My Apologies, One More Delay

Hello folks,

First off, let me apologize for the added delay. I love my job and am desperate to begin the year with you, but I must see to it that my family is ok first. So, hang in there. I will do my best to make it worth your wait. In the meantime, here is the plan for the next two days:

9/19: My Life has stood – a Loaded Gun and I felt a Funeral, in my Brain by Emily Dickinson

Both poems are in the The Bell Jar Unit Poetry. In class read and annotate both poems. Then, answer the following questions in one paragraph (be sure to have a proper topic sentence):

How are the poems thematically related? How does Dickinson develop the theme in each poem?

Conclude class with small group discussion.

HW: Print and read the following sections of the Confessional Poetry Guide:

  • Introduction
  • Anne Sexton (Bio and The Truth the Dead Know)
  • Sylvia Plath (Bio and Ariel)

9/20: Read and annotate Her Kind by Anne Sexton and Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath. As we use these poems and those of Emily Dickinson to practice writing topic sentences, keep in mind that we are actually (and more importantly) laying the thematic foundation for our first unit. I remind you that this involves sensitive subjects such as depression and suicide.

After reading the poems, in bullet form identify the primary devices (i.e. metaphor, symbolism, etc) used in each poem to develop theme.

So, if you have taken all assigned work seriously and completed it meaningfully, we will be good to go on 9/25! Can’t wait to meet you!

Due 9/14 (9/15 for 10G): Where Are You Going Discussion

Hello folks! The first week is almost in the books. If all goes as planned, I will see you on Monday and this class really begins! It is imperative that you have taken care of all responsibilities by then. This includes:

  • Registered for the website
  • Posted a response in the Welcome thread on the class forum
  • Completed the in-class writing assignment
  • Read the course syllabus
  • You should have supplies for the class
  • All handouts: (Literary terms, Where Are You Going, Annotating Guide, Bell Jar Poetry Unit)

Tomorrow, you will do the following:

Day 5: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Discussion

(15-20 minutes) In small groups of four, discuss what you annotated and WHY?

(10-15 minutes) Whole group share.

(10 minutes) Individual Writing: What is the primary theme of the short story and how does Oates use conflict to shape that theme?

(10-15 minutes) Back to small group discussion. Share your thoughts on theme.


  • The Bell Jar Unit Poetry: As part of The Bell Jar unit, we will read selections from Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, and Sylvia Plath. Tonight, print the handout and be sure to bring it to class tomorrow.

Due 9/13 (9/14 for 10G): Where Are You Going…

Now that the in-class writing assignment is done, let’s read a short story together:

1. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? By Joyce Carol Oates: Print and have in class for Wednesday, Sept. 13th.
2. Annotating Literature: Print and closely read this handout on annotating literature. Keep it in your binder ALL YEAR!

10G, keep in mind that you start each week with me on a Tuesday, so homework assigned to 10F will be due for you a day later. So, while 10F completed the in-class writing assignment today in class, you will do it tomorrow, 9/13. And while 10F will read Where Are You Going… tomorrow in class, you will read it Thursday in class.

Due 9/12 (9/13 for 10G): In-Class Writing Assignment

Most of you have registered successfully and posted on the class forum! Good start! Those of you who have not, be sure to do it today. If you are having problems, email me at

10F, you should have completed the following in class today (10G, you will do this tomorrow).

Day 2: In-Class Assignment Prep

For the following, feel free to use your book and any notes you may have taken. Do not use someone else’s work for this assignment. What you complete in class today will be left with the substitute teacher at the end of the period. You are not expected to address the following in paragraph form. You are merely gathering ideas. For each of the following, use evidence when appropriate:

  • List and briefly discuss two of the primary themes in the novella.
  • Describe the narrator
  • List off conflicts in the novella
  • How is conflict related to a discussion of the title?
  • What is the setting? What are the narrator’s general thoughts on the setting?
  • How do the photos help to enhance or detract from the narrative?

HW: Be ready for in-class writing assignment! (10G, your in-class writing assignment will be Wednesday.)

Due 9/11: Laying the Foundation

1. Course website: (I will tell you more about that name later). My email:

This weekend you should register for the class website, Please do so by midnight on Sunday at which time the site will be closed to registration. To do this, you must scroll to the bottom of the right column of the homepage and click “Register.” Your username should be your Full Name (First and Last). Leave A SPACE between your first and last name. Do not use nicknames! Failure to register properly will lead to your account being deleted, so do it properly. Your password will be emailed to you at which point you can change it if you would like. I also suggest you take a moment to familiarize yourself with the website! Here, you and your family can access the following: homework assignments, class forums, updates on the happenings and direction of the class, complementary materials, writing and research resources, Essay and Creative Project exemplars, a link back to the Beacon homepage, and so much more! Don’t forget to bookmark your course page! So, if you are in my sophomore class, bookmark the sophomore page.

2. Remember, you should keep the course syllabus in your binder ALL YEAR. I will review it with you on Monday, the 18th.

3. Class Forum: I would like to get to know you a bit; a humanized learning environment is the best learning environment! Be sure to post in the appropriate class forum. So, if you are in my H band class, post in that forum to the thread that has already been started. DO NOT start a new thread! This response should be posted by midnight Sunday.

4. Literary Terms: Print this out and place it in your binder. It should be in your binder for Monday! Just as with the syllabus, you should keep it in your binder all year.

5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: This novel is the first unit of the year. This year I am teaching two sections of English 10 which means that I may not have enough copies for everyone. So, if you are able, please purchase a copy by Monday, Sept. 18th.

6. In-Class writing assignment: In preparation for this writing assignment, bring Every Day is for the Thief to class on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

PLEASE, IF POSSIBLE, BRING IN A REAM OF COPY PAPER! I WOULD BE QUITE GRATEFUL… (Write your name on the packet of paper.) Thank you dearly.

So, this weekend, you should:
• Properly register for
• Review Every Day is for the Thief in preparation for In-Class Assessment.
• Post your response to the Class Forum. As with all responses, be thoughtful.
• Let your parents review the course syllabus.
• Print the literary terms handout.