a reasonable person could disagree with if you only gave the thesis and no other evidence. It is not a fact or casual observation; it must beg to be proved. And someone should be able to theoretically argue against it (how successfully will depend of course on how persuasive you are)

  • it takes a side on a topic rather than simply announcing that the paper is about a topic (the title should have already told your reader your topic). Don't tell a reader aboutwhat about something. Answer the questions "how?" or "why?" something; tell them

  • it is sufficiently narrow and specific that your supporting points are necessary and sufficient, not arbitrary; paper length and number of supporting points are good guides here

  • it argues one main point and doesn't squeeze three different theses for three different papers into one sentence.

Here is an example of a thesis statement (I will demonstrate one for you in class that relates to our novel):

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain's Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave "civilized" society and go back to nature.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Extra Credit for the "Movie on the Lawn" Attendees

Thanks to my little honeybees who sacrificed their Friday night to see The Secret Life of Bees on the school lawn. I hope you all enjoyed it.

Now, here is your extra credit (do all three sections):

Tell me one scene in the movie that was not in the book. Did you like that it was added? Why did it make the plot better or help you understand an event or character better?

Tell me one scene in the book that was not in the movie that you wished the director had included. Tell me why you feel it should have been included.

Now that you have read two novels and have seen the movie versions of both, compare and contrast the two genres? After you compare and contrast them, do you prefer one over the other, and why?

I will post pictures soon. I have to work on my FCAT Camp lesson right now! haha!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Research Paper Topics

UPDATED (I removed all of the choices that had been selected)

Below are some topics you can use for your research paper on The Secret Life of Bees. The topic you choose will have to be supported through the events in the novel. It will have to be 3-5 pages typed, so be sure you pick a topic you are comfortable with and passionate about. (For those of you who did not read the novel, now might be a good time). No one can pick the same topic.

Leave a comment under this post that states which topic you choose. If it is one that says you can pick one of the chapter heading quotes, tell me which chapter heading you are choosing. If you are picking a symbol, which one? Be specific. Don't tell me you are going to relate a message of MLK to the novel without telling me which message. If you need to reselect, or I need clarification from you, I will leave you another comment under this post. You will need to look at this post again to make sure I approve your choice. Your research paper will be due right after Spring Break, but be advised that each week, we will cover a skill then you will be required to submit that particular piece. You cannot submit the next skill until the last one is turned in. If you get behind, or fail to do any of the skills or the paper itself, your nine-week grade will greatly suffer.

Trust me, we are going to take this slow, and I will work with you one-on-one if need be. I am NOT going to let you drown. I may let you flounder around for a bit, but I will be there to help you get to shore. NICE METAPHOR! haha!!


Below is a primary list of topics for you to consider. You can propose one of your own if you think of it.

Any or a combination of the symbols in the novel (specify, please)

Messages or quotes from any of the following (you need to tell me the SPECIFIC message, literary piece, or song you are selecting):

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK's message, "A lie cannot live," "I have a dream," "A man who won't die..." "toughness of a serpent; softness of a dove," "A true neighbor" are already selected. He has many messages, essays and speeches, so research and select one)

Malcolm X ("They bring about change" and "I'm for truth," and his speech about freedom are already selected. He has many messages, essays and speeches, so research and select one)

Eleanor Roosevelt ("You have to accept" and "I could not..." already taken. She has many messages, essays and speeches; do research and select one.)


Charlotte Bronte

William Blake
(His poem in the novel is taken.)

The Beatles ("Let it Be," "Yesterday," "She's Going Home," "Hey, Jude," "Here Comes the Sun," "Long and Winding Road," "Blackbird," "Not a Second Time," "All You Need is Love," "Imagine" are all selected. Again, they have many songs. Research and choose one.)

Simon and Garfunkel

Any of the 1960’s poets or musicians

Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken" is already selected, but there are many more out there.)

Archetypal feminine images (specify, please)

Any of the opening quotes about bees from the fourteen chapters. (Chapters 5, 6, 7 & 10 are left).

You can find your own quote that relates to one of the themes. The possibilities are endless.

