Friday, October 5, 2018

Daily Agenda: Thursday, October 4 and Friday, October 5

On Thursday we had a sample presentation, "Shakespeare's Life and Times," and then chose groups and topics.  Note how I use questions and multiple choice answers to keep the presentation moving.  I encourage you to do the same.

The rubric is here.  Please review it again.

On Thursday, we had a mini-lesson on how to use Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT when doing research on Google Scholar. 

On Friday, you are meeting in the school library, and Mrs. Segaloff will teach you how to use Boolean operators on school databases and also will help you to find quality sources.

Use time wisely to research, read, add to the presentation started in class on Thursday, and to create a works cited component.

HW Eng: The presentation should be finalized for Tuesday, although the presentation date for each assignment is staggered in the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Daily Agenda: Wednesday, October 3

Opening up class, everyone got out their reading logs for Act I Scene 1 on the MacBook, which Ms. Hodgens checked briefly for depth of completion and accuracy.  We walked around the room and chose a hat for a character we have met, and then explained and explored the personality of that character as you understand them so far.

We discussed the four questions answered last night on the reading log with additional support found in class in the language of the play.  According to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., Shakespeare's words are "always where the power lies."

The notes from our discussion are here.  We learned about Iago as a form of pride, one of the seven deadly sins which Elizabethan audiences would understand and fear.  That form is despair.

Important question which emerged in the discussion:
Is Moor a derogatory term in the play?  Is the use of "the Moor" in Act I Scene 1 a signal of racism and oppression?

Which leads us to our dramaturgy presentations...

HW Eng: Read over the dramaturgy subjects here; choose one or two topics which interest you for a presentation. The dates on which the presentations will happen are staggered.  You will present with a group of one or two classmates.  One of the presentation subjects is Paul Robeson, pictured here.  Another subject, Ira Aldridge, is here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Daily Agenda: Tuesday, October 2

Today we started with some Elizabethan shadow boxing and then moved into improvised lines and movements related to Act I Scene 1 of Othello.  Students acted out the following situations while walking around the classroom with a partner, and each conversation was rehearsed in front of the class, too:
  • Two men are talking.  One, whom we will call the lover, has a girlfriend.  The other, whom we will call the friend, tries to plant seeds of doubt in the lover about the girlfriend's loyalty.
  • Two men are talking.  This time the friend tries to convince the lover that his girlfriend has eyes for a particular man.  
We continued with another improvisation:
  • A confrontation between the lover and his girlfriend.  Believing her unfaithful, he is angry but won't say why. She is innocent and bewildered by his anger.  
We reviewed the character triangle at the heart of the character map passed out yesterday.  Othello is the lover, the girlfriend is Desdemona, and the friend planting seeds of doubt is Iago.  

Next, we did some free-writing, first with pen and paper: "Take the improvisation you just did and weave a story around it.  But there will be three complications:
  • The lover is black and the girlfriend is white.
  • There is a significant difference in social background between the two.
  • Of what ethnic origin is the friend?
Next, students made a copy of the reading log we will be using while studying Othello in a new folder within ELA, called "Othello."  Students typed up ideas from the free-writing at the end of the log, under the "I-have-a-better-idea" option.  

HW Eng: After reviewing (and perhaps, finishing up your reading) of Act I Scene 1, answer at least 2 of the following questions in the Act I Scene 1 reading log you started today in class.  
1. Why do Iago, Roderigo, and Brabantio hate the man they're discussing?
2. What reasons does Iago give for continuing to follow his master?
3. What kind of a man do you expect the man they discuss to be?  How do you imagine him?
4. Count the # of times "Moor" is used in Act I Scene 1.  Can you draw any conclusions?

Each of the 2+ answers should be 4-5 or more sentences.  

