Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Final Chapters: February 28, 2017

Focus: What does McBride want us to understand better or differently?

1. Warming up with input on your Harlem Renaissance Little Project rubrics (please be sure to turn these back in today so that I can give you a grade in IC)

2. Your final day of reading and blogging (Chapters 24, 25, and the Epilogue)

3. Preparing in groups for tomorrow's big fishbowl discussion: Click HERE and make sure you're signed in with your LPS account. Don't make a copy, though; we're going to create this document together.

HW:
1. The rough draft of your memoir is due this Friday, March 3. It should be 2-3 pages at that point and will receive and attempt and completion grade + feedback.

2. If you fell behind on your Color of Water journals, or you need to make up a blog from a missed discussion, please take care of that this week (before we start Gatsby).

3. The final draft of your memoir and our coffeehouse reading will take place Thursday, March 9.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Finding the Narrative Arc: February 27, 2017

Focus: How do we create a narrative arc in our tribute memoirs?

"You write for yourself, and you write for strangers." -- Gertrude Stein

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Enjoying Grammar You Must Know, Lesson #8: Redundancy

3.  Recapping the narrative arc and reading your exposition like a stranger (click HERE for the slides)




4. Writing/developing scenes where there are holes in your narrative arc

HW:
1. By Tuesday: Finish the book (Chapters 24, 25, and the Epilogue). Finish your blogs. Catch up if you missed a Socratic (loud or silent).

2. Complete rough draft of your memoir due this Friday, March 3, before class. Stop by for a conference! A five-minute conference works better than twenty e-mails.

3. Final draft of your memoir due in www.turnitin.com on Thursday, March 9. We will have a coffeehouse reading this day.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sensory Writing: February 24, 2017

Focus: How do we use our five senses to create rich worlds in our tribute memoirs?

1. Warming up with Grammar You Must Know #7 Quiz: Sentence Fragments

2. Tuning into your senses with a scene exercise (click HERE for the slides and scroll to Slide 30)

3. Continuing to draft with a focus on using your five senses with two goals:
  • to enrich/create the world in which your memoir is taking place. 
  • to help the reader figure out how to feel and what to think about your character.

HW:
1. By Tuesday: Finish the book (Chapters 24, 25, and the Epilogue). Finish your blogs. Catch up if you missed a Socratic (loud or silent).

2. If you have fewer than two pages of rough draft at this point, work on your tribute memoir over the weekend. We're going to work on structure on Monday, but it's hard to do this if you don't have any scenes written.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Movement and Meaning: February 23, 2017

Focus: What movements and meanings are emerging near the end of The Color of Water?

1 Warming up by introducing yourself to twelve new tone words: List 3
  • 4th hour: If you haven't yet joined our Quizlet class, click HERE.
  • 6th hour: If you haven't yet joined our Quizlet class, click HERE.

2. Reading The Color of Water and blogging to prepare for today's silent Socratic
  • A Ms. Leclaire tip: Focus on Movement and Multiple Meanings. 
  • In other words, as you near the end of the book, starting piecing together the patterns and what larger purpose they serve.

3. Delving into Chapters 21, 22, and 23 in a silent Socratic discussion

HW:
1. By Tuesday: Finish the book. Finish your blogs. The end.

2. If you were absent on Wednesday or had trouble finding your writing groove, make sure you walk in tomorrow with some memoir draft. 

3. Open-note, open-neighbor "quiz" tomorrow on Grammar You Must Know #7: Sentence Fragments.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

You're Being Drafted: February 22, 2017

Focus: How do we zoom in on our characters to start producing a rough draft?

1. Warming up with some concrete thinking about some non-concrete skills

2. Offering you a tribute piece I recently wrote for my dad--look for artifacts!
  • What does each artifact reveal about the narrator, the dad, and/or the relationship between the narrator and her dad?
2. Pounding out a draft of your tribute memoir
  • Click HERE for the writing exercises; we will focus on the artifact slides today (slides 24-29), but feel free to click around to whichever slides you need.
  • Your goal: TWO PAGES of new draft before the end of class.
3. Celebrating and sharing: Read one sentence you wrote today or share one breakthrough.

HW:
1. Read Chapters 21, 22, and 23 and complete your blog entry for tomorrow.

2. IF NEEDED (up to you), bring back your character's artifacts tomorrow for another big writing day on Friday.

3. STOP IN FOR A CONFERENCE! Sorry--the caps make it seem like I'm yelling at you. I'd love it if you stopped by for a conference. I'm off 5th each day, and I'm typically off during the second half of 3rd and after school.

