Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stand Up and Speak (Finals, Day 2): May 24 or 26, 2017

Focus: What do we want each other to understand better or differently?

1. Warming up with our course evaluation

2. Speaking and Listening: Enjoying our first presenters and panel discussions
  • Remember that your goal is to participate at least twice as an audience member.
3. Wrapping up with a reflection on your speeches

4. If time allows, continuing your sneak peak of a possible 3rd documentary for next year: Life, Animated OR I Am

HW:
1. Have a summer full of good things!

2. Come visit me next year!



Friday, May 19, 2017

Stand Up and Speak (Finals, Day 1): May 19, 2017

Focus: What do we want each other to understand better or differently?

1. Warming up with your American Lit stats and a ten-minute course evaluation

2. Speaking and Listening: Enjoying our first presenters and panel discussions
  • Remember that your goal is to participate at least twice as an audience member.
3. Wrapping up with a sneak peak of a possible 3rd documentary for next year: Life, Animated

HW:
1. If you did not present today, prepare to present on the day of your final. If you are signed up for the finals period, you must go then. IF A GROUP MEMBER IS ABSENT, YOU MUST PRESENT WITHOUT HIM/HER. Do everything in your power to be here for your group.
  • 4th hour final: Wednesday, 7:21 am
  • 6th hour final: Friday, 8:46 am
2. Turn in your Chromebooks to the library as soon as possible. You will not need yours for this final.

Note: If you still have a Color of Water or Great Gatsby book, you need to turn it in to the bookkeeper. If you can't find your book, you will need to pay the fine. You will not be able to register for next year's classes until all books/fines are taken care of.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's the Final Countdown: May 18, 2017

Focus: How are we going to open and close our speeches with power?

Reminder: You may now take up to six minutes for your speech.

1. Warming up with the opening and closing of Waiting for Superman
  • Why did the director choose this particular clip for the opening? For the closing?
  • What makes this a powerful frame? 
2. Filling out this quick survey and developing your speech openings and closings

3. Running through the rubric one last time and addressing areas that need work

4. Practicing, practicing, practicing

4th hour final: Wednesday, 7:21 am

6th hour final: Friday, 8:46 am

HW:
1. If you are signed up to give your speech tomorrow, you must give your speech tomorrow. If you are signed up for the finals period, you must go then. IF A GROUP MEMBER IS ABSENT, YOU MUST PRESENT WITHOUT HIM/HER. Do everything in your power to be here for your group.

2. Turn in your Chromebooks to the library as soon as possible. You will not need yours for this final.

3. ALL MAKE-UP WORK, REVISIONS, ETC. DUE THIS FRIDAY BY 3:00 PM.

Note: If you still have a Color of Water or Great Gatsby book, you need to turn it in to the bookkeeper. If you can't find your book, you will need to pay the fine. You will not be able to register for next year's classes until all books/fines are taken care of.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Becoming an Expert: May 17, 2017

Focus: How do we become experts in our speech topics?

Breaking News: You may now take up to six minutes for your speech.

1. Warming up with individual ideas about how you can use ethos, pathos, and logos in your speeches

2. Brainstorming a list of what you need to research, then dividing and conquering

A. Brainstorming example from Blackfish:
  • Interviews with Sea World trainers--did they know about the dangers?
  • Interviews with Sea World former executives
  • Tilicum's history--has he been aggressive before?
  • History of attacks at Sea World and other marine parks
  • Court documents surrounding this case
  • Footage of Sea World shows
  • Background info on whales in their natural environment
  • Accounts of whale behavior in captivity vs. natural environment
  • How are whales captured? How are they trained?
  • Accounts of attack on Dawn
  • Protests on Sea World
B. Dividing and conquering: Form a group note catcher

C. YOU NEED TO SHOW ME YOUR WORKS CITED BY THE END OF CLASS.

3. Using your research to create your speech:
  • Revisit your investigate question, turning point, and call to action: Do they still work, or do they need to be revised now that you've done your research?
  • Outline the body of your speech: What are three main points of your speech, and how does your research fit in? How will you transition from topic to topic/person to person?
  • Frame your speech: What will be your opening and closing? How will you use media to emphasize/accent your speech without overwhelming it?

HW:
1. Speeches will begin this Friday; all groups signed up must be ready to go. No extensions will be granted; if a member is absent, prepare to go without him/her.

2. ALL MAKE-UP WORK, REVISIONS, ETC. DUE THIS FRIDAY BY 3:00 PM.

Note: If you still have a Color of Water or Great Gatsby book, you need to turn it in to the bookkeeper. If you can't find your book, you will need to pay the fine. You will not be able to register for next year's classes until all books/fines are taken care of.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Final American Lit Book Club: May 16, 2017

Focus: What does your author want you to understand better or differently, and how does the book's resolution contribute to this?

1. Warming up with individual book reviews (click HERE for ideas about star-ratings)

Click on your book club's document below, find your first name and last initial, and follow the directions. Please note that you are doing this individually (not as a group) because you may have differing opinions on your book. I am grading these since they take effort for you to do (20 points per review).

Next year, I will link your reviews directly to the book list; this way, students can make informed decisions about which book they're choosing.

2. Enjoying your final day of book clubs; I will be checking on your syllabi as you discuss from home.

3. Exiting with your final success tickets; they are on the table by the door--please grab one for your group and use it to respond to the following:

  • What have been the three aspects of book clubs you've enjoyed the most? 
  • What three pieces of advice would you give to next year's nonfiction book clubs?


HW:
1. Your Works Cited page is due at the end of class tomorrow (three sources minimum, one of which must be your book club book).

2. Speeches will begin this Friday; all groups signed up must be ready to go. No extensions will be granted; if a member is absent, prepare to go without him/her.

