In Context

Thursday, November 12, 2009

English Agenda for November 16, 2009

English Department Agenda
Monday, November 16, 2009----Room 209 at 2:20 PM
Recorder: Kristin Shipp

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more,
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility,
But when the blast of warre blows in our eares,
Then imitate the action of the tyger:
Stiffen the sinews, conjure up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-featured rage,
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Now set the teeth, and stretch the nostrill wide,
Hold hard the breath, and bend up every
Spirit to his full height! On, on, you noble English!

[ ]
William Shakespeare, King Henry V, Act 3 scene 1

I. Departmental Features--
  • Media Center Resources Update--Linda Norris
  • CHS School Improvement Plan (SIP) 2009-2010
  • Instructional Strategies Database (Intranet--Secondary Language Arts)
  • Instructional Strategies Database
  • Poetry Out Loud--Rus VanWestervelt and Corey O'Brien
II. The Nitty Gritty/Updates/Reminders--
  • Book Orders
  • Administrative Updates
  • ACCUPLACER Testing--College Readiness Initiative--HCPSS and HCC--Rescheduled for Tuesday, December 1--English 11 (86 students)--In the DELL Lab--All Day

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

I. Departmental Feature--
  • October Minutes
  • Media Center Resources Update--Linda Norris
  • CHS School Improvement Plan (SIP) 2009-2010
  • Instructional Strategies Database (Intranet--Secondary Language Arts)
II. The Nitty Gritty/Updates/Reminders--
  • Book Orders
  • Updates from CHS (10/15) & County (10/14) ITL Meetings
  • ACCUPLACER Testing: College Readiness Initiative--HCPSS and HCC--English 11 on Thursday, November 19 in the DELL Lab--All Day
  • HoCoPoLitSo Poet-in-Residence Visit: Terence Winch; Wednesday, October 28th during Period 5

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 21, 2009

I. Departmental Feature--
  • Outcomes of Data Conversations from September 4, 2009: Implications and Goal Setting
  • Individual Reading Conferences (IRCs)
  • Metacognitive Log Prompts
  • October 10 SAT
  • October 14 PSAT
II. The Nitty Gritty/Updates/Reminders--
  • SGA Letters to Soldiers Feedback
  • NCTE National Gallery of Writing:
  • October 20, 2009--the National Day on Writing:
  • National Writing Project:
  • Letters About Literature--Maryland Humanities Council
Updates from CHS (9/17) & County (9/16) ITL Meetings
  • Budget
  • Schedule Changes, Drop/Add Signature Forms
  • Interim Reports issued to students on October 9
  • Hall Passes
  • CHS Staff Reference Info Folder on CLC
  • Contact to report flu-like symptoms
  • Printshop
  • Textbook Replacement Plan
  • Quarterly Assessments--Grades 9-11
  • Sample Anchor Papers Needed
  • Poetry Out Loud:
  • Writing Manuals
  • Textbook Selection Committee
  • LA Coordinator/Facilitator Visits
  • Student Writing Folders
  • ACCUPLACER Testing
  • College Readiness Initiative--English 11
  • Substitute Lesson Plans
  • Please keep current in a clearly visible folder in your classroom
  • Include Syllabi, Objectives, Seating Charts

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

  • Room 209 at 1:00 PM
  • Warm greetings to all, and a special welcome to Shanea Bradley in English 9 & 11 this year
    and to Christine Duignan, Johns Hopkins English Intern!

I. Departmental Feature--

  • Letters to Soldiers--Fall 2009 SGA Project--Ann Mulhollen

II. The Nitty Gritty/Updates/Reminders--

III. Grade Level Team Meetings--

  • Book Charts-- As a team, please check your syllabi for BALANCE and DIVERSITY
    (Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Time Periods, Genres)
  • Check current English Book Inventory Binder in 601 for ordering needs

~Thank you for all that you do for our students and for CHS.~

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer Reading Suggestions

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 8, 2009

I. Departmental Feature--
  • English AP Literature & Composition Exam--May 2009--Mag Polek
  • English AP Language & Composition Exam--May 2009--Holly Pasciullo & Kristin Shipp

II. The Nitty Gritty/Updates/Reminders--

  • April Minutes--Liz Chung
  • English Awards 2009 at
  • English Schedule 09-10
  • CHS English Summer Reading List Input
  • Echoes and Reflections: A Multimedia Curriculum on the Holocaust
  • Summer School Classes--June 29 to August 7 (8:00 to 12:45 PM at CHS)
  • End of the Year Clean-up--Final Exams & Keys, Books, Classrooms, Teacher Materials
~Thank you for all you have done this year for our students and for CHS.~

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

English Awards 2009

Congratulations, Seniors!