3. "Quiz" on Grammar Lesson #7 this Friday.



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Socratic Seminar: February 21, 2017

Focus: What does a college-level book discussion look like?

1. Warming up with three good things (or maybe four since you had a long weekend)

2. Enjoying Grammar You Must Know #7: Sentence Fragments

3. Reading first, blogging second: Preparing for today's Socratic seminar on Chapters 18, 19, and 20

4. Offering you a quick overview of Socratic and trying out our first one

  • You may only participate in today's Socratic if you have completed the reading through Chapter 20. 
  • If you haven't finished the reading, you need to sit outside of the circle. You may either use this time to read, and then write a reflection on today's blog, OR...
  • You may use this time to take notes on the discussion, and then read later.
HW:
1. Read Chapters 21, 22, and 23 and complete your blog entry for Thursday.

2. Bring back your character's artifacts tomorrow for a big writing day.

3. "Quiz" on Grammar Lesson #7 this Friday.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Creating a World: February 17, 2017

Focus: How do we create worlds for our characters?

1. Warming up with a "quiz" on Grammar You Must Know, Lesson #6: Verb Tenses

2. Zooming out: Researching and reflecting on your character's worlds (click HERE for Tribute Memoir: Writing Exercises)

3. Zooming in: Unearthing and reflecting on your character's artifacts

HW:
1. Read Chapters 18, 19, and 20 in The Color of Water and complete your blog entries by Tuesday; check out my feedback on your previous ones and take on the challenge!

NOTE: If you are behind in the reading, you need to use the long weekend to catch up. For the final three discussions, you will only be able to participate if you are caught up in the reading. Otherwise, you will sit out to read and compose a written reflection to replace discussion.

2. All make-up work (grammar quizzes, reading blogs, etc.) due today by 3:00 pm, which is the end of six weeks. After that, the grades from the first six weeks stay as they are.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Lost and Somewhat Found: February 16, 2017

Focus: What drives the characters to get lost (and, perhaps, to find their way back again)?

1. Warming up by reflecting on your grades and progress so far:
  • Grade-wise, how do you think you're doing in American Literature?
  • Are you happy with your grades so far? Do they accurately reflect what you're learning? Why or why not?
  • Are you confused about anything in IC in this class? If so, please circle it and write down your question.
  • Do you feel that anything in IC in this class is incorrect? If so, please circle it and explain your thinking.
  • Name one concrete goal for the next six weeks in American Literature. "I will..."

2. Reading and blogging about The Color of Water; remember that your blogs need to be caught up by 3 pm tomorrow (Friday, Feb 17)

3. Discussing the titles of Chapters 15, 16, 17 in concentric circles

HW:
1. Read Chapters 18, 19, and 20 in The Color of Water and complete your blog entries bu Tuesday; check out my feedback on your previous ones and take on the challenge!

2. Tomorrow, bring in all the photos and artifacts you can dig up that have to do with your character.

3. All make-up work (grammar quizzes, reading blogs, etc.) due this tomorrow, Feb 17, by 3:00 pm, which is the end of six weeks. After that, the grades from the first six weeks stay as they are.




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's in a Name? February 15, 2017

Focus: What larger patterns are starting to form in middle of The Color of Water

1. Warming up with title lines: Uncover the meanings behind the titles of Chapters 12-14

1st 2 rows: "Daddy"
2nd 2 rows: "New York"
3rd 2 rows: "Chicken Man"

First, we'll read aloud your lines from Chapter 12  ("Daddy,"), then everybody will perform a quick brainstorming of the multiple meanings behind the chapter with Level 1, 2, and 3 statements. Then we'll move onto the next two chapters.

Here's an example from Chapter 1:

Level 1 (plot): The first chapter title is "Dead" because much of the mother's father revolves around her father, who is now dead.

Level 2 (literary analysis): The first chapter title is "Dead" because the narrator's former identity had to "die" in order for her to become the strong woman she is today.

Level 3 (bigger picture): The first chapter title is "Dead" because this book might be about what it takes to bring somebody's spirit back to life, to give a voice to someone silenced, or to to do right by someone before it's too late.

2. Getting yourself a date with some vocabulary-infused, day-late Valentines!

Remember: You can access your first set of words by logging into Quizlet and going to our class.

HW:
1. Read Chapters 15, 16, and 17 in The Color of Water and complete your blog entries; check out my feedback on your previous ones and take on the challenge!

