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      Notes for Monday, Sept. 9 Literary Terms Journal

      Foreshadowing:  clue about what is going to happen next

      Characterization:  how an author creates a character

      Direct Characterization:  when an author tells you what a character is like

      Indirect characterization:  when an author shows you what a character is like

      Methods of Indirect Characterization:

           1.  What the character looks like (includes clothes, hair, appearance).

           2.  What the character says, does and thinks.

           3.  What others say, do and think about the character.


      Book Recommendations

      Recommended Books for Book Reports


      Elliot Rosewater books: 

      Blue and Red dots on the Spine

      Miss Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children




      The Last Thing I Remember

      Ready Player One


      Science Fiction: 

      Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

      Westerbrook, The Uglies

      Collins, The Hunger Games

      TV shows and Movies



      George Martin, Game of Thrones

      J. R. R. Tolkein, Lord of the Rings

      JK Rowling, Harry Potter;

      Riordan, Percy Jackson



      Steven King

      Twilight, Meyer

      World War Z, Brooks

      Rot and Ruin, Maybery


      Sports Books: 

      Walter Dean Meyers;

      Chris Crutcher, Ironman

      Rich Wallace, Wrestling Sturbridge

      Sports Bios


      African American: 

      Walter Dean Meyers, Monster

      Sharon Draper, Tears of a Tiger


      Books For Girls:

      Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

      Jodi Picoult The Pact)

      Cecilly Von Ziegeser, Gossip Girl

      Beatrice Sparks Go Ask Alice

      Hopkins, Crank

      Books for Boys:

      Tom Clancy, Net Force

      Gary Paulson (No Hatchet)


      Young Adult Fiction: 

      John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

      Robert Cormier, The Chocolate War

      Rob Thomas, Slave Day

      Jerry Spinelli; Stargirl

      SE Hinton (No Outsiders)

      Janet Tashjian Fault Line Terry Trueman Stuck in Neutral;

      Laurie Anderson Speak

      Rodman Philbrick, Freak the Mighty;

      Graham McNamee, Acceleration;

      Schraff or Langdon, Blueford Series;

      Alice Seabold, The Lovely Bones


      Adult Fiction: 

      Michael Chrichton

      Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code;

      Thomas Harris;

      William Goldman, The Princess Bride;

      John Steinbeck



      Dave Pelzer,

      Gregory Williams,

      other memoirs (Stick Figure, The Glass House, Have a Nice Day)  



      The Last Shot,

      Hoop Dreams,

      Friday Night Lights,

      History Books


      Most Dangerous Game


      Full Text:


      The class had quizzes on Tuesday and Thursday 8/27 and 8/29


      Friday 8/30 and this week we are writing and editing an ending to the MDG.  It should be finished by Friday, 9/6



      Class Proceedures

      Class Procedures for Mr. Richardson


      Contact Information:  You can reach me at this e-mail, and can check your assignments at my website.  This is my personal site, but all the business stuff will be under the English 9 or English 11 tab.




      Bells:  Time before the bell rings is your time.  You may socialize, use the restroom, sharpen your pencil, or talk to me about anything.  When the bell rings however, you are on my time.  It is time to stop talking, take your seats, and get ready for the opening activity (which will either be on the board, or something you should know) while I take attendance.  The end-of-class bell does not excuse you.  That bell is to be thought of as a reminder for teachers to let students go very soon.  I will dismiss you from class.  Do not line up at the door for any reason.  It is rude and disrespectful.  You will have time to work in class, but that does not mean that you get to quit five to ten minutes early and line up at the door.


      Tardies:  I will be following the school’s policy exactly. 


      Leaving the room and your seat:  There are very few reasons to leave your seat during class time.  You may need to sharpen your pencil or blow your nose during class, but otherwise you are only getting up to get attention.  Wait to throw things away until class is over.  Some obvious exceptions are if you are bleeding or throwing up.  I have band-aids here, try not to get blood on anything, because then I have to call the custodian.  If you are going to throw up, just get out of here.  Each student will be given three passes out during the quarter.  These are to go to the bathroom, get a missing assignment, or your materials. 



      Quizzes:  Quizzes will be given after a reading assignment.  Almost all quizzes are worth 5 points.  However you will have six questions to get all five points.  That way, if you miss one, you can still get 100%.  If you get all six, you get extra credit.  If you are absent, you will be excused from a quiz that we take on the day you return, all other quizzes must be made up.  Quizzes can be on scratch paper, but need to be at least a half sheet.

      Journals:  Journals will be done to allow you to make connections between the literature and your everyday life.  You will be graded on how much you write, and the quality of your attempt.  All journal assignments will be recorded on the marker board so you can get your makeup work there.  If you write a journal that is personal, mark it “Do Not Read!” and I won’t, no matter how tempting.  You will be responsible to keep track of your own journals until I ask for them.

      Papers:  Papers are the largest grades in this class.  Part of English class is writing term papers and creative assignments.  Often a paper will have two due dates, one for a rough draft, and one for a final draft, one week later.  You may turn in a paper as often as you like to be proofread.  You will also get a cover sheet for every paper assignment.  Please turn that sheet in with your paper.  All papers are expected to be typed.

