Monday, January 27, 2014

Spring Semester 2014

Hello Beautiful People....

I hope life is well with you. I wanted to give you some info you'll need to make this a TEEEERRRIIFFFICCC semester!!

1. Read -- you DO have time. Choose it!
2. Write -- your story is important!
3. Observe -- what's going on around you? in the state? in the nation? in the world? (dare I say, in the cafeteria???!!!!)
4. Laugh -- it's the best medicine!
5. Delve -- find your passion & figure out how to pursue it.
6. List -- lists can save you with homework, a job, your parents, and your sanity!
7. Create -- don't just listen to music; make it. don't just watch videos; shoot them. don't just play video games; make your own.
8. Support -- your parents & family, your friends, your own learning, your teachers.
9. Identify -- your strengths, your learning style, your joy
10. Plan -- your schedule for studying and for the best shot at a wonderful career.
11. Produce -- your best work; don't settle for a "passing" grade. Demand that you LEARN!!
12. Choose -- to look at the good things in your life.
13. Discuss -- let me know if you're having trouble in class so I can help you. That's why they pay me the big bucks! (jk -- I don't really get paid much! haha)

Here's to a SPECTACULAR semester! I'm so glad you're here!!

Oh, here's your syllabus:
Welcome to English II
Stephanie McCabe, MEd
Phone: 704.736.9453  Email:
Remind 101 to receive text updates:
704-754-5543, send the message: @a59a  

Essential Question: Who am I as a world citizen?

Welcome to a new semester and a new adventure! English II focuses on literature by, and about, people of diverse backgrounds, stresses themes of cultural and linguistic diversity, and develops critical thinking skills through class discussions and oral and written presentations. Writing is emphasized in this class for your own enjoyment and success in future classes. The overriding theme of this class is: How will a study of World Literature help me live in a “Flat” World? (Thanks to Tom Friedman).                                    

Please bring the following materials:

J       1 marbled composition book (100 pages)
J       3-ring binder with 5 dividers & loose-leaf notebook paper
J       Writing utensils (pencil/pens); highlighters & colored pencils
J       2 glue sticks
J       Post-it notes
J       a FLASHDRIVE is recommended, but not required (an inexpensive one, please!)
J       box of Kleenex
**All WLHS rules can be found in your student handbook. Please pay close attention to the dress code and appropriate use of cell phones. Misbehaving in this class not only disturbs your own learning but that of classmates as well and will not be tolerated. Bathroom passes for the semester are issued the first day.

**We read the world in 10th grade! The short stories, novels, plays, and essays are diverse in regard to authors and the world events they portray. We will spend a lot of time with technology, especially blogging and Google Docs. Each student should also be prepared to read a minimum of 750 pages this semester—beyond what I assign. Will you join the 5,000 pages club???  Please come with an open mind!

**A new program Ms. Riley and I have developed for this semester involves Family Literacy Nights (one at the end of February and one at the end of May). Participating in the activities will showcase your reading and writing through the weeks of class. We want all your parents, guardians, and family members to attend.
**Grades are weighted as follows (per WLHS Grading Practice 2013)
Class work/Quizzes/Homework        25%                           
 Independent Reading/ Tests/ Papers/Projects    75%               
**Papers, projects, and other major assignments must be turned in on or before the specified date for full credit (we will usually decide on these due dates together).  If you are absent, your parent must contact me before 3:15 THAT DAY. It is only on this condition that I will accept late papers with no penalty; otherwise, I will deduct 10 points for each day your work is late.
An English class is a big deal. I expect all students to show curiosity about the world and be able to complete assignments with more independence.  I expect you to think critically and be able to articulate that through class discussions and written compositions. We will work hard in this class to read and write something important every day, for access to words is one of the first freedoms taken away when humans have been enslaved or have been subject to totalitarian regimes. This understanding—and what to do about it-- is one of the most important ones that I hope you take away from this semester. I have high expectations of you—both as students and as individuals. You should have these same expectations for me as your teacher, so please feel free to tell me if you think something is not going right.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

English II Honors -- Vocabulary 1

Please complete this quiz if you are in 2nd period:

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Oh, man....spring break is only a few hours away for you, and I know you can hardly wait! I'm pretty sure that class will be freakishly rowdy due to those ants in your pants to get out of here for a week. Do you ever wonder what a year-round school schedule would be like? I mean, you'd go to school for like six weeks, get a three week break, then repeat that for 180 days. I've always thought I'd like to try it, but if I don't like it, I want to be able to go back to the regular August through June schedule. But, know you could take a vacation during the school year and not be penalized for it...doesn't that sound scrumptious?? 

