Thursday, January 31, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 31, 2013

Focus: Experiencing the background of Beloved

1. Announcements!

2. Reacting to the haunting images and words about slavery

3. Venturing into the first chapter together...with plenty of questions

1. Finish reading Chapters 1 and 2 of Beloved for tomorrow's Socratic seminar; your reading ticket should be a metacognitive writing on one page from the first two chapters (typing is preferred).

2. Put together a draft (at least a partial one) of your critical review by next Wednesday for editing.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 30, 2013

Focus: Getting "the big picture" of AP Literature

PLC: Shortened Class

1. Announcements and snack!

2. Distributing Beloved books and perusing the reading/seminar schedule:

Friday, Feb 1:            Chapters 1 and 2 

Monday, Feb 4:         Chapters 3, 4, and 5 

Thursday, Feb 7:       Chapters 6, 7, and 8 

Monday, Feb 11:       Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12 

Wednesday, Feb 13: Chapters 13, 14, and 15 

Wednesday, Feb 20: Through Part 2, first half of Chapter 1 

Friday, Feb 22:          Through Part 2, Chapter 5 

Monday, Feb 25:       Through the ending 

3. Listening to a few words from the wise: A short lecture from an actual A.P. reader

4. Enjoying a visit from the counselor to discuss the AP test with you!

1. Read Chapters 1 and 2 in Beloved  for this Friday's Socratic. Do NOT read the Forward.
2. For your reading ticket, please select one page from the first two chapters of Beloved and perform a metacognitive writing on it.  Typing is strongly preferred.
3. Continue outlining/drafting your critical review essay; CHANGE: we will no meet in the C-22 lab NEXT WEDNESDAY  to edit.

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 29, 2013

Focus: Strengthening your timed writing skills and analyzing The Stranger

1. Announcements!

2. Thinking about novels from the writer's perspective (I'm letting you in on the secret):

What tensions are set up in the opening scene?

What is the inciting incident that gets everything started?

What does the main character think he or she wants?

What does the main character really want (even if he doesn't know it yet)?

What is the most significant turning point/climax in this character's journey?

How does this moment change the character?

What tensions are resolved, left unresolved, or altered in the closing scene?

3. Tuesday writing: The Stranger

HW: Start working on the draft of your essay; bring in at least an outline on Friday (as well as any actual paragraphs you have drafted), and we will meet in the C-22 lab to draft and edit.

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 28, 2013

Focus: Interpreting the task of Sisyphus in our world and Camus'

1. Announcements!

2. Indulging in a little Sisyphus-inspired writing...

Task 1: Imagine yourself as Sisyphus, straining to push the boulder up the mountain only to watch it roll back down again...for eternity.  Compose a brief piece of fiction (traditional prose, stream-of-consciousness narrative, poem, etc.) describing the uphill journey, the pause at the top, the trip back down, and the beginning of the next journey.

Task 2: Compose a brief piece of fiction as yourself. Try to think of something in your life that seems sisyphean...a day at school?  A particular class? An extracurricular activity?  A conversation with your parents or a sibling or a teacher or a friend?

3. Reading Camus' "Preface" and "The Myth of Sisyphus"  with an impromptu Socratic seminar

1. Finish your big question blog on The Stranger if you have not done so already.
2. Finish up your critical review book in the next few days.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 25, 2013

Focus: Forming thematic ideas about The Stranger

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Perusing an eye-opening article about Camus

3. Brainstorming ideas about The Stranger in response to AP prompts from the past:

1971. The significance of a title such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is so easy to discover. However, in other works (for example, Measure for Measure) the full significance of the title becomes apparent to the reader only gradually. Choose two works and show how the significance of their respective titles is developed through the authors’ use of devices such as contrast, repetition, allusion, and point of view.

1973. An effective literary work does not merely stop or cease; it concludes. In the view of some critics, a work that does not provide the pleasure of significant closure has terminated with an artistic fault. A satisfactory ending is not, however, always conclusive in every sense; significant closure may require the reader to abide with or adjust to ambiguity and uncertainty. In an essay, discuss the ending of a novel or play of acknowledged literary merit. Explain precisely how and why the ending appropriately or inappropriately concludes the work. Do not merely summarize the plot.

