Mrs. Hernandez


Intro to Expository Writing  4 Square Planning Method  Thesis statement practice  Sample Essay Courage  Sample Essay for Courage  Sample Expository Essay on courage Expository Outline Explanation   Expository Writing Rubric    How to Write an Expository Essay    Revising and Editing Checklist  List of Transition Words    Vivid Word Choices



Monday, August 27th:
Students were introduced to the teacher through an Animoto video and were allowed the opportunity to ask questions about the teacher. Some classes started the “Alliteration Name Game” and will continue getting to know the rest of the class and class procedures tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 28th:
Students continued getting to know each other, and some were introduced to the course syllabus. Classes that did not get a chance to review the syllabus will do so tomorrow, and students will have an upcoming quiz over the syllabus.

Wednesday, August 29th:
1st Block: Students finished reviewing the syllabus and will have a quiz over it tomorrow.
3rd Block: Students took their quiz over the syllabus and reviewed it in class. Students were also introduced to the Cornell note taking method and will use it tomorrow to practice taking notes over the use of symbolism.
5th Block: Students finished reviewing the syllabus and will have a quiz over it tomorrow.

Thursday, August 30th:
1st Block: Students played the “Alliteration Name Game” to get to know each other and then took their quiz over the class syllabus. Students reviewed the quiz and discussed the different emergency drills in place on campus (fire, shelter in place, lockdown, etc.).
3rd Block: Students reviewed the different emergency drills in place on campus as well as the Cornell note taking method from yesterday. Students then began viewing a Power Point presentation on symbolism to practice taking Cornell notes. Students were introduced to universal and contextual symbols and discussed the differences of each.

Cornell Notes Template

5th Block: Students took their quiz over the class syllabus and reviewed the correct answers. Students then reviewed the Cornell note taking method and began viewing the Power Point Presentation on symbolism to practice. Students were introduced to universal symbols and examples of each.

*see Cornell Notes Template link in 3rd Block

Friday, August 31st:
1st Block: Students finished taking Cornell notes over symbolism in reference to universal and contextual symbols. See the link below for the Power Point presentation.


Students then reviewed the Name Strip Assignment which uses the notes from the symbolism Power Point to create a visual representation of their name using contextual and universal symbols. Copy of Name Strip handout is included in the Power Point.
3rd Block: Students used the block to continue working on their Name Strip Assignment. Rough sketches are due Monday for the teacher’s signature.
5th Block: See 1st Block (same).

Monday, September 3rd:
1st Block: Students used the period to finish their name strip sketches and needed the teacher’s signature and special name strip paper before the class ended. Signed copies of the syllabus were also due today. Students will need to make sure they’re slowly accumulating the school supplies needed for class this week.
3rd Block: Students finished their name strip sketches over the weekend and presented them to the teacher at the beginning of the class for a signature and name strip paper. Before using the rest of the class period to work on their final name strip product, students reviewed the requirements for the summer reading assignments and how to submit these assignments electronically through Students need to create a student account if they are not already familiar with the website and use the following credentials to be linked to the class:
  Class ID: 18693664
  Enrollment Key: diamondbacks
Once linked to the class, two folders will be available for the two online submissions (vocab. chart and reader response journals). Please see the summer reading link at the top of this page for specific instructions in the assignment packet as well as downloadable templates for each.
5th Block: see 1st block (same)

Tuesday, September 4th:
All blocks – Career Cruising in the library

Wednesday, September 5th:
All blocks – all classes finished their name strips. CP classes showed their sketches to receive their signature and continued working on their final product. Pre-AP used the period to finalize their finished product and needed to submit it before the bell. CP will be able to finish their name strips for homework and turn them into the sub tomorrow.

Thursday, September 6th:
All blocks – CP classes turned in their name strip to the substitute and received a copy of the short story “Eleven” along with a copy of the “Reading with a Pen” annotation guide. Students read the story and annotated it based on the annotation guide symbols. Students then took out a sheet of paper and explained in writing the source of Rachel’s frustration in the story citing two quotes from the story to support their explanation. Everything was turned in to the substitute before the bell. Click on the links below to download your copy of the short story and annotation guide.

Imagery passage 2 Eleven – short story
Read with a Pen — Secondary update – use the second page for high school, not the first page for junior high

Friday, September 7th:
All blocks – Students received their annotated copy of “Eleven” back and used it to answer assessment questions (see below). After turning their annotated copy back in along with their questions, students took out a sheet of paper and wrote a diagnostic expository essay (which means it’s just for me to gauge your writing style and level) on explaining the top two requirements necessary for each classroom in order to avoid a traumatic experience such as Rachel’s in “Eleven”. Students needed to include an introduction, two body paragraphs (one per requirement), and a closing. This was due at the end of class.

