Category Archives: Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

Domain 1 of the Danielson Framework for Teaching: Planning and Preparation

English 9 Regents: Interpretation of Imagery in “The Cask of Amontillado”

cask of amontillado

SEE:

Using adjective/adjective/noun combinations, students list ten very specific details they see in the painting, and then share their list with a partner.  Any details that they have in common are marked with a checkmark (so that less obvious details stand out to them for later).

THINK:

Students write three things they think about how the imagery of the painting re-creates a certain mood in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.”

WONDER:

Students write three things they wonder about the painting represents some aspect of the short story.

Students each get one Post-It Note.  One color for each: See, Think, or Wonder.  Students then share Post-It Notes.

Cask of Amontillado

WRITING:

Students will write a three chunk paragraph about how the imagery in the painting helps to re-create a specific mood in the short story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe.   Along with mentioning details from both paintings in their paragraphs, they must also cite correlating text from the short story as support for their claim.

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Regents, Visible Thinking

English 9 Regents: Art and “The Most Dangerous Game”

Look at both of the following paintings:

MostDangerousGameShipwreck

The Most Dangerous Game by Anonymous

sirens_cove

Sirens Cove found on deviantART (yet no artist attributed)

 

SEE:

Students list five very specific details they see in each painting, and then share their lists with a partner.  Any details that they have in common are marked with a checkmark (so that less obvious details stand out to them for later).

THINK:

Students put three things they think about the painting represents some aspect of “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell.

WONDER:

Students put three things they wonder about the painting represents some aspect of the short story.

Students each get one Post-It Note.  One color for each: See, Think, or Wonder.  Students then share Post-It Notes.

MDG

WRITING:

Students will write a three chunk paragraph about how the paintings are a representation of some aspect of the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell.   Along with mentioning details from both paintings in their paragraphs, they must also cite correlating text from the short story as support for their claim.

The idea was to get the students to make a connection between the Sirens episode in The Odyssey and how General Zaroff lures ships–and subsequently sailors– to his island so that he might kill them.

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Regents

English 9 Enriched: Frankenstein and Paradise Lost

Paradise LostStudents read a synopsis of each chapter of John Milton’s Paradise Lost and RHA’d it for content relating to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  The class was then divided into three groups for this assignment.

Three groups: God, Satan, and Adam

SEE:

Each group has to find five pairs of quotations that correlate between the chosen character from Paradise Lost (God, Satan, or Adam) and either Victor or the Creature from Frankenstein.

THINK:

Groups each choose the strongest pair of quotations that act as a correlation and state what they think about that correlation.

WONDER:

For the same pair of lines, state what they wonder about the correlation.

Students each get one Post-It Note.  One color for each: See, Think, or Wonder.  Students then share Post-It Notes.

Milton

WRITING:

Students will write a three chunk paragraph correlating God, Satan, or Adam to either Victor or the Creature.   They must use their pairs of lines as textual support for their claims.

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Enriched

English 9 Enriched: Frankenstein and the Sublime in Art

This Visible Thinking activity is done with a twist.  Instead of merely sharing something simple that they see, think, or wonder, students must stretch to use adjective/noun combinations for what they see, similes for what they think, and metaphors for what they wonder… all relating to the sublime.

I let the classes select one of the following paintings:

800px-Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_The_Arcadian_or_Pastoral_State_1836

The Arcadian or Pastoral State by Thomas Cole

800px-Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_The_Savage_State_1836

The Savage State by Thomas Cole

il-penseroso-1845_jpg!Blog

Il Penseroso by Thomas Cole (inspired by “L’Allegro,” a poem by John Milton)

Peace%20at%20Sunset%20Thomas%20Cole

Peace at Sunset by Thomas Cole

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits by Asher Brown Durand (depicting painter Thomas Cole and poet William Cullen Bryant)

 

SEE:

Students list ten very specific details they see in the painting, and then share their list with a partner.  Any details that they have in common are marked with a checkmark (so that less obvious details stand out to them for later).

THINK:

Students put three things they think about the painting represents the sublime.

WONDER:

Students put three things they wonder about the painting represents the sublime.

Students each get one Post-It Note.  One color for each: See, Think, or Wonder. 

For those with the color for SEE, they have to use an adjective/adjective/noun combination to describe something they see that represents the sublime.

For those with the color for THINK, they have to create a simile about how they think something in the painting represents the sublime.

For those with the color for WONDER, they have to create a metaphor for what they wonder about how the artist created the sublime on canvas.

Students then share Post-It Notes on the front board.

2013-05-10 09.13.17

WRITING:

Students will write a three chunk paragraph about how the painting is a representation of the sublime, much like Victor’s escape to nature after the deaths of William and Justine.  Be sure to define and explain “sublime” as it relates to both the painting and the novel.

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Enriched, Visible Thinking

English 9 Enriched: 2013 Short Story Anthology

        My Enriched students just published their short story anthology, Under the Same Skies under the collective name of Sentries of the Past.
        Sentries of the Past is a group of 9th grade students at Webster Schroeder High School who spent six months researching the Hero’s Journey pattern as outlined by mythologist Joseph Campbell. From there, the students explored how the pattern is part of the human condition and how it can be used as a tool to examine their own livUnder the Same Skies Coveres.
        For 60 days, my 9th graders reflected and shared insights as they explored the archetypal hero within. After completing The Sixty Day Sojourn and after reading a book of forensic anthropology, Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw, each student selected one of the four hominids studied in the work and “put flesh on the bones,” so to speak.
        In order to incorporate the research component of the CCSS, they researched the regions where the bones were found, as well as the cultures of the people who have lived in that area.  From there, they were able to create hypotheses regarding the lives of their chosen hominid.  While the stories are still a work of fiction, they have been based on historical and cultural facts.  They also still incorporate Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey pattern.
You may click on the picture to link to the publication page.
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Here are the students and their story titles (in no particular order):
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Katie Ramsey:  “The Lion Heart”
Abigail Rettew:  “Sacrifice”
Myuri Arujunan:  “The Road to Destiny”
Alexis Duggan:  “Wayfaring Towards Danger”
Haley Guidice:  “Marco’s Tools”
Karina Rzepa: “Shadows of the Night”
Julia Deacon:  “Veritas Vos Liberabit”
Xilin Zhou:  “Fallen”
Elizabeth Geiser:  “Simi’s Mountain”
Phoebe Huang:  “Flight”
Thomas Ambalavanar:  “Vladavina od Vatra”
Ben VanderStouw:  “The Bones of Alsem”
Matina Chanthavongsay:  “Let Them Live”
Christina Ambalavanar:  “The Silent Warrior”
Ishitri Bandyopadhyay:  “Hunted By Amber Eyes”
Jamie Lai:  “Godling”
Student books

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 3: Instruction, Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities, English 9 Enriched

English 9 Regents: Part III- Organizing Evidence-Based Claims

The next part of the Evidence-Based Claims unit is Organizing Evidence-Based Claims.  As I looked over this particular worksheet, I noticed a similarity to work that I have done previously when we worked on the research papers.  The Organizing Evidence-Based Claims worksheet allows for an expanded claim that includes two points, and then the two points are separated out so that evidence may be given in support of each point.  This is like the thesis statements we created during the research project.  Students had to make a claim (take a position) about a topic, and then back it up with two reasons (signposts) why the reader should agree with them.

What I have here is the progression of