Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 30th

Today, we...

1. Introduced the discussion method Harkness, which we will be using this year. It's essentially a student-driven round table method, in which the teacher (me) suggests possible openings and then the students take over. We made a list of relevant discussion practices - being prepared, defending your points with evidence, making eye contact with your classmates and not just the teacher, respecting varied opinions, etc.

2. Had a Harkness discussion on "A Mother" and "A Boarding House"

3. Discussed the I.B. passage analysis, the exam format for semester one. Find and complete the passage analysis practice we did here: http://docs.google.com/View?id=d2vxwwv_61hpgfmbhn
Turn it in next time to receive full participation credit for today.

4. Looked at the letters from the students in our partner classroom in Kentucky, and then started writing back. You should pick up your letter as soon as possible, and e-mail me your letter of reply by Monday of next week. Rules for the letter: 3/4 page typed single spaced (e-mail it to me as an attachment), partner's name at the top, yours at the bottom, no references whatsoever to drinking or partying (these activities are illegal for your partners, and not appropriate to chat about with them)

HW: Read the 5 Assigned Seamus Heaney Poems (find them here - you can skip the last one called "Blackberry Picking"), bring in a 1-2 page short story draft, e-mail me your 3/4 page letter to your partner as an attachment

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Monday, September 28th


1. We heard student presentations on Irish literature and culture.

2. Partners considered these three questions:
A) What kinds of paralysis exist in these two stories?
B) Each story ends with someone crying - what's the difference?
C) What do these specific characters' stories seem to represent about their societies? What issues do they bring to the forefront?

3. Everyone wrote a thesis relating to one or both of the stories, and then discussed them with a new partner, finding evidence to support the thesis and possible evidence against it.
Example Thesis: Joyce uses Little Chandler's doomed ambitions to explore the idea that Irish literature has become stereotyped in Academia.

4. We started work on short stories, completing a character workshop. You should print the assignment, complete the workshop, and start working on your story. Your first draft will be due next Monday. Find the assignment here: http://docs.google.com/View?id=d2vxwwv_59fj8j5jfn

HW: Read "The Boarding House" and "A Mother." Work on your short story.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 23rd (Monday schedule)

Check out your classmates blogs linked on the right side bar of this page!

Remember to turn in your 400 word paper as soon as you come back on campus. If you like it a lot, you may want to do a final revision and then post it as the first element in your electronic portfolio.

Today we:
1. Signed up for presentations on Irish history and culture. Be sure to sign up when you return. Read about the assignment here: http://docs.google.com/View?id=d2vxwwv_56hbqmttc3
2. Discussed Ireland's history, as its literature and history are significantly connected. Pick up a history packet when you return so you can create a timeline of 19th/early 20th century Ireland.
3. Discussed W.B. Yeats' poem "Easter, 1916." Look it up online and read it!
4. Passed out our new text, Dubliners, and listened to the first story "Eveline" on Audio. Be sure to pick up the text as soon as posssible. Download the theme chart you should be working on as we read here: http://docs.google.com/View?id=d2vxwwv_58gzpkt2g7

HW: Read "Araby" and "A Little Cloud" in Dubliners, complete Irish history timeline

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 16th

Today was the first day of school, involving all the usual introductions and documents. Perhaps most importantly, we set up our portfolio blogs and I passed out two important handouts.

Handout #1: Blog Creation Steps. Find it here.

Handout #2: Activities and Homework schedule for the next six weeks. Find it here.

Some students have already sent me their blog URLS, and I have posted them here on our class web page.

HW: send me your blog URL when it's ready for viewing, and TYPE a 400 word paper on the topic of your choice