Archive for April, 2010

30
Apr

All-

As we begin working on our blogging unit, I wanted to post the .pdf of Part 1 of my blogging presentation. Feel free to check it out, and even to set up your own blog (see my instructions in the .pdf first!), but please, please, a billion times please, don’t start blogging just yet. We have tons more to cover before you’re ready to start blogging confidently.

I know that in class I went to great pains to discuss what a blog is and what a blog isn’t, and I’ll stand behind my statements. I firmly believe that it would be erroneous to categorize sites like Facebook and MySpace as blogs in the same way that I believe older social networking sites like Live Journal and Friendster shouldn’t rightly be called blogs. Those are, however, simply my opinions, of course. The OJR (Online Journalism Review) posted this opinion as early as 2005 suggesting that blogs are whatever you choose to make of them. The discussion of the difference between a blog and a column in a newspaper is especially interesting, especially as we increasingly read blogs for our news, not newspapers.

Anywho, start thinking this weekend about what you would like to blog about. We’ll be moving towards publication of our own blogs in the next week or so.

Happy Friday.

m.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
29
Apr

Howdy!

So I still haven’t had time to put up a section on the site dedicated to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so in the meantime I’ll have to post directly to the blog. That said, here are the comprehension questions for Act I, Scene i.

Update to my update.

All of the Midsummer Night’s Dream materials can now be found here, under the tab in the 10th grade drop down menu.

Enjoy!

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
28
Apr

As promised, here is the first activity for our reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We’ll be taking this play apart as we read it, but it should be a load of fun. I’ll post much, much more about this later.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
27
Apr

All-

Here are the notecards from my mock 5 Minute Presentation. I hope you see how they connect to the specific points on the 5 Minute Presentation Guidelines.

On a totally unrelated note, here is the reading on Hitchcock’s Rear Window that you’ll to read over the weekend. I’ll give you more direction about my expectations regarding how you’ll be dealing with it, but it is essentially a response paper that discusses how valid you find the authors arguments based on your viewing of the film.

M.

Category : 12th Grade | Senior Project | Blog
26
Apr

Hola!

Sorry for the slightly later-than-normal post, but I think that you’ll find this week and next much to your liking. Part of my little gift to seniors (though I’m not convinced you deserve it) is to save our viewing of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Rear Window until the end of the year, just as Senior Projects are coming due. We’ll also be watch his classic film Vertigo, but that won’t happen until next week.

That said, here’s your week.

Monday: I’ll be handing out an essay by Joel Gunz entitled “How to Watch Hitchcock.” I view this essay as fundamental in beginning to form an understanding of Hitchcock and his work, and I’ll be asking you to craft a response to his work.

You can find the essay here.

I’ll be distributing Roger Ebert’s brief analysis of the film and giving you some time in class to begin reading it. I expect that you will craft a short response to this review.

Tuesday: We’ll be discussing Joel Gunz’ article about how to watch Hitchcock briefly, then transitioning into the film Rear Window. I want to emphasize the importance of understanding Gunz’ discussion of dualism in Hitchcock’s films. It will be a primary lens through which we view his work.

Wednesday: We will continue our viewing of Rear Window.

Thursday: We should be able to finish the film on Thursday, and I’ll outline what I expect as far a as response goes. Stay tuned, as I’ll post that in an update shortly.

Friday: I’ll be checking off notecards for the 5-minute presentation. Remember, if you are not prepared, you will not receive credit for these. There are no do-overs on this one, as the 5-Minute presentations will be happening next week, Wednesday through Friday. Assume that you’re going on Wednesday. That way, when I call your name you’ll be ready to go.

A final note about the 5-Minute presentation: This will be your final chance to get feedback on your work prior to the May 17th cut-off for students who will not be walking. We will not be doing complete presentations in class, as there simply is not enough time. Those of you who miss the presentations next week will have to make them up on your own time, likely very early in the morning, if you want to walk with your peers. Admin is very much behind us on this, and I will be unmovable on the issue.

