Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today, Smith wasn't here today, but luckily a substitute was. We started class with the usual agenda which I will get to later. Today was just a work day. We worked on the time line project we were assigned yesterday. If you weren't here yesterday, it is class project in which we create a time line with Loggel, a website that lets you create interactive timelines. We have a class account: the username is AHSSmith5 and the password is AHSSmith5 (caps sensitive). Once logged in, you can scroll to the bottom and click on our life log. You may edit this by clicking on the edit entries.
Our main work focus was to translate your notes into paragraph form. In this paragraph you should include your research and an explanation of how these events might have influenced George Orwell. Along with this, upload a picture, audio, or video. And most all of us emailed our bibliography (using EasyBib) to Anna (dancerchik123@gmail.com). This was basically all we worked on today.
As for our homework we first have to read pages 1-37 of 1984. Next, we have to retrieve 2 political cartoons, one from the 1930s-1950s, and another one from our modern day. If the cartoons are in color, print them in color. Our next homework is to work on our project. By tomorrow, we have to post our paragraphs and visual on the time line so our editor, Lauren, can edit them. This is mandatory because we do not have time to work on it in class tomorrow. Also, if you haven't sent you bibliography to Anna, do that ASAP. Her email, like I said before is dancerchik123@gmail.com. Other than that there is no other homework. Yay!

Substitute Tuesday

Tuesday is considered by many to not be a very bright day, but everyone lit up when they saw that we had a substitute teacher today in 2nd Block English. He introduced himself as Mr. Rosenberg, but there was an air of mystery surrounding his true identity since he went on to tell the class that he was a bounty hunter.
Our agenda for today was posted on the projection as usual. Our main job for today was to finish our project on how the 1930-1950 time period affected George Orwell’s writing of 1984. We were supposed to incorporate all types of types of presenting our information into the loggel including writing, pictures, and video. For the writing, we are supposed to keep the number of events to fewer than five, but if you think there is a good reason to put more than this, see Maria K.
Just a reminder for those struggling with loggel, just follow these directions. Click on this link, which will take you to the homepage of the loggel website. Once there, sign in at the top right corner using this login information:
Username: AHSsmith2
Password: ahssmith2
Once you type this in you should arrive at a new page. On this page there should be a blue icon called lifelogs. Click on the only lifelog there, the one called “Period 2 Events That Influenced George Orwell”. To edit the lifelog go to the top left corner and click on the green button called Edit Lifelog. You should see some pictures, and underneath those pictures a green button called edit entries, which you should click on. Click on the pencil over your groups assigned years, and then edit the lifelog from there.
On the agenda, it talks about political cartoons. Since this assignment was never discussed in class, just don’t worry about it. Also, don’t forget to read up until page 37 in 1984.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Break Over, School Begins

Judging by the extremely lethargic, “Hello Smith,” the students of Mrs. Smith’s 2nd Period English were not ready to end their thanksgiving breaks.
We started off the class period with checking in Inherit the Wind books if they were checked out from Mrs. Smith. The people who did not have a copy of 1984 then went and checked out books from Mrs. Smith so that they could read the assigned reading of pages 1-37.
The classes from Poland and Pennsylvania both have not posted their This I Believe essays on the web yet, but don’t get your hopes up since they both are supposed to have the essays up by the end of the week.
The big highlight of the day though was when Mrs. Smith announced that we are doing a project on what was going on during the span of 1930-1950, and how this might have affected the writing of 1984, which was released in 1949. Maria Knigge took charge immediately, and organized it so that the outer desks were doing research and the inner desks were finding media like pictures and video. The outer desks were all then assigned two years each and a person in the inner desks was paired with each outer desk. We are doing this project on a new website called loggel, and the project itself is linked here: Project Loggel. Once you get there the password and username are as follows:
Username: AHSsmith2
Password: ahssmith2
Paul and Savannah are in charge of setting up the website, so with any further questions on the website ask them. With any other questions see Maria K.
So remember the homework is to read 1984 p. 1-37 and to keep going on the research for our project.
Plus, don’t forget today’s agenda (hint: click week 15 at the bottom of the page).
English 9 Honors: Monday the 29th
Monday back from break, one of the best days of the year, right? No. The usual ‘hello smith’ was almost non-existent. Today, however, we jumped right in with a new research project. We also checked in Inherit the Wind books. If you need a ‘1984’ book, then you have to see Mrs. Smith to check it out. Swapping, one book for another, huh?
The research project we started in class today was, in groups, creating an audio-video time line at loggel. If you don’t already have an account, your o.k. because there is an class log in. What’s awesome is you can make entries from your phone. See Mrs. Smith for help if needed. This website is an interactive audio-visual diary. As a class, are log in name is AHS Smith 5, and the password is AHSSmith5. It also caps sensitive. Period two did is every group of two had a different responsibility. Our class will do the same thing. Our fuhrer of the class is Emily Wolf. Our head honcho of technical director is Logan Makis. We are dividing into groups of two with every year and a group for an overview of the decade. The groups will all have a secondary responsibility like another year or a decade overview. Your work cited should be done in easy bib. It should then be emailed to Anna at dancerchick123@gmail.com.
The research of your group will be done in class and if you don’t finish on your own time. See Emily if you are going to be absent or you were absent and are going to need a group. Well good look and have fun. Great day for a Monday right?
Stephen Walker

