Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, Dec. 11th (Section 1)


1. (section 1) Santa letters were handed back. Students were to make note of what they must improve on in order to adhere to the format and expectation of writing a formal letter.

2. Summary re-writes were read to fellow students. Student partner draws the features of the setting and makes a remark to the writer regarding which features of the land were missing or well-described. Remember: Without the full picture, the maximum band a student can reach is 3.

3. Students were to read the rest of their summaries to each other with information regarding Muni. Partners are to mark how many features are described.


1. Complete the reading for A Horse and Two Goats with annotations.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday, Dec. 5th (section 1 and 2) Thursday, Dec. 6th (section 3)


1. We collected and read aloud some of the formal complaint Christmas letters that students wrote for homework. Be on the look out for sample letters posted soon.

2. We then read the first two pages of the short story, A Horse and Two Goats. We annotated the story together and then compiled information on a diagram that looked the like the following:

(a) features of the setting

(b) information given about Muni

3. Students were to draw a map of the village of Kritam and surrounding features mentioned in the text. As each class finished their prep work for the writing, the 15 minutes of writing time to complete the summary will be done for each section differently, as indicated below:
     Section 1 - done in class
     Section 2 - done at home, self timed
     Section 3 - will be done during next class.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Writing Contest Opportunity

Students from SFS have won up to $1,000 USD!

Writing Categories

• Font: 12 pt. Times New Roman or Arial
• Titles: Titles at the top of the first page only. Do not use a separate title page. Poems should be titled individually.
• Do Not Use Real Names: Real names should not be used. Winning work is displayed publicly and the identities of real people must be protected.
• No Name: The student’s name should NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript.
• No Images: No illustrations, photographs or graphics.
• Sources: Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count.
• Collaboration: Collaborative works are not allowed in any writing categories

Short Story
Category Description
A fictional narrative written in prose.
Special Instructions
1,300–3,000 words.
Please note word length limits for Flash Fiction compared to Short Story.
Short Stories in which humor or science fiction/fantasy are key elements should be submitted in those respective categories.

Personal Essay / Memoir

Category Description
A self-revelatory work dealing with individual experience.
Special Instructions
Grades 7–8: 500–3,000 words.
Grades 9–12: 750–3,000 words.
This category includes nonfiction work only. Fictional essays should be submitted in the Short Story or Flash Fiction categories.


Category Description
Writing that uses satire, parody or humorous anecdote.
600 – 3,000 words.
Work in any genre in which humor is the key element should be submitted in this category.


Details on how to submit can be found here.  If you are interested in submitting work, please see Mrs. Lee to continue the editing process. You must be entered by January (exact date TBA). 

Also, DEC. 5 is the last day to submit work to Magpie, the school's literary magazine. If you wish to submit your memoir, please email Mrs. Lee at an electronic copy of your work. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday, Nov. 30th (section 3) and Thursday, Nov. 29th (section 1 and 2)


1. A timed writing was taken today for First Language Paper 2 Question 2: Writer's Effects for 30 minutes. Students reviewed the important points to make during the writing beforehand that looked like the following:

Writer's Effects = Explain!
(a) the sun setting and the approach of the evening
     1. Make a point - choose an effect
     2. Quote - a short excerpt, perhaps just a phrase.
     3. Comment - point toward the effect by looking at semantics or syntax. You may identify the tool (e.g. alliteration, repetion, assonance, personification) but more importantly point towards how the writer has created the effect.
(b.) the approach of the stranger
    1. Make a point - choose an effect
     2. Quote - a short excerpt, perhaps just a phrase.
     3. Comment - point toward the effect by looking at semantics or syntax. You may identify the tool (e.g. alliteration, repetion, assonance, personification) but more importantly point towards how the writer has created the effect.
2. After 30 minutes, students read peer work and evaluated student work based on the IGCSE rubric provided. I will re-grade for an accurate score. 