Since I'm thinking about schooling and education so much lately, I thought you might be interested in the evolution of modern academic institutions. Who started trying to educate kids? Why? Do boys and girls have equal access to education? Are some countries better at providing education than others? And, most importantly, if a young man or woman is not at school, how does that person spend his/her day?

I found a couple of sites that might help this conversation, if you decide to investigate with me. First is from the Psychology Today website called: A Brief History of Education. The second is a timeline of education's history called: Education Timeline. This site lets you click on whatever year and see the education innovations. It's pretty cool --and, as usual, we get everything from the Greeks!!

Happy blogging today.

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”
Jane Yolen

Sunday, March 24, 2013

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Only a week to go in our blogging challenge, peeps. How are you doing? If you have a chance today, read through a bunch of posts and nominate some for "Must Reads" of the day. I don't wart o be the only one looking for goodness.

I'm sure we are all ready for break.  Plan on summing up your learning so far (at least I hope you'll be able to pinpoint some learning!)....but today, I'm all about some basketball! #GoDuke!

Oh, one more thing: the Book Fairy came to my house this weekend. I have some goodies for you tomorrow.

If you need a writing topic today, think about this. My son, Jake, has accepted a challenge to study in England during the fall of 2013. If you could go to another country to go to school, where would it be and why? How would you deal with homesickness?

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

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Sorry about not having a new blog post yesterday. I had Internet hiccups. I'm blogging in my phone which is driving me crazy. Be good to Mrs. Kirby and Ms. Riley today.

Comment on your writing group's posts, please.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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Hey People....

I'm practically incapacitated today from some weird pain in my side. No, you don't really need to know all the body pains from poor OLD Mrs. McCabe, but this is what's on my mind today. I'm going to have a CT scan in a little while, so hopefully some smart doctor will figure out what's wrong with me.

In the meantime, I'm wondering how you're doing with your independent reading. We haven't checked in lately (not officially, at least), and I'm a little worried. Looking out over the class, I see you with your earbuds  and headphones with a book open in front of you. I don't think you're reading, though. In fact, you can't be because of the noisy conversation level. Many of you are reading, and are probably distracted by the noise. This worries me greatly.

The other part I'm worried about is your blogging. I'm hearing through the grapevine that you don't know why we are blogging, and you don't like it. The purpose of blogging is to live the life of a writer -- one who has a story to tell each day (even if it's just letting the world know you don't feel well today); one who sees his/her life as important; one who pays attention to the little things that make life fun.

Do you think this assignment doesn't mean anything because you aren't getting a grade for it? If so, then that becomes a motivation issue, right? Do we need to talk about that?

                 1. Add your post's URL to the class blog.
                 2. Comment on your writing group's posts.
                 3. Comment on 3 posts from the national site: TwoWritingTeachers

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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There's a theme running through the blogs I've read the past few days: stress! You all are stressed because of family life and school life, but just remember that your poor teachers are stressed, too. There are so many of you and not enough of us. The biggest factor, however, seems to be the need for a break! I'm not sure we'll ever make to spring break -- eight days seems so far away, doesn't it?

In the meantime...I found a song that will make life ALLLLLLLL better (at least until we can get us a break!). Just come back here and listen when you're feeling down.

All better, right? Yeah, I know...You're welcome!

                          1. Paste your post's URL in the comments section.
                          2. Comment on your writing group's posts.
                          3. Comment on 3 of the posts from the national site: TwoWritingTeachers.