2. This Friday, bring in all the photos and artifacts you can dig up that have to do with your character.

3. All make-up work (grammar quizzes, reading blogs, etc.) due this Friday, Feb 17, which is the end of six weeks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Threatened: February 14, 2017

Focus: What threats do the characters face as teenagers in The Color of Water?

1. Warming up: Researching the KKK to understand the threat it posed in the 1940s
  • Click here for the History Channel's Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History
  • I recommend watching the first 2 and a half minutes (2:30) to get a sense of the scope of the KKK, and then from about 41 minutes to 45 minutes to get a specific sense of their presence in the 1940s and 50s.
  • The goal: Return to your blog entry for Chapter 11; how does this background information help you understand the fear in this chapter? What threats is the mother facing at this point in her life?
2. Reading and blogging about The Color of Water: We're through Chapter 14 for today and Chapter 17 for Thursday

Extra challenge: Why did McBride place the chapters "New York" and "Chicken Man" side by side?

3. Discussing Chapters 12-14 in The Color of Water in a snowball format

Basic structure: You will begin in pairs, responding to a discussion question only with a single partner. After a few minutes of discussion, the pair joins another pair to become a group of four. Pairs will share their ideas with the pair they just joined and then move onto their next question. Next, groups of four join together to form groups of eight, and so on, until the whole class is joined up in one large discussion. In this class, there will be 5 rounds.

Before we begin, prepare some questions for each round. You can write these on your blog, in your notebook, or on a sticky note inside your book. Look to your blog to see if you already have some good questions.

Round 1: Character questions
Why does this character...? What motivates this character to...? 

Round 2: Relationship questions
Why does this character treat this other character like this? Why does this character respond to this other character like this?

Round 3: Setting
How does living in this city/town impact ______? How does this one particular place influence ______?

Round 4: Diction
Why is this line on page ___ so important? What does it reveal about ____?

Round 5: Theme
What does the author want us to learn about _____? What does he want to us to understand better or differently?


HW:
1. By Thursday, read Chapters 15, 16, and 17 in The Color of Water; create a blog entry (and make sure your others are up-to-date).

2. This Friday, bring in all the photos and artifacts you can dig up that have to do with your character.

3. All make-up work (grammar quizzes, reading blogs, etc.) due this Friday, Feb 17, which is the end of six weeks.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Creating a World: February 13, 2017

Focus: How do we create world for your characters?

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Avoiding shiftiness with Grammar You Must Know #6: Tenses

3. Creating characters and worlds with Tribute Memoir Writing: Week 2

HW:
1. By Tuesday, read Chapters 12, 13, and 14 in The Color of Water; create a blog entry (and make sure your others are up-to-date).

2. This Friday, bring in all the photos and artifacts you can dig up that have to do with your character.

3. All make-up work (grammar quizzes, reading blogs, etc.) due this Friday, Feb 17, which is the end of six weeks.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Publishing Your Projects: February 10, 2017

Focus: What can we learn about each other through our projects?

1. Warming up with a "quiz" on Grammar You Must Know, Lesson #5: Parallel Structure

2. Taking a few minutes to write a brief introduction for your video
  • What is this video?
  • What do you want people to know before they watch it?
  • What do you want people to focus on as they watch it?
  • What do you hope people will gain from your video?

3. Watching and commenting on each other's videos; start with your blogging buddies, then watch whichever ones you'd like to (also, if anyone wants to show theirs on the big screen, now's the time)
  • What did you learn about this person from watching his or her video?
  • What worked for you?
  • Questions you'd like to ask?
4. Returning to Tribute Memoir Writing, Week 1: Quirks

HW:
1. Read Chapters 1\2, 13, and 14 for Tuesday; complete your blog entry. I'm in the process of leaving feedback on your first three blogs (Chapter 1, Chapters 2-5, and Chapters 6-8); please make sure all of your blogs are published and up-to-date.

2. By Monday, finish your list of quirks for your "character" (the family member to whom you are writing this tribute memoir). For specific directions, see Slide #8 in Tribute Memoir Writing, Week 1: Quirks

3. Next Friday, bring in a collection of photos and artifacts that have to do with your "character."

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Speed Dating and Struggle: February 9, 2017

Focus: What do McBride's characters struggle with, both internally and externally?

1. Warming up with quiet conversations on your reading blogs (click HERE to find your blogging buddies)

For the first 10 minutes of class, please spend time reading the blogs of the other people in your group (see list above); try to leave detailed comments on at least one Color of Water blog of every member of your group. 

