Week 4: Addendum

    I am creating a Google Classroom for each group--please refer to that area for extra information--I will have posted two assignments by the end of this morning; one is to urge you to keep reading, and the other is the expectations for the Living Journal.


    Week 4: 6 April - 10 April

    Hopefully everyone is staying safe and staying sane--it is a difficult time for everyone, so hang on. 

    A formal District Learning Plan (DLP) will be announced within a day or so that explains to all stakeholders in the South Hadley Public School system (teachers, administrators, students, families, etc.) the direction that learning will be heading in the weeks to come. The assignments will be changing from "suggested" to "required"; grading will be on a credit/no credit basis, and there will be other directions in order to keep the teaching and learning moving forward--so please be ready.

    I can provide hints about two of the upcoming assignments regarding all three groups in general, and Honors 11 in particular: All groups (CP9, H9, H11) will be required to submit a Living Journal three times a week--the journal does not have to be written--though it can be--and just about any form you want it to take is fine: submit pictures, videos, writing, poems, collages, etc. that captures your experience during these most unusual of times. Detailed directions will be out later this week.

    H11: Your final work on The Great Gatsby will take the form of an essay that discusses how American life looks for different groups in the book--focus would be on the upper (rich) and lower (not rich) clases in the book, length of paper about two pages, no direct support required but OK, etc. Full details will be out soon.

    CP9 & H9: In addition to the Living Journal, some writing on another assignment--like H11 but a different topic--will be forthcoming soon.

    So what I would suggest to you is you spend some time reading and getting your Living Journal prepared. How do you want it to look? What will you include? Accumulate artifacts (elements of life that show the times you are in: pictures, videos, charts, appropriate memes, etc.--these are called artifacts--kind of like direct textual support in an essay/prompt). Do an interview, etc. Also keep reading.

    I know that I was going to send out information/expectations for particular writing for particular groups, but that has been put on the backburner as the District moves in a really different direction; that being said, however, if any student has begun--or would like to do--a writing on a particular book that is different from the topic provided within a day or so, then do it. I will accept it as an entry into your Living Journal.

    That's about it for now--a formal notice of the DLP will be out Wednesday or Thursday, and it goes into effect on Monday, 13 April--remember work will go from "suggested" to "required." 

    Please keep reading, and if there is any writing you would like to share or I can help you with, shoot it over to me.  

    Week 3: 30 March - 3 April

    There is a wonderful column by Nate Buddington in the Daily Hampshire Gazette of 30 March on page A5, and I urge all my students--but especially the juniors--to read it and think about what he's saying. In essence, he is urging students to get out and do something unique, creative, and enriching. Among his suggestions: "Pick a spot in the woods and do your own habitat study. Write and record a series of original music . . . Write a novel. Learn how to build funiture" (Buddington). He sees these activities as beneficial to everyone on many levels, and he speaks directly to juniors when he says that juniors will both have a ready answer next year when Admissions Committees ask, "So what did you do in the time you weren't in school?" (Buddington) and their college essays will have been written through the experiences you create during this period. This is good, mature advice, students, listen to him!

    With that said, I would love to hear from students some activities that you did during this strange time--write them up in a formal paper and share with me: Juniors, this is jump-starting your college admissions progress; Freshmen: this is giving you great real-world experience--take advantage!

    Prompts for the ER book and end of book (TO or TGG) will be out soon--due by the middle of May.

    Keep/start reading--try to put a good hour per day into it: Finish one thing, start another.

    Be good; be safe; take care. 


    Week 2: 25 March - 1 April

    Hello again; as we enter into the second week of our hiatus, I would like to first of all express my hope that everyone is doing well and you are keeping body and soul together. A few notes:

    • Please continue to read--something/anything--I've finished three magazines and am into my second book: Guns, Germs, and Steel
    • Please do some writing: a long email, journal, essay, respond to a prompt--anything! But write it as best you can and follow our normal writing expectations for punctuation, usage, etc. Send me something--Juniors: a college essay/response; Freshmen: a descriptive piece explaining what you've been doing recently (??)--and we can go over it through Google docs if you would like to stay sharp
    • Our back-to-school ETA is 8 April at this point--two weeks from today
    • I will post by Friday the writing prompt for IR #4--it will not be officially due until the Monday after we get back--whenever that is
    • I will post next week the writing prompts for Juniors (TGG) and Freshmen (TO) regarding the final work on each of those texts respectively; they will be due the Monday after the IR #4 prompt is due

    Everyone hang in there, stay safe, read, and write!!!! 


    Week 1: 18 March - 25 March:

    Clearly, these are unprecedented and unsettled times that require all of us to restructure and, to a degree, reimagine our lives from what they were three or four short weeks ago. I am suggesting that all of my students look to continue to read 40 - 50 minutes per day every day. H11 students should finish The Great Gatsby; H9 and CP9 students should finish The Odyssey; and all groups should continue/finish reading IR book #4. Once theses books are finished, students should read something else that interests you. I am reading about the end of the Revolutionary War. As far as writing goes, all groups will be expected to do some writing on both the texts (TGG or TO) and the IR book--I know I mentioned projects, but that was before our unsolicited three week hiatus--and those prompts will be out in a week or so; the writing will not be due until a week or so after we get back. In addition, Vocabulary Test #6 will be coming up when we get back also. 

    So that's it for now: Please read as much as possible--every day--stay safe, and let's all get through this as best we can.

    Until next week . . . 

    Mr. Dragon


    Week Of 3/2 - 3/6



    CP English 9 (B, F,& G Blocks)

    • Finishing up reading The Odyssey
    • Moving to a final assement next week
    • IR #4 witing out next week
    • Vocab #6 3/20

    Honors English 9 (C Block)

    • Complete reading the Odyssey- Final assessment next week
    • IR #4 writing out
    • Vocab Test #6 3/20

    Honors English 11 (E Block)

    • Complete reading on The Great Gatsby - final assesment next week
    • IR #4 writing out
    • Vocab Test #6 3/20