Monday, October 1, 2018

Daily Agenda: Monday, October 1

We began reading Othello today --

  • Opener: Barbs from the Bard.
  • Character Tableaus: Use the character map.  Introduce Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, Iago, Brabantio, and Emilia.  Make predictions and observations from the outer circle.
  • Launch into a choral reading and then a three actor reading of a segment of Act I Scene 1, the moment when Brabantio is lured by Iago and Roderigo into believing Desdemona has gone off with Othello, an "extravagant and wheeling stranger."
  • Question: How do Roderigo and Iago use language to portray Othello?  Discuss and share one word, phrase, or line which gives support to that question.
  • Pass out the Folger Shakespeare Library copy of Othello.
HW Eng: Read all of Act I Scene 1 through tonight, looking for signs of how Othello is portrayed through Iago and Roderigo's lies.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Daily Agenda: Thursday, September 27 - Friday, September 28


*The Color of Water project is due today.*

How might you use one or both of your narratives for potential college app essays?  Begin with a powerpoint.

1. Turn in your Color of Water project at my desk, one at a time.

2. Read all examples of sample college app essays from Essays that Worked.

3. Write brief comments and score three essays using the criteria sheets and your reaction to each student's writing.  You're reading in the role of an admissions officer.

Tomorrow, we will form admissions committees to deliberate and discuss the essays.

HW Eng: Finish reading all seven examples of sample college app essays from Essays that Worked; write comments and score your reaction to three of the essays using the attached criteria sheets.


We held an admissions committee meeting today and discussed reactions to the seven essays from Essays that Worked.  This is the document we used for the discussion.

HW Eng: Work revising one of your narratives into a college application essay.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Daily Agenda: Tuesday, September 25 - Wednesday, September 26

We had writing and revising time in the library as we put the pieces together for The Color of Water project.  For quick reference, some important documents are here:

You do not need to transcribe your interview -- only type out the 10+ questions.  The project is due this Thursday, September 27.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Daily Agenda: Monday, September 24

The Color of Water project will be due on Thursday, September 27 **note change of due date**

Peer Review Today --

  • Trade narrative #1 with a partner.  The peer review assignment is here
  • Trade narrative #2 with a second partner.
You will use your partners' feedback to respond on the back of each sheet handed out today.  Plan on including both peer review sheets in your binder when you turn in the project.

HW Eng: Spend some time reading over your partners' feedback and responding on the back of each sheet.  Use their feedback to make narrative revisions.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Daily Agenda: Monday, September 17 - Friday, September 21

Narrative Drafting This Week --

The Color of Water project will be due next Wednesday, September 26.

We will work each day in class this week on writing the two narratives.  We will also read sample narratives and consider style with "style openers."  As you write, one-on-one and two-on-one conferences on The Color of Water will wrap up.

Outside of class, you will also want to take time to write the narratives and to interview a family member; schedule an interview appointment for this week.  Ms. Graham followed up on her QuickTime player lesson with this three minute tutorial on how to transcribe audio into text.  We will watch it in class.

Friday -- Use the rhetorical notebook to annotate "One Writer's Beginning" for style.  Continue drafting the narrative or begin revision with style analysis.  The directions for transcribing audio to text are here.

Thursday's sample college application essays, which emerged from narrative writing, are here and here.  We took 10-15 minutes to identify an area that needs improvement in a narrative and to freewrite/answer questions at a brainstorming station to create new material for the narrative draftwork.

Wednesday's mini-lesson on How to Write Descriptively is here.  We read an excerpt from Lorrie Moore's "People Like That Are the Only People Here."

Tuesday's lesson is here.