3. ALL MAKE-UP WORK, REVISIONS, ETC. DUE THIS FRIDAY BY 3:00 PM.

Note: If you still have a Color of Water or Great Gatsby book, you need to turn it in to the bookkeeper. If you can't find your book, you will need to pay the fine. You will not be able to register for next year's classes until all books/fines are taken care of.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Building the Foundation of a Speech: May 15, 2017

Focus: How do we build the foundation for a compelling speech?

1. Warming up with our last three good things together

2. Discussing your Gatsby essays and the possibility of revision

3. Picturing the narrative arc as you build your speeches:
  • What did Waiting for Superman and Blackfish build up to? 
    • What question was each investigating? 
    • What was the call to social action? 
    • What were the main building blocks in between?
  • What will your speech build up to? (Do this independently, then compare notes.)
    • What question will you investigate?
    • What is your call to social action?
    • What are your main building blocks in between?

4.  Researching your investigative question and becoming an expert on your topic
  • Finding reliable and diverse sources (ever heard of the C.R.A.P. test?)
  • Using www.easybib.com as you go (Works Cited due by end of class on Wednesday)

Click here for the American Lit Speech Planner.

HW:
1. Finish your book and final syllabus for tomorrow.

2. Speeches will begin this Friday; all groups must be ready to go.

3. ALL MAKE-UP WORK, REVISIONS, ETC. DUE THIS FRIDAY BY 3:00 PM.

Note: If you still have a Color of Water or Great Gatsby book, you need to turn it in to the bookkeeper. If you can't find your book, you will need to pay the fine. You will not be able to register for next year's classes until all books/fines are taken care of.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Answering the Call: May 12, 2017

Focus: How do we answer the call?

GATSBY BOOKS ARE BEING CHECKED IN AFTER SCHOOL TODAY.

1. Warming up with teenagers who are answering the call and offering their gifts to the world:

Malala Yousafzai
Easton LaChappelle
Mary Grace Henry
Yash Gupta
Anoyara Khatun
Katie Stagliano

Perform a quick search of your person to figure out who they are, what they're up to, and where their inspiration comes from. In other words, how did they answer the call to action?

Get together with two neighbors who researched different teenagers.
  • Share what you've found about each person. How did they each answer the call to action?
  • What do they all have in common?
  • What connections can you find between this activity and Finding Joe? Between this activity and your final speech?
For more heroic, everyday teenagers, click here: YSA (Youth Service America)

For ideas on how to answer the call, click here: www.dosomething.org/us


2. Recapping the overview of your American Lit final speech and forming investigative questions

3. Figuring out what needs to be done, making a plan, and forming your group's question
  • Click HERE for a planning sheet.
  • Here are your speech work days:
    • Friday, May 12 (today)
    • Monday, May 15
    • Wednesday, May 17 (Works Cited due by end of class)
    • Thursday, May 18
  • Speeches begin on Friday, May 19: All groups must be ready this day. Any group not ready to present will receive a ten-point deduction; no excuses will be accepted.
4. Needing more help?

  • Breaking news from Mrs. Dodge and the Speech and Debate Team:

I wanted to alert you to a community outreach event offered by the Speech and Debate team that could benefit your students. The event is especially useful if you are giving a public-speaking-related final exam in your classes.

  • What: Public Speaking Help!
  • When: Tuesday, 16th and Thursday, 18th, from 2:30-3:30 each day
  • Where: C1452
  • Details: Members of the Speech and Debate team are making themselves available to help their peers prepare for final speeches and practice public speaking skills!

HW:
1. Finish your book club book and final syllabus for Tuesday.

2. Work on your final speech (specifics determined by your group).

3. ALL MAKE-UP WORK, REVISIONS, ETC. DUE BY 3:00 PM ON FRIDAY, MAY 19.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Book Clubbing, Day 5: May 11, 2017

Focus: What should we understand better or differently?

1. Warming up with your gifts

2. Identifying, analyzing, and evaluating Finding Joe's rhetoric; please turn in your tracking sheets for the final time!

3. Book clubbing, Day 5!

4. Wrapping up with success tickets

HW:
1. Finish your book and final syllabus for Tuesday.

2. ALL MAKE-UP WORK, REVISED WORK, ETC. DUE BY 3:00 PM ON FRIDAY, MAY 19.

3. We will be working on final speeches tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Finding Joe, Day 2: May 10, 2017

Focus: What are your gifts? How can you offer your gifts to the world?

1. Warming up by finding the gold underneath

2. Finishing Finding Joe

3. Wrapping up with your post-viewing questions and small-group discussions to identify, analyze, and evaluate the film's rhetoric (if time allows)

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

2. Start thinking about your final speech; we will be working on it on Friday.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Finding Joe, Day 1: May 9, 2017

Focus: What does Finding Joe want us to understand better or differently about ourselves?

1. Warming up with your previewing questions for Finding Joe    (10 minutes)

2. Watching the first half of Finding Joe with a focus on the one rhetorical appeal you haven't studied yet

3. Wrapping up with a three-minute return to your questions

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus for Thursday.

2. On Friday, you and your book club will start preparing your final speech.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Book Clubbing, Day 4: May 8, 2017

Focus: What does your book club author want you to understand better or differently?

1. Warming up with three good things!

2. Spending 15-20 minutes of quality time with your book / audiobook

3. Enjoying Book Clubs, Day 4! I will be checking out your syllabi from afar.

4. Wrapping up with your success tickets and thinking about what you need to do for Thursday

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading/syllabus for Thursday.

2. Start researching your book club final speech; in addition to your book, you will need to research at least three other reliable sources that offer important information about the issue you're taking on.

3. I need to get all Gatsby books checked in by Wednesday, May 10. 

Stand Up, Speak, and Field Questions: May 5, 2017

Focus: How do I help an audience to think better or differently about something?

1. Warming up with post-viewing responses to Blackfish

2. Analyzing and evaluating Blackfish in a 20-minute Socratic seminar; turning in tracking sheets

3. Giving one-minute speeches to other students who share your rhetorical appeal; following up with one-minute panel discussions
  • As you listen, think of (and possibly jot down) 1-2 questions to ask of the speaker that relate directly to the speech. The tone of your questions should match the tone of the speech.
4. Reflecting on your second one-minute speech with the American Lit speech rubric

HW:
Assigned book club syllabus and reading for MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY.

