Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ideal America Presentations, Day 2: Dec 21 or 22, 2016

Focus: What American ideals do we share?

1. Remembering the presentation order with you and establishing a timer

2. Reminding you to be a good audience
  • Listen. I mean, actually listen.
  • Respect the speaker's vulnerability, especially when you don't agree with their points.
  • Nod. Smile. Be kind to each other. 
3. Starting our presentations!

HW:
1. Sleep lots.
2. Eat yummy food.
3. Hang out with good people.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ideal America Presentations, Day 1: December 16, 2016

Focus: What American ideals do we share?

1. Sharing the presentation order with you and establishing a timer

2. Offering you a few thoughts on being a good audience
  • Listen. I mean, actually listen (without judgment).
  • Respect the speaker's vulnerability, especially when you don't agree with their points.
  • Nod. Smile. Be kind to each other. 
3. Starting our presentations!

4. Concluding with my final grade math

89.50% = A -
89.49 = B +

79.50% = B -
79/49 = C +

HW:
Good luck with your finals! See you next week! Please note that I will not be in the building on Monday or Tuesday next week, but I will be checking e-mail.

4th hour: 
Wednesday, Dec 21: 7:21-8:46 am

6th hour:
Thursday, Dec 22: 8:56-10:21 am

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Final Day of Book Clubs: December 15, 2016

Focus: What are your transcendentalist book club take-aways?

MAKE SURE YOUR GOOGLE SLIDES FOR YOUR PRESENTATION 
ARE IN YOUR SHARED FOLDER.

1. Warming up by contributing a real, live book review to a reading community
2. Enjoying your final day of book clubs
  • Structure and Shift: Reread the last couple of pages, Then reread the first couple of pages. What has shifted, and why?
  • Theme and Tone: What does your author want us to understand better or differently?
3. Composing an exit ticket on the dynamics of your book club

4. Recapping speech expectations and answering any last-minute questions

From last Friday's blog:
  • What will be the first thing you say to us?
    • Be vulnerable (pathos/ethos).
    • Consider telling a story (ethos).
    • Consider addressing/involving your audience (pathos).
    • Consider shocking/intriguing us with a fact (logos).
  • What will be the last thing you say to us?
    • Make us believe in your ideal.
    • Consider calling us to action.
    • Your speech took us on a little journey. The ending should be even better than the beginning.
    • "And that's my speech about ____."  "And that's pretty much it."
  • What will be on the slides behind you?
    • An image?
    • A single word or short phrase?
    • A quotation?
    • A graph or chart?
    • A video you made that's no longer than 20 second in duration?
    • Remember to avoid guiding bullet points or any writing that goes beyond a phrase or single quotation.

HW:
Prep that speech! MAKE SURE YOUR GOOGLE SLIDES ARE IN YOUR SHARED AMERICAN LIT FOLDER.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Modern Transcendentalism: December 14, 2016

Focus: How is transcendentalism relevant in America today?

1. Warming up by finalizing your recent blog posts and leaving comments to your blogging buddies
  • What transcendentalist concepts are you seeing that are relevant to you?
  • What's being transcended, and how?
  • What overall transcendentalist patterns are you noticing?

2. Exploring modern transcendentalist communities (some are actual places; some are cyber spaces)
  • What are the goals of each community?
  • Which transcendentalist concepts (self-reliance, strong connection to nature, living deliberately, redefining "essential," and civil disobedience) are celebrated in these communities?
  • Do any of these communities appeal to any part of you? Why or why not?

Others??--Look at this link for a quick overview and pictures of additional societies!

3. Discussing transcendentalist concepts in grid groups OR designing your own transcendentalist utopia

Grid group option: Create six questions (Level 2 and/or 3) that provoke thoughtful discussion of transcendentalist concepts. Discuss and jot down notes, grid-group style. Click HERE for the grid.

Design your own transcendental utopia option: With your group, create an illustration/map of a transcendental community of your design. Include your mission, your core (transcendental) values, and some details about how your society works.


HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow. Remember that your book must be finished by tomorrow.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16. Do not be absent this day.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Penultimate Day of Book Clubs: December 13, 2016

Focus: What larger patterns and themes are emerging in our transcendentalist texts?