Monday's lesson:
  • Style opener: Make every word work.  Circle diction choices (word choices) in two very different passages on the same place, the Okefenokee Swamp.  We're doing this exercise to remind ourselves that writers make very conscious choices about the connotation of words to create a tone -- some words work harder than others, though, and we stood in a circle around the rock and shouted out the words that determined tone and mood most in both passages.
  • Narrative definitions and a sample narrative: With a partner, we reviewed/listed core traits of narrative.  We read Canadian writer Margaret Laurence's "The Shack," and focused on her use of diction (word choice) in her introduction.
  • Writing time: Time to start drafting the first of two narratives.  Each student's pre-writing homework was reviewed and checked for thoroughness of writing.
HW Eng: The Color of Water project will be due next Wednesday, September 16.  Draft your first and second narrative for at least 30 minutes of writing time each night this week.  You do not need to finish the drafts but should have substantial work accomplished on each.  Bring your draft, handouts, and The Color of Water book + notes with you to class.  Schedule an appointment to interview a family member this week or weekend.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Daily Agenda: Friday, September 14

Today we learned how to use QuickTime player, reviewed the Color of Water project, and then discussed the nature of family interviews -- you may interview someone who is in your family or someone who is close kin.  I gave an example of my family members, Mike and Muriel.

Each student's timeline was checked for accuracy and thoroughness.

HW due Monday: Complete one or both of these prewriting surveys as narrative pre-writing and then also talk with the person you would like to interview to set up an appointment time for next week. 

Prewriting survey option one: Story of a friendship.

Prewriting survey option two: Overall narrative ideas

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Daily Agenda: Thursday, September 13

Today we got started on narrative writing with some brainstorming.

  • Each student created a timeline, titled "Timeline of My Life."
  • On the front of the timeline is ages 2 through 8.
  • On the back of the timeline is ages 9-17.
  • The timeline will help to determine subject matter for The Color of Water narratives.
Working as a class, with partners, and alone, we began to stir up thoughts and memories from each of these years.  The assignment is to write a detailed memory for each year, ages 2-17, using some of these qualities for each year: detailed colors, names, descriptions of objects, extremes, local/national/world events, setbacks and successes, famous firsts, holidays and celebrations, and friendship stories.

HW Eng: Finish the timeline of your life, writing a detailed memory for each year, ages 2-17.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Daily Agenda: Monday, September 10 - Wednesday, September 12

The Socratic Seminar meeting on the cultural context of The Color of Water is here.

We prepped for the seminar on Monday and held it on Tuesday and Wednesday. A couple of key

This discussion will be part of your fishbowl grade. We also learned about a project related to
The Color of Water at the end of class on Wednesday. The project assignment is here.

Leadership can take many forms -- remember that your role is to make remarks and decisions as
museum directors and readers.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Daily Agenda: Friday, September 7

Today we are holding one-on-one reading conferences, and the self-scored assessment will be shared with Ms. Hodgens. 

As the conferences are happening, read through this mini-lesson on a way to think about the cultural context of The Color of Water, through visual rhetoric

Working alone or with a partner, please complete the related questions at the end of the document by creating a copy of the google doc and saving it in a folder called World Literature.  You may work alone or with a partner, and each individual should create a copy of the document.

HW Eng (due Monday): Complete the visual rhetoric assignment.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Daily Agenda: Tuesday, September 4 - Thursday, September 6

Thursday's plan:
Fishbowl discussions continued today.
HW Eng: Write up (typing on a Google doc) a self-scored assessment using the Fishbowl rubric. Your analysis will be 8-10 sentences, and though it will focus on your participation in the discussion, your writing can also pull in ideas other classmates discussed.

Wednesday's plan:
Fishbowl discussions started today with eight people on the inside discussing reactions to The Color of Water, going always for depth of inferences. Folks on the outside took notes and listened for meaning. These Fishbowl discussions will continue tomorrow (Thursday).
HW Eng: Continue to prep for the Fishbowl discussions.

Tuesday’s plan:
We started with an imagery opener and passed in the syllabus signature sheets.
After watching commercials, we reviewed the core skill of inferences.
Next, we did a blitzkrieg-like question generating activity.
The questions we generated are here, and they are for the Fishbowl.

HW due Wednesday: Access and read the list of questions generated today (see above)
on The Color of Water; prepare to ask your favorite one or two questions, and think
about your response to that favorite question, too.  

Bring your syllabus signature sheet to class tomorrow if you didn’t bring it today.