Posted in Uncategorized

Count down for the end of the year!

The countdown is on – upon writing, there are three and a half weeks left before exams! So, what do you need to know?

1. The ultimate due date for all work from April 20th to June 10th is June 10th. If you did not pass in work on time, please ensure you are completing the alternate assignments from the course pages.
2. The final exam for both 1201 and 2201 includes a listening component. This component will take place outside of the exam time, on June 11th. The 1201 classes will complete it at 9am and the 2201 classes will complete it at 10am. More details on where will be provided soon.
3. The final exam structure for 1201 and 2201 is as follows:

  • Unseen Prose – 20 marks (8 multiple choice, 2 constructed response)
  • Visual (media) – 10 marks (4 multiple choice, 1 constructed response)
  • Analytical Essay – 20 Marks (based on prose, here
  • Listening – 10 marks (4 multiple choice, 1 constructed response, completed on the 11th of June)

Each exam – 1201 and 2201 – has been constructed by the School Board and each will be common for all 1201 and 2201 students across the province.

Specifics for my courses:

We have completed – since April 17th – the following:
1. A media booklet
2. Listening
3. Digital Literacy, including a demand piece
4. Into the Woods (due May 25th)
5. Book talk (Due June 1-5, given in class)
6. Research (Due June 10th)

We have completed – since April 17th – the following:
1. Listening
2. The Laramie Project (due May 19th)
3. Digital Literacy, including a demand piece
4. Book Talk (Due June 1-5, given in class)

We have completed – since April 17th – the following:
1. The Princess Bride
2. Little Red Riding Hood
3. Narnia
4. Listening
5. Digital Literacy

As always, if you have questions, please email me!

Posted in Uncategorized

Short Stories and Novels

Short stories are nearly done and novels are beginning. For all level one and two classes, there have been tests in Short Stories. If you missed the test, the retest is on Monday, March 2nd at lunch in 209. If you did the test and did not like your mark or want extra practice, there is an assignment linked on the 1201 and 2201 assignment pages. You can complete that, pass it in by March 5th and it will be averaged with your test mark.

Any questions, please e-mail.

Posted in Uncategorized

Term Two!

So, by now the midterms are back, the new books are handed out and the students are ready to keep on the good path they were on or fix their mistakes from term one. So, what’s on board for term two?

English 1201

We are currently doing Short Stories. My intern, Aileen Worrall, is teaching this unit. She has broken down the topics of Short Story and has found a story to help illustrate each point with them. They will be tested on the 17th and 18th of February. Following that we will do an assignment where students will write a Short Story and include visuals.

Next, we have a Novel Study. Students were given a choice of seven novels and were each assigned one of their top three choices. Students who have the same novels will work together but pass in their own work. There will be a group component to the assignment, but the main part of the assignment will be individual. They should have the books read by February 26th.

Following the novel study, we will be doing A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream by Shakespeare. There will be a little bit of research built into this unit as well. This will continue until the Spring break, which starts April 3rd.

Once we return, we will revisit the units of study we have done already. In addition, students will give a book talk on a book of their choosing.

English 2201

In English 2201 we are currently doing Short Stories. This will continue until the 18th of February, when each class will have a test with an unseen short story.

Next, we have a Novel Study. Students were given a choice of seven novels and were each assigned one of their top three choices. Students who have the same novels will work together but pass in their own work. There will be a group component to the assignment, but the main part of the assignment will be individual. They should have the books read by February 23rd as the novel study will begin in class then.

Following the novel study, we will do research. My intern is making a research assignment for them. We will begin this unit on March 10th and their final product will be due March 30th and 31st.

We will begin visuals with the level two classes on March 23rd. This will continue until April 2nd, when we break.

After the break, students will be doing a review of all the topics we have done. We will also be doing our major dramatic work. In addition, students will do a ‘book talk’ on a novel of their choosing’.

English 3202

Our major novel studies are behind us in 3202. From that, our focus will now be on shorter works, such as poetry, short stories and essays. Each month we will take a different genre – Comedy, Tragedy, Sci Fi and Fantasy – and focus our poetry, short stories and essay study around those areas. February will be comedy, March will be Tragedy, April and May will be Sci Fi and Fantasy. We may also do a novel study where students complete a novel assignment on a book of their own choosing.

Any questions, please e-mail!

Posted in Uncategorized

Extra Credit Assignments – 1201 and 2201

I am offering an extra credit assignment in both 1201 and 2201. This assignment is one that students can choose to do – if they do not it is not detriment to their mark. If they do choose to do it, the deadline is January 9th, 2015. This will give me time to evaluate the work before the exam period so students are aware of their grade before they go into the exam.


