Monday, April 29, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 30, 2013

Please meet in the C-22 computer lab today.

Focus: Starting to create your film!

1. Warm-up: Meet Windows Movie Maker!

Can you...

  • Import an image?
  • Create a text slide
  • Import a video?
  • Import music?
  • Layer narration, music, and images?

2. Finishing your script and making a plan for recording it

3. Starting to gather images and create text slides for your mockumentary



1. Assigned book club reading.
2. Finish your script and get it recorded by this Friday.

Friday, April 26, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 29, 2013

Focus: Developing your mockumentary script and your book club website

Class, Part I

1. Warm-up: Listening to an opening clip from a "real" documentary
What do you notice about the script itself (powerful words and phrases)?
How does the script turn this into a movie about us? In other words, how does it capture human interest?
What ideas can you steal for your mockumentary?

2. Developing the script for your mockumentary

Brief Intermission

Class, Part II

3. Creating websites for your book clubs

Two possible web applications for your website: and Google sites

Criteria for your website:
Remember that this website will be how you share all of your book club work with me.  Your website grade will be your culminating grade for this unit.

    First names of group members (no last names, please).
    Title and author of book club book

You will need separate links/pages within your website for the following items:

1. Statement of purpose: Who are you, and why are you creating this site?
2. Group expectations (created last week)
3. Characterization activity (description of assignment and link to it and the product you created, whether it was a series of brains or a discussion)
4. Setting activity
5. Motif activity
6. Theme activity
7. Book-film comparison

Please e-mail your website link before the end of class.

1. Assigned book club reading
2. Your big,big task of the week: Finish your script and record your narration by Friday.

All Boys, All Blogged: April 26, 2013

Focus: Developing the script for your mockumentary

Class ends at 8:11 am today (spring assembly).

1. Warm-up: Listening to an opening clip from a "real" documentary

What do you notice about the script itself (powerful words and phrases)?
How does the script turn this into a movie about us? In other words, how does it capture human interest?
What ideas can you steal for your mockumentary?

2. Offering a few thoughts about the script:
It should have a powerful opening and closing.
It needs smooth transitions between years/events.
This is a great place to show off your creative voice; choose your words carefully.
You need to have it written out EXACTLY as it will be narrated.

3. Time to finish your timeline and work on your script.

1. Finish your timeline before tomorrow morning and make sure it's shared with me.
2. Continue working on your script.
3. Assigned book club reading.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 25, 2013

Focus: Transforming your timeline into a script

1. Warm-up: Listening to the openings from two "real" mock/documentaries:

Example #1: Remember Epic?
Example #2: Supersize Me

Your task: As you listen, describe the opening of each script, typing up powerful words, phrases, and tactics.

2. Finishing your timeline (please be sure to share it with me)

3. Composing a rough draft of your script with a focus on your script's opening

I will walk around and show you the grades you have been receiving so far on your 
mockumentary preparation work.

1. Timeline must be finished and shared with me before the weekend.

2. Assigned book film club reading.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 24, 2013

Focus: Exploring characterization in your book-film clubs

1. Warm-up: Thinking about your most memorable characters

2. Quickly overviewing your daily group focus grade (see handout)

3. Meeting with your book clubs to discuss CHARACTERS!

a. Click HERE  for Option #1

b. Click HERE for Option #2

(Feel free to mix and match Options 1 and 2)

4. If time allows, start setting up a website for your book club and e-mail me the address.

1. Assigned book club reading
2. Continue working on your mockumentary timeline (due before the weekend).

Monday, April 22, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 23, 2013

ACT: Class Ends at 11:53 Today

Focus: Diving into your book film club books

1. Warm-up: Quickly finishing our reading calendars

TURN IN SIGNED PROPOSALS (or grab A Separate Peace and start reading)

2. Reading our books to prepare for tomorrow

Advice from my seniors on group work:

  • Don't be THAT guy.
  • Delegate the work and make sure each member knows what he's in charge of.
  • Try to fix it yourself before going to the teacher.

