Language & Composition

Mr. Eure | Brewster High School

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Multiple-Choice Questions: Schneller’s “Culture”

Quick Update: While you continue your C&D Symposium elsewhere, you need to finish creating multiple-choice questions for Johanna Schneller’s “A Culture Saturated in Sexism.” Here’s a link to a downloadable copy of the original text:

That will open in Google Drive. You’ve already gotten a link to your period’s MCQ document; check your Drive directory or email inbox for that. Here is a copy of the directions from the email:

Take your multiple-choice work from the last few days — the questions you have been writing for “A Culture Saturated in Sexism” — and transfer them to this document. You’ll be working together, which will take some coordination; you’re all editors, so you’ll need to collaborate to create a single document. Note that you won’t need to create exactly ten questions. There is no minimum or maximum; ten would, however, be impressive. Let me know how it goes.

Be sure to read the directions in the document itself, too. Each period’s work will be edited, revised, and then given to the other periods as a quick quiz on Schneller. Let’s try to finish the first step today.

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Classification and Division: Symposium

Update (3/13/13): Here is an outline of what we’ve done and what we’ll be doing. Read it carefully.

Let’s talk about what your job is this week. First, you are going to share your C&D essays with me and the rest of the class, so that we can hold a kind of symposium—leaning, of course, more heavily on the “scholarly discussion” part of the etymology, not the “drinking party” bit.

To pull this together, you need to have a copy of every C&D essay written by your fellow students. The method I am going to give you should work; if it doesn’t, your test is to figure out another method on your own, share it with your peers, and facilitate total, unilateral access to all essays. If you find a more effective method of creating a digital symposium, let me know.

Here is a Google CSV file that you can import into the Contacts section of Google Apps:

Download that file, import it, and then create a contact group with it. When you are ready, you can share your essay with everyone. Be sure to allow your peers to comment on your work, but not to edit.

As you receive access to documents, to organize all the writing into folders so that you can read, review, and comment on as many as possible as quickly as possible. That’s the real goal of the next week or so: Share, comment, and collaborate as a large group. I will guide you through the initial steps of that tomorrow. Be sure your work is shared with everyone, including me, before then.

Self-Monitoring: Case Studies

Two notes on progress reports:

  1. Your responsibility is to share your comments and your explanations with your parents.
  2. Some of your requested comments have been overridden; if they have been, it is up to you to seek me out to discuss these changes.

The second one brings us to the idea of self-monitoring, because it includes checking your email regularly. Of the twenty or so students I wrote last week about the canned commentary assignment, only a handful replied or got back to me with their justifications. This is unacceptable, and it means that all of you have to hear this:

These are your work emails. You no longer have the luxury of ignoring them, regardless of how professional-sounding your personal email is. It also doesn’t matter if you use that personal email far more frequently than this work email; Google Drive and Gmail are a part of our course, and if you miss something from me, it means you missed something in this course. This goes doubly for the website, which ought to be set up to notify you when a new post is added.

And while I shouldn’t have to say this in March, you need to read everything you’re given carefully. If you skim, you will miss something important. The good news is that many of you are doing exactly what you should be doing, and I can already see the difference in how you learn and what you retain. Your efforts are giving this old curmudgeon a dangerous amount of hope.

Now load the following document, read it, and consider how it might apply to you:

As we round into spring break and the end of the third quarter, your investment and achievement are under the spotlight. A Kohnian classroom means that everything you do matters, not just the occasional assignment. Adjust accordingly.

Progress Reports: Canned Metacognition

Progress reports will be printed and sent home at the end of this week. In the past, I mentioned these arbitrary moments of review in a different light; now that we are fully embracing Kohn and a “degraded” environment, I can shift my tone considerably. (Note: The language related to grade ranges has been struck through; I’ve left it in to remind us of the changes, because we really ought to focus on your learning, not any attached numbers.)

First, note the three questions you have been asked in class to answer on a regular basis. They are posted on the right side of the site; each asks you to elaborate metacognitively or reflectively on your progress. If you have been keeping up with this, you should have more than enough data to work with this week, when you will finish Friday’s work on this:

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