Here we are just a mere 3 days away from winter break! How did this happen?
We have covered SO MUCH ground since Thanksgiving. We dove head first into Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" as well as the opening half of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. We closed our letter unit by reading Christina Xu's "An Open Letter to my Asian Parents" to see how the topic of racial and social injustice has been discussed across time and location.
Then, you were assigned a complicated task of comparing the rhetorical moves of two writers. This was purposefully designed to help you notice the nuances of rhetorical moves, and most specifically, understand how writer moves can be the same, but have different effects. All in all--we need to dig deep in order to make progress.
You struggled. You wrote. You re-wrote, and then you conferenced. During our conferences we talked about the rhetorical analysis progression.
What is the move? --> What is the effect? ---> Why does the writer want to have that effect?
This seemed to work out some kinks for many of you. Conferencing was very enjoyable for me because it felt like productive time. I hope you feel the same, too!
Now, we're closing up shop and putting the cherry on top. Your final copies of your c/c essays are due via Google Classroom by Thursday at 3:30. Your only "homework" over break is to read for fun and participate in #APShelfie and/or #APEng chat. I hope your break is full of warmth and good books.
It has been a pleasure getting to know you so far in 2016. You're great people! :)
Slides for November 28 - December 2
Slides for December 5 - December 9
Slides for December 12 - December 16
Slides for December 19 - December 22
I hope to see you at the #APEng chat on January 1st at 9 p.m.!
A short and sweet week to guide us into the most savory of holidays! If only we could all be this happy lady, floating away on a gravy river in a sea of mashed potatoes!
This week we worked hard on expanding our rhetorical analysis thinking. We finished our analysis of the 5 diction moves the Clergymen made in their letter to Dr. King. Then, we learned how to write thesis statements. It takes a lot of practice to get them right, but we're working on it.
We also spent some time reflecting upon our first journal explode. Not only did you get scored on the AP rubric, but you also got specific feedback and personalized writing goals to practice and implement over the next few months. It is very important that you take that feedback seriously and work hard to improve as a writer. I promise you will reap the rewards if you work hard!
We ended Tuesday's class with an introductory partner activity to Letter from Birmingham Jail. Your work will guide what we do in class next week. You can find all the slides for this week here.
Homework? Try to read ahead for next Tuesday! Ta-Nehisi Coates is awesome and I am excited for you to read him!
Happy Thanksgiving! Be kind to one another, even if you disagree with them!
Is it just me or does it feel like we've been together a lot longer than just the last week and a half?
We made a lot of progress this week. We got into Unit 3, which is a case study of public letters regarding social injustices and civil rights. I introduced you to James Baldwin, and many of you enjoyed his letter from "The Fire Next Time". Then, we spent considerable time practicing rhetorical analysis thinking and the intentional moves of writers. Lots of good thinking and talking, and a little bit of writing, too.
We closed the week with you submitting your first journal explode. Many of you cast doubt on your abilities, but I know you'll get where you need to be. We'll have a work session on Tuesday of this week on those essays so you go into the long weekend feeling more confident and capable.
This week's slides are here.
Here are some pics of you going to town on your Clergymen group poster.
Hello, happy people!
We're finally back together! We had a great short week getting back into the #APLang17 groove. We talked about where we were before we left and where we're headed for the rest of 2016. Here's our updated class calendar.
Together, we analyzed the rhetorical nature of a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (it's genius, right?) to get our brains back in shape. Then, we watched Dr. King deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech and worked on annotating text for rhetorical moves. You can find our weekly slides here.
Also: thank you for being so warm and welcoming be as a I transitioned back into the classroom. You guys are good people and I'm happy to spend my time with you.
Well, #APLang17, if you took away one thing from this week, I hope it's that you realize that the 'other side' is NOT dumb. In fact, just as Bland says, I hope you have decided to "enter every issue with the very real possibility that (you) might be wrong this time."
We did a lot of heavy lifting this week to set the foundation for a lot of good thinking in the future. We introduced Austin's Butterfly as a way to hold us accountable for high quality feedback, reviewed Jolliffe's Rhetorical Framework, practiced using our AP Lang-heavy SOAPStone & spectrum tool, as well as completed a practice timed writing. We started tinkering around with the theory of word economics (I mean really, if you can say it in 7 words, you certainly don't need 10!). We dug into our college essays and *hopefully* feel like we have our feet under us (finally). Whew. I think we could all use a little break.
