March 12-16


Sub today: complete the screenplay outline for your favorite film or one you watched over the weekend. We will discuss tomorrow!

screenplay outline w def


Discuss screenplay outlines and the terms you need to know about story.


Story Structure: There is so much more that goes into plotting out a screenplay (or any story for that matter) than you may think. Don’t let this video overwhelm you; I’ll be helping you out as we go into writing.


Wednesday, short day!

We will be doing a short peer-review session. Part is done in class and the other half is homework. Part of your grade for your final essay is evidence of revision and reflection on your writing. SO KEEP YOUR ROUGH DRAFT WITH MARKUPS.

Synthesis Revision Checklist


Laptops in room 301 for final draft work time. If you were not here Wednesday, you need to work on synthesis checklist before beginning your final draft. Part of your grade on the final draft will be showing revision work on your rough draft.

Advanced Comp Synthesis Rubric

Any late vocab work has to be turned in today. I will only accept printed evidence in your class tray. Please make sure that the list name and percentage is clear on your printout.

Final Draft Synthesis Due 3:45 pm Monday. Printed in your class tray.


March 5-9


Today you will receive a packet of sources for your synthesis argument. This will be yours to keep and mark up.

synth sources

And again, in case you need it: ac synth prompt

Spend most of today finding sources to use for your argument. When you are ready, work on building your rough draft on the lined paper provided.


In Cold Blood Test. You may use your book.

If you have time left over, you may work on your rough draft synthesis.


Work on rough draft. Due at the end of class on Thursday. 50 pts.


Future Friday: Checks, Credit Cards, opening a bank account!

What College Students Should Know About Credit Cards

7 Things College Students Should Know About Credit

How Long Will It Take To Pay Off My Credit Card?

Write Checks/Pay Bills

Banks vs. Credit Unions

Sample Checking Account Option: Wells Fargo

Questions you guys had about this FF:

What things are better to buy with a credit card vs a debit card?

Can you live without a credit card? Once you’ve established credit, yes.

Can you build credit without a credit card? 

Can you  build credit without purchasing high priced items on a credit card? You could purchase a pack of gum on credit and pay it off to establish credit. Credit means you pay what you owe.

So, what is a credit score?

Can you get away without writing checks? Yes, I can’t tell you the last time I wrote a paper check. I use my debit card mostly.

Can you get away without balancing a check book? Methinks you don’t understand what “balancing a check book” means! It is simply keeping up with the money coming in and out of your account. I simply review my online account summary which is important to do to check that everything taken out of my account is something I did and not fraudulent. HOWEVER, as a young person starting out, I think it is very important to keep good track of your spending to make sure you aren’t broke before payday or worse, OVERDRAWN.

dramatic writing unit intro

How important is the screenwriter? What do they DO (besides writing)?

HW: Watch your favorite film, or a new one. Pay particular attention to the following:

  • What’s the opening scene?
  • How do they set up the story?
  • Who is the protagonist and their goals?
  • Who is the antagonist and their goals?
  • Supporting characters?
  • What is the inciting incident (what gets the story going, what is the prompt that gets us into the journey?)
  • What is the essential character conflict?
  • Do you notice any subplots (minor storylines)?
  • Is there a point of no return for your character?
  • What are the complications?
  • What is the all is lost moment?
  • Climax?
  • What is the resolution?

February 26- March 2


Welcome back! Hey only 5 weeks until Spring Break!

Today we will have laptops. You have grace until 2:20 pm for vocabulary. The other things you need to do is make sure that your descriptive writing is a. finished b. tweaked to perfection. I want quality writing here!  You must bring a PRINTED copy to class tomorrow. Please consider sharing your writing!

In Cold Blood writing exercise

AP style rubric

If you have a zero for any In Cold Blood vocab, you will be granted some amnesty. To get half credit for any missing vocabs, you must complete the vocab and turn in a PRINTOUT of your score where I can see which list it is AND your score. Make sure your name is written on the print out and turn in to the drawer by Friday, March 16th.

HW: get a print out of your writing for tomorrow; finish In Cold Blood by Friday. Bring book to class tomorrow.



Writing Share Day: descriptive writing from In Cold Blood. What do you have to say about the school as an observer?

Whatever time we have left in class can be used for reading time. You need to be done with the book by Friday.

Bring your Writing Wednesday Journal for tomorrow!


Writing Wednesday

Intro Synthesis Writing

Synthesis Writing

ac synth prompt  <— here is the actual prompt

Grades for the Synthesis Essay:

  • Prompt Markup and outline of ideas, 50 pts Due at end of class
  • Rough handwritten draft, 50 pts Due Wed 3/7 at end of class
  • Final Draft, 100 pts Due Friday 3/16 at the beginning of class


Group work on terms for section 4 ICB, plus test review materials. In Cold Blood Review

ICB test on Tuesday 3/6.

FUTURE FRIDAY: Taxes! with bonus “Are you registered to vote?”

First time Filing Article

A Young Man’s Guide to Doing His Taxes [GOOD FOR LADIES TOO!]

Free File from IRS  Btw, is an excellent source… forms can be downloaded as well as instructions.

Form 1040EZ

Check Your voter registration.

Feb 12-16


School argument presentations


Capote film!


