Welcome back! Fresh from Flagstaff with a measure of professional fulfillment, inspiration has struck to makeover the page. Special kudos to the webmaster-wife in this effort! Sorry to those of you who struggle with shifting (and shifty) internets.
Please continue to use the site as you normally would – Odyssey posts are directly below, and past Remind messages are now accessed through the tabs at the top. Off to Ithaca!
The annual Shakespeare commemoration (although, really, here’s it’s pretty much every day) is marked in this edition with a beautiful, sad song and a funny graphic adaptation of class favorite Romeo and Juliet.
From last year’s Shakespeare Live! from the Royal Shakespeare Company (aired on BBC), here is Gregory Porter singing “When that I was and a little tiny boy (With hey, ho, the wind and the rain)” from Twelfth Night, Act 5, Scene 1.
The number one request in wishlists sent to Mr. Earnshaw’s North Pole Classroom Blog? More videos from Bob’s Buskers (from Bob’s Burgers)! So here you go – the National, a Christmas Tree, and a message we can all get behind. Stay warm, students and friends; happy holidays!
This year, I hope to share with you a set of video traditions that have already taken a special place in the hearts of my family, as I’m sure they will in yours. Of course, they are mostly about food, but be sure to set time aside for that family talking and activities kind of stuff. There are only so many Thanksgivings.
Now back to food. Eat it, even if you don’t like it. Put it on your plate. Thank you food bringers for caring enough to bring anything. Bob’s Burgers says it best:
And it’s been covered by the National!
That turkey should not die in vain.
Maybe it’s the gravy that really sets your family Thanksgiving apart. Bob’s Burgers and The National are here to help us again!
And if you’re still needing to satisfy your family’s quirkiness or willingness to try it all, go Ron Swanson. If you’ve already satisfied yourself with “the Swanson” – a turkey leg wrapped in bacon – maybe try one of Nick Offerman’s home recipes:
Enjoy! Best of luck today, tomorrow (for the bold fools who will Black Friday), and this weekend. See you Monday!
Last night, the third (and final) Presidential Debate was held a few blocks down from me at UNLV, and I’m happy to say that I survived with no more than a smattering of harsh words heard.
In case you’ve forgotten, this is my preferred candidate for the time being:
Putting that behind us (and not soon enough) – Well done, everyone! I didn’t get any notice (yet) from concerned individuals – parents or administration – so I can only assume that all is good. I will be traveling back homeward near the end of the week, and will resume gradebook updating and responding to queries early next week. If you have any questions or items that I should note, please consider leaving me a note in the turn-in tray, which should be filled with:
9th: “The Interlopers” WS, Peter and the Wolf Viewer’s Guide, “Gray Area” graphic organizers, and the Wolf Writing Constructed Response (as well as any missing TKAM items).
12th: Unit 1 Projects, with reflective essay and rubrics attached, leaving me a note if your project didn’t fit in the bin, or was digital upon completion. All of the Unit 1 (Beowulf and Canterbury)items should be in as well.
1010: Playing Devil’s Advocate graphic organizer, Toulmin Model organizers, Character Cards, and any notes or relevant votes pertaining to the Town Hall.
Congrats, again, everybody! Start planning your Halloween costume if you haven’t already (like some of us did back in July) – the costume contest will be in one week, on the 27th of October!
And on that final pic, good gourd, you shall dance into the weekend. Woot!
Hey, hey Wednesday! I’ll be brief, as your Remind text probably sent you here while you should be getting ready for school. Skim through these notes while you slug that skim milk.
Just kidding – no one should drink skim milk:
9th: Important goings on in class today! But first: Werewolf socks!
Okay, now that that’s covered – your own Wolf Week continues in class today, involving group collaboration to synthesize (Vocab! see the board’s Thinking Strategy poster) some article pieces from the Casper Star Tribune in 2015.
There are photos and links to help each group, but especially pertaining to those of you in Group 3 for the Timeline, which has a much larger version available through the article.
12th: It’s your final official work day for Unit 1 Projects, so make some magic happen! Or else.
1010: Today’s the day for your Town Hall! Unless you want to do it tomorrow. Whatever works – it’s your class. Just live in that character card, keep your manners clean, and don’t be throwing anything besides carefully considered arguments and objections.
Woot! Made it in one piece. I trust that your Monday was most marvelous, even if you had to go a whole day without my judgmental, raisedeyebrow.
Before the reminders, just a note – please feel free to reach out to me this week through the school e-mail or the Remind App. As I warned you, I will be away from grading this week, but I can still hear your questions, updates, and arguments as to why you should get extra credit/Vegas goodies/Time and Space considerations, etc.
