Down Came The Rain. Hello, October.

Another couple of weeks have come and gone, and the freshmen continue to learn a lot!

They have practiced using Goodreads.com to track their reading progress and should feel very comfortable with this by now! We read twice per week in class, which students have agreed (in their student surveys) is one of their favorite parts of class. They like to have time to read what they want to read.

Please please please encourage your kids to carve out even twenty minutes a day over the weekend to read. If they keep engaged in their choice reading books regularly, they will grow in their reading comprehension and skills exponentially! Extra progress updates also help them to earn a 4 in the reading standard!

They can use noredink.com at any time to work toward improving their grammar skills with immediate feedback on how they are advancing. Students should be finished with Practice: Rules of Capitalization I and should be halfway or further on Rules of Capitalization II. Feel free to check in on them and encourage them to keep working on this when they have free time.

Unfortunate Fortunato

We watched the 1932 film version of “The Most Dangerous Game” and enjoyed the super cheesy acting! As October rolled in, we listened to “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe as students completed a story organizer to demonstrate their knowledge regarding our literary terms and the trajectory of a short story plot line.

We definitely picked up on quite a bit in our most recent story. Sometimes stories are told by first person narrators who may be a little….unhinged. This definitely affects the mood, tone, and, ultimately, the theme of the story. We also found that when something is repeated again and again throughout a story, it may mean something more than we think at first glance. For example, “the mold” is repeated by our narrator and is then eventually compared to a spider’s web. As poor Fortunato descends further and further into the catacombs, the mold becomes more and more of a factor and ensnares him in the “web.”

The Focus Question of the Unit is: How do authors use literary devices to create a good short story?

Ultimately, students will be asked to write their own short story so we will spend time reading other short stories and breaking them down to better understand how they are put together.

Highlight of the past week:

This is a difficult one to come up with this week…. It has been so much fun getting to know all of my students these past couple of weeks as we continue to work through our short story unit.

I guess my heart is full and my enthusiasm is in overdrive having seen so many of my students take an interest in reading their choice novels, engaging in the short story work, and articulating their joy and displeasure when receiving feedback on their grammar while on noredink.com.

This next coming week is Homecoming and should be a lot of fun for everybody! Looking forward to more excitement!

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