For students with school-issued Chromebooks:


  1. You will only need your Chromebook for this class if you need it to prepare your speech. You will otherwise not need it on the last day of class nor during finals.
  2. Please turn in your Chromebook as early as possible based on your needs for other finals.
  3. If your Chromebook is damaged or lost, come see us before finals week.
  4. You now turn in your Chromebook to the library, not to your English teacher.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Book Clubbing Day 3: May the Fourth Be With You!

Focus: What do your book club authors want you to understand better or differently?

Tribe: Slightly shortened class

1. Warming up with our book club wins and losses; also, an announcement about documentary #3

2. Book Clubbing, Day 3: What larger patterns are starting to emerge? What tensions are on the rise? Any shifts yet?

3. Exiting with your success tickets

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus for MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY (not Tuesday). 

*BIG SWITCH-A-ROO FOR NEXT WEEK: We will have a book club meeting on Monday, May 8, and then two documentary days in a row on Tuesday and Wednesday. You will have 15-20 minutes of reading time on Monday.*

2. Bring your documentary tracking sheet to class tomorrow; write me a note if you'd like me to regrade your Waiting for Superman section.

3. Prepare your new one-minute speech with your new rhetorical appeal tomorrow. Click here for the topics. There will be a twist...stay tuned.

For students with school-issued Chromebooks:


  1. You will only need your Chromebook for this class if you need it to prepare your speech. You will otherwise not need it on the last day of class nor during finals.
  2. Please turn in your Chromebook as early as possible based on your needs for other finals.
  3. If your Chromebook is damaged or lost, come see us before finals week.
  4. You now turn in your Chromebook to the library, not to your English teacher.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Blackfish, Day 2: May 3, 2017

Focus: What does Blackfish want us to understand better or differently, and how does it use rhetoric to persuade us?

PLC: Shortened Class

1. Warming up with the big questions:
  • Whom does Blackfish want us to blame for Dawn's death?
  • How does the film use logos, pathos, and ethos to persuade us?
2. Viewing the end of Pathos

Note to self: Start around minute 45:40, then skip from 57:30 to 1:06 (the Loro Parque scene)

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

*BIG SWITCH-A-ROO FOR NEXT WEEK: We will have a book club meeting on Monday, May 8, and then two documentary days in a row on Tuesday and Wednesday.*

2. Bring your documentary tracking sheet to class on Friday; write me a note if you'd like me to regrade your Waiting for Superman section.

3. Prepare your new one-minute speech with your new rhetorical appeal this Friday. Click here for the topics. There will be a twist...stay tuned.

For students with school-issued Chromebooks:


  1. You will only need your Chromebook for this class if you need it to prepare your speech. You will otherwise not need it on the last day of class nor during finals.
  2. Please turn in your Chromebook as early as possible based on your needs for other finals.
  3. If your Chromebook is damaged or lost, come see us before finals week.
  4. You now turn in your Chromebook to the library, not to your English teacher.





Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Book Clubbing, Day 2: May 2, 2017

Focus: What do your authors want you to understand better or differently, and how do they achieve this?

1. Warming up by wrapping up two loose ends from last Friday
  • 4th hour: Finish delivering one-minute speeches; everyone needs to submit their reflective rubric TODAY. If you'd like your grade recorded, please circle it.
  • 6th hour: Discuss, analyze, and evaluate Waiting for Superman; turn in green tracking notes
2. Enjoying your investigative journalism book groups, round two!
  • A challenge: Are you finding any connections between your book and the documentaries and we're watching (not just in content, but in rhetorical appeals)?
3. Wrapping up with success tickets

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus for Thursday.

2. If you have been absent during documentary time, you need to either find a time to watch the movie on your own, or read 3-5 articles about the topic covered in the documentary and fill out your tracking sheet by identifying ethos, pathos, or logos in those articles.

3. Prepare your new one-minute speech with your new rhetorical appeal this Friday. Click here for the topics. There will be a twist...stay tuned.

For students with school-issued Chromebooks:
  1. You will only need your Chromebook for this class if you need it to prepare your speech. You will otherwise not need it on the last day of class nor during finals.
  2. Please turn in your Chromebook as early as possible based on your needs for other finals.
  3. If your Chromebook is damaged or lost, come see us before finals week
  4. You now turn in your Chromebook to the library, not to your English teacher.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Blackfish, Day 1: May 1, 2017

Focus: What do we need to understand about how we treat living things?

Please pick up your documentary tracking sheet on your way in.

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Checking your current understanding with high velocity previewing questions for Blackfish and a warning of sensitivity triggers

If you'd like to opt out of Blackfish, you can develop the same skills and gain knowledge on the same topic by reading the following articles for ethos, pathos, and logos:

National Geographic: Are Wildlife Sanctuaries Good for Animals?
The Conversation: In Defense of Zoos
NPR: Sea World Ending Captive Breeding of Killer Whales
Washington Post: SeaWorld's Whales Deserve Better
CNN: Sea World Responds to Blackfish


3. Switch-a-rooing your rhetorical appeals and watching Blackfish
  • 1st two rows: Logos
  • Middle two rows: Pathos
  • 3rd two rows: Ethos
HW:
1. Book club reading and syllabus for TOMORROW.

2. Start preparing your new one-minute speech for this Friday; you will be emphasizing your NEW rhetorical appeal. You may use the same speech topic or switch it. Click here for the list.

3. IF you did not give a one-minute speech on Friday, prepare to deliver yours TOMORROW.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Stand Up and Speak: April 28, 2017

Focus: How do I help an audience to think better or differently about something?