1. Assigned book club reading

2. Mockumentary timeline and script (Thursday and Friday will be work days)

Friday, April 19, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 22, 2013

Focus: Setting up expectations for book-film clubs

Please have out your signed book club proposals and book club books.

1. Warm-up: Final banned book presentations


2. Warm-up: What would you do if...

2. Establishing in-class and out-of-class expectations for your club; after receiving my approval, please print and sign them.

Outside of class:
Work Ethic: How much time should we spend on reading each night?  What do we need to do as we read?  What is our division of labor (writing prompts, discussion questions, activities)?

Accountability: What happens of some members of our group drop the ball?  Forget their book?  Don’t finish the assigned reading?  How do we prevent ugly situations?  How do we enforce the expectations?
In class:
Work Ethic: What are our expectations for discussion? How do we plan to spend class time?

Accountability: What happens if two of us (or all of us) starting losing our focus?  What happens if the bell rings and we haven’t accomplished everything we were supposed to do?

3. Setting up your reading calendar for the next three weeks (see Google calendar)

4. Creating your Google site and/or wikispace and/or other website for your book club

1. Assigned book club reading for Wednesday; BRING YOUR BOOK TOMORROW FOR READING TIME.

2. Please be here by 11:25 tomorrow and bring your banned book; you will have a banned book reading day.  If you do not have your signed proposal by tomorrow,  you will be reading A Separate Peace (a school-approved book) for the entire book film club unit.

3. Continue working on your timeline and script for your mockumentary.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 19, 2013

Focus: Planning your schedule for next year (and beyond...)

1. Meet in the Forum, and be prepared to take notes and ask questions.

2. If time allows, return to the classroom to work on schedules and set up reading schedules.

3. Be sure to turn in your essay during class time this morning.

1. Bring your book-film club book and your signed proposal to class on Monday.
2. Talk to your parents about the classes you plan to take next year.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 18, 2013

Focus: Combining your ability to invent with your ability analyze history

1. A quick warm-up: Which projection into the future is stronger and why?

Projection #1: In the year 2021, Apple releases a new version of iPod that is smaller, comes in various colors and patterns, and can be worn as jewelry.

Projection #2: In the year 2021, Apple releases iChip 1, an iPod that measures one millimeter by one millimeter and can be implanted directly into the tympanic cavity of the ear.  Although the iChip has to be surgically implanted, it is an outpatient procedure costing less than a typical professional teeth whitening session. Many recipients of the iChip 1, however, complain about the inability to turn the iChip off, finding themselves tormented by constant noise and unable to think or concentrate.

2. A few reminders:

  • Look at yesterday's essay checklist before turning in your essay.
  • Please get your parent's signatures on your proposals by tomorrow so that we can get started!
  • Go directly to the Forum tomorrow; be prepared to take notes and ask questions.
  • Final banned book presentations will take place this Monday, April 22.

3. Working on your mockumentaries: Finishing your timeline and starting your script

Finishing your timeline should be your big goal of the day since we will not be working on your mockumentary tomorrow, and you will have only two workdays next week.

2. Bring your book-film club books to class tomorrow.
3. Get your parents' signatures on your proposals ASAP.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 17, 2013

Focus: Analyzing your trend and projecting its future

1. Turning in early bird essays?  Who's with me?

Before you turn it in, please check the following:

  • Is it clean (i.e. free of peer editing comments, brainstorming, etc.)?
  • Is it double spaced?
  • Is it in 12-point font?
  • Does it have an original title?
  • Does it have a proper MLA heading?
  • Are your citations correct?
  • Are the titles of Fahrenheit 451 and The Truman Show italicized?

2. Announcement: We will be meeting in the Forum this Friday, April 19 to receive important scheduling information from the counselors.

This means that all remaining presentations will be pushed back to Monday, April 22.

3. Working on your mockumentaries with the goal of finishing your timeline today

1. Finish your timeline and share it with me if you did not finish in class.
2. Purchase your book-film club book by this Friday and bring it with you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 16, 2013

Focus: Laying the foundation for your mockumentaries

1. Warm-up: Checking in with Ms. Leclaire

2. Working on the early steps of the mockumentary:

  • Past due: How/why charts
  • Due immediately: Research (5 article minimum; remember to annotate)
  • Upcoming: The timeline and script!

1. Tomorrow is the early bird deadline for your essay.  Please e-mail me or stop in if you need help with any part of your essay.

2. Make sure your how/why chart and research are shared with me ASAP.  Continue working on your timeline.

3. Purchase (or check out from the library) your book film club book by Friday.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 15, 2013

Focus: Making final revisions to your synthesis essays

Say hello to Mrs. Makovsky!

1. Warm-up: Reviewing the rubric (feel to ask Mrs. Makosvsky or e-mail your questions to me)

2. Editing TWO peer essays using the rubric:
  • Once you have figured out who is editing which essay, it should be QUIET in the classroom so that everyone may concentrate.  You may listen to music using headphones if you wish.
  • You should leave your feedback directly on the Google doc so that I can see it.

  • You need to comment on every single item on the rubric; this is why good editing takes a while (you should be spending at least 20 minutes on each essay).

3. Revising your essay based on peer feedback

1. Finish revising your essay.  Remember that WEDNESDAY is the early bird deadline, and FRIDAY is the final deadline.

2. Purchase your book-film club book by this Friday.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 12, 2013

Focus: Laying the groundwork for your mockumentaries

Say hello to Mrs. Boldman!  Get some good work done on your mockumentaries today, and enjoy!

1. Completing your how-why chart; please see blue packet for the example and follow it closely.  Share it with me via Google docs when you finish it (label it, "How/Why Chart" and make sure it has an MLA heading).

2. Starting on your research; remember that you need at least FIVE articles, and you must annotate them.  Again, see blue packet for an example.  When you finish researching and annotating, please share it with me via Google docs (label it, "Annotated Research," and give it an MLA heading).

1. Please finish your how/why chart AND annotated research by Tuesday at the latest.

2. Work on your synthesis essay rough draft; make as many revisions as you can before Monday so that it's in its very, very best shape for the final day of editing.

3. Purchase your book film club book by next Friday, April 19.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 11, 2013

Focus: Introducing yourself to the mockumentary

Please make sure your complete rough draft has been shared with me at the following address:

1. Collecting book-film club proposals and taking a quick glimpse at the rest of the semester

2. Enjoying a few sample mockumentaries from years past and perusing the overview

3. Brainstorming topics and forming your how/why chart

4. Making a plan for Friday and Monday

1. Continue today's mockumentary work; by the end of Friday, please complete your how/why chart and at least half of your annotated research.

2. Monday will be the last day of editing for your comparative essays; make sure your rough draft is carefully proofread and is in its very best shape before Monday.  Have an adult (or a very smart friends) proofread it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 10, 2013

Focus: Editing, revising, and drafting your body paragraphs


  • The make-up day for presentations will be one week from this Friday, on Friday, April 19.
  • Make sure your outlines and rough drafts are shared with me.  If they're not, I am assuming you have not done them.  Please keep them together on a single document.
  • Complete rough drafts are due tomorrow, and they are worth 50 points.  Late work will be penalized 10 points a day, and it is your responsibility to make sure your rough draft is shared with me on time.
  • Please see my feedback on your essays so far. 

1. Warm-up: Introduction to conclusions

Sample conclusion from first semester:

The call can leave a hero asking himself what he can do, and accepting that call can lead to trials that he wasn’t ready for. The hero must accept the call and go through the trials that face him. Amir from The Kite Runner and Batman from the Batman Begins have both become heroes; in the end Amir saves Sorhab from a life of abuse, and Amir learns something about himself in the process. Batman saves Gotham by stopping Raz Agouls’ ultimate scheme and freeing the people of Gotham from certain death. These heroes both accept the call, and rise to the trials they face ahead. That is why these are the two most important parts of a hero’s journey,as a hero is made not in a day but instead through a lifetime of choosing the right path, no matter how treacherous that path may be.

2. Who needs to edit, who needs to revise, and who needs to draft (and who needs to do all three)?  Quiet time for getting your drafts into excellent shape for tomorrow

1. Complete rough draft is due tomorrow.
2. Book proposals are also due.

Friday, April 5, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 8, 2013

Focus: Editing the introduction and first body paragraph

1. Warm-up: Quick deconstruction of the introduction

2. Peer editing each other's introductions

Does the opening sentence grab your attention WITHOUT asking a question?

Does the middle of the introduction introduce the book and film?  Does it give enough information?  Does it give too much?

Does the introduction transition smoothly into the thesis statement?

Is the thesis the very last sentence of the introduction?

3. Quick deconstruction of the body paragraph; peer editing each other's body paragraphs (see PPT)

4. Taking to time to make revisions to your introduction and body paragraph; start composing your second body paragraph

1. Edited introduction, edited first body paragraph, and rough second body paragarph are due WEDNESDAY.
2. Complete rough draft (edited introduction, 1st body paragraph, 2nd body paragraph, and rough conclusion) is due THURSDAY.
3. Book-film club proposal (green sheet) is due THURSDAY; remember that you do not yet need your parent's signature on this.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 5, 2013

Focus: To ban or not to ban...that is the question

1. Warm-up: Quickly exploring and breaking down the introduction and first body paragraph

2. Finishing our banned book persuasive speeches

A few reminders:
a. You need to turn in ONE of your filled out purple rubrics to me for a listening grade if you have not done so.
b. You should give the remaining purple rubrics directly to the presenters.
c. You are in charge of warm fuzzies only; in other words, tell the presenter specifically what he did well and leave the criticism to me.

1.  All make-up work needs to be submitted to me by the end of the day.  If you have already e-mailed me but I have rudely ignored you, don't worry; I will change your grade this weekend.

2. INTRODUCTION AND FIRST BODY PARAGRAPH ARE DUE MONDAY. You need to finish your outline before you start drafting these.  Make sure your thesis statement, topic sentences, outline (if it's typed), and paragraphs are together on a single document that has been shared with me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 4, 2013

Focus: Turning your outline into a rough draft

1. Warm-up: Which quote is better?  Finding the right match for YOU!

Pretend this is the topic sentence of your first body paragraph (thanks, Adam):

Both Sylvia and Clarisse help show the main characters that there is a different way to life by telling them what is not the right way of living.

Which example from The Truman Show would work better for this paragraph?

*When Truman holds the slicer/dicer/can opener up to Meryl's throat
*When Sylvia and Truman run down the hill and stand right by the ocean

Gold star: What could you analyze in this example?

Which quotation from F451 would work better for this paragraph?

*When Clarisse asks Montag, "Are you happy?" (Bradbury 10)

*When Montag broods over Clarisse's question, thinking to himself, "Of course I'm happy. What does she think? I'm not? he asked the quiet rooms. He stood looking up at the ventilator grille in the hall and suddenly remembered that something lay hidden behind the grille, something that seemed to peer down at him now" (Bradbury 10).

Gold star: What could you analyze in this example?

2. Finishing your outline if you have not finished it yet

I will start checking them off today, and I will continue to give you feedback via Google docs (or a good ole fashioned conversation).

3. Drafting your introduction and first body paragraph

Please see the sample introduction and first body paragraph at the bottom of this post (it was written by one of you last semester!).

1. Final round of persuasive speeches tomorrow
2. Tomorrow is the end of 12 weeks; make sure you have submitted all make-up work.
3. A COMPLETE rough draft of your introduction and first body paragraph are due Monday.  If you didn't have your outline done in class today, I will be checking those as well.

Sample introduction and first body paragraph from last semester:

A hero is not made in a day. Instead, it is a lifelong struggle. Heroes define themselves by their actions. They accept the call to action and go through the most difficult trials to train and prepare themselves for the difficulties they will face. A powerful hero, such as Amir from The Kite Runner, is one who accepts his call to adventure and faces many trials. Similarly, Bruce Wayne from The Batman Trilogy must bravely carry out his responsibility to save Gotham and endures battle after battle to do so. Both Amir from The Kite Runner and Bruce Wayne from The Batman Trilogy take these two significant steps, showing that compelling heroes will accept the call no matter what trials that they may face, known and unknown, because this is what defines their bravery.

Many people in their daily lives may be called to action, but whether one accepts or refuses the call will define one as a true hero; Amir and Batman are no exception to this. With the call to action, there often comes bad news or horrible events. Amir gets the call when he is told by Rahim Khan some news that he does not want to hear or even know. But after reconciling it in his head, he returns to Rahim Khan’s apartment. Amir reveals, “Then I told him I was going to Kabul. Told him to call the Caldwells in the morning” (Hosseni 227). Amir has to spend time reconciling in his head why it is worth going back to the land that has haunted his dreams. Although he doesn't understand why Rahim Khan refuses to just hire someone to go in and get the boy, Rahim Khan is a close family friend. Amir knows that his father would wish him to help. Also, Amir finally realizes that this is finally his call to be a true man by standing up for the friend he let down so many years ago. So he accepts the call, not knowing that he is now embarking on a journey to become a hero, a man who understands his place in the world. Batman’s call to action, however, is much different. Batman is called to action to fight crime when he is a child. A man with a gun threatens his parents and then shoots them both. This call just sits in the back of his head for many years. For years he thinks about how can he get back at the man that killed the people he loved. But that man is shot before he can do the job himself. The call is then re-ignited when he realizes that the League of Shadows, the ninja clan that has been training him, is corrupt. He burns down their domain, symbolizing that he is ridding himself of other's laws. The fire symbolizes the death of his former life but the birth and acceptance of his new life as a hero--as Batman. These two heroes are called to take action. They realize the importance and the devastating effects that would ensue if they refused the call. Answering the call is the only way to start the journey.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 3, 2013

Focus: Finish laying the groundwork for your synthesis essays

1. Warm-up: Save my topic sentences! I need two brave volunteers--one who feels pretty good about his topic sentences, and one who is in desperate need of help.

2. Continue editing your thesis and topic sentences

3. Working on your outlines

Remember that you can either type your outline or handwrite it in the orange packet; either way, be sure to follow the exact format of the orange packet so that you don't accidentally forget anything.

1. Finish your outline before the beginning of class tomorrow.
2. Remember that this Friday is the end of 12 weeks; please submit any make-up work before then.
3. The final persuasive essays are taking place this Friday.
4. Think about which book you will be reading for your book-film club; you'll be making a final decision over the weekend.

Monday, April 1, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: April 2, 2013

Focus: Laying the organizational groundwork for your essay

1. Warm-up: Introducing you to book clubs!  Overview, letter, and time to browse

2. Google sharing your thesis statements and getting peer feedback

Is it clear (well-worded and easy to understand)?
Is it specific (mentions specific characters, symbols, titles, and problems/solutions)?
Is it debatable (makes an argument instead of merely summarizing what happens)?
Is it provable (can be backed up by examples from both texts)?

3. Putting your thesis to work in your outline; composing topic sentences

1. Continue working on outline; completed outline is due this Thursday at the beginning of class.
2. Start thinking about which book you want to read for your book club.
3. Remember that all make-up work is due this Friday, April 5 (end of 12 weeks).
4. Final persuasive speeches this Friday.