Thursday, October 31, 2013

october 31

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes:  "What's He Building in There?" by Tom Waits; "Halloween (Michael Myers) Theme" by John Carpenter; "This is Halloween" by Marilyn Manson]

Since it's Halloween, two options (one for each face):
1. What role does fear (of death, of loss, of discovery) play in Hamlet?  What role does it play in your own life and decision-making process?
2. What masks do people wear in everyday life, i.e., how/why/when do we intentionally adopt personae that serve purposes other than reflecting who we are with integrity?

1. Journal
2. Discussion: limits on what we (digitally) perceive and express
3. Generational translation: Hamlet 2.0?
4. [Vocabulary]
5. Acts IV & V

1. Finish reading the play and prepare to discuss who dies, how, why, and so what...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

this just in from mrs. dirkes

Mrs. Dirkes asked me to ask you to list the colleges you are applying for on Naviance.  Below is a screen shot of her email with instructions-- if you have questions, please ask in class or consult with Maddie and/or the Cracking the Code on College team.  Mahalo.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hamlet is bugging me

I was just posting to the blog and noticed 6 people are on, so let me ask you a question: Do you think Hamlet's nuts?  After our discussions today I reflected back on all the commentary and all the productions I could remember, and it seems like the overwhelming majority talk about Hamlet being mad.  But I still wonder whether his ability to see the ghost is commentary on Gertrude's blindness to the truth and Hamlet's ability to see right and wrong.  In fact, I wonder if it's the sanest thing in the world to be freaked out by feeling obliged to kill someone, and I also still wonder about Hamlet's ability to plan and say the right things (with double meanings!) under pressure.  I guess he could be an endearingly fiendish sociopath, but he seems too self-critical for that.  What do you think, and what is your evidence?  Especially curious about your perspectives after you read DeBoer's paper.

josten's info

As promised-- if you didn't go to the assembly today, please see the following email from Josten's representative Danny Hutchinson and/or check a friend's blog (Shane's has video :) for selection and ordering information.

october 30

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads; "Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Roberta Flack]

Why does Shakespeare end so many of his plays in death? Is this [spoiler alert] what makes Hamlet a tragedy, or it is something else...?  Provide examples from Hamlet, Julius Caesar and Romeo & Juliet to support your answer.

1. Journal
2. "To be or not to be" frankenrecital (cont'd.)
3. Q & A: Hamlet Acts I-IV
4. Performative utterance (in the meantime, you can see comments from the Class of 2012, me, and the author of that paper here)
5. Hamlet: Act V  [***or not?***]

1. Please read the post entitled, "tools that change the way we think" and comment/post to your blog with same title.
2. Midweek magic: definitions & usage for VOCABULARY #9
3. Read closely at least to the end of Act IV

vocabulary #9


tools that change the way we think

Please read the following passage and respond to the questions below. Write your answers in a comment to this post. Then, cut/paste both the passage and your thoughts to your own blog in a post entitled, "Tools That Change the Way We Think."

"Back in 2004, I asked [Google founders] Page and Brin what they saw as the future of Google search. 'It will be included in people's brains,' said Page. 'When you think about something and don't really know much about it, you will automatically get information.'

'That's true,' said Brin. 'Ultimately I view Google as a way to augment your brain with the knowledge of the world. Right now you go into your computer and type a phrase, but you can imagine that it could be easier in the future, that you can have just devices you talk into, or you can have computers that pay attention to what's going on around them and suggest useful information.'

'Somebody introduces themselves to you, and your watch goes to your web page,' said Page. 'Or if you met this person two years ago, this is what they said to you... Eventually you'll have the implant, where if you think about a fact, it will just tell you the answer."