CHS English Award: Stephen Rane

HoCoPoLitSo All-County Writing Awards:
Promise & Achievement--Yang Liu
Promise & Achievement--Stephen Rane

1st Place Personal Essay--Sarah Hayashi
2nd Place Personal Essay--Caitlin Pomerantz
3rd Place Personal Essay--Bill Ge
1st Place Poetry--Jessica Stein
3rd Place Poetry--Megan Lieberman
2nd Place Short Story--Aaron Mick

Distinguished Eagle in Publications Award: Alyssa Bailey

Wingspan Newspaper Awards:
Editorial Excellence--Shelby McKay
Excellence in Newspaper Writing--Eric Feinstein
Excellence in Newspaper Design--Rahel Boghossian
Aura of Wingspan--Clara Heck and Megan Leiberman

Eyrie Yearbook Awards:
Excellence in Publication and Design--Chloe Heckman
Excellence in Production Management--Maria Souza
Aura of Eyrie--Courtney Brown, Lauren Hunter, and Kristen Mathe

Maryland Voices Creative Nonfiction Journal Awards:
Editorial Excellence--Claire Li
Excellence in Graphics and Design--Aimee Kutt

Aquila Literary Magazine Awards:
Editorial Excellence--Amanda Lauer, Pattie Lin, Kate Calvert, and Claire Shreibfeder

Saturday, May 9, 2009

English Online HSA--Thursday, May 21, 2009

Testing Tips for Parents & Students:
  • Parents, please encourage your son/daughter and be positive; ask your child to discuss HSA class activities with you.
  • Be aware of test anxiety levels and reassure your child that the class activities conducted throughout the year have prepared sophomores for this important assessment.
  • Make sure your child sleeps well the night before the test and eats breakfast that morning.
  • This year, students in Howard and Montgomery countries will complete the HSA tests online. Parents and students can view a sample online test (students are doing this to prepare in English classes as well) on HSAonline practice (a direct link to Once on the site, select EPAT. Sample tests and answers are also available for downloading.
  • More HSA info and links are listed below.
  • No points are deducted for wrong answers. Therefore, students are encouraged to attempt all questions, even those about which they are uncertain.
  • Students, arrive at your assigned testing room early so you have time to get settled, relax, and focus.
  • Testing will begin promptly and last approximately three hours.
  • Bring a snack and drink in your backpack. You will get a short break at the end of each section of the test when you may eat a snack/have a drink in the hallways outside of the computer areas, and use the restroom. A healthy snack will help keep you alert during the entire test.
Sophomores--remember that your families, teachers and administrators at CHS support you and wish you well. Just think, you are almost juniors!
  • Some content adapted on 5.03.09 from; thank you also to Shawn Hastings-Hauf and Kristen McManus for their contributions.

"Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
Green Day Album: Nimrod, International Superhits
Written by Billie Joe Armstrong
Release Date: November 13, 2001

Another turning point
A fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist
Directs you where to go
So make the best of this test
And don't ask why
It's not a question
But a lesson learned in time

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 21, 2009

National Poetry Month Resources--
Ars Poetica: Poems about Poetry:

I. Departmental Feature--

  • English HSA Bridge Plans & Mastery Class--Kelli McDonough
  • After-School HSA Prep--6 Thursdays (10th Grade English Team)
  • Online HSA Testing--Week of May18-22

II. The Nitty Gritty/Updates/Reminders--

  • March Minutes
  • Nominations for the 2009 English Award and The Emily Davis Memorial Scholarship
  • Summer School Classes--June 29 to August 7 (8:00 to 12:45 PM at CHS)
  • Letters from Home--SGA Writing Project

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

APRIL is National Poetry Month

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

Sources and Sample Activities:
This website from the Academy of American Poets includes information on the history of National Poetry Month.

2.) The 2009 poster features the lines "Do I dare/Disturb the universe?" from T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" at and in TextFlows format at

In honor of National Poetry Month, students are introduced to a variety of poetic forms. One (or more) student each day is assigned as "poet of the day" for the month of April. Students are provided with several models for creating different forms of poetry, such as Shape Poems, Acrostic Poems, Diamante Poems, or Instant Poetry Forms. Each student might select one form of poetry and write an original poem, which he or she may also illustrate. On their assigned days, students will read their poetry out loud to the class.