Finish Capote and work on section 3 terms for In Cold Blood.

It’s a sub day as I am in NYC with AP Art History. Be good!

Last Vocab due 7AM 2/26.

Capote Pope Writing now due 2/27… I want QUALITY!

Rubric for Pope Observational Writing: AP style rubric

Remember, you have TWO tasks: to describe the area so well that we can see and experience it in our heads AND to attempt to analyze the importance of your area [room/office/classroom/public space] to the greater Pope community. What is its purpose? So what if this place exists?

Test In Cold Blood Tues 3/6


February 5-9



Quiz on section 2 of ICB: Persons Unknown

Intro to Literary Journalism Writing Assignment: In Cold Blood writing exercise

You will be going to a chosen location in the school and if you decide to do an outside location be aware of the weather.

writing day weather

Possible locations [ones that have yielded great results in the past]: front office, media center, specific classrooms [with prior permission from teachers], weight room, locker rooms, stadium, orchestra/band/chorus, art room, etc….

I will give you a pass with the understanding that you are to be on your best behavior and absolutely not breaking any school rules. I will have eyes on you.

Look again at how Capote sets the scene in the opening of In Cold BloodChapter 1 Rhetorical Blank Passage

Some videos to assist your understanding:



Literary Journalism Observations: Come to 301 and drop off your bags. You only need a writing utensil and paper.

You will be assigned a locale if you do not have a good one in mind.

Grab a pass, write your location, and have me sign it. Again, BEST BEHAVIOR expected. Do not disturb any class or school operation.

Written/printed writing is due Wed, 2/14.


Vocab for section 3, “The Answer”, due tonight 11:59pm.

Writing Wednesday: Something you’ve broken.

Elements of New Journalism discussion and group work.

Be prepared to present on either day, Thursday or Friday, for your school presentation. The written/printed version work is due when you present.

I will most likely be out tomorrow since I’ve caught whatever bug this is. Waiting on word that my job got picked up. If I am out this plan is this:

-Thursday: tables in media center, with laptops. Work on Written School Proposals OR your In Cold Blood writing assignment

-Presentations Friday

-Presentations Monday, all written proposals due Monday.


School presentations. Turn in written versions. If any time left over, read In Cold Blood.

January 29- Feb 2


In Learning Commons at the tables in the center with laptops.

Rubric for Project [all portions]: Reconstruction rubric

All information is under last week’s entry.

Presentations have been moved to 2/8 and 2/9.

Wednesday- Thursday

Wed: Writing Wed, bring journal

READING DAYS- Bring In Cold Blood both days! I’ll make some coffee; bring your mug! [and some change to offset the cost of coffee and fixings!]


Sub as I was supposed to be on a flight this morning, but will now be prepping for pep rally…

Be good! You will be working on the study guide for the quiz on Monday. Chapter 2: Persons Unknown. Have your book with you.


January 22-26


Welcome back! I am going to be doing a condensed version of the Deconstructing Education lesson that I do in order to keep us on schedule. Many of the items we would look at are here for your perusal.

So let’s Deconstruct Education…

  1. What do you dislike about school? Go ahead and get it out of your system. You won’t offend me. [Discuss as class]
  2. i quit i think John Taylor Gatto is a very controversial figure in the realm of education. The year he won New York City teacher of the year [at a very prestigious Upper West Side public high school], he penned this letter for the Wall Street Journal.
  3. Ken Robinson is not quite as controversial as Gatto, but he is a forerunner in the area of creativity and reaching to one’s potential. Watch the following animated clip of a section of one of his Ted Talks:

4. The next clip is a little bleaker… It is Gatto again, talking about the purpose of schooling [note: not education… SCHOOLING]. Again, remember he is on the far side of the debate of how to “do” education. Think about the ways he forms his arguments. EVERYTHING is an argument 🙂


5. Now let’s talk about what we DO like about school. What are the things that make it less miserable? Nothing is too frivolous here, but also think about the times where a situation geared towards learning was pleasurable.

6. Tuesday/Th/Fri: working in groups with laptops in our room to create a new vision of school (Reconstruction Project).


-look over the information packet for our argument project: Reconstruction Project Argument Version . We will have laptops tomorrow so you can begin working ASAP after I do a brief run down. Have questions ready for me.

– 2nd vocab list for ICB due this Friday.

-Have your first chapter read by Wednesday. You will be doing group review of relevant terms and phrases to know in preparation for the quiz on Thursday.

Resources for ReConstructing Education Argument Project

Packet: Reconstruction Project Argument Version  rubric to come soon, I just need to tweak it from AP classes.

A Gatto essay that I typically assign, but time prevented us.

Gatto YouTube channel

Ken Robinson YouTube [my curated list, NOT exhaustive]

Ken Robinson on Amazon: some of you may really be into his stuff, especially if you are trying to figure out what you are doing in this world.

John Taylor Gatto on Amazon


Writing Wednesday! It’s here! Write until the music ends.


reasons to live

After WW, get out your copy of In Cold Blood. Work in your groups on filling out your note sheet to study for the quiz tomorrow. I will only pick from this sheet to make a brief quiz. Finish on your own if needed.


Part I Quiz on Thursday. Rest of the time, work in groups with laptops in our room on your ReConstruction project.