Weeks 5-8 (September 6 – October 8)

THURSDAY/FRIDAY, Sept 22/23:  We leisurely read – read and write a ½+ page summary of what you read to receive your points.

Then we did a “divide and conquer” share of the next four articles in your reader and the article hyperlinked here: Military Article – Ways to Benefit From Joining the Armed Forces.  If you were absent, you will have to read them all yourself and annotate them. These will be due next week.

Also, you need to select one of the five articles and write a Thesis Analysis on one of them. The template for the analysis is here:

Introduce Author, “Title of article”, Title of Newspaper, website and/or (date) argues/suggests/ claims/asserts that __________. This is made clear when they say “_____” (#). They believe this because _________________. Although _______ may believe that__________ , this article is correct/incorrect because _____ .


WEDNESDAY, Sept 21: Today we were visited by Marine Sergeants who shared ideas and inspiration about life after high school. We collected the “Asking Questions” and Interview notes. Be sure to submit those when you return.


MONDAY/TUESDAY, Sept 19/20: We leisure read today.  To receive points back for leisure reading, you must submit 1/2 page description of what you read for about 10-15 on your own time.

We completed the next grammar activity for Module 1. Download it here  Grammar Activites #2 and complete for next class.

We discussed the homework for tonight, which is detailed on the bottom of the “5 Words” worksheet hyperlinked in last class’s blog. You need to interview someone who knows you well and ask them to select 5 of the words (listed below or hyperlinked on the blog) that they think best describes you. Have a conversation with them about their selection and share with them the words that you selected. You need to take notes on the interview and submit ~one page along with the worksheet next class.

We then went to the computer lab and all students researched many/all of the websites that are highlighted on pages 22-24 in your reader. You need to submit at least one page of notes highlighting what you learned/discovered/read about on these websites.

HOMEWORK: REMINDER… the “5 Words” worksheet and your family interview notes are due next class.


Below are words to start the conversation for your interview (or use this powerpoint slide for all of them):  The words to help start the interview conversation
















































street smart











light hearted























THURSDAY/FRIDAY, Sept 10/11:  We took a close look at two well written failure stories . Please take a look at the papers attached here and record five things on the back of each that make these stories really good.   Be sure to submit your copies of the articles with the 10 things next class for your class points! failure-samples-for-blog

So, we brainstormed what makes a good story/reflection.

Next, we continued with leisure reading today.  To receive any points back for leisure reading, you must submit 1/2 page description of what you read for about 10-15 on your own time.

Then we wrote our Thesis Analysis of the article “What to Get Into College? Learn to Fail.” And finished our annotations on BOTH sides of the argument. Using the following template, write a thesis analysis and submit it next class:

Introduce Author, “Title of article”, Title of Newspaper and (date) argues/suggests/claims/asserts that ____________________.   This is made clear when he says “_____” (#). He believes this because _______________. Although _______ may believe that______ , Perez is correct/incorrect because ______ .

Then at the bottom of the page in your spiral notebook titled “My Rhetorical Vocab” add the heading “Key Concepts”   First, look at the words on the following list and select five words that you do not know; look these words up and write down their definitions. Then, select and record words from the list that best describe you: Possible words to describe you for Activity 3  or chose words of your our choice that best describe you and what you are bringing to the next stage of your life.

Next, analyze these rhetorical words and rank them in order of importance in describing who you are right now.

We then took a look at your words from “Key Concepts” and selected the top 5. Using the worksheet attached here ( Asking Questions) reflect on your words fully and thoughtfully. Your homework is explained at the end of the worksheet.

Homework:  “Asking Questions” quickwrites on your five words are due next class and the notes for your interview is due Wednesday of next week.  If you would like to show your interviewee the list of starter words, they can be found here:  Possible words to describe you for Activity 3


WEDNESDAY, Sept 14: I collected the redo/rewrites of your district assessment. Be sure to submit that when you return!

We also discussed Angel Perez’ advice (writing about failure for your admissions essay) and why it might or might NOT be the best thing for you, as you are formulating your own college entrance essay (or thinking about applying for a job). You need to reread the Perez article.   As you re-read, highlight any words/phrases where you can argue that talking about failure may NOT be a good thing and in the left margin next to the passage write any questions or comments that crop up in your mind; this time, however, DISAGREE with him! I WANT you to!  Write back to him in your margins with ways that you question his message.  You should have lots of notes (annotations) in both your margins after this rereading.

