9 CPI: Of Mice & Men & Tolerance Project Proposals

Today was an early release day, which meant we didn’t have a lot of time to dig into that much content.  That’s okay because we still had plenty to do.

Period 1 we started with Of Mice & Men, finishing the first section. (Period 3 we skipped this step and will be catching up on Friday.) On Friday we will follow George & Lennie to the ranch for the first time and see the men with whom they will be working. (Look in your gmail for a document called Steinbeck if you want to catch up.)

From there folks had some time to catch up on blogging and making sure all of their online Roots & MUGS quizzes are in the books for 3rd quarter.  With grades finalizing on Thursday night, that’s kind of ridiculously important.

And then attention turned to the Tolerance Project Proposal forms.    I met with a number of folks about their proposals and will meet with the rest on Friday.

If you need help with the Bloom’s Taxonomy part, look at this Bloom’s Taxonomy model and click on the parts of the wheel that explain to you the sorts of thinking and task you need to do at each level.

Some great stuff that I heard today . . .

Essential Questions:  

  • How can we become more patient?
  • How can we make people more aware of their offensive language even when they don’t mean to be offensive?
  • How can teenagers better understand adults?
  • How can students better tolerate homework?

Product Ideas:

  • Video game
  • Informational Poster Campaigns
  • Amazing Keynote
  • Video
  • Short story
  • Website


Roots 11 Word Castles/Roots Product & Quiz on Tuesday, April 9

Tolerance Project Due Friday After April Vacation

Blogging – Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World over the first reading of Of Mice & Men expected to be one of your three blog entries this week. This was assigned on Monday (Quarter 4 Week 1)

Humanities: Malala’s Story & Tolerance Projects

Monday will be just bursting with content.  Woot.

With projects due on Friday, we will not be PrimeTiming this week.  Instead, we will use that time to read articles, watch videos, and do other work related to deepening our understanding of tolerance and generating content for our projects.

We will be working on NoRedInk.com, however.   Our work will focus on their/there/they’re as well as accept/except.

Here are some tools to help you out with that thinking.

Their vs There vs They’re at BrainPop.com

Accept vs. Except

After NoRedInk, we will take a look at an article about a young woman named Malala.

On your blog, make the three text connections (text to self, text to text, and text to world) you made during Friday’s class.

After you blog — or if you choose to blog tonight instead — complete this check-in form about your projects.  This is also in your e-mail.

Tonight’s homework?:  Projects due Friday! Blog three times this week!  Be prepared for roots quiz on Thursday!

AP Lit: Hamlet Begins

This week it really begins.  We start by examining Act I. 

But wait!  What is that?  That’s right!  AP Lit Test prep!

We begin with timed writing practice.  You will have 20 minutes to write to the following prompt:

In Polonious’ speech to Laertes in Act I, Scene 3, the father affords his son a great deal of advice.  Discuss how Shakespeare uses techniques such as diction, repetition and contrast to develop a theme around values, morals and/or ethics.

Before we begin writing, however —  What? We still haven’t gotten into Act I, yet?  Nope.  Not yet.  We will get there.

Before we begin writing, we will examine Jim Burke’s terrific strategies for timed writing on the AP Lit test.  This is not a prescription.  They are merely excellent suggestions.

I will be expecting you to post not only your writing, but documentation of your planning for this prompt.  (Hold up your paper to your iSight.  Make sure you flip the image before sending it to me.  Or use your phone.) Planning is far, FAR more important on a timed writing than really in any other situation where you have the luxury to explore and try things.

Okay, now then let’s get . . . wait . . . what?  Oh . . . right.  Watch this.

What works for you about this interpretation as a viewer?  What doesn’t?  What choices might you have made instead as the filmmaker  You might consider discussing it on your blog.

Okay, now we can actually start talking about Hamlet and all that transpires during Act I.  We essentially get a round up of the major players, get the back story, get the current status quo, and then the catalyst for everything that is to come in the following acts.

I would argue — and I have done so remarkably successfully in the past — that Hamlet is the ultimate adolescent, that he is proof positive that teenagers have been teenagers forever.  It is just the chronological context that changes.  With that in mind, here is your creative product prompt for your blog for this week.

