Today’s class time had three focal points:

SPG/Course Pretest

Today we used the district online assessment platform to take our district SPG or course pretest.  Though this test does not count as a grade, it does give me as the teacher insights as to which standards are strengths and weaknesses for students.  Many thanks to our testing coordinating Ms. Seay for scheduling our lab space and her assistance during testing.  Students who missed testing due to absences will have a chance to make it up in class next week.

Mini-Essay:  What Is An American:

In this “cold write”, students were asked to reflect on three different questions around our earlier class exploration and discussion of what it means to be an American.  Students could use any of our articles from Tuesday and Wednesday’s reading stations if they wanted to reference them; student could access the articles from our eClass page through this Google Drive folder link at .

I will assess this cold write primarily for content/ideas; it will also serve as a baseline writing sample.  Students had the entire period after SPG to write this essay and post it in the drop of our eClass course platform.

  • 11th Honors ELA: if you did not finish, you should post your essay by 11:59PM, Monday, August 14, 2017.
  • 11th CP ELA: many of you finished, but many of you needed more time. You may finish your mini-essay at home, on your time in the media center, or during station time in class next week on Thursday and Friday. and

 These are two online tools I have used in the past year to help students practice and learn vocabulary ( and to receive targeted and customized practice with specific grammar skills.  Both tools have a mastery learning approach, and these tools helped my students from the previous year improve their scores on the state Milestones test.

If students finished early, they could register for both platforms and begin working on the modules.  Our first vocabulary list includes 15 words we’ll see in our first selections of early American literature we’ll receive next week.  The first module in NoRedInk has a diagnostic test of 10 questions related to students’ knowledge of sentence structure as well as guided practice module to complete afterwards.  Students should be working on both of these platforms at home (think of it as a rolling homework assignment—15 minutes per evening is plenty of time); we will also have station time in class next week to work on these platforms.


Class Section NoRedInk Class Codes (type them exactly as you see them!)  Go to and register as a student.  Then enter the class code for your class period.
Period 1A 11th ELA Hamilton and Hill: known salt 27
Period 2A 11th ELA Honors:  Hamilton: odd fuel 62
Period 4A 11th ELA Hamilton and Hill: goofy board 95
Period 1B 12th ELA Honors Hamilton: daily bubble 40
Period 3B 11th ELA Honors Hamilton: small skunk 82
Period 4B 11th ELA CP Hamilton: roasted rock 2

Gwinnett County AKS (Standards)

LA11.C.21: write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content (I)

LA11.C.23: produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience (C)

LA11.C.24: develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience (C)


LA11.E.36: demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking (C)

LA11.E.37: demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing (C)

LA11.E.39: determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies (C)

Speaking and Listening

LA11.D.31: integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data (C)

If you would like to see a PDF of this overview, please click here.