1. Warming up with high-velocity responses to the Waiting for Superman guiding questions

2. Analyzing and evaluating Waiting for Superman's use of ethos, logos, and pathos
  • Please turn in your documentary tracking notes when you finish your discussion.
3. Delivering one-minutes speeches with a focus on the rhetorical appeals
  • Have a buddy film you on your cell phone.
  • You need to remain "on stage" for at least 50 seconds, even if you run out of things to say.
4. Self-assessing our speeches with a reflective rubric

HW:
1. If you did not get a chance to watch your speech and complete the reflective rubric, please do this over the weekend and turn in your rubric on Monday.

*If you were absent today or did not give your speech today for whatever reason, you will need to do so on Tuesday.*

2. Assigned book club reading and syllabus for Tuesday, May 2.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Clubbing, Day 1: April 27, 2017

Focus: What current American issues are you starting to understand better or differently?

1. Warming up with a little demo of using rhetorical appeals in your one-minutes speeches

2. Offering you a real-life example of one of your first semester syllabi. Remember that you may earn up to 30 points per syllabus:
  • 20 points for a thoughtful, meaningful syllabus that is ready to go before class begins.
  • 10 points for clear and thorough discussion notes on the syllabus.
  • Click HERE to see a 1st semester sample with student discussion notes and my feedback.

3. Book Clubbing, Day 1

4. Wrapping up with your success ticket

HW:
1. If you need to add to your documentary tracking sheet, please do so tonight; I will be collecting them in class tomorrow. If you're going to be absent tomorrow, please turn yours in TODAY.

2. Practice your one-minute speech for TOMORROW. If you're absent tomorrow, prepare to deliver your speech on Tuesday. Click here if you need to see the speech topics.

2. Assigned book club reading and syllabus for Tuesday, May 2.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waiting for Superman, Day 2: April 26, 2017

Focus: What do we need to understand about public education in the United States?

1. Warming up with a large-class collection of your ethos, logos, and pathos observations

2. Watching the second half of Waiting for Superman with your documentary tracking notes

3. Concluding by investigating what this documentary helped us understand better or differently about American public education;: Returning to your Waiting for Superman pre-writing questions and turning them into post-writing questions

HW:
1. Assigned book club reading and syllabus for TOMORROW. Remember that you may earn up to 30 points per syllabus:

  • 20 points for a thoughtful, meaningful syllabus that is ready to go before class begins.
  • 10 points for clear and thorough discussion notes on the syllabus.
  • Click HERE to see a 1st semester sample with student discussion notes and my feedback.

2. If you did not complete your documentary tracking notes or your post-writing questions, you need to complete them by Friday; this when I will collect/evaluate them.

3. Practice your 1-minute speech for Friday. Click here for the topics. Remember that the first two rows are focusing on pathos, the second two rows are focusing on ethos, and the third two rows are focusing on logos.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Waiting for Superman, Day 1: April 25, 2017

Focus: What do we need to understand about public education in the United States?

1. Warming up with your documentary contract (and 6th hour, possibly Mr. Miles)

2. Questioning American education with high-velocity writing on your Waiting for Superman pre-writing stats
  • You can save this in your shared Book Club Folder.
3. Viewing Waiting for Superman with a focus on ethos, pathos, or logos (tracking sheet given as a handout in class)

HW:
1. Bring in your signed contract as soon as possible (Thursday at the latest).

2. Assigned book club reading and syllabus for TOMORROW. Remember that you may earn up to 30 points per syllabus:

  • 20 points for a thoughtful, meaningful syllabus that is ready to go before class begins.
  • 10 points for clear and thorough discussion notes on the syllabus.
  • Click HERE to see a 1st semester sample with student discussion notes and my feedback.

3. Practice your 1-minute speech for Friday. Click here for the topics. Remember that the first two rows are focusing on pathos, the second two rows are focusing on ethos, and the third two rows are focusing on logos.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Setting the Bar High: April 24, 2017

Focus: How do we set the bar high for our final unit?

I left you a final round of journal feedback on your most recent blog.

1. Warming up with three good things and Mr. Miles!

2. 4th hour: Checking your grades, reflecting on your successes and needs, and making plans
  • Circle any grades that are incorrect and write down why they are incorrect.
  • Circle any recent work that you plan on revising/doing for the first time. Write down your plan/deadline for completing this work.
  • Offer a brief reflection at the bottom of your grades: Do you feel proud of your work this semester in American Lit? Are these grades an accurate reflection of your learning? Why or why not? Any goals for the final stretch?
3. Recommitting to high standards: 
4. Setting your book clubs expectations (please have your signed sheets and books out on your desks):
  • Click HERE to revisit what an excellent syllabus looks like.
  • Fill out the bookmark: Which reading will be due which days? Who will be in charge of the syllabus each day? Please write this on your bookmark AND in your calendars.
  • Create a shared folder called "Book Club Folder." It should be shared with each member of your group and placed inside your Transcendentalism folder. ALL SYLLABI AND CLASSWORK must be placed inside this folder.
5. Starting to read (if time allows)

HW:
1. Share the documentary contract with your parents/guardians and ask them to sign it. Due Wednesday. 

2. Complete your assigned reading/create your syllabus for Thursday.

3. Work on your one-minute speech for Friday (see last Friday's blog if you were absent).

4. If you didn't have your signed letter or book in class today, take care of it immediately. If you have make-up work/late work that you circled on your grade sheet, take care of that as well.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Looking Back to Look Forward: April 21, 2017

Focus: How can we wrap up our last unit and set ourselves up for success in our final unit?

Shortened Class: Spring Assembly
4th ends at 10:44
6th ends at 1:03

1. Warming up (6th hour): Checking your grades, reflecting on your successes and needs, and making plans
  • Circle any grades that are incorrect and write down why they are incorrect.
  • Circle any recent work that you plan on revising/doing for the first time. Write down your plan/deadline for completing this work.
  • Offer a brief reflection at the bottom of your grades: Do you feel proud of your work this semester in American Lit? Are these grades an accurate reflection of your learning? Why or why not? Any goals for the final stretch?

