Archive | May, 2016

Letter to Younger Students

16 May


Letter to Ninth Graders

This week’s writing assignment will be to write a letter to next year’s incoming 9th graders. For the piece be sure to use specific examples and details. Tell them what you wish you knew when you were their age.

Some quick writes to think about:

-What are some important lessons you’ve learned?
-Think about sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and sounds you hear in the building.
-What are common things people (students and teachers) say?
-What are some Rules they should know?
-Give some advice or warnings.
-What are some lies people are told about high school?

Creating a Song for the 9th Graders

In class we will be creating a song for our new 9th graders. We will do this as a group and everyone will get to participate in some way. If you are a musician, bring in your instrument! Even a one note recording can be useful. Here are our class topics so far:

Period 1- Expect the Worst
Period 4- It’s Not That Hard
Period 5- Stay Classy Sachem East
Period 8- It’s Not That Easy

We will write and record the song in class. It’s an exercise in cooperation, lyric writing, team work, and fun. Feel free to include any ideas from the song in your letter to the 9th grader.

PS If you haven’t turned in your Life Philosophy Piece, you have until Tuesday with your extension. (Progress Reports are due this Wednesday!)

Work on Life Philosophy Piece

12 May


Today we will be in the Library (period one D114) to work on our Life Philosophy Piece.

Some things that may help you develop your piece:

-Think about important events in your life. How have they shaped who you are?

-Think of important people in your life. How have they shaped who you are? What are qualities they possess that you admire? Think about their words, actions, and the way they treat others.

-Are there any movies, songs, or pieces of art that inspire you?

Eulogy for Ghandi

11 May


All Classes: Read Eulogy for Mahatma Gandhi and answer these questions Ghandi Eulogy Questions

9th Grade: Quick Write- What are some of your best qualites? What are some of your worst qualities? How might someone else describe you?

12th Grade: Hand in, on a separate sheet of paper along with your Ghandi Eulogy Questions from above, a definition and sentence for the words below. Make sure your sentences contain enough information to indicate the definition.
Example: Intelligence:(noun)- the ability to acquire and apply new knowledge.
Bad sentence for intelligent: His intelligence was below average.
Good sentence for intelligent: It was easy for Bob to pass the test thanks to his superiour intelligence.


Life Philosophy Piece; New Skills

10 May

12th Grade Only: Read this  Transcript-of-Commencement-Speech-at-Stanford-given-by-Steve-Jobs and write a well developed response in which you identify an important central idea, as well as one literary device or skill that helps develop this central idea.

The Life Philosophy Piece

Our next piece is the Life Philosophy . It is due Friday. The Steve Jobs speech is a great example. Here is a decent example from a student.

Today we will learn 3 New Skills:


Action-Adjectives: A descriptive phrase that contains an action, in the format of  Noun-Past Tense Verb-Noun. Helps create concise and action-packed descriptions.

Examples:  Sun-kissed hair,  action-packed description, chocolate-covered donut, orange-flavored gum, garbage-filled gymnasium, sauce-drenched chicken, freckle-faced boy….


Antithesis: a statement that contains a contrast of two ideas.  Often delivered in the format of “It is not this, it is that.”   Here are some examples.

“We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin… [but] our allegiance to an idea…”

“Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.”

“Together we stand, divided we fall.”

“Lennie doesn’t kill the puppy because he hates him, he does it because he loves him too much.”


Anecdote: A short story to help prove a point.

Ex: Steve Jobs speech uses 3 anecdotes to prove his point.

Often people will cite anecdotal evidence as proof.
-“Orange juice cures a cold. My grandma drinks orange juice as soon as she gets sick and her cold is gone in two days.”
-Lots of commercials use this form of persuasion. “I lost twenty pounds eating only Cheerios.”  Often you will notice a disclaimer to the effect of “results not typical,” because this is merely anecdotal evidence, it is not scientific proof.

Here’s a link for more info.

Comfort Zones and Steve Jobs

9 May

Today, we will examine two different speeches.

Comfort Zones

Quick Write: write about a time in which you did or did not do something that was outside of your comfort zone.

Watch this video and ask yourself how often you are willing to leave your comfort zones.

Quick Write: Think of a motto, an important lesson, or some code that you live by.

Steve Jobs Commencement Speech

Steve Jobs delivered a powerful commencement speech to Stanford graduates in 2005. Here is the transcript: Transcript-of-Commencement-Speech-at-Stanford-given-by-Steve-Jobs

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech from Bob Macintosh on Vimeo.

Happy Mother’s Day

8 May

Reading Assignment 1

6 May


Today we will answer some questions for Reading Assignment 1. Here they are reading assignment 1.

Please note that in addition to these questions, I will be checking your work for the week, including:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday’s Reading Plan (or vocabulary)
  • Thursday’s questions about your author.

Do the best you can. I’m really only checking to see that you have been reading and doing the in class assignments. If a question does not apply to your particular book for some reason, please just explain why in your answer.

Have a great weekend!