Monday, February 23, 2015

Brit Lit: Putting the Team Together & Canterbury Tales

We'll start by reviewing what it means to form a team.  Take a look at a handful of these clips.  What do you notice as trends across them?  What stands out as unique or different?

From there we'll complete an activity called 8Box.  It's a way for you to put together some ideas for the mini project around the corner and help me get to know you a bit better for the rest of this semester.  This will lead into our next work. . .

There'll be a bit of a pause in the team action as we take a look at No Red Ink and work with To/Too/Two and Then/Than.  You can choose to work with one of the teachers in the room or independently based on your needs.

Then it's back to the team . . .

We'll look at one of the oldest "pulling together the team" sequences in the English language: the Canterbury Tales prologue.  We'll look at the various characters that were pulled together at that time, see what the people were like when it was written, what they seemed to care about, what their skill sets were, and also some of their less fortunate qualities.

We'll work together through one of the characters and then you'll break into groups of 1, 2 or 3 to tackle the others and analyze each using a Notice/Wish/Wonder Graphic Organizer.

Each one is linked below.


What we don't finish in class today, we'll finish up on Thursday.  This all leads into our first mini project: Portland Tales.


Req'd Post:  Putting together a team.  If you had to pull together a team of friends and family to solve a problem, what would that problem be and who would you assemble to solve it?  Justify each of your choices with specific reasons.

Due. Friday.  Feb 27.

No Red Ink.
If You Scored Below 90% on Their/To/Than Pre-Assessment Quiz
Complete All Listed Assignments

Due. Mon. Mar 2.

Pop Culture: And the Oscar Goes to . . .

Sunday night was a big evening for the movie industry as the Academy Awards were doled out.  The event pretty much caps the awards season after the Golden Globes (film & TV) and the Grammys (music) and some important but lesser known awards (SAG -- movies).

Today we'll take a look at the winners and the nominees and take a look the extent to which these awards reflect our tastes and interests as movie watchers.

We'll be using the movie ballot at

We won't use every category for our work -- only the following.

Best Picture
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actress
Visual Effects
Animated Feature

You'll code the ballot with the following.
H. Heard of It.
S.  Seen It.
N. Never Heard of It.

We'll take your codes, collect the data, and see what trends merge.  Then we'll explore ways of visualizing these understandings.  Different ways to show the data.  Especially using as our inspiration -- because that will help us head into our comedy unit.

We'll develop questions from our data as well as we uncover the sorts of questions we should be asking for the rest of this semester as we explore pop culture.


Blog. 3+ Posts.
Req'd Post.  Design Your Own Pop Culture Related Awards Show.
What would it be called?
What would be the categories?
Who would be the nominees this year?  The winner?
Explain your choices for the above and then . . .
Create a logo or promotional poster for the awards as well.

AP Lit: Anchors Await & Modest Proposals

Big Project Week.  Thursday and Friday, we get to see To Be or Not Be.  This is exciting stuff.

Monday and Tuesday, we'll be following up with "The Century Quilt" on demand by examining some anchor papers and comparing them to our own writing and thinking.  We'll be doing a tremendous amount of mark up on the anchor packets and busting out serious degrees of Post It notes.

From there we will conduct a close reading of Swift's "A Modest Proposal" right in class.  We'll be using our SCOUT/NWW/RBT triple lens.  And this will lead us to our next writing product (not the synthesis essay yet!).

We also have a collaboration with other seniors not from around these parts that is about to happen.  It involves redefining senioritis.  We'll look at this more closely on Wednesday and Thursday.

Here's the blog prompt due NEXT FRIDAY.  March 6.  Use words/video/audio to define your now more accurately than "senioritis."  We'll be connecting with seniors in a HS in Northern Illinois around this very idea -- and perhaps elsewhere as well.  Here's an example of how one student tackled it.


Blog. 3+ Posts.
Req'd Post:  From A to To Be.   Stack that blog full of images and explanation of your process.  Show how you got there.
Due. Friday. Feb 27.

Blog Prompt for NEXT WEEK.
Use words/video/audio to define your now more accurately than "senioritis."  We'll be connecting with seniors in a HS in Northern Illinois around this very idea -- and perhaps elsewhere as well.  Here's an example of how one student tackled it.
Due. Friday. Mar 6.

Literary 3x3:  Modest Proposal.  Bring it to your next class.
Due. Wed & Thurs.  Feb 25 & 26.

Complete the Design.  To Be or Not to Be.
Due Thursday/Friday Feb 25 & 26.

Humanities: Firing Up & Making Happiness. DT Flashlab.

This week we revisit two projects that are unresolved: fidgets and Romeo & Juliet.  To do so, we've got to re-familiarize ourselves with the DEEP design thinking process and today's class is intended to do just that.


We'll start with a quick LNG.  We want to have a nice collection of evidence from all of you that you are understanding these texts and demonstrating those understandings.  It's why we keep hitting on this.  It is also how we tackle our current events portion of the curriculum.

During this time, we'll be circulating around and giving you lengths of blue painters tape.  We want you to make your desk into quadrants.


Materials. You will each be given a manila folder, 4 paper clips, and a length of tape. You may also access your design kits and the two drawers of markers, pencils, glue and scissors in the design cabinet.

Your challenge is:  HMW increase happiness at Mt. Blue Campus?
Constraint: these materials, graphic organizers, and 45 minutes on the clock

Process.  You may follow the DEEP DT process in whatever order you like.  If you already want to experiment, go for it.  If you want to jump right into empathy, that's okay as well.  If you want to go in order, that's why it's called a process.

Why the quadrants?  To help us track your progress through the 45 minutes, you will be putting evidence of each phase in the boxes as you complete the phase.  This way we can observe your process, offer guidance, ask questions, and generally assist you to the end.

If you would like a larger space to work, we've the tables in the room at your disposal or you may double up two desks.

Blog. 3+ Posts.
Req'd Blog Post.  Choose any of the TED Talks posted here and on Google Classroom. (I've got a list going of three/four choices.) 

Explain how your folder challenge product relates to the ideas presented in that TED Talk OR how it doesn't connect at all.  Prove your case with specifics. (NOTE.  That last part is important.  We are stepping up the blog posts.  These should be demonstrating more and more evidence of your thinking and understanding moving forward.)
Some thinking prompts.
How would your product be similar or different had you watched this TED Talk first?
How does your product reflect the spirit of that TED Talk?
What might that speaker say about your product?
What kind of feedback would you expect from that speaker?

Due. Friday, Feb 27.