2. Introducing you to the American Lit Final Speech Overview and Rubric (also linked to website)

3. Selecting your one-minute speech topics and recapping Pathos, Ethos, and Logos
  • 1st 2 rows: Pathos (appeal to our emotions / gut reactions)
  • 2nd 2 rows: Ethos (convince us that you're trustworthy and highly qualified to talk about this topic)
  • 3rd 2 rows: Logos (appeal to our sense of logic by giving us facts, numbers, graphs, etc.)
3. Watching the ending of The Great Gatsby with a focus on directorial choices

HW:
1. Make sure your book clubs are finalized; your SIGNED book club letter is due on Monday, April 24. You also need to walk in with the book in your hands on Monday.

2. Turn in your school copies of The Great Gatsby by next Friday, April 28. Or, now.

3. Whatever missing grades, revisions, make-up work, etc. you examined in our warm-up today--please take care of those over the weekend.

4. Start brainstorming ideas for your one-minute speech next Friday.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Writing Your Way to Complexity: April 20, 2017

Focus: How can we write our way to a better understanding of Fitzgerald's themes?

1. Warming up by reading the reminders you wrote to yourself yesterday and rereading the prompt

2. Composing your timed writing (55 minutes)
  • Click here if you need an online version of the prompts and rubric.
3. Using the rubric to edit your essay

4. Submitting your essay to www.turnitin.com

HW:
1. If you had issues submitting your essay to www.turnitin.com, please take care of that tonight by midnight. If you need extra time to finish your essay, please take care of that tonight; cap yourself at 15 minutes.

2. Complete your book club letter and have your book IN YOUR HANDS when you walk in on Monday, April 24. Also, if you're thinking about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (so good), it's being turned into an HBO movie. You can check it out here.

3. If you have not yet finished your Gatsby blogs or fishbowl comments, please do so by this Friday at the latest.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Forming Book Clubs: April 19, 2017

Focus: What do journalists want us to understand better or differently about America?

1. Warming up with my feedback on your "Road Not Taken" timed writings (5-10 minutes)

Start your document for tomorrow:
  • Call it "Great Gatsby Official Timed Writing."
  • Place it in your "Wealth and Power" or "Gatsby" folder (whatever you called it).
  • Type the reminders below at the top of your document, as well as the individual GOAL from your "Road Not Taken" rubric.

Three tiny reminders:
  • Avoid "you" and "your." Try "we" and "our."
  • Avoid stating "This quote..." Lead out with some literary lingo or a statement about the author's intent.
    • Here's an example: Instead of saying, "This quote reveals that the speaker feels ambivalent," try saying, "The two roads symbolize the speaker's ambivalence," or the "Frost emphasizes the speaker's ambivalence."
  • Show off your newly discovered close reading skills.

2. Offering you an overview of our investigative journalism unit (see website for links to letter, book list, and bookmark)

3. Watching and voting on top American documentaries
  • When you finished watching all of the trailers, click HERE to vote on your top three.

Here are the trailer links:










Hoop Dreams


4. Forming investigative journalism book clubs by selecting your partners and books

HW:
1. Complete your book club letter and have your book IN YOUR HANDS when you walk in on Monday, April 24. Also, if you're thinking about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (it's so good), it's being turned into an HBO movie. You can check it out here.

2. If you have not yet finished your Gatsby blogs or fishbowl comments, please do so by this Friday at the latest.

3. Prepare for tomorrow's timed writing by forming your thesis and gathering your three quotations; if you wish, you may also do an outline.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Our Capacity for Wonder: April 18, 2017

Focus: What does Fitzgerald teach us about our capacity for wonder?

Tribe: Slightly shortened class

1. Warming up with musical chairs close readings of passages from Chapter 9

2. Enjoying our final fishbowl discussion of The Great Gatsby, Chapter 9

3. Offering you my current final takeaway from this novel

HW:
1. Prepare for Thursday's timed writing. Feel free to e-mail me your thesis if you'd like feedback ahead of time.

2. Make sure your Chapter 9 Gatsby blog is finalized by the end of the week.

3. Tomorrow, we will be forming book clubs. Check out the links on the website!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fallen: April 17, 2017

Focus: What facades fall away in the falling action of The Great Gatsby?

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Exploring the falls in Chapter 8 by practicing a close reading together

3. Selecting your timed writing topic; as you finish The Great Gatsby, consider how the novel's ending addresses your topic.

4. Reading the ending of The Great Gatsby and composing your final journal entry

HW:
1. Finish reading Chapter 9 and composing your final blog by TOMORROW for our final Gatsby discussion.

2. Start brainstorming and forming a thesis for your timed writing.

If you're wondering what this week will look like in American Lit, here you go:
  • Tuesday: Fishbowl discussion of Gatsby, Chapter 9
  • Wednesday: Introduction to investigative journalism book clubs
  • Thursday: Timed writing on Gatsby 
  • Friday: Introduction to your American Literature final exam/watch the end of Gatsby

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Fishbowl: April 14, 2017

Focus: In The Great Gatsby's climactic chapter, what is destroyed, and how?

1. Warming up with a close reading of the Chapter 8's final sentence

Look up a definition of the word "holocaust," keeping in mind that The Great Gatsby was written long before World War II and wouldn't carry any associations with concentration camps.

Apply that definition to this final sentence. Here are some questions to help guide you:
  • Who has been killed off?
  • What larger ideas have been killed off, and how?
  • What forces are behind the destruction in this chapter and throughout the novel?
  • What ideas and people take the blame for their own self-destruction?
  • What part of Gatsby died before he was murdered?
  • What part of Wilson died before he killed himself?
  • What makes it a "death by fire"?

2. Enjoying our penultimate discussion of The Great Gatsby (Chapter 8)

3. Wrapping up: What word, phrase, or short sentence (besides the final sentence) from Chapter 8 is most central to The Great Gatsby's climax/turning point?