You took a timed-writing so ...NO HOMEWORK! Enjoy your weekend. Next class we will review our Paper 2 performance thus far (Question 1: Transformation or in this case, the Visitor's Guide, Question 2: Writer's Effects, Question 3: Summary) and then finish the other half of Paper 3, which is Question 1: Directed Writing. 

A sample Visitor's Guide written by your peer, Michelle Kim:

Are you ready to leave behind your rock heavy brief case and your pinchy work shoes? if so, get ready to step into the whirlwind serenity, delicate beauty, and the incomparable landscape of the Great Grimpen Mire. 

The rolling hills that glow in the last lights of the day is an absolute must-see for those aspiring photographers and sketchers. The silhouettes of Beliver and Vixen Tor will never fail to steal your heart as they stand majestically over the moorland. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the infamous glimmering gray wings of a lone curlew that soars through the sky like a king of the moorland. So for all you birdwatchers out there, make sure you bring your binoculars for this once in a lifetime opportunity. 

The cluster of ancient huts still stand in its original formation and its untouched condition makes it a definite hotspot. If you're one to see the wonders of our past then do not hesitate to see the historical jewels of Great Grimpen Mire. 

As you stand in the middle of the moors, stay to watch the sun as it sets into a lavish aura of blazing gold and burning red. Silent enough to hear a pin drop, you will not be disturbed if you gaze across the expanse of the fiery sky. 

This is a perfect holiday destination if you have kids. With the enclosed suffocating space of the city, your kids will be on their knees thanking you as they can run around and splash in the natural poos of the Great Grimpen Mire to their hearts content. 

if you are ever missing the city life (which we are certain you won't) then drop into the village of Grimpen which will definitely fulfill your longing for the simple wholesome life of a villager. No beeping phones, no buzzing television, no loud alarms. Just you and the organic Grimpen village. 

Wherever you are in the world, this attraction will quench your every need and give you the experience that won't be able to find anywhere else. We know you're itching to come; what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday, Nov. 28th (Section 3)


1. We corrected the packet that was not finished in class covering student sample work of the First Language exam Paper 2 Question 2 or Writer's Effects. Students made note of what the examiners were looking for and major features that we must include to be successful in this portion of the exam.

2. Students opted to take the timed writing on Friday and practice the Writer's Effects together as a class.


1. Complete Weblog on your own personal blog by Friday.

2. Write a word bank and review the packet to follow guidelines during your timed-writing process.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday, Nov. 26th (Section 3) & Tuesday, Nov. 27th (section 1 and 2)


1. Homework was checked for worksheet regarding First Language Paper 2 Question 2 (Writer's Effects).

2. A packet of student sample responses was handed out and gone over. Students made notes on what the examiners are looking for when responding to the question prompt. Also, students guessed the outcomes based on the rubric.


1. Finish the packet. It will be corrected on the following day and 30 minutes of class will be given to a timed writing based on the Writer's Effects worksheet. Open notes allowed.

2. Are you a happy person? How could you become more happy? Write a reflective comment below. 100 words.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wednesday, Nov. 14 (section 3)

Timed Writing Today.
Visitor's Guide written in 45 minutes.

1. Turn in FL Paper 2, question 1 packet with the rest of the sample guides marked for both Content and Language marks. 

2. For those that are missing class for APAC, retake is Monday after school from 3:10 - 3:55.

3. IRB2 weblog. Take a picture of your book and post it on your weblog (not mine). Describe one character and the way the author manages to develop the character. 300 words minimum. Due Friday, Nov. 30th.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday, Nov. 12th (section 3), Tuesday, Nov. 13th (Section 1 and Section 2)


1. The previous class we brought in sample visitor's guides and looked for trends in language.

a. We noticed the following:

* the use of active verbs (e.g. Explore, Experience, Get away)
* the use of the rhetorical question
* closer reference to the text to demonstrate reading comprehension
* the need to relay the totality of the scene, the big picture
* one paragraph is used to describe the attractions of the area
* the following paragraph is used to persuade people with different interests to spend some time there

b. We also noticed after correcting some of the student submissions that the examiners paid close attention to the following:

* convincing language sustained throughout
* interesting word choices
* a narrative style should not emerge
* language should attract the reader to the location

2. Today, we proceeded to read sample responses from our packet and graded them for both content and language according to the rubric, making note of trends we notice and examiner comments.

