Monday, January 27, 2020: Debate

I hope you had a nice weekend! As always, we will start class with MUG Monday today; please be sure to get the notes from a friend if you were out!

Today, you will use the anticipation guide to debate some of the key themes in The Other Wes Moore. Please be on the lookout for these themes and how they are developed throughout the plots of each character and his choices. Remember: you have a voice and it is valid; argue it out! 🙂

Friday, January 24, 2020: The Nature vs. Nurture Debate

Happy Friday! Today, we will practice our annotation skills and read “The Nature vs. Nurture Debate.” This information will become important to our understanding and analysis of both Wes Moores in The Other Wes Moore. Please make sure to answer the text-dependent questions; we will review them in class next week.

Don’t forget! Over the weekend, please also complete the anticipation guide for the novel, as well as USA Test Prep on Sunday. Please don’t hesitate to reach out via Remind or email if you need anything!

Thursday, January 23, 2020: Pre-course Assessment

Today, we will be taking our course pre-assessment. The purpose of this assessment is for me to recognize the class’s strengths and weaknesses so I can teach more effectively throughout the semester. This will ensure that we don’t waste time on concepts you’ve already mastered and work on what you will need in order to best prepare for the EOC at the end of the semester.

With that said, please take this assessment seriously. Although it is not necessarily for a grade, this is an opportunity for you to show me what you already know!

Please click here to log in to your assessment!

Student ID: CCSD ID (Lunch #)

Client ID: gacobb

Once you are done…

(please do these in order)

  1. Finish your acrostic poem from yesterday (final draft – make it pretty!)
  2. Complete this week’s USA Test Prep assignment
  3. Start working on The Other Wes Moore anticipation guide

Wednesday, January 22, 2020: Writing Wednesday and the Nature vs. Nurture debate

For today’s Writing Wednesday, you will write an acrostic poem with a focus word for 2020. Consider the power of words and language:

  • Has someone ever said something to you that has made your day before? What did they say? What words specifically stuck out to you?
  • Has someone ever said something to you that has hurt your feelings before? What did they say? What words specifically stuck out to you?

This time of year, we hear a lot about New Year’s resolutions. But how well do we actually hold ourselves accountable for sticking to our resolutions?

Perhaps a one-word resolution would be easier to stick to! This is used quite a lot in yoga, where participants choose a one-word intention for their practice. What is your intention for 2020? For the new decade? 


Words can inspire you, push you, and motivate you. It is never too late to choose a word to live up to. Language is powerful and limitless.

An acrostic poem is a poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word or phrase when read vertically.

Your task: Create an acrostic poem that centers itself around ONE WORD.

Step 1: Choose a word that inspires you or sticks out to you. Let this be the word that drives you and pushes you to become the best version of yourself.

Step 2: Write this word VERTICALLY, letter by letter.

Step 3: Draft an acrostic poem, using each letter of your word to start the word for each line of your poem. Your poem may rhyme or be free verse.

You MUST use enjambment, which is the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza. (Think of Rupi Kaur’s poetry here.)



Overcoming adversity to

Rise up, to

Wander off on new

Adventures, seeking the

Road to better things,

Dreaming of peace.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020: Wrap up 13th and Gallery Walk

I hope you enjoyed your long weekend off! Since we didn’t have class yesterday, we will start class today with M.U.G. Monday AND Lit. Term Tuesday so we can stay on track. If you were absent today, please be sure to get the notes from a friend.

Today, we will wrap up our viewing of 13th and hold an informal Socratic Seminar around the discussion questions. We will also hold a gallery walk of all American Dream Timelines so you can show off your work!

reminder-fingerThis week’s USA Test Prep is already up! You can get a head start and not worry about it over the weekend. Please make sure those are completed by 11:59pm every Sunday. Go ahead and set a reminder in your phone!

American Dream Timeline: Written Component

As you wrap up your American Dream Timeline projects over the long weekend, please refer to the examples below to help you complete the writing component! Your written component should be 3-4 complete paragraphs that serve as an extension and connection of your bullet points. Be sure to include each bullet point in your explanation and separate paragraphs for different points in your life. Although the examples below only cover three years, yours must encompass all ten years on your project. 

Example 1: Going to college

  • Example bullet points:
    • 17:
      • Take the ACT and SAT
      • Start researching colleges
      • Find out more about FAFSA and financial aid
    • 18:
      • Graduate!
      • Buy a used car
      • Move into a college dorm
    • 19:
      • Save money for apartment
      • Move into an apartment off campus
      • Finish my freshman year with at least a 3.5 GPA

While I am a junior in high school, I will take my ACTs and SATs to include in my college application. I will do some research on colleges to find out what the best fit is for me, as I am looking for a school with a large population and in a metropolitan or urban area. I will also do additional research on the FAFSA and financial aid so I can make sure I am financially ready for college. At 18, I will finally graduate and would like to move into a dorm with a roommate to get the full college experience. Lastly, I will buy a used car so I can start saving some money to get my own apartment at 19.

Example 2: Entering the workforce

  • Example bullet points:
    • 17:
      • Take the ASVAB
      • Start saving money to move out
      • Buy a used car
    • 18:
      • Graduate!
      • Research training programs at Chattahoochee Tech and/or the military
      • Move into an apartment or small house to rent
    • 19:
      • Travel to New York to visit extended family
      • Attend a job fair
      • Find a job that pays at least $15/hour

While I am a junior in high school, I will take the ASVAB so I can assess my skills before entering the workforce. I can also enter the military upon graduation, or I can use my test score to enter a training program at Chattahoochee Tech. I would like to keep working at Hollister so I can save money to move out and buy a used car. Buying a used car will allow me to save more money for a down payment on an apartment or small house to rent; this will give me a sense of independence and freedom when I move out the next year. At 18 years old, I will graduate from high school and research some training programs at Chattahoochee Tech, as well as the military as a back-up plan. At 19, I would like to travel to Staten Island, New York, where most of my extended family lives, as I have not seen them in a few years. I will also attend a job fair to see what options are available for me that I did not even know about. Lastly, after attending the job fair and researching options, I will find a job that pays at least $15 an hour to help me live comfortably.

Please note that your ENTIRE project is due at the START of class on Tuesday, January 21st! 

Thursday and Friday, January 16-17, 2020: 13th

Due to school being out on Monday for MLK Day, I will need some flexibility from you regarding your American Dream Timeline projects. Today, we will be starting a documentary in class, which I do not want to break up over the long weekend. With that said, you will not have time in class today to work on your projects; however, your due date has been extended to the start of class on Tuesday, January 21st when we return. Please check tomorrow’s blog post with some examples for the written component, and do not hesitate to e-mail me or send me a text on Remind over the long weekend if you have any questions!


Before we start our reading of The Other Wes Moore, we will view and discuss Ava DuVernay’s documentary film, 13th. Please note that viewing and discussing this documentary will require us to be mature, sensitive, and inquisitive.

Please refer to the handout provided in class with the discussion questions. As you watch the documentary, be sure to take notes so you can refer to textual evidence as you build your arguments. (Yes – a documentary IS text!)