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank Goddnes its FRIDAY!!

Today's class started off with the usual "Hello Everybody" and the common response "Hello Smith". With a reminder from Smith that there were only two more hours until school was out and break had finally come, the whole class already wished the period to be over even though it had only been about 30 seconds. Smith continued with a run down of what the rest of the semester would look like. The first week (and possibly second) after break we are going to exchange This I believe essays with students in Virginia and Poland. Also by December 10th we are to have read the first half of 1984 by George Orwell. Smith highly suggested that we read the book over the break before we get to busy. During finals week, we have regular class on Monday were we will prepare for our final on Thursday which will start at 10:35 and go till noon. 
The homework over the break was to post comments on other students podcasts and essays for this i believe. To do this we created wiki accounts at http://ahsthisibelieve.wikispaces.com/ and made sure that our user names were our first name last initial 2014. We then turned in our podcasts in Smith's drop box were she took them and put them on the wiki for everyone to read. For the rest of the class we read and listened too others students essays and wrote well thought and constructive comments. When the bell rang the class hastily (but neatly) but there computers away and left the room with only one more hour between them and a week long break.

Turkey Day Approaching!

Today started with the usual "Morning Smith!", and then we had to put our This I Believe podcasts in Mrs. Smith's drop box. 

Then, we listened to our classes' podcasts on the Wikispaces website. On the website, there is the actual written essay as well as the podcast. We listened to about three of the podcasts, and then commented on the essays. We did this until the end of the period. 

Homework: Listen to the other classes' essays (if available) and get started reading 1984. Other than that, there is nothing that is due on Monday.


It Only Takes One Day to Challenge the System...

November 18, 2010
First, we talked about act 3 which we read and finished yesterday.
·         Did Drummond believe in God?
o   Knew some things about the bible and could recite them from memory, Maybe he wasn’t the person that Brady made him seem to be, maybe he actually did believe in god, it was symbolic that at the end he weighed both books and saw that they both have meaning and can go together.
·         How can the two go together?
o   Some people believe that God did create the world but he also is causing evolution, that evolution occurs, but God plays the main part in causing it.