With Angel Perez’s article “Want to Get into College? Learn to Fail!” in your reader, title the space at the bottom of the back page “Quote Analysis”. Go back through the article again and choose two of the sentences you highlighted. Create a paragraph using each of your direct quotes and the paragraph number in your first sentence.  Once you have recorded that introductory sentence, write for a few minutes about what the quote made you think about, and/or why you chose that quote (1/3 page each).

Do this for the second quote, as well.


MONDAY/TUESDAY, Sept 12/13:  Today I collected the “Less than Perfect” paper –  a one-page description of an event or moment when you were less than perfect and explain to a reader what your response to that moment says about your character, or values, or potential for work or study.   We then did a peer-edit of these stories.  If you were not here today, you have one day to pick up a peer paper from me and edit it/offer assistance for class points.  If you are not able to do this, you will not be able to receive the peer editing points. Be sure to have your paper ready to submit when you return.

We also leisurely read (so read and write ½ page to make up missed points) and I went over current grades. Be sure to check Zangle, as everything is up to date.

We discussed the District Assessment that you took a few weeks ago. For one of the written responses, you need to write and submit a more “rhetorical answer” than the one you did for the exam. The promised sentence stems are here:

Source 1 in the District Assessment titled “Your Turn Now” uses logical reasoning when they say “________________” (p#). This supports his claim in that it _________________________. Although _______ may believe that______ , this author is correct/incorrect because ________________________________________ .

Jillian Keenan’s article “Paying Taxes and Going to Jail Like Adults; Teens Deserve the Right to Vote Too” uses emotional appeal (i.e. pathos) when she claims “______” (p#).   This supports her claim by___________________. Although ____ may believe that____ , this is correct/incorrect because ______________________.

The February 11, 2016 article titled “Press Releases: Assemblywoman Gonzales, students Unveils Vote @16 Constitutional Amendment” establishes credibility when they states “______________________” (p#). This establishes credibility by_____. Although _______ may believe that_____, this is correct/incorrect because ____________________.

And if you decide to rewrite #20, the tips are here:

  • Ties together all three!
  • Clear Stance! (one side or the other)
  • Cite evidence (use quotes!!!)
  • Address Counterarguments      (limitations of your points and audience’s needs)

This is homework – due Wednesday!


Thursday/Friday, Sept 8/9: We leisurely read; to receive any points back for leisure reading, you must submit ¾ page description of what you read for about 10-15 on your own time.

Then next page of your spiral notebook should be titled “Rhetorical Vocabulary– My Personal Vocabulary”  Here you will need to brainstorm a list of 4-6 activities, hobbies, sports, etc. that you enjoy in your free time – things that set you apart from other people.  Then select one of those activities and come up with a list of 5 “rhetorical words” that are related to that activity.  These should be words that are specific to the activity and words that are not just “ordinary” (like the example of rough, albatross, pin, card and wedge for the sport of Golf).

On a loose sheet of notebook paper title it  “Less than Perfect – A time I failed”.   Please put your student ID # in the upper left corner and your name in the upper right (this will be anonymous once I cut off the names).   Write a one-page description of an event or moment when you were less than perfect and explain to a reader what your response to that moment says about your character, or values, or potential for work or study.   (Try to be as rhetorical as possible).  This will be due at the start of class next Thursday/Friday and we will be sharing them anonymously.  Please have yours written by next class! If you type it and print it out, it will be eligible for an “A”; if you handwrite it you will be eligible for a “B”.

Then we turned to Angel Perez’s article “Want to Get into College? Learn to Fail” that is the first article in your reader that you received in class.

As you read, highlight the best advice Perez gives about how to represent yourself. Mark the ideas or sentences where you think Perez is giving advice you can use as you consider the best way to represent yourself to the community you want to enter.

Then go back and comment in the RIGHT margin on the things that you highlighted. Why did you chose these words? What connection do they have to your life or the lives of people you know?

Homework: finish (and type) your story of a time you failed at something. Also, finish your comments on each of the things that you highlighted in the “Want to Get into College” article (you need at least 5 comments for a passing grade – the more you have the better your grade)

Also, Homework: typed Letter and envelope


Wednesday, Sept 7th: We briefly talked about the letter/envelope assignment that is due next Monday/Tuesday.

