Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 5 English Literature Period 4- Jens Peaslee

·        We began the class with the usual introduction in which Mrs. Smith says, “Hello, everybody!”  Then we all responded, “Hello, Smith!”

·        We talked about the reading that was due for today, chapters 1-3.  We talked about the meaning of Chapter 2. We also chatted about why the author jumps from a fictional author to a fictional character.

·        We talked about what we know so far.  We know that he spent some time in a hospital.  We learned that someone named Richard Parker and how that person hurt Pi.  And we talked about how his name is significant to him.

·        We then watched a movie clip about Pi’s name.  The clip was from “Life of Pi” the movie.

·        After the clip we began reading Chapter four together. Mrs. Smith told us that she would read the first few paragraphs before handing over the reading to a student.  She then told us that she would go in between the rows and check our annotations once she was done reading aloud. 

·        While she was reading, we paused for a moment to talk about the significance of the date November 1, 1954.  This was in a time where Britain ruled India.  But more importantly, Gandhi was famous during this time. 

·        While Mrs. Smith read, we stumbled upon a line in the book that said the animals were “sexual deviants.” After she finished that line, she told us a story.  The story was about when she took her daughter to the zoo.  Her daughter was three and they were having a good time, until they got to the giraffe exhibit.  There, they happened to see two giraffes mating.  Mrs. Smith covered her daughter’s eyes and they walked on.

·        Homework: 
    • o   Song Assignment: Due Friday
      • §  Find a song that exemplifies who you are and who you want to be.
        • ·        Annotate, dissect, and examine the lyrics.  Show connections.
    • §  Read chapters 4 through 15.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 5 English Lit Period 1

Today at the beginning of class, we got the "your name" essays passed back
Some people turned in the annotated lyrics, which are due Friday. You can find the instructions on that on Mrs. Smiths Google calendar.
After we got settled in we talked about what we learned from the first three chapters of "Life of Pi". We talked about how Pi got his name from a swimming pool in france and how Mamaji was Pi's father figure.
After we talked about what we read about, we watched the name scene from the movie Life of Pi, then read Chapter 4 through page 20.
Read chapter 4-15 by Friday
Finish Annotated lyrics

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 4 English Lit - Colleen H.

Today, students turned in their name essays at the front desk. As we walked in the door, we were instructed to pick a card from the deck that Smith was holding. Based on the number of our card, we split up into groups and shared information about our names and essays to our group members.

After we discussed our names, we sat down and Smith began discussing the question that was written on the board: “Who are we?” We all brainstormed our ideas on this question and listed a few words. For example, we are people, we are creators, students, destroyers, kids, adults, families, thinkers, believers, the future, friends, consumers, producers, teachers, learners, lovers, old, young, creatures of habit, innovators, imaginers, optimists, and pessimists.

Then we asked, “What helps us compete to live?” and “What helps you survive?” Smith had us split into two groups based on our opinion of whether humans survive by fighting/barbarism or by our beliefs and faith. Each group had to list three main reasons as to why they thought humans survived the way they did. The belief group said that living by belief was a means of hope, change, and looking towards the future, whereas the barbarism group argued that humans naturally survive by survival of the fittest, and that beliefs are created to justify the fight.

Our “Why Read?” essays were returned. If needed, students checked out Pi books. We began reading the novel out loud, and we got through page 10.

For homework, we are to read and annotate chapters 1-3 of Pi by Wednesday. Smith really wants us to show depth in our thinking and annotations. We are to also complete the song assignment, in which each student is to find a song that exemplifies who they are and who they want to be. We are to annotate and dissect the lyrics of the song. (Due Friday)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 3 Scribe Jack B.

Class started by finishing our background posters. Islam, Hindu, and Christianity presented in that order. All groups made 2-3 posters and takes about important sections of the religion.

The posters are now posted on the wall on the right hand side of the room. 

The class then watched an interview of Yann Martel, which can be seen if you click the link below. 

We then answered questions regarding the interview.

1. What does Martel say novels do that no other art forms do?
2. Why does Martel think that novels are the last true form of democracy?
3. What does he say is the connection between art and religion?
4. What does he think about stories that are too heavy-handed in morals?
5. What's he talking about with passionate detachment?
6. What predictions, based on the interview, can you make about Life of Pi?

Your Name Essay 
Life of Pi copy for Monday

Your Name Essay Directions can be found on the webpage. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 1 Recap and Scribe

Welcome to Smith's English Literature Class! These scribe posts will be a source of information about the events of the day and upcoming homework assignments.

Today was the inevitable sharing of class policies and expectations that is characteristic of the first day of school. Don't forget to read over the information presented on the handout given to everyone at the beginning of class.

Now for homework...

There is a Google form that needs to be filled out by your parents, available here.

Also, there is a short essay due on Wednesday. Everyone must write one page, double spaced, in reaction to one of the quotes on the "Why Read?"paper.

Everyone needs to get a copy of the book Life of Pi by Friday. Also, bring some kind of makers to class by Friday.

Finally, everyone needs to make a post on the class blog by Friday about their expectations for this class. Further directions are on the website, just be sure to be thorough, connect to other posts, and proofread. The blog post is available here:

I'll see you all on Wednesday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Scribe: Day 1 Lauren L.

Welcome Back!

  • Like every other class, we came in to see a new and exciting seating chart! After we had all found  our seats, Smith informed us as to how we will be starting every class. She will close the door and say “Hello Class!” to which we have the lively and cheery response of “Hello Smith!”
  •  We then all shook hands with and were introduced to Anne Smith.
  • Afterwards we were given the Class Expectations where you can find not only the expectations, grading scale, and the reading material, but you can also find Smith's Skype, Twitter, and email should you need to get a hold of her. She assured us that she almost always has her phone with her and will respond to your emails. Also, she is more than willing to Skype with you if you need help on an essay. Also, if you are ever sick or cant make it to class, you can Skype into class!
  • One of the things Smith showed us was the Google Calender which has the plan for the day and all of the homework assignments. It can be found the English Literature page under Smith's teacher page.
  • We also have a Class Blog that we will use for scribing, discussing, and answer questions that Smith posts. There is a question for you to answer now able your expectations of this class.
  • She then explained how English Lit. will be taught differently this year. Instead of being assigned large portions of text at a time, we will instead be reading only twenty to thirty pages at a time (PHEW!) ; however, Smith still expects our best on all annotations and projects.
  • Next we discussed scribes and treats. This, what you're reading right now, is a scribe. Its is just a list of the things that we did or discussed today in class so that if you missed something in class or you were absent, you have a more in-depth look at what went on during the day that just the Google calender. It is expected that you scribe at least twice this semester. Another thing mentioned was treats. Smith has started a tradition of bringing snacks for the class every Wednesday. You are expected to sign up once to bring snacks. (You can ask Smith for the sign up sheet.)
  • Then we all went around the room to get to know each other a little bit and said what college we want or are going to go to and what we want to major in. We had everything from nurses to business people to theater majors. 
  • After, we had the opportunity to ask Smith some questions. We found out that she is married to Mr. Krause (yes the one in the English department) and has three children, Will, Jackson, and Emma. When she first started college, Smith was going to be a finance major, but quickly learned, she hated it, thus her current career as an English teacher. If she wasn't a teacher she would be in the FBI. Also, if she could be any super hero, it would be Wonder Woman. She is also currently training for her first full length marathon!
  • We then talked about our first writing assignment (don't worry its only one page) Why Read? It is just a short one page essay, it can even be handwritten, about ONE of the quotes that is found on the Google calender slide show. There are also some questions to help guide your writing, but this is mostly just meant to make you think. Just go with it.
  • HOMEWORK: Why Read? Essay for Wednesday, Get a copy of our first book Life of Pi by Friday (there are copies available but getting your own is recommended), Class Expectations blog post by Friday, Supplies (found on class expectations sheet), and the online Parent Form (For your PARENTS to fill out)

Thursday, August 15, 2013


What qualities do good teachers, students and classes embody?  What expectations do you have of yourself, of Smith, and of this class?  Make sure to proofread your response, as well as comment and connect to one another's