HW:
1. Finish reading The Great Gatsby (and complete your blogs) by Tuesday. We will have Gatsby timed writing on Thursday, so use this weekend to catch up if you've fallen behind.

2. A heads-up: We will be forming nonfiction book clubs next Wednesday. If you'd like a sneak peek of this unit, I have started posting overviews, book choices, permission letters, etc. on the website.




Thursday, April 13, 2017

Can We Repeat the Past?: April 13, 2017

Focus: Can we repeat the past?

1. Warming up with a run-through of the American Lit Writing Checklist

(If you'd like to see how the checklist translates into the rubric I'll use to grade your timed writings, click here.)

2. Finishing "The Road Not Taken" timed writings you started on Monday (20 minutes max)

3. Reading Chapter 8 in The Great Gatsby and preparing for tomorrow's fishbowl discussion

HW:
1. Please read and blog on Chapter 8 by tomorrow, which is when our next fishbowl will take place. You need to finish the book (and your blogs) by Tuesday, which is when our final Gatsby fishbowl will take place.

2. Double check with your partner to make sure your timed writing is complete and shared with me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Artistic Choices: April 11 or 12, 2017

Focus: How do the director's artistic choices affect your interpretation of The Great Gatsby?

1. Warming up with one directorial choice and how it's affected your interpretation of characters, settings, symbols, and/or themes from The Great Gatsby

Ex: In Fitzgerald's novel, when Daisy sees Gatsby's mansions for the first time and he shows her his wardrobe, Fitzgerald offers no explanation for Daisy' sudden crying. She simply says, "It makes me sad because I've never seen such--such beautiful shirts before."

But in the film version, the dialogue goes like this:
Jay Gatsby: [Daisy cries after Gatsby showers her with fancy shirts] What is it? Daisy, Daisy darling, what is it?
Daisy Buchanan: It... it makes me sad.
Jay Gatsby: Why?
Daisy Buchanan: Because...
Nick Carraway: [narrating] Five lost years struggled on Daisy's lips, but all she could manage was...
Jay Gatsby: Why?
Daisy Buchanan: [laughs] Because I've never seen such beautiful shirts before.

The big difference here is that Lurhmann (the director) includes a voiceover from Nick explaining that she's crying over the five lost years, not the shirts. In the original novel, there's a stronger possibility that her sadness is shallow rather than tragic as she appears to be crying over Gatsby's material possessions. Luhrmann, on the other hand, portrays Daisy as a more complex, empathetic character.

2. Viewing the film version of Chapters 6 and 7 in The Great Gatsby, keeping an eye and ear out for Luhrmann's artistic choices


HW:
1. Please read and blog on Chapter 8 by this Friday, which is when our next fishbowl will take place. You will have some reading time on Thursday.

2. Double check with your partner to make sure your Monday's timed writing is complete.

3. Click HERE for a detailed view of this week's bell schedule.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Road Not Taken: April 10, 2017

Focus: Can you repeat the past?

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Reading Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" with an MMM approach and completing a partner in-class writing

3. Editing your writing using the American Lit Writing Checklist

HW:
1. Please read and blog on Chapter 8 by this Friday, which is when our next fishbowl will take place. You will have some reading time on Thursday.

2. If you didn't finish today's writing, you have until midnight tonight to add anything you'd like to add. I will be assessing them Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

3. Click HERE for a detailed view of this week's bell schedule.

Final Friday Freewrite: April 7, 2017

Focus: How is the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby influencing your perception of the novel?

1. Warming up with your final Friday Freewrite (scroll to the two final prompts)

2. Watching the film version of The Great Gatsby with a focus on directorial choices/changes

In a New York Times review of the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, A.O. Scott writes the following in his article, "Shimmying Off the Literary Mantle":

"Mr. Luhrmann [the director] sticks close to the details of the story and lifts dialogue and description directly from the novel’s pages. But he has also felt free to make that material his own, bending it according to his artistic sensibility and what he takes to be the mood of the times."

As you watch the film today, consider the following: 

  • How has Baz Luhrmann (the director) made the material his own, and for what purpose? 
  • In other words, what artistic choices has Lurhmann made that differ somewhat from Fitzgerald's, and how do these choices affect your perception of characters, settings, symbols, and/or themes in The Great Gatsby?
  • Please post your response to these questions on today's class blog at the end of class.

3. Wrapping up by posting your responses to the blue questions above on today's blog

HW:
1. Remember that all make-up work from the past six weeks is due today.

2. A heads-up: On Monday, we're doing a partner in-class writing to practice for the literary in-class writing at the end of The Great Gatsby.

3. Our Chapter 8 fishbowl discussion will take place next Friday, April 14. Because of the testing schedule, I will see you Monday, Tuesday OR Wednesday (shortened class), Thursday (shortened class), and Friday. You will have one block of reading time, and that will be on Thursday.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Driving Forces: April 6, 2017

Focus: What are the driving forces behind the death in Chapter 7?

1. Warming up with Henry's cars and a hands-on analysis of Myrtle's vehicular homicide

Each kit contains the following: A yellow car, a blue car, a "Myrtle", and a random car coming from the opposite direction.

Level 1: Reenact what happens in Chapter 7 with the cars. Who's in which car on the way there and the way back? Where are they going and why? Who is driving each car? Why do they switch around?

Level 2: Analyze Fitzgerald's choices here. Why did he make this so complicated? Why does it matter that _________ ran over ________? Why is _________'s car? Why are the car colors symbolic? Why this manner of death?

Level 3: What is Fitzgerald trying to teach us about...recklessness? Love? Lust? Dreams? Respect?

2. Enjoying a fishbowl discussion of Chapter 7

3. Wrapping up:
  • Why did Myrtle have to die?
  • Was her death an intentional murder?
  • What rising conflict lead up to this moment?
HW:
1. Your blog entry for Chapter 7 must be complete by the end of the day on Friday; after this, Chapter 7 blog entries can only receive half-credit.