CREATIVE ASSIGNMENT FOR WEEK of 3/4: Choose any form of social communication media that interests you (text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, something I haven’t considered?) and re-create a single scene from Acts I or II in that context.  There are lots of possible solutions here.  Challenge your confidence — rather than “Is this right?” being the first question, try “How can I get the events, emotions, and relationships  across in a way that makes it feel real?”

Homework for Monday night into Wednesday is to read Act II.  I know, I know, a WHOLE ACT?  It’s a rather short Act, as Acts go.  I could tell you a story about an Act that just went on and on for days.  But you don’t want to hear about that Act.   You are worried about this Act.  The sooner we read the text, the more time we have to discuss, explore and understand it.

Blog, start thinking about getting creative, make sure you still get three entries in.  Synthesis #3 will be assigned on Wednesday.  Get prepared for a big calendar update too so you can plan ahead.



AP Lit: Mrs. Dalloway & The Hours Begins

On Monday, November 5th, we started delving into Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours

We’ll be taking on Mrs. Dalloway class by class, broken down into reading assignments, finishing the reading on November 20th.   The Hours is due on December 3rd and should be read at one’s own pace.

We also talked about blogging and the more formalized blogging expectations for class.  Students must complete three entries per week (M-F) in order to meet the standard.

What Might Be Included in an Effective Blog Post?

* Ideas Unspoken in Class

* Connections to Ideas Presented in Class

* Related Material to Ideas and Readings from Class

* Documentation of Process of Creating, Making, Producing Things for Class

* Reading Notes

* Fun, Goofy Things Made to Liven Your Blog Up and Still Somehow Connected

Plus, it is your blog.  You can do what you will beyond the expectations for class.

The most important thing folks can do right now?  Go the AP Lit Page at the bottom of the left side bar and use the calendar there to keep track of what is due and when.  It’s also available right in your Google Calendar.

PACE: Q2 Soft Reboot Explained or PBL/MCL Gets More Real

Monday, November 5th, marked the beginning of the next wave in PACE.  2Q will have a couple of few big changes happening in PACE all intended to get us that much closer to the original vision of customized, student-driven, project-based learning — and stuff.
1. Students will be planning out three-week chunks of work using the PACE Planning Form, borrowed from the good people at The Buck Institute.  What standards in each discipline will you try and  tackle?  How do you plan on tackling it?  How do you plan on showing it?  They will work with the teacher team to fill these out individually and hold themselves accountable for those choices.
2. We will have a common gradebook.  Exactly what that will look like is still a work in progress.  By the time we start recording formal Q2 grades though, students should be in a better place to see what they have to do.
3. We will have a standards tracking Google spreadsheet in place for students to keep track of how they are doing and for us to record information as well.  ETA for this one is the second week of the quarter and it’s based on the thoughts posted by Rick Wormelli here.
4. Blogging. The PACE crew will be using their blogs to document, reflect, and show just how they are learning the material.  It will be their daily “exit” ticket so to speak.  If they aren’t blogging, they aren’t holding themselves accountable or providing the PACE teachers the information needed to know where their understanding is at.  Three entries per week (Monday through Friday) will meet the standard.
What Can Be Included in a Blog Post?
* Ideas from Class
* Connections to Other Ideas
* Documentation of Process of Creating, Making, Writing, Building, etc.
* Interesting Stuff Worth Sharing
* Most Anything That Connects in Some Way to What This PACE Thing Is All About

AP Lit: Pulling Dubliners Together

Friday, October 26, we spent class taking advantage of our new library space.  It’s far too comfortable in there for its own good.

Splitting into groups, each work team selected a motif evident in “The Dead” and uncovered that motif in the rest of Dubliners with the goal of establishing a thematic statement Joyce develops in the collection.  Folks worked diligently and posted their findings and thinking on their newly created WordPress blogs.

We just got into a great conversation about Gabriel & Michael Furey & The Last Supper when the bell rang.  All are encouraged to keep the conversation going online by commenting on the post that inspired it all here.  (Well done, Makenzie.) 

Award-winning book title projects land at the end of next week and Tuesday is the last day to submit revisions of synthesis essays.