Eleven – assessment questions

Monday, September 10th:
1st Block: Students discussed last week’s assignments and worked on their quick assessment questions from “Eleven” (sub forgot to pass them out). The class then began name strip presentations; five students presented. Another five students will present tomorrow and so on until everyone has presented. At the end of class, students were given a blank Cornell notes template to begin taking notes over author’s voice via the teacher’s Power Point presentation.
3rd Block: Five students presented their name strips, and each day five more students will present until all have been shared with the class. Students then began taking Cornell notes over the Author’s Voice Power Point presentation and will continue tomorrow.
5th Block: Same as 3rd block.

Tuesday, September 11th:
1st Block: Students presented five more name strips and then finished taking Cornell notes over the “Author’s Voice” presentation. For homework, students must create their questions for their notes and write their summary that answers the essential question listed on their notes.
3rd Block: Same as 1st block.
5th Block: Same as 1st block; students finished presenting name strips.

Wednesday, September 12th:
1st Block: Students presented five more name strips, and then the teacher reviewed the proper set-up for ELA binders. The teacher checked Cornell notes homework to make sure students had created questions for their notes and written their summaries. After reviewing the notes, the class received a handout of pizza descriptions from four different speakers (see teacher for handout). Students read each speaker’s description of pizza and then filled out their graphic organizer which analyzed the use of diction, syntax, imagery and tone in each speaker’s example. Students then made inferences about the speaker based on their analysis. Students completed speaker one’s analysis with the teacher and then tried speaker two on their own.
3rd Block: Same as 1st block; students finished speakers three and four as well.
5th Block: Same as 1st block; the teacher helped students with speakers two and three, and the class then did speaker four on their own.

Authors voice (1) – Power Point on Author’s Voice, complete with examples of pizza descriptions (four speakers).

Thursday, September 13th:
1st Block: Students reviewed yesterday’s pizza descriptions and began reading “My Name” and “Why Couldn’t I Have Been Named Ashley?” (see teacher for copies). Students chose one of the two for voice analysis (diction, syntax, imagery, tone). Students were then introduced to the interview assignment where students must obtain a parent signature after asking about their name choice and research their name online to find out what their name means.
3rd Block: Students finished all name strip presentations and began discussing the guidelines for tomorrow’s summer reading exam. Students then discussed the implications of names and why we dislike our names at times. Readings of “My Name” and “…Ashley” will be postponed for next week after the exam.
5th Block: Same as 1st Block.

Friday, September 14th:
1st Block: Students reviewed their homework and then used the rest of the block to practice writing a sample paragraph of their own story utilizing diction, syntax, imagery, and tone in order to prepare for next week’s full version mimic of “My Name”.
3rd Block: Students tested over their summer reading selections.
5th Block: Same as 1st block.

Monday, September 17th:
1st Block: Students used the period to finish working on their “My Name” stories, which were turned in before the bell.
3rd Block: Students reviewed “My Name” and read “Why Couldn’t I Have Been Named Ashley?” Students then worked on the voice chart for both stories (see teacher for handout) and then reviewed the name research assignment (interviewing parents, researching name origin online, etc.). Students needed to finish the rest of the questions for homework.
5th Block: Same as 1st block.

Tuesday, September 18th:
All Blocks: Students took Cornell notes over a Power Point presentation regarding plot elements. Students received various handouts to accompany their plot notes (see teacher for handouts) and took a quiz at the end of the block by filling out a blank template over plot concerning a short, Pixar film. Copy and paste the website below to view the presentation, as well as the short film at the end for the quiz (see teacher for blank template).

Wednesday, September 19th:
All Blocks: Students worked in groups to create a movie poster outlining the plot diagram for a movie of their choice. Sketches were due at the end of the period. Groups will continue tomorrow to create their actual poster.

Thursday, September 20th:
All blocks: Students reviewed their conflict homework as well as their plot quiz over Tuesday’s Pixar short film. Students then continued working in groups to create their movie posters over plot. For homework, students must finish creating their questions and writing their summary over Tuesday’s Cornell notes on plot.

Friday, September 21st:
All Blocks: Students turned in their Cornell notes homework over plot and continued working on their group movie posters. Students then took a plot quiz over Langston Hughes’ “Thank You, Ma’am”. This will need to be made up after school in tutoring next week. See the teacher for an appointment.