Then in Periods 1/3/5 we added to the “Thesis Analysis” page in your spiral notebook. In Periods 2 and 4 we simply titled a blank sheet of paper “Thesis Analysis”. Then, going back to the Hidden Intellectualism article we wrote a sophisticated analysis of Graff’s thesis using the following template:

Gerald Graff, in “Hidden Intellectualism”, an excerpt from his book They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing argues that _____________.   Although _______ may believe that______ , Graff is correct/incorrect because ______ .

I shared with the class some samples, but your analysis should be 100+ words, so be sure to detail your response.  Also, you must include a quote with paragraph number.  We submitted those in class.

Then next page of your spiral notebook should be titled “Rhetorical Vocabulary– My Personal Vocabulary”  Here you will need to brainstorm a list of 4-6 activities, hobbies, sports, etc. that you enjoy in your free time (or things that make you different) – i.e. things that set you apart from other people.

Homework: typed Letter and envelope


TUESDAY, Sept 6:  We introduced the first ERWC module “What’s Next” with a play (starring your classmates) and a discussion regarding “Life after High School.”

Then I gave directions for a professional business letter, which you will be writing to a college admissions officer, a recruiter, a businessman, or someone offering a scholarship; you will be introducing yourself and asking them to send you information. This will be typed and will be accompanied by a typed envelope that you will (hopefully) put in the good-old-fashioned mailbox for delivery.  See this document for directions on the format of the letter: 3-business-letter-sample

Letter and envelope are due by next Monday/Tuesday.

Then we graded the grammar assignment from last class. If you were absent, you will probably be asked to peer check a peer’s paper when you return.

Homework: letter and envelope


Hello again!  If you are receiving this, it is because you asked to “follow” our class blog.  As we prepare for the next four weeks, be sure to check this blog anytime you are absent and/or anytime you need extra assistance on your assignments.

You will now find the first four weeks on the hyperlink below.

If you are no longer in my classes, please “unfollow” the blog by clicking on the “unfollow” button at the bottom of this email.

Have a good Labor Day weekend!  And be sure to make good use of your extra day off!  Carpe Diem – Seize the Day!

Weeks 1- 4 (August 10-September 2)

THURSDAY/FRIDAY, Sept 1/2: Today we attended a presentation given by your counselors. You may want to drop by their office if you were absent and pick up your transcript and the booklet that they gave everyone.

I also collected your grammar work from last class – submit that as soon as you return to class.

We also created your portfolio for your ERWC class.  You will create one when you return and you should place the two ERWC assignments (6 questions and Junior teacher) inside


WEDNESDAY, August 31st: First I collected your envelopes with your letter and goals inside. I also collected the “Hidden Intellectualism” notes from last class. Be sure to submit both of these when you return to class, if you were absent.

Then we completed a quick 5 minute “Common Formative Assessment” on the following topic. Please allow yourself 5 minutes to respond and submit when you return:

  • “Stop and Respond” Describe in a five-minute quickwrite what your impression was of the “Stop-and-Respond” reading strategy that we used last class. What did you observe about the effects of the strategy? How did it affect your comprehension of the text? How might “Stop and Respond” transfer to the reading of other texts?

Finally, we completed some grammar work based on this module.  Please download and complete the following two activities by next class:  MODULE 1 Grammar Activites 4-5

Homework – finish Grammar work


MONDAY/TUESDAY, August 29/30: Today, we leisurely read; to receive any points back for leisure reading, you must submit ¾ page description of what you read for about 10-15 on your own time.

Next, we titled the first page of your ERWC spiral notebook “What’s Next?  Module 1” – write your name, period, my name and Santiago High School at the bottom of the page.  Then, title page 2 – “Generating Ideas” and respond to the following questions:

  1. If I am going to college, where might I go and why am I going to college? What do I want to get from my college experience?
  2. If I am going into the work world, or the military, why am I choosing that as an option? What do I want from working or entering the military or any other career I might be considering?

Then below your answers, please do the following:

  • ›Create a list of 4-6 reasons why you are ready for the next stage of your life
  • ›Then, list 4-6 questions about what you still need to know about your plans.

We then went on to the subject of the day today, which is on the topic of “Intellectuals” and what it means to be intellectual.

In your spiral notebook, title the next page “Intellectuals”    

  1. In your spiral notebook, write down three people you feel are “intellectuals”.
  2. If you were absent, with a friend or a family member, ask them to come up with a list of three people who they feel are “intellectual”.   Record their list, as well and share your lists; create a combined list that you both can agree are intellectuals, creating a combined list in your spiral notebook.  We took it one step further in class, but if you were absent, just write “absent” in big letters under your second list.

