November 2006 Archives

Stuff I told myself I was going to do over the Thanksgiving break Write a fascinating blog post. Respond to the folders from the GMU class I teach on Tuesday nights. Knock out Entry Four. Finish grading ninth grade essays. Read The Way to Rainy Mountain. Rake backyard leaves. Reasons I didn’t do most of the stuff I was supposed to do Pack and play for my nephew was set up in my office from Wednesday to Saturday. Turkey Trot, 5 mile race through Del Ray on Thursday morning. TG I for 18 at Mom and Dad’s on ...

I talk a lot. That’s one thing I realized when I watched the video of me leading a classroom discussion on Michener’s Chesapeake this week. At least, I talk a lot louder and clearer than any student in the room. Years of projecting my voice over noisy groups of kids seems to have left me with a positively operatic larynx. This does not bode well for videotaping. The discussion itself was fairly balanced, really. Students had prepared by finding three passages in the book and making notes about how each illustrated one of eight “global themes,” like “political ...

This Friday, my tenth graders presented final projects on the Tempest for an assignment I called “Caliban + 1.” Leading up to it, groups had taken notes on selected motifs during our reading of the play. Each group then had to select a single moment that involved Caliban and one or more other characters, and design a stage production around that scene to emphasize their assigned motif using costumes, lights and all the magic of the theater they could muster. To show imprisonment, Jackie portrayed a doggish version of Caliban, with leaves and twigs in her “coat” and a collar from ...

Oops. In obsessively writing 714 posts about Entry Four, I forgot to mention the other three entries that comprise the portfolio, each weighted at 16 percent of the total score (Entry Four is weighted at only 12 percent; the six assessment center exercises at the end are each 6.67 or a whopping 40 percent of the total). Here’s a quick overview (remember, the standards are specific to my certification area, Early Adolescence English Language Arts). Entry One Analysis of Student Growth in Reading and Writing In thirteen pages or fewer, analyze four responses-- two reading assignments and two ...


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