Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 27: Adventure Bound and Talking About Irony (Week of 3/11/2016)

First off, I'll be off campus at a conference Monday 3/14-Wednesday 3/16. My computer and grading will be going with me and I will do my best to get as much online as I can. I'll also try to answer emails, but please bear with me as I may be unreachable.

 On Friday 3/11/2016, the students turned in their travelogues. What I specifically collected was the travelogue prep paragraph and picture bibliography. Concerning the prep paragraphs, each student took a portion of the travelogue slideshow and wrote a paragraph on each of those slides (the introduction and conclusion slides were exempt from writing a paragraph).

I provided each student with a paragraph skeleton as well as four days in class to focus on their paragraph and build their group slideshow. The paragraph was basically their script for the presentation, telling us what location from their book they visited (using descriptive details from the book), which character from the book served as their tour guide (giving us details as to their physical and character traits), and what they learned on that day's specific topic (point of view, characterization, tone and purpose, story elements, and theme; these topics were covered over the past five weeks in their book club meetings). The bibliography that was due was the source citation for each picture they used in their slideshow. Each picture needed to be labeled for reuse and a proper citation needed to be created using the EasyBib add-on in Google Docs or the EasyBib website. We've used EasyBib previously for the bullying project and second quarter's independent book project, to name a couple times.

Friday started our presentations. Because I am out of the classroom next week, I had to make presentations start a day early (as they were slated to begin Monday 3/14). Students who signed up to present Friday received extra credit for presenting early (I didn't tell any of my students this until after the fact in order to make it fair for everyone). Already, we've been taken on some amazing journeys into the world of these books and I hope the students are as excited to read some of these books as I am. I know that Thursday 3/17 and Friday 3/18 will be just as amazing with presentations.

Speaking of March 18, our third quarter ends then. Time sure is flying! Please check PowerSchool and help your child get in any missing work so there are no surprises when quarter report cards come out. Remember that all work from the third quarter must be turned in by March 18 or it's a zero in the gradebook; anything that's a zero for quarter three after March 18 will remain a zero.

This week in AVID, we talked about sanity and insanity in "The Tell-Tale Heart" as well as what makes someone a trustworthy narrator (and how sanity plays into that). We had some really deep discussions about the narrator's motivations and made connections between "The Raven" and "The Tell-Tale Heart". My favorite was the idea that the narrator is the same man for both stories; driven mad by the loss of Lenore and the perceived raven, the narrator moves in with "the old man" to keep from being lonely. Depression gets the best of him and causes him to go insane, eventually killing "the old man" over his vulture eye. Fascinating!

Questions for the drive home and dinner table:
-When is your group presenting your travelogue? What specific topics are you presenting?
-Is there extra credit on this project? How can you earn it?
-What did you learn about working in a group, specifically during the four days we worked in class this week?

Warmest wishes,

Kevin Laffin

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