3) Write down your best definition of an “intellectual” AND draw a picture of one

4) Now… select one of the following quotes that best matches your definition of an intellectual and write it in your spiral notebook.    Also comment on WHY you selected that quote over the others.

  • A) “The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice.”   –  Bertrand Russell
  • B) “An intellectual is a person who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.”-Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • C) “An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.”   -Albert Camus

Finally, take out your reader and turn to Hidden Intellectualism. On the third page in your spiral notebook, title it “Hidden Intellectualism – Dialectical Journal”.   Divide this page into two columns – one titled “Paragraph #s” and the other titled “Three Comments/Summary/Questions/Personal Connections”.

Read the article and for each 2 paragraphs in the article, record three “Comments/Summary/Questions/Personal Connections”.

After completion… write a 35+ word statement at the bottom of the article on the following:

Do you agree with his thesis that “Schools and colleges are missing an opportunity when they do not encourage students to take their nonacademic interests as objects of academic study” (18) and “It makes pedagogical sense to develop classroom units on sports, cars, fashions, rap music, and other such topics” (18). Why or why not?


THURSDAY/FRIDAY, Aug 25/26: We all started class by finishing the district assessment. If you were not here, please come by during office hours next Thursday/Friday and complete it!

Then we continued class by writing a “Letter to Ourselves” at the end of the school year; I asked students to detail their current life/family/relationships/classes and to make some predictions as to what they thought was going to happen between now and when they graduate.  They also self-addressed an envelope and filled in a “goal-sheet” of things they want to do in the future (a bucket-list) that can be found here: (Dreams and Goals recorder).

Homework: Filled envelope (with letter, goals and gifts) due next class.   Also, bring your ERWC spiral notebook next class!


Wednesday, August 24:  Today we self-peer critiqued and presented our memoirs and introduced our partners to the class.  If you were absent, you will need to introduce yourself to the class when you return.  You also will need to get the list of your classmates names from one of your fellow classmates (it should be kept on the last page in your spiral notebook).  Be sure to submit your memoir to me when you return.  Also a typed envelope is due tomorrow!  Don’t forget!

Homework:  typed envelope!


Monday/Tuesday, August 22/23:  Today we started with the first half of the District Assessment. If you were absent, you will need to take it when you return to class.

Thursday/Friday will need a typed envelope, addressed to yourself and from me at the address below.  Please see this tutorial for assistance with the envelope!   Typed Envelope directions

Next… write your first and last name on the front of your 3×5 card – add A 10 word summary of something memorable that has happened in your life on the front (maybe something you shared with your memoir partner).  On the back of your 3×5 card, write down two true things about you and one complete lie (that is somewhat believable) (in any order)

Then we also leisurely read. If absent, be sure to write the ½ page + summary of what you read during your 15 minutes of silent reading time and submit it to me when you return.

Finally, students had time to get together with their memoir partner to discuss any last minute needs.

Homework:  Your published memoir is due next class!  Also, bring a typed envelope to class – addressed to you and with my name/address in the return box. 


Thursday/Friday, August 18/19:  Today we started a Common Assessment, which is a 45 minute essay that you will need to complete when you return. We followed with leisure reading.    To make up those points, you need to read for about 10-15 minutes and write a 1/2 page + summary of what you read.  Be sure to submit it when you return to class.

We then went on to prep for our “First Impressions” project.  Using the pre-writing we have been doing, the students who were present were teamed up with a partner and they did intensive interviews and discussed all sorts of interesting things.  They received points for doing this!  To make up the class points, you will need to write a 1+ page memoir of your life (a summary).  Start with your childhood and work your way to the present day.  We shared a LOT in class, so you only will receive full credit if your memoir is at least a page!

We then went over the requirements for the homework assignment – a visual “6 Word Memoir”.  The students who were present today will be writing one about their partner… you will need to write one about yourself.  GOOGLE “6 Word Memoir” for ideas, and I have attached the samples that I made for my friend Vics 6 word memoir and that he made about me Kathy’s 6 word memoir .

The memoir should be smaller than an 8×11 sheet of paper (~1/2 page), contain 6 well selected words that create a phrase about you, pictures, your name should be prominent on the front, and it should be CREATIVE!  It can be computer generated, hand drawn, a collage, etc.

Homework:  6 word memoir, and you will need your spiral notebook, highlighters and a couple envelopes next class!


Wednesday, August 17th -We completed this questionnaire (needs to be complete at the start of next class!):  What makes you You?  This will be read/shared with one of your fellow classmates, so keep this in mind while you complete it.

