Our Independent Novel Studies students have been blogging about reading a "banned" book. We've not only learned about banned books from our reading, but we've also spent time doing some research and discussing our reactions to the ideas of challenging and removing books from public libraries. In the coming weeks, we'll be presenting our research and reflections to our school librarians, township librarians, teachers, administrators, and hopefully even a couple of school board members. In the meantime, we would love your feedback on our reading! Please hover over the images below to find links to our blogs. We would love to read and respond to your comments.
Although it hasn't felt like it with our recent streak of hot weather, fall is under way. We are already seven weeks into our first semester at Grandville High Sschool, and we have spent a good chunk of that time talking about some amazing books!
We were very fortunate a few weeks ago to have our Donors Choose project funded for 24 high-interest, diverse novels. We've added copies Eleanor and Park, Every Day, Solo, and one of our favorite new reads - Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give. Have you read this book yet? If not, we have nine copies, and we're happy to loan you a copy, especially if you will join us in our digital space to discuss the story.
In our Independent Novel Study classes, we've also had the pleasure of hearing from our favorite teachers, administrators, and Grandville KDL youth librarians about their favorite books. We spent the month of September sharing all those books that have touched our lives. In addition to each student sharing through our book talks, we heard from GHS's own Mr. Tower, Mr. Kennedy, Ms. Schoch, Mr. Lancto, Mrs. Ernst, among others. We also welcomed Ms. Lawrence and Ms. McMullin from Grandville's Kent District Library branch to join us in class on Friday, September 29th. They shared with us so many of the wonderful resources offered by our township library as well as some their favorite new reads.
In our tenth grade honors American Literature class, affectionately known as HAmLit, we just wrapped up our first unit, an introduction to some of our foundational American writers. Throughout the month of September, we delved into some classics of American literature. Each student has selected a classic American text to read as an independent reading novel. Students are reading The Scarlet Letter, The Awakening, The Red Badge of Courage, Native Son, Huckleberry Finn, among so many others. We're looking forward to discussing these texts in the coming weeks.
Parents and family members - we would love for you to join us in our reading journeys! If you have book recommendations or would be interested in joining us for one of our many discussion days, please let me know. We would love to have you join us!
Happy Homecoming Week!
I hope that you have had a wonderful summer break so far. I have spent the last month camping, going to concerts, hanging out with friends and family, and of course - reading! I'm excited to hear about what you've been doing and what you've been reading this summer. And I'm looking for a few book recommendations. I'm nearly finished with The Hate U Give and looking for my next book to read. If you've read any great books this summer, let us know by posting a link HERE or by sharing recommendations on social media using #IoniaReads.
Don't forget that as an honors English student, you have at least two books to read this summer. The first is a book of your choice, and the second book must be one from our required reading list (see below). I would highly recommend checking out your local library's website. If you have a library card, you can easily check out books digitally to read on your e-reader or phone. You'll want to come to class the first week with your summer reading summaries completed.
I'm looking forward to meeting you in a little over a month. In the meantime, enjoy your summer and happy reading!
Summer Reading for 10th grade IHS Students
If you are scheduled to take 10th grade honors English at IHS next fall, you'll have me as your teacher! I'm looking forward to meeting you.
To prepare for our class, you will want to complete the summer reading assignment below.
from the Michigan eLibrary:
Students of all ages can go to the Michigan eLibrary site to find eBooks and articles to read, conduct research, prepare for high stakes tests like the SAT®, or maintain/improve basic skills.
MeL provides all Michigan residents free access to quality, vetted subscription databases that can be used all year. Resources are available 24/7 and are mobile compatible. Our awesome content providers have created a few short videos for you that highlight their resources for summer use; you can check them out on the MeL YouTube channel playlist “Summer Slide Videos from our Partners” : (https://goo.gl/fDC4Be). While you are there, be sure to subscribe to the MeL Channel, so you can keep up to date with the latest tutorials and videos from MeL!
