Hello student new to Mr. Earnshaw’s class (and a few of you who, ya know). This year, we will be taking many quizzes and other assessments online through Google Classroom! To help familiarize you with the quiz form – made in Google Forms – this week we have a starter quiz, to be completed as another grade for orientation. To complete the quiz, you will follow this link to the form.
You will need to know your school Google log in – it’s your email@example.com, and a password that you might need to reset. Check in with the office or Mr. Kinstler to get this password sorted out.
After you have logged in and successfully completed the 3-question quiz, you will be entered into a drawing for the year’s first giveaway!
There will be two winners – a student from the freshmen class and one from the senior – chosen at random on Thursday! Yay!
Don’t forget that Thursday is also the Gameshow Quiz over Week 1 – more fabulous prizes to be won!
Ain’t back to school grand?
by Edna St. Vincent Millay, (1892-1950)
The railroad track is miles away,
And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day
But I hear its whistle shrieking.
All night there isn’t a train goes by,
Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
And hear its engine steaming.
My heart is warm with friends I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing;
Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.
Every year, the last week in September becomes the focal point for a concerted effort to celebrate the freedom to read. In this country, the First Amendment’s right to free speech must contend with a long history of censorship – promoted by individuals, organizations, and government. Banned Books Week is organized by the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and a host of non-profits, publishers, and legal defense funds. It is supported by myself, among much of the reading world, and, through this week’s Extra Credit opportunity, by you!
To receive Extra Credit for Banned Books Week, you must choose one of the following options, and use professional images, symbols, designs, or media:
A) Create a Poster to celebrate the week, using the three requirements below:
- Include the title Banned Books Week, in flashy color/font to catch the attention of passerby
- Include a quote about censorship from this video provided by Simon & Schuster Books: Celebrate the Freedom to Read
- Include suggestions on how to celebrate Banned Books Week in school or at home
B) Create a Handout to share information about banned and challenged books, using these criteria:
- A list of frequently challenged books (Here’s a resource from the ALA)
- Reasons why books are often challenged (Resources from the Huffington Post, in 2012 and 2014)
- A checklist of frequently challenged books – check off as many as you’ve read!
C) Compose a 1 page essay (typed – 12pt font, TNR, double-spaced) on To Kill a Mockingbird as a challenged book. Why (and where/when) has it frequently been challenged? What might be ironic about wanting this book censored? What is your reflection on reading the book – how might you oppose or defend a challenge to this book at our school?
Whichever option you choose, it must be submitted by the end of the day Thursday, October 1. To be eligible, you must follow the requirements for each option, as well as aim for professional quality (Mom would put it on the fridge, and so would I!). Successful efforts will be awarded 20pts, and above-average efforts 30pts (each option is worth more than a homework assignment!). If nothing else, you can celebrate this week by finishing TKAM, and moving on to a new book which, having been published, probably has found someone to challenge it by now!
We are entering one of our busiest times of the school year. A full month of school completed, plus the end of MAP testing, means that teachers are going to start administering tests and district assessments (if they haven’t already). Additionally, Homecoming next week, active sports seasons, fall festivals, and changing hours of daylight are all liable to mess up your study and reading schedules. Bearing that in mind, please do your best to keep up with assignments, and don’t hesitate to contact me with questions for clarification or edification. If you need a mental break or food for thought, check out some of the happenings and hootenannies here in southeast Wyoming’s wacky fall (click on the bolded links for more info):
Grant will allow Wyoming to test smart vehicle tech – driving on I-80 is going to get even more interesting in the near future (check back next month for my reaction to the morning I drove to Burns and saw a vampire trucker and the aftermath of a fiery ceremony)
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, sequel to last year’s adaptation of James Dashner’s book, is out in cinemas today, and you might check it out for three reasons: 1) It’s based on a book series (which you can order through the class orders!), 2) It doesn’t follow the book so closely you have to know what’s going on, and 3) The filmmakers were honest enough, and kind enough, not to split the third book into two movies — looking at you Mockingjay!
Cheyenne Zombiefest returns this weekend – Halloween lasts all year for some people (and every day in English class hosts the making of some new ghost story…). Most of my friends through Cheyenne Little Theatre are those kinds of people, and they will be volunteering this weekend at the annual undead revival in downtown Cheyenne. The Halloween stores are open, and the craft stores have probably started to put out Christmas decorations, which means that spooky season is upon us again, and you Walking Dead obsessives can get your fix. [Heads up: not everybody who attends does so with the PG-13 rating in mind — there are some costumes and behaviors that might not be for everyone (myself included), so use discretion if you attend.]
And on top of all that, the Pokes are away this weekend, so you don’t have to drive all the way to Laramie just to be distressed by our lack of defense (for what it’s worth, my grad school’s team — which is a Division I team, Zane — is 2-0: Go Jacks!).