Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Week 11 All Things Poe


So, I had just logged in to update this blog at school today when the power went out in several buildings on campus, including mine of course. What a great excuse for not doing my homework, but such is not in the spirit (or the title) of this blog. Thus I update from home, but the baby is not cooperating. Either he crawls everywhere, forcing me to constantly get up and redirect him away from things he should not be near, or he cries in the playpen.

Unfortunately for you my dear students, the maternal pull is too strong. You'll have to Google Poe for yourself and try to read, The Masque of The Red Death, The Raven, Anabelle Lee and The Fall of The House of Usher. A little background information is also recommended.

Hmm... now the miracle of time has placed my children in bed and I have the leisure to look up the links you need. Hence those titles above now link to the texts you should be familiar with.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Week 10 Following the train of thought...

Welcome back to the blog.
This week is event full as always.
Remember to turn in your news report on Wednesday 11/14!

Tuesday we read an excerpt from Stride Toward Freedom by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Please make sure you have the notes from a friend if you missed it. You need to understand the three possible responses to oppression: acquiescence, violence and non-violent resistance. Two of those parts, violence and nonviolent resistance are excerpted here. Sorry I could not find a section on the Internet that exactly matched what is in your textbook.
At least one person in 6th period wanted to hear King's I Have a Dream speech. The transcript and several audio versions are available on the web. This one worked the best for me. http://www.mlkonline.net/sounds.html

Wednesday Ms. Caya was teaching. I decided she would probably do a better job than me at helping you to understand why Walt Whitman was so important in American poetry. I think she did a good job too. Here are some links that might help you if you want to find out more about what she showed you. The rap sons she played was by a new artist, Talib Kweli. Some of you compared the poetry of his songs to "Song of Myself". Periods four and six compared "Song of Myself" to Longfellow's poem about Paul Revere.
Another site from spark notes might also help you with Song of Myself. http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/whitman/section2.rhtml

Thursday we read what Gandhi said about Civil Disobedience. Our textbook only has an excerpt of this on page 377. If you were absent you can use the link above to read his speech, but the section in our book is much shorter and I recommend that. Also on Thursday we began to create visual metaphors to explain the relationships between the authors we have been studying. A visual metaphor is a very simple diagram or picture that shows the way these thinkers are connected. Label the parts of your picture with the names of the authors represented by each part. I also recommend listing the titles of their work that we read and a few key points of what they wrote. You can use the diagram to help you prepare for the test on Friday and you can use it on the test as well as your textbook and notes.

Friday we will have a test on the authors we've read recently, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Washington Irving. After the test we will watch a bit more of the film about Gandhi. << This link provides a good summary of the film if you want to know more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Week 9- Distribution and Collaboration

As I write this more than half my third period students are off taking the CAHSEE for the second time. The rest of third period is working on the drafts of their first news report. A small but vocal majority are "assisting" me as I update the blog for this week. They gave me some suggestions for the new poll to the right. Make sure to vote.

If you have never been to this blog before you probably came today because you are looking for this link to help you with the bibliography of your news report.

For those of you who are wondering what we've been doing this week let me give you the update.

Monday we used distributed analysis to work out the finer points of Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. We divided ourselves into ten groups. Each group took a two to four sentence section of the text and determined it's meaning. When we read the selection of the essay in our textbook each group presented their explanation to the class. If you missed that experience you should use this link to Self Reliance, but there you will find the entire essay and that is way more than what we have in our textbook. I also recommend this site as a source to help you understand Self Reliance. http://www.transcendentalists.com/self_reliance_analysis.htm

Tuesday (today as I write this) we are working on our drafts. News Report Drafts are due on Wednesday 11/7. As I said in class you should turn in your draft even if you are taking the CAHSEE.

Wednesday I expect we will still have a large number of people testing. I am currently considering several alternatives for our Wednesday activities.

Thursday we will have writing groups. If you did not turn in a draft on Wednesday please make sure to bring copies of your draft for your group to give you the best feedback.

Friday we will be reading excerpts from Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau. (Have you noticed that these Transcendentalist writers love to use all three names?) A site for additional information is http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil.html Once again the on-line version is the complete version of his essay and our textbook just has sections of it.

What I hope you will see is how Emerson's ideas lead Thoreau to his ideas. Those ideas were later read by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. These ideas about non-violent protest changed the world.