January 9, 2005 (Monday) Notes

What is the difference between thinking and recalling?

Recalling (remembering)

  • old ideas
  • the past
  • someone else's ideas
  • multiple-choice tests


  • new ideas
  • present
  • your ideas
  • short answer/ essay

What is the difference between recalling and comprehending?
Comprehending is when you really understand it. You can remember that E=MC2, but not understand what it means. Your four year old niece may be able to count to ten in Spanish, but not be able to tell you what "seven" is in Spanish. She has memorized and can repeat, "Uno, Dos, Tres...", but that's it.

Too often in school, teachers only ask you to remember and recall information. In class, we may discuss ideas together and do our thinking as a group and when the test comes along, all you have to do is remember what ideas were discussed in class. Then even if you didn't read the assignment, you can still pass.

With a short answer item, it's harder to just guess or remember as you can with multiple-choice. That's why we're going to be doing more short answers and essays.

We will GO APE!!

A: Analyze the question Accurately
P: Provide Proof - Prove that your answer is correct using evidence, especially quotations, from the text.
E: Explain the Evidence - You need to show how your evidence does support your answer.

MYTHOLOGY - is the study of myths.

Myths are stories that

  • explain natural phenomena
  • entertain
  • teach morals (values)

Today, we learn our sense of right and wrong from
  • others - directly from parents, teachers, friends, religious leaders
  • observation - of the behavior and consequences of others
  • ourselves - as we learn from the positive and negative consequences of our own behavior
  • stories - Just as ancient civilizations used stories to teach values, so does modern society.

Christmas Break

The lost days due to the hurricane really threw us off kilter this semester, but we made it through and are ready for a much needed break.

Next semester will be easier and more difficult at the same time: We are going to work a lot on how to write well; we'll be studying mythology and The Odyssey, poetry (and creating a poetry collection), and Romeo and Juliet. We'll continue doing vocabulary. Many students have hurt their average by never studying their vocabulary.

As the semester progresses, I spend more time working on planning and grading than I do on updating my site, as some of you may have noticed. One of my New Year's resolutions is to keep the site as up-to-date as possible.

Have a wonderful Christmas, Hanakkuh, Kwanzaa, and winter break.



The Research Project is a huge undertaking, especially if a student has never done research before. Fortunately, most of the students have done some research.

On second thought, though they may have done research for another class's project, it might not have been formal research using a variety of sources, source cards, note cards, Works Cited page, etc.

I will be putting my packet online soon.

Today was our first day in the library. Students who were up-to-date with their work had no problem. Students who decided to "start" today were in a jam.

By today, they should have already chosen a topic, narrowed it, developed their sub-topics, and done preliminary research. The assignment today was to go to the library, get an encyclopedia article on their topic, and make a source card.

Tomorrow, we will begin in the computer lab using the online card catalogue and accessing the Gale database of journal articles. (And creating two more source cards.)

Underestimating High School

A student just said what many freshmen realize, that he underestimated how much more difficult Ninth Grade is than Eighth Grade. "They" say the odd years are always the most difficult.

The students need to learn that they MUST study their assignments. I had one student say she doesn't have time to study for English, but that it doesn't matter if she doesn't learn this stuff because she's not getting a job in English. I told that if she doesn't pass, she's not getting a job anywhere.

Of course, I was being hyperbolic, but the truth is that students who don't learn to put forth the necessary effort to be successful will have a difficult time ahead of them.

The loss of school days this past week and a half will result in a serious need for students to buckle down for the next two weeks, because the end of the nine weeks will NOT be moved.

Check my calendar regularly to keep current with what we're doing.


Hurricane Rita and Its Aftermath

We'll be starting back to school on Thursday, September 29. I know that many students found themselves quite bored without school to keep their minds occupied. I'm hoping that they took my advice and read Animal Farm. It is such a short and easy book that even if you haven't read it yet, you could have it finished by Thursday.

They might change the date for the end of the First Nine Weeks. But if they don't, things will actually work out nicely. We'll come back with just enough time to finish the novel and not have to start anything else.

SS Test 3 and Voc Qz 2 have been rescheduled, but the rest of the Vocabulary schedule will stay the same. Check out the calendar for the up-to-date schedule.