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Week 3

I love the third week of school.  I finally know most of my students' names and am already seeing their personalities starting to emerge!  We are starting to get comfortable with each other!

This week English Honors read three texts:  "The Truth about Talent," "Secrets of Straight-A Students," and a poem called "Dig Your Starting Holes Deep."  I taught the students to circle key words and underline claims in the articles.  When reading the poem, we talked about  both literal and figurative meanings.  All three of the texts were about working hard to achieve goals.  We also watched a short clip of Michael Johnson discussing how he goes about running the 400 meter!  Ask your kids about it!  Afterwards, they had to synthesize the ideas of all three texts by choosing words and phrases from all three and creating their own found poem.  They turned out really well.  I told them they should print them out and hang them in their rooms for inspiration.  It was a great way to start the year.

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Here are some examples:  

Run Hard

Dig your starting holes deep and firm.
It’s not how long you sit there with the books open.
It’s what you do while you’re sitting.
Everybody can master the curriculum if you give them time.
With all the power that is in you,
Look straight ahead to the finish line.
Make sure you hit the deadline.
Children aren't born smart.
They get smart.
Run straight.
Run high.
Run hard.
Save nothing.

You can Always get Better
Everyone knows about straight­-A students.
Kids who think you can get smart.
Kids who are not threatened by a difficult task or failure.
Children are not born smart they get smart. 
Think only of the goal.
Make the most of your innate abilities.
Believe in hard work.
Dig your starting holes deep. 
Top grades do not always go to the brightest students .
Study anywhere or everywhere. 
and hurtle through the tape to victory.

Both College Prep and Honors read a story called "Three Skeleton Key."  It is one of my favorites, and I am sure they think I am crazy, because I get so excited about reading it!  Our reading focus was looking out literary devices the author uses to create suspense.  I showed them a short clip from Jaws and The Birds to illustrate examples of foreshadowing.  They got a kick out that and had no trouble finding examples.  Does anyone else remember watching The Birds on television?  I thought it was so scary; now it's comical.  We also talked about choices writers make in movies and books.  For example, how would the movie The Birds  have been different if hummingbirds had been used?  Why was it appropriate to choose a black bird?  You get the idea!  

My hope is that my blog will provide conversation starters for you and your child!

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