Mar 01 2015


Where does your book fit in?

Filed under Starting Off

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Feb 11 2015


Experimental Game Turns Players into Poets and Writers | Big Think

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There are some innovative things going on in gaming. Thanks Kim, for this Facebook share. This is far and away the coolest thing happening in the gaming world. If school districts would invest in digital curriculum resource development the way these guys invest themselves in what they love (great literature and great gaming), education in the arts might be funded like math and science is funded. I know I’m not alone when I say there is way too much emphasis in math, science and technology education funding. This is the curriculum resource I need in my room. Who’s going to fund it for me? Tell you what. Give me a classroom full of computers that will fluidly run this game, site licences for this game on every machine, and I will change apathetic ideas, attitudes and behaviors prevalent in most children toward reading and writing. They could build background, and have freedom to create their own way. Check out a review of Elegy for a Dead World at http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/experimental-game-turns-players-into-poets-and-writers

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Feb 11 2015


Wheel of Theodorus, anyone?

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Isn’t the natural world, around since before humans could invent any kind of notion, before they could think at all about expressing anything in words, wonderful. This naturally occurring exponentially repetitive increasing pattern crafted here in stunning stained glass by a human being can be seen in nature. You just have to look for it.

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Feb 04 2015


Essential Living Skill: Building Background Knowledge

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I expect you – my charge, my responsibility, my students – to want to build your own background in order to more fully interact with, analyze, appreciate and grow from what we do in the classroom. Why?
I want you, possibly more than anyone else you have ever come in contact with,  to gain the ability to grow yourself into a more fully developed, more deeply critical, more compassionately active individual of this world. Why? How?
There is an essential skill you must be willing to develop. You must be willing to develop an interest in background knowledge because there is so much we don’t know.
My entire life has been one filled with a hunger born of curiosity. Who were those people? What caused the end of that culture? How did this all get started? What does that mean? Where did that come from? Why do things happen? What is my purpose? Where is this going?
In a few weeks, I will visit ancient ruins of a culture long gone from this planet. Will I be able to fully appreciate what I see there? I remember a few years ago one of my students, Matthew, and his family (I didn’t know that soon I would teach his brother, Jacob.) were going to visit Mayan ruins in South America over a winter break. I was so excited for him. It was a trip to visit his own cultural heritage. To understand more deeply, more intimately who he was, what he was made of, who his ancestors might have been, what blood flows in his veins. I told him, “Pay close attention…These were your people…And bring back pictures.” Growing up with his parents, I was relatively sure he had some background knowledge. An interest was there.
I will visit ruins of those same Mayans. Will I be prepared to mentally sort through what I learn? Put new information in place? Build new understanding of my world? Will the horizons of my perspective grow wider? The only way I can be ready for this trip is to build a foundation of knowledge on which to fix my new understandings as I gain them? It will be my first primary source experience Mayan anthropology.
I begin my preparation tonight.
This evening, to live by example for all of you, I will commence construction of foundational knowledge in Mayan Culture. Tonight’s lesson well be provided by Netflix Streaming; click to watch National Geographic: Dawn of the Maya. You can check out the IMDB entry for it here – http://imdb.com/rg/an_share/title/title/tt0429990/.

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Jan 31 2015


» January Fiction Prompts Culled from the News

Filed under Starting Off

http://electricliterature.com/january-fiction-prompts-culled-from-the-news/

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Jan 26 2015


10 Novels That Will Sharpen Your Mind [Interactive] – Scientific American

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http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fiction-stories-that-sharpen-your-mind/

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Jan 13 2015


Anthem by Ayn Rand & American Politics

Filed under Starting Off

Research any connections you can find between American politics and Ayn Rand’s literature. What influence has her work had on the United States, the citizens of the United States, politics in the United States? Has her influence been positive, negative or negligible?

Have any politicians made reference to her work? Who are they? What could this mean?

Look to the following sources for help with this: politico.com, motherjones.com, alternet.org, theatlantic.com, thefederalist.com. Also, use the following phrases exactly in your favorite search engine:

  • ayn rand democratic party
  • ayn rand republican party
  • ayn rand libertarian party
  • ayn rand tea party
  • ayn rand american politics

Check your sources so you know WHY they say what they say. Are they deliberately supportive or not supportive? What is their motivation for being on this OR that side of the topic?

Make sure you answer the following questions in your post.

  1. What influence has Ayn Rand’s work had on the United States, the citizens of the United States, politics in the United States?
    1. Have any politicians made reference to her work?
    2. Who are the politicians who have been influenced by her literature?
    3. What have politicians said about her and/or her literature?
    4. Are they deliberately supportive or not supportive?
    5. What could this mean for the future of the country?
    6. What are the strong held beliefs of these politicians?
  2. Has her influence been positive, negative or negligible?
  3. What is your position about individuals rights and responsibilities?
  4. How does your position relate to Ayn Rand’s ideas?
  5. How can your create change in the future based on your ideas and beliefs?

