While you read…Brave New World

Using the format of a blog, comment at the end of each reading session on both the substance of your reading and its effects on you.

Record pages or sections on which you are commenting. Record your impressions of characters, events, conflicts, descriptions. Record responses to your own questions. Record questions about the novel as you read. Respond to course focus questions.

Make sure you take the time after, during, or before each reading session to make an entry into your blog. 10-15 sentences per reading session might be enough.

Make each entry interesting, personal, intelligent. Avoid retelling the story or simply “dumbing-down” the text. Write posts that engages your readers in critical thinking, enhances their attention span, and fills them with speculative awe.

Write several short posts per week, once a day at least. Write longer posts when your mood strikes you. Tag each post before publishing. Use categories such as the following to keep your responses organized:

Utopia
Community, Identity, Stability
Science and Technology
Conditioning
Soma
Sensual Pleasures
Religion
Family Life
Death
Skinner
Kohlberg
Piaget
Erikson
Freud
Adler
Thoreau

Track the posts you make and the comments you send and receive in a spreadsheet. Try to spend no more than 15 minutes on the computer per class. If that isn’t enough, do more work at home or during spare time. There is a need for quite, concentrated reading time during your day. Here we go.

Hamlet: Final Response

Choose a focus for your final response to Hamlet.

Synthesize alternative points of view, (include links to sources: your posts, STJ blogs, etc.).

Review your responses throughout our study:

Writing tips:

Trackback.

PS: “To thine own rubric be true.”
rubric.png

November 9th is the “cut off” day for submission of my marks to the office.
Any assignment to be (re)submitted for grading must be “in my hand” before 2:00PM November 9th.

Student blog will win $10,000 Scholarship

One blogger chosen by “the internet” will win $10,000 US scholarship … for keeping a blog.

As the ratio of high school student blogs I read to the number of college student blogs I read approaches infinity, I think it a good time we troll a few of the best college bloggers in the US.

All STJ student bloggers have been involved in assessment of one another’s blogs since the beginning of STJ iblogs in 2006. I’m certain we’d pick a deserving “Final Four” from the list of 20 finalists.

I’m curious to know for what blogs STJ bloggers vote.

Submit your comment (or trackback) here with a brief reason/detail/example justifying your vote for the $10,000 US scholarship.

Consider our recent emphasis on structure and voice: How are these college bloggers defining themselves through voice? What structures/patterns do successful bloggers adopt? What role do comments play in the development of the blog?

Yaaar, there be pirates in one of the blogs . . . but don’t let that influence your vote.

Leaving STJ? Take your blog with you.

  1. Dashboard–>Manage–>Export
  2. Save the xml file to your disk/USB.
  3. Start a new blog at WordPress.com or Edublogs
  4. Dashboard–>Manage–>Import–>Wordpress
  5. Done.

You could start your own blog on a shared server, but for true blog freedom, master your own domain and install WAMP MAMP or LAMP and WordPress yourself.

I don’t plan on “pruning” the server database till the fall, but export before you leave in June.

Prepare for English Language Arts Finals

For those in the midst, or looking ahead at finals in my LA classes(9, 10-1, 20-1, 20-2, 30-1, 30-2).

Consider the outcomes we’ve tried to achieve.

Enhancing the artistry of communication has been a strong technical focus. Skills mastered include using online blogging tools, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, even graphical enhancements using Photoshop or audio/video podcasting tools have been included where time permitted and initiative taken. Participation on an online forum has generated a myriad of useful tips/reminders, questions/answers. There will be no speadsheets on the final, the use of Word will be necessary for English 30.

Each course has been structured around Focus Questions and related questions: English 10, English 9.

Emphasis on social networking, peer review/support/criticism has been critical for developing critical thought and reflection for writers defending an idea.

Each course has a reading list: English 10, English 30. Not every title has been studied intensively(or at all), but the proportion of attention paid to those pieces that were studied in class deserve the same level of attention on the final. Of course, those who choose additional literature from the list to focus on in the final deserve to have that initiative rewarded as well. If you choose to focus on Shakespeare, your audience gets tougher, I’ve noticed.

An English 30 paper looking at how the images/symbols/archetypes of Sophocles and Kingsolver relate to personal freedom to would be intriguing. Why not an English 10 paper discussing the threat of fanaticism by comparing the speeches of Mark Antony, Joseph Strorm, and Eamon De valera? What does Søren Kierkegaard have to do with every page you’ve ever read or written?

Extras, everyone should be able to link to Wikipedia for literary terms, difficult vocabulary, or just the odd or eccentric idea; can anyone incorporate the Hayflick Limit into their paper? Everyone has seen video and heard an mp3, but are any daring enough to Podcast their final essay? A carefully edited U2 mp3 snip, an embedded flash video of Ophelia Simpson, a slideshow?

rubric.pngThe only limit is to abide the first line of every rubric you’ve ever attached to any assignment:

I _________________ honestly declare that the work is what I have done. In circumstances when I have quoted a certain authority, I have clearly indicated what is a quote and the author. 

A Blogger’s Code of Ethics contains truths far older than the phenomenon of blogging.

English 30s will have no access to internet, filesharing, etc etc. English 10s can have it all.

My Mother’s Kitchen

  1. Use pencil crayons to draw a picture of your mother’s kitchen.
  2. Put the oven in it, and also something green, and something dead.
  3. Write a poem about your mother’s kitchen.
  4. You are not in this poem, but some female relation – aunt, sister, close friend – must walk into the kitchen during the course of the poem.
  5. Completed poems, with a suitable image(72 dpi, png, lightbox), should appear in your blog and trackback here.

A lesson on single point perspective. Hint: Tiles need an extra diagonal, too.

Microcontents Flourish at STJ Blogs (LA 9)

Thanks to a few bloggers for helping me work out the bugs in the microcontent code. Movie, music, and video game reviews appear to be the most popular. I still haven’t, yet, found a sure fire method of aggregating all the reviews – POGE. The FREEoutputthis.org looks promising.

Anyway, for the time being, trackback your microcontent posts here.

Blogging About the News (LA 9)

Students can collect news headlines from a variety of RSS sources using their blog as a news aggregator. Writing about the news is one of the more common uses of a blog throughout the blogosphere. Bloggers blend fact and opinion, rant and satire, sarcasm and criticism, objectivity and subjectivity, style and substance. By reading and commenting about the news we learn two things: something about the news, and something about the blogger.

Trackback/pingback your posts about the news here.