We also discussed leisure reading in this class and you need to bring something to read to EVERY block class, starting next class!  Choose something that you will enjoy and that will interest you.

We also collected all of the work that is due today.


Tuesday, August 16:  First we did some prewriting that WILL BE SHARED with a classmate (so don’t write anything you are not willing to share). The prewriting was 4 parts:  first, select a word that describes you that begins with your first or second initial and explain why that word describes you; second, write about a place you would like to be right now (your favorite place); third, describe who is the most important person in the world to you and why; fourth, select the word that bests describes who you are at this point in your life.

We then went on to complete the second ERWC start of the year reflections that can be downloaded here:  First of the year reflection – Activity 2   This is a reflection of your language arts class from last year. Complete it and be ready to submit it (along with the first reflection hyperlinked yesterday) when you return.

We also shared the deadlines for the upcoming ACT and SAT test. Be sure to check out their websites! http://sat.collegeboard.org and http://actstudent.org

Homework: syllabus due next class AND First of the year reflection that is hyperlinked last class, as well as the reflection hyperlinked above!


MONDAY, August 15, We went over the syllabus for this class.  Please download it here (if you don’t already have a copy) read it and have your parents sign it and return for homework points:   ERWC Syllabus

Then began our first ERWC reflection piece.  You can download it here:  First of the year ERWC reflection. Be sure to complete this for next class.

We collected the Cal State assessment (which can be accessed here: http://www.csuenglishsuccess.org/ept_practice_tests

We also checked that you “followed” this blog. Be sure to sign the grade sheet for the blog when you return.

Homework: get syllabus signed and complete the reflection


FRIDAY, August 12th – Quickwrite #3 “Advice from a Shark” – at the bottom of Quickwrite #2, record the “Advice from a Shark” found here:  Third Day – advice from a shark (essay writing day).  Comment on your thoughts (you should fill the rest of the back side of your paper with writing for full credit).  You will need to submit yours next class!!!  We discussed the commonalities in our schedules and some of the procedures for day to day activities.

You need to “follow” this blog for homework credit this evening.

I also collected the information sheet that was completed on the first day.

If you were not here to take the CSU success test yesterday, you can take it here: http://www.csuenglishsuccess.org/ept_practice_tests .   I need the results from the FIRST reading test     Just print out the results page at the end!  (Be sure to print ONLY the results page or your will get about 35 pages of results as well)

Homework: Access the CSU test you started in class here: http://www.csuenglishsuccess.org/ept_practice_tests  (it is the first reading test) and plug in your choices (if you were absent on Thursday, you just need to take the complete test online now).   Then, print out the results page from the website.  If you have trouble with your printer, at least write your total score on the top of your answer sheet provided in class.  The results are due Monday.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 11TH – SECOND DAY!  We started class with a 1/2 – 3/4 page journal entry (Quickwrite #2) describing your initial thoughts on each class/teacher you have on your current schedule.  Then we took the Pre-Assessment CSU English Success Test that can be found here:  http://www.csuenglishsuccess.org/ept_practice_tests.   I need the results from only the FIRST reading test. Print out the results page at the end!  (Be sure to print ONLY the results page or your will get about 35 pages of results as well)

Homework: Access the CSU test linked above (the first reading test) and plug in your choices. Then, print out the results page from the website.  If you have trouble with your printer, you may also screen shot and/or email me the test results at kmomaney@cnusd.k12.ca.us.  The results are due by Monday of next week (I will take them tomorrow though)! 

Tomorrow, I will collect the information sheet that was completed on the first day.

Also, procure your supplies; you will need something to leisurely read in class on Thursday/Friday of next week.

Finally, be sure to “follow” this blog!!!



WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10th – FIRST DAY!!!  Welcome to your senior year!!!  I have set up this blog to help you with assignments and to keep you on-track any days that you might be absent.  So… put it in your list of “favorites” and check it often.   Remember though, much of your grade depends on class participation, so be sure to be in class!

Today we wrote your first quick write assignment (responding to the quote “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”),  completed an informational sheet that is due tomorrow that can be downloaded here: senior questionnaire for first of the year , had a quick overview of the class, and learned about this blog.

HOMEWORK – Get Supplies for ERWC IV ; complete the questionnaire and submit it next class; also… start bringing a book that you are interested in reading (for pleasure reading); finally, check out the blog (which you are already doing if you are reading this!)🙂