Monday 1/29/18

Hello friends and welcome to the new school year!
Some of the classes are being shortened because of an extended homeroom; therefore, 4th period will accomplish more than 1st. Here is a truncated version of the day's agenda:
  • Seating chart
  • Cell phone policy: If students have less than three cell phone violations per week, they will have the last 20 minutes of class on Friday to enjoy themselves. If a person receives three violations on his/her on, I will contact his/her parents.
  • Notebook set up
  • Syllabus
  • Class rules
  • Comment Box (Looks like Darth Vader's head)
  • Food and Drinks in the room
  • Next, students wrote a paragraph to the very best of their abilities which will be used as baseline data. The paragraph was based on one of the following five Metacognitive questions. (This will also be a part of the students' Metacognitive Projects.)

1. How am I going to actively monitor my learning in this course?

2. Why is it important to learn the material in this course?

3. How does success in this course relate to my career goals?

4. What do I most want to learn in this course?

5. What do I want to be able to do by the end of this course?

  • After answering their question, students with the same question moved into groups and shared their responses and took notes from their peers' good ideas.

Tuesday 1/30/18
  • Today, students answered the remaining Metacognitive questions from the day before. They moved into groups with people that did not have their original question, and everyone shared his/her responses.
  • Next, we discussed their results as a class.
  • Following this, I introduced the Post Card Project. It will be our getting to know you activity for the semester. Here, students were asked to come up with five boards that answer the following questions:
  1. What is your name?
  2. What is something that you care deeply about (not your friends, family, or pets)?
  3. What is something that you have accomplished that you are really proud of?
  4. What is something that you would like to accomplish?
  5. What is something that no one knows about you (or almost no one)?
  • Each board is worth 20 points and will be graded on neatness, color, having a boarder, and creativity.
  • To earn credit, the Post Card Project must be presented to the class.

Wednesday 1/31/18
  • Today, students were given a formal introduction to the Vocabulary Unit. They also received their first set of six vocabulary words.
  • After vocab, students were given the remainder of class to finish their Post Card Projects. Only 1st period will have any time to work on these in class tomorrow, and they will only receive 15 minutes. Presentations should last today and tomorrow. Once these are finished, we will begin with the real academics of the class.

Thursday 2/1/18
  • We began class with a review of the new vocabulary words from yesterday. Don't forget that images are due tomorrow!
  • Next, students began presenting their Post Card Projects. This is one of my favorite days of the year. It is always interesting to learn about different sides of the students that don't always come up in the academic setting.

Friday 2/2/18
  • We started with students showing off their vocab images.
  • Next, we finished the majority of Post Card Projects.
  • The classes stayed off of their cell phones this week and earned the last 20 minutes of the day to do what they wanted.
  • Again, with the "getting to know you" activities out of the way, we will be buckling down with the academics next week.

Monday 2/5/18
  • Today we began our conversation on sentence structure. I passed out the sheet, and we discussed its contents.
  • Next, I reviewed students' vocab sentences.
  • Following this, students moved into groups and edited their sentences.
  • Afterwards, I gave students the metacognitive initial assessment, and we read over the definitions of metacognitive thinking. Their job is to brainstorm at least 10 issues that cause them trouble in the learning process: procrastination, focus, lack of motivation, etc. After the list is complete, students should select the number one issue negatively affecting their learning or success in school.
  • Lastly, the first vocab test is tomorrow--GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday 2/6/18
  • To begin, I collected the Wk 1 Vocab Group Sentences
  • Next, we played the Vocab Game
  • After that, students took their Wk 1 Vocab Test
  • To end, students took out their Metacognitive Brainstorming from last night. Using a computer, they researched and found 7-10 solutions to their issue/problem with learning/school.
  • For homework, students are to select the three best/most implementable strategies to move beyond their issue/problem.

Wednesday 2/7/18
  • First off, students received their new vocab words for week two.
  • Afterwards, I passed out the directions for the Metacognitive Journal Project and went over my expectations. For the next five weeks, students must use at least one of their metacognitive strategies either in class or at home five out of the seven days of the week. Directions on how to document this are in the next bullet point.
  • Next, they were given one of the following questions:
1. What can science teach us?
2. Can there be truths found outside of science?
3. Generate some questions that science can’t answer.
4. Where do we find truths that exist outside of science?
  • After answering their question, they moved into groups with other students that had the same question and discussed their answers. Once all groups had sufficiently worked together, they shared their findings with the class.
  • With the remaining class time, we started the video, Slaying the Dragons within Us, which is a class lecture by Dr. Jordan Peterson which links psychology and mythology and discusses why it is so important to face what you don't understand.