4. Adding The Stranger to your big question blog

HW: Finish your blog if you did not finish in class; take time to peruse others' blogs as well.  Also, aim to finish your critical review book by next Wednesday.  If you have finished your book, take a look at the guidelines and the sample essays posted on the class website.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 24, 2013

Focus: Working through larger thematic questions and statements in The Stranger

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Agree, disagree, unsure

3. Final Socratic Seminar: The Ending of The Stranger

1. Bring a laptop to class tomorrow (if you have one or can borrow one from a really, really nice person).

2. Try to finish your critical review books by Monday or Tuesday of next week so that you can start drafting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 23, 2013

Focus: Shaping your brilliance to decipher the prose multiple choice question

1. Announcements and snack!

2. Warm-up: A few fun facts about multiple choice and AP scores

3. Giving you the rest of the answers for yesterday's passage and offering an opportunity for Q&A

4. Engaging your competitive side: A multiple choice contest...winnners take all.
Need more enticement?  View the menu!

HW: Finish reading The Stranger for tomorrow's Socratic seminar.  For your reading ticket, please pose one central question you think this novel asks, and explain whether or not the novel answers the question.  Please TYPE your response and bring in at least TWO PASSAGES from the text to support your ideas.

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 22, 2013

Focus: Forging the bridge between your literary intelligence and the multiple choice question

1. Announcements!

2. Making peace with the prose multiple choice sections...a few suggestions and strategies

3. Meeting Cyril and Vivian and ringing in your answers (get your cell phones ready for this poll)

  • What "giveaway words" are hidden in the question?
  • How do you take down the "distractor" and pick the best answer?

HW: Prepare for our final Socratic seminar on The Stranger this THURSDAY; continue reading your critical review book (aim to finish in a week).  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 18, 2013

Focus: Interpreting Camus' imagery and structure in The Stranger

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Sketching out the ending of Part 1 of The Stranger
What story do the images tell?

3. Socratic Seminar #2: The Stranger, Part 2 (Chapters 1-3)

HW: Please finish The Stranger by next Thursday for our final Socratic Seminar (this is a slight change from the original schedule.

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 17, 2013

Focus: Analyzing voice in your critical reviews and The Stranger

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Perusing sample a sample critical review essay and determining how to read your book

3. Forming questions for the hat of knowledge and discussing The Stranger, Part 1, Chapters 4-6 with the MMM approach (small groups)

žWith your group, discuss the MMM of each chapter and jot your ideas down in your composition book.

žMoment: Which moments in each chapter make you pause and why?

žMovement: Where does there seem to be movement?  Lack of movement?  Repetition?

žMultiple Meanings: Try to find a pattern among the moments and movements you have discussed.  Right now, your thoughts may largely be taking on the form of questions.

If you find your conversation getting stale, please grab a card from the bucket of knowledge.

HW: Read The Stranger, Part 2 (Chapters 1-3); for your reading ticket, please connect a specific passage back to one of the big questions from Tuesday's green sheet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 16, 2013

Focus: Opening discussing of The Stranger

1. Announcements/snack!

2. Warm-up: When The Stranger was first published in English, the title was translated as The Outsider.

  • Is there a difference between a stranger and an outsider?  Perform a brief freewrite on each title and consider why the translation was later changed to The Stranger.  
  • Based on what you know of our narrator, Mersault, so far, is he more accurately described as a "stranger" or an "outsider"?

3. Socratic Seminar #1: The Stranger, Part 1: Chapters 1-3

1. Finish Part 1 of The Stranger for TOMORROW. Annotate as usual, but no reading ticket required.
2. Read Part 2 (Chapters 1-3) for Friday's Socratic seminar.
3. Read your critical review book.

Monday, January 14, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 15, 2013

Focus: Developing a strong background for Camus' The Stranger

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: What my 11-year-old nephew has to say about sonnets

3. Presenting a little background on Albert Camus and explaining the reading ticket for tomorrow

4. Discussing big, big questions embedded in The Stranger

HW: Finish reading Part 1 (Chapters 1-3) in The Stranger; prepare your first Socratic reading ticket.