Chapters 11-14 Extra Credit

Now that the novel has come to an end, compare and contrast your perception of (or feelings about) one character.  How did it change from the beginning of the novel to the end?  Remember, if it is a compare and contrast question, you must address both the similarities (comparison) and the differences (contrasts).  You must use ONE quote to support each.

Deadline: February 24th by 11 p.m. (Be mindful of the date and time, as some of you are posting past the deadline, which cannot be awarded points).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Secret Life of Bees Project Clarification

All projects have to be typed 12-point font. It can be any type of font, but it cannot be larger than 12 points, and it CANNOT be bold-faced or italicized. In addition, you are only allowed one-inch margins on all sides. You CAN decorate it up, add your creative flair, and make it POP!  See your class's project due date to the left.

1. Write a diary of one of the characters. Tell his/her secret thoughts, motivations,history, ideas for the future, and thoughts about others. For example, write Deborah’s diary explaining what really happened the day she died. (4 entries, one page each, double-spaced)

2. Summarize one chapter of the novel in poem or song form. (a minimum of 25 lines for the poem; and the song must have one chorus 5 lines long, and 4 verses that are 5 lines long each)

3. Pretend you are one of the characters. It’s 2O years from the end of the novel. From a character's point of view, write a letter to another character in the book about what you’ve been doing with your life. For example, does Lily ever see her father again? (There will be two letters. One is from the character to another character, while the other letter is a response. Each letter must be one-page single-spaced).

4. Write a series of letters between any two characters (This is different from the number 3. These letters are about events in the novel, not 20 years later. This is four letters, two from each character, that are double-spaced and one page long.)

5. Write a letter to the author aboutwhat you think about the book. You will mail or email the letter after I read it. (Your letter must be one page single-spaced, be in letter format, including a return and the recipient's address, a greeting, a closing, and four specific references to the novel. You not only have to bring me a hard copy for this one, you must also email it to me at

6. Write a sequel (or the next chapter) to the novel. (Four pages double-spaced minimum).

7. August lived in Richmond, Virginia during the 192Os and 1930s. Research Richmond during these times and then write a story from her persepective about what she did before she got to Tiburon, or how she came to be a beekeeper. (2 pages single-spaced or four pages double-spaced minimum).

Notice there is no more #8.

Your rubric will be as follows: 20 points - relevance to the novel; 10 points - adherence to the rules of the project; 10 points - creativity and neatness; 10 points - submitted on time

DO NOT BRING ME YOUR WORK ON A JUMP DRIVE OR EMAIL ME AND ASK ME TO PRINT IT THE MORNING IT IS DUE. If you do not have a printer, you can print it out the day(s) before during lunch. Be warned that I cannot guarantee that I will have ink in my printer. Currently, I am out, but I will try and buy more. Please make arrangements EARLY. You lose an automatic 10 points for late work (even a minute). Even if you are absent, you need to get your project here on the day/time it is due... I am sorry, but I am just prepping you for the demands of doing a research project. YOU CAN DO IT, GUYS, I KNOW IT! Start now and you will do GREAT!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Extra Credit - Chapters 9 & 10

In chapters 9 & 10, there are many similes, metaphors, allusions, and other literary tools. Find an example of one of our literary tools in this section, type the quote, then indicate which literary tool the author is using. Your answer HAS to be from one of the two chapters, and you cannot use one that someone has already posted. Your post must be done by 2/18 by 11 p.m. Remember to include your first name and period number!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ch 7 & 8 Mini-Project for Secret Life of Bees

In chapters 7 & 8, Lily shares that her Sunday school teacher used a name to create a philosophical message. Using the letters of JOY, Mrs. Poole (see pg. 162) creates an acrostic poem that details an amazing message and her philosophy about life . GUESS WHAT? You have to do it, too! Be warned, it is not suppose to be like the DADDY one Lily made with a bunch of adjectives. Yours needs to be a little more philosophical and less descriptive. Here is an example:

