All Classes: Flipboard

Flipboard lets you curate your own magazine online based on the content of other magazines.  I think it is rad and you better as well.
Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 12.45.49 PM

All Classes: Movie Trailer Breakdowns at Wired


There’s fantastic stuff at (and in its latest issue) all about movie trailers.  Some really fantastic tips to be learned from the masters.  Get there and make sure you access all the great links down the left hand side.  (I really dig the breakdown of the new Wolverine film and how its trailer campaign rolled out.)

PACE: Preparing for the Final and Wrapping Up the Year

We are nearly at the end of this particular journey and the final exam in PACE English reflect that ending.

While we’ve discussed it in class a number of times, I had not yet put it here on the blog. That was my bad.

Three parts to our final, two take home portions and one in-class.

1. Essay

Compose an essay in which you discuss what you have learned about others this year, yourself, and education.  Use the analytical rubrics as your guide for assessment.

2. Project

Create any product to demonstrate your thoughts on PACE this year.  What have you learned?  What will you take away from this experience?  What changes would you have made?  What changes would you make yourself?  How can you best illustrate that in a project?  Try your best to consider the total PACE experience, thinking all the way back into the end of last year and right through today. Challenge yourself to embrace both your emotional side and your rational side as you do this.  Ask yourself as you create, “Am I capturing it in a way that I think will feel as honest and true six weeks from now as it does today?”  And also ask yourself as you create, “Am I capturing it in a way that feels like my words and thoughts on the subject?”

3. In class Discussion

We will conclude our final with a graded in-class discussion (4 contributions to earn a ‘A’) during which you will also be sharing your final products.

Other things to remember:

I will accept revisions and work all the way up to June 14.  Can’t take it past that date, but everything leading up to that? Go for it.  The more you can keep me inform of your process, the better I can plan and help you with your work.

Key assignments for Quarter 4:

Poetry collection and analytical essay

I Am Hero Project

I am Hero/Pitch to Product Analytical Essay

Pitch to Product Project

I Am Hero Organizers

Flocabulary Lists #1 and #2 – Exercises

Please, please, please, please return your books to me.  There are Writer’s Inc books, Hunger Games, Ulysses & more in circulation.  With so many people in different directions, I lost track.  So please, I’m really begging folks to find their books and get them in to me.  We really don’t have the funds to replace them for future students.

Last thing: If you have a work you have been just dying to revise — from any point in the year for English — and you are willing/wanting to put in the energy to revise it.  Do so.  End the year on your terms, showcasing your talent and knowledge to the fullest.

I will make it worth your time.


PACE: Pictogram Poetry

Today we discussed the Monday evening blog entry that laid out the Chinese poetry project, the analysis, and the plan for the rest of the year.  And then we started making some poetry.

Because classical Chinese poetry is often written using Chinese characters, and because Chinese characters can stand for anything from a letter to a word to a phrase or an idea, I challenged the class to write pictogram poetry following the same traditional content as classical Chinese poets.

The task was to use pictograms such as these:

pictograms  to craft a poem about either farming, love and marriage, or dynasty/government.

I pulled one together for my wife during class that looks like this:Screen shot 2013-05-15 at 10.09.45 AM

And a reminder that we are leaving at 6:15 a.m. for the MLTI conference tomorrow morning.

And we have Senator Saviello coming on Friday.

PACE: Chinese Culture – A Poetic Examination

Today in class, we figured out the best way to tackle our next mini-project.  This one is a poetry collection based on Chinese culture of the past and present, as well as our modern day Franklin County culture.

There will be a rubric available soon, but here is the outline of the assignment as agreed upon in class.  I’ve also added an option that I think may serve some folks well as they are feeling pinched for time.

Part I: Create a collection of poetry that features at least:

1 poem that illustrates ancient Chinese culture

1 poem that illustrates modern/contemporary Chinese culture

1 poem that illustrates modern Franklin County culture

Over the course of your poetry, you must use the following poetic techniques:

  • Rhyme
  • Repetition
  • Figurative Language
  • Diction

In addition to those techniques, challenge yourself to apply the principles of classic Chinese poetry listed here.  

Part II: Complete an analysis of your poetry

This may take the shape of either A) an essay featuring a strong thesis statement, well documented evidence of your thinking, a strong intro and a meaningful conclusion  or B) a comprehensive graphic organizer (I will provide) that asks you to analyze your poetry technique by technique.

What is important to me here is that you demonstrate analytical thinking backed by evidence, even more than you showcase essay composition skills.  However, some of you may want to demonstrate your ability to meet the writing standards by doing the essay.  The choice is yours.

The graphic organizer and the rubric will be ready before the end of this week.  I know time is tight so I’m doing my best to create a manageable schedule for everyone leading into these next few weeks.  Look below.


Flocabulary #2: Shakespeare Is Hip-Hop – Quiz on Wednesday! Exercises due. (LAST vocab work for the year)

Chinese Poetry Collection: Start looking at Chinese poetry and getting some ideas.  This is due May 30th.

To give you a sense of where this is all going for the rest of the year:

Wednesday, May 15: Flocabulary quiz #2 & classical Chinese poetry (LAST VOCAB WORK – Rest of the year to do re-takes if so desired)

Friday, May 17: Meet with Sen. Tom Saviello (R. – Wilton), share PACE plusses and minuses

Tuesday, May 21st: Panel on refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants

Thursday, May 23rd: Poetry Workshop #1 – bring some pieces you’ve written to share and critique and work wit AND LAST WEEK OF BLOGGING

Tuesday, May 28th: Poetry Workshop #2 – bring some more pieces you’ve written to share and critique

Thursday, May 30th: Poetry Collection and Analysis Due  (No Blogging Necessary)

Monday, June 3: Work Session, revisions, Flocab retakes

Wednesday, June 5: Work Session, revisions, Flocab retakes


Final: Week of June 10 – 14.  Final essay (what have you learned about yourself, others, and EDUCATION this year — see what I changed there? See?) due by June 14. (Even if not the day of our final)  Final project due day of our final (TBA) Revisions of all essays, projects, due by June 14.  (I will take everything up until then.)

Here are a couple of videos that show nice examples, and great context, of classical Chinese poetry.  (And that British accent only makes the narrator seem smarter!)

PACE: Steve Milligan

Tuesday we spent visiting with Steve Milligan of Phenix New Media and the Maine Arts Commission.  He  shared  the work he creates and the pathways and thinking he used in order to get there.  (He talked about the importance of geometry! Something he hated and didn’t think he’d ever need when he was in high school!)

The MLTI Student Conference is happening on Thursday, May 16th. We leave at 6:15 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.  Get blue slips going.  Permission and photo release forms from the conference are coming your way shortly.

For Thursday, make sure you have a working draft of your analytical 5 paragraph essay where you self-assess either your I Am Hero project OR your Pitch to Product project.