I post here daily about what we accomplished in class each day, including handouts and links available to students on my CANVAS site.
Day 69, Sem. 1
We started off with 15 minutes of independent reading. We will be increasing our in-class reading time over the course of the week to provide time in class for students to read the novel/biography selected for the Literature Circles. In addition to reading, we also discussed the requirements for the research paper's conclusion paragraph and did some planning for our Literature Circle reading/discussion schedule. Each group selected a goal of total pages read (50 is the minimum) for the first discussion meeting on Thursday (12/14) and assigned group roles for that first meeting as well. Finally, with time we had remaining, we held a short discussion of Night and Life is Beautiful, especially with regard to common motifs in both texts.
Homework: Complete peer review (if not done over the weekend). Write assigned section of conclusion. Read/work on assigned role for Thursday's literature circle discussion.
Day 68, Sem. 1
For the first part of class, students reviewed one another's parenthetical documentation in the group paper. After verifying their documentation, I gave them some time to submit body paragraphs to Turnitin.com for peer review. If their paragraphs are not complete or otherwise not ready for peer review, they have until 11:59pm tonight to submit. Homework over the weekend is to login to Turnitin on Saturday or Sunday and complete the peer review assigned to them.
For the second half of class, we finished watching our trickster/Holocaust movie, Life is Beautiful. The ending is both inspiring and devastating, and we had little time to process that before getting pushed out by the bell. We will finish our discussion of the movie and its relationship to Night on Monday, and students will turn in their notes on the movie then.
Homework: Submit body paragraphs (your 2 only) to Turnitin.com by 11:59 pm tonight if not done during class today. On Saturday or Sunday, login to Turnitin.com and complete the peer review assignment for the anonymous paragraphs you have been assigned to review.
Day 67, Sem. 1
Today in class we reviewed the rules and requirements for a Works Cited page of a research paper and created the Works Cited in each groups' Google Document using the Google Add-on that collaborates with the EasyBib Bibliography Creator. We only used the EasyBib Add-on for our trickster tale books and website, and for the Joseph Campbell video for the informational sources. The artificial intelligence behind EasyBib does not generate good results for the other four informational sources students used, so I reviewed with them how to create a Works Cited entry in MLA style (version 8.0). The "cheat sheet" for this process is on Canvas and in the student's Writer's Reference Guide (p. 7). After all the groups had created a Works Cited page for all literary and informational sources used in the paper, we also reviewed the rules for parenthetical documentation. Tonight's homework is to add CORRECT parenthetical documentation to the body paragraphs in the shared document. We will check all documentation tomorrow in class to make sure everyone is doing it right.
For the last 30 minutes of class, we watched the second part of Life Is Beautiful and completed a Venn diagram of similarities and differences of the Jewish experience before and during the concentration camp in Night and the movie.
Homework: Add parenthetical documentation for all C sentences in the body paragraphs of the research paper.
Day 66, Sem. 1
After independent reading time, we started watching the film Life Is Beautiful. During today's section of the movie, students used a graphic organizer to note how the main character, Guido, exhibits aspects of the trickster archetype. In the following days, our focus will shift to comparing how the film shares the setting and multiple motifs with the Holocaust memoir Night. Those shared concepts of setting and motifs are important as students begin to read their chosen book for the literature circle unit we will begin next week.
While we did not work on the research paper in class today, students are still working on that project at home. For tonight, students should write the second body paragraph from their own outline into the shared Google Doc. We will spend class time in the next couple of days to work on the Works Cited page, parenthetical documentation, and the conclusion. I will have students peer edit their body paragraphs through the Turn It In website over the weekend. Complete papers will be due by the middle of next week (12/13).
Homework: Write the draft of your second body paragraph into the shared Google Doc for the trickster research paper.
Day 65, Sem. 1
We started with 15 minutes of independent reading (most students are reading in the Holocaust/WWII lit circle book now). Next, I had each research group create a shared Google Doc for the research paper that is now shared with all group members and me. They added the heading and header to the document, and then I gave them time to draft an introduction to the paper in the document. We reviewed the elements of an introduction (hook, bridge, and thesis) and what needs to appear in each element. While students worked on this paragraph, I continued to check off students' notes from the informational and literary sources. Finally, we returned to our long-paused discussion of Night to consider the various motifs in the memoir, define them, and cite examples of each one. Groups worked with one assigned motif for the definition and first example and then rotated around to other tables to add examples to other motifs.
Homework: Write draft of one body paragraph in the shared Google Doc.
This post also contains Friday's update. Scroll down to view class activity for Friday.
