6 November 2017

Here we are – two weeks before Thanksgiving Break. We have a lot to do and limited time to get it done. Tomorrow we will be out for Election Day and next Monday is the Dahlonega field trip, so we have a mere 8 days before break.

This week will prepare to write a compare and contrast essay. Periods 3, 4, and 7 are focusing on the story of The Giver and our modern society as outlined in our Springboard textbook. Students are completing their reading at home with time being spent reading in class.

Periods 5 and 6 are completing the same activity, just based on different literary works. Period 6 will not begin their essay until next week due to the nature of the novel being read.


1 November 2017

We are continuing our study of short stories from last week.

Important to this week – PSAT is tomorrow! You must be present when testing begins in order to be allowed to test. There is no opportunity for retest. You will not be allowed entry to the test once the testing door has been closed. Be on time!

Get a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast (Halloween candy is not a breakfast food!), and dress comfortable.

23 October 2017

And so, Conference Week is behind us and now we return to a normal schedule. The normal schedule features a variety of activities for a variety of classes. We will work in all classes to complete our Springboard textbook vocabulary exercises during class while reading takes place out of class.

Periods 3, 4, 6, and 7 all completed a short research activity in preparation for our reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart. This material will be reviewed tomorrow following a basic reward reading quiz of the story. The quiz will focus on the details of the story and should represent a great grade for those that read the story. (The resources section here also offers a copy of the story to those who have misplaced their copy.)

Fifth Period is also reading the novel Fahrenheit 451. The first section, “The Hearth and the Salamander,” will be quizzed on Wednesday as a simple reward reading quiz. Simple questions – such as, the girl next door; or perhaps, “What is “the hound?” You get the idea. The entire book needs to be completed by by Friday, Nov. 3.

While our novel is an anchor sort of activity, this class is reading Poe’s short story “Hop-Frog” which is due tomorrow. A copy is attached in the “Resources” section here.

Sixth Period is also reading a novel, actually a novella – Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They too have a short reward reading quiz – So who does Hyde “trample” in Chapter 1?


11 October 2017

Our week is drawing to a conclusion in a couple of days. This week we began a new quarter and also began a new unit. Monday and Tuesday students began unpacking the vocabulary and concepts to be taught and discussed in this unit. For the remainder of the week we must complete the Cobb County mandated Touchstone test to assess how we are progressing as compared to the other middle schools in the county. Things went well today and as a result we may finish a day ahead of schedule, which will allow some time to touch on some of the most frequent mistakes I saw in our narratives.


These classes are researching information on the mass transit system known as Hyperloop One. It is our intention to present a request for funding a classroom model to the Cobb County Shark Tank. This exercise is real world research with a real world end. The students are running into roadblocks as often as they find new answers. We too are completing the Touchstone testing as well. We will spend one more day – Friday – back in the Media Center to see what else we find to help us with our proposal.

Side Note – It appears that vacuum is only used to lower pressure in the tube; it does not however create a true vacuum. This changes our vacuum requirements.

4 October 2017

Good evening – Poetry and public speaking resumed today. These activities will continue for the remainder of the week.


Novel studies begin next Friday, 13 October (yes -we’ll start a new project on Friday the 13th). For both classes, any copy of the book is acceptable to include electronic versions, just remember – not all electronic devises function properly inside our classroom walls, and in the event of an open-book test, electronic devices are not permitted. It would be notes only. Both books are also available in pdf format – links are offered below. Both books deal with man’s quest for a utopia – either in society or creating that society through the improvement of human nature.

Period 5 – please obtain a copy of Fahrenheit 451



Period 6 – please obtain a copy of the science fiction thriller – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


2 October 2017

I hope everyone had a great break! This week we will wrap up our quarter of poetry reading. Anyone who has not read this quarter has been assigned a day. If you do not know when or, due to oversight, you have not been assigned a day, please see me. This is a required activity and a zero will be given to anyone who does not read.

I am out tomorrow for a conference at KSU. I have reviewed the assignments with each class tomorrow during my absence. As discussed, I expect and anticipate excellent conduct and respect to the substitute by all students – y’all are that good! Show it! We’ll discuss all reading when I return.

Thanks in advance for making tomorrow a great day!

21 September 2017

Tomorrow is our last day before the Fall Break. It is also our last chance to complete the narrative essay. I do not anticipate students having enough time to complete a lengthy section of rough draft writing and then rewrite the final draft as well. I strongly suggest with my most vehement voice to have your rough draft completed before you come to class. In fact, coming to class with the final draft ready for submission would allow time to let a peer read and look for errors in time to make corrections. You would certainly have a stress free day by already having completed the final draft.

Good Luck!

20 September 2017

We are continuing our work on our narrative during class time. The final draft must be turned in at the end of class on this Friday, 22 September 2017.Although we are writing everyday in class, I fear that it will not be enough; we need more time! Unfortunately that time must be found at home. Students should plan to come to class on Friday with a near complete essay in need of only minor editing and a quick rewrite.

All essay must be handwritten and you are NOT allowed to write on the back of a page.

If you are one of the students working on the extra Declaration of Independence research – be sure you follow all the instructions and get all the required signatures.

Good Luck!

18 September 2017

We will spend this week working on our narrative essay. Periods 3, 4, & 7 will write a narrative based on the Archetype Hero model provided by our textbook. Periods 5 & 6 have the option of writing a treasure hunting adventure based on the research project completed last week – The Forrest Finn Treasure.

We will be writing during class, however it may be necessary for students to do some writing from home.


Today students are being presented with an opportunity to significantly improve their grade. Many students have not succeeded on at least one of the research projects assigned this quarter. I am offering a one-time chance to erase the poor grade and replace it with a great grade. This is not averaging two grades, this is replacing the poor grade.

It must be understood that this research redemption opportunity is purely optional and failure to complete the assignment in its entirety will have no effect on a student’s current grade.

To receive credit, the research must be completed in its entirety. There will be no partial credit given. A student will either make a 100% or the grade will not be entered into the grade book. The assignment is due tomorrow – September 19, 2013.

See the resources tab for the actual assignment and rules. Click on Redemption Research 2017 for the material. If is is jammed into Fenn Research, don’t worry – just click on the Redemption Research 2017 portion.

Good Luck!

15 September 2017

Everyone will begin work on their narrative next week. Each class was given a copy of a narrative map to get a start on their story. This map needs to be completed over the weekend, so each student can be prepared for group discussions about their story ideas on Monday. This is a graded activity. A copy of the map can be found in the resources section of this blog.

Have a good weekend!