Friday, January 25, 2013

Sometimes, beautiful things can be rather ugly: This week in Social Studies


The first impression that the student has of conference week is of the two half days.  There is a sense of euphoria within them because they believe that their time at school is lessened.  It is here where there is some semblance of beauty.

I am reminded of the moment in Doctor Zhivago when Yuri learns about how beauty can be deceptive.
In a shortened week, our students will be dealing with William Butler Yeats, literary criticism, and Katherine Mansfield.  This is where a potential note of ugliness might exist in the student mindset of the "beauty" of conference week.  I supposed we are all Yuris, struggling to find meaning... don't get me started on the emotional brutality of that ending...

Here is our work for this week:  IF YOU NEED A COPY OF THE ORPHANS PACKET, CLICK HERE.    You will need pages 88-97 in your possession.  Please take care of this as the assessment this week will be even more difficult if you do not have an Orphans packet... That's right, everyone needs to take care of an orphan... packet, that is.

Monday- Take questions on Yeats.  Take quiz on Yeats' "The Second Coming."
HW:  Students should make sure they are caught up on all reading and annotations:  Keller, Pirandello, Reed, and I.W.W. Stance on War.  Bring blue "orphans" packets to class tomorrow.  Find your 15 minutes of meditation.  You will need it this week.

Tuesday- Discuss literary criticism with "How to Read Literature Like a Professor."  Go over basic ideas from text.  Students should annotate in class what is discussed and make sure they are clear on these ideas.
HW:  Smart students will read ahead, or start, reading Mansfield's "The Garden Party."  I will be hosting a read aloud of this work Wednesday during lunch.  Passes will be made available on Wednesday morning.  This is the only time I will read the story aloud for interested students.

Wednesday- Finish with Foster's notions of literary criticism.  Today, during lunch, I will offer a read aloud of Mansfield's "The Garden Party."
HW:  Smart students might want to read ahead with Mansfield's work. Students can download the assessment tonight from this blog or the school website or the team page in order to work ahead on it.  The assessment is due on Monday at the start of class.

Thursday- Introduce the assessment on Foster/ Mansfield.  This Foster/ Mansfield enrichment sheet is due at the start of Monday's class.  It is worth 5000 points.
HW:  Work on Foster/ Mansfield Enrichment Sheet Assessment.  Due at the start of Monday's class.  Please note:  If students choose to not submit this assignment in a completed format, the traditional floor of  40% will not be applicable.  This assignment is something I place in a more elevated category than the other work I have assigned.  In terms of its academic challenge, intellectual caliber, and amount of work needed to complete it in a satisfactory manner, I am eliminating the floor for this one assignment.  If students do not submit it, there will be an alternate means by which students can obtain the 40%, but there will be no floor for this assignment and I feel full disclosure is needed.

Indeed, I consider this particular assessment one of the toughest I have ever composed.  Asking students to read "The Garden Party," synthesize its ideas and relevance to World War I and then apply literary criticism principles to it represents the essence of challenge, differentiated instruction, and the hope and aspiration of the Common Core curriculum in delving deep into literature and ideas as opposed to simply glossing them over.  It's tough.  It's majestic. It's only for the strongest of heart, the most committed of scholars.

It's 8.2 Social Studies.

I look forward to seeing you all at conferences.
All best.
Mr. Kannan

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