Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Humanities: Introduction to Whole New Mind

This week we start our unit on left and right brain thinking and preparing ourselves to be successful in a changing economy and evolving job market.

This sounds fancy.  Let's try it again.

We are going to prepare you to do the sorts of thinking and showcase the sorts of skills that will give you the best chance of getting a meaningful, successful job in the future.

You've created resumes for yourself 10 years into the future.  This is good and important because thinking forward is what you are going to need to do A LOT during this unit.

If you haven't gotten those resumes in . . . do so.

Today we started our work with text feature analysis.

This is to help with understanding how a non-fiction text is organized and designed, so we can better find the information we want and understand what's happening in the text.

We started looking at Dan Pink's Whole New Mind and our text feature analysis matrix.

Here's a slideshare that can also help with this.

We also took a left and right brain quiz to get a sense of who are right brain dominant thinkers in the room, who are left brain dominant thinkers and who is experiencing a sense of being a whole brain thinker.

Wednesday, we continue this intro by digging into the text and watching this video about brain dominance.

After the video, we will read paragraphs from Whole New Mind and complete the Three 4 Thinking graphic organizer, a tool designed to better help us understand texts and keep track of our ideas.

Heads up Thursday.  Laptops.  Setting up inboxes.  Setting up blogs.  Setting up Remind.  Practicing Empathy.  Talking  First Big Project.


Complete: WNM Three 4 Thinking Graphic Organizer 1
Due: Thursday, Sept 18

Start Thinking: What Career Would I Like to Focus My Energies Toward
Due: Monday, Sept 22 - Commit

Pop Culture 4B: Designing a Band

Today in Pop Culture we begin our two-week exploration of music.  

This is how we will tackle each of our genres early in the semester.  One-to-two week explorations of particular aspects of pop culture as we build toward determining your final project and the design process of that production.

We'll open with setting up our blogs.

We start today with this "How Might We . . . ?"

How might we create an intentional band out of random elements?  

This will be run similar to a DEEPdt  flash lab.


Make a list of bands and artists that you believe have really great names. Even if you don't love the music or consider them a favorite, you hear the name and think, "that's a great name."  Throw in good names of movies, good names of books, TV series, while you are at it.  

Put three of your favorite names -- music or not -- and put each on a sticky note and up the marker board.

I notice.  I wish.  I wonder.  We'll look at those band names up on the board and discuss using only those stems to start our thinking.


3x3 Interviews.  Three questions.  Three subjects.

1. What sorts of fonts appeal to you?  Handwriting? Block? Serif? San Serif?
Serif vs Sans: The Final Battle
by mostash.

2. What colors appeal to you?
The Psychology of Color
by Dehahs.

3. Do you prefer realistic or abstract images?

Collect your responses and include them on your blog post when you discuss the album art you create.  Use what you know appeals to others visually to inform your choices.


Create-A-Band Process 

I'd Give Credit to the Creator of this Process  But It's From a While Back & I Can't Recall the Link! #arghface.
1. Go to the Random Article link on the Wikipedia front page. (You can find it in the top left navigation menu.) The title of the random article is your new band/artist's name.

2. Go to the Random Quote link on the Quotations Page front page. (You can find it in the left side navigation menu.) You will get a list of random quotes. Pull either a full or partial quote from that page. That is the album title for your band's latest release. (You might also find some song titles this way as well.)

3. Go to Flickr and click on the 'Interesting Uploads from the Last 7 Days' link. (You can find it by scrolling down and looking beside the 'Take the Tour' link.)

4. Pull that information together and then use an app like Pages, Google Draw or Google Docs, a photo editor like iPhoto or Gimp, or any other application that lets you manipulate words and images, and create your album cover.  Export your finished work as a .JPG and post it or  PDF and screenshot it and post it on your blog.


5.  On your blog, create a context for your band.  Who are the members?  How did they form and when?  What genre(s) do they play?  What was the gig that led to them making this album?  Where do they play? In other words, what is the story behind the band?  
Here's the big huge giant challenge of this creative endeavor: take those random elements from above and make them all seem intentional.  How might you create sense out of what might be nonsense by applying the filter of music to it?  What does this say about the power of music?
6. In a separate blog post, choose an artist or band you enjoy.  Select an album by that performer. Explore the relationship between the artist's name, the album's name, and the cover art for that album.  To what extent do they align?  Where do you see a clear relationship between the visuals and the music?  Where do you see it not working out?  What about the band's logo or the font used on the album cover?
One to two descriptive paragraphs with visuals to illustrate.
Extra helpful?  Embed some Vimeo links or Spotify links or other ways of proving your point through the music.
You might get some inspiration for your album covers here

10 Iconic Album Covers (Yahoo) Here

99 Well Designed Album Covers (Inspiredology) Here

21 Great Albums with Not So Great Art (AV Club) Here

Lego'd Album Covers Here


Blog: 2 Posts - One of Create-a-Band, One of Analysis of a Band & Album & Title
Due: Friday, Sept 19
Send:  Link to your blog via e-mail

Complete: Signature Sheets
 Due: ASAP

Gather: Design Kits

Sign Up:  Remind

AP Lit 4G: Synthesis Thinking Introduced

Today we start  looking at synthesis thinking and what that means in AP Lit this year.

We will use a comparison matrix to look at three samples: two former student papers and the first chapter of Foster's How to Read Lit Like a Professor.  

We will see what this reveals to us about the nature of synthesis thinking.

And then we will talk  briefly about Frankenstein, our first novel of the year.

Due: Annotations on How to Read Lit Chap 1
Turn In?: Yes.

Read & Annotate: Frankenstein (introduction and the letters)
Due: Thursday, 9/18

Pre-Write & Compose: Intro & thesis statement for 1st Synthesis
Due: Thursday, 9/18 for workshopping

Gather: Design Kits (Optional yet Encouraged)
Due: ASAP (See Mr. Ryder if a struggle)