1. Finish the packet by reading the remaining responses and give them a grade for both content and language.

2. Bring a word bank to the class with at least 15 words you may want to use in your description, such as synonyms for hills, sunsets and and other words that may help to give the land an attractive quality.

3. For Section 2 only, pick up your summaries and turn in the edited copies by Thursday, Nov. 15th. They will be posted outside the English Department door, for those of you that handed me a hard copy. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday, Oct. 31 (section 3) and Thursday, Nov. 1 (section 1 and 2)

Edward Scissorhands, Mermaid Man, Dorothy, and a biker

Anno showing off his gangnam style. Johnny striking a pose.

Ben Wee. Tah-dah!
After correcting the last four summary examples from the Summary Packet, students were handed back their summaries on Passage A and Passage B from the packet to mark according to the rubric. Students were then handed back their summaries to edit. Edits are due Monday Nov. 12th for section 3 and Tuesday, Nov. 13th for section 1 and 2.

Have a great DW!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, Oct. 29


Students turned in their summaries from their packets. In class we went over five more sample summaries.


1. Students must finish the packet by reading the remaining 4 summaries and giving it a mark for both content and language. We will discuss these outcomes during the next class.

2. Review Fly in the Ointment by V.S. Pritchett, making note of the following:
     a. How does Pritchett make the father a sympathetic character?
    b. On what items does the father focus his attention when distracted from his conversation with his son? (there are at least 4 items).
     c. What other meanings might be drawn from the phrase "It's piculiar how you can hear everything now the machines have stopped."
     d. What is the difference between the father's big face and small face? How does differentiation further characterize the father?
     e. What might you infer based ont eh overuse of "I" and "You" in the first paragraph on pg. 115.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Monday, October 15th (section 1 and 2)


Today we went over the structure of a news report (accessible as a google doc here): 

Mrs. Lee handed out envelopes with an article cut into paragraphs about Julius Caesar. Based on what students learned about the components of a news report structure, the article was arranged on the desk. After students could verbally defend their arrangement and put the paragraphs in the correct order, the students were mark the complete article for the following with brackets: 

minor detail, 

The remaining sentences are checked for redundancy. The word box at the bottom of the article may be used by students to write a summary. Since a summary should be no longer than half the length of the thing being summarized, the Julius Caesar article summary should be no longer than 100 words. 


1. If not completed in class, complete your summary of the Julius Caesar article by next class. 
2. Complete the summary of the first two pages of F.I.T.O, if you have not already completed it before class. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Monday, October 8 (Section 3) and Tuesday, October 9 (Section 1 and 2)


Work for FL Paper 2.3 were handed back with rubrics attached (today for section 1 and last class for section 2).  Student work was heavily annotated by Mrs. Lee. Students are to extend their 500 word piece to that of 750 words or more hand-written and double spaced.

To seek extra help, students must first watch the video and apply the suggestions in their video to their work. Students must first make the attempt to improve their work on their own before making an appointment. The final copy of the paper is due Monday, October 15th (section 1 and 2) or Tuesday, October 16th (Section 3).

Today we also worked on steps 1 and 2 of the summary writing process in class. For homework, students are to copy 15 phrases associated with the mode and tone, 10 phrases that describe the relationship between father and son and then translate all 25 aspects of the text into their own words.

1. Watch the video below before redrafting your paper. 750 word minimum draft due according to the dates listed above in the Agenda.

2. Weblog due next class: post 200 words at minimum of your favorite exerpts of your IRB1 on your weblog. Then describe the topic that your author points toward in the narrative and his or her specific perspective on that topic.

