28 August 2011

The 60 Sixties Party

My dad turned 60 over the weekend, and my mom threw him a Sixties themed party -- not in the number sense but in the hippies and tie-dye sense. We had a great time and, as you can see, enjoyed getting into the spirit of things. My mom said that I looked like someone she would have met in high school, which means that my attire for the evening was a success.

Blogspot allows users to view certain stats, such as page views, referral links and web search keywords that lead to the user's particular blog. In the close to two years that I've maintained this blog, no post has come close to the number of page views as the one that I wrote that mentions plot diagram. It's never made sense to me; the picture that accompanies that post isn't unique to my page since I nabbed it from someone else on the Internet. Also, I can't help but wonder how many people must be disappointed when they do a search for "plot diagram graphic organizer" and discover that the extent to what they can find consists of just those words and the idea that it was assigned on a Thursday. That can't be too helpful to prospective educators. Maybe I'll include a link once I update School Loop later this week.

Anyway, besides a cheap ploy for more page views on a different post, all of that is roundabout way of saying that we finished our notes on the Elements of Plot this past Monday.

Tuesday, you received a day to annotate your Animal Farm books. While my chief concern is that everyone find a way to annotate their books that best works for them, do your best to have at least something on each page. Granted, that might not always happen, but make the effort, especially considering the book is so short, it shouldn't be hard to find notable ideas throughout the novel. Also, you're responsible for noting the climax of the story with a stickie note. Those annotations are due on Wednesday, August 31.

Meanwhile, you read through The Most Dangerous Game this past Wednesday and Thursday. Once you finished, you were responsible for filling out the Plot It Out graphic organizer.

Friday, we came together as a class and discussed specific events that contributed to the rising action, and everyone did a great job in identifying moments where the tension increased, which is the whole point of rising action in the first place. Noting the climax of the story was a little more difficult, although I was impressed the number that correctly named Rainsford jumping off the cliff as the correct moment. Keep in mind that a climax will not take place anywhere in the first half of a traditionally plotted story. Following that powwow, I handed out the Animal Farm discussion questions. You'll need to plan out your responses for the class discussion on Tuesday and Wednesday so that you can earn points.

Finally, don't forget the Animal Farm re-test on Monday, August 29!

Monday, you turned in the ethical dilemma questions and we spent the period discussing your answers. These are supposed to be difficult choices, so going for the easiest loophole doesn't quite get anyone off the hook. But emphasizing that to everyone as a class is part of what makes that discussion so fun for me as a teacher.

You received an overview of the lit project on Tuesday, and we spent the period discussing the expectations as well as the book choices. Remember that the lit project takes up roughly 60% of the semester grade, and it's a project that's broken up into smaller chunks over the course of the entire semester.

Wednesday and Thursday were focused on the first set of lit terms, listed below.

  1. analogy
  2. theme
  3. hyperbole
  4. syntax
  5. foil
  6. alliteration
  7. oxymoron
  8. stereotype
  9. pun
  10. sarcasm
  11. satire
  12. imagery
  13. diction
  14. allusion
  15. style
  16. tragedy
  17. motif
  18. personification
  19. metaphor
  20. paradox
Your test on these terms will be on Wednesday, August 31 and will follow a matching format. If you wrote down and studied the definitions given in class, you will be prepared. These are ideas and concepts for which you should attempt to find examples over the course of reading your lit project books and doing so can go a long way in your attempts to annotate that novel.

Additionally, I handed out the collection of due dates for the lit project on Thursday and only managed one typo for the entire document. This bit of planning is always the part of the year I dread because I really have to focus my attention the calendar to make sure that I'm not overwhelming the students nor overwhelming myself with my own grading deadlines. I'm hoping the changes Ms. Windt and I have implemented this year help everyone in that regard.

Friday, you received a short history of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. I don't think our discussion went particularly well during class as not too many folks were participating and I felt slightly scatterbrained during our reading, so I hope our subsequent days focused on Plato's Allegory of the Cave go a bit better. Please make sure to read the rest of that sheet so that we may review the ideas on Monday, August 29.

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