Well, today was a GREAT start to some really thought-provoking, creative, and downright entertaining (hello The Late Late Late Late Late Show) student presentations. Check back in later this week for showcased presentations.
A few changes to this week's schedule:
Tomorrow/Wednesday: STEM speaker in auditorium
Thursday 1st period: Presentations continued & more Slaughterhouse Five (woo woo!)
Thursday 6th period: Slaughterhouse Five free read & task TBD
Friday 1st period: Slaughterhouse context, POV, and questions raised
Friday 6th period: Presentations continued & some Slaughterhouse
This week we're squeezing all the juice we can out of a single story. We're collaborating with our peers to do that, and so far...I'm impressed. Great focus and great ideas. Keep it up!
Here is the original Short Story Focus Project task sheet. Please remember that SIFT is the beginning, not the end.
Here is the UPDATED task sheet for you #aplit16 kids.
Remember you will present your discoveries, your case, or your interpretation along with some compelling evidence to class. Some fun ways you might achieve this is through:
Stay the course, Litters!
It is worth nothing what Mrs. Hilliard did not remember, given what she did remember.
She did not remember the OLWEUS kick off day, the quiet celebration of the triumph over a human knot, the crunching of potato chips and soft murmurs conversation. She did not remember presenting, in hurried form, on Socratic Seminar, of asking and answering what makes a good classroom conversation. She did not remember her students answering with Bromance and Swag, but also with Open-mindedness, Depth, Creativity, and Assertiveness.
She did not remember the scooting of desks, the circling up, and the tangled web of conversation (click here for "Bullet in the Brain" Socratic Seminar questions). Anders is cynical. He is flawed. He is weary and tired and sees only flaws wherever he looks (for example at the sexy cow, hubba hubba), and yet he is human with distinct and lovely memories.
Mrs. Hilliard did not remember the silent room and the flipping of pages for Read What You Want, the Goodfellas mentor text analysis, or the quick paragraph at the end of the period, not a one.
This is what she remembered: Darkness. A teacher work room. The solitude of an empty school, herself leaning against the copy machine. Mrs. Hilliard wasn't going to be at school on Friday, and her students needed some stories (to be read by Monday please). The copier going ker-chunk, and its music pleasing, the rhythm like a ploppity, off-kilter waltz. Mrs. Hilliard turns and looks at it:
Signs and Symbols by Vladimir Nabokov
The School by Donald Barthelme
The Looking Glass by Anton Chekhov
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Earnest Hemingway
A&P by John Updike
The Last Night of the World by Ray Bradbury
Click HERE for the September Need-to-Know Info handout.
The reader's digest version?
- Have your copy of Slaughterhouse Five by 9.28.
- Calendars will be printed and posted soon.
- Independent novel study will require Novel Notes & a 2-minute book talk by the end of the semester.
- Stay on top of your reading and assignments, and stay connected.
Also, here is the post about literary merit as mentioned in handout.
That is all. :)
Have you ever noticed how Disney shows go line-joke set up-line-line-joke-laugh track? Well I watch a lot of Disney, and obviously my kids do, too -- more than I care to admit. So as we're sitting here chilling out with some Chick Fil A drive thru and Disney's Descendants (it's that kid of Monday), I thought: this is what we do.
No, no, not eat fast food and watch made-for-TV movies. Anticipate and recognize story patterns and how and why they work. For my six and four year-old gals, the line-joke set up-line-line-laugh track schtick works. We could probably say why and how it works, right? They get the wind up and the pitch, and they're giggling all the way home.
When we focus on the deep structure of stories, we get better at doing more than playing literary devices bingo. We're building a habit of mind that, I believe, will yield more mature analysis, the kind that becomes rewarding. So, we can move from, "oh, look, a symbol!" to "oh, look, this symbol might exist for this specific reason because this writer is trying to...isn't that cool?"
We are chipping away at that, guys.
Here's a rundown of this week:
Today: one of my all time favorite stories of all time ever Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff.
Tuesday: BinB Socratic Seminar
Wednesday: English department Read What You Want Day
Thursday: Writer Groups Mentor Text (<-- linked and ready)
Friday: Short story read-a-thon!
Sound good? Good. Let's make it a great week!
Ps. With all this Disney talk, it reminds me that this cool sounding documentary is on tonight on PBS. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-0914-walt-disney-review-20150914-column.html
Hello all! Tomorrow is our first writer's workshop. I'm pretty excited for it, and you should be, too. Because I'm betting if you ask folks who have participated in workshop before, they'll tell you it's an enjoyable experience and you'll get loads of meaningful feedback by the time it's over.
Below is a document outlining some of the philosophy of workshop. But let's take a moment to talk about how it will work. So you might want to listen up. :)
1. I will provide you with copies of your and your group members' work. Someone will volunteer to go first.
2. Writer will tell group HOW to critique his or her work...
3. Group reads and marks up writer's draft, specific to requested critique.
4. Group shares out critiques. Writer has chance to ask questions.
5. Group passes critiqued draft to writer. Writer leaves with lots of thoughtful and meaningful feedback.
That's it! Can't wait to get started.
Until tomorrow, Litters...
Let's get to it! I thought we'd kick things off a bit early for our short story read-a-thon week with our first focus lesson.
If you've ever watched Iron Chef (if you haven't, drop everything you're doing and go watch!), you know the chefs must, in only 60 minutes, create a five course meal featuring a secret ingredient. Every dish is carefully thought out and tailored to showcase squid or snails or spiny lobster or whatever other secret (scary sounding) ingredient that is revealed. These chefs focus on the deep structure of the dish. How will flavors be conjured and contrasted? What might be novel and surprising? How is the secret ingredient part of the whole?
I'm only about half way there with the analogy right now (because it's 5:35 AM, and the clock is ticking for school!), but take this idea and apply it to literature.
Today's secret ingredient: point of view! We will read, study, and analyze for this and only this. We will decide how point of view can create meaning, reveal character, and offer an interpretation of the work.
HERE is your homework this weekend called Making Sense of Set 1. It's a vocab sorting activity and review. The way I've seen this work before is headings for categories, terms below headings, explanation for category.
Also: if you don't see your term on our class wiki, please send me a copy or bring a hard copy to class.
Now: enjoy your weekend and have a hotdog like a true American!