If you're not sure what to write, here are some ideas:

  • Give a specific compliment on something they wrote or how they phrased it.
  • Answer a question they posed.
  • Offer a follow-up question to something they pondered.
  • Offer a different way of thinking about something.


2. Silently reading and blogging on Chapters 9-11 (20 minutes)

3. Speed dating and discussing relationships in The Color of Water

  • Please find a partner and set your desks so that you're facing each other. 
  • Bring your computer, and open the slides linked above.
  • Start with the first topic/question. You have about three minutes to discuss this with your partner.
  • When Mrs. Friis tells you to switch, find a new "date."
  • Go to the next slide and spend about three minutes discussing it with your partner.

4. Reflecting on your takeaways: On today's class blog, please write down one idea you and one of your "dates" came up with that you think is insightful and/or important. This will be a way for me to tell what you talked about.

HW:
1. Finish your Renaissance Little Project before class tomorrow; try to convert it to a Youtube video and upload it to your blog. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me.

2. Open-note, neighbor-friendly "quiz" on parallel structure tomorrow.

3. For Tuesday, read and blog on Chapters 12, 13, and 14 in The Color of Water. I'm starting my first reading check on your blogs, so please make sure they are up to date.

Editing Your Renaissance Little Projects: February 8, 2017

Focus: What edits should we make to fortify the tone and themes of our Renaissance Little Projects?

1. Warming up by augmenting your tone vocabulary:

Step 1: Join the class to access the first set of words (Lists 1 and 2).
  • 4th Hour: Click HERE to join my Quizlet class.
  • 6th Hour: Click HERE to join my Quizlet class.

Step 2: Learn the words.
Flip through flashcards/play Match or Gravity to continue learning the words.

Step 3: Compete!
You will need your phones for Quizlet Live. You will also need a code, which I will project on the overhead. I'm hoping the rest is self-explanatory and/or you can explain it to me since you're the Quizlet Live experts.

2. Perusing the rubricsetting goals
  • I want the tone of my project to be...
  • I want the class to understand that this is my theme:
  • By Friday, here are the tasks I need to accomplish to make sure my tone and theme are clear:
  • By the end of class today, here's what I will accomplish: 

3. Checking in with a quick exit ticket

HW:
1. Read Chapters 8, 9 and 10 in The Color of Water for tomorrow and complete your blog entry. You will have 20 minutes of reading/blogging time in class tomorrow to help you wrap up or get ahead.

2. Renaissance Little Projects due before class on Friday. Convert it to a Youtube video, then publish it on your blog. 

3. Open-note, neighbor-friendly "quiz" on parallel structure this Friday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pinwheeling and Close Reading: February 7, 2017

Focus: What are we observing and questioning in Chapters 6-8?

Advisement: Slightly shortened class

1. Warming up with a quick close reading of setting and tone on pages 67-68

McBride uses diction to suggest that his home is ______ but also _____.

2. Reading and blogging (you need to be through Chapter 8 for today and through Chapter 11 for Th)

3. Discussing setting and family dynamics in a pinwheel discussion

Overview of pinwheel:
  • We will have 4 groups. 3 groups will represent points of view, and the 4th group will be "provocateurs," tasked with making sure the discussion keeps going and stays challenging. 
  • Two people from each group ("the speakers") sit in a desk facing speakers from the other groups, so they form a square in the center of the room. 
  • Behind each speaker, the remaining group members are seated: three right behind the speaker, then four behind them, and so on, forming a kind of triangle. From above, this would look like a pinwheel.
  • After some time passes, new students rotate from the seats behind the speaker into the center seats and continue the conversation.
  • Students not in "the speaker" seat will be having their own discussion on the blog (like the outer circle of a fishbowl discussion).

What our groups will be focusing on today:
  • Group 1: Experts on Chapter 6 
  • Group 2: Experts on Chapter 7
  • Group 3: Experts on Chapter 8
  • Group 4: Provocateurs (the art of conversation--ask follow-up questions, find supporting passages, find counter viewpoints, etc.)

Warming up: Developing Level 1, 2 and 3 questions inspired by your chapter; finding at least a couple of passages from your chapter to point out and comment on/question.

4. Reflecting on today's Pinwheel discussion with a brief exit ticket


HW:
1. Read Chapters 9, 10, and 11 for Thursday and complete your next blog entry.

2. Little projects due this Friday. Wednesday will be your last and only work day in class.

3. Open-note "quiz" on parallel structure this Friday.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Creating a Character: February 6, 2017

Focus: How do we find/create a main character for our tribute memoir?