For example, if you were reading the Kite Runner you might consider the topic of stealing. The protagonists desires to have a relationship with his father, who describes the worst act a man can perform as stealing. Although initially the protagonists considers the act as one of a physical nature, the protagonists finds himself performing a series of ill-devised gestures toward a servant boy. The author provokes the reader to reconsider the act of stealing to be one of an intangible nature and thereby reconstitutes a different perspective on what it means to steal. The author suggests ownership of friendship, loyalty, kinship, innocence are stolen away simply out of the act of choosing self-preservation over personal satisfaction over the right of another to the same.

When writing your own response to your book, include the following:

1. Topic Sentence: A sentence that answers the prompt and includes author, genre and title.
2. Contextualization: give context for the audience. That mean including a very brief overview of the major tenants of the narrative. You should also give context for the quote before you introduce it which may include indicating where in the plot arc the quote occurs with special attention to the major action just before the quote or giving a conceptual context or describing what the author was aiming to do just before the quote you are about to introduce.
3. Evidence: This should be a short string of words that substantiates your claim. Here you are showing the reader that your claim is valid because it is strongly inferred or directly stated in the text.
4. Syntax/Semantic-specific comment: What word or word order or literary technique is used in the quote stated that helped you to infer your reasoning for your claim in the topic sentence. You may have also chosen to summarize or restate the quote in your own words.
5. Comment: In summary, address the question but this time with the entirety of your argument as your arsenal. Remind the reader of your original claim but perhaps point toward the irony or the reason why your claim impenetrable.

3. Finish your list of 25 phrases and translate them in your own words to prepare for next class.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday, September 25th (section 3)


The important features of a narrative were reviewed. The rubric used for the First Language Paper 3 Section 2 were reviewed. An ecopy of this rubric can be found here.

Students were handed back their narrative works and given time in class to write a paragraph reflecting on what areas they'd like to improve.

Additionally, students corrected half of hteir worksheets they finished for class regarding A Fly in the Ointment. Students handed in their hand-written work at the end of the hour.


1. Students are to hand write their edits of their Memoirs and now lengthen their piece to 750 words giving special attention to elaborating on the setting, but also creating characters, perhaps introducing dialogue with it in mind that they are creating a piece that attempts to also include the crafted purposeful pieces of the writings we've been reading such as allusions, using punctuation for emphasis, extended metaphors and foreshadowing and the flashbacks to further their perspectives on one or more topics. This extension is due Monday, October 8th.

2. Students are to finish reading their IRB's with the extended deadline of Monday, October 8th.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Friday, September 21st (section 3) and Wednesday, September 26th (sections 1 and 2)

 Super Sophomores prepping for Tug of War.

Agenda for Section 3


 Students took a timed writing. Then attached their outline to their completed response. 45 minutes was marked on their papers for self-timing purposes.

List of verbs describing what an author does:

Agenda for Section 1 and 2 on September 26th


1. Per post on September 19th, students were to visit the link and complete the worksheet, found on an uneditable google doc. Students are to hand write their answers on the worksheet.

2. Students were handed back their quiz on My Greatest Ambition. The quiz was corrected for accuracy and then correct paragraph construction. A total of 7 points was possible. Students must correct their quiz by rewriting their quiz with both accurate answers and well-developed arguments.

3. Reading of IRB1 is extended to October 8th or 9th, the first day we return from Chuseok holiday break. 

Section 3 hard at work on their timed writing, especially Saleh. =)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday, September 19th (section 3) and Monday, September 24th (Section 1 and 2)


Agenda for Section 1 and 2 on September 24th
Agenda for Section 3 on September 19th

 A brief overview of the exam that the students were preparing to take for Literature and First Language in Spring 2013 was given.

After, students were engaged in a full class discussion with minute pair shares interspersed to fine tune their observations about the constructive elements of My Greatest Ambition.

