1/4-10/2016 College Prep


Fireside Chat

Dear students,

Welcome back to school! We covered a lot of material last semester, and it showed on your test scores. You saw, on average, a 6 point jump in ACT scores (from 17 to 23 out of 36). I will post a more detailed analysis next week.

Grades: I am updating our grading structure a little bit this semester. Last semester, your grades were given the following weight: 60% assessments, 20% work, and 20% class effort. This semester, the adjusted weights will be: 60% assessments and 40% work.

Work will be presented as weekly assignments, rather than daily agendas, and on this page rather than the Work page. I will update progress on Mondays only; late work will not be penalized. And while tests will still be monthly, each Friday you will take a quiz worth 25% of a test.

To elucidate, here is a mock student’s grades.

Since some of you do not have internet, computers, or phones at home, I will not ask you to do any work there. I offer tutoring after school, which allows access to tablets and internet anytime between 3pm – 5pm. I expect you to work diligently for 30 minutes in tutoring. (This is less than the 45-minute norm at most competitive schools.) Combined with your 90 minutes of class, this will afford you 10 hours to complete your work per week: more than enough time. If your work is unfocused—napping, chatting, etc.—you will either have to work at home or your grade will suffer.

Seats: If I assign seats, then you may not begin sitting anywhere else. If you are not in my class, then you may not be in my classroom, so I will send you to your dean.

You may request a seat change for the next class. No one will be allowed to change seats the day of their request. Your request must include a written request and a meeting with me. You need to present a compelling rationale to change seats, e.g. you want to form a study group with a peer in a different pod.

Consequences: It is expected that you work for the full 90 minutes of my class period. If you are off-task (e.g. on your phone, napping, etc.) then you will receive a consequence. If you bring someone else off-task (e.g. talking to them about something other than class work), you will receive a consequence. Consequences follow this 5 step hierarchy:

  1. Demerit (i.e. a warning)
  2. Conversation (in the hallway with me)
  3. 10-minute detention (to be served within 3 business days)
  4. 30-minute detention (to be served within 3 business days)
  5. Referred to ISS via your dean

Raising your voice, talking back, or defying an explicit instruction will immediately earn you consequence. We live in a civilization, and acting uncivilized will always have consequences.

I will ring the bell 3 minutes after class has started. Anyone who is not working by that point (and does not have an excused absence) will receive a demerit. I will continue to ring the bell every 2 minutes after that. Students in my room who are still not working will move up the consequence chain.

I will ring the bell 3 minutes before the end of class (so 9:27 am1:17 am, and 2:47 pm respectively), at which point tablets may be returned. Returning a tablet before the end of class will be seen as off-task behavior and will earn you a consequence.

 Upkeep: If…


This Friday we will have quiz on the prefixes below. We will have a Kahoot! review during the last 30 minutes of Thursday.


First thing’s first: Write down your assignments somewhere!

Affixes: Prefixes


Affixes and roots are the building blocks of words. Understanding how those blocks work will help you decode new words in texts and on the ACT.

Instructional Materials

You are only responsible for the 17 prefixes listed on the http://www.vocabulary.com word lists below.

  1. Check out this slideshow. You are only responsible for the 17 prefixes listed below.
  2. Apply the skill immediately with this exercise.


Assignments are presented in the order I recommend you complete them. So for this week, vocabulary.com work will prepare you for the IXL.


There are 126 words. You will find that you already know many of them.

  1. anti- (against)
  2. con- (together)
  3. mis- (hatred, incorrectly)
  4. pre- (before)
  5. sub- (below, under)
  6. super- (above, over)
  7. omni- (all)
  8. ambi- (both)
  9. uni- (having only one)
  10. bi- (two)
  11. re- (again, back)
  12. un-, dis-, in-, im-, il-, non- (not)


  1. 10-Z.1: Words with pre-
  2. 10-Z.2: Words with re-
  3. 10-Z.3: Words with sub-
  4. 10-Z.4: Words with mis-
  5. 10-Z.5: Words with un-, dis-, in-, im-, and non-

Time Management

Overview: Focus on prefixes until the assessment first thing Friday, then use the rest of class to hammer out your college essay brainstorm

Tuesday: Have completed 4 vocab lists and 1 IXL.

Wednesday: Have completed 8 vocab lists and 3 IXLs.

Thursday: Have completed 12 vocab lists and 5 IXLs.

Friday: Have completed 12 vocab lists, 5 IXLs.