New SAT Changes

Posted in Uncategorized

Image credit: Anon

As I’m sure you are all aware, The College Board is making changes to the SAT beginning 2016. One of the fundamental changes will be in the vocabulary section, focusing more on “conversational” vocabulary, rather than “SAT” vocabulary.

I am always saddened by the “dumbing” down of curriculum, expectations and society in general.

I also find it rather ironic that the NY Times article that explains all the changes is riddled with “SAT” words. Take a look and see how many you can find that we’ve gone over in class.

Tech Tip: Evernote

Posted in Tech, tips/tricks

So many of my students are “plugged in” when it comes to smartphones and pads, yet I’ve noticed not many of you have the very best app around: Evernote.  Besides the Google suite this is my #1 go to app. The best part is the syncing ability which I think you will all appreciate. Check it out and download it on all your devices ASAP.

Excellent Blog Post

Posted in blogging, writing

shutterstock_51700795I recently read a blog post by a high school student and I wanted to highlight it for two reasons. 1. He has a great blog that’s very complete and thorough; and 2. This particular post , while written specifically with teachers in mind, is interesting and rather relevant to students as well. I encourage you all to take a look.

Adding Photos To Your Blog Posts

Posted in blogging

Over the last several days I’ve been going over your blog assignment and what I expect from you. As we’ve discussed one thing that makes a post better is to include a picture. Especially if you are writing your post about a picture. However, just like text can be copyright protected, so can images.

When you include an image there are a couple of things to consider and include. First you must determine if the image you want to use has a copyright protection. Then, if it does not, you can include the image in your post but you must cite it correctly.

I will admit that up until now I have not been as strict with this rule on my student blogs as I should have been. As of today all of that changes.

Please read this article The Honor Code of a Noble Blogger: How to cite pictures. Follow the steps she’s laid out and pay particular attention to how she cites the images (look at what she did under each of the images and follow that format). That is exactly what I will be looking for when you include an image in your blog. She provides several examples but they are all essentially the same format.

Please take head and make sure you cite your images correctly. If you do not it is the same as stealing and plagiarizing and will earn that blog post a zero.

Update 8/26/13: Thanks to a couple of people in period 3 we’ve determined a “cleaner” way to cite your photos. I’ll be showing all the classes over the next couple of days. Either way is acceptable though.  

Beginning of School Check List

Posted in Uncategorized

This post applies TO ALL students. Here’s a check list of things that you need to do over the next few days:

1. Read, print, sign and return the Internet Safety Agreement. Please have this done by 8/20/13.

2. Read, print and sign the Academic (dis)Honesty Agreement. Please return ONLY the bottom portion by 8/20/13.

3. Read the syllabus for your class (see tabs above). Digitally sign, certifying that you have read and understand the syllabus. Please have this done by 8/16/12.

4. Fill out the Student Survey. Please have this done by 8/16/13.

5. Sign-up for a Gmail account (if you don’t already have one). Please ONLY use a Gmail e-mail address when you sign up for your blog.

6. Set-up your blog (the window to set-up your blog will be open from 8/16-8/25/13). Make sure you follow the instructions I give in class, otherwise it will be immediately deleted. Please have this done by 8/25/13. DO NOT WRITE ON YOUR BLOG UNTIL YOUR INTERNET SAFETY AGREEMENT HAS BEEN SIGNED AND RETURNED!

7. Read the Bi-Weekly Blog Instructions.

8. Begin looking for blogs to follow and looking through the sites I’ve bookmarked to help you with your bi-weekly blog.

To Incoming Students

Posted in Uncategorized

For those of you thinking about taking advanced comp, or those who have been programmed into my one of my other classes, one of my graduating seniors wrote this about my class. I think it pretty much sums everything up very well:


~Major things you do In Ms. Lahaise’s class: (not in any order)~

1. Scribe posts: basically you’re assigned to be “the scribe” twice in each semester. You take notes in what we did in the class that day, what happened, any important news, etc., and then you’d post it in Lahaise’s lair later that day when you get home. This is for anyone who was absent so that they know what they missed and also for anyone that just wants a re-cap of the day.

2. Blogs: Blogs!! Another really fun assignment! Now, sometimes they can be a bit stressful because you’re sitting there in front of your computer thinking “OK, what am I supposed to write now?” But I think many times, students ignore the fact that Ms. Lahaise has given us topics to write about: quotes, pictures, articles, poems, etc., but let’s rewind a bit. I want to say this again: WE ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE OUR OWN BLOGS. How many teachers have blogs as an assignment? None. This is one of the many reasons why I find this class to be so unique. Most teachers would just give a writing assignment on something that really doesn’t interest the students. Ms. Lahaise isn’t like that- she wants us to go out there and look for something that interests us! So please, to the future Lahaise students, take advantage of this opportunity.

3. Vocabulary tests: 15 sat words are given to you where you have a quiz every Tuesday.

4. T.E.D.: T.E.D. stands for technology, entertainment, and design. Ted talks are when someone important is invited to speak to an open audience about anything that’s occurring around the world, anything entertaining, new discoveries, and everything else you can think of. After watching a ted, we write a journal topic about what we watched making sure to include purpose, reason, and how the speaker presented.

5. SSR- silent sustained reading- Ms. Lahaise usually gives us 30 minutes to read any book we want.

6. Book talks: book talks are like book reports except you actually have to sell your book to the class and persuade everyone as to why they should or should not read your book. Two book talks are done each semester.

7. Claim and proof: this is a real biggie in this class. Whether you’re writing a journal, blog, essay or presenting your novel, never forget claim and proof. Claim and proof is when you cannot just say, for example, “ms Lahaise is a great teacher.” If I were to write this she would probably ask how or why. That’s when I would bring in my proof and say “well, she makes learning fun by showing teds, letting us work in groups and is open to new ideas”. With that bring said, your proof would be the straight up facts.


DO’S and DON’T’s:

  1. DON’T assume this class is easy because it’s not. If you don’t do the work don’t expect Ms. Lahaise to give any freebees. Instead, turn in everything on time and try your best.
  2. DO ask questions, even if Ms. Lahaise seems intimidating at first.
  3. DON’T…Oh my goodness…DO NOT make Ms. Lahaise repeat things. She absouluty hates when she has to repeat things five times due to those students who weren’t listening the first time or just didn’t look at the scribe post (which ill later explain what that is).
  4. DO participate in class discussions. Take it from someone who didn’t really follow along with this tip, because it can deeply impact your grade. Plus, you don’t want to show Ms. Lahaise that you don’t care and have no opinion (not that I didn’t).
  5. Do: take everything in her class seriously- whether its vocabulary quizzes, scribe posts, blogs, journals, lot circles, or anything else that’s assigned.
  6.  Don’t: come to ms Lahaise the last week of school because your failing or almost failing, begging her to raise your grade. She just won’t have it.

Honestly, you’re even lucky to be in a class that relates to today’s modern world ways (since it’s a technology based class). So be thankful for this. Stay on Mrs. Lahaise’s good side, excel in work habits, and everything will be A okay!