Notes from Section 2

The outline format was reintroduced and students were given time in class to work on developing a thesis while Mrs. Lee came around to give one-on-one help. 

Notes from Section 2


1. Watch the video by clicking here and the fill in the worksheet linked here. The google doc is not editable so be sure to print it out and hand write your answers, per usual in IGCSE land. The worksheet is due Tuesday, September 25th. Hint: You will find this video helpful to develop your understanding of what is expected of you so it may be helpful to complete this homework before Friday's timed' writing.

2.  Prepare an outline that addresses the question, How does the writer present the development of the character, Nu, in My Greatest Ambition? Be sure to construct your outline with it in mind that you will only 45 minutes to write a five paragraph essay.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tuesday, September 18 (section 1 and 2)

Today's Schedule 
(Half Day for students)
**Reminder: Thursday is Field Day.



We started the day reviewing some of the major features of 'My Greatest Ambition' by Morris Lurie. We worked through the question, how did Lurie portray Nu's moments of disillusionment by first identifying the illusion he was under before going to meet the people from the magazine and then identifying moments in the text where it was evident that the he was no longer being acknowledged as a candidate for a full-time comic artist.

1. Weblog 2 for 9/20: Based on our discussion today, articulate yourself in P-Q-C format how Lurie portrays Nu's sense of disillusionment.

2. Weblog 3 for 9/22: see image.

3. Complete the characterization worksheet. Include evidence from the text and underline words/phrases within the text that specifically supplements your claim. The link is not editable so print it out and hand write your responses.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Monday, September 17 (section 3)


Today we checked our annotations for A Fly in the Ointment by V.S. Pritchett. While I checked your annotations and made comments individually, students took a quiz on My Greatest Ambition in point-quote-comment format. Students were to be graded on answer accuracy but their construction would be marked separately by me. Additionally, although the figurative language exercise that were posted on my blog were brought up for our admiration and finally a Characterization Worksheet was given for homework.


Using your worksheet, prepare an analysis of how 'Nu' is characterized by identifying the trait, the quote that reveals the trait and underline which words specifically in the quote stand out as a signifier. How does Lurie draw your attention to or illustrate Nu's quirks. This exercise is designed to prepare them for a timed writing regarding characterization.

Thursday, September 13 (Section 3) and Friday, September 14 (sections 1 and 2)

We took a quiz on My Greatest Ambition and corrected it in class. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wednesday, September 12 (section 1&2)/ Thursday, September 13 (section 3)


Today student are to turn in their reflection on an item that they may have fixated on while trying to acheive a goal. Verbally it may or may not have been announced in class to elaborate up to 200 words or 300 words. Going forward, any assignment will have a 300 word minimum as a standard unless otherwise indicated.

The following graphic organizer was used to develop literal sentences:
 Students were asked to develop sentences such as
     1. I ate a sandwich.
     2. I fell in love.
     3. I ran to the store.
Side note: A wall in HS 015 has been designated the No Name Wall of Shame. If you have handed in work that does not have a name on it, it has been hung there.

Protocol to get your work back in the books?

1. Make an appointment during an Extra Help session from 3-4:00 on Thursdays.

2. Make an appointment during a different time we are both available. DO NOT STAND ME UP. This is a privilege given to students who have already once come to an Extra Help session because you have demonstrated already that you can keep appointments.

**getting your book "reconciled" is YOUR responsibility. Not mine. Additionally, if you stand me up three times or more, you have revoked your right to seek extra help for the quarter and a letter will go home to your parents notifying them.

**Pay attention to the section differences for homework 2**

1. Rewrite your item memoir you wrote for homework, this time including sentences that include literal, figurative and symbolic language. Minimum: 500 words. If you need a hard copy of your original and I have it, please see me.

2. (Section 1 and 2) Finish reading and annotating My Greatest Ambition. If you need a copy of the text or need to pick up your book, please see me. (Section 3) Read and annotate Fly in the Ointment by Pritchard.

