16 March 2011

It does a body good.

As the journalism adviser, recruiting new talent each year is a constant struggle. For the third year in a row, I decided to represent the Brave Times at Alta Loma's 8th Grade Welcome Night to attempt to entice eager, incoming students to write for what I consider to be the best newspaper in the district. It's always an interesting sight to see the people who show up, parents and students alike, all on their phones, with earbuds securely in place and video game devices at the ready. Just about everyone was attentive during the presentation, but very few of the people waiting beforehand spent the time interacting with those around them. I was also just as guilty of this, too, so don't think I'm placing myself above the fray. The experience left me thinking about a video I recently caught on YouTube, similar to one I posted back in December. This one, though, is directly related to education and what reform for it might truly look like.

Tell me what you think of the video. I'm curious about what students would have to say about it.

This past Monday, you turned in your final review and study guide for Romeo & Juliet. I answered your questions about the essay and then gave you the rest of the period and the whole of Tuesday to focus on getting as much writing done as possible. Always remember that writing an essay out of order whenever you have the opportunity is actually the ideal way to get the best possible outcome. My experience shows that writing the thesis first should be the goal, followed by finding concrete details and evidence, and then writing the body paragraphs. Introductions and conclusions, while important, pale in comparison to the body of an essay. Speaking of which, below is the layout of your body paragraph, using the Jane Schaffer format.
1. Topic Sentence - State a reason why the character(s) you listed is/are to blame relating to one of your sub-topics in your thesis statement.
2. Concrete Detail (CD) - Incorporate a quotation from the play that supports the topic sentence with a proper citation. Your second semester ORUs demonstrate how to incorporate quotations.
3. Commentary (CM) - Explain how and why the quotation in your CD supports the TS using at least two sentences.
4. CM
5. CD
6. CM
7. CM
8. Transition Sentence - Write a sentence that allows you to flow from this paragraph to your next body paragraph. You won't need this sentence in your final body paragraph.
8. Concluding Sentence - Conclude your body paragraphs in order to flow into your conclusion.
Today, you focused on peer editing. Tomorrow, you may use this marked up draft or modify your existing draft for the purposes of self-editing. My suggestion is to do whatever work now as opposed to later so you can save yourself the headache of having to do everything the night before. If you wrote it out, type it; if you chose to type it, put it in MLA format.

We discussed a few terms on Monday that will hopefully inform your reading of part two of The Stranger. Keep these terms in mind as the magistrate questions Meursault and also wonder where the focus is during the trial.

Yesterday, we took a look at the idea of savior symbolism in comparison to our discussions on existentialism. In order to properly study this idea, we're taking a look at Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman. Keep in mind that you're taking notes on this for the purpose of seeing how Luke fits into either idea: savior or existentialist.

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