Post your findings (cited properly) to your own website or to this discussion. Please, please, please check your work before you post anything to your site. This assignment should be a POST.

9 responses so far

Jan 08 2015


Anthem by Ayn Rand & Billy Joel

Filed under Starting Off

Read the lyrics to the poem below. Then, respond to the following question. Make sure you address all of the following questions in your response.

———————————————————————————

How do multiple characters speak & behave toward Equality 7-2521 that is echoed in the lyrics of this song?

You may find details for support in the speech and actions (behaviors such as gestures and body language) of secondary characters. What do they say to Equality 7-2521? How do they behave toward Equality 7-2521? What do they mean by what they say & do? Why is this important given what the world in which they live is like? 

Give examples to provide support in the form of direct quotations from the book, Anthem by Ayn Rand as well as from the song Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel.

———————————————————————————

“Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel

Come out Virginia, don’t let me me wait;
You Catholic girls start much too late
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one.
They showed you a statue and told you to pray They built you a temple and locked you away
But they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done…
Only the good die young. 
You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty, we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one 
Come on Virginia show me a sign
Send up a signal, I’ll throw you the line
The stained-glass curtain you’re hiding behind
Never lets in the sun.
Darling, only the good die young 
You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation
You got a brand new soul, 
And a cross of gold.
But Virginia they didn’t give you quite enough information
You didn’t count on me 
When you were counting on your rosary 
They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t.
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints;
Sinners are much more fun…
You know that only the good die young 
You say your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation
She never cared for me
But did she ever say a prayer for me?
———————————————————————————
How do multiple characters speak & behave toward Equality 7-2521 that is echoed in the lyrics of this song?You may find details for support in the speech and actions (behaviors such as gestures and body language) of secondary characters. What do they say to Equality 7-2521? How do they behave toward Equality 7-2521? What do they mean by what they say & do? Why is this important given what the world in which they live is like? Give examples to provide support in the form of direct quotations from the book, Anthem by Ayn Rand as well as from the song Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel.
This assignment should be a POST on your website, OR you could post your thorough response as a comment in this discussion.
Source of lyrics – http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/billyjoel/onlythegooddieyoung.html

5 responses so far

Dec 23 2014


Don’t be just another seagull.

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Dec 17 2014


Vocabulary Expansion In Five Easy Steps

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Dec 04 2014


A Brief Introduction to Dystopian Literature

Filed under Starting Off

Here is what we took in for a bit today. We will continue our gradual saturation on this topic as we head toward our next novel, Anthem by Ayn Rand. She was brilliant and quite possibly the architect of much of the way the world is built today.

Watch this to get a heads up into the future.

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Dec 04 2014


Talk it up

Filed under Starting Off

Here is the video I mentioned I found on my facebook feed this morning. I mentioned it to a couple of classes today. I invite you to comment on the message in this well spoken message.

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Dec 01 2014


Fiction Essay Test

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In one sense, for those of you who have not even begun to realize that you are to be held responsible for your learning, I rolled out a daunting essay test – THE Culminating Essay Test. On the other hand, for those who have taken each opportunity to focus, learn and grow, the test will be a walk in  the park – THE Culminating Essay Test.

It should take you this amount of time to (1) braninstorm, (2) plan and (3) rough draft an answer to each item as follows:

  1. Creating & Building Suspense – 30 minutes
  2. Personal World View – 30 minutes – 60 minutes
  3. Establishing Moods – 30 minutes – 90 minutes
  4. Justice & Fairness – 30 minutes – 120 minutes
  5. Literary Techniques – 45 minutes – 165 minutes = 2 hours 45 minutes TOTAL

You should be able to complete this test in 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Here is the time breakdown devoted to your effort on this exam.

  • In class – 50 minutes/3 days = 150 minutes = 2 hours 30 minutes
  • At home – 20 minutes/3 days = 1 hour
  • TOTAL TIME ALLOWED – 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Additionally, you can work on the test before 1st period begins and during dismissals.

You will be allowed 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete this test.

Here is the test . . . again – THE Culminating Essay Test.

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Nov 25 2014


For Wesley & Buttercup

Filed under Starting Off

PrincessBride1

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Nov 21 2014


Your Philosophy of Life

Filed under Starting Off

What is important to you? Why is that important to you? What values do you hold dear? Why are those values held so dearly? Take a look at who you are and how you came to be that way. Are you being true to yourself?

Jonathan Livingston Seagull found out that inner truth is essential to happiness.

At this point, you have to come up with your own Philosophy of Life. Here is the page you need to refer to in order to get this done – Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. Scroll past the guided reading questions to    THIRD – Pull it all together  – My Philosophy of Life: ANSWER questions 1-6 on YOUR websites (POSTS) by Sunday before you go to sleep. I should be able to publish them all Sunday night.

You must insert media (your venn diagram or thinking map for #1) and type your answers to #s2-6 beneath the diagram.

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