10.09.06

Cores 1-4:

  1. Talk about the Authenticity Awards for last week.
  2. Look at Authentic Assessment for blogs tomorrow.

Core 1:

  1. Write a paragraph review of this music video.
  2. Discuss reviews and sports writing:
    • Does looking at reviews and sports writing as a genre change the way that you think about both?
  3. Come back to vocabulary for Vocab Basketball.

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On: How did you tackle the sesquipedalian paragraph? What is your thought process when you encounter a seemingly impenetrable paragraph?
  2. Take a second look at the paragraph.
  3. Practice and act out a few sesquipedalian theater pieces.
  4. Talk about being too tired to think.

Core 3:

  1. Write-On: Looking at your characterization sheet and your “video memory,” How many of your ways of characterization are present in your memory? Can you identify the ones that you used?
  2. Why is it important to characterize using all of the ways rather than just a few?
  3. Share video memories and characterizations.
    • What can we generalize about a character once we get to know him/her?
    • What can we generalize about Christopher (from the The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime)?
  4. Talk about being too tired to think.

Core 4:

  1. How did you attack reading The Declaration? What is your thought process when you encounter a seemingly impenetrable paragraph?
  2. Discuss the reasons for changes in the draft.
  3. Why was this document so successful? What in the language makes it so persuasive? (Word Choice, Figurative Language, Allusion, Sentence Structure, Concrete and abstract images.
  4. Talk about being too tired to think.

Too tired to think.

My last weekly authentic was ambitious and hopeful. It made a lot of observations in the hopes of coming to grand conclusion about where I am with my life right now. I’m afraid that after a week and a half, I am still no closer to distilling the wisdom of what I am feeling right now. I can, however, use simpler words. I can talk about being stressed out without the extended metaphor. I can talk about not getting things done when I had planned without the six syllable words. You see, I am too tired to write flowers and hope. I am too tired to sit here and wax poetic or anything else for that matter. I am too tired to think.

I don’t take this feeling lightly. Thinking is my favorite pastime. It is what I do when I am feeling bored. Think and write. Being too tired to think is torture, like seeing the cookie jar on the counter and being too small to reach it. And yet, the exhaustion of working through my ideas is too much for me right now. Mental drain is real, and every one of my formerly available faculties have been slowly sucked down. I haven’t even the ability to rub two brain  cells together to create the warmth of wit.

So, what can I do when my smarts smart? I start to explain things that are really going on. I give a play-by-play of everything I feel, because I have no filter, no way of getting around the inevitable.

I have a pile of papers to grade.

I haven’t written the lessons for when my baby is born.

My wife can’t sleep.

My dog keeps pooping in the house.

My tile floor keeps breaking.

I haven’t done my homework for Language Theory.

I’m not sure what else I can say. These are the things that make my mind mushy. These things weigh upon me, piling themselves on top of one another. So many others too. Also. In addition. As well.

10.04.06

Cores 1-4:

  1. In partners, develop a rubric for assessing Weekly Authentics by asking yourself the following questions and answering them through brainstorming and note-taking (We will discuss many of them together, so you need to have a ready answer for when we bring it to the whole class):
    • What makes a blog post a good one?
      • In what ways/categories can a blog post be good?
      • Are some ways/categories more important than others?
    • In what ways should blog posts be assessed differently than paper and pen/pencil in-class writing?
      • How can we measure the “goodness” of a blog post?
      • Can you really measure authenticity?
    • How can we account for different types of blog posts?
      • Should we assess poems, stories, fiction, and non-fiction differently?
    • What does a 5 post look like and what does a 1 post look like?
      • Describe them.
  2. Assess my Weekly Authentics to test out our new “rubric.”
  3. Talk about the Authenticity Awards for this week.
  4. Talk about Thursday and Friday.

09.29.06

Core 1:

  1. Share-On: Share your Satires with at least 2-3 other people and ask them what they believe is being criticized. If they give you a different answer than what you had planned, discuss why your reader’s impression was different than your writing intention.
  2. Share and critique satires as a whole class:
    • Is this satire affective at drawing attention to a problem?
    • Is this satire affective at persuading you to change (or someone else)?
  3. Dive back into Vocab books for a fresh look.