      Book Reports:  You will have a book report due every quarter.  The book report is a special kind of paper with its own rules, which will be discussed later.  The book reports will be due on a Friday during the 7th or 8th week of a quarter.  Do not put this off until the last minute.  There are several people retaking my classes because of a failure to do a book report.

      Final Exam/Project:  There will be a mandatory final exam each semester.  Anything we cover can be on it, and probably will be, so save all of your work!

      Other Activities:  Other things we may do in class include: participation points, presentations, worksheets, notes, and artwork.  Your requirements will be explained as needed.


      Late Work:  My policy on late work for major assignments is a ten percent drop for every day your assignment is late and unexcused.  You will see your name on the board with slash marks after it for each day your assignment is late.  After five slashes your name will be erased and you will take a 0.  Don’t expect me to do more than that.  It is your responsibility to see that your assignments get in.  I do not accept technology excuses such as:  “My printer didn’t work”, or “the computer didn’t save it.”  For minor assignments (quizzes, journals and workbook pages) I will periodically list the names of the people that owe me work, and a due date for that work.  You can make up any of these assignments when we have time.


      Ipads:  I intend to use the Ipads as much as possible.  When we are having work time, I expect you to be working.  If you are playing around on your Ipad, you will reap the consequences of that.  Many of the stories in the textbook are also available on the internet.  You do not have permission to record me or take my picture at any time during class, unless you get EXPRESS permission.


      Grading:  I follow the grading scale set by the school corporation.

      I will update grades as often as possible, but because I give less assignments than most teachers, I don’t update them as often as others.  Remember: Total points/ Points possible X 100 = your percentage.


      Gum, Candy, and Beverages:  Open beverages are not allowed in class.  I don’t want to see candy during my class, if you can eat it before, and throw away the wrappers; it won’t be a problem.   Gum is OK if I don’t see it or hear it, so no bubbles or snapping, also make sure it hits the trash can when you are finished with it.  No food, like chips and stuff, ever.  Film time is not snack time.


      Consequences:  All behavior problems will be handled with referrals.  I wrote very few discipline referrals last year, and I expect that trend to continue.  Some things that can get you into trouble include: excessive talking and roughhousing, writing on the board without permission, not having materials (textbook, paper, something to write with), not being where I send you, language, refusal to work, disturbing the class, and other attention seeking behaviors.  Other things can get you in trouble too.  Use your head and be respectful!


      The Library:  Generally, I have been very successful sending students to the library to work.  Treat them better than you would treat me, and you’ll have success with them as well.  They can be your best friend at this school.


      The Keys to Success:  My intent with this class is to challenge you to think about the world around you.  Show up with an open mind, ready to learn about the truth.  You will have to be self-directed to succeed here.  I don’t baby students.  You need to decide today that you are going to succeed in High School.  There is no more time to waste.  I have too much to teach you.  J



      When I was in ninth grade I decided to become a teacher.  I was really good at math, and enjoyed the act of explaining things so I was going to teach math.  However, I decided in tenth grade I would rather teach English.  My tenth grade teacher was Mr. Deidrich.  I didn’t learn a lot from Mr. D, except that if you smoke too much it will discolor your mustache, the 2 hour cut of the movie Dune is incoherent, and that a good teacher keeps crappy paperbacks in their room so kids can steal them.  The last thing I learned from him is something he put on the chalkboard one day that I can still see in my mind’s eye.  He wrote, “Literature = Life” on the board and changed the way I looked at the world forever. 

                     At that moment, I realized that I didn’t want to be a math teacher, I wanted to be a life teacher.   And that is what I have been, since the tenth grade.  I teach English because that is the class where I get to spend the most time talking to kids about the real world and life in general.  I use the readings in my classroom as a springboard for discussion about life, history, religion, politics, and philosophy.  I use the writing in my classroom to help students learn how to express those ideas better.   For me, part of the school experience is learning about the real world and each student’s place in it.  Modern educational theory has driven out that type of thinking and self-reflection in the pursuit of higher test scores, but it still has a place.  That place is in my classroom.

                     That is why in 12 years at Muncie Central, I have not had one single parental or student complaint.  It’s not because my class is easy and I just give away grades; my class averages are about the same as every other teacher in the department.  It’s because my students respect me and respect what I do for them in the classroom.  It is why over 200 former students have found me on Facebook and requested me as a friend.  It is why I get stopped by students almost every time I am out and about in town.  It is why friends with no connection to the school tell me stories about students of mine they meet in Muncie who tell them that I was their favorite teacher.  It is because I touched their LIVES, because I made them THINK, because I showed them I CARED, not because I taught them grammar or how to write a paper.

                     I am not primarily a teacher of English.  I am a teacher of students first.  Some, perhaps most, high school teachers are subject matter teachers first, but I always have and will continue to put students first as long as I am privileged enough to be a teacher.

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