It was a big week around here as our new principal was announced – a beloved assistant principal was given the crown, so all is well. Now that the drama in the staff lounge has settled down, I can refocus my attention to the drama on the page. This week, Romeo will meet Juliet for […]

Is it just me or does the final quarter of the school year always feel like a bullet-train ride? One of my hallway homies mentioned yesterday that there are now only 39 days of school left. Wait, what? I have just 39 days to take my freshmen through a deep study of Romeo & Juliet, a quick read of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the end of our 20Time projects/what-we-learned speeches. And don’t forget to throw in the chaos of SBAC and AP testing, which always derails more than a few days’ plans. Uh, yeah…I have some work to do. Continue reading

We’re ready to set sail across the Mediterranean as we join Odysseus on his long trek home. I used to teach the full 24 books/chapters of The Odyssey, but to fit in the 20Time work sessions I had to make some tough choices and, like Agamemnon butchering sweet Iphigenia, I was forced to sacrifice something I hold dear to move forward with my bigger plan. Continue reading

That about covers it. Here’s my upcoming week: Monday Open with a five-minute M.U.G. Shot (Mechanics, Usage, Grammar) mini-lecture/bell-ringer. Review answers from this past weekend’s S.A.T. practice section homework. Present my Prezi lecture on Katniss Everdeen, A Modern Theseus. (We finished reading the Theseus myth late last week as part of this unit on Greek […]

Happy Valentine’s Day/Weekend! With the holiday falling on Sunday this year, the campus was surprisingly devoid yesterday of the usual pre-holiday candy/balloon/teddy bear explosion. I can’t say I was bummed because my freshmen, who are usually so sugared up for this holiday, were delightfully focused during our first 20Time work session. Keep your flowers – […]

Is it just me or does the spring semester always zoom by twice as quickly as the fall? We just finished fall finals and the new semester officially launches Tuesday. In Room H-9, that means we’ll soon be enjoying Greek mythology, The Odyssey, some Shakespeare, and – my new favorite – 20Time! Monday No students […]

We’re reaching the official end of the fall semester this week, so the title of this post is definitely misleading. It’s more like: What Tests I’m Proctoring This Week. My two-hour exam will cover M.U.G. Shots, literary terms, vocabulary from Words on Wednesday, poetry terms and analysis of a poem, analogies, and a short argument […]

Like a Bugatti racing from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds, students have left behind the sleepy pace of winter vacation and are deep in the hyperdrive of final exam prep and end-of-term project wrap-up. Last week, we zoomed through the tricks of how to conquer the new S.A.T. essay format and […]

After two weeks of R&R, I hope everyone’s batteries are fully charged because the alarm clock has no mercy. My freshmen wrapped up our poetry unit right before we left for winter break, so we’re now set to dive into the more practical waters of Argumentation. First, we’ll learn to pick apart other people’s arguments […]