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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
November 26, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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November 26, 2014

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014 7A Susan Frediani instructs her 12th-grade English class to pull quotes from Hamlet's famous soliloquy that back up their claim as to what the portion of the play means. Frediani changed up the course drastically last year, using a new curriculum developed by California State University professors. Photos by James Wilson Students in Susan Frediani's senior English class work together on an activity. Learning to communicate with of the key focuses in the new curriculum. From left: Maria Oropeza, Matthew Anderson and Haily Probst. each other was one in James Wilson Staff Writer "I want you to come up with a question to ask Hamlet," Susan Frediani directed her 12th-grade English class last Wednesday morning. The class was studying Hamlet's "TO be, or not to be,' soliloquy, as part of a unit dealing with the value of life. "Why do your struggles make you want to kill yourself?. Why not just kill your uncle instead?" one student posed to the fictional character. Though the tragedy of Hamlet is one that has been digested for hundreds of years, the way the students approached it was brand new. Frediani decided to use a curriculum called the i Expository Reading and : Writing Course for her , students. ' ERWC was developed by a group of California State ' University professors after : they reached their breaking . point in frustration with student,writing The university professors noticed General Information 530-283-2121 1065 Bucks Lake Road, Quincy, CA 95971 RIBS that student writing lacked rhetoric. Students didn't know how to back up their positions. The professors formed a curriculum for high school that better prepares its students for higher learning. More importantly, the new curriculum aimed to teach students how to formulate a persuasive argument with evidence. ERWC was created prior to the Common Core curriculum. When Common Core standards were introduced, they aligned perfectly with the already existing ERWC curriculum. Luckily, Plumas Unified School District had teachers already trained in the curriculum. PUSD sent Frediani to a training on ERWC in May 2012. Frediani subsequently trained other teachers in the district to implement the new curriculum. Last year the district rolled out the program with Portola's Karen Miller, Greenville's Lisa Balbiani and Chester's Celeste Higby teaching the curriculum along with Frediani. Friday and Saturday Nights Also Featuring "(The Expository Reading and Writing Course is) a lot more practical Students have a burden of proof on them now that they've never had before." Susan Frediani, Quincy High School English Teacher This year, Quincy is the only school in the district teaching ERWC, because the other schools have split Classes with llth- and '12th-graders and rotate the lesson plans. "It's a lot more practical," Frediani said of the new curriculum. "The students have to do writing that forces them to incorporate textual readings with their own experiences. Students have a burden of proof on them now that they've never had before." The new curriculum instituted several changes to the class. One change was incorporating more nonfiction writings on which toperform "close" readings. Inthe course, students are asked to pull out parts of the FRIED CHICKEN GOURMET BURGERS MEXICAN SPECIALTIES SOUPS SALADS FULL APPETIZER MENU DECADENT DESSERT MENU Open 5 days TUESDAY- SATURDAY Full Dinner Menu 3PM TILL CLOSING Happy Hour 3 TILL 5PM RESERVATIONS SUGGESTED- ESPECIALLY ON PRIME RIB NIGHTS! 8296 Hwy 89, Graeagle (Located at River Pines Resort) BAR&GRILL texts in which the authors prove their points. Students are then encouraged to incorporate these rhetorical strategies into their own writing. Welcome Back/ Another focus incorporated into the curriculum was more group work. "What I've learned is I've always taken for granted that kids know how to have conversations," continued Frediani. "They don't. You have to teach them to converse with one another." During the lesson on Hamlet's soliloquy, the students were split into groups to analyze the portion of the play, write down what they thought it meanL then pull quotes that supported their claim. "Everything is changing " drastically," Frediani said in regards to new teaching methods. "Two words have entered my teaching vocabulary quite a bit this last two years -- evidence and specificity." As the year continues, Frediani plans to note which units speak most to Quincy High School's students and revise her lesson plans to help future students in years to come. Janet Thompson, NP ]anet Thompson has returned to the rural health clinic at Plumas District Hospital. ]anet specializes in women's health and : sees patients on Wednesdays in the North Fork Family Medicine Building. 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