Friday, January 31, 2014

Moving Toward Assessing the War's Impact... Personally and Academically

Like all campaigns, this one is coming to an end.  Those who endure it probably never see it, but it is reaching its end.  Moments of initial elation meet with interminable moments of labor and toil, only to find its end.  For some, this end is a desert, for others, a relief.  For some, it's Eros benevolently ending the reign of Thanatos.

Am I describing the war or Julian for an 8th grader???

The initial burst of energy can be seen at the war's start.  Young people elated and excited about a new frontier.  They enter a realm where they are wide eyed about new opportunities and new possibilities.

They tell their friends of what exists in front of them and they make new friends in the process.  The surge of "newness" courses through their veins and they are overcome with what can be.

It is with this that the waiting begins.  Waiting for absolution, waiting for redemption.  That which was new has become supplanted with that which is.  The labor and toil have become the dominant experiences.  What once was lush and green has become sepia tinged, reflective of joy that has rusted over.  The initial countenances of innocence have become replaced with the look of weathered experience.  Shells of what once was linger in brief moments, but the overall experience has become one of grim reality as opposed to potentially transformative joy.

And then it ends.  On one hand, there is the joy of liberation for it is over.  Yet, the question that haunts is what was gained from it.  The shadows of experience linger as it becomes difficult to assert anything in way of true and valid meaning.  The only purpose it can serve is a mark of existence, something that demonstrated that at a certain point, one was alive, one existed, one had the capacity to dream and the reservoir of pain to match it.

Ok, this is getting too weird in describing how some of our 8th graders feel about their Julian experiences.

And now for something completely different!

You will notice that we have two plans for this week.  If we have computers available in class, we will start our World War I Assessment.  It is a technological survey of the war on the web.  If we do not have computers, we will continue with our work and offer a backup assessment which is more traditional and not dependent on District technology.  Students are reminded that their Close Reading Passages are due on Thursday, February 13.  Rough drafts will not be ready past this Thursday.

Monday, 2.3
Collect Theme Logs from All Quiet on the Western Front.  Read “Statement to the Court” annotate for WWI Themes.  Check at end of class.    Bring headphones for tomorrow.  Don’t wear them in the building.  Bring them for class though because we might have computers for our WWI  assessment.

Find your 15 Minutes.  Close Reading Activity due on 2.13.  Rough Drafts are will not be read after Thursday, 2.6.

Tuesday, 2.4
Sacco and Vanzetti, the Textbook, and Howard Zinn.  Talk about “Shine on, You Crazy Diamond.”  E.C.  Due at the end of class.  If we have computers, we will start the World War I assessment today.  Make sure you have headphones. If we have computers, we move Sacco and Vanzetti to next week.  (They have been so badly mistreated that this is not that too much of an offense.)

Find your 15 Minutes.  Close Reading Activity due on 2.13.  Rough Drafts are will not be read after Thursday, 2.6.   

Wednesday, 2.5
Common Core Assessment on All Quiet on the Western Front.  Discuss your WWI Assessment.  If we have computers, we will run with Common Core Assessment next week.

Find your 15 Minutes.  Close Reading Activity due on 2.13.  Rough Drafts are will not be read after today at 7:00 PM. In class World War I Assessment starts tomorrow.

Thursday, 2.6
Take World War I Assessment.

Find your 15 Minutes.  Close Reading Activity due on 2.13..

Friday, 2.7

Continue to take WWI Assessment.  If you need more time, you need to finish it this weekend and share it with me..

Find your 15 Minutes.  Close Reading Activity due on 2.13..  Preview 1920s Packet.  Make sure your WWI Assessment is shared by Sunday noon.

Happy Hunting.
Mr. Kannan

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