Friday, January 11, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 14, 2013

Focus: Strengthening your multiple choice skills and assessing your overall performance on the AP Literature test

1. Announcements!  Hand back critical review proposals.

2. Warm-up: Give me your best and your worst multiple choice sections

3. Working through the toughest multiple choice sections

4. Return Invisible Man timed essays and the essays you gave to me on Friday; calculate your actual AP score on this test.

Applause-worthy thesis statements from Invisible Man:

His self interest and ignorance is reflected in his interaction with the few female characters throughout the book with whom he falls to carnal and savage behavior--stereotypes he has resented and fought to disprove his whole life.  (Margot)

This echoing of events show the narrator's continual cycle of allowing himself to be led yet not seeing the leadership's ultimate plan. (Nate)

In the repetition of thematic ideas in symbols such as the false coins, the defacing "letters of recommendation," and the ideals of the Brotherhood, Ellison guides the narrator into invisibility. (Kyle)

1. Start reading your critical review book (the essay is due in less than a month).
2. Start reading The Stranger; our first Socratic seminar will take place this Wednesday, and it will cover Part 1 (Chapters 1-3).
3. Check out the big dates for AP Literature on the Google calendar.

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 11, 2012

Focus: Cyber safety

1. Turn in critical review proposals and either timed writing #1 or #2 from your final exam (whichever one you'd like me to grade).

2. Journey to the theater for a presentation on cyber safety!

HW: Start reading The Stranger; our first Socratic seminar will be this Wednesday, and it will cover Part 1 (Chapters 1-3).  

BREAKING NEWS: ALL TURNED-IN CRITICAL REVIEWS HAVE BEEN APPROVED. This means that you can go ahead and purchase your book and begin reading it (if you haven't already).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 10, 2013

Focus: What are my strengths and weaknesses as a timed writer?

1. Announcements!

2. Warm-up: Where'd You Go, Bernadette? and other ideas for choosing recent fiction

3. Perusing two sample essays on Johnny Got His Gun

4. Workshopping Essay #1 (Dickinson and Frost):
  • Performing a brief metacognitive on one of the two poems from Essay #1, then sharing ideas for specific points of comparison and contrast.
  • Perusing the official rubric and a few sample essays
  • Assessing each other's essays
  • Assigning a grade range

5. If time allows, give me your worst and best (multiple choice sections)

HW: Finish your critical review proposal to hand in tomorrow at the beginning of class.  Also, start reading The Stranger (our first Socratic seminar will be next Wednesday and will cover Part 1).

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 9, 2013

Focus: What are your strengths and weaknesses as an A.P. Lit test taker, and what strategies could help you improve?

1. Announcements!

2. Workshopping essay #2: Johnny Got His Gun

          a. Get into a circle for Socratic Seminar: Reread passage aloud and discuss as a group (please have someone take notes on who is saying what and post on the blog).  As you discuss, be sure to address the specific elements of the prompt.

          b. Review the official rubric for this essay

          c. Peer workshop each other's essays: 
                        Round 1: Using the rubric, comment on the specific strengths and weaknesses of the content      of your partner's essay.  Remember always to read through the entire essay once without writing any comments.

                        Conference briefly with your partner, THEN SWITCH PARTNERS.

                        Round 2: Comment on the specific strengths and weaknesses of your partner's essay's                  organization and style.  

                       Conference briefly with your partner, then, using the rubric, estimate a grade range for your essay: High (7-9), Middle (5-6), or Low (0-4).

HW: Critical review proposal due Friday; start reading The Stranger, Part 1. If you feel somewhat confident  that your critical review book will be approved, go ahead and start reading that, too.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

This Seat's Taken: AP Lit, January 8, 2013

Focus: What does this semester in AP Literature entail?

1. Announcments! Please help yourself to a copy of The Stranger.

2. Warm-up: Who am I?

3. Viewing second semester at a glance (click here).

4. Returning the AP test, establishing categories, and discussing the grading scale

HW: Start reading The Stranger; finish your critical review proposal by this Friday (link can be found at the top of the website calendar); please make sure your big question is beautifully up-to-date.