Dear Parents and Students,

Congratulations, we have made it to Filipiniana and the October break. Just a few things that you may want to think about over the break and for the rest of the quarter to come:

Reading Life:
I have given back a copy of each student’s Reading Life Plan. As I discussed with you during the P-T conferences, I have now sent home a reading plan, as negotiated with your son or daughter, for the next few months: please ask them to show you the plan! Most of these books are available through our school libraries, but if you struggle to pick up a copy of any selection, you can also find them at local bookstores. My suggestion is to try to stick with the numbered order within reason; however, students should not feel guilty about adding their own titles within the list to offset any perceived ‘heavy reading,’ or looping back to the different ‘listed’ series in order to spread out an author. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Homework, and English Tasks for the Quarter
I understand how homework piles up to create student stress; this pressure really comes to bear at the end of each quarter. Teachers are very demanding- they expect assignments handed in, test preparation, and ‘extra work’ when we close out an assessment period. I hope you see that we have spread out our English tasks for this term and not all work is due in the last week of school in December; however, it is important that all students use their time wisely and get started on our tasks now: a little ‘push’ every evening will go a long way to lowering stress levels in December. Task 1, our Things Poetic scrapbook, deserves a little time every evening as students gather, sift, and read different poems to create their own collections and reflections. Everyone should at least have a plan of what book they will use to create the scrapbook by now. Task 2, the Poet Research, has started in class, but research can be done through Noodle tools at home and paraphrasing sources should have started by now; we will use class time when we get back from break, but each student should have worked through the initial research and poem selection (for Task 3 conected to task 2) by the time we get back in November.

Reading Logs and Journals
Our poetic research demands for the remainder of the quarter are very high, so we have decided to suspend the weekly reading journals until the end of the quarter. Students are still asked to keep their ‘quick logs’ and maintain their 20 page minimum per night reading quota. And for those students who still struggle with a cumbersome reading log, it is okay if you consider a ‘log bookmark’ where you record just the pages read every evening. Keep the log simple and don’t let it interfere with your expected reading!

Honors English for Next Year
A letter wil be posted here very soon on this year’s requirements to apply for next year’s English Honors programs. There have been a few changes to the procedure to make it easier and less stressful for teachers and students alike.

This letter will include the description of the program, the rationale for offering these classes, and the finer details of the application schedule. Just some key information for now: all students (honors and regular English students alike) must apply each year for the Honors program, Regular program applicants MUST have a minimum A- average in their first semester to be elgible, and the honors exam wiill be replaced with an all middle school writing piece that replaces the dropped ERB standardized writing assessment.

Break and Beyond
Please check our syllabus for what is to come (it is detailed and has everything you need to know) I hope that everyone has a wonderful and much needed break next week.