Create smiles around you
Help others
Relinguish yourself to the divine
Ignore negativity
Share hugs
Take time for family
Initiate forgiveness
Never lose faith
mbrace peace

Here are your rules - it needs to be typed, you can include graphics, it can rhyme if you want, it must be at least 7 letters (if your name is shorter than 7 letters, use the letters of your last name, or use both your first and last name). Have fun with it. This is due Thursday, 2/19 for period 6; 2/20 for periods 1 & 3. THIS IS NOT EXTRA CREDIT!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Secret Life of Bees Chapters 5 & 6 Extra Credit

Here is more extra credit! You can choose to do one of two hands-on/crafty activites:
Choice 1 - Create a hat that identifies you (like the Daughters of Mary hats described on pg 106. The guys can do this, too! Just use a baseball cap).
Choice 2 - Make a box which will be like May's "wailing wall" (pg 97). We will call the box our "Crying Crate" and will use it to hold little notes listing our fears, worries, and such. Decorate it using themes from the novel.

Try to use materials you already have. Many of our pledges were to recycle, so why not try to honor that pledge with this activity!

You can ALSO respond to this post for blog participation points:
To help herself deal with pain, May sings, "Oh, Susana" and writes notes to place in the wailing wall. Now explain how do you deal with pain? Be sure to post your comments in this section, please.

This is due on 2/18 for period 6; 2/19 for periods 1 & 3. HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Home Learning Assignment

Periods 1,3 and 6:

Create a "bumper sticker" that reflects on an event, tragedy, idea or person from the 1960's. For example, you could create one for a presidential candidate of the era. What about your feelings on the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, space travel, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Woodstock, and much, much more? You slogan (or saying) must be one of our literary tools. In addition, you must use a minimum of three colors, a symbol or graphic, and it must be unique (not something you find on the Internet).

For example, mine would be: No more danger, no more destruction, no more death. (I used parallelism and alliteration while I reflected on my feeling of the Vietnam War). I will bring a sample to class!

Here are some sites of some 1960's events:

Due Dates: Periods 1&3 - February 13; Period 6 - February 9

If you have questions or concerns, leave me a comment.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm BUZZING with Excitement!


Watch for discussion questions for each chapter. You earn extra credit for your responses (you can earn one point per response, sometimes they will be double). Obviously, we are going to have many conversations in class, but this gives you other aspects about the novel to ponder.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Post Your Pledge!

Now that we have a new president, what is your pledge to this life? Remember, the road we travel is not just about us; it's about how we love and help others, too! Click on the link below to see pledges from the stars then begin to ponder on your pledge to a neighbor, the community, our school, our country or the world!


What is your promise and pledge? Post it here, and let's make a difference together!

Friday, January 16, 2009


We will be reading this in class for the next month. I would like you to comment here as you read each set of chapters. This is a great way to boost your grade and show me that you are serious about your education. Each post you thoughtfully and extensively prepare and publish will earn you 10 extra credit points. Please look at my comments in the comment section to see what the prompt is; it will change from chapter to chapter.

You should also know that you can use my computer during lunch, before school and after school on odd days. See me to schedule computer time if you do not have access at home. I am here to help if you need it, but it's ultimately up to you. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT.

It is not for a lack of ability that we fail; rather, it's from a lack of effort.

C-Rod's Reading Zone


If anyone wants to comment on Lovely Bones, here is the spot. For those of you who have read it, feel free to share your thoughts! If you are just now reading it, let us know what you think as you read. For anyone who reads extra novels this quarter, you will receive extra credit (50 pts). You will need to see me for the details to earn your points.

If you have any other books to recommend for our Reading Zone, please include them here. Of course, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn are on our list, as well as The Host. You can comment on them here as well!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Don't Forget!

Remember, you need to do an introductory paragraph (periods 1 & 3) for the prompt listed below:

  • You have won a trip to anywhere, and it's all-expenses paid.
  • Think about the place you would like to visit.
  • Now write to explain where you would like to visit and why you would like to visit this place.