Lastly, for those of you sick and tired of PowerPoints, check out this NYTimes.com story. It made me laugh. This one might be even funnier, written by a high-ranking US military official.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog
25
Apr

Hola!

I hope your weekend went as well as mine, save for the challenges of taking pictures while driving. Suffice it to say that I saw a tremendously funny sign, but was unable to take a good picture of it. I then realized that it was only funny if one had seen the classic film Blazing Saddles. Total photo fail.

Anywho, here’s a synopsis of your week.

Monday: We’ll be beginning our last bit of work with Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. It will be an opportunity for you to begin looking at a text through a specific lens and, while this is a relatively challenging thing to do, it makes you a better reader and a better writer and it’s usually a ton of fun. I have a little activity that should be pretty fun (probably at my expense) that deals with the idea of looking at things in a particular way.

You can find the final writing assignment for the piece here.

Homework: Complete a first draft of your final Things Fall Apart essay for class on Tuesday.

Tuesday: We’ll be spending the class doing some peer editing of the first drafts. I’m giving credit for having the first draft done in time, so make sure that you have it prepared and ready to be reviewed by your classmates. If you’re absent, here’s the peer-editing form that we’ll be using on Monday afternoon. You can also use this time to make sure that you’re using and citing the text often and accurately.

Homework: Complete a final draft, due Friday, April 30th.

Note: I’m only taking typed, printed copies this time around. I’ll be out of town this weekend and won’t have the chance to download essays from the turnitin.coms.

Wednesday: I’ll be introducing our next piece of literature, Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This is one of my favorite Shakespeare pieces, complete with crazy parents, magical forests, an ass, and capricious fairies. We’ll be reading most of this text in class, so make sure that you are not missing days, as it will be quite difficult to catch up. There will also be a short warm-up activity for the play that I’ll be collecting for participation points. For fun, I’ll be awarding points to each class for use of Shakespearean vocab, and there will be a prize awarded to the winning class at the end of the play.

Thursday: In class we’ll be reading Act I, Scene i.

Homework #1: Complete the Act I, Scene i worksheet. Due Monday.
Homework #2: Complete
Things Fall Apart essay. Due Friday.

Friday: We’ll be starting our Blogging unit. This will be an opportunity for you to express, in writing, hypertext, pictures, whatever, how you feel about virtually any subject. I’ll be posting more about this shortly.

Wow. What a tremendously busy week. Hang on, because it will only get crazier as we near the end of the school year.

m.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
24
Apr

Seniors-

Cello Sample

Here’s the .pdf version the Five Minute Speech example that I did on Friday. I’ll remind you that we’re going to be working on putting together our presentations over the next two weeks, culminating in each class member walking through the 5 Minute Speech on May 6th and 7th. Remember, if you aren’t cleared to present by May 17th, you will not be walking. Completing the 5 Minute Speech is a required step in order to achieve clearance to walk.

Notice that each of the slides in the Five Minute Speech corresponds directly to the required notecards as outlined in the 5 Minute Speech Guidelines. My first slide introduces the goals, the second slide introduces the project rubric, the third slide introduces the product rubric and so on.

Hope this helps.

Category : 12th Grade | Senior Project | Blog
22
Apr

All-

As promised, here is the study guide for the Things Fall Apart exam. If you read the book carefully, much of this should be readily evident to you already. Make sure that you bring your books to class tomorrow as well, as all of our novel exams are open book (partially because they require citations in the long answer sections).

Happy Thursday.

m.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog
20
Apr

All-

For those of you who would prefer to get a (rather late night) early start on the in-class work for Wednesday or on the 1 page response that you need to bring to class for your entry slip on Thursday, here are the response questions and the prompt for the 1 page response.

Enjoy.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
20
Apr

All-

Here’s the updated schedule for the week. We’ll be working on the Fences Front Page assignment through Thursday, when it will be due.

Repeat: The Fences Front Page assignment will be due on Thursday at the end of class.

On Friday we’ll be talking a little bit more about the 5 Minute Presentation. I’ll be giving a sample presentation, and answering whatever questions you have. I’ll also be assigning the final Fences essay.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog