• When you post, it is important to be respectful; be respectful of other people posting and respect yourself. This means that personal attacks, inappropriate language and content, insults and harassment of any kind are strictly forbidden. Consider this an online classroom and ask yourself if your comments would be acceptable in our physical classroom setting.


  • You will need to be sure that your comments and posts are adding to the discussion of the book or text. Before posting a comment, question, or blog entry, ask yourself, "will this forward the discussion we are having?" Your thoughts and ideas should be supported, and you should be using specific details to illustrate your ideas. Your posts should build on the discussion by responding to comments other students have made on a particular subject.


  • Yes, you will be graded on some of your contributions to this site. What does this mean? Your blog entries and forum posts should be thoughtful reflections, interesting ideas, and discussion provoking comments related to our texts. You will be told in advance which posts will be graded and how they will be assessed. Be sure to proofread before you post.

Good luck, have fun, and happy posting!



There are a number of ways to earn extra credit in our English class. Let's start with grammar.

It is surprising just how many grammar mistakes we pass by every day. Signs that are missing their apostrophes (or have apostrophes when they shouldn't). Newspaper articles with obvious misspellings. Advertisements littered with dangling modifiers and prepositions left to fend for themselves at the end of sentences. So why not point out these mistakes and get some extra credit in the process!


See a sign with a grammar mistake? Take a picture, email Ms. Ward with an explanation of the mistake, and she will post your pic here. We're looking for local examples here, not pictures that you pull off of a Google search or random websites. Keep it local. 

Every day there will be a new word of the day posted on our board. Use it in a sentence, find it in song lyrics, find it in a book and you'll earn a point of extra credit. Write down the sentence where you found our used the words of the day and bring it for the next class period to earn a point of extra credit.

Finally, you can earn extra credit by using our unit vocabulary words outside of class.  So head into World Cultures and use our vocabulary words when you talk with Mr. McCauley. If you do, write down the sentence you said, have your teacher sign it, and you earn a point of extra credit. Find your vocabulary words in books or lyrics, and it is extra credit!

How Many Do You Know?


It's Banned Book Week!


This is our space to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and reflect on the themes of our 10th grade honors English course. Adding content and sharing has never been easier! We will build the knowledge on this site together by:

  • Reflecting on our learning using blogs,
  • Contributing to our online discussions by posting responses and questions, and
  • Customizing a personal page (My Page).

Overall, this site should help us reflect on the themes and goals of the 10th grade English course, celebrate our accomplishments, and streamline how we share and learn information.

This I Believe

In the coming week, we'll be revising our essays in order to present them as speeches. This writing assignment is based on a National Public Radio program called "This I Believe" in which famous and everyday people write and present a short essay peppered with personal anecdotes on a belief they hold dear.  This is our task.

Adapting Your Essay Into A Speech

Watch a couple of the "This I Believe" essays included in the playlist of videos above.  What makes a speech memorable? What makes for a dynamic and engaging presentation?  We'll be adapting your written essay into a digital presentation for an audience outside of our classroom. To do so, we'll be returning to our earlier conversation about rhetoric and style as we think about how those elements translate to a video presentation.

Your goal is to put together a video of you delivering your "This I Believe" essay as a speech. But you have quite a bit of creative input in how you put together your video. Some students may elect to set-up a camera and simply record themselves delivering their speech.  Other students may decide to combine a visual presentation with a smaller web cam image of themselves delivering the speech. Still other students may decide to use a green-screen app to combine both speech and images.  Whatever you choose, you will need to keep the following in mind:

  1. You must have video of you delivering the entire speech. Your image does not have to be the full screen, but you do video of you delivering the speech in your video presentation.
  2. You will use our presentation grading rubric to help guide how you prepare and present your speech. Keep in mind the elements on which your video will be graded.
  3. If you do combine visual presentation elements in your video, limit the amount of text in your video. The focus must be on your spoken words, not on a written text.

Digital Presentation Tools

You don't need anything fancy to make a video. You can easily grab your phone or one of our Chromebooks and record a video. But more than likely, you'll want to edit that video, so here are some tools and ideas to get you started.

  • There are lots of video editing tools that are free. If you plan on combining images, slideshow, or a Prezi with your video, try Screencast-o-matic (it's free!) or sign up for a trial of Camtasia (a more professional video editing program).
  • There are quite a few cool green screen apps to play with, too. We'll have a makeshift green screen in class to help you play with this presentation style.  Or, pick up an inexpensive plastic green table cloth and download a green screen app like Do Ink (for iOS only) or WeVideo which works with Google Drive (click on Add-Ons).
  • If you are using a Chromebook, one of the easiest ways to record a video and to record yourself in a Google Hangout.  You can even set up a banner on the bottom third of your screen to display your name or your essay title. Or, you could download the Explain Everything app (developed by a couple of Philly teachers!) and have some fun.

Blog Posts

The old man that prayed and bowed.

Posted by Kaileigh M on September 16, 2014 at 9:00pm 5 Comments

Although I didn't know him and he didn't know me, I took a curiosity in him. He sat in the back of the church by himself without bothering anyone. Nobody seemed to take an interest in him and nor did anyone give the acknowledgement that…


We are reading Elie Wiesel's Holocaust memoir NIGHT

Making Connections:

Looking More Closely at the Past in Hopes of Understanding the Present And Changing the Future

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

 -Elie Wiesel

If you have a Delaware County library card, download a free audio version of this book by clicking HERE.  You'll also find audio versions to check out in our school library.

Over the course of our next few weeks we will be reading and reflecting on Elie Wiesel's Holocaust memoir Night. Our study will not simply be a literary study of this important text, but will serve as a connection between a past we vowed never to forget and those in the present who are currently suffering as a result prejudice, bigotry, and bias.  Our goal is to discuss the themes that make a text like Night so relevant to our experiences today. 



Read an additional book about the Holocaust or watch a movie, write up a 2-3 page personal reflection, and you can earn up to 10 extra credit points.  Here are some great recommendations:

Significant Quotations Assignments

Demonstrate an understanding of themes found in Night as your craft a creative project and a theme-based essay




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Literary Device of the Week:


WEEK 4: Roots Words

Each week our "Words of the Day" will all come from the same Latin or Greek root.  This week, our words come from the Latin root mut referring to change.

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