Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Last day of class!

Obviously, your first job today is to compose your final essay. When you are done, please complete the following two tasks:

1. Please complete an end-of-course evaluation. This is different from the reading evaluation you already completed because if refers to all aspects of the class, rather than just the independent reading component.

2. The 9th grade English teachers are compiling a list of STUDENT recommended books for next year. Please fill out a brief recommendation of YOUR favorite book.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Preparing for the final

As we have discussed, your final this week will be an in-class argument essay responding to a prompt. The topic will revolve around the final module that we have been working on, "The Undercover Parent." You will be able to use all of your notes and/or articles from this module. You will also have the option to either hand write or type your final essay.

The style of the writing prompt is going to be very similar to the Early Assessment Program (EAP) that many of you will take when considering a California State University. Below, you will find some sample prompts. We are going to practice responding to these in class today using Socrative. Our room number is 445020.

Example #1:  

In a recent editorial essay, a working mother of four laments being made to feel guilty for not "being there" every minute for her children.  She notes, "The school nurse has taken me to task for not being immediately accessible, and my kids--who live in a world where instant gratification has become the norm--complain about my intermittent unreachability.  To which I say, hey, deal with it.  I'm not cavalier about my mothering responsibilities....  I'm an involved parent.  We modern moms and dads are not only expected to make sure our kids are perfectly nourished, endlessly enriched, and absolutely safe at all times:  now, with cell phones and pagers, we are also supposed to be instantly reachable and immediately responsive....  We cannot and should not orchestrate every moment in our children's lives for them--partly because the effort turns out to be futile, but more importantly because it prevents our kids from learning skills they need to succeed in the real world.  There are times they need to ad lib.  There are times they need to wait.  There are even times they need to turn to someone else."

Explain the author's argument and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with her views.  Support your position by referring to the passage and by providing reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

Example #2:
"It is painfully apparent today that millions of Americans who would never think of themselves as lawbreakers, let alone criminals, are taking increasing liberties with all sorts of ’minor’ laws that are nonetheless designed to protect and nourish society.  When it comes to tax codes, or laws against littering or speeding or noise pollution, more and more ordinary citizens are becoming scofflaws [people who casually break the law].  The slogan of the day seems to be, 'You're a fool if you obey the rules.'  Americans are used to thinking that law-and-order is threatened mainly by violent crime.  But the foundations of social order are more profoundly shaken when ordinary law-abiding citizens take to skirting the law." 

                            ---Adapted from Frank Trippett’s "A Red Light for Scofflaws"

Explain Trippett's argument and discuss the extent  to which you agree or disagree with his analysis.  Support your position, providing reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.

 Example #3:
             "Recently, major tobacco companies agreed to pay a financial settlement to several states, including California, for health problems caused by cigarette smoking and other kinds of tobacco addiction.  If this course of action is right for tobacco companies, then manufacturers of other legal but harmful products such as alcohol and guns should also have to pay financial settlements in return for the problems they cause."

--Irving Coffman

Explain Coffman's argument and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with his analysis.  Support your position, providing reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Book return, reading evaluation, and a letter to the future!

Today we have a scheduled time to return ALL textbooks. Be sure to bring all of your books to class today.

After you return your textbooks, please take a brief end-of-year reading survey. This will give me valuable feedback about the progress we've made toward our reading goals.

Next, you will compose a letter to your future self. Using the website FutureMe, you will write a letter that will get delivered to your email address on your first day of your senior year, September 5, 2016. This is your opportunity to reflect on your first year of high school and set some goals for the next three years. Some things you may want to address in your letter:
  • What are you proud of from this year?
  • What do you hope to improve during the next three years?
  • What goals are you setting for the rest of your time in high school?
  • What were some unexpected challenges you faced this year?
  • What might you want to say to your 17-year-old self?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Missed today's Socratic seminar?


Choose one of the questions below and respond to it in a 500-700 word essay, using multiple examples and evidence from the texts we read in class. Be sure to attach your note-taking sheets to your essay when you hand it in.

  1. Is it unethical for a parent to monitor their teenage son or daughter’s online activity?
  2. What is effective parenting?
  3. What is the difference between responsible and irresponsible behavior online?
  4. How much privacy should teens have on the internet?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Frontline: Generation Like

Today we will be watching an episode of Frontline that addresses the teenage quest for identity and connections online. You will be taking to bring with you to the Socratic seminar on Friday.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Socratic seminar articles

You have already read "The Undercover Parent" and "6 Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Life."

Today, you continue to prepare for the Socratic seminar by reading and taking notes on an article with an opposite point of view, "Big Mother is Watching You." You will also examine an infographic about teens, social media, and privacy. While not required, you may want to make some brief notes on the infographic (or even print it out), so that you can bring that info to the Socratic seminar.

Before Friday, you will also need to read and take notes on one more article. You may choose from any of those listed below:

"Sexting Teens Can Face Lifelong Consequences"
FBI Report -- A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
"Why Teens Need Privacy Online"
"Parental Dilemma: Whether to spy on their kids"

Monday, June 2, 2014

Another Socratic seminar!

We will be having another Socratic seminar this Friday, so we will spend much of this week preparing for it! Today, we will do a "jigsaw" activity with the article "6 Ways Social Media Can Ruin Your Life." The notes you take today will count toward part of your final Socratic seminar grade.