Thursday, May 9, 2013

Help my school!

Hello Everyone,
My school has entered a grant proposal to help get projectors in our school, but we need your help!

Follow the link to vote for our wish, and the grants with the most wishes will be approved!
Logan River's Wish

Thanks for your time and help everyone!

-Mrs. P

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"I Am"

I am really lucky, in that my mother-in-law is director of a library and she comes across all kinds of cool documentaries that she then shares with me. And then, in return, I share them with my students!! 

My family watched "I Am," and my mind was blown. I loved it. I knew I had to share it with my students!

I showed it to my English 12 class, and had questions for them to answer (which I'm linking up to below). They loved it too and we had an amazing hour long discussion afterwards. I also showed it to my English 9 class, but I think it was a little beyond them. They watched it and had easier questions (also linked below), but to me it seemed like it's a film that possibly needs a more mature audience. I'm also including the teacher copy of the questions to help aid in discussions. 

For my English 11 class, we'll watch this movie after we discuss Transcendentalism. I think it will go perfectly with Emerson and Thoreau!

Watch this movie, love it, share it, and let's change the world!!

I AM English 12 Questions
I AM Easier Questions
I AM Teacher Edition

Monday, April 15, 2013

March and April 2013

Spring is thisclose and I can't wait! It was a long and arduous winter. But Mr. P is GRADUATED (yayayayay) and so now we are DONE with school (for the foreseeable future) and looking at jobs and moving. Those last parts, not so fun. But such is life, and adventure awaits!

Anyway, after reading Daniel Half Human in English 9, I did a creative writing unit. Creative writing can be difficult because some kids hate to write, so the whole unit can be like pulling teeth. I got lucky somehow, because almost every single student LOVED this unit. They were so excited to write and share that I had to start turning some away. It made me re-think some of the units I teach. I usually do very few units on writing creatively (poetry, descriptive writing, etc), simply because I've had so many students who hated it, did nothing, and were super disruptive the entire unit because they were bored. But maybe I can start trying more?? We'll see. Each day in class, students had to walk in and grab their reading journals, then pick a creative writing prompt and write, using the prompt to help start their story, for about 15 minutes. Then we could share prompts if they wanted. For our assessment of this unit, students will be creating a final creative & descriptive story using one of the prompts they did in class. 

Creative Writing Prompts
Creative/ Descriptive Writing Paper 

In English 11, we covered The Scarlet Letter, then "The Crucible." My students are probably sick of Puritans but they sure understand them now! I love when we read "The Crucible" because some students REALLY get into it and read their lines with passion. And everyone hates Abigail (me too). She makes them so angry! But anger means they're paying attention & getting involved, so I'll take it!!

In English 12, we started the semester with Beowulf, created our own Utopian societies (which our computer lab then deleted 3+ weeks of work... whomp whomp), and then read and discussed Frankenstein. My students didn't love the novel as much as I'd hoped, but then again it's one of my favorites so I'm a little biased about how much they should adore it! 

Links to my The Scarlet Letter, "The Crucible," and Frankenstein assignments, as well as other creative writing assignments, can be found on my page:

Hey Mrs. P page

And if you're looking for some fun and interesting information, check out why the Mantis Shrimp is hella cool.

The Mantis Shrimp (by The Oatmeal) 

Happy Spring!!   

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"The Wave"

It's been a while, but I wanted to post the new things I've been working on. As I've been teaching Daniel Half Human, it's so much reading in class and I wanted to do something that was a change of pace for my students. I was organizing our school library when I came across a book called The Wave.

It's about real events in California in the 60s, when a teacher was trying to help his students understand how the Holocaust happened. His students just didn't understand how people could go along with the Nazis. This is a question I get asked a lot as well. I read the back of the book, became intrigued, quickly read the whole thing (it's short) and then googled it and found the movie "The Wave," based on the novel. Here is a link to the short movie on youtube (it's 47 minutes):

"The Wave" based on the novel by Todd Strasser

There are a bunch of different versions, but this is the one I chose and downloaded. The quality isn't great, because it was made in 1981 and hasn't been adjusted since. There is a newer version of the movie from Germany, "Die Welle," that is a full-length movie. It's a good version too, but my students hate subtitles, and the movie was a little long for what I wanted to do. Also, the ending is totally different and a lot more violent than the 1981 version. Look up both and choose what is best for your students. Here are links to my comprehension questions for "The Wave."

"The Wave" comprehension questions
"The Wave" Teacher Edition comprehension questions

I'm excited for my students to watch this. I think it will really help them understand the Holocaust and how people were able to turn a blind eye to what was happening to their friends and neighbors.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Where to Begin...

It's been a week and I've had more time to wrap my head around the events at Sandy Hook. I still can't, really, but I've stopped crying at least. Everything I think and feel about that event has already been said, and everyone who is a parent-- or a teacher-- knows what I feel. I wanted to share an image and a print at you can buy and proceeds will go to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Let's all hug our kids a little tighter, be a little more patient with each other, and make the most of the time we have. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


He said: "There are 47 percent who... are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it." He stated that his role "is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

In response to that incredibly un-"eloquent" thought, please consider the following:

"To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged." -Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)