1. Warming up with three good things

2. Enjoying Grammar You Must Know, Lesson #5: Parallel Structure

3. Exploring the big ideas of the Tribute Memoir and starting the exercises for Week 1

HW:
1. Read Chapters 6, 7, and 8 and complete your blog entry.

2. Renaissance Little Projects due Feb 10 (before class).

3. If needed, start digging around for some good gossip/info on your character!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Creating your Renaissance Little Project: February 3, 2017

Focus: What are we really trying to create?

1. Warming up with a brief and painless quiz on Grammar You Must Know #4: Modifiers

2. Unveiling the weekly structure of our Color of Water unit:



Mondays
Tuesdays
Wednesdays
Thursdays
Fridays
New grammar mini-lesson

Tribute memoir writing
Reading time

Discussion of Color of Water (see bookmark)
Vocabulary

Investigating topics in Color of Water and commenting on blogs
Reading time

Discussion of Color of Water (see bookmark)
Grammar “quiz”

Writing lessons/revising your tribute memoirs


2. Offering you an "example" of a Little Project for some inspiration:

  • Take note of the images. What patterns can you find among the images?
  • What is this commercial really trying to create? In other words, how do the images and the narrated lines combine to create something greater?

3. Creating your Renaissance Little Projects
  • Click here to review the main goals of this project.
  • Click here if you'd like Ms. Binney's plan sheet for more structure.
  • This will the last large piece of work time on this project, so use it wisely! One week to showtime.
HW:
1. Read Chapters 6, 7, and 8 in The Color of Water for Tuesday, February 7; complete one blog entry (metacognitive or dialectical journal).

2. Renaissance Little Projects due February 10 (next Friday).


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bicycles and Black Panthers: February 2, 2017

Focus: What are the multiple meanings behind bicycles, "Kosher," and Black Power?

1. Warming up by building your background knowledge:
  • One side of the room: Who were the Black Panthers? Why did our narrator fear them?
  • Middle of the room: Old Testament? New Testament? Research a little general background info on each, focusing on the main differences between the two and what kinds of lessons they teach.
  • Other side of the room: What does it mean to be "Kosher"? What specific practices does it involve?
  • 2-minute partner teach!
2. Offering you a reminder and taking 15-20 minutes to read and blog on Chapters 2-5; be sure to publish when you finish.

3. Discussing characters, connections, and loaded titles in McBride's early chapters

Click HERE if you prefer to type.

Topic #1: What Level 1 questions does your group have? In other words, clarify for each other any plot confusion you're struggling with. Feel free to draw family trees, look up locations, etc.

Topic #2: Find one passage in any of the chapters that you can personally relate to or had a strong gut reaction to. Share your reflections with your group.

Topic #3: Unpack the titles of Chapters 2-5. Work to find multiple truths behind each one, bringing in specific passages from the text to add complexity to your thinking.

HW:
1. Read Chapters 6, 7, and 8 in The Color of Water for Tuesday, February 7; complete one blog entry (metacognitive or dialectical journal).

2. Small "quiz" on Grammar #4: Modifiers on Friday, Feb 3.

3. Renaissance Little Projects due February 10.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Finding Structure in Your Renaissance: February 1, 2017

Focus: How do we bring structure to our Renaissance projects?

1. Warming up with a more structured approach to tone vocabulary (10 minutes)
  • (Re)introduce yourself to Quizlet.
  • Create yourself a little list: Tone words, List #1. Make some cards for the first 10 words on the Tone Word List. If you're a visual person, use the image option--it's pretty cool. 
  • When you finish, play some Match or Gravity.

2. Reading and blogging on Chapters 2-5 in The Color of Water (20 minutes)
  • Remember that you need just one blog entry for these three chapters (metacognitive or dialectical journal--see overview if you were absent on Monday)
  • As you journal, work towards uncovering multiple meanings behind the title of your chapter.
  • We will have a discussion tomorrow on Chapters 2-5.

3. Working on Renaissance Little Projects (rest of class)
  • By the end of class today, try to figure out what your project title is. Use this title to help shape the focus of your project; think of The Color of Water's chapters titles as models.
  • If you need more structure in your planning, click HERE for a plan sheet (optional).

HW:
1. Finish reading through Chapter 5 in The Color of Water by tomorrow. Make sure your blog entry is complete and published before class tomorrow.

2. Renaissance Little Projects are due February 10 (before class). You decide how much work you need to do on this at home.

3. We will have a "quiz" on Grammar #4: Modifiers this Friday.