Shortened class due to assembly schedule

1. Warming up with a story (and, perhaps, an example of being vulnerable)

2. Enjoying the penultimate day of our transcendentalist book clubs

Challenge 1: Putting the puzzle pieces together
  • What patterns (motifs) have emerged at this point?
  • What are some of the prominent symbols, and are their meanings shifting?
  • What larger themes are starting to take form?
Challenge 2: Making the transcendentalist connection

We've dabbled in the following transcendentalist concepts:
  • Self-reliance
  • Nature (and its connection to human nature)
  • Living deliberately and redefining "essential"
  • Civil disobedience
Which ones are surfacing in your books? How so?

3. Wrapping up with an informal exit (no clicking necessary--simply discuss with your groups): What do you hope to accomplish in your final book club meeting on Thursday? What questions need to get answered? What topics need to be discussed?

HW:
1. Final assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Thursday. Remember that your book must be finished by Thursday.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16. Do not be absent this day.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Civil Disobedience: December 12, 2016

Focus: What is civil disobedience, and when is it justified?

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Sharing with you a trick I played on my unsuspecting Honors American Lit class back in the day and playing a round of "Yes, No, Maybe"
Follow-up questions:
Think about these “new requirements.”  What common denominator(s) do these requirements share? 
What relationship do they create between the government (in this case, the administration) and the individual (the student)?
Where did you draw the line for yourself, and why?


3. Engaging in high-velocity, highly opinionated writing using some of Thoreau's and Martin Luther King's statements from their time in jail

4. Finding your own understanding of "civil disobedience" on your blog
  • Develop your own definition based on what we've read and reflected on today.
  • Find an example of civil disobedience (any time from the last century is fine) and connect it to Thoreau or MLK.
HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow. Remember that your book must be finished by Thursday.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16. Do not be absent this day.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.




Friday, December 9, 2016

Preparing a Strong Speech: December 9, 2016

Focus: How do I organize and prepare a strong speech?

1. Warming up by reflecting on your Gothic paragraphs

2. Looking through your raw materials and finding patterns (color-coding can help with this)

3. Using those patterns to organize and develop ideas; click here if you'd like a prep sheet.

4. Fine tuning important details:
  • What will be the first thing you say to us?
    • Be vulnerable (pathos/ethos).
    • Consider telling a story (ethos).
    • Consider addressing/involving your audience (pathos).
    • Consider shocking/intriguing us with a fact (logos).
  • What will be the last thing you say to us?
    • Make us believe in your ideal.
    • Consider calling us to action.
    • Your speech took us on a little journey. The ending should be even better than the beginning.
    • "And that's my speech about ____."  "And that's pretty much it."
  • What will be on the slides behind you?
    • An image?
    • A single word or short phrase?
    • A quotation?
    • A graph or chart?
    • A video you made that's no longer than 20 second in duration?
    • Remember to avoid guiding bullet points or any writing that goes beyond a phrase or single quotation.

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Tuesday. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by writing/outlining, preparing your media, and practicing every night. Be ready to deliver it on Friday, Dec 16.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Transcendentalist Book Clubs, Day 3: December 8, 2016

Focus: How can we be more "deliberate" in our Transcendentalist discussions?

1. Warming up by browsing each other's "Nature" and "Walden" blogs and leaving comments:

Click HERE for your blogging buddy groups.
  • Make sure your "Nature" and "Walden" blogs are complete and posted.
  • Leave comments on the your blogging buddies' posts. Here are some ideas:
  • At least one, deep, philosophical question inspired by the blog/"Nature"
    • Ex: Why do the blue skies of winter make us feel distant from nature, while the blue skies of summer make us feel wrapped up in nature?
  • At least one intellectual reaction and/or emotional reaction
    • Ex: I think people connect most to the human-like aspects of nature, such as the arm-like branches of trees, or the toughness of a single, tiny ladybug.
    • Ex: I loved this line from Emerson's "Nature," too. I definitely felt more connected to nature as a child.
  • At least one comment on transcendentalism: To transcend is to rise above and beyond, to exceed limitations. What is being transcended here?
    • Ex: Your photo and the Emerson line you chose remind me of the importance of looking up, both literally and metaphorically. In the daily grind, it's easy to forget how vast the Colorado winter sky is. For some reason, it makes me think about tomorrow instead of today. It makes me think about possibility instead of reality.
  • Bonus: Make one connection between the blog and what you're reading for your book club.
2. Sharing a little feedback from Tuesday's exit tickets

What you need to do:
  • Stay up with the reading.
  • Annotate.
  • Make sure all group members are heard.