Monday, September 24th:
All Blocks: Students reviewed the requirements for their journals (please see the Power Point presentation below for instructions and the first journal prompt).

Journal Guidelines and Journal Entry #1

Students then reviewed their plot quiz from Friday. Students also prepared for their group presentations over their movie posters from last week. Although most presentations finished, each class has one or two that have yet to present; these groups will go first thing tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25th:

Journal Entry 2

All Blocks: Students finished any movie poster presentations after their journal, and the teacher introduced “Articles of the Week”. Students took informal Cornell notes over the information presented and reviewed their annotation guide “Reading With a Pen”.  Students then needed to complete annotations for their first article ” ‘This is America’ is a Powerful Music Video by Childish Gambino”.
*Pre-AP students needed to also write their full page reflection over their annotations; CP classes will write their reflection in class tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26th:

Journal Entry 3

1st Block: Students discussed their journal entries and reviewed the proper way to annotate yesterday’s article. The teacher gave out an annotated copy of the handout complete with a proper reflection (see teacher for handout). After reviewing the correct annotations and reflection, students used the remaining time to write their own reflections and then turned in their reflection stapled to their annotated article.
3rd Block: Students discussed their journal entries and then reviewed their annotations and reflections (written last night for homework). The teacher also gave out copies of the annotated article and proper reflection for students to compare with their own. After reviewing the two, students stapled and turned in their annotation/reflection homework and took Cornell notes over linear vs. non-linear plot. For homework, students are to finish all questions/summaries from the various Cornell notes taken in class.
5th Block: Same as 1st Block.

Thursday, September 27th:

Journal Entry 4

1st Block: Students discussed their journal entries and took fill-in-the-blank Cornell notes over linear vs. non-linear plot.
Linear vs Non linear Plot
Students then filled out a Frayer model handout over the 12 vocabulary words in “The Most Dangerous Game”. Students wrote parts of speech, definitions, and synonyms to each word; they will create sentences and illustrations for homework.
MDG Visual Vocabulary
3rd Block: Students discussed their journal entries and began reviewing the 12 vocabulary words mentioned in 1st block; the class will also be creating sentences and illustrations for homework. Students then received their AoW #2 and used the remaining class time to read/annotate and write their one-page reflections.
AOW 2 – The Hate U Give (Survival) (1)
5th Block: Same as 1st block.

Friday, September 28th:
All Blocks: No Journal – first 15-20 minutes of class were used for studying (quiz over “MDG” visual vocab., symbolism, plot, conflict) while the teacher checked journals and looked for complete Cornell notes (questions and summaries).

Students then turned in their homework (illustrations/sentences from visual vocabulary Frayer model); Pre-AP also turned in their annotations and reflections from AoW #2. After submitting homework, students moved desks into a large circle to begin reading “The Most Dangerous Game” along with the audio version. Students used their post-it tabs to indicated where setting and imagery were described and later transferred their tabs to a body diagram of the character Rainsford for continuation and safe keeping until Monday.

Monday, October 1st:
Journal Entry 5
All Blocks: Students worked on their journal and shared some of their ideas with the class. Students then returned to the reading circle from Friday and continued reading “The Most Dangerous Game” with post-it tabs for annotations focused on imagery and setting.

Tuesday, October 2nd:
Journal Entry 6 MDG Perfection Journal
1st Block: Students discussed their journal and then reviewed their visual vocabulary quiz from last week. Students then continued reading “The Most Dangerous Game” and finished the story, along with their post-it tabs, which were turned in after using them to label the character diagram.
3rd Block: Students briefly discussed their journal and then logged into a Chromebook to fill out a survey in Google Classroom concerning their summer reading assignments and plagiarism (speak with the teacher concerning this issue). Students then finished reading “The Most Dangerous Game” and also turned in their labeled character diagram complete with post-it tabs.
5th Block: Same as 1st block.

Wednesday, October 3rd:
No Journal – All classes tested over DPA #1 (data point assessment)

*Pre-AP: The alternate summer reading assignment is now posted in Google Classroom with instructions. Due date is next Wednesday, October 10th at 11:59 pm through

Thursday, October 4th:
Journal Entry 7

1st Block: After discussing the journal, students received a copy of short answer response questions from “The Most Dangerous Game”. The teacher went over the ACE method of answering (answer, cite evidence, explain) and worked through the first question with the class and textbook. Students copied the first response on their handout and used the remainder of the period to finish the other two using their textbook. Responses were due before the end of the period, and students then worked on their AoW #2. Annotated articles and reflections are to be completed for homework and are also due tomorrow.

Exploring Environment in “The Most Dangerous Game” Short Answer Response Questions

MDG Short Answer Response Example of ACE

AOW 2 – The Hate U Give (Survival)

*AoW #2 is labeled #4 on the document; disregard the numbering and complete it anyway.

3rd Block: After discussing the journal, students also received a copy of short answer response questions from “The Most Dangerous Game” and worked through them like 1st block. Students also needed to submit their response before the bell and received AoW #3, provided below. Students must also complete their annotations and reflection tonight for homework, to be turned in tomorrow in class. Students with summer reading extensions were also reminded about staying after school today to make up their exam.

AOW 3 – Empathy

*AoW #3 is labeled #2 on the document; disregard the numbering and complete it anyway.

5th Block: Same as 1st Block.

Friday, October 5th:
Early Release

Monday, October 8th:
No School – Columbus Day

Tuesday, October 9th:
No Journal – all classes went to the library for “Digital Citizenship” lessons in the library. Students then returned to class, received graded work from the last reporting period, and played a plot diagram game with the teacher over “The Most Dangerous Game”.

Wednesday, October 10th:
Journal Entry 8
1st Block: Cut short due to school pictures; with what time was left, students created an analysis booklet to break down last week’s DPA #1 to understand what questions are asking, why the correct answer is correct, and how to pinpoint the distractors. Students were only able to create the booklet and label the inside flap; we will continue tomorrow, and those who were absent had booklets made for them by the teacher so they can easily catch up.
3rd Block: Students created the analysis booklet like 1st block but were able to continue labeling the rest of it and get through analysis for questions 1 and 2.
5th Block: Same as 3rd block (got further – to question 4).

Thursday, October 11th:
Journal Entry 9
1st Block: After discussing the journal, students finished reviewing their DPA questions in their analysis booklets.
3rd Block: After discussing the journal, students also finished reviewing their DPA questions and were able to begin discussing the life of Maya Angelou for an upcoming poetry study. Students viewed a mini-bio video on her life and filled out questions 1-3 on the accompanying graphic organizer below.

Getting to know Maya Angelou

5th Block: Same as 3rd block.

Friday, October 12th:
Journal Entry 10
All classes finished their graphic organizers from the Maya Angelou videos and discussed them. Students then received Article of the Week #3 (Pre-AP – AoW #4) and used the remainder of the block to annotate their article in order to prepare for their one page reflection. Annotated articles and the one page reflection are due on Monday.

Monday, October 15th:
Journal Entry 11 – (disregard the labeling as journal #24)
All classes submitted their AoW homework and took Cornell notes over various literary devices found in poetry. The end of class was used for creating Cornell questions and writing the summary. A link to the Prezi can be found below:

Tuesday, October 16th:
Journal Entry 12
All Blocks – Students used the block to review TPFASTT and apply it to Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise”. Students reviewed their figurative language notes from yesterday to also use with the teacher’s guided analysis of the poem.

Wednesday, October 17th:
Substitute – students practiced using TPFASTT on four different poems.

Thursday, October 18th:
Journal Entry 13
Students filled out a Venn diagram comparing “The Most Dangerous Game” to Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”. The class discussed the similarities and then began taking Cornell notes on the author Ray Bradbury in order to prepare for reading “A Sound of Thunder” next week. Students finished the period by watching a video interview of Ray Bradbury and filled out accompanying questions.

Friday, October 19th:
Students reviewed the answers to yesterday’s questions over the Ray Bradbury video interview and then received a copy of the Frayer model handout for visual vocabulary over “A Sound of Thunder”. The class went through each of the ten words, copied definitions and synonyms, and then used the remainder of the period to create their illustrations and sentences.

ASOT Visual Vocabulary Only
Frayer Model four per page

Monday, October 22nd:
Journal Entry 14
Students worked in groups to color-code an excerpt from “A Sound of Thunder” for figurative language (see link below). The class reviewed the final product with the teacher and compared theirs to the teacher’s copy on the camera screen. Students then wrote predictions about what the story could be about tomorrow based on today’s reading of the excerpt. Any extra time was used to study for tomorrow’s visual vocabulary quiz (Frayer models from Friday).
*5th Block will work on AoW #4 the second half of the block with a substitute.