Christmas Carol Extra Credit Assignment

Full text of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens


Oedipus Rex Extra Credit Assignment

Full text of ‘Oedipus Rex’ by Sophocles



Posted in Uncategorized

Updates – English 1201 and English 2201

Work is in, reports are out and time marches on…

Here are updates for English 1201 and English 2201:

English 1201
We have completed our novel study on ‘Divergent’. Our culminating activity, once the booklet work was done, was an in class five paragraph response essay. I made the essay similar to one students will be given for in their midterms to help them plan for what they need to study. As we continue, we will be doing the following:

  • Poetry– A short look at poems contained in the English 1201 Text
  • A Christmas Carol – I will be reading the novel to students using the PadWorx App ‘A Christmas Carol’ – An Interactive Novel.
  • Visuals – A study of Media and Visuals will begin in January.

English 2201
We have completed our novel study, first finishing the booklets which appeared on the November report and then completing an in class comparative essay between the novel studied and the movie ‘Schindler’s List’. The essay questions were taken from previous midterms to help students mentally prepare for midterms this year. As we continue, we will be doing the following:

  • Poetry – A short study of poetry, including a Group Project
  • Oedipus Rex – A study of Greek Drama and specifically the play ‘Oedipus Rex’
  • The Fault in our Stars – Novel study. Novels were distributed the week of November 24th.

More information to come as we get close to the January exams!


Posted in Uncategorized

Assignments, Due Dates and Holidays

This post is for the parents of my students who might come to my page. We have a few important dates coming up in terms of evaluation and assessment, ones that might be useful as you approach this long holiday weekend.

The Ultimate Due Date for all work from September 3rd until now is November 14th. This includes any and all assessment done in class. On a side note to that point, I will not be in school November 13th and 14th so students are being advised that if they are not comfortable giving their work to a substitute, they MUST give it to me by the 12th.

We do have Monday the 10th and Tuesday the 11th as holidays from school. It’s a great long weekend!

Report cards will be given out on the 26th and then Parent Teacher Interviews will follow on the 4th of December. The work that will be on the report cards includes:


  • Essay Booklet
  • Five Paragraph Essay
  • Essay Test (averaged with the make up assignment if students did pass that in)
  • Divergent Faction Choice (if students were absent that day, they are excused from that mark)
  • Divergent Booklet 1-5.

All of this work can be found on the 1201 Assignments page.


  • Essay Booklet
  • Five Paragraph Essay
  • Essay Test (Averaged with the make up assignment if students did pass that in)
  • Novel Booklet (Night or the Book Thief)

All of this work can be found on the 2201 Assignments page.


  • Hunger Games 1-5
  • Hunger Games 6-10
  • End of Part One worksheet
  • Hunger Games 11-15
  • Hunger Games 16-20
  • End of Part Two Worksheet
  • Hunger Games 21-26
  • End of Part Three Worksheet

All of this work can be found on the 3202 Assignments page.

Nothing will be accepted from this list after November 14th.

Posted in Books, Reading

Ten for Tuesday (well, Wednesday) – Books I share with my son

I usually do a Ten for Tuesday – ten things I want to talk about. Since I was busy reading, I’ve put it off until Wednesday. So… ten books I share with my son.
My son is ten and a reader. He loves series, especially ones with some adventure. Since I read a lot of YA Lit and he’s getting more mature in his reading choices, we’ve both read and discussed these ten books:

percy1. The Percy Jackson series. Ah… Mr. Jackson. He will appear again later in this list. This is the first series that the son and I really both read and enjoyed. He has been a huge fan of this series for years, which is nice, considering his age. I enjoyed it because I like mythology – he enjoyed it because he likes adventure. This series was the first one to show me what it was like, having a reader for a child.

2. Charlotte’s Web was a book he was assigned in school. When I saw it I did a little charlotteexclamation of joy – as a child it was one of my favourites. My mom, learning my son was studying it, also did an exclamation of joy. We talked to him about our memories of the book and about what we enjoyed when reading it. We discussed favourite characters and quotes, remembering how sometimes you can be a good writer and sometimes you’re a good friend. After all of this build up, he read it and disliked it. Well, he didn’t like it. It didn’t grab him like it had obviously grabbed us. This opened up a discussion for us all about why people like different books and what about them makes us like them. So, not a shared memory of literary appreciation, but a sharing of thoughts and concepts. Great discussion starter.

wimpy3. The son has loved the Wimpy Kid series since he was in kindergarten. Loved it, loved it, loved it. I had recommended it to him, not because of my enjoyment of it but because of the format – part graphic novel, part novel. Plus it was age appropriate humour. I have to admit, I didn’t read one of them (although I did see the movies) until last year when I read one about them being snowbound. I could see where he found the humour and the connections with the characters. He couldn’t wait for me to finish and wanted to know what I thought – I think he liked being the expert!