On to your shameless check-ins!
9th: Did you enjoy Peter and the Wolf?! I love it. Make sure your Viewer’s Guide notes are in by the end of the week, or else you’ll be seeing this face when I get back in.
12th: How did I miss this opportunity last week in our Arthurian adventures?!
Maybe it fits into your Unit 1 Project on the cultural legacy of Arthur in British Literature. Or you can just get Guy Richie’s Sherlock Holmes treatment on this year too, in pre-medieval times. With monsters!
1010: Is the snark boiling over in class yet this week?! Keep it respectful, but get ready to amp up your character cards in that Town Hall. For some additional help, here’s a link to the original article’s comment section on The Atlantic. Maybe you’ll get some good arguments to try in class! I haven’t previewed them all of course, so I do not condone any comments by trolls you may find.
Read Neil Gaiman’s Troll Bridge instead. Read anything by Neil Gaiman. Everything.
That’s it! Stay tuned for tomorrow, and keep at it!
It’s mid-October again! Time to repost some “Magicke Moste Foule”. Sadly, I won’t be with you in this most wonderful week – what with 9th graders contending with wolves, Brit. Lit. finishing their pilgrimage to Canterbury, and the 1010 peeps playing Devil’s Advocate – out am I making conferencing! Just because I can’t be with you doesn’t mean I’m not here to help. All week, I will send you updates from my conference, and give you an opportunity to check in with me about assignments and other nonesuch. Be good to your sub, and check in every day for bonus items and reminders.
It’s the season of suspenseful storytelling, with an emphasis on imaginative yarns and wanderings through folklore. Here are some of the resources from class, by your request, that captured through digital wizardry (a most mysterious magic) the senses, tales, and spine-tingling thrills of the school year in October.
9th – Intro to Literature: This week, you’ve got suspenseful wolf texts to read and watch. All worksheets and reading notes will be due at the end of class Thursday. Today it’s “The Interlopers” – if you don’t finish in class, you can find the story online or pick up a print copy in the classroom. Also, because it’s the song you can’t escape from, no matter how far the river takes you, here’s “The Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae. Look for the wolves in the lyrics!
Perhaps one of the greatest music videos out there, not least of which in the terrible joy of ambiguity.
Brit. Lit: You’re finishing Unit 1 this week, with an emphasis on what this unit does for our class. Why study Early and Middle English? Answer this question with your impressive project, due Thursday. In today’s class you met Death – don’t incur another visit by turning in that project late! Remember: project reflective essay, rubric. All due Thursday!
For those of you looking for more Chaucer inspiration, here’s “The Canterbury Tales: Part I”, from Christmas Films, Pizzazz Pictures, and Right Angle.
These episodes aired on the BBC in 1998-2000, excerpting highlights from Chaucer with inventive animation swings. Not for the faint-hearted or tidy-minded, but then, a lot of the fun stuff from different historical eras isn’t.
ENGL 1010: Oh, my eggheaded darlings. I haven’t forgotten you. If you think I have, let’s play Devil’s Advocate about it! That’s your goal this week, and to help you poke holes in arguments you don’t like, we won’t just shout “WRONG!” or console ourselves with “That’s your opinion”. Get logical! Here’s the link to our favorite Book of Bad Arguments. Sometimes the best way to be right is simply being less wrong – point out those fallacies in your content this week!
Every year, the last week in September becomes the focal point for a concerted effort to celebrate the freedom to read. In this country, the First Amendment’s right to free speech must contend with a long history of censorship – promoted by individuals, organizations, and government. Banned Books Week is organized by the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and a host of non-profits, publishers, and legal defense funds. It is supported by myself, among much of the reading world, and, through this week’s Extra Credit opportunity, by you!
Reasons why books are often challenged (Resources from the Huffington Post, in 2012 and 2014)
A checklist of frequently challenged books – check off as many as you’ve read!
C) Compose a 1 page essay (typed – 12pt font, TNR, double-spaced) on To Kill a Mockingbird as a challenged book. Why (and where/when) has it frequently been challenged? What might be ironic about wanting this book censored? What is your reflection on reading the book – how might you oppose or defend a challenge to this book at our school?
Whichever option you choose, it must be submitted by the end of the week, Friday, September 30. To be eligible, you must follow the requirements for each option, as well as aim for professional quality (Mom would put it on the fridge, and so would I!). Successful efforts will be awarded 20pts, and above-average efforts 30pts (each option is worth more than a homework assignment!). If nothing else, you can celebrate this week by finishing TKAM, and moving on to a new book which, having been published, probably has found someone to challenge it by now!