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Bio: Welcome back, Wildkats! My name is Mr. Ross Gragert. This is my fourth year teaching at Willis High School, and I am very excited to again be teaching English IV. I was born and raised in Spring, TX where I graduated from Klein Collins High School. After high school, I joined the Army as a mechanic and deployed to Iraq where I worked as a combat recovery driver and operator. After the military, I received a Bachelor's Degree in English at Sam Houston State University where I also worked as a writing tutor for four years. Now, I am ready to help all of you reach your goal of graduating on time and maybe have a little fun along the way. Can't wait to meet you all. 
 



 

Recent Posts

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are finally ready to begin our first piece of British Literature, Beowulf. I am so excited to finally begin this epic tale with you all. It is truly magical and fantastical and a great way to escape reality and travel back to the days of the Anglo Saxons. This week we will be working on a Heroic Boast project where you will try your hand at writing in the elevated style of the poem. I think it will be quite the fun week ahead. See you all tomorrow. 
 Well folks, it's time we got started. This year, I wanted to start off by testing your personalities as a way to get to know you all better. I've selected the Myers-Briggs Personality Test to help you all self analyze and write about the type which fits yours best. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we will be going to the library to research and write about our types in an essay that will be your first major grade.  The essay will be due on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, we will begin one of the most exciting units of the year, our Anglo-Saxon/Beowulf/Medieval/Totally Awesome/Did I Mention King Arthur Unit. We will be tackling themes such as Honor, Justice, and Loyalty and analyzing the conflicts that kept our language's forefathers fighting each other to the death. I can't wait to get this all started. 
 
Mr. G
 Well, ladies and gentlemen, here we go again with another glorious year at Willis High School. This is going to be a great year, I know it, you know it, we all know it. It may feel like an eternity, but it won't be long before you're looking back fondly upon a life you were only to ready to get away from.
 
I am going to take you on a journey through time. During the first grading period, we are going to explore the culture and lifestyles of the Anglo Saxons, discover the power and might of the warrior, Beowulf. We are going to investigate the myths vs. the history of King Arthur and the knights of the round table and other English heroic figures such as Robin Hood. Themes such as honor, love, temptation and others will captivate our hearts as we delve into one of the greatest eras of literature ever recorded.
 
I cannot wait to get to know you all better. Some of you I have known since the 8th grade. Together, we are going to trudge our way to graduation, and I will be there to help you walk that stage. Try to soak it all in because it will be over before you know it. 

New Year/MLK Update 17-20 January 2017

Again we find ourselves standing at the edge of a semester, but I assure you, seniors, you will be thinking by the end of all this where the time indeed go. I hope everyone has enjoyed all the free time we have had lately and is ready to work hard to ride this year out in style. You all have a lot to look forward to: Prom, the Senior Picnic, Spring Break, etc. We have also already done so much in the last two weeks such as your grammar lessons and your MBTI personality profiles. We have a lot more planned for you all including how to write a resume and how to apply for a job, to studying the ancient art of satire and how it pertains to A Modest Proposal which we will be reading this week. Pull up your bootstraps, seniors. We have some work to do. 

Weekly Update December 12-16 End of Semester Edit

Well here we are at the end of another semester. It's been a great ride so far, but let's not start to lose our momentum just yet. We have the Spring semester coming up, and that is when Seniors more than anyone have to keep that light at the end of the tunnel in mind. Keep up the good work, and we'll get there in one piece. 
 
Gradebook has been down all weekend, so I was unable to get your grades in, but by the end of the week, your journals, Outside Reading Projects, TotS Projects, and Final Grades will be in. 

This week is all about that final, so work hard on your reviews, and study hard for the final. You can use a single notecard to write any pertinent information for the final. Good luck this week folks. See you soon. 
 
G

Weekly Update November 28 - December 2

Well it has certainly been a great holiday, folks, but we still have a bit to do before the end of the semester.
 
This week we will be doing our Taming of the Shrew Project. I will have a comprehensive list of expectations that should make the process very smooth. We will work on the project from Monday through Wednesday, and we are doing our presentations on Friday.

Thursday I will be out of class, so be sure to bring your Outside Reading books. I will have an assignment for you to do using your book. Don't forget, or you will have to choose from my selection.
 
You have a Journal Check coming up soon as well as a Final over everything we've gone over this semester. Keep up the momentum, and the next holiday will be here before you know it. See you all tomorrow!