Thursday 2/8/18
  • Students reviewed their vocab words.
  • Next, students read an informational article about chimpanzees (genetically speaking, human beings' closest living relative).
  • After reading the entire article, students were given a handout concerning how to annotate literature. Then they were given a section of the article to annotate.
  • To end class, students watched another 10 minute chunk of the video Slaying the Dragons within Us and answered questions.

Friday 2/9/18
  • Students showed off their vocab images to begin class.
  • Next, we briefly went over sentence structure as I reiterated how difficult it can be to create simple sentences.
  • After that, students took out their Chimpanzee packets and moved into groups with students that had the same sections. They worked together to decide what were the main ideas, most interesting info, and connections to other works or human behaviors. Also, each group was responsible for coming up with at least two high quality, critical thinking questions based off the reading. These questions should not be answerable with a "yes" or "no" and are designed to generate intelligent class discussion. They will be presenting this information on Monday to the rest of the class.
  • To end, we watched another segment of Slaying the Dragons within Us.
  • Also, I finally finished the calendar for this month. Sorry that it is so late. I will have a copy for all students Monday.


Monday 2/12/18
  • To begin, I checked to make sure that students had their vocab sentences.
  • Next, they worked together in small groups to create their group sentences. Group leaders will submit those to me tomorrow before the test.
  • After that, students moved into their Chimpanzee groups and shared their information with the rest of the class.
  • For homework, students should prepare for their 2nd Vocab test--it has all 12 words!

Tuesday 2/13/18
  • First I collected group sentences.
  • Then, we played the vocab game.
  • Next, we took the test.
  • The last groups finished their chimpanzee discussions.
  • We compared and contrasted human and chimp behaviors.

Wednesday 2/14/18--Happy Valentines Day!
  • To begin, students received their next six words.
  • After that, we played some sentence structure improve. This week, all of the students' vocab sentences must be complex.
  • Next, I showed the students the following video about consciousness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir8XITVmeY4&index=5&list=LL6PcJ71zhDGoz1eM4UJtjEQ
  • Upon completion of the video, we discussed the key points as well as students' general responses, which were very interesting.
  • We then transitioned back to the idea of mythology. I gave students a handout that explained what mythology is beyond the general idea of, "A bunch of made up stories about fake gods and goddesses doing stuff."
  • For homework, I gave students a copy of the introduction to Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth. Their job is to first read the selection. Once they've completed their first reading, they are to follow the annotation guide that they received for the chimpanzee handout and annotate the text.

Thursday 2/15/18
  • We started class with a review of the new vocab words.
  • Next, I informed the class that we will be beginning a new segment of class starting next Thursday in which we take a controversial issue, read up on both sides of the topic, and deliberate for understanding and solutions. Students should be thinking about what they want to deliberate.
  • After that, I checked to see if students annotated their Campbell reading. Following this, I grouped students that completed their homework together and folks that had not together and gave them the following questions to answer.
Their job was to complete the first six as a group and what was not finished (out of the six) is for homework.
  • When there was about twelve minutes left of class, we were able to get in a little more of the Jordan Peterson video.
  • For home work, students must complete their vocab image, finish up the questions (1-6), and log their Metacognitive Journals.

Friday 2/16/18
  • To begin class, students showed off their vocabulary images.
  • Next, students returned to their groups and compared their answers to the first six questions from the Campbell reading.
  • After that, I began going over their responses with them, but we did not make it very far. All classes had less than three cell phone infractions during the week and were given the last 20 minutes of class to enjoy.

Monday 2/19/18
  • First off, students showed me their vocab sentences.
  • After that, they moved into small groups and edited one another's sentences and decided which sentences the group leader would submit to me tomorrow.
  • Next, we went to the library. Students were asked to pick out a fiction novel. The parameters were as follows: the book must be fiction, one continuous narrative (not a collection of short stories), one protagonist from beginning to end, and the book cannot be a part of a series.
  • Once they found their books, they were to read quietly and look for their protagonist's major hang-up--his/her/its limitation of being that will need to be overcome for him/her/it to accomplish the final goal (which will lead to self-discovery).

Tuesday 2/20/18
  • Things went a little out of order today. I began class by giving students the following handouts and going over them.

  • I am asking students to familiarize themselves with the "grammar of literacy" by taking notes on the allusions and symbolism employed by the author of the novel that they chose yesterday. Students will record incidents from their books and dictate how the author's use of symbolism or allusion adds depth to the piece of fiction. This assignment is absolutely not a summary of their book.
  • Next we played the vocab game.
  • After that, students took their vocab test.
  • At the end of class, I gave students the following article to read for homework. It is to prepare them for our Civil Conversation on Thursday.