·         What does the “Inherit the Wind” quote mean?
o   Brady speaks it first and it is directed to Reverend Brown because Brown had condemned his daughter to hell and Brady told him to slow down. He is trying to tell him that if you make problems in your own family, you will get completely nothing (inherit the wind). It is said again by Drummond to Hornbeck about Brady and he is saying that Brady was a good person and he had no problems in his family.
Next, we talked about the comparison or the real trial and the trial in the book and they were actually very close. Actually, the speech that Drummond gave to Brady was the exact same as in the real trial and William Jennings Bryan did really die.
We also talked about the whole Golden Dancer concept. She was saying that just because something looks great on the outside, does not mean that it is perfect on the inside. It’s like the “Average American Family”. Everyone is supposed to have a perfect life, and we make it seem like we all do, but we don’t.
Now we took our quiz on act 3. It was averagely hard and easy.
Now we talked about how to challenge the system. We threw out a bunch or ideas that would help in this process.
Macbeth- Witches (assassination plot)
Lord of the Flies- Jack wanted to have a tribe and just play a bunch. Ralph wanted to become a group and survive and get off the island.
Fahrenheit 451- Montag decides that he needs to read books and needs to get society back to how it was before books started to be burned.
Inherit the Wind- Drummond wanted to challenge the law and everyone has the right to think for themselves.
Determination/ Courage
Macbeth- fight with himself about whether or not to kill the king, and even as his wife dies, he still keeps killing.
Lord of the Flies- Even with the setbacks, Ralph still wants to get Jack back, and also Jack just wants to be the leader even if he has to go through Ralph and Piggy.
Fahrenheit 451- He really wants to understand what he is reading. He started by reading with Mildred, then on the train, then by the end, he starts to understand the Book of Ecclesiastes.
ITW- Drummond is determined to  get some way to fight his case and he is determined enough to call Brady to the stand even though he is the main guy for the bible. Also, even though everybody hates Cates, he never gives up.
Idea to Replace the Old
Macbeth- “ I would be a much better King”
LOF- Jacks regime and Jacks hunt
F 451- New books, thinking, new ideas.
ITW- Having the right to think, stand up for your beliefs, evolution.
Here were some other ideas that the class came up with, but we did not have time to discuss.
Belief in the Challenge
Risk Taking
Knowledge of System
After that, we packed up our laptops and said goodbye to English Nine Honors for the day. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We've Got Some Budding Actors in Period 2!!

(Sorry this took some time to get up, computer problems!)

Hello students of English 9 Honors!

Wednesday’s class was pretty uneventful.
We started off with taking the quiz for act 2 of Inherit the Wind, so if you missed it check in with Smith!
Then we read act 3. It was mostly about the end of the trial when we got to find out what Cates’ fate was. It starred yours truly as Judge, there were also some other, not as important, characters. The book ended with a twist line (delivered by me!) that left the whole class DUMBFOUNDED and GASPING! “How could this happen?” They asked, “This cant be right!” What, you ask, is this exciting twist? Well, you’ll just have to read it, won't you!
The only homework we received is to podcast your This I Believe essay with Audacity, and then sticking it in Smith’s Drop Box by class Friday. Our incredibly kind teacher has also decided not to give us homework over break (Hooray!).

That’s all! See you tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Windy Wednesday with Smith Period 5

It was quite a windy Wednesday in Mrs. Smith's period 5 English class today as the class was greeted with the usual 'hello class!' and we responded with an exuberant 'hello Smith'. The homework for tonight is to creat your podcast on audacity, and to upload your essay to the This I Believe website;http://thisibelieve.org/submission/#_EssayForm=first.
Smith then discussed with the class what the agenda for the day was, which included continuing with act 2 scene 2, then taking the quiz on all of act 2 and then followed by finishing the book up with act 3 of "Inherit the Wind". If you need a refresher, we read pages 94-then end (this is only if you had the newer books with the blue covers); or you could just use the buddy system and ask a fellow classmate what happened in the story (but reading the book yourself would be reccomended).
Hope your Wednesday was great!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Day of Reading in Mrs. Smith's Class- Period 5, 11-16-10

In Class:
Today, Smith was greeted by the same monotonous, “Hello Smith” as every other day in the semester. After we all got settled in, we rearranged the room in order to accommodate the setting for Inherit the Wind, Act 2. The premise of Act 2 was the trial of Bertram Cates, the preparation for the trial, and the unsuccessful efforts of Henry Drummond to win the case.

Basically, the only homework that is due for this entire week is creating the podcast for the This I Believe Essay. To do this you have to record yourself reciting the essay into a microphone. The program that you use to do this is called Audacity. The web site to download this free program is here. Plus, the Audacity recording must be converted into a MP3 file. Because it will not export directly to this kind of file, a free converter web site can be found here. First, you have to export the audacity file into a “wav” file and then you convert it from there. Finally, if you have not already turned in the This I believe essay to the drop box or to thisibelieve.com, you need to do that. The submitting the essay the web site can be found here.