4. This summer we took a longer road trip and I encouraged the son to load several books on his Kobo. giverAfter seeing a promo for The Giver as a movie, he decided that would be one of them. I talked with him about dystopia and how it works in a novel and how it has become quite popular. And then, going across the province, he read it. It was interesting, getting his reactions – I had taught this book to a class not much older then him, and getting his thoughts vs my memory of their reactions was interesting. We discussed how it’s a series (and how I’ve only read one of the follow up books) and why people either read or discard series when they’ve read the first book. He has had no inclination to read the follow up novels (much like myself) but did really enjoy the movie and how it presented this story.

kane5. The Kane Chronicles were a series he moved to after he finished the Percy Jackson series. I had started to read them but stopped  – it didn’t draw me in as much. However, seeing his enthusiasm brought me back to them and into that world. We have found ourselves discussing the differences between characters in this series and Percy Jackson and we’ve each read the novellas that cross over the two. I think there are characters he likes more in this one but he likes the Percy Jackson series as a whole more. I have to agree with him.

6. mazeThe Maze Runner is a new addition to this list for us. I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy the world created in this book. However, he was intrigued by the movie trailers and when given the opportunity to go with his grandfather, went to see it. We’ve discussed his impressions of the movie and the story it presented and now he’d like to read it. It’s the first book I think he’s chosen to read knowing that I have a dislike for it and it will be interesting to see what he thinks. Also, if you ever wonder if movies get kids to read, he’s proof they do!

hunger7. Speaking of which…. The Hunger Games. After discussing dystopia with him, we watched The Hunger Games movie. A number of his friends are reading it and he decided that he would also give it a try. It’s funny – this book is almost the opposite of The Maze Runner. He ended up giving up on The Hunger Games, much like I wanted to do with The Maze Runner. We talked about when it’s ok to give up on a book and why people do that. I will be interested to see what he thinks of Maze Runner, since we know he doesn’t totally love darker dystopian novels.

8.divergent movie Divergent was another rainy day summer movie for us as we looked as dystopia. Yet, it’s on this list as an example of a movie that ended up doing the opposite of the norm. He does not want to read it. However, like so many experiences like this, it got us talking about books into movies and what we like about those versions and what makes us drawn to watch and/or read what we watch and/or read.

heroes9. This brings us to the books that inspired this post, a post that is mainly “it made us talk about things”. Tuesday, ‘The Blood of Olympus’ came out, the last in the Heroes of Olympus series. This book got the son out of bed and on his iPad to download it; he was unimpressed I could get it before him. It has caused excitement in our house as we got ready for it. It opened up discussions of ereaders vs traditional books. And we get to hang out with Percy again. It’s a win win win. I love those.

And again, I have no ten. We have to keep that open and hope we will continue learning and discussing. I look forward to comparing this list to one we will make when he is older. I hope this relationship with reading and discussions thereof continues, past the age when it’s accepted to talk with your parents.

Posted in general notes, school

Education Week


This week is Education Week in Newfoundland and Labrador. A time to celebrate education, teachers, schools and students. We are all partners in education – what I get from my students inspires and encourages me to try to be a stronger and more engaged teacher. We both – students and teacher – learn from each other and hope that the lessons we teach are positive and lifelong.

Students today have issues that I never had when I was in school. I’ve been asked about bullying and have to admit that so much of it takes place outside of the physical building and on the internet. Students no longer have control of who has their image – the number of cameras around them is amazing and every good and bad movement of theirs can be recorded. So many of our students work  – for as many different reasons as there are students – and their time is very scheduled and their schedules very demanding. Access to everything – good, bad and ugly – is easier and students battle so many demons as they go through the day.

Teachers have issues that are new versions of old issues as well as completely new issues. Technology presents new opportunities for learning and teaching – if you have it and have time and support to learn how to utilize it. The same camera issues impact teachers  – we don’t know who is recording us. We have policies to follow, curriculum to develop and committees to join. We are accessible 24/7. It’s a new version of the educational world.

Yet, we keep on keeping on. With all the challenges out there, we all continue to persevere and build on our strengths. We all meet our challenges and find ways to work with them. Students and teachers work together and make choices to enhance the lives of both. I cannot teach without students – not just because they fill the room, but because they fill my mind with ideas and my plan book with goals. I always hope I am giving them an education that no one can take away. Sometimes it might be a lesson from a novel, sometimes it might be how to approach a question – either on a test or an application. Sometimes it might be that it’s ok to be yourself. Sometimes it might be that you’re not always right. These are lessons I try to teach while I teach methods of development, theme and other literary terms and analysis.

School is for so much more than novels and math and reasons behind historical events. It’s for learning how to time manage. It’s for learning how to approach situations and do your best. It’s for learning time and place and appropriate and inappropriate. It’s for being social. It’s for learning when not to be social. It’s for learning who you are and the role you play in your world and the world of others. Once you know these things, no one can take it from you. Once you have that education, no one can take it away. Teachers and students partner in this education and I have to say, there are days I learn as much from them as they learn from me. Maybe more.

So, for this education week, I want to say thank you to my partners. It’s a great partnership and I appreciate you all. Happy Education Week!