2. Our fishbowl discussion of Chapter 8 is Friday, April 14.

3. This Friday is the end of 12 weeks; all work from the past 6 weeks is due this Friday by 3:00 pm.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Into the Abyss: April 5, 2017

Focus: What is the significance of the Underworld in the hero's journey, and how does this help us understand Chapter 7 in The Great Gatsby?

1. Warming up with the elements of the Abyss/Underworld in the hero's journey
(1st 7 minutes to set up background, then 54:00-1:05 for Underworld scene)
  • What aspects of this setting suggest that it's a symbolic abyss/underworld?
  • What is each hero's greatest fear and/or deepest need? How do they face these fears and needs in the Underworld?
  • To what extent does each hero conquer his/her greatest fear and fulfill his/her deepest need in this scene?
  • What part of each hero dies
  • What part of each hero is reborn / transformed?
2. Reading Chapter 7 with a focus on the Underworld (or the hero's journey in general); as you journal, try using the Underworld questions above to guide you.

TOMORROW'S FISHBOWL LEADERS SHOULD USE THIS TIME TO PREPARE.

HW:
1. If you were absent the Thursday before spring break, please listen to my memoir feedback, fill out the reflective rubric, and return it to me today.

2. Finish reading and blogging on Chapter 7 by tomorrow; leaders should prepare their syllabus for fishbowl.

3. This Friday is the end of 12 weeks; all work from the past 6 weeks is due this Friday by 3:00 pm.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Any Heroes Here?: April 4, 2017

Focus: Is there any potential for heroism in The Great Gatsby?

1. Warming up with SAT Boot Camp, Day 2: "The Original Condition"

2. Recapping Chapters 1-6 by watching your videos and trying out the hero's journey in The Great Gatsby on Nick and Gatsby
  • Quickly recap the different stages of the hero's journey. Look up anything you feel confused about; try this website or this one if you need a quick refresher.
  • Try filling out the hero's journey so far for Nick.
  • Try filling out the hero's journey so far for Gatsby.
  • Draw larger conclusions: Is one character a more convincing hero than the other? Are they both heroes? Why? Is neither a hero? Why not? What might Fitzgerald want us to understand better or differently about the role of heroes in a Modern world?
3. Taking time to read and journal on Chapter 7

HW:
1. If you were absent the Thursday before spring break, please listen to my memoir feedback, fill out the reflective rubric, and return it to me by Wednesday.

2. Read at least the first ten pages of Chapter 7 by tomorrow; start your blog entry. You need to read all of Chapter 7 by Thursday and complete your blog entry (just one for the whole chapter). It's LOOOOOOOOOOOOONGG, so start tonight.

3. This Friday is the end of 12 weeks; all work from the past 6 weeks is due this Friday by 3:00 pm.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Recap: April 3, 2017

Focus: What do we need to recap before we can move forward?

1. Warming up three good great things!

2. Entering SAT Boot Camp, Day 1: "Gerry's Salamander"

3. Recapping the building conflicts in Chapters 1-6

You and your row are going to create a short video on your phone to recap your assigned chapter.
  • Level 1: Address the FIVE most important plot points of your chapter.
  • Level 2: Address characterization, setting, symbols, motifs, and perhaps even read a passage or two.
  • Ending: Ask a big, cliffhanger kind of question.
  • E-mail me your video when you're done. We're going to watch these at the end of class today (or the beginning of class tomorrow, depending on how long this takes).

Let's see your creativity, enthusiasm, and intellectualism at work here, 

4. Plotting the rising conflicts in Gatsby, Chapters 1-6 together

HW:
1. If you were absent the Thursday before spring break, please listen to my memoir feedback, fill out the reflective rubric, and return it to me by Wednesday.

2. Read at least the first ten pages of Chapter 7 by tomorrow; start your blog entry. You need to read all of Chapter 7 by Thursday and complete your blog entry (just one for the whole chapter). It's LOOOOOOOOOOOOONGG, so start tonight.

3. This Friday is the end of 12 weeks; all work from the past 6 weeks is due this Friday by 3:00 pm.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Freewrite #3: March 24, 2017

Focus: What thematic ideas are emerging in the middle of The Great Gatsby?

1. Warming up with Grammar Quiz #10: Transitions

2. Friday Freewriting! Click here for today's prompts.

3. Viewing the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Chapters 3-6

HW:
1. Remember that all make-up work regarding Chapters 5 and 6 is due by the end of the day today.

2. Also, the end of 12 weeks is April 7--the Friday after you get back from spring break. All non-Gatsby make-up work (grammar quizzes, revised work, etc) is due by that Friday.

3. If you are all caught up in American Literature, you have my full permission to take the next week off from this class.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Creating Reality: March 23, 2017

Focus: What realities are Fitzgerald's characters creating for themselves and why?

1. Warming up by reflecting on your tribute memoirs

2. Getting into character and examining the reality you have created for yourself
  • Discuss the following questions in character and type your thoughts in your in-class brainstorming Google doc:
    • What do you fear?
    • What lies do you tell yourself?
    • How do you embellish your truth and write your own fictions?
    • What reality are you creating for yourself?
    • How is this self-constructed reality harming you (and others)?
  • To transition into fishbowl: Post a Level 1, 2, or 3 question about the reality your character has created for himself or herself.

    3. Enjoying a fishbowl discussion of The Great Gatsby, Chapter 6

    4. Wrapping up: Which pattern is central to your understanding of/your connection to The Great Gatsby?

    HW:
    1. Remember that all make-up work regarding Chapters 5 and 6 is due by the end of the day on Friday.

    2. Also, the end of 12 weeks is April 7--the Friday after you get back from spring break. All non-Gatsby make-up work (grammar quizzes, revised work, etc) is due by that Friday.

    3. If you are all caught up in American Literature, you have my full permission to take the next week off from this class.


    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    Engendered Power: March 22, 2017

    Focus: What role does gender play in The Great Gatsby?

