Monday, November 24, 2008

Women's Brains


Finish reading Women's Brains by Stephen Jay Gould in our textbooks beginning on page 349.

Then blog Questions for Discussion #1 as well as Questions on Rhetoric and Style # 3, 6, 7, and 9 (these all focus on structure).

Tomorrow, we'll talk more about this essay and have a synthesis timed write (not necessarily in that order). 

Tuesday Night:

Paraphrase and comment on each of the quotes (there are 10, including the briefer quotes in paragraphs 3,13, and 14).  Notice anything?

PS If you didn't complete Career Cruising in class last week, you have an incomplete (0) for the career cruising assignment.  All you need to do is show me you're at 100% and that incomplete magically transforms to a 100% A+ you rock in the grade book.

On Wednesday, we'll address some of your questions about the test format and scoring.

On Thursday, we'll take a break from all this hard work to focus on eating turkey and pumpkin pie, unless of course you're having a traditional Maine Thanksgiving!

On Friday, sleep in and get some exercise to work off all that turkey, pumpkin pie, and lobster.

Friday, November 21, 2008


"midfielder Shelby Hutton saved the game for Fife in the Class 2A girls soccer state semifinals." TNT prep blog.

Good luck tomorrow, ladies!!!

Update: Congratulations ladies!  The Fife girls repeat as state 2A soccer champions!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Missing Persons

All right.  Due to the awesomeness of the girls' soccer and volleyball teams as well as the strong support for those teams, approximately half of both AP classes will have school-related absences tomorrow.  Ergo, I'm scrapping my original plans for Friday. 

We will also move the vocabulary test to Monday.

For those of you that will be here, we'll talk about the next paper and then do something fun.  (We have been working quite hard after all.)   ;) 

For those of you that will not be here, check out your next paper assignment: The Researched Argument Synthesis Paper.  Over the weekend, try to pick the question you will pursue (you have a choice betwen 4 different topic areas and 12 different research/synthesis questions).

Have a wonderful Tolo (and Twilight premier).

Good luck Lady Trojans!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vocab this week

We are on Vocab 4.  As an added bonus this week, our test will also include 5 words from last week's list just for kicks.  Whoo hoo!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Synthesis Thoughts

If, after our discussion in class on Thursday, you are still unsure how to approach a synthesis essay, take a look at the following documents:

Don't forget DGP tomorrow and your vocab test!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Synthesis Paper and Vocabulary

Tomorrow we have off for Veterans' Day.  While you are home, you may wish to begin your paper (we will be in the computer lab on Wednesday, though we'll meet in the classroom first).  As noted before, our paper will be on Entering the Conversation question number 3 on page 787 (in the popular culture conversation section we’ve been working on).  Note that you must use at least three of our conversation sources, though you may also use any of the pop culture essays and articles we've read in class.

Synthesis Paper Requirements:

  • 1200 words

  • MLA format (page style, citations, and works cited page -- see MLA at Owl and Easybib links under the AP heading to the right for help on this)

  • Synthesize at least three sources from the conversation section (other sources are okay, but not required on this essay)

  • Sometime during career cruising, have someone peer review your paper

Due: Thursday, November 20th


  • Remember that your argument is paramount and your sources are there to support you, not the other way around

  • Key notes on Synthesis in our book are in chapter 3, especially the last sentence before the new section on page 62; the paragraph beginning "Sources should enhance" on page 65; and pages 81-85

  • Finish early and revise! When you revise, think about the following:

    • organization

    • how your sources interact with your audience (see p.69 ff.)

    • transitions!

    • remember that this is an argument, it's just one that is both informed and formally supported

  • Write a clear, literate, awesome essay!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Singing in the Rain

While you're cooped up inside with the rain pouring down, you'll likely need something to help occupy your time while you take a break from the Wii or Playstaion.  Well, I've got just the thing.  

Read pages 81-85.  This is some really good stuff on writing a synthesis essay.  When you're done with that, it's time to start thinking about your first synthesis essay.  To that end, read Entering the Conversation question number 3 on page 787 (in the popular culture conversation section we've been working on).  Research what it means and blog what you believe it is asking.  We'll talk about it on Monday and start writing.  Whoo hoo!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sanctuary for Harry Potter

Read Sanctuary: For Harry Potter the Movie in your textbook and do questions 1-7.  Think about your interpretation of this essay before you get to class (you'll have to for #6).

Last year students had a bit of a hard time with this essay so I plan on taking a fair bit of time to discuss it tomorrow.  To that end, you may want to bring your questions with you to class (if you want to turn these in on paper, that's fine).

Synthesis Strategies

Here are the results of the activity we did in class on synthesis essays the other day. Extra credit to those who volunteered to post their group's results.  I've linked what the original AP class did as well for your edification.

Period 2

Period 3

Original AP Class

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What, easy homework again?!


Read pages 69-74 in the textbook.  There is an assignment in there, but don't do it.  It's a good assignment, though.  You can do it if you'd like.  No, you can't have extra credit if you do it; the gains in knowledge and skills should be reward enough.  :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We have a new president!

The first African American has been elected to our nation's highest office.  Incredible.  This is an historic day.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

We've looked at several speeches so far this year and we heard a couple of good ones tonight.

Having just studied JFK's inaugural address, parts of Barack Obama's acceptance speech jumped out to me as being very Kennedy-esque.  Though it had strong echoes to JFK, it was also very much his own in tone.  I was rather impressed, but I'm interested to know what you think.

For those of you watching tonight, you also heard a very gracious concession speech by John McCain that struck a very different tone to what he put forth during the final month or so of the campaign.

Election Night!

There is no homework tonight!!!! 

Whatever happens tonight, we will elect either the first black person to the presidency or the oldest first-term president and the first female VP to the white house. 

This is big

It was only 90 years ago that women were jailed and beaten for picketing to get the vote.  As recent as the 1960's, there are documented cases of black people being lynched in America. 

For a black man to be on the cusp of becoming our president is huge.  For a woman to become the vice president is really big.  This is the type of thing you will tell your kids and grand kids about.  I'm old... You betcha!

Aside from all the issues in this election, how much this election means for the direction of our country, this election is one for the history books. 

Don't miss it. 

Watch history being made tonight.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Using Sources

In our textbook, read pages 62-68.  Blog the questions for the assignment.

Much of learning how to use sources well is about feel.  Pay attention to how sources are used in the sample essay in the assignment.  Most of us learn this skill through seeing examples of how professional writers did it and struggling through the hard work of making it sound right.  Oh, and it helps if you check out your sources so you don't end up quoting the website of a 5th grade science class.  :)

Vocab 2

Don't forget DGP.  A test cometh...