A Few Things about Me … This is my 20th year at LGHS. I also taught English for two years in Osaka, Japan, and one year in Santa Barbara, CA. I’m married and have two children. My son is a junior at LGHS, and my daughter is an 8th grader at R. J. Fisher Middle School.
My Education Bachelor of Arts, English and Communication Studies, U.C. Santa Barbara Single Subject Teaching Credential - English, U.C. Santa Barbara Master of Arts, Educational Leadership, San Jose State University
Goals for the Year: Building Vocabulary & Knowledge of Roots Perfecting Grammar, Mechanics, and Usage Increasing Sentence Variety and Complexity Deepening Reading Comprehension Learning Various Composition Techniques Improving Skills in Writing, Speaking, Listening, Critical Thinking, and Research
What do we read? TEXTS: The Language of Literature (anthology) Language Network (grammar text) PLAYS: Oedipus the King, by Sophocles A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry The Miracle Worker, by William Gibson Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare NOVELS: Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card The Chosen, by Chaim Potok A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver The Odyssey, trans. by Robert Fagles Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee ALSO: Various Myths, Tales, Legends, Short Stories, and Poems
What Themes Will We Cover? Heroism Courage Social Responsibility Prejudice Love Sense of Belonging Personal Ethics Education Role of Religion in Society
Our Essential Questions What does it mean to find a home? Why is finding a “home” so difficult, yet so important? What role do family and friends play in making us who we are? Why is it also important to find one’s own identity, or self- definition? What forms may prejudice and discrimination take? How can they be hurtful? How can individuals rise above prejudice and discrimination? What does it mean to be a hero? What different forms might a hero take? What is courage? How can individuals demonstrate courage in both big and small ways?
More Essential Questions How can literary devices (ie. irony, symbolism, and figurative language) add to a story? How do point of view and writing style affect a piece of literature? How is poetry different from prose? Why is an understanding of mythology important in today’s world? What makes a great piece of literature? How is expository, or analytical writing, different from personal, subjective writing? What characterizes an effective analytical essay? An ineffective one? How can an understanding of writing mechanics and grammar aid writing?
Help your child choose books he/she might enjoy from the Outside Reading List so that reading is not a chore. Students are required to read 1500 pages of Outside Reading per semester.
Special Notes … Students must complete one Socratic Seminar during the year. This will take the place of a reading log for that outside reading period. During the First Semester, students may complete 6 hours of Community Service for an additional 200 pages in Outside Reading credit.
Help your child review Vocabulary and Roots (flashcards are highly recommended)
Give Writing Assistance Suggest Topics Help with Brainstorming Ask Clarifying Questions Give Tips for Revision and Proofreading (but don’t take over) Promote Academic Integrity!
Encourage Class Participation … and yes, it DOES count in their grade!
Give Guidance with Online Research Offer Support for Group Projects Maintain a Healthy Supply of Printer Cartridges/Paper
Promote: Organization Pacing Long-Term Planning Prioritizing Good Study Habits Nutrition and Sleep
Keep an Eye On: Weekly Schedules (on school website) Semester in Brief Outside Reading List AERIES
Encourage your child to attend Tutorial regularly, even if it’s just to work on homework