    1. Warming up with mental jousting on gender and power in The Great Gatsby

    2. Reading and journalling about The Great Gatsby, Chapter 6; tomorrow's fishbowl leaders may use this time to prepare.

    3. Wrapping up with a quick blog statement about gender in The Great Gatsby:

    The men in The Great Gatsby want to be _________, but in reality they are _____________.

    The women in The Great Gatsby want to be _________, but in reality they are _____________.

    Extra challenge: To what extent do these characters reflect gender stereotypes today?

    HW:
    1. Read Chapter 6 and complete your journal by tomorrow.

    2. Remember that all make-up work regarding Chapters 5 and 6 is due by the end of the day on Friday.

    3. Also, the end of 12 weeks is April 7--the Friday after you get back from spring break. All non-Gatsby make-up work (grammar quizzes, revised work, etc) is due by that Friday.


    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Pattern-Seeking: March 21, 2017

    Focus: What patterns of symbolism are emerging in The Great Gatsby, and how do they help you understand Fitzgerald's intent?

    Tribe: Slightly shortened class

    1. Sooooo...what should I take next year for English? Click here for the slideshow of offerings.

    2. Warming up with pattern-seeking in each others' blogs OR acting it out with the same focus?

    • Read the blogs of your blogging buddies AND the long-distance buddies of the opposite class (check out the blogs of the people in the same colored-group as yours). 
    • Leave a brief comment or question on all of them.
    • You have an extra challenge this time: Seek patterns. What kinds of things are repeating across blogs and across chapters in The Great Gatsby?
    • Try to form a Level 2 statement at the top or bottom of your Chapter 5 blog for Gatsby.
    • Ex: The repetition of clocks and time-telling in The Great Gatsby emphasizes that Gatsby disregards time entirely in his belief that the past can be repeated; however, this motif also reminds the reader that time does move forward whether we want it to or not, altering the world and the people in it.

    3. Enjoying a fishbowl discussion of Chapter 5 in The Great Gatsby

    4. Wrapping up with take-aways and questions regarding patterns

    HW:
    1. Read Chapter 6 and complete your journal by Thursday.

    2. Remember that all make-up work regarding Chapters 5 and 6 is due by the end of the day on Friday.

    3. Also, the end of 12 weeks of April 7--the Friday after you get back from spring break. All non-Gatsby make-up work (grammar quizzes, revised work, etc) is due by that Friday.

    Monday, March 20, 2017

    Love or Lust: March 20, 2017

    Focus: Are modern romances love or lust (or something else)?

    1. Warming up with the Grammar You Must Know, Lesson #10: Transitions

    2. Figuring out characters' romances by taking "The Love Quiz" in character

    1st row: Nick
    2nd row: Jordan
    3rd row: Gatsby
    4th row: Daisy
    5th row: Tom
    6th row: Myrtle

    • Answer the questions in character. At the end of the quiz, find one passage from The Great Gatsby that supports the way you responded.
    • With your "love interest," compare answers. Are you a good match? Why or why not? What is the nature of your romance: love, lust, or something else?

    3. Reading and journaling about The Great Gatsby, Chapter 5; tomorrow's fishbowl leaders can use this time to prepare! Yes!

    Note: If you haven't read my initial feedback yet on your early Gatsby blogs, please take a moment to have a look!

    HW:
    Please finish reading and journaling about Chapter 5. Enjoy all the awkwardness!

    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    Friday Freewrite #2: March 17, 2017

    Focus: How does the film challenge or reinforce your early impressions of The Great Gatsby?

    1. Warming up with the much-anticipated Grammar Quiz #9: Apostrophes

    2. Indulging in Friday Freewrite #2 (please click HERE , review the two big rules, and scroll to the two options for March 17)

    It should kind of look like this picture of Sam writing his first novel:


    3. Watching the film version of Chapters 1-4 in The Great Gatsby; click HERE if you'd prefer to type your film reflections (please make sure you put them in your shared Gatsby folder)

    4. Turning in your film reflections to Mrs. Friis

    HW:
    Please read Chapter 5 for Tuesday and complete your next blog entry. Any late blogs for Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are due by the end of today.

    Coloring in The Great Gatsby: March 16, 2017

    Focus: What is the significance of color in The Great Gatsby

    1. Warming up by taking a spin on the color wheel

    • With your partner, choose any TWO of the following colors to analyze in The Great Gatsby: Green, yellow/gold, white, grey, or blue
    • Using a web, free associate on each color (one at a time). What emotions/ ideas/ objects/ temperature, etc. do you associate with this color?
    • Bolster your web by looking up the symbolic and/or cultural significance of your colors. Add a few more meanings to your webs. This website's pretty good.
    • Find as many passages as you can from Chapters 1-4 in The Great Gatsby that mention your color. Add them to your webs by connecting them to the meanings they relate to. 
    • Lastly, look at the cover of your book. Pick ONE of your colors and examine where and how it appears on the cover. Revisit your blog post on the cover of the book and add to it by offering   new a statement about the significance of the color on the cover and in the book.

    2. Celebrating a few highlights from Tuesday's discussion

    3. Enjoying a fishbowl discussion of The Great Gatsby, Chapter 4

    HW:
    1. If you fell behind in the reading or blogging (Chapters 2, 3, and 4), remember that you have until the end of the day tomorrow to catch up.

    2. Please read Chapter 5 and complete your blog by Tuesday, March 21.



    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

    Punctilious but Never Florid: March 15, 2017

    Focus: What vocabulary do we need to strengthen our understanding of Gatsby?

    PLC: Shortened Class

    1. Warming up with a little Gatsby vocabulary with www.quizlet.com

    2. Reading/listening to/journalling about The Great Gatsby, Chapter 4

    • See website for the journal overview and the fishbowl sign-up.

    HW:
    Finish your reading of and journal for Chapter 4. I will be checking your reading blogs weekly. 

    Remember that there is an free audiobook on the class website. 

    Fishbowl leaders need to prepare their syllabus and post it to the document on the website; discussers should be ready to discuss.