Day 64, Sem. 1
Today we started class with a 30-minute window for students to catch up (and finish) any notes from last week's research that were incomplete for any reason. Students who were finished with all notes were able to use that time to read independently (all students should have or have ordered the Holocaust/WWII book for lit circles by now). After filling in all the notes, we were ready to begin the process of planning the body paragraphs. I guided students through the planning guide/outline for the body paragraphs (handout on Canvas) and gave them additional time to write out as much of their paragraph plan as they could in class. The rest of the outline is due for homework.
Homework: Finish outline/planning guide for both body paragraphs
Day 63, Sem. 1
We started class where we left off on Thursday, following the process of analyzing our notes to create claims for the body paragraphs of the research paper. Each research group was responsible for creating at least six claims from their three strongest areas of notes. I demonstrated the process using information that answered the research questions about a trickster's motivation/call to action. Once the groups had their claims written out, they needed to choose a trickster tale that could support two of the claims. Each group member must have a unique trickster from a different world (non European-American) culture. I explained that they could choose a story first and then decide which two claims to pair with the story or they could choose their claims and then skim multiple stories until they found a compatible one. In either case, once they found the story, they needed to read it and take notes on the story using the Literary Source Note Card guided notes page (handout available on Canvas). By the end of class, each student should have two claims to use as topic sentences in their body paragraphs and notes on a trickster tale. Anything unfinished must be finished for homework.
Homework: Complete trickster tale notes on Literary Source note card and write your two claims on your outline/planning guide for the body paragraphs.
Day 62, Sem. 1
We started class with our vocabulary quiz from our study of Night. Next, we created research paper groups (3 students per group) and identified areas of strength in the group's notes. Those areas with multiple answers and ideas became the basis for an overall outline of the paper. Once groups identified three topics, each with two subtopics, they each chose one topic to write about for the overall paper. Next, each group needed to choose three different tricksters whose tales could serve as examples for the topic of each body paragraph. (Most classes really did not get too far in this process today! Consider this explanation as a roadmap for the next day or two.)
Homework: Finish analysis packet for Night to submit tomorrow for a minor assessment grade.
Day 61, Sem. 1
We started class with a review game for vocabulary (quiz is tomorrow). After that, students worked on reading and taking guided notes on the trickster archetype for the third (and final) day. Students who were able to finish today's notes with time remaining in class had me check off their work on all three and note corrections to MLA citations, then began looking through the options for tricksters from various world cultures to use as the literary source for the paper. Tomorrow we will form research paper groups (3 students per paper) and organize the information they have learned into an outline for the paper. Once they have a working outline, we will return to the media center on Friday to fill in the gaps in our informational notes, esp. direct quotes, and find a trickster's story for each member of the group.
Homework: Study for the vocabulary quiz tomorrow; remember to write some practice sentences so that you know how to use the words for the writing section of the quiz. Continue working on Night analysis packet (due Friday). Make plans NOW to get a copy of the book you've been assigned to read for the Holocaust book circles coming soon! Begin reading as soon as possible, esp. if you've chosen one of our longer texts like Unbroken and All the Light We Cannot See.
Day 60, Sem. 1
Today was our second day in the media center working on the trickster research project. Before beginning today's article/notes, everyone took the punctuation quiz on Canvas. As they finished, students were then able to switch to reading a second article about the trickster archetype, taking guided notes on the research questions as they worked. Towards the end of class, I asked everyone to list their top 3 choices of books for our upcoming Holocaust/WWII book circles. I will assign everyone a specific book, based on their choices, tomorrow. They will need to have the book to begin reading as soon as possible.
Homework: Continue reading Chapters 7-9 in Night and working on the analysis packet (due Friday). Continue reviewing vocabulary definitions, synonyms, and antonyms for the quiz on Thursday as well as writing sentences to practice using each word.
Day 59, Sem. 1
We started class by taking notes on the last 5 words on the current vocabulary list (from Night). Vocab. quiz will be Thursday this week. Next, we review the 2 rules for title punctuation (italicize titles for long texts; use quotation marks for short texts). I provided students a website (on Canvas) with a table for examples of long and short texts. Then, we reviewed the research process and located resources on Canvas for students to use during class (links to articles and the document for guided note taking). The students then used the remainder of the class period to read one article about the trickster archetype and take notes. We will repeat this process for the next 2 days; they will read a total of three articles and create three separate note documents by Wednesday. Students who are absent any of these three days (Mon-Wed. this week) should work on these notes at home in addition to the homework in Night/studying for quizzes. All three notes documents are due by Friday (I will start checking notes on Thursday for those who are finished).
Homework: Study comma rules, semi-colon/colon rules, and review capitalization and title punctuation rules for quiz tomorrow. Read chapters 7-9 in Night by Wed. (Analysis packet is due Friday.)
Allison Houck, MAT