It’s been a hot minute since I posted one of these. Where did the school year go?! I promise I will do an update once a month until the end of the school year. 

This year we started a class called English Grammar & Composition. It is highly focused on the writing process. We began the first nine weeks with the very basics-the 8 parts of speech. We spent 9 fun-filled weeks learning all about nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. We did a great deal of practice using NoRedInk to “drill and kill” the concepts into our brains. It was a good review for even me. For the second 9 weeks, we focused on several different types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, compound-complex, declarative, imperative, interrogative, and exclamatory. We even threw in run-ons and fragments for good measure. This quarter, we’re working on paragraph development. We are studying 9 modes of writing: narrative, descriptive, illustration, process, comparison, cause and effect, definition, classification, and argumentative. To date, we’ve covered the first three. Next quarter we will tackle essay writing and round it all out with a short research paper just in time for summer break.

This year I was lucky enough to get the seniors back. It has been a few since I got to teach senior English. We are working our way through our new textbook series called My Perspectives. It’s a very well-rounded series that includes literature, grammar, and writing. The senior's focus is British Literature. I won’t lie, it’s been challenging, but we’re all hanging in there and, I think, learning a lot. We’ve studied Beowulf, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Gulliver’s Travels, and Frankenstein just to name a few. We’ve also studied a great deal of the English Romantic movement. Currently, they’re working on their Unit 5 summative assessment project. They were given a list of choices-anything from writing short stories and poetry to narrative essays or creating a graphic novel out of one of the selections we read. It’s been going very well so far. 

In sophomore English, we are also using the 10th Grade version of My Perspectives. We have studied several short stories, novel excerpts, and poems. We have been busy creating storyboards, writing explanatory essays, and creating multimedia presentations. Like the seniors, they are currently working on a summative project for Unit 4 in which they get to choose from a list of projects. 

Finally, my dual credit courses with the academy juniors and some non-academy seniors. Last semester they took Comp I and most received both high school and college credit through LPTC. This semester they’re taking Public Speaking. Parents and guardians, be on the lookout for invitations to come watch your child deliver their speeches. I will be sending the first invite out early next week. I hope you can take some time out of your busy schedules to come to see what we’re up to in class. 

In fact, that invitation goes out to all parents. If you ever want to stop by and join a class or two, please let me know by calling 402-878-2224 or emailing me at sbrasch@winnebagok12.org. There are some protocols that we have to follow for visitors, but I would be thrilled to have you visit my classroom-especially now since I’m old enough to have taught most of my current student’s parents. We can catch up. 

It’s been an eventful year in my classroom. Looking forward to seeing what the next few months have in store. Until next time, I hope you’re all safe and well.