All you have to do is the intro. Be sure your HOOK is luring and attention grabbing! Be mindful of your audience (i.e., the reader) and that she will likely read 130 of the same introductions. Yours should be unique. Avoid the mundane, like the following: "I recently won a trip to anywhere, and I chose Italy." BORING! A real snoozer! ZZZZZZ!

Have fun with it; use anecdotes, dialogue, literary tools, quotes, etc. For an expository essay, you can have a bit more fun than the critical essays you have written for Twilight, the midterm, etc. These are more like vocabulary stories! Reflect on the model I wrote in class. Enjoy the process. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Roots Bear Fruits Collage

For your vocab collage, follow these rules:

  • Use 8 1/2 X 11 paper, posterboard, or construction paper
  • It can be portrait or landscape
  • You must use pictures or graphics that represent at least 16 of our NEW words (if you forgot your list, look to the left)
  • You can use magazines, Google images or clip art software
  • You must label each of the pictures/graphics with the word the pic represents
  • On the back of the collage, you need to write a sentence for each picture you selected that explains why that photo represents the word. (Example: The photo of the two hands intertwined with wedding rings represents "monogamy" because the photo shows two people who have just married each other.)
This is due on 1/7 for periods 1 & 3; 1/8 for periods 4 & 6. If you have any questions, email me at I really want to see colorful, fun and creative collages!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I finished New Moon, and all I can comment is, "WOWWIE ZOWWIE!" I liked it better than Twilight! You all had commented that it was a snoozer from Chapter 3 to Chapter 18, which I do not necessarily agree with. I read the last 350 pages on my car ride, and I could NOT put it down.

Guess who is my favorite (WHAT A BABE, and he's so much better for Bella)??

I am going to post some New Moon extra credit questions below! You know what that means - Comments equal points to help with your quarterly grade! Please answer two of the questions below using specific examples from New Moon. Once you submit your extra credit response (you have until January 1, 2009), your name will go on a list, and I will ask you one more question in class (just to make sure you did read and did not get help with these questions from someone who actually did read). This will be worth a total of 25 extra credit points, but you must correctly answer the two questions here AND, most importantly, the question I ask in class. Trust me, if you read, you will be able to answer ANY question I ask. HAVE FUN WITH THIS! I am very much enjoying this whole series! I start Eclipse today (thanks, Meryl)!

  1. Why do you think the book is titled New Moon? Remember that a “new moon” is the lunar phase when we cannot see the moon
  2. What do you think about Edward leaving? Did it help Bella?
  3. What do you think about what Bella did to Jacob? Was it selfish of her to continue the friendship when she knew their feelings for one another were not the same?
  4. Which guy should Bella be with? What are the pros and cons of being with each of them?
Post your comments below. Remember, add your first name and period number to the end of your comment. SMILE OODLES! MiSs YoU~

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish my sweeties a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Let's start an Attitude of Gratitude chain right here on our blog. Click on "comments" below and state three things for which you are thankful (be different)! I already know you are grateful for your parents and family, your friends, and your AMAZING teachers (try not to laugh), but I want some original things. I will go first so you can see what I mean (mine may be longer since I talk a lot)! Be sure to read the various comments that are posted, and you will see that we have so MUCH to be thankful for, even the small things we take for granted!

I hope your day and weekend is filled with all the love and happiness your heart can handle, and all the food your tummies can take! Remember, a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips! haha!

LOVE YOU ALL! Thanks for being the great kids you are! I am blessed!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Hi, all! We are going to try to see if this blog works. To be honest, my sister turned me onto Blogspot last month, and I am not 100% if I like it. My former site is, but it is expensive to run. Check it is still there, though I am working on it. After trying this for a couple weeks, I may opt to revert to the site again, since I am more savvy at that. Time will tell.

If you could, please respond to this blog with your name, class period and a quick blurb on some things you would like to see happen in English class. Please know that "doing nothing" and "sleeping" is not an ideal response. haha! I promise you, that will never happen! I really would like to know what you want to get out of my class! Please remember that your blogs should be mature and "limpia!"

I look forward to working with you all. It is going to be a GREAT year! You all seem amazing so far! I am so lucky!