Tonight is the first home football game and this weekend is 3 days long! Two hands emoji! Keep tinkering with your words and word count in your college essay. Next week, we conference and talk a lot about GOATS. Should be a good time!
Guys, we did it! We survived the first five back-to-back days of the school year. They certainly weren't the most tight days, and we were sort of all over the place, but we did it.
This week we:
-covered the historical relevance of philosophy to our study of rhetoric.
-we began researching colleges and talking about the admissions process.
-studied model essays that have been accepted to colleges from Stanford, to Harvard, to UVA, to Oklahoma University.
-read like writers and noticed some pretty cool things about those essays (and then added them to the Noticings board, natch).
Here are our slides from the week in case you need handouts. Next week will focus much more on rhetoric and less on college prep. Your main homework over the next week is to read "The 'Other Side' is Not Dumb" by Wednesday and keep working on the drafts of your college essay.
I'm proud of you for gettin' your head into the game and being productive this week. As Kanye said on Twitter:
Welcome back to the grind, everyone! It was a really great first (short) week of school! This week we discussed whether or not a Super Gorilla should be allowed to play for the Oakland Raiders in the NFL, learned the $SEEITT strategy, and reviewed the general course expectations.
Then, we dedicated Thursday and Friday to learning to read like writers (instead of reading like readers) by diving into E.B. White's "Once More to the Lake" (pun intended). You guys seemed to really enjoy the essay, which is awesome, because there's more where that came from! You worked together in small groups to develop your Writer Habits of Mind and to discover how mentor texts operate. Most importantly, you started to notice how a writer moves. This is the essence of AP Lang. Learn how the great writers do it, then do it yourself.
This weekend you're writing your own "Once More to the..." essay and I'm stoked to see what you come up with.
You can find this week's slides here. All the handouts are hyperlinked within. In the mean time, here are some of my fav "big a-ha moments" from class this week that you shared at the end of class yesterday. I think it's going to be a great year!
Have a great weekend!
If you're anything like me, you love the idea of a fresh notebook and a new pack of pens. There's no zen like school-supply-shopping zen, right? Even though it's a little ridiculous that Target and Walmart already have school supplies hitting the shelves, I know some of you may be eager to pick out the perfect notebook before we meet in August. So, here's your supply list. It's everything you'll need for Lang:
Required, Used Every Day
-1 composition book (no spirals! I mean it!)
-1 1.5 inch binder (go wild... what color/pattern most reflects your Lang personality?)
-a set of 8 tab dividers (they don't need to be fancy, just need to get the job done)
-pens or pencils (I don't have a preference, but you'll always need a pen for timed writings)
Helpful to Have:
P.S. If for any reason you cannot acquire these materials, let me know.
By now many of you have participated in our 1st discussion board, so you get the gist of Klinkenborg's "noticings". According to Klinkenborg, the little things you notice as you read are impossible to remember unless you document them all. Not all are as important, so it's important to practice and filter what is most important to you as a writer.
Additionally, by now many of you have heard the sad news about Jasmine Rafter, the local lady who died in a tragic accident on I-81 last week. Many of you probably know or have heard of Jasmine through connections--older Smithsburg alumni who worked with her at Texas Roadhouse, took classes with her at HCC, or just through social media. I did not know Jasmine, but I taught a lot of brokenhearted students who did. (I'm sending all of them a lot of love and hugs right now. May she rest in peace.)
Jasmine's death is inspiring a larger conversation about traffic and safety on I-81 (and those of you who have your license will agree, it's pretty scary out there). I have seen numerous articles, Facebook posts, and tweets not just about Jasmine's life, but about the necessity of widening I-81 to make it safer in Maryland. In AP Lang, Jasmine's death is what we call exigence (ex-ah-gence). It is the event/moment that inspires people to write, to take action. It is why they have to write right now and not tomorrow, or the day after. I'm sure in your life something has happened where you've felt so emotional (sadness, anger, exuberance) that you had to do SOMETHING. You had to text, you had to tweet, you had to put pen to paper. That's exactly what is happening now as our community mourns the loss of this young lady.
Today, the publisher of the Herald Mail wrote an article regarding Jasmine's death and the safety of I-81. It's short, it's to the point. Read through it; then, in the comments, tell me... what do you notice about the writing?
Article can be found here.