What I need to do:
  • Keep leaving you feedback on your syllabus.
  • Be available to help when invited.
  • Give you more time.

3. Enjoying your third book club discussions!

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Tuesday. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class TOMORROW for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

3. If you've been absent or behind, take some time to update your Transcendentalist blog posts. I will start grading them after school on Thursday, Dec 15.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Walden: December 7, 2016

Focus: What's essential to living a fulfilling life? What does it mean to live deliberately?

PLC: Shortened Class

1. Warming up by taking inventory of your material possessions

Start a new post on your transcendentalist blog in which you try the following:
  • Make a list of the material possessions you use on a daily basis. 
  • Which ones are essential to you? Put these in bold or a different font color.
  • How did you define "essential" as you were doing this exercise?

2. Meeting the Man Who Quit Money
  • What is essential to Suelo?
  • What is deliberate about his lifestyle?


3. Reading the excerpt from Walden
  • How does Henry David Thoreau define "essential"? In other words, what do humans need to live a fulfilling life?
  • What must humans transcend in order to live a fulfilling life, and how do we do this?

                                                                           Walden Pond
HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class this Friday for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

3. Click HERE if you'd like to preview the rubric for your transcendentalist blog posts. Your blog must be completed by 3:00 pm on Thursday, December 15. Please note: This will be one of the few assignments that you will not be able to revise or take extra time on because we are at the end of the semester.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Transcendentalist Book Clubs, Day 2: December 6, 2016

Focus: What role does nature play in what you're reading and what you're doing?

1. Warming up with Grammar You Must Know, Lesson #3: Run-ons

2. Highlighting some book club successes from last Thursday; having a look at the feedback I left you on your syllabi
  • Look in your Transcendentalist folder.
  • Your Book Club folder must be in there.
  • All syllabi must be in the Book Club folder.
3. Enjoying your second book club discussion!

4. Completing an exit ticket

5. Browsing each other's "Nature" blogs and leaving comments:
  • At least one, deep, philosophical question inspired by the blog/"Nature"
    • Ex: Why do the blue skies of winter make us feel distant from nature, while the blue skies of summer make us feel wrapped up in nature?
  • At least one intellectual reaction and/or emotional reaction
    • Ex: I think people connect most to the human-like aspects of nature, such as the arm-like branches of trees, or the toughness of a single, tiny ladybug.
    • Ex: I loved this line from Emerson's "Nature," too. I definitely felt more connected to nature as a child.
  • At least one comment on transcendentalism: To transcend is to rise above and beyond, to exceed limitations. What is being transcended here?
    • Ex: Your photo and the Emerson line you chose remind me of the importance of looking up, both literally and metaphorically. In the daily grind, it's easy to forget how vast the Colorado winter sky is. For some reason, it makes me think about tomorrow instead of today. It makes me think about possibility instead of reality.
  • Bonus: Make one connection between the blog and what you're reading for your book club.
HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Thursday. Keep in mind the feedback you received on your first and second syllabi.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class this Friday for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nature: December 5, 2016

Focus: What is the relationship between nature and the human spirit?

1. Warming up with three good things and offering you a little scientific evidence that you and the universe are composed of the same stuff

2. Getting into nature (literally): Going outside and looking for evidence of the human spirit in nature
  • Take photos of all aspects of nature that, to you, represent some aspect of human nature/the human spirit (kindness, melancholy, independence, acceptance, competition, etc.).
  • You will have 7 minutes (we'll set our timers together).
  • You must stay on campus, preferably within earshot.

3. Reading Emerson's "Nature" together and finding lines that support/add complexity the photos you took

4. Creating your next transcendentalist entry on the blog
  • Upload your photos from today (or other relevant nature photos you happen to have). 
  • Explain what aspect of the human spirit you see in each natural image. 
  • Bring in a line or two from Emerson's "Nature" that supports/adds complexity to each image and reflection.

5. Synthesizing the two Emerson pieces ("Self-Reliance" and "Nature") with a poetic film clip (1:03:34)

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for tomorrow.

2. Work on your final speech by gathering evidence (personal stories, others' stories, historical events, parts of literature that we've read, interviews, images). Bring all collected evidence to class this Friday for your last in-class day of speech preparation.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Delivering a Good Speech: December 2, 2016

Focus: What delivery skills do we need to practice?