Day Two of Taking It Easy Week 11/16/10

Today, class began as usual with the schedule, etcetera, by now we all know how that goes.  Because we are done with SAT Vocab, we started the process of turning our books back in.  If we didn't have it today, we are allowed to bring it in tomorrow!
After that, the parts for Act 2 of Inherit The Wind were assigned. Over all, the class is definitely entertaining as we read the play. :) We read through Act 2 Scene 1 and to page 93 in Scene 2. In Scene 1, Reverend Brown gets very emotional with his preaching against evolution and Cates.  So far in Scene 2, the trial has officially begun, and it is obviously biased.  It leads to much argument in the courtroom, mostly about Drummond's witness choices.
As for homework, we only have to do our podcast, which is due on Friday. After that is done, there's no homework! To make the podcast, just use Audacity at school. Or you can do it at home if you have a microphone and Audacity can be downloaded online for free. After recording, just save it and export as a MP3.
Oh, Do i love these colors? I think YES :)
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, the last one to endure... for a while at least

Remember the only thing we have to do this week is complete your podcast of you reading your this I believe essay. Today for the first few minutes of class we had the chance to drop our essays in the drop box. We need to save it as our first name last initial all on word with the first letter and last initial capitalized. No periods, no spaces, and certainly no “This I Believes”. Keep this in mind because we need to do the same for the podcast due Friday. Use Audacity to record your podcast, it can be downloaded for free. If you don’t plan on downloading it to your own computer, use the recording room in the library. Remember to reserve a time slot ahead of time! The rest of the class we acted out Scene II of Inherit the Wind and then had a quiz on it. Only a week more of school until break, that means today was the last Monday before break.

This I Believe... it's Monday

During Class

Today we submitted our This I Believe Essays to thisibelieve.org. If you haven’t done this yet here is the link…This I Believe Essay Submission. After printing out our essays, giving them to Mrs. Smith and submitting them online, we continued acting out scene II of Inherit the Wind.

Our Homework for this week is:

Do your podcast for your This I Believe essay. You can do this at home if you have your own headset then you can download the program Audacity on your computer for free. Otherwise you can go to the media center and record you essay. Try to schedule a time in advance because many people will have to use the recording room this week! Once you record your essay drop it in to Mrs. Smith’s drop box. Make sure it is an MP3 file! Save it as your first name and last initial (i.e. Janie E)

Have a great afternoon!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Comic Day

The following link pulls up an overview of what we did in fifth hour english today:
<a href="http://bitstrips.com/read.php?comic_id=895574"><img src="http://bitstrips.com/strips/895574.png%22/%3E%3C/a>

Here are a few other links you may find helpful:

To make the comic strips-- http://www.bitstrips.com/ and http://www.toondoo.com/
More information about the TIB essays and podcasts-- http://www.thisibelieve.org/
To download audacity onto your computer-- http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Some tips and reminders about the essays:

1.       Essays are due on Monday. Make sure you submit your essay to thisibelieve.org by Monday, too. The first five minutes of Monday’s class will be devoted to dropping our essays into Mrs. Smith’s drop box, since it can’t be accessed from home (remember to have your essay saved on a flash drive and titled as your first name and last initial). The essay needs to have a title and be double-spaced, with your first name and last initial (ie Megan M) as the heading. The guidelines and complete instructions for the essays are posted on thisibelieve.org.
2.       Podcasts are due on Friday, November 19. If you own a complete headset, you can record your podcast at home by downloading Audacity to your computer for free. Otherwise, you need to schedule a time in the media center to record your essay. Schedule in advance; many students will need to use the recording room next week! Once you record your essay, drop it into Mrs. Smith’s drop box as an MP3 file. Title this file with your first name and last initial, as well.

This I believe...today is Friday!

During class: We worked on a SAT lesson 10 quiz today during class with partners. We developed satirical cartoons with our SAT words using one of two websites: http://www.toondoo.com/ or http://www.bitstrips.com. In case you did not complete the cartoon in class, Mrs. Smith expects them turned in by Monday. Congratulations on completing all 10 lessons! We are finished!

Homework: This I believe essay due Monday in the class drop box (FIRST NAME ONLY!), This I believe podcast due Friday, November 19th.

Reminders: Its a wise idea to podcast your essay as soon as you have it finalized because the library will fill up towards the end of the week. Also, if you need help with your This I Believe essay, refer to http://thisibelieve.org/ for help!

Have a great weekend!

Late Start, Same Smith

PLC Late Start!
Wednesday November 10, 2010
Two hours later, but still the same warm greeting of “Hello Smith!” Even with the shortened period we had a very productive day starting with SAT Lesson Ten Q&A’s. This was quickly followed by reading the play Inherit the Wind! Soon enough the classroom was filled with early 20th century characters talking, sweeping, hugging, etc. Reciting the play took the remaining duration of the class period. Quote of the day, “Rache! Love me!”
HW: SAT Exercises 10 due on Friday, and This I Believe essay is due on Monday before your class in the according drop box saved as your name.
(P.S.) This is a day late because I had posting issues and realized that I had ended up posting this on a blank blog… AND this is Actually Jared Contino's post.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day 2010!!!

Today was another fun day in Ms. Smith's class!

We started the day with the return of the rest of our in-class essays and then returned to the acting of act 1 scene 1 in Inherit the Wind.  If you are having any trouble understanding the play click here for a Sparknotes synopsis. The acting was much better today then the Macbeth play and a lot easier to follow!  With Southern accents, monkeys, and a lot of sarcasm by our Hornback, it was a very interesting day! If you missed class today, finish reading scene 1 of the play and make sure to see Ms. Smith about our quiz in class today over scene 1 of Inherit the Wind.  Have a happy Veteran's Day!!!

Homework: Tomorrow we have to complete the SAT exercises and over the weekend we have the This I Believe essay, which is due Monday.

Veteran's Thursday!

Happy Veteran’s Thursday!
Today in Ms. Smith’s fifth block class we had a lot of laughs! During class we finished reading Act 1 of Inherit the Wind. Including the whole class singing together! After we finished reading we reviewed and had a short quiz over what we learned in Act 1. Lastly, we assigned parts for Act 2.
·         SAT exercises due tomorrow. Don’t forget to study for the quiz!
·         ‘This I believe Essay’ written version due (11/15) Podcast due (11/19)

I hope everyone had a truly wonderful Veteran’s Day! Don’t forget if you see a Veteran, THANK THEM!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dónde está el drop box? 11/10/10

The usual semi-chaos ensued as the final seconds counted down to the beginning of class.
Then it came, long and normal. All seemed normal.
The class waited,
and waited,
and waited. Until it came.
“Hello everybody!” came the call.
“Hello Smith!” was the reply.
Hence another day of English class began.
To start off the period, Ms. Smith talked about our TIB (This I Believe) essays. A reminder: The essays are due in the class drop box by Monday. The podcasts are due Friday. Smith also brought to our attention that because these essays will be posted on the internet, everyone with a connection will be able to read it. So, because this group also includes those we do not wish to encounter in a dark alleyway, do not use an MLA standard heading and put your full name. Only put your first name and last initial. For example, my heading would be “MatthewC”.
The podcasts for this assignment are due Friday of next week (11/19/10, for the numerically minded). To here is the process for creating a podcast.
1.       Obtain a computer compatible microphone.
USB headsets work very well for this, available for check out at the school library.
2.       Obtain a computer compatible with the computer compatible microphone.
The school library also has these. You will also need a program on the computer. The school computers are equipped with Audacity. This is a fine program. If you are working from home, you may use any program capable of recording in Mp3 format. Audacity is available for free download, also. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Simply go to this page and follow the instructions.
3.       Find a nice, quiet place to record your Mp3.
Yes, the library at the school also has an editing room. However, because there are roughly 130 students that all need access to the room, give or take a few, it is in your best interest to reserve the room ahead of time. Talk to a librarian for more information.
4.       Come with your essay verbally rehearsed multiple times.
Don’t be afraid to add more dimensions to your reading. Talk faster at more intense parts, or slow down at dramatic parts. Talk in a low voice, or a high one. The possibilities are endless. But, be sure that you are clear and enunciate well, so that it is easy to understand you.
5.       Save your file. Name it the same as your header (MatthewC).
6.       Export your file and drop in the class drop box.
DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP!! Export your finished file as an Mp3, and an Mp3 only!
Next in class, we discussed question that had arisen on SAT 10.
For Exercise 1, Number 1: The sixth blank is “garish”.
For Exercise 1, Number 2: The first and third blanks are “idolatry” and “caveats”, respectively. The last blank is “diadem”.
For Exercise 3, Number 2: Collector then select. Number 3: Recollect. Number 4: Renege.
After SAT 10 was all clear, we discussed the John Scope Trial, briefly. John Scopes was charged with violation of the Butler Act, a Tennessee law prohibiting teaching any material contradictory to creationism. John Scopes was enlisted by the ACLU to challenge the law. H. L. Mencken was a satirist, who reported on the case. Here is a link to his works on the trial http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/menk.htm . The two attorneys were William Jennings Bryan, in favor of the law, and Clarence Darrow, in favor of Scopes. The final verdict was a $100 fine to Scopes. However, the fine was later invalidated, on the premise that it was issued by the judge, not the jury. So, Bryan technically won, but it is thought Darrow really won, because the fee was minimal.
The final part of class was spent reading the first part of Scene 1. Here is a quick breakdown of what we covered (up to page 13).
The scene opens with Howard, a 13 year-old boy, and Melinda, a 12 year-old girl, outside the courthouse. (I know what you’re thinking. A boy and a cute girl, love story, drama, bla bla bla. This does not happen. Howard dangles a worm in Melinda’s face and she runs off disgusted.)
Rachel, Scope’s girlfriend and daughter of the Reverend, runs by to the jail. She talks to Cates, who has already been caught and arrested. She tries to persuade him to admit his wrong and return to normal life, but he will have none of it.
Our time in class ended just before the train arrives with Matt Brady (the plaintiff, or Bryan in ITW form).
The clock counted down, with few to none noticing.
It rang, as it did before. One long tone.
Not higher, nor lower.
Not longer, nor shorter.
Organized chaos resumed as the students left for their final class of the day.
Another class done.
Leaves blown away in the wind.
HW: SAT 10, TIB essay due Monday, podcast due the following Friday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Of Evolution and Faith 11/09/10

I apologize for the lateness of this post. I have been scheduled tightly today.

With a welcoming “hello” and a wave of the hand,
All the students in class knew this day would be grand.
The homework today, three items there were.
I will now spell them out, so that you will be sure.
1.       Take home book fair presentation or it GETS TRASHED
2.       SAT 10 due Friday
3.       TIB Project due Monday (http://thisibelieve.org/)
Next on the list was a “debrief” of sorts,
Filled with constructive feedbacks, and uplifting reports.
Positive Feedback
1.       Good explanations of the books
2.       Creative use of space and resources
3.       Looked outside the book, and tied it into the presentation
At the end of this talk, with thunderous ovation,
Mr. Wallace walked in to discuss Darwin’s occupation.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, religion was law. The Bible was accepted as fact. In the 19th century, science began to conflict with religious beliefs. In 1859, Charles Darwin published his theory of natural selection, or evolution.
Charles Darwin was a religious man. Yes, that may be surprising. He originally began studying to be a priest. However, he did not continue, and switched to medical school. This only lasted about 6 months. But he was chosen to be a doctor on a voyage planned for a couple years, though it ended up taking five. In his travels, he collected fossilized specimens that he sent home. After the voyage, Darwin spent 17 years studying earthworms with his son (sounds fun, right?).
After these 17 years of exhilarating study, Darwin looked at the specimens he had collected on his voyage. He noticed that there were many variations of each animal among the different Galapagos Islands. He determined that the animals had changed according to their environment, through a process called natural selection. This theory was that when the environment presented a “roadblock” for the organism, those that could not overcome it died off, and the ones that could passed on their resilient genes to the next generation.
Darwin did not originally want to publish his ideas. He feared it would stir up too much contention, as Galileo did when he said the Earth revolved around the Sun, not the other way around. However, when a scientist named Alfred Wallace (perhaps a distant relative of Mr. Wallace…) began having the same ideas as Darwin, Darwin decided to publish his ideas. When he originally published them, they did not include the idea that man came to be through this form of selection. However, he did in his second publication (for his complete works, I recommend this link http://darwin-online.org.uk/).
The Scope Monkey Trial was a result of the ACLU hiring John Scopes to challenge Tennessee law prohibiting teaching evolution at the time. He wasn’t even a biology teacher. He taught geography. Since then, many cases have arisen over this dispute, from the 1920s (when the Scopes Monkey Trial took place) to 2008 (the Dover Dogma v. Darwin debate).
Here is the breakdown of why evolution is different than a religious belief. Evolution is built off of evidence found in fossils and organisms today. It has not been proven true yet, nor has it been proven false yet. A religious belief is having faith in something, usually God or another higher entity. In religion, there is no scientific, tangible evidence to prove or disprove that particular sect. This is why evolution has been and is being taught in some places. The teachers do not teach it is real or not, but they simply present the evidence. There is no evidence for religion, and there are too many creation versions to teach all in school.
To learn more about different religions, Mr. Wallace recommends you take the World Religion class offered at Arapahoe.
The rest of the discussion was a Q & A format,
About if people evolve, or devolve, or are dormant.
(OK, the last line didn’t rhyme perfectly. Just go with it.)
With the ring of the bell, and a reminder to plug in,
The students hurried off for their next class to begin.

