Category Archives: Chaffin

Snowy Flipped Classroom//2/25

Hey All,

I hope you’re warm and safe!  We’re going to have class at home today, so here’s what I’ve pulled together for you to explore.  Remember, with Common Core, we’re all about real life–instead of just looking at bubbles on a test document, we want mulitple sources!  

In class, we finished our poetry notes, so we have the language we need to ANALYZE some poetry.

Directions:  Pick one of the poets below.  Read three of his or her poems.  Then, post a comment on this blog post explaining what the poems have in common.  Use the constructs from our notes.  For example, you might say —

“Wake”, “Dreams”, and “Life is Fine” all include beats that repeat.  For example, in “Life is Fine,” Hughes uses a 7/6/7/6 pattern of syllables in each of his stanzas.  This pattern creates a beat that makes his poems feel like music.  In “Dreams,” Hughes uses a collection of one-syllable words: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird, that cannot fly.”

Carl Sandburg: Fog, Arithmetic*, Between Two Hills, Sphinx*

Nikki Giovanni: Legacies, The Drum, A Journey, Choices*

Walter de la Mare: Me, Silver, The Listeners, All But Blind*

Naomi Shihab Nye: Famous*, The Riders, The Art of Disappearing,

Christina Rossetti: Flint*, Uphill, What is Pink, Mix a Pancake

If there is a different poet whose poetry you’d like to explore, feel free!  Just make sure to include the author and titles in your comment.

***My favorite poems in this group

Calendar for the Duration

Hey All,
Here’s what’s on my board if you’d like easy access to it. This is the rest of the year, except FINALS!! 🙂 Let’s make these days count.

may calendar

A little something extra for those who follow the website:

EmB, Today’s Goals, and Tomorrow’s Plans

I know there’s something I’m supposed to post for you, but I can’t remember what it is.

Today in class, we explored digging deeper into literature and becoming the kind of readers who see past the surface summaries and baseline connections to the symbolism, character development, irony, and other elements that authors weave into their works.

Tomorrow, each class has a bit of a different plan.

In 7th, if you behave for the substitute, you’ll watch a good portion of a film about three guys from a rough city who make a plan to break free and use education to make their lives, and the lives of the people in their city, better. Compare their story to what you know so far about the main characters in your novel–how does their relationship with the community compare with Esperanza’s? Ponyboy’s?

In 8th, you have a reading quiz on chapters one and two. I have found one book in the hallway already and another student returned a second book, so if you’re missing your book, it could be yours. After the quiz, you’ll complete a discussion slip, have a short discussion, and continue reading.

In 5th, 3rd, and 4th, you’ll complete a character analysis for one of the main characters based on a short excerpt from the book that I’ll have for you. One more day to get your book! 🙂

See everyone on Wednesday, foot willing!


A Novel Field Trip

Today in class, we did a sample activity from each of our four novel choices to give you a better “taste” of what each will be like to experience. You finalized your voting cards, and I’m attempting to get all the groups posted per class period by the end of the evening. Monday, you’ll get your literature circle packet which will detail the calendar and all the assignments required for this unit.

I’m hoping you love these books and your time discussing great ideas with your peers. Let’s do this!

Students, remember to share the voting sheet with parents and really give them some time to explore reviews, read the books, or talk to friends and decide which book they most support your reading.

GWA Day Burned Ink. It’s Over. <—-Six-Word Memoir

Good Afternoon, All.

Today, we had a “between units” day, so I decided to dip into narratives for a day. 826 is one of my favorite non-profits related to writing and our youth. I noticed the other night on their Twitter feed that they were challenging the world to write memoirs in only six words.

The art of shrinking and expanding our ideas is a higher-order exercise. How easy is it for you to take paragraphs of words and capture the heart of their message in a single sentence? How easy is it to expand a single sentence with details and data so that you finish with paragraphs of words. It’s a skill, but it’s an important one! So, here’s thepractice we started in class.

It’s due tomorrow. See you then. 🙂


Class Lately

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own. — Carol Burnett

Students and Parents,

Wow! Whatta week! I appreciate all the generous and helpful students who have helped me navigate the halls and the tight rows of the classroom with my broken foot paraphernelia!

T-Minus ONE CLASS DAY until the Georgia Writing Assessment. Tuesday, we’ll have one last hurrah practicing getting great ideas onto paper quickly, and then Wednesday, we’ll begin the day in our 5th period classes, taking that Georgia Writing Assessment once-and-for-all! Please try to get sleep the night before, eat breakfast, and be to school by 7:35 that day, so we can get it done and get it done right! 🙂

After the GWA, we will begin digging into READING for the rest of January. Class will look like book club, and we will practice pre-AP strategies to analyze what we read and discuss on a deeper level.

Looking forward to it.

Don’t forget: You do have a quick homework assignment for the three-day weekend: It’s a Scope ambiguous pronoun/Homophone exercise. Most of you finished it in class.

Writing Workshop and the GWA

The Georgia Writing Assessment is January 23rd this year. That gives us just over two weeks after you return from the holidays to hone our ideas and writing style! We will hold a two-week writing workshop, focusing on sentence structure, ideas, and adding pizzaz to writing!

It’s going to be good.