ASOT figurative language activity

Tuesday, October 23rd:
Journal Entry 15
Students took a quiz over the visual vocabulary for “A Sound of Thunder” (CP classes were allowed to use their Frayer models for assistance). The teacher then reviewed the annotation process using the graphic organizer mirrored after the “Read With a Pen” annotation sheet, and the class began reading the short story with the aid of the audio from the story. Students focused solely on the questions, surprises, and connections of the annotation sheet and paused periodically throughout the reading to fill these portions of the graphic organizer out with examples from the text.

Wednesday, October 24th:
Substitute (unplanned absence) – students worked on vampire AoW.

Thursday, October 25th:
Journal Entry 16
Students finished reading “A Sound of Thunder” and then used their Chromebooks to answer three post-discussion questions displayed on the Smartboard. After discussing their answers, students were given copies of comprehension questions to answer using their textbook for citing supporting evidence.

Friday, October 26th:
Journal Entry 17
Students finished working on their comprehension questions from yesterday, and then the class reviewed the answers to each. Students were also given back graded work to file in their binders.

Monday, October 29th:
Journal Entry 18
Students finished posting their response to the “Butterfly Effect” question posted in Google Classroom and then began planning their sequel to “A Sound of Thunder” (see link below). Students used their Cornell notes on figurative language and their color-coding activity to help them create examples of figurative language in their writing.

Descriptive Writing Assignment (1)

Tuesday, October 30th:
Journal Entry 19
Students worked on finishing yesterday’s sequel to “A Sound of Thunder”; those who were not finished took it for homework. Students then began playing various Kahoot games to review for Thursday’s comprehensive Unit One exam.

Wednesday, October 31st:
Journal Entry 20
Students finished playing Kahoot and Quizlet Live review games for tomorrow’s comprehensive exam and then enjoyed their Halloween party.

Thursday, November 1st:
No Journal – Unit One Comprehensive Exam

Friday, November 2nd:
Journal Entry 21
Students took fill-in-the-blank Cornell notes over a thesis statement Power Point presentation. Students then practiced writing their own thesis statements.
Thesis statement practice 1

Monday, November 5th:
Journal Entry 22
Students reviewed thesis statements and continued practicing their examples over various topics (3 for a grade). Students then began taking their own Cornell notes over introductory hooks using the acronym S.Q.U.A.D.S.
Intro to Expository Hooks

Tuesday, November 6th:
Journal Entry 23
Students practiced creating a thesis statement with the teacher over the prompt in the journal. Students then reviewed their Cornell notes over hooks from yesterday and received a handout to practice creating different hooks over the thesis prompt handout from Friday (the teacher gave those back, graded, so students could use them while they practiced creating hooks).
Expository Hooks

Wednesday, November 7th:
No Journal – students used the journal time to finish up their hooks handout from yesterday. Students were then showed the teacher’s examples of thesis statements and matching hooks to use as a gauge for comprehension of their own. Students were able to see the formation of an introductory paragraph and then created their expository writing foldable to review the purpose of “bridges”. Students then practiced creating a bridge for their thesis/hook over why cell phones can take away from learning. The teacher reviewed an example of a bridge for the same topic to guide students as they created their own.

Thursday, November 8th:
Journal Entry 24
Students practiced creating bridges for the teacher’s examples of thesis statements/hooks and then tried creating their own.

Friday, November 9th:
Journal Entry 25
Students finished creating their full introductions for a test grade and then worked on an Article of the Week.

Monday, November 12th:
Journal Entry 26
Students reviewed concrete examples using H.E.L.P. (explained in color foldable) and practiced creating examples to practice prompts posted in Google Classroom.

Tuesday, November 13th:
Journal Entry 27 – 3rd and 5th block only
Students reviewed adding commentary to concrete details for practice writing body paragraphs and then practiced creating their own body paragraph.

Wednesday, November 14th:
Substitute – students practiced writing body paragraphs for the other practice prompts in class.

Thursday, November 15th:
Journal Entry 28
Students reviewed closing statements and practiced writing a few. Students then wrote the body paragraph for the prompt “Write an essay explaining your definition of a good leader” and finished it with a matching closing statement.
*1st Block – wrote body paragraphs and closing statements for all four practice prompts; no journal.

Friday, November 16th:
Free Write Journal
Students used the period to create their first rough draft on the prompt “Write an essay explaining your definition of a good leader”; students transferred their introduction, body paragraph and closing statement from the prompt to a clean sheet of paper to look at the entirety of the essay and make changes.