PACE: Gearing Up for Adventure

This is a big, huge, giant week for PACE.

Today, we discuss the adventure on Wednesday.  You will get the permission slip, we will talk about the time frame, and we will discuss what you should bring.

We’ll take a pre-test on Flocabulary #2: Hip-Hop Shakespeare.  There will be a quiz on Monday, the 13th.  Exercises are also due that day.  And if you’d like to re-take quiz #1, all you need to do is demonstrate some studying and building better understanding of those words.  (You might go on Quizlet, you might do something creative, you might do the other crossword puzzle.)

We’ll discuss elixirs — those objects and understandings heroes bring back from their adventures. What are those elixirs we’ve discovered for ourselves in our lifetimes, perhaps even this year.  The last I Am Hero organizer (#4) has been assigned.  This is due NEXT Tuesday, the 7th. (Big project due on Friday so there’s the emphasis.)

On Wednesday, we adventure.  7:30 a.m.  Crossroads.  Be not late.  There be monsters.

And on Friday, we debrief the adventure, you will come with your I Am Hero projects with a special guest.  Senator Tom Saviello (R. – Wilton) will be here to learn about PACE, talk to you folks about civic engagement, and all sorts of neat stuff.


I Am Hero Project – Due Friday!

I Am Hero Graphic Organizer #4 – Due next Monday!

Heroic Adventure – Wednesday! Must have permission slip!

Flocabulary #2: Hip Hop is Shakespeare – Monday the 13th!  Quiz!


PACE: Flocabulary Quizzes, Heroes, Self-Assessments, MLTI Trips & More

We have piles and piles and mounds and mounds of talking and learning to do on Tuesday.  Hold on to your hats.  (That is, if you are wearing hats.)

We’ve got a couple of business matters to which we must attend.

One regards our outdoors-ing on May 2nd.  Something is going to happen.  We will be outside.   We will be off-campus.  Where is still yet to be determined — I’ve got multiple ideas.  You will be back for post 2 o’clock-ness.

The second regards what could be a fantastic opportunity for you folks as individuals — as well as a class.  The MLTI Student Conference is happening at Orono on Thursday, May 16.  It’s a pretty amazing event that has expanded from its original beginnings as being focused on middle schoolers to really being about the power of technology to improve learning all over the place.  Just look at what is happening during the two sessions at the conference.   This year has a HUGE emphasis on getting next year’s juniors and seniors involved in the UMaine e-learning program where you can take online classes to earn college credits.  I think this could be mighty powerful opportunity for everyone.

We wouldn’t be returning until late afternoon (around 5 o’clock).   There is an away track meet that day at Leavitt, but no other sports besides practice as far as I could tell.

Darcy Dunphy, our tech coordinator, has offered to pay the $15 per person registration fee so that we could go IF we can secure funds for the bus.  (I’m working on that as well.)

It’s an all day event, it would be meeting with kids from all over the state, it would be learning some really cool things and opening up some ideas for the future for each of you.  I need a sense of who would like to go by Wednesday if not sooner so I can deal with some real numbers.  I know this is all of a sudden, but it sorta landed in my lap on Monday morning and it felt worth pursuing even this late.

The third is the author visit.  The books have arrived.  If you’d like to read it, you can borrow a copy.  The turnaround needs to be quick  so we can get as many out around the building as possible.  Man . . . it is sooooo good.  I’ve got a handful for us.  I’m sending a handful to the Civil Rights Team.  Mrs. Deraps has a bunch in circulation.  A bunch of teachers are reading it.  Exciting stuff.  Tuesday, May 21st is gonna be a big deal.

The fourth is the projects that were due before break.  Looking forward to seeing these final products.  You will treat the self-assessment as a group.  I need a single self-assessment and I need it by this Friday.  (Here’s what’s coming in a couple of weeks — after you complete the I Am Hero project, you will choose from either one of these two projects to write a five-paragraph analytical essay on your process.  You can start on that now if you like — it could make for great blogging material.)

Then . . . .

I Am Hero rubric.  It is live.  The project rubric is live and aligns completely with what we have been discussing and exploring in class — I think.  I’m excited about what you come up with for these.  The I Am Hero project is due next Friday.

Speaking of I Am Hero, the third graphic organizer is up and in the Google Drive.  I shared it with you through the Google Drive.

Matt found this sweet video of the heroic cycle and comparisons on TED-Ed.   Go Matt.

We should talk helpers and amulets today as well.  That’s the focus of organizer #3 that is due on Friday.  And we will discuss mythologies, the constructions of them, the development of them.

On Thursday, I’d like to take a look at anti-heroes and Byronic heroes — the heroes that don’t fit our traditional definitions and the mythologies that get built around them.

When we come back from lunch, we’ll take the Flocabulary #1 quiz.  Boom.

It’s a lot.  I know.  AND . . . here is the breakdown in a schedule format.

Due Dates:

  • Flocabulary #1 Graphic Organizer work – Due Today
  • Pitch to Product – Self Assessment (1 per group) – Due Friday 4/27
  • I Am Hero Graphic Organizer #3 – Due Friday 4/27
  • Heroic Journey – Wednesday 5/2
  • I Am Hero Project – Due Monday 5/6
  • Project Work Analytical Essay – Working Draft – Due Friday 5/10 for Workshopping
  • Blogging.  Keep It Up. This is Week #3.  Draft on it.  Brainstorm.  Shape ideas.




