Wednesday, April 26, 2017

april 26 (II)

Thanks to those of you who came to class and wrote the AP practice essay.  I look forward to discussing the AP rubric and doing some collaborative critique tomorrow.

The second item on our agenda tomorrow will be your inquiry and Ignite Talk, which will now happen on Friday.  Please plan on being here tomorrow and Friday.  (Reminder: the current grading period ends Friday.)

Cerenity and friends, please see me on the patio before we begin class tomorrow morning.

april 26

1. Ignite Talks
2. Journal

JOURNAL: (at end of period)
What did you learn today?  Describe at least three observations about speakers' topics, process, or style.  Include at least one example of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ignite talks wednesday

Traditional speakers at professional conferences talk for an extended period of time, either as a keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, or panelist.

A few years ago a new trend emerged in the world of sharing ideas.  TED and other conferences made shorter talks popular.  These were kind of like the intellectual version of "speed dating."  At one conference where I presented, there was a series of "ignite talks"-- these were designed to be high-energy, exciting introductions to ideas that would get the audience thinking and hungry for more.  They were also required to be no longer than five minutes.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, April 26) every single member of our learning community will give an ignite talk.  There will be no passes, no "I forgot"s, no exceptions.

How will we manage this?

Our ignite talks will be no more than one minute long.

Here is what each ignite talk will include:
  • Your big question/ masterpiece topic (1-2 sentences)
  • One thing you did over the break to explore your question/topic (1 sentence)
  • One thing you learned by exploring over the break (1 sentence)
  • One connection you see between this course or something we read and your question/topic (1 sentence)
  • What you're doing next (1 sentence)
Since we will not have time for audience questions tomorrow, please also create a post for your blog (title: IGNITE TALK) in which you write out these 5-6 sentences and invite commenters to contribute ideas or questions.  If you have any questions or technical challenges please email or comment to this post.

Looking forward to learning from you!

Monday, April 24, 2017

april 25

(I think today is the mandatory AP meeting.  If you're all doing what you're supposed to be doing, I'll have the classroom to myself.  I will use the time to reflect deeply on your recently posted essays and consider what we need most for the rest of the week.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

april 24

In nature, Spring is a time of birth and renewal.  Flowers bloom, baby animals get born, and outside you can practically hear "The Circle of Life" from the soundtrack of The Lion King.  (*Which I'd be playing alongside this topic if I were in class today.)

We humans have created rituals in our cultures and religions to celebrate Spring.  Apart from formal celebrations like Passover and Easter, and the Pagan rituals that preceded them both, many families practice Spring cleaning.

So my question is this: now that we are solidly in Spring, what can you do to start over, or clean out part of your life, or change for the better? 

1. Journal
2. Peer review
  • Please read at least five (5) of your colleagues' essays online
  • Comment to each with at least one (1) compliment and one (1) constructive criticism (i.e., you should look for something in each author's writing that is effective, and you should look for at least one opportunity to improve)
  • Take your own notes for our in-class discussion tomorrow.  In your notes, you should include at least one example of organization or expression that is so good you want to steal it and use it to become a better writer
If you need to complete this at home, do it; please make sure that you've made your online comments and taken your own notes so that we can have a complete conversation and move forward together on Tuesday.  Mahalo.

time flies and all that

As Spring Break draws to a close and we ramp up for the AP, some reminders:

  1. By now you should have written and posted three essays to your blog, using the AP prompts in the tab above;
  2. This exercise should have given you practice in applying the tactics and strategies I posted last week;
  3. I won't be in class tomorrow (Monday 4/24) -- you should be prepared to read your colleagues' work and post your critiques.  I will post more about this on the day's agenda (next).  We will be aligning your feedback to the AP grading scale on Tuesday, so please be prepared.  If we have to spend time on Tuesday writing or reading for the first time, you will have: (a) lost an opportunity, and (b) contributed to the unnecessary crankiness of a teacher.

Hope you all enjoyed the time away from school, looking forward to seeing everyone Tuesday!  -dp

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

ap essay tactics & strategies

I'm posting this by 3:00 P.M. per Samary's request-- I may come back and refine it later.  Please feel free to chime in with observations and questions in the comments! -dp

(specific behaviors you will use on Game Day)
1.     Read the prompt
2.     Circle or underline the key words in the prompt that tell you what is being asked for (words like “analyze” or “describe” or “take a position”)
3.     Do your pre-write (outline, web, list)
4.     Write
5.     Proofread

(ways of getting ready & ideas to remember)
·      Practice essays
o   Start with pre-writes (first 2-3)
o   Graduate to full essays (40 mins. Max)
o   Reduce time to challenge yourself
·      Read essay prompts with SOAPSTone in mind:
o   Speaker
o   Occasion
o   Audience
o   Purpose
o   Subject
o   Tone
·      Connect the source with the prompt
o   If a text is provided, make sure you can restate it’s main argument in your own words
o   If a text is not provided, YOU are the source, so start your brainstorm! (For instance, decide whether you dis/agree with a major idea.)
·      Write down your argument
o   This is still part of your pre-write, and it’s not a thesis statement yet
o   Make sure to consider at least one counterclaim
·      Gather your evidence
o   If you’re given a text, look for key quotes or information (such as statistics) that you can underline and/or list
o   If you’re not given a text, start a list of quotes, examples, or things you know about the topic that may be useful
·      Now make a thesis sentence out of your argument, using your main idea and your main reasons
·      Your thesis sentence should come in the middle or at the end of your first paragraph—open with a strong “hook” that gets the reader’s attention
·      Make sure to include any appropriate literary elements in your opening paragraph (so you can refer to them and explain them later on)
·      Make sure to begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and include transition words (such as “in addition,” “however,” or “similarly”—these create flow between your paragraphs).
·      Include specific evidence and explain it (be sure to keep your quotes to a couple lines or less, and also be sure to “sandwich” your evidence between sentences that you yourself write.  You are the most important author now!)
·      Write a strong conclusion.  Don’t just restate your thesis; leave the reader thinking.  You can do this with a challenging idea or even a question.
·      When you review your first couple practice essays, ask yourself: am I using a variety of styles?  (Hint: if all your sentences are the same length or structure, you need to change them up.)
·      Use sophisticated diction when you want to be specific and you are confident, but don’t reach for a complicated word “just because.”  Sometimes there is elegance in simplicity.  The most effective tool for the job is the one that works.
·      You can check most of your grammar by proofreading—if something sounds “off” it probably is.