3. Post a sentence that you developed in class that you think you did the best job on. An example would be:

Joe Student
IGCSE English Y2 - (1, 2 or 3)

Literal Sentence: I ate a sandwich.

Edit 1: I inhaled the turkey, bacon sandwich on bread speckled with grain my mom made for me.

Edit 2: The cold cut gave in to the grinder-like rotation of my teeth and the bacon unearthed its flavor. The bread was speckled with grain and I looked up at her just in time so my forehead met the weight of her hand.

Edit 3: The bread speckled with grain jacketed the cold cuts and bacon that gave in to the grinder-like rotation of my teeth. The suction and slapping of eating filled my head so much so that I failed to hear my mother's beckoning to take a bite of her apple. I looked up at her just in time so my forehead met the weight of her hand.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday, September 11 (section 3)

Today we talked about Annotations. Students handed in their annotations for the first two paragraphs of "Miss Brill" by Katherine Mansfield after watching a youtube video during which a lecturer points out features about the text to note. The lecturer also addresses the importance of the pre-reading process. Students should have taken copious notes and then afterwards compared their notes to the PDF Teacher Sample copy posted on Edline. Students then took an open note quiz on annotations covering the following questions:

1. Describe the pre-reading process.
2. When you come across a word you don't know, (Jardin, eiderdown, knock) what should you do?
3. Explain the significance of each AND how Mansfield draws your attention to:
     a. Miss
     b. Fur
     c. Season

Students corrected the quiz in class.

We continued reading "My Greatest Ambition" stopping often to insert observations we made about the character in the margins. Since students have been given a lesson on annotations in the general sense of what is important to note, and then have had the close-reading process modeled for them in class, they have been tasked with the following homework:

1. Read and annotate "My Greatest Ambition" by Morris Lurie, making note of Nu's character. Consider the following questions while reading (a formal written assignment is not required):
     What are some characteristics you might assign Nu based on
          a. his observations of those around him?
          b. rhythm and word choice of his language the way it changes depending on the situation?
          c. how his motivation to be a comic changes?
2. Write a journal reflecting on a goal you had an how you fixated your focus on an item (like the brown lipstick example I gave at the end of the hour). How did your feelings about the item change as you accomplished your goal or failed to achieve your goal? What was it about the item that made you desire/cherish it before your actualized or failed at your goal? What was it about the item after goal was achieved/failed that made you think differently about it?

September 10 (for sections 1&2)

Welcome to the IGCSE English Y2 class blog. As a supplement to Edline, we will be using our blogs as a way to document what was done in class. Refer to Edline for board photos of classes prior to this first blog and also a source for where documents that are not hyperlinked as a google doc here would otherwise be located.

I'd like to use this space to post Work of the Week, descriptions of what was done in class, and homework. Check this blog regularly and feel free to comment below on any of these posts to extend conversation further beyond what has gone on in the classroom.

Today we started with D.O.L. It was first copied erroneously and then corrected with a sage/scribe exercise in which a pair of students each take one role and then switch roles for the second sentence. When a student is designated the scribe, their sole purpose is to remain silent and copy according to the direction of the sage. The sage informs the scribe what corrections should be made including a justification for the correction.

Next, students were handed back their writing from a previous in-class times writing addressing the question, "Where is Brewster figuratively from in her poem, 'where I Come From'"? Students color-marked their peers page following the key after exchanging papers, write marginal comments, an then gave verbal feedback. The owner of the paper also related their observations about the paper they corrected. The final task assigned before students left for the day was to write a paragraph making note of their writing strengths and weaknesses.

This self-evaluation task is designed to hone student ability to self-assess. Students will be held accountable for their learning and free having recognized their writing deficits.

Homework: If students did not complete their color-marking, marginal notes, peer share, and then write their reflective paragraphs during class, the paragraph became the homework and the length was extended to the standard 300 word response.