1.       All projects not taken home will be thrown out
2.       TIB essay due Monday http://thisibelieve.org/
3.       SAT 10 due Friday
Today started with the usual "hello Smith" but then we went a completely different route! Mr. Craig, a biology teacher came in to talk to us about what it is like to be a modern day biology teacher. He told us what was aloud to be taught and what modern day teachers could get in trouble for, when teaching evolution. (See notes for a summary of what Mr. Craig talked about!) His main goal as a teacher is to teach Natural selection, and the data, so we can then apply that to our own beliefs. He and Mrs. Smith heavily suggested that we take a look at the belief spectrum, which you can access, by going to Mr. Craig's page.  He was talking to us about this because we are going to Start reading Inherit the Wind; a book about the Scopes trial. After Mr. Craig left we talked about the background of the Scoped Trial. (See notes!) We checked out books, and tomorrow we will start reading, so make sure to get a copy of the book from Smith if you were absent! Next we discussed the banned book fair. Some suggestions were to have more time, have more space, and to put the projects into one big circle. If you have other suggestions, make sure to mention them to Smith! We will also be taking a quiz tomorrow on the first act of Inherit the Wind, so make sure to take good notes and ask lots of questions!! Homework for tonight: this I believe essay due next Monday! SAT due Friday.....Good luck with the essays!

Notes on Mr. Craig's talk:

Common misconception- people think that evolution has to due with monkeys.
It is controversial because it is the extremist end of things. Typically when you see it, evolution is tied to monkeys, that is not what they teach. They focus on the scientific data that is available, and that is tested, data does not lie. When people refer to monkeys they are talking about a common ancestor; there are two branches from our common ancestor, one leads to human and the other to apes.
The teachers that have gotten in trouble because they bring biases to the table and contradict people beliefs.
Most scientist will meet in the middle; they have a combination of evolution and creationism so you can believe what you want.
His goal is to instill in us the fact that we can meet in the middle and to get rid of the thought of monkeys, and instead, teach us the theory of natural selection. Natural selection is as the environment changes, so organisms, because of their genetics
The hardest thing is getting the point of natural selection, so we can break down the wall of feeling agitated with hearing the word evolution.
He wants to teach us to look at the data and then apply that to your beliefs not teaching humans to moneys.
Natural selection- through periods of time DNA changes and people evolve different
We evolve different because one letter in our DNA will change.
In scopes time teaching natural selection would not have been okay, you had to teach creationism.
FOCUS ON DATA put all controversy aside apply that to what you believe.
He believes that as a teacher of biology, they will present data in a very un- bias fashion and our job is to decide what we believe. It is all about us making decisions and doing what we believe.

Scopes was Biology teacher in Tennessee and the text book had evolution in it and he taught it which was against the rules. At that time the church ruled rand he should have taught creationism.
 William Jennings Brian died two days after the trial ended-literally heartbroken
Charles Darwin created theory of evolution- we evolved over time. He came up with that theory when he was on Galapagos island and noticed the birds all had different beaks, he noticed not that we descended from monkeys but we evolve and change over time we can alter our own bodies.
How does this fit in? The teacher, John Scopes who was hired to teach, taught evolution, which went against the butler act; that said you cannot teach anything but creationism. That said taught evolution and William Jennings Brian was the prosecutor and he was also the prosecutor in the Sacco and Vanzetti case. He was so good because he was a fundamentalist- bible word for word!
Clarence Darrow defendant did not work specifically for the ACLU- they challenge laws American Civil Librates Union- protect our basic rights they hired Darrow to protect the students and show that it was an un-just act.  He was only fined 100$ but they had to re word the butler act

Sunday, November 7, 2010

TGIF Thank Goodness it's Friday

Today we started the class with the usual Hello Smith. After the introduction for the day we took the SAT 9 quiz which was a poem to Mrs. Moritz the rest of the day was very relaxing.
Remember the written portion for the This I believe is due the 15 and the podcast is due on the 19. Also our Banned book projects are due Monday so you better be done reading those books!! The projects are supposed to be creative so think outside the box.

