Humanities: Speak, Improv, Cliques & Team Work

What has Humanities been up to?

Last Week?

Last week, we made human alphabets as a team work exercise before digging into Speak work.  If only my camera had been working . .

What Happened on Monday?

Monday, we started a discussion of cliques at Mt. Blue Campus.  They are prevalent in Speak’s Merriweather High.  It makes one wonder how much a MBC student can relate.  (We also tried to put in some time on No Red Ink but the internet was being fickle.)

We put a list of possible cliques at MBC up on a Google doc.  You can access it here.  You may not agree with everything here.  However, we did use a thumbs up/side/down poll and the vast majority in the room believes this list has credibility.

After discussing the cliques, we did an improv game called, “Rhythm” and then another called “Hive Mind.”  We formed an oval and went around the oval three times.

Hive Mind Thinking Warm Up

  • 1st Round: A word or two that remind you of MBC
  • 2nd Round: A word or phrase that reminds you of MBC
  • 3rd Round: A sentence you hear almost every day at MBC

After that Hive Mind experience, we broke into teams.  Teams worked on Speak Section 3 .  Mr. Dunbar and I met with each group as well and ran through a second Hive Mind, this time asking for ideas from Speak.  The intention here was to see what ideas are sticking with you as you read, what carries over, and whom among you is reading to remember and understand, and who is reading to get the assignment done.

What is Going to Happen on Wednesday?

We will give No Red Ink another shot.  Be prepared.  It will be a quiz.

Then we practice Hive Mind thinking again.  It will be a different angle, but related to the work we did on Monday.

After that, we will be looking at our clique list and then creating Venn Diagram models that show how these different cliques overlap at MBC.  But these Venn Diagrams won’t be made just with a computer. They will be made with stuff, with people, and with your imaginations.

The figure here on the left shows one person’s way of defining the difference between these different groups, cliques and definitions of those groups.

There are some other way to think about how Venn Diagrams can show information.







You’ll have some time to work on these diagrams and be expected to share your work on your blog.

And we’ll wrap up by working on Section 3 and being assigned Section 4.  Section 4 will be due by the end of class on Thursday.

Humanities: Tolerance Projects Land Now

Tolerance projects were due last Friday and a lot of them landed.  There was some unruly technical difficulties challenging several groups — hopefully these have been resolved over the weekend.  

Mr. Ryder was ridiculously impressed by the work room last Friday and how determined several folks were to get it done and get it done RIGHT.

Today there will be some time spent on No Red Ink.  (There/Their/They’re and Accept/Except)

And then it will be sharing projects.  Several folks still need to get their self-assessments turned in.  (Check your e-mail for that form.  It’s a Pages document.)




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, 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

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!

Humanities: Tolerance Projects on the Cheap

Today we will cram the day full of thinking and learning.  We will make this condo ring loud with ideas and they will spill over into the food court and all will be astonished.

We’ll start with No Red Ink.  WHAt?!?  Yes. It has not been forgotten.  There is a quiz to  take.

From there we will look at an article about enhancing tolerance and community in a school community on a budget. We will read through this together as a class.  On your blog, you will be doing work with text connections.

You need to make at least one of each of the following:

Text to Self Connection: How do the ideas in this text connect to your life experiences?

Text to Text Connection: How do the ideas in this text connect to other things you have read, heard, watched?

Text to World Connection: How do the ideas in this text connect to issues in our community, world, society?

Another way to think of think of these connections is as working their way from more personal experiences to more global experiences.

Here are some examples from Mr. Ryder (currently writing of himself in the third person) based on the article about making change happen on a budget you read in class today:

Text to Self: “But when thoughtful ideas are coupled with an organized plan to help kids expand their comfort zones, amazing things can happen.” A lot of years ago, I was one of the Civil Rights Team advisors.  We threw a ska-punk concert here at Mt. Blue and it felt kind of awesome.  The band was from Bates and had a MB grad in its ranks, so they played for cheap.  We made enough to pay for the band and to fund a couple of other activities later in the year.  The best part was watching kids teaching other kids how to “skank.”  And people started doing it all over the place.

Text to Text: “In every discipline, students and teachers used the academic subject at hand to work through a Hunger Games-inspired dilemma.” The text references a project around The Hunger Games.  This reminds of me of the events in that book and the hundreds of ideas I’ve had around how we could learn from that book.  I still need to reading Mockingjay.  We are hoping to do a project like this in PACE this year.

Text to World: “As for the event, the focus—in true Tough Mudder fashion—was placed on finishing the race, not on winning it. As youngsters ran all over the field, Witte witnessed school community-building in action.” I have thought about running Tough Mudders a couple of times.  I know there are several of them happening in New England, including one at Sunday River near my birthday.  They are becoming crazy popular.  It never occurred to me that it could be a team building experience.  I think this is kind of an amazing idea.

9 CPI: Revising Essays

Friday, we will try to make up for the snow day on Wednesday.

We will open with Prime Time for 10 to 15 minutes or so.  And from there we will do some work with Roots #10 vocab.  We haven’t done much with concept sorting in a long while, so expect to make some cards to move and sort.

Then we will use No Red Ink and continue our work with comma-splice run-ons.  These things are gnarly suckers. Use that link to Grammar Girl to help.

From there I will try to conference with as many folks as possible and you will have time to revise your essays.

Homework?  Essays.  Revise or finish your first submission.  Due when we walk into class on Tuesday.  We have new work for Tuesday.  And don’t forget to blog!



9 CPI: Project Work & No Red Ink

Monday, November 26, we got back from Turkey Day break with a full docket.

We took a look at the Google Calendar for 9 CPI, which can be accessed through Gmail OR by going to the 9 CPI page here at Flight 307.

We talked about the big roots quiz 1-5 on Wednesday.  It is huge.  Challenging.  Everyone should study hard.  Only two people took that opportunity during class today to do a review activity — that has me worried.  A lot. So . . . PROVE ME WRONG!  CRUSH THAT ROOTS QUIZ IN THE FACE!

From there we spent some time on No Red Ink with a focus on It’s/Its.  There will be two assignments to do this week over this and then two quizzes to take next week.  The assignments count as AI grades, the quizzes count as MUGS so you want to do your best possible work.

And then finally, project conferences.  Some great things in the works — particularly in Period 1 where the result of the work is already showing up.  Looking forward to seeing the great plans in Period 3 start  becoming products.  December 18th is going to be a big, huge day.