Is a Sentence a Poem?
Students are given (or directed online to) a picture and asked individually to describe the picture in one sentence of less than twenty words. Afterward, the class analyzes syntax, imagery, and meaning in a chosen one-sentence poem by a canonical author to decide what makes it a poem. Students return to their own descriptive sentence to decide whether it is, is not, or could be a poem, justifying their reasoning. This exercise encourages students to dissect an established poem while defining the characteristics of the genre of poetry. Students then apply their knowledge during reflection upon their own work.

*Excerpts accessed on March 31, 2009.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 16, 2009

"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) (Awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature)

I. Departmental Feature--

II. The Nitty Gritty/Updates/Reminders--

  • February Minutes
  • Dear Soldier--SGA Writing Project
  • Local English Assessment Data from INROADS
    Grade Level Team Meetings
    4th Quarter Assessments & Final Exams
  • Official Ballots for Senior Superlatives--Rus VanWestervelt
  • Feedback on Great Source 2005 Vocabulary Books
  • --Vocabulary for Achievement, Third Course (9th Grade)
    --Vocabulary for Achievement, Fourth Course (10th Grade)
    --Vocabulary for Achievement, Fifth Course (11th Grade)
    --Vocabulary for Achievement, Sixth Course (12th Grade)
  • Utilization of the High School Writing Manual and Style Guide (especially for MLA Research Paper Guidelines)
  • English Academic Support Day--Wednesday, March 25
  • Junior interviews will take place March 31 to April 2 during English classes this year; please complete the resume writing lesson by March 23
  • End of Third Quarter--Friday, April 3

Saturday, February 7, 2009

February 9, 2009

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."
--Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian Philosopher 1889-1951

I. Departmental Feature

  • Vocabulary Development--
    "Content-Area Vocabulary: A Critical Key to Conceptual Learning" by Janis M. Harmon and Karen D. Wood from Adolescent Literacy in Perspective, October 2008
  • PowerPoint Summary and Discussion
  • Survey of Great Source 2005 Vocabulary Books

II. The Nitty Gritty--

  • Administrative Visit
  • English Academic Support Day--Wednesday, February 11
  • Poet-in-Residence Liz Rees visit--Thursday, February 12
    Kristen McManus' 4B 10 GT class
  • International visitors from England--Tuesday, February 17
    Mag Polek's 4B 12 AP class
  • Junior interviews will take place March 31 to April 2;
    complete the resume writing lesson by March 23


  • ETS Criterion Online Writing Evaluation Program
    Grades 9 and 10; Regular and Review Classes
  • ACCUPLACER--English 11 Classes
    College Readiness Elective
  • CPR Rhetoric Activities


  • Celebrate African American Writers throughout February: Twentieth National African American Read-In

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2009 National African American Read-In

Celebrate the Twentieth Year for the National African American Read-In:
  • Sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and NCTE
  • For this year only, the National Director has extended the African American Read-In for the entire month of February.
  • Schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations, and interested citizens are urged to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting and coordinating Read-Ins in their communities. Hosting a Read-In can be as simple as bringing together friends to share a book, or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers.
  • Accessed on January 28 from

Monday, January 12, 2009

Inauguration Poem

Poet Elizabeth Alexander was selected to compose and deliver a poem at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Ceremony at the United States Capitol on January, 20, 2009. She is the fourth poet in history to be so honored. She delivered her poem after President Obama’s Inaugural Address. Accessed on 1.12.09 from

Read "Praise Song for the Day" Inaugural Poem by Elizabeth Alexander from

Other sites of interest:

~English HSA Online Resources~

~English HSA Online Resources~

  • Maryland HSA Overview & History
  • Class of 2009--First Class Required to Pass Tests for Graduation
  • High School Testing Content & Data
  • High School Assessment Testing Calendar
  • Publicly Released Test Forms--2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
  • Answer Keys & Scoring Rubrics
  • Online HSA Courses
  • Testing Options/Accommodations
  • Contact Information
~from The Tragedy of King Richard II (Act 3, Scene 3) (1623) by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Yet looks he like a king: behold, his eye,
As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
Controlling majesty: alack, alack, for woe,
That any harm should stain so fair a show!

~from Moby-Dick (Chapter 96: The Try-Works) (1851) by Herman Melville (1819-1891)

There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.

~from Love's Phases (1899) by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Love hath the wings of the eagle bold,

Cling to him strongly
What if the look of the world be cold,
And life go wrongly?
Rest on his pinions, for broad is their fold;
Love hath the wings of the eagle bold.

~from What the Eagle Says (1999) by Xi Chuan (born Liu Jun, 1963)

Among men there are men who are not men, just like among eagles there are eagles that are not eagles: there are eagles that are forced to pace up and down the alleyways, and there are men who are forced to fly through the air.