Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Summer Books of AP Language and Composition

Hey everybody,

students in all our AP Lang classes were given a summer assignment to choose one of the books below and be prepared to talk about the book they read.  We want to share these books with you because so many students strongly recommended their choices.  The books appear in order from the most read and recommended to the least.

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.
When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?
In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. “A fascinating look at the disease that . . . could have cost this vibrant, vital young woman her life” (People), Brain on Fire is an unforgettable exploration of memory and identity, faith and love, and a profoundly compelling tale of survival and perseverance that is destined to become a classic.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.

In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies.  An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work—from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Anchors are Coming, the Anchors are coming

Preparations for this year's Anchors are underway.  We are considering refreshments, after party, ticketing options, and more.  We expect this year's event to be as well attended as last year's. Please stay tuned so when tickets go on sale you are ready.  This blog will update when tickets go on sale.  You can also get more updates by subscribing to our Facebook page.
The Anchors are scheduled for May 26th and all films will be handed in by May 20th. Film submission forms are due by May 12th.  If anyone has any questions please contact Dan Wolotsky, or John Rioux,

Monday, March 20, 2017

All your research comes down to essential questions

Currently there are a lot of research projects going on at FHS.  The Public Policy Paper, critical analysis of Frankenstein or Jane Eyre, and issues in technology are just a few of the research tasks our students are in the midst of.  For all research, we encourage our students to develop an essential question.  An essential question gives purpose for your work and helps the student to define their learning task.  Below is a rubric we have shared with students to help them develop strong essential questions.

Yoda (A)
Your Essential Question:
-Can not be answered in a few sentences or even paragraphs
*Seeks an understanding of something that matters to us
-Requires expertise to answer. Students must create their own answers and construct their own meaning.
-Has an answer that is debatable
- Answers to the essential question may reveal deep ironies and/or paradoxes

Have Flavor Will Travel(B)
Your essential question:
-Can not be answered in a few sentences or even paragraphs
-Has an answer that is debatable
-Requires expertise. Students must create their own answers and construct their own meaning.

Solid Citizen (C)
Your essential question has two of the following three traits:
-Can not be answered in a few sentences or even paragraphs
-Has an answer that is debatable
-Requires expertise. Students must create their own answers and construct their own meaning

Slack (D)
Your question does not require an in depth explanation and can be answered easily.  To answer your question, one could spend minimal time on the internet and be done.

*The difference between an A and a B

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Coffee House Survey

Ever since I began working at Falmouth High School there has been talk of adding a coffee house.  We are talking about it again and hope we can get your input to help guide our decisions.  Please fill in this survey, it only take a few seconds as it is only 3 closed response questions.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Song Number 1 is recorded

The audio room is now a recording studio! Check it out.

Genevieve Curtis came in and recorded her song, New Gets Old. Harrison Goss was the audio engineer.  You can listen to the song here.

If you want to use the sound room or the video room please do.  Just email Mr. Wolotsky and he can reserve the space for you.  Need the room and technical assistance?  We can reserve the room and hook you up with a tech teamer who can help you.