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On:
    • How many words do you think you know?
    • What percentage of those words do you think your really understand (can use, know inside and out)?
    • What accounts for your number not being 100%
    • What should we call our Sesquipedalian activities? Why?
  2. Show off FlashCard Exchange (and the Word Within The Word Flashcards).
  3. Discuss the notes in terms of their importance to fully understanding a word.
  4. Explore the ideas page looking for the most authentic idea.

Core 3:

  1. Take Quiz over Vocabulary Unit 1 and collect Vocab books.
  2. Discuss-On: What doesn’t belong in an introduction to an essay?
  3. Let’s  Pack our Bags.
  4. How would you pack your bags for one of the Start-Me-Up Sentences that you wrote yesterday?

Core 4:

  1. Write-On: What is the difference between persuasion and manipulation with words?
  2. With a partner: Analyze Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech  using this handout.
  3. Discuss the analysis as a class.
  4. Come up with your final answer to the final question:
    • From your reading/listening/watching and our discussion, what do you believe that speech can do better than the written word and what does the written word do better than speech?

09.28.06

Core 1:

  1. Discuss-On: Share your answers to the homework questions with at least two people and come to a consensus on the answers:
    • What are these articles making fun of/criticizing? How are they doing it?
    • Why are they targeting these particular aspects of society?
  2. With a partner: Brainstorm all of the social aspects that you think deserve to be criticized.
  3. Read over the My Satire handout and then start writing your own satires.

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On: What is the best way to honor our fallen soldiers? Share with one another until you establish the best solution for not making sacrifices to our country seem like statistics or things that should be forgotten?
  2. Why are big words good?
  3. Introduce The Word Within The Word.

Core 3:

  1. Write-On: How do you know if your Start-Me-Up sentence is a good one? (How do you know if you have started off with the right size bag?)
  2. Brainstorm and Write your own Start-Me-Up sentences according to the topics on the handout.
  3. Play Vocabulary Basketball to study for the Vocabulary Quiz tomorrow.

Core 4:

  1. Share-On: Share with two people your answer for the homework question:
    • In the course of our human history, which has been more effective at creating social change: Verbal persuasion or Written Persuasion? Why?
  2. Read Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech (watch it too) and analyze it using this handout.

09.27.06

Cores 1-4:

  1. Honor the new Authenticity Award Recipients.
  2. Continue to refine The Discovery Blogging Rules.
    1. Is this post appropriate for our blogs?

Core 1:

  1. Discuss-On: Why do we make fun of things?
  2. Read Onion Articles and establish definition of Satire and its characteristics on your Genre Master List:
  3. Discussion Questions:
    • What are these articles making fun of/criticizing? How are they doing it?
    • Why are they targeting these particular aspects of society?
    • What can you do with satire (such as these) that you cannot do with other genres of writing?
  4. Homework: Which social topic do you think deserves to be made fun of? How are you going to exaggerate it in order to change it?

Core 2:

  1. Discuss-On: What is the best way to honor our fallen soldiers? Share with one another until you establish the best solution for not making sacrifices to our country seem like statistics or things that should be forgotten?
  2. Why are big words good?
  3. Introduce The Word Within The Word.

Core 3:

  1. Check Completing the Sentence in Vocab book.
  2. Talk about Vocab quiz on Friday.
  3. Start Our Trip To Essay Land by Packing Our Bags:
    • I have a severe obsession with the introductory paragraph. I explain this obsession through an essay I wrote on my own writing process. I expand this topic to talk about how everyone writes an essay differently, but my favorite way is to focus on the first topic and make it perfect. I usually start brainstorming the first sentence and make sure it is a powerful as I need it to be, but a more in depth look at this idea of a Start-Me-Up first sentence can be found here.
    • In the metaphor, the first sentence represents the bag that you pack everything in. You need to pick the right sized bag or else you either won’t have enough clothes (ideas and details) to fill up the bag or you will have too many.
    • The three major ways that I like to start an essay (as shown in the handout) are as follows:
      • The Truest/Most Powerful/Most Interesting/Most Important/Most Shocking thing you know about your subject.
      • A Quotation.
      • A Question
    • Many of my students come up with other ways of starting an essay. These other ways can be more natural to them, but I try to encourage them to branch out and try new ways of starting off their best essay so far. Here are some examples of student ideas for a Start-Me-Up sentence.
      • One word. Then a powerful definition of that word.
      • A great image or extended example which is later explained in the introductory paragraph.
      • A dictionary definition (not my personal favorite).

Core 4:

  1. Use the library computers to work on Weekly Authentics, commenting, and building comments.