Friday, February 28, 2014


For Tuesday/Wednesday, complete the questions at the bottom of “To His Coy Mistress” on a separate sheet of paper: give full and complete responses. The final question need not be typed.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Students reviewed "The Coronet" and prepared notes and thoughts on "To His Coy Mistress." Both poems are from Andrew Marvell. In addition, they received passages for a written commentary to be held Friday for A-day and Monday for B-day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Students received progress reports with their orals included on them.

Today's class will go as yesterday's: see the Monday post.

Expect a "timed essay," actually, in IB terms, a written commentary, on Friday/Monday. It will consist of an old IB exam commentary. Students will have overnight to prepare. 

Monday, February 24, 2014


Congratulations on finishing the orals!

Today, first, choose a group of five. Ms. R, assign each group a poet: Andrew Marvell; John Keats; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; or Sylvia Plath. Then take a quiet field trip to the media center and do 20 minutes worth of research on one of the poets to present on Wednesday. Come back to class after 20 minutes.

Then, read this poem and respond to it in one thoughtful, text-dripping page. At the very end, explain the colon, comma, and semicolon use in the first! second sentence of these instructions.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Those who have not yet completed their oral commentaries, PREPARE YOURSELVES! Except for Will, finish the practice assignment as well, or combine today's preparation with the practice commentary.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Continue your work on the practice oral. I have not received everyone's! Will alone is exempt. (And by the way, read the file naming instructions!)

You may, if you are HL, turn your focus to Donne poems that are between 20 and 30 lines long. Discuss the commentaries with those who have already gone and spend the block making yourself better at preparing. Remember, focus on the HOW not the WHAT. How does the author get 'er done?

Those who have already completed your oral, please be helpful to those who have not. I didn't say "cheat": be helpful!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


We are in it now!

Please record an 8-minute commentary based on your self-chosen extract from Orwell or Wilson. Use the notes from your organizer. Please do not stop the recording unless you are taking it from the top and going all the way — no editing, please! Name the file Lastname.Firstname

Your partner should assess your work on one side of your rubric. Clearly label the rubric: 

Commentary by SPEAKER'S NAME
Assessment by ASSESSOR'S NAME
Length: 7:55

Put the exact length of the commentary on the rubric (it will also show in the recording). The speaker himself should assess his own work on the other side of the rubric and clearly label it in exactly the same way (SPEAKER AND ASSESSOR WILL BE THE SAME THIS TIME, BUT LABEL IT!)

You should perform and assess your own commentary: you should listen and assess your partner's commentary. 

Send that recording to me by email or by going to and placing the file in there. The password is turnin.
If you have an iPhone 5, you can Airdrop it to me.
Also turn in your extract, the completed two-sided rubric, and your notes when you return to class.

Here is a pdf with both the HL and the SL oral commentary rubrics. They are also linked in the links list to the right.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Here is a copy of the sample organizer from 1984.

Choose your extract and complete the sample organizer in preparation for a practice commentary during your next class meeting.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Complete the responses to Bloom's Taxonomy. Work neatly and completely.

Choose a 30-40 line segment from Wilson or Orwell that you find rich with meaning and texture. Clearly identify it and, if at all possible, print it. We will practice orals next class period.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Respond clearly, fully, and neatly to the student-generated questions applying Bloom's Taxonomy to "Shooting an Elephant." Choose one question from each of Bloom's levels: one "remembering," one "understanding," and so on.

Six of you have not chosen a time for your oral. Ms. Hall needs to inform the faculty, so please sign up!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


WOW! Congratulations Meagan, Loftin, and Gabe on your athletic scholarships.

Just for fun:

Think like Orwell: how could patients improve their bargaining power in their own health care?

Do patients need "claws" to combat the overwhelming industrial plant of the medical oligarchy?

For real life work: Turn in your writings from "Politics and the English Language."

Open up your new copy of "Shooting an Elephant." Reread it, perhaps. (Remember, it is also linked in the list to the right of this post). As you do so, compose questions according to Bloom's taxonomy. Write two meaningful questions for each level of knowledge in Bloom's taxonomy. Questions from all levels above "remembering" should be open-ended, allowing various argumentative responses.