Mr. G

Weakly Update (Not a spelling error) November 7-11

Well I've been fasting and preparing for my procedure, and let's face it, I'm drained. Both mentally and physically. I have updated your grades to include the notes from Friday and your Evaluation essays. I know it has been awhile since you turned them in. I promise it won't take as long to grade the next essays. I will get them graded next weekend. Tomorrow, you are going to watch a documentary in preparation for our next unit: Drama! Tuesday, we will begin Taming of the Shrew, and that will take us to the end of the semester. We're almost halfway there with some big holidays coming up, so get hyped!
 
G

A very spooky Weekly Update Oct 31-Nov 4

Happy Halloween, folks. This week is going to be centered around essay writing. Each day we will be focusing on a different aspect of the essay. Monday, we will be looking at prewriting strategies, MLA format, and proper steps to writing the essay. Tuesday through Thursday, we will be in the Computer Lab researching, writing, editing, and printing our papers. Friday we will be beginning our Drama unit! I hope you are all as excited as I am because we've got some great holidays coming up.
See y'all tomorrow,
Mr. G

Weekly Update October 24-28

Well folks, it's been a fun weekend, but tomorrow, it's back to work. Luckily, we will be spending tomorrow in my personal favorite room of the school, the library. How lucky we are to be immersed in the endless possibilities of enchantment and adventure that is fiction. Start thinking of what you want to start reading tomorrow.
 
I've implemented a new system for the Outside Reading Project: EVERY student will fill out a catalog card for their outside reading book.  This is to get some more practice with MLA. I will have a resource for you to use tomorrow. If I can remember, I will try to find some index cards, but if I can't find any, I'll have something else.
 
Starting Tuesday we are going to start reading Renaissance poetry by Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh as we begin to stretch out analytical legs. We are going to be introduced to some new poetic forms and preparing ourselves to write our next big essay.
 
On the subject of essays, your essays have not been at a level I expect of a high school senior. We are going to need to have a serious crash course in MLA and basic essay writing skills. I gave you the benefit of the doubt on this first essay, but expect to be graded harder on the next one.  Plus, some of you have a tone that is much too informal for academic essays. Be expecting a class over essay writing in the near future. They will be the focus until they get better.
 
On a brighter note, your grades (minus your Early English Evaluation essay) have been submitted for the week, and they are awesome! Your projects were amazing, and I couldn't have asked for a more creative bunch. Keep up the good work in the future.
 
Can't wait to see you all tomorrow bright and early. Remember, if you have your Outside Reading book that you are bringing from home, bring it with you!
 
Mr. G

Weekly Update October 17-21

Well it's the end of the first quarter, folks. The grades have been submitted, and I do think that we have so far been successful in getting you to where you need to be by May. Next up on our agenda is poetry. We are being thrust into one of the most creative time periods in English history, the Renaissance. We are going to read Marlowe, and Milton, and the man himself, Billy the Bard, Willy the Wit, Mr. William Shakespeare.
 
Before plunging into the poetry, we will be working on understanding what let to the Renaissance, the Hundred Years War, The Wars of the Roses, and The legendary Tudor Dynasty ending with the famous Elizabeth I, beginning the Elizabethan Period.

This week we will be finishing up out projects and presenting them to the class.  I hope that they are all as amazing as promised. We'll see tomorrow.
 
Mr. G

Weekly Update October 11-14

Well, I hope you've all enjoyed your day off. Tomorrow, don't forget that we are going to be in the library and to bring your projects with you. Unfortunately, I did not get around to grading all of the Arthur Stories, but I promise it will be done within the week.
 
I did, however, finish my Outside Reading Project. I will post it next so you all can have a look. Use it as an example of MLA this week and in the future.
 
See you tomorrow,

Mr. G

Pre Weekly Update Columbus Day Eve

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. I'll be making a more comprehensive post tomorrow during work hours, but I wanted to let you know I've been grading your short answers. Needless to say, you all have a long ways to go in MLA format. Those of you going to college will surely need this skill developed beforehand. Those of you not going to college will surely need to practice following concise directions, as I am sure just about everyone can benefit from developing good listening and practical application skills. Anyway, I'm beginning to rant. Good luck with your essay and project. Get some sleep and work some more tomorrow on your day off. See you all Tuesday.
 
Mr. G