1. Warming up with an overview of public speaking tips and the American Lit speech rubric

2. Getting into four groups to practice your 60 second speeches

a. Assign one time keeper
  • Hold up your hand when there are 10 seconds left. 
  • The speaker must remain standing for at least 50 seconds, even if that person runs out of things to say. 
  • You can let the speaker go 10 seconds over, but then you have to cut him/her off.
b. Assign someone to film each speech. 
  • The filmer must send the video to the speech giver once all the speeches have been given.
c. Please be efficient in transitioning from one speaker to the next. This entire activity shouldn't take more than 15 minutes in total.

3. Reviewing your 60 speeches individually by watching the film of you and filling out the rubric (this is a great time to ask questions about the rubric if you're confused)

4. Writing your speeches

Option 1: A traditional speech with an intro, two or three main parts, and a conclusion. See Ted Talks for examples. Click HERE if you'd like a planning sheet.


Option 2: A poetic speech, such as a spoken-word poem or a song that you compose and perform.
  • Click HERE for a sample spoken-word poem.
5. Wrapping up by highlighting a few basic rules for your final speech:
  • Your speech needs to be 3-4 minutes long. You will have a 10 second grace period.
  • You may have one index card (not a phone) with notes, or no notes at all.
  • Presentation should include media (e.g. technology, visuals, music, art).  Use of media should be supplemental and minimal; YOU MAY NOT USE GUIDING BULLET POINTS.
  • If you include a video, it must be one that YOU made (not something you found on youtube), and it may not be more than 20 seconds in duration.
  • Everybody must be prepared to go on Friday, December 16. If your name is drawn out of the hat that day, you will deliver your speech regardless of how prepared you are.

HW:
1. Work on your speech.
2. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating.
3. Bring your coats, hats, and mittens to class on Monday.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Transcendentalist Book Clubs, Day 1: December 1, 2016

Focus: What does it take to be self-reliant?

1. Warming up by exploring your transcendentalist blogs and connecting self-reliance to your books (15 minutes)
  • Priority #1: Finish your blog entries for "Self-Reliance" (and make sure your blog is accessible). Here are the directions from yesterday:
  • Journaling...
    • Find 3-5 lines from the essay you appreciate/love/agree with. Enter them in your blog journal.
    • For each line you've chose, reflect and react. You can simply write, you can create a short video, you can draw and upload your drawing, or you can include a combination of photographs and writing. 
    • Use your reaction to figure out why you're connecting to the lines you've chosen. Why does this matter to you? Why should this matter to everyone?
    • "To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature...The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child." -- from Emerson's "Nature"
    •  I chose this image of my three-year-old and five-year-old, bundled up in sweaters, jackets, and hats, because they beg me each morning and afternoon to go outside. They enjoy the quiet darkness of a winter morning. They can't wait to kick their legs on the swings in the summer. In the fall, they chase leaves, In the spring, they taste rain and leave sloppy footprints in the leftover snow. When did I stop going outside to play? 
  • Priority #2: Leave comments others' blogs. Intellectual reflections? Emotional reactions? Questions? Please be specific and thorough (much like Fishbowl blogging).
  • Priority #3: In your book club book, try this out: Flip through the reading you've done in your book so far. Are there any lines in your book that connect to "Self-Reliance"? Or to the idea of transcending something? Mark them on comment in the margins, or add them to your blog or syllabus.
  • As a class: According to Emerson, what must we do to be self-reliant?
2. Engaging in your transcendentalist book clubs: Day 1 (30 minutes)

3. Completing a quick exit ticket on your bookmarks:
  • Name one success from today: What's one thing your book club should keep doing?
  • Name one failure (if applicable): What's one thing your book club needs to do to improve?
4. Selecting one-minute speech topics for Friday
  • Your speech needs to be 60 seconds long. You will have a 10 second grace window.
  • You need to have one prop.
  • It's preferable not to have notes. However, if that's too scary, you may have one index card.
HW:
1. Prepare to give your 60 second speech for tomorrow. Remember your prop. You encouraged to try this without any notes at all, but you are allowed to bring one index card (don't use your phone). Bring headphones to class tomorrow.

2. Assigned book club reading and syllabus-creating for Tuesday.