Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 10: Winter

1. After a steaming summer, the cold weather is strangely refreshing.

2. Children and most dogs love snow. Children and dogs make better company and are more fun than most adults.

3. It is socially acceptable- perhaps even encouraged- to overeat and loaf around like a pre-hibernation Grizzly.

4. People's true colors emerge. The holidays (ironically) cause stress and some New Englanders still haven't figured out how to cope with winter weather. Ever try to go grocery shopping the day before a storm? There's a strange sense of urgency. The parking lots are reminiscent of Thunderdome. Despite these strange realities, it is useful to observe how people handle, or fail to handle, stress.

5. Christmas music reminds us of how good non-Christmas music really is.

6. Classic holiday movies remind us of how bad many new films actually are.

7. Snow is but one of Mother Nature's ways of reminding us who's boss.

8. 4-Wheel-Drive vehicles are both utilitarian and fun.

9. Icicles rule (see photo).

10. If you don't like it, remember that it only lasts a few months.

POS: Song Rating System Amendments

You are now very familiar with the SSRS format that my former students developed.  Now it's your turn to suggest modifications that will enhance the system. After we sift through the suggestions and arrive at a new and improved form, we will give it a test run to ensure its quality.

1. The suggestion was made (shout-out to K.M.) to divide the final tally by the number of lines. This would evaluate a song's poetic potency and reduce the amount of impact the length of a song has on its score. Do you like this idea? Why/why not?

2.  We have quite a few poetic devices and elements on the form, but there are many more. Find 3 devices (and their definitions) that you feel merit consideration.

3. Identify at least one aspect of the form that should be considered for deletion and defend your reasoning.

4. Consider the layout. Do you have any suggestions to make the form more user-friendly?

Seniors: Metacognitive Assignment

Metacognition is defined as "cognition about cognition", or "knowing about knowing." It can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or for problem solving. This assignment gives you an opportunity to step back and reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses as a student during a hectic and formative time in your life. For this assignment, you will share the following products with your classmates and teacher:

1. A personal and academic timeline with three potential "forecasts". 
2. A five-year "bucket list".
3. A lifetime "bucket list". 
3. The results of your Learning Style Test and your 41-Question Personality Assessment
4. A set of 4 essential questions.
5. A set of 4 particular learning strengths and interdisciplinary applications.
6. A set of 4 particular learning weaknesses and corresponding improvement plans.  
7. A self-addressed stamped envelope containing your bucket lists and a personal letter to yourself. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

POS: Poetry Research Assessment

Please respond to the following questions completely and carefully. You may use your notes for this assessment, but you may not refer to the research itself. Your responses will receive a letter grade based upon the school-wide writing rubric (available on edline).

1. I began my paper with a piece of narrative imagery. Describe this image and how it relates to the research as a whole. (10 points)
2. Produce a bulleted list of 5 of the salient benefits of poetic instruction. (20 points)
3. This paper was not driven by a thesis but by an essential question. If I were to produce a thesis for this paper, what would it look like (write it)? (20 points)
4. I claim that "central to a defense of poetry’s value are several conclusive tenets". Identify the tenets. (20 points)
5. I am planning on continuing my research on this topic. What suggestions would you have for further research? What considerations did I fail to acknowledge that I should revisit or explore? (20 points)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Honors English IV: Flow Short Essay

Alex Grey

Role: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Audience: Robert A. Compton (Executive Producer of 2 Million Minutes)
Format: Personal Letter to Mr. Compton
Topic: Interpretation of, and opinions regarding, Mr. Compton's film

This letter must include:

-3 vocabulary words from lessons 1-5.
-2 sentence types from The Wizardry of Sentence Variety (labelled in parentheses).
-a sound thesis statement.
-elements of persuasion.
-employment of Csikszentmihalyi's diction and style.