Friday, November 5, 2010

This You Believe

Today the day started with the daily, hello Smith with everyone relieved after finishing the in class essay on Wednesday. We listened as a class to a This I Believe story about a woman whose daughter died and taught her even when she was dead what life is about. We will all need to write our own This I Believe essay by the 15th and have a podcast prepared by the 19th. We also received our in class essays back so we can be sure we didn't leave our outline out or forget a paragraph or two. Everyone remember that the banned book fair project is due on Monday, this is your chance to impress everyone. The rubric for the project can be found on Smith's web page. SAT Week 9 is due tomorrow and we have another one of those lovely quizzes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Silent Insanity

          Fellow students of English 9 Honors. I hope for your sake you were NOT absent today! For this Wednesday was the dreaded in class essay. Before the bell even rang for class to begin all were off in their own land of hushed stress, for the essay was due, printed and perfect, at the bell. The overall feeling within that room, personally, could be expressed in one of my favorite quotes, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." Amazingly, all succeeded. WHEW!
         Homework, thank the lord, is very light today, so my job is easy. :) As usual, read your banned book! The final project will be due this coming Monday. Also, SAT work Lesson 9 will be due Friday and be ready for some crazy quiz!
         Hope to have been of some help. Good luck everyone on your papers!!!! ;)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Daily Grind

We started of the day with a very unenthusiastic “Hello Smith”, it's Tuesday and everyone was exhausted, but everyone was forced to wake up because we had a very busy day today, and you couldn't afford to not be attentive. We got started right away because we had a lot to do today. First off we took the Fahrenheit 451 quiz, which we got to use “Gates of Heaven” on. As soon as we finished our quiz, we were told to open a word document and be prepared to take a lot of notes!

Tomorrow we will have our first in-class essay. We will have 50 minutes to write a multi-paragraph essay (5 paragraphs) and it must be printed out and completed by the end of class. In the essay we will be addressing the prompt:

What 3 things were Bradbury and Vonnegut through “The Pedestrian” Fahrenheit 451, and “Harrison Bergeron”, trying to warn our society of? How have these warnings come true today?

Here is the format for the essay:




Background (background of the three stories)(Ped, 451, HB) (1 – 2 sentences for each story)

THESIS (Address both questions).

(Ex. Through Fahrenheit 451, “Pedestrian”, and “Harrison Bergeron”, Bradbury and Vonnegut were trying to warn society of reliance of technology, negative influence of media, and decline of public education; they have come true today because………)

Be specific (personal technology, public media, etc.)

Body Paragraph (3) (Only use two story examples in each story, but must use all three at least once throughout the essay)

Topic Sentence

Set up 1st point

Lead in (Ex. Bradbury writes, “___________”), quote, citationb

Explanation (Ex. Seashell)


Set up 2nd point

Lead-in (Ex. Bradbury writes,”___________”, quote, citation



Set up modern example (how prediction has come true today)

Example (Ex. I-pod, cell phone)


Conclusion Sentence

Conclusion Paragraph:

Restate Thesis

Review Points

Satisfying Conclusion

Works Cited:

” (Bradbury “Pedestrian”)

” (Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 89) ß (89 is page number, make sure you list it)

” (Vonnegut “Harrison Bergeron”)

** ^ Internal documentation should look just like this^**


No personal words

No contractions


Grammar, punctuation, mechanics

Explanation - Explain what quote says, connect it to the text

* Things highlighted in Blue are Smith’s suggestions of what to have completely written out tonight, in order to take full advantage of your limited time tomorrow.


· SAT Lesson 9

· Banned Book

· Outline

- Maggie Hurlbut