Mrs.Smith first greeted everyone with a warm " Hello everybody!" and the class responded as usual. We then jumped right into the class announcements which are as follows:
- If we haven't yet finished the book, that is our number one priority.
- We need to prepare questions( at least three) for the final fishbowl on Little Brother tomorrow.
-Just as a head's up, our "kick-butt" synthesis essay on Fahrenheit 451, Little Brother, and 1984 is due on Friday. Mrs.Smith swears that she will be totally hands-off on this essay, so it is up to the individual to decide their pace on writing the essay( please plan accordingly).
- Do not forget to do the easy CSAP packet this week.
- By Friday you need to post at least on question that you want to ask Cory Doctorow at the Skype on the class blog.Once you post your questions on the class blog, we will select 10 questions to ask Doctorow during the Skype.
After that brief introduction, Mrs.Smith went on to explain the upcoming essay details and her suggestions on how to approach it. Mrs.Smith suggests that those who are done reading Little Brother start looking for connections between each book and start planning the essay.
"The sooner you start generating those ideas, the sooner you can start finding textual examples," stated Mrs.Smith. Remember that in order to find quotes, you must first establish your big ideas and try to think about how each idea feeds off one another.
After that brief on the essay, the class was handed back their CSAP packets from last week and the packets that need to be finished this week while Mrs.Smith explained that the sentence of this week ( the one unlike the test). She described the sentence as "crushingly hard". The information and discussion on the grammar for the week is below( the pictures are at the bottom of this) :
- Sentence #1:“there are pretty flowers in your garden however they dont smell very good”
- the best way to do this is to rewrite the sentence to say “ pretty flowers are there in your garden”
- what do you know are your nouns/ verbs/adjectives etc.? Label each accordingly
- "very" is an adverb because it describes the adjective "good" in this sentence
- in this case, "however" is not a subordinating conjunction. This is what makes this sentence so hard.
- Mrs.Smith then gave the class some clues to finding adverbs and deemed adverbs the hardest part of speech to identify( these helpful hints are in bold below):
- In this type of sentence, it is sometimes helpful to rewrite the sentence with the adverb behind the subject. In this case, the sentence would change to "pretty flowers are there in your garden”
- there is the adverb. We find this by asking "pretty flowers are where?" The answer to this is that the pretty flowers are “there”
- Remember that adverbs modifies adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs
- Remember that "not" is always an adverb
- To find an adverb ask the questions “where?", "how?", "when", or "to what extent?"
- In this sentence, "very" modifies “good”. "Very" answers the question “how?”
- The trickiest question is “ to what extent?”. Mrs. Smith offered a sentence explaining the taste of bittersweet chocolate to provide an example of how an adverb can describe "to what extent".
- Bittersweet chocolate looks like a really good Hershey bar. It looks really delicious, however [to what extend] it doesn't taste very good.
- Mrs.Smith then confessed that she left bittersweet chocolate on her kids' ice cream just to see them gag at the awful taste. The class protested that what she had done to her kids was unjustifiable and plain wrong. As a justification for her actions, Mrs.Smith told us that when she was growing up her brother thought it was so funny to leave the door of his car open and drive off, leaving Mrs.Smith to jump into the car while he was still driving. Of course, at just the right moment, her brother would slam on the brakes to send Mrs.Smith colliding with the door.
- Mrs.Smith reminded us that we will not be tested on this type of sentence, "but," she warned, "those who score higher on SATs and ACTs are those who can break down sentences."
- Sentence #2: "on friday february 11 2011 i auditioned for the school play"
- Once we were done with the first hardest sentence, we jumped to the next sentence( we should know everything in this sentence)
- The only tricky part about this sentence is knowing that "friday" is the object of the preposition while the rest of the date is the appositive( not the appositive phrase because it is classified as one proper noun not multiple proper nouns)
Mrs.Smith then transitioned into her next scheduled activity with the question of "How many of you have ever heard of senate bill 191?. This bill," Mrs.Smith then went on to explain," required teachers to be evaluated by an evaluator. This year, though, the government has decided to evaluate teachers differently. Before, teacher evaluations consisted of an evaluator who would come into the class and leave feed back for the teachers. It was soon found out, though, that some evaluators were not giving accurate feed back because they would do a 'drive-through' glance of the classroom. This year, the government is asking the students to input a survey on the overall classroom experience." Mrs.Smith confessed that she signed her classes up to be guinea pigs for the survey. The survey is totally based on the student's perception and is totally anonymous. It asks us what each person thinks of her as a teacher. The class was asked to be totally honest because Mrs.Smith stated that this was an important tool that enables her to grow as a teacher. Before starting the survey, the class was asked to read the letter(linked on the calendar) that explains what the survey is and why it is important. This survey was totally optional but Mrs.Smith encouraged everyone to at least try to fill it out.When the class finished the survey( if they chose to take it), they had time to work on CSAP, Doctorow questions, reading Little Brother, or even their essays.