PACE: Pitches Become Projects

true-hero-meme-generator-he-s-the-hero-we-deserve-but-not-the-one-we-need-right-now-65e69fToday is the big due date.

And Mr. Ryder is out with either a sick kid or a conference.

So . . .

Work on finishing touches on the Pitch to Product projects.

Self assessment?  Be prepared to write an analytical essay of your group’s process and outcomes when we get back from break.  (Work on it ahead of time if you like.)

Meanwhile, make sure you have completed both of the graphic organizers for I Am Hero.  They are in your Google Drive.


It’s PACE.  There are lot of choices to make over break.  Make good ones for both your well-being and your learning.  Balance, grasshoppers.

PACE: Pitches into Products & More

We’ve got a new rubric: Pitches into Projects

There are several elements to this rubric that will be covered in the next couple of weeks, mythology and evolution chief among them.

Today, the goal is to work, work, work on those trailers and chapters ahead of getting started with Hunger Games & Adventures of Ulysses literature circles on Wednesday.  At the heart of this work will be two essential questions:

1) To what extent has heroism evolved over time?

2) How does a story grow into a mythology?

Wednesday we begin the journey of answering those two questions.


PACE: A Long Overdue Update on Where We Are at in PACE

Wow.  Somehow I just . . . well . . . I just did not blog there for PACE.  I didn’t do it.

Let’s change that right now.

We agreed as a class to move forward with these pitches and develop three of them into trailers/sizzle reels/sample chapters depending upon the nature of the original pitch.

Danielle’s Pastel series of novels, a story about a young woman sucked back in time through a mysterious painting.

Matt’s Bunker (working title) TV series, a story about people forced to live underground while the world goes on outside — and what happens when they come out.

Jake’s The Quest TV series, a story about the finding of the Holy Grail . . . and then another . . . and then another . . .

We agreed that by this coming Friday, March 22nd, tangible progress toward the production of these three projects must be made.

Here are some resources that can help you develop your pitch from an idea into a published product:

Tim Ferriss’ step-by-step account of how he  and his colleagues created a trailer for his book, The Four-Hour Body.  

We looked at this blog post in detail in class last week.

What about another?

This article from MicroFilmmaker Magazine lays out some guidelines for making a compelling movie trailer.

And another?

For my money and time, I think you would do well to look over the above link, take some time with Tim Ferriss, and then really dig into this tool from the fine folks at

Using licensed clips from A Good Day to Die Hard, you can construct your own trailer online and see how different styles of clips, different elements, can impact the final product in different ways.

I mean, I made this trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard in about five minutes. (And it shows.)

Wednesday, I will be providing everyone with a rubric for this new project.  It will be based upon the input I received from the groups as to how these projects should be assessed.

I’m excited to see what everyone develops.

Be prepared for next week, however, as we will be embarking on a journey — a HEROIC journey as we plan to study both The Adventures of Ulysses and The Hunger Games in literature circle style.  We voted today on the best approach.  Folks will have the opportunity to work in groups or individually.  The only limitations will be that you must read one of the two texts.  This work should lead us straight into our trip, if we are able to secure the financing for it.



PACE: Want to Know What I Talked About?

Thanks for the input for the conference, folks.

Here’s the slideshow I used to start my usual Ryder-style talkity-talk thing. (We all know this means I started to talk about one thing, then talked about six dozen other things before finally bringing it back to the original thing I was supposed to be talking about and then took a couple of minutes to justify those tangents as not tangents or unrelated anecdotes but rather completely connected extensions of the whole.  And then I probably made a joke about being either short, bald or both.)

PACE: Pitching Power Pitches Begin

And that is what we did today.

And they were pretty sweet so far.  Remember, if you want to revise your pitch and/or your show bibles, you certainly may do so.  Learning always requires revision.

We rock more of these on Friday as well as self-assessments.

And from there?  I’ve got an idea.  Let’s talk.

PACE: Pitching Power Workshop Continues

We didn’t have a tremendous amount of time to work today, so we dove into a round robin of ideas.

We ended up hearing a bunch of brilliant notions from JT, Danielle, Sara & Matt.  We really dug into Danielle’s time traveling picture portal idea and left a pile of ideas about Matt’s bunker story on the table because the bell rang.  The projects seem like they have the potential to be really something special.

I also got a look at Brianna’s rap in draft form and Sarah & Miranda’s poetry/video which also hold piles and piles of promise.

To these ends, I’m extending the due date.  WHAt?!?  Yes.  There are ambitious ideas all around and I want to see them fully realized.  Wednesday is the new date.  Take advantage of this time.  If you wait until Tuesday night, the product won’t improve.

The rubric for the Pitching Power project is here.

Reminder that there are still many Macbeth Act Organizers still missing.  (Be certain to be logged in to your school e-mail account before clicking that link.)

All Classes: Skill Exchange video premiere

A friend in San Francisco shared this video on Facebook.  

How amazing would it be to get something like this going at Mt. Blue Campus?  Or in the greater Farmington community?  Or even just in a single class?

He provided me with some contact information and knows the woman behind it it all.  Would anyone be interested seeing if she’d talk with students at MBC?


Skill Exchange video premiere.