TED Talk of the Week:

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.



  • 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!

Speaker Series

Check out all the speakers and authors who have visited with our classes during the 2014-2015 school year:

Click on the images below to watch each presentation.

Donna Nordmark Aviles visits with 2nd block students on Monday, March 2nd. 

  • On a Monday morning, Donna Nordmark Aviles came to speak with our tenth grade class about the history of the orphan train movement in the United States. Ms. Aviles shared the story of her grandfather, sent to ride the orphan train to Kansas in 1919 along with his brother. Inspired by her grandfather's story, Ms. Aviles spent a number of years researching the history of the orphan train movement, one of the first social welfare programs introduced in the United States. Orphans from the large east coast cities, like New York City and Philadelphia where immigration populations exploded, were taken from orphanages and placed onto trains headed west where Midwestern families would either adopt the children or use them as extra labor on farms.

Christopher McDougall,  journalist and author of the best-selling author of Born to Run visited students on Thursday, February 26th.

  • What an amazing experience hearing writer Christopher McDougall speak on his experiences as a journalist in Angola and Rwanda in addition to his time spent with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons. These experiences lead to his research on barefoot running and what can make run pleasurably rather than painful.

Zachariah OHora, author and illustrator, visited with students on February 10, 2015.

  • Students learned more about the inspiration for Zach OHora's illustrations and children's book. From music to daily experiences, Mr. OHora taught students to keep their eyes open for the inspiration around them.

Elise Juska, author of the recent fiction novel The Blessings, visited on January 15, 2015

  • The Philadelipia Inquirer described Ms. Juska's book, The Blessings as a "bighearted novel... Juska's moving, multifaceted portrait of the Blessing family." Join our creative writing class as we listen to the author and question her about her process.

Cameron Conaway, mixed martial arts fighter and poet, spoke with students on January 13, 2015

  • Cameron Conaway, author of The Malaria Poems, shares his experiences and process, including mindfulness, with students from our creative writing and 10th grade English classes.

Dave Patten, singer/song writer, novelist, actor, and Haverford High alum, met with students on December 22, 2014.

  • Dave Patten, author of the recently published Run of the Mill, spoke with creative writing and 10th grade English students about what it takes to succeed in creative fields and shared some advice for aspiring creative types.

Three young adult novelists speak with students on November 6, 2014.

  • Young adult (YA) genre authors, E.C. Myers, Ellen Jensen Abbott and Marie Lamba introduce their new work, discuss their writing process and answer questions from high school creative writing classes.

Holocaust survivor Mr. Michael Herskovitz speaks with students about his experiences in three death camps on September 29, 2014.

  • Michael Herskovitz was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929 to hard working parents and a happy family. In March 1944 he noticed German soldiers in the village and learned that Germany had invaded his country. Mr. Herskovitz shares experiences inside Auschwitz and other "work camps", through to liberation and finally realizing a successful family life and business in the USA. An earlier recording of his presentation can be found here.


The Giver WINS!!


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.

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 on YouTube by clicking HERE.

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. 


Click here to see full list of resources


Significant Quotations Assignments

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

CLICK HERE to see our quotations page full screen

Themes Prezi


Video 5: Night Essay from msward on Vimeo.

This I Believe

Adapting Your Essay into a Speech

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. Unfortunately, your Chromebook doesn't come with a program that records and saves videos, which means you will need to download an app. You can use the free app Screencastify to simply video record yourself or to record anything on your screen. This is useful if you want images or slides in your video. Find the app in the Chrome store.
  • 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).
  • Or, you could download the Explain Everything app (works best on iOS) and have some fun.

Updating Your Online Portfolio:



Our Daily Agenda:

Please use the arrows in the lower left corner to scroll through our daily schedule. You can enlarge this presentation to full-screen making it easier to read by clicking on the X with arrows.


There are no birthdays today

Rhetorical Element of the Week:

Rhetorical Element: HYPERBOLE


Each week our "Words of the Day" will all come from the same Latin or Greek root. This week's words all share a common root from the Latin greg meaning "group."

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