Within MeL, you can find quality resources and weblinks organized into convenient portals. For students in grades 6 through 12, MeL Teens (teens.mel.org) offers a wealth of resources to not only maintain and build basic skills, but also improve research skills and help students prepare for life after high school with college or career information. You can easily access the subscription databases in the Homework Help sections of these portals, or simply go to the A to Z database list (databases.mel.org).
This summer, stop by your local public library for programming and learning opportunities. But don’t forget to also use some of the Michigan eLibrary’s popular K-12 databases!
The Michigan eLibrary Team
What an amazing month we have had in our honors tenth grade English classes, as well as in our Public Speaking, Journalism 2, and Yearbook courses. Here are just some of the highlights of this past month:
Dr. Kowal speaks with our Public Speaking class
On February 1st, University of Michigan at Flint professor Dr. Chris Kowal came to speak with our Public Speaking students about the significance of nonverbal communication. Dr. Kowal is an expert on how nonverbal communication, specifically micro-expressions, can influence the emotions of others.
Throughout his presentation, we learned about everything from how to give a proper handshake to the influence of eye contact. It was a highly interactive and highly entertaining presentation!
Reporters come to class
On February 7, our Journalism 2 class learned from MLive and Grand Rapids Press environmental reporter Garret Ellison. He shared with us how he first got into journalism and about his internship and early experiences in the newsroom. His great advice for aspiring journalists is to take whatever job is given you as it is an opportunity to learn more about the craft and connect with those in the business.
Some of our students have taken this to heart and have applied for journalism internships in our area. In fact, one of our Bulldog Beat editors-in-chief, senior Bryce Nummer, will join the Ionia Sentinel Standard staff this week!
And speaking of the Ionia Sentinel Standard, news desk director Darcy Meade joined us in class on February 10th to share her advise and learn more about our journalism program. Darcy is no stranger to IHS. We've had her in to share with our class in the past, and she has written many wonderful articles about our students. We love having her join our journalism courses.
Bringing kindness to IHS
Public Speaking students read to Rather students
Kicking off March Book Madness
During February, we collected over 150 book recommendations from our students and staff. Now, during the month of March, students and staff are invited to vote for their favorite books, helping us narrow down books to the elite eight, and then to the final four. Then, during the last week of March the showdown between the top two books begins.
And the best part, students can win signed copies of books by voting! Each time that you participate in a daily vote, you are entered to win a signed copy of a book. We have signed books from so many different authors to give away!
Each day the challenge will go live at 7:30 am and close at 2:30 pm. We'll email the winning voters each day at 2:30 and tweet out the daily winning book.
The books change each day. So follow along on social media using #IoniaReads or check out our display by room 204!
And there's more...
We've used Twitter to connect with authors and the founder of StoryCorps this week, 10th grade students are working on amazing multi-genre literature projects. There just isn't enough space to share all the awesome things that are happening in room 204 recently.
If you want a closer peek into our classroom, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @wardsworldihs. We'd love to hear from you1
This week we not only welcome a few new students to our 10th grade honors English class at the start of our new semester, but we also welcome Ms. Lohr, our student teacher this semester. Ms. Lohr comes to us from Grand Valley State University, where she is majoring in English, Education, and German with an Applied Linguistics minor. She has worked with students in a variety of settings. She has helped tutor high school students in E2020, a credit recovery program in English, math, and history. She also spent last semester teacher assisting in an eighth-grade classroom in Kentwood, Michigan. Previously, she was a mentor to sixth grade students at the Grand Rapids Museum School in downtown Grand Rapids.
An interest in helping young people discover and define their writing voice and reading interests drives Ms. Jennifer Ward to cultivate a student-centered learning environment, one that supports individual learning goals and incorporates purposeful use of technology. In March 2016, she was named a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and is also a Google Certified Innovator, National Writing Project Fellow, and a 2014 PASCD Emerging Leader. She is active in NCTE, the Flipped Learning Network, and an organizer with Edcamp. Jen taught for 13 years in a Philadelphia suburban district and returned to her home state to teach high school English at Ionia High School in 2015. This year, she is excited to join the Grandville High School bulldogs!