-From In the Plex by Steven Levy (p.67)

Answer this not-so-simple question: How does use of the Internet, media, and/or technology change the way you think? Focus on your memory, your ability to concentrate, your sense of time and priorities, and the subjects/topics that interest you most. If you find "thinking about your thinking" difficult to assess, try the following strategies: compare yourself with older people who did most of their formal learning before smart phones and 2.0 existed; compare yourself with contemporaries who don't use those tools much today; read up on what education leaders and thinkers have to say about generational differences in thinking (and remember to cite your sources).

filter bubbles

october 29

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Step Right Up" by Tom Waits; "Bloody Well Right" by Supertramp]

Terms such as values and common sense can take on different meanings (how can something you define as common sense confuse me--isn't common sense the sense we share in common?) Cultural anthropologists and social psychologists describe values as learned, enduring, epistemologically grounded moral conceptualizations that assist us in making judgments and in preparing us to act. What values do you see in Hamlet? In online/contemporary American culture? How do the characters in the former and executives in the latter use values to inform and justify their decisions and behavior?

1. Journal
2. Finish discussing Hamlet: Act III
3. Performative utterances in Hamlet

1. Post to your blog under the title THOUGHTS ON HAMLET (IN PROGRESS). Explain how your thinking about the play has evolved from the time we began reading to the end of Act III. Has anything changed your mind about the plot or characters since the ghost showed up at midnight? Where do you see things going from here?
2. Read Hamlet Act IV
3. Read "The Performative Utterance in Hamlet" and take notes to post to your blog (use same title)
4. Watch Eli Pariser's talk on "Filter Bubbles"
5. Post a comment to the "Filter Bubbles" post in which you respond to the video by answering these questions: a)What new information did you learn from the video? b)How does this information make you think differently about what you see online? c)What questions does this video raise about the Internet in general? and d)How can you improve the effectiveness of your searches?
6. [preview-- this is due Thursday 10/31] Read the post entitled, "tools that change the way we think" and comment/post accordingly.

Hamlet act III scenes ii, iii, & iv vids

Remember that you can see all of these in the context of the original script on the Hamlet page of the blog.

 Branagh's Moustrap (Scene ii)

Tennant's Mousetrap (Scene ii/part 1)

Tennant's Mousetrap (Scene ii/part 2)

Patrick Stewart/Claudius confesses (Scene iii)

Branagh shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 1)

Branagh shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 2)

Tennant shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 1)

Tennant shivs Polonius (Scene iv/part 2)

Hamlet act III scene i

Here are several versions of "To be, or not to be..." (including one by a girl with a guitar who wrote a melody to memorize it for an English course):

Monday, October 28, 2013

october 28

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: Symphony #1 by Ludwig van Beethoven, performed by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein)

Why does Hamlet go to the trouble of orchestrating an elaborate ruse with the play-within-a-play, when the ghost's testimony and his intuition appear to provide sufficient justification for revenge?


[today's tunes: "Right Place Wrong Time" by Dr. John; "Wrong 'Em Boyo" by The Clash; "So Wrong" by Patsy Cline]

Why does Hamlet kill Polonius? How does Hamlet feel about it? How do the King and Queen react? Did you see this coming?

[UPDATE: Dr. Preston out sick today.  Help a friend document his/her recital of the soliloquy and make sure everyone "gets" Act III and documents remaining questions for discussion tomorrow/Tuesday.]

1. Journal
2. "To Be..." recitapalooza
3. Hamlet: Act III discussion

1. (No new HW tonight and no vocab this week.  Enjoy. :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

october 25

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's topics: "Act Naturally" by The Beatles; "Play With Fire" by The Rolling Stones; "Games People Play" by Alan Parson's Project]

"The play's the thing." Explain.

1. Journal
2. individual conferences
3. Act III

1. Study Act III and put the results on your blog (title: WHAT I THINK ABOUT WHEN I THINK ABOUT ACT III)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

atlanta junior cheerleader breaks backflip record

This is impressive.  I haven't been able to confirm rumors that she quoted the entire "To be or not to be" soliloquy while flipping out.

sweet tardy pass

(First: no one I know outside school uses the word tardy unless they're being sarcastic.)

When Slammin' Sam Wellard walked in to class today, he brought the nicest tardy pass... Thanks Sam & Mr. Davis! [UPDATE: Erp. It was Ricky. Hey, thanks Ricky! (And thanks for the reminder, Sam. :)

multi-tasking and the value of life

A while back I posted about texting and driving, and all of the value of life presentations are powerful reminders of what's really important-- like being present with the ones we love whether or not they're behind the wheel or in water. Take some time today to go analog and focus on someone you care about while you're with them.

october 24

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Beyond Belief" by Elvis Costello; "Satisfaction (I Can't Get No) by Devo; "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley]

If you've started reading Act III, explain two elements of foreshadowing from Acts I & II. If you haven't started reading Act III, make two educated guesses about the plot and the development of Hamlet's character.

1. Journal
2. Vocab quiz
3. Begin Act III
4. "To Be or Not to Be"

1. Reminder: Literature Analysis #3 due tomorrow (Friday, October 25)
2. (Re)Read Act III
3. Reminder: "To be or not to be" is due by Monday. And, Brenna got to me. Given the many constraints on our time, there are probably more efficient and compelling ways to account for everyone's memorization of the soliloquy. A virtual or in-person choir performing in unison? Video'ing yourself with multiple cameras or in a mirror? Something cool we haven't thought of yet? If you have an idea that involves something other than standing in front of the class, please share it in a comment to this post. We'll discuss in class Friday.
4. Complete the evaluative introspection (you can write on paper if doc doesn't download or print) after the jump to prepare for 1-to-1 grade conference

collaboration can be a matter of life and death

Not only can innovative use of social media help us solve murders, it can help coordinate care in a community to save a life. Very cool to see people using the tools of our age to our greatest benefit!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

if it's on wikipedia it must be real...

A friend just emailed this.

this is what a learning rock star looks like

Talk about peace of mind... what's Allyson going to do while everyone else gets more and more anxious as the "To be or not to be" deadline approaches?

october 23

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Lo Que Dice" by Ozomatli; "Mercy" by The Shys; "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads]

Among the topical possibilities for today's journal: 1) Listen to the lyrics and link to Hamlet; 2) Ask yourself, "How did I get to this point in my life and where am I going from here?" If neither of those resonates, observe where your mind takes you and invent your own.

1. Journal
2. Finish Act II presentations
3. Vocabulary quiz
4. [?]

1. Preview Act III of Hamlet
2. Reminder: "To be or not be..."
3. Reminder: Lit Analysis #3 due Friday

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

hamlet act II presentation notes & prezis

Here are my (nearly legible) notes from today's presentations (at bottom).  If you were a presenter, feel free to comment with additions and corrections.  If you showed a Prezi, please embed it on your blog and/or share the Prezi with me so I can link or embed it here.  Thanks!

UPDATE: These Prezis just in...
Elisia & co
Serena & Jenna
Amara & co

AP hamlet act II presentation notes -

"the job career decision making thing" collaborative working group

Following is the copied/pasted first post from the freshly minted "Job Career Decision Making" collaborative working group. (Thanks, Rudy!)

Hi my name is Rudy Valentine and I'm trying to start a collaborative working group on deciding what you would like to do with your life. It isn't an easy decision trying to pick what yo would like to do for the rest of your life if you can't experience it. This is why I decided to start this blog and try to get peoples opinions who work different jobs and see how they weight the pros and cons of the job. If i can establish this well I believe a lot of kids will have a much better chance to find out what they want to do with their lives. I would like to interview and post videos so we can get a feel for what each person does in their profession from a day to day basis. This seems difficult but with the help of all the people I know and all of my classmates I believe this could be a solid source of information. Comment to this post or email me if you would like to join in this collaboration to find your DREAM JOB!

common app glitches

If you've been having trouble with the Common App, the good news (to the extent that misery loves company) is that you're not alone. The bad news is, everyone else is also feverishly clicking Refresh. Don't delay.

october 22

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" by The Police; "Words (Between The Lines of Age" by Neil Young]

As Sting sings, "Poets, priests and politicians... have words to thank for their positions..."  consider: what does the effective use of words do for us?  Describe how speaking and/or writing articulately is used in our society-- in relationships, in business, in achieving goals, in maintaining traditions, in creating change, or in another context-- and give an example from your own life.

1. Journal
2. A true test of your work last week
3. Status/planning for this week

1. Vocabulary quiz tomorrow: own your word(s)
2. Reminder: Literature Analysis #3 due Friday

Monday, October 21, 2013

two amazing resources you should click on RIGHT NOW

I was just writing letters of recommendation and reviewing Act II when I got an email from Lisa that directed me to two links, one for a practice test on "To be or not to be" (I got the first two wrong!) and the other about expanding Random Absence Mentoring.


Um, seriously.  Wow.

the roundest thing in the world

I know a little about a lot of things, but I didn't know anything about the origin of the kilogram, how something can be rounder than anything else, why the inventor of silicon (literally) lost his head, or what the US has in common with Burma and Liberia until I watched this video.  (Thanks, Maddie!)

csf'ers: congrats & pay your dues

This just in from Ms. Dolan.  If you made the CSF list: 1) Congratulations! and 2) Please pay your $5 ASAP at the business office.  (Frosh/Soph/Jr names included so you can congratulate them too.)

[Names after the jump]

Sunday, October 20, 2013

october 21


Since I didn't read journals this weekend, please read back through your journal and take ten minutes to describe how your writing is improving so far this semester. If your writing isn't improving, write about what you want to get better at. And, if you go back and find answers worth improving or building on, have at it.

1. Journal
2. Get last week's working group together and create a presentation to deliver tomorrow. The presentation is in two parts: 1) What did you learn, and 2) How did you learn it. Each presentation should be no longer than 8:30 (eight minutes thirty seconds) and no shorter than 5:14 (five minutes fourteen seconds). There is a method to the madness. See you Tuesday.

HW: 1. Group presentation. Due in class Tuesday, October 22

Friday, October 18, 2013

Skype anyone?

Hiya! Hope everything is going well. If anyone has a laptop on campus today, and that laptop has Skype loaded on it, would you please email me so we can arrange a connection at 8:30 (1st period)? Mucho mahalo.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

to be or not to be, sarah-style

While preparing for my presentation I ran across a post from last year's course that I thought might be helpful. I've recreated it below (purists can see the original here).
Thanks to Sarah for creating this!

october 16-18

You know what to do. (And, if you don't, get help by asking here, asking a friend, or emailing.)

Each day you and your group should make progress, both independently and collaboratively, toward mastering Act II of Hamlet.  You can also use the time to read/work on Literature Analysis #3, memorize "To Be..." and (if necessary) catch up in general on your blog or journal.

Speaking of journals... For the rest of the week your journal is truly your own.  Use it to reflect on the period/day or write about something else that's on your mind. Please remember to write each day and place the journal in the crate on Friday.

Have a great time, and good luck! If you need help please reach out; we'll hit the ground running on Monday.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

be nice dee-nice

There are many styles of teaching, and many personalities in this learning community, and I hope they all get along and do great things in my absence.

Monday, October 14, 2013

alright, alright: lit analysis #3 due 10.25

Literature Analysis #3 is now due on Friday, 10.25.  Period 3 gave me stink eye, which got my attention but didn't quite persuade me; then Lisa Malins emailed with the assignment dates for all three and pointed out that requiring it this Friday this would cut your time by a third.  Lisa, you're back on the hook for James Joyce. :)

october 15

JOURNAL TOPIC: [tunes anyone? have a look at the journal topic and comment with your suggestion/s.]

How can you use this week's collaborative opportunity to your greatest advantage? Can you see ways to creatively extend your understanding of Hamlet and pursue your creative/professional goals? Explain.

1. Journal
2. Collaborate with your group and figure out how best to manage the week so that: a) You read and understand Act II by Friday; b) You get what you want and need from the experience; and c) Your blogs reflect both your Shakespearean expertise and your personal/collective accomplishments. Nominate a facilitator to run the conversation and nominate a reporter to summarize the highlights and comment to this post.
3. Act II (continued)

1. Post vocabulary definitions and sentences to your blogs if you haven't already.
*Note: For practice, try writing sentences in the form of a paragraph (or several) that describe what you know about Hamlet so far and how the character is similar to and/or different from others you've read.

to be or (you know)

You're going to be seeing a lot of this, so here is a post you can bookmark for easy reference.

(From Hamlet Act III Scene i)

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember'd.

nanowrimo meeting thursday at lunch

National Novel Writing Month meeting this Thursday (10.17) at lunch.  For more info contact Connor or Lissette.

october 14

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Ghost Radio" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra; "The Payback" by James Brown]

A close study of revenge quickly reveals two schools of thought: 1) Revenge is righteous and/or fulfilling, and 2) Revenge keeps wounds from healing and-- however appealing or even cathartic it may seem-- ultimately destroys every party to it. How do you see the concept of revenge? How do you see the effects of revenge played out in the world? What do you think Hamlet should do now that he knows Claudius poisoned his father?

1. Journal
2. Sum up Hamlet Act I
3. This week's collaboratory
4. Act II: Friends and advisors who act as neither

*for tomorrow* please preview Act II
1. Recite "To
2. Be
3. Or
4. Not
5. To
6. Be" soliloquy
7. by Monday, October 28
8. Reminder: vocab quiz Wed
9. Reminder: Literature Analysis #3 due Friday, October 18
10. Test (maybe) on Act II: Monday, October 21

modern shakespearean adaptations

Friday, October 11, 2013

open source learners at pvhs

I'm happy to introduce another local Open Source Learning community.  Hiya, Mr. Ostini's World Literature!  Check out the posts (this one is my favorite) and the member blogs, and feel free to comment on students' work.  They just wrote essays on Antigone, which technically is fair game for the AP exam.

october 11

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" by Smashing Pumpkins; "The Ghost Song" by The Doors; "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" by The Beatles/performed by Eddie Vedder]

What is it about society, relationships, and/or psychology that leads individuals such as Hamlet to bottle up ideas that are dissonant or new? Is there a common thread between Hamlet's struggle to contain his inner thoughts/feelings and Laertes' warning to Ophelia?

1. Recap: Hamlet Act I Scenes i & ii
2. Hamlet: Act I Scene iii
3. Journal
4. Hamlet: Act I Scene iv

1. Finish reading Act I for interesting conversation and possible quiz Monday
2. Imagine that you write an advice column and you receive a letter that says, My name is O. and I'm trapped in this weird sort of dating thing-- a prince says he loves me, but my father & brother hate him and tell me to stay away. What should I do? Post to your blog under the title DEAR OPHELIA. (Tip: use the opportunity to play with Vocabulary #8)

vocabulary #8


Thursday, October 10, 2013

wotta day

Hope you all had a great day today-- thanks to those of you who already posted your comments, looking forward to reading more and discussing tomorrow.

national novel writing month meeting today at lunch

National Novel Writing Month meeting today at lunch.  For more info contact Connor or Lissette.

central coast sports network

This just in from Jacob:

"We have created a group that partners high school varsity athletes with the youth of the community. As a group, we want to build the foundation that these young kids need to succeed. If anyone is interested in being a part of this network contact either Jacob Fowler or Jose Sagrero."

Check out the Central Coast Sports Network!

csu application tips

At the training I'm attending today the facilitator is giving some important application tips:
  • Don't sit down for Thanksgiving dinner until you've applied to CSU;
  • Check out 
  • Check out
  • Consider applying to CSU campuses that guarantee admission with specific degree/coursework
  • Don't celebrate New Year's Day 2014 until you send in your FAFSA-- they award $ depending on when you apply, and you can change details later (NOTE: only do the free FAFSA, don't pay a 3rd party)
For more information, please check out Cracking the Code on College and consult with our resident on-campus expert, Mrs. Dirkes.

vocab quiz tip

Since I won't be in class today, and I can see there is a lot of traffic on the blog this morning, here is the scouting report on today's vocabulary quiz.  As soon as you get to class the sub will ask you to take out a blank sheet of paper.  You will have 3 minutes to write down every word and definition you can remember from this week's list.  Of course, not everyone will see this, so it's up to you whether or not to share this information or spend the first five seconds of the quiz watching your newly informed colleagues' reactions.

congratulations lisa

Congratulations to Lisa Malins, one of two Central Coast students who qualified as a semifinalist for the National Merit Scholarship competition.  Below is a snip from today's Santa Maria Times; you can see the whole article here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the shutdown hits home

If everyone shared this kid's passion for learning, the world would--INSTANTLY--be a better place.

(Thanks, BoingBoing!)

hamlet act I scene ii vids

october 10

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Melancholy Mood" by Horace Silver; "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by James Brown]

Hamlet is confronted by a difficult situation.  What does it suggest about society's values at the time? Why does it challenge him so deeply?  How would your response-- as a reflection of both your personality/psychology and our society's values-- be similar or different?

1. Hamlet: Act I Scene ii (25 minutes)
2. Journal (10 minutes max)
3. Chart a course for Chaucer-esque characters and P2P evaluation (15 minutes)

1. Please comment to this post re: Agenda item #3
2. Please read and comment on Hamlet's first big soliloquy 
3. Please read this article and post a response to your blog about it (title: LITERARY FICTION & EMPATHY).  How can reading fiction help you understand others?  Use Hamlet as an example to explore your own thinking process and reactions to a character's innermost thoughts/struggles.

hamlet's first big soliloquy

What does Hamlet mean by the following?  Please comment to this post with your interpretation.

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
Seem to me all the uses of this world!
Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
So excellent a king; that was, to this,
Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
A little month, or ere those shoes were old
With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
My father's brother, but no more like my father
Than I to Hercules: within a month:
Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
It is not nor it cannot come to good:
But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

academic drones?

News like this raises an important question: Which tasks in life are best automated and optimized for efficiency, and which tasks are best accomplished with the personal touch?

hamlet characters and act I scene i vid

You can see more (including the entire script of the play) on the Hamlet page. If you find more/better resources elsewhere, please share!

hamlet character map

october 9

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Indecision" by Eagle Eye Cherry; "King Without a Crown" by Matisyahu]

Hamlet wrestles with difficult decisions and problems by talking them through. Based on what (precious little) we've read so far, how do you think Hamlet will be influenced by such elements as his family, where he lives, emotion, and the differences between Hamlet's inner world of thoughts/feelings and the outer world that surrounds him? Feel free to apply your own experiences on these topics.

1. Vocabulary quiz (UPDATE: postponed until tomorrow/Thursday/10.10)
3. Intro to Hamlet & Act I Scene i
4. Journal

1. Research Hamlet online and answer the following questions (with citations for any website you consult and/or quote) in comments to this post: 1)What is the play about? 2)Why is interpreting the play such a challenge? Why doesn't everyone agree on what the play "says" or  "means"?
2. Find at least three other learning communities that are studying Hamlet (in an AP class, a college/university course, or independently).  Introduce yourself and use the principles of "The Art of Hosting Good Conversations Online" to do exactly that!  Report the experience(s) on your blog. 3. Finish reading Act I Scene i (script here)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

october 8

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Who Are You" by Tom Waits; "The Real Me" by Johnny Adams]

How does reading fictional characters help bridge the gap between who you are and who you want to be?  How does it help you understand other people?

1. Journal
2. Return & discuss midterms
3. Cameron is a good proofreader
4. A word (several, actually) about scholarships and Cracking the Code on College
5. Chaucer's dead... but we're alive!  (writing groups on the move)
6. This agenda is long
7. And tomorrow we begin Hamlet

1. Study for vocab test tomorrow; copy/paste your group's work onto your blog (title: VOCAB 7)
2. Post Chaucer thesis do-over (title: WHAT I MEANT TO SAY WAS)
3. Answer these "Pre-Will"questions in a post on your blog (title: GREEN EGGS & HAMLET): a) What do you know about Hamlet, the "Melancholy Dane"?  b) What do you know about Shakespeare?  c) Why do so many students involuntarily frown when they hear the name "Shakespeare"?  and d) What can we do to make studying this play an amazing experience we'll never forget?

vocabulary #7


cracking the code on college

Kudos to Cracking the Code on College (Thanks, Maddie and friends!) for creating a list of resources, providing information on tests and applications, and defining success (Thanks, Coach Wooden!) as follows:

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.

You can now click through to Cracking the Code on College from the College/Scholarship Info page above.

osl + p2p evaluation = happy, solvable conundrum

In a learner-driven network members provide value for each other.  This can be a formal effort, like Random Absence Mentoring or Cracking the Code on College, or it can be something as small as helping a friend with an idea on the way out of class or just letting her use your phone for a minute.

Right now we have a happy conundrum; several individuals and groups have accomplished goals and proven their value in ways that are not accounted for in traditional academic accounting.  Whether you've figured out the ultimate location for our Canterbury Tales odyssey (yes, that's a hint), started your novel for NaNoWriMo, created a Collaborative Working Group, or won a scholarship, we need a strategy to account for the value you're creating and a place to record and display it.

Here are a couple ways Open Source Learning students started peer-to-peer (P2P) evaluation systems in the past (Class of 2012, Class of 2013).  Please have a look and consider what works and what can be improved.  Anyone who is interested in discussing this further and/or collaborating to create something for the Class of 2014 is welcome to a conversation in 608 today at lunch.

Monday, October 7, 2013

october 7

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Flushed From the Bathroom Of Your Heart" by Johnny Cash; "Another Brick In The Wall (parts 1, 2, & 3)" by Pink Floyd]

Describe the use of metaphor in today's tunes.  What does the figurative language signify?  Is this more effective than simple, literal/denotative descriptions?  Why?

1. Journal
2. Vocab
3. Credit conundrum
4. Thesis statements & Canterbury Tales

1. Definitions & sentences/narrative for Vocab #7 (TBP after 5th)
2. In a post entitled SO MY MAIN POINT WAS please articulate your thesis for Friday's essay (in a clear, brilliant style unencumbered by time and assigned vocabulary)-- due Wednesday 10.9
3. Reminder: begin reading book for Literature Analysis #3

Friday, October 4, 2013

why didn't i think of that?

Michaila Bohard is a genius.  After all we've talked about how you can use your course blogs to establish value and a competitive advantage in admissions processes and scholarship competitions, I didn't think to direct you to include it in the header of your resumes.  Michaila was the only student who did.  Great idea, Michaila!  To the rest of you: do likewise.

october 4

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["The Imperial Death March (Darth Vader's Theme)" by John Williams]

This test will be hard.  Are you up for the challenge?  Answer as fast as you can; you're going to need every second we've got.

1. Journal

1. In a post entitled IF I JUST HAD MORE TIME explain how you could improve your preparation for and/or performance on today's midterm
2. Select a book from the AP Reading list for Literature Analysis #3 

we're invited to a stanford course on social media

We have a unique opportunity to collaborate with students in Howard Rheingold's (more about Howard here) Social Media Issues course at Stanford University.  Please see the email exchange below and feel free to click into collaboration (for convenience the course hub is here and the fishbowl forum is here).  Ideas and questions welcome in the comment thread.

your insight appreciated

The wise ones fashioned speech with their thoughts, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve. -Buddha

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare an impromptu speech.
-Mark Twain

I'm writing a speech for this conference, where I'll be appearing with these people.  It's impressive company and I hope to start the day well (I go on at 8:30 A.M.).  Here's my outline so far:

  • My journey from the classroom (as a student) to the classroom (as a teacher)
  • The mysteries of learning & consciousness
  • Intellectual freedom, exploratory play, and learning in the wild
  • My role: from anthropologist to hacker
  • Information Age zeitgeist-- context [market dynamics, politics, Common Core] and how networked awareness and community have amplified and accelerated Open Source Learning
  • Brief history of OSL and ongoing evolution (with examples from courses, blogs, student work)
  • Where I thought it would lead 
  • Where it has led/is leading
  • [Here's where I turn the screen/s off]
  • The value of interpersonal communication
  • Implications for individuals, institutions, communities, and economies
  • Announcing the first Open Source Learning campuses and school district
  • Call to action: how to form an Open Source Learning community, become an Open Source Learning adviser/partner, & support Open Source Learning around the world
I've written and delivered more than a few speeches in my time, but things are different now.  Everything I do in Open Source Learning is transparent and inclusive-- I work with a network of learning colleagues every day to create curriculum, implement effective strategies and set individual goals, and together we analyze/evaluate each path of inquiry.  We even build amazing tools for each other to help us learn.  In that spirit, I'd like your input on this talk: is there anything you think is especially important for this audience to hear or understand about what we do or how we do it?  Anything else you want innovative leaders in education to know about your experiences in school, learning, or life?  Please share in a comment; all questions and ideas welcome.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

collaborative working group: random absence mentoring blog is LIVE

It lives here, and it is awesome.  Thank you Lisa & Random Absence Mentors  (For easy reference if you miss class, click on the Assignments page.)

october 3

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters; "On the Road to Find Out" by Cat Stevens; "Further On Up the Road" by Eric Clapton]

How do you know when you're on the right track? (Don't just treat this as gut intuition; imagine being asked by a 4th grader who is looking up at you with wide eyes, hoping for a clue that will give her a road map to better learning and decision-making.)

1. Journal
2. We're gonna need a bigger boat
3. New course-oriented Collaborative Working Groups: graphics, video, & (credit where it's due) P2P evaluation
4. Uploading stories to the etherpad
5. Vocab review & literature analysis #2

1. Upload your group's story if you haven't yet
2. Vocab midterm tomorrow
3. Literature Analysis #2 due tomorrow

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

in precisely 3 minutes...

There will be a clue about the destination.  It will be on my Twitter feed @prestonlearning.

And, in 7 minutes, it will disappear.

calling all authors

This just in from Connor and Lissette: tomorrow at lunch there will be a meeting for National Novel Writing Month authors.  Please comment to this post and/or let us know in class if you'll be there.  Mahalo. 

october 2

JOURNAL TOPIC: [today's tunes: "Travelin' Prayer" by Billy Joel; "In A Big Country" by Big Country]

In the tale you read, would you say that the traveler made the trip or the trip made the traveler?

1. Journal
2. Presentations: Tales
3. Upload group stories to the etherpad
4. Identify the location described below and write the story of how your characters discussed and solved the riddle (or collaborated with another group, or gave up and hoped for more clues) and made the trip from your destination to THE destination:

Hi diddle diddle,
It's time for a favorite riddle:
The entrance to Thebes is not for plebes.
You have a choice but only one voice
And talking to stone makes you feel quite alone
Biddle o'skiddle play fiddle.

1.  Post THE COMPARISON'S TALE to your blog, in which you explain how at least one of the tales you learned about from other groups shared Chaucer's choices of style/theme/tone with the tale your group read.
2. (Reminder) Vocab midterm Friday
3. (Reminder) Literature analysis #2 due Friday

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

the best way to get lost

Kudos to Kylie for pointing out that lost can also mean being in a state of flow, i.e., so engrossed in a pursuit that all context melts away.  Nice. 

canterbury tales

Here is a link to the full text in multiple formats. Also, here.

dancing statistics

Sometimes it's useful to learn a skill or concept using a completely different conceptual framework.  Last year Christa Weston did a great research paper on learning literature through visual art.  Below is a video that teaches statistics through dance (more links here):

october 1

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["Let's Get Lost" by Chet Baker; "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin; "Can't Find My Way Home" by Blind Faith]

Today one of your characters will get lost.  This will be disorienting and stressful, but in finding his/her way this character will discover something about him/herself.  Describe a time you got lost.  How did you respond?  Why is this such a disconcerting experience, and what can it teach us?  What did it teach you?

1. Journal
2. Didn't know which vocabulary list to study last night?  (Hint: Midterm Oct 4.  Answer: All of them.)
3. Get lost
4. Pick a Canterbury tale for your group to read and present tomorrow in class

1. Read the Canterbury tale your group chose and post a summary to your blog (title: TALE OF A CANTERBURY TALE).  In addition to summarizing, answer the following questions: 1. Explain the central character of the tale by analyzing five (5) examples of indirect characterization; 2. What is Chaucer's purpose in telling this character's tale?  Is he satirizing society, giving the voiceless a voice, or trying to accomplish a different goal?  [Support your argument with textual evidence.]
2. Study vocabulary (midterm Friday)
3. Work on literature analysis #2 (due Friday)

random absence mentoring forum

The Google group forum for Random Absence Mentoring lives here.  As I just discovered, you have to be a member to see/participate.  For more information please contact Lisa.