9 CPI: Point of View & Boston

Today in class we start by looking at Flocabulary.  We are working on SAT #1: Transformation.  Take a few minutes to explore the tools available to you to study.  And remember that there is a quiz and exercises due next Thursday

Then we will watch the video I posted on the blog yesterday.   It’s incredibly powerful. You will blog your reactions to the video — I’m very curious to hear what you have to say about it.  (I think you know what I’d say.)

After lunch we will break into two groups.  One group will start looking at point of view,  the other will look at point of view/characterization/symbolism all together.

We will explore them by looking at these videos related to the Boston bombings.

Video #1: Fox News Discusses Connection Between Bombings and Gun Control 

Video #2: CBS News Provides an Update on the Manhunt


Tolerance Projects – DUE FRIDAY!

Flocabulary #1: Quiz and Word Castles/Exercises Due NEXT Thursday!

9 CPI: Back from Break

Welcome back, everyone.

There’s a lot to talk about as we get back on track here.  We’ll start with getting our routine back in order . . .

1) PrimeTime: Let’s do some searching for things online that interest us.  Some topics and readings that speak to us.  Make us want to read more.  Learn more.  I’d like to move PrimeTime into a time for that.  And a time for sharing those things.  Connecting us.

On your blog, post a link to the article and then make your three text connections: text to text, text to self, and text to world.  For more info on those connections, you can look here.

2) Vocab: Flocabulary #1.  I’m excited about our new vocab program we are going to use for the rest of the year.  You can find it here at Flocabulary.   The list we’ll work with is SAT #1: Transformation.    All of the log in info is in your inbox. I’m hoping you folks get as excited about it as I do.  We’ll take a pre-test and try out the first round.

3) MUGS: Let’s see if we can get some complete sentence work going again today.  I’ve got an activity to build off of what we did before break.  I’m hoping it works out well.

4) Point of View/Symbolism/Characterization:  We have some work we need to get started around these concepts. I’m going to share each of them with you folks and you are going to choose which path we take first.  We need to grapple with all three.  Let’s see if there’s an interesting and meaningful way for us to do this.

Of Mice and Men . . . I’ll explain in class.  It’s complicated and in light of recent events I think it’s important to give people some choices.


Tolerance Projects – DUE FRIDAY! 4/26

Flocabulary #1 Quiz – Next Thursday! May 2

Flocabulary #1 Graphic Organizers/Word Castles – Next Thursday! May 2

Blogs!  Keep up!  3X per week.  Today you should have a post to an article and three text connections!  

Humanities: Projects Are Coming

Today, we start with blogging action plans for the next three days as your big ol’ Speak projects are due then.

1. Where are you at in your project?

2. What do you have left to do?

3. What is your time management plan for getting that work done?

If you cannot access your blog for some reason, you can just send it to Mr. Dunbar and I in an e-mail.

Then we will go to the Food Court and you will have an opportunity to continue working on your projects, to conference with Mr. Ryder, Mr. Warren and Mr. Diffin, and to also finish up any other outstanding work including your Speak walls on Padlet.

The expectations for the Speak walls are included on Monday’s calendar, but I’ll lay them out here as well.

Create a wall on Padlet about you.  Include your likes and loves and passions.

AND . . . include three quotes from Speak to which you can relate.

AND . . . include three symbolic images from Speak to which you can relate.

Then . . .

Pretend you are one of the characters from Speak and create another wall based on that character.  Push yourself to become that character.  This isn’t “This is what Spanky McShecklton thinks about Melinda.”  This is, “This is what Melinda thinks about Melinda.”

So, you are creating two walls: one from your point of view, one from the point of view of a character in Speak.


Speak Projects are due Friday!

Padlet walls were due yesterday.

Humanities: Speak Project Proposal Work

Today we had a short day in Humanities because of early release. And still, progress was made.

We started by breaking the class into two rooms: one room for folks who needed further explanation of the project and one room with people who felt comfortable completing their project proposals.

In the explanation room, we broke down the project some more by making a list of essential questions that Speak raises, a list of various symbols used in the book, and a list of themes that surface in the book.

We focused most of our energy on symbolism and uncovering different symbols used in Speak. We spent a lot of time discussing trees, blood, red, birds, eggs and more.  When then tied that symbolism to the essential questions and converted the essential questions into thematic statements.

I will post a photo of the marker board — I forgot to do so before leaving — as a reminder of what happened in class today.

The whole point was to generate ideas for projects by thinking about the symbolism from Speak, you could use in your projects, determining an essential question/theme  you want to ask/suggest that is also asked/suggested in Speak .  These projects should go beyond the literal.  If you make a tree, make a tree that is uniquely your own and incorporates symbolism and meaning beyond the tree and that goes beyond how Melinda creates one.  If you create a model of a personal sanctuary, create one that relates to your experiences and that also ties into Melinda’s experiences and perspective on life.   If you create a graphic novel, make your characters original and unique and stuff your graphic novel full of the symbolism and imagery Anderson uses in Speak.

And most importantly?  Read the Speak project rubric.


Finish reading Speak if you have not already.  It is fundamentally important to completing this project.

  1. Speak Projects are due next Friday, the day before April vacation.
  2. Roots Quiz 11-15 is TOMORROW!  THURSDAY!  Word Castles/Roots products due as well.
  3. Blogging: Three entries must be done this week.  Two of them should be responses to the songs and prompts around theme we explored this week:  Brand New’s “Sic Transit Gloria” and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus’ “Face Down”



Humanities: Dates & Doings & Speak

Mr. Dunbar & I thought it would help you folks out to look ahead for the next couple of weeks.

Here are key dates, what’s happening, and what you need to do and what you can do.

  • Monday, March 25  Section 5 Theme & Symbolism
  • Tuesday, March 26  Section 6 Theme & Symbolism
  • Wednesday, March 27  Theme & Symbolism & Project Proposals                                              Read Section 7 for Tomorrow’s Discussion
  • Thursday, March 28  Discuss What Happened to Melinda
  • Friday, March 29  Improv-a-Thon w/ Mt. Blue Curtain Raisers
  • Quarter Ends –– All Work Due by Midnight; Finish Speak over the weekend.
  • On Friday, March 29th, 7 p.m., you can also see the Curtain Raisers open for the Mt. Blue Campus Faculty Play with yours truly, Mr. Hodum, Mr. Schoen, Ms. Bickford, Mr. LePage, Mr. Reid, Mrs. Cyr, Mrs. Bean, Mr. Logan, Mrs. Muise and . . . I think that’s . . . yup. I  think that’s it.
  • Monday, April 1st  – Finish Speak for today.
  • Tuesday, April 2nd – Guest speaker?
  • Wednesday, April 3rd – Project Proposals due.
  • Friday, April 12th – Projects due.  (If you have it in, you will have a true vacation from Humanities.)

Humanities: Teams & Themes & Speak

On Tuesday, teams were formed within our class, teams that will be tackling the work of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak together.  The team members determined names and mascots and created banners for their respective teams.

On Wednesday, we started our first grappling with the themes that we can expect to surface in Speak. Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 12.21.11 AM  Teams were to circulate throughout the building and find visual, or symbolic, representations for the themes listed here on Google Drive.  What results is a thematic scavenger hunt, with everyone taking pictures of the thematic ideas.

After taking the pictures, turn them into slides in a Keynote or Google Presentation with captions that explain why the group selected this particular image to represent that particular theme.

Thursday, we will be reading the first section of Speak in class and beginning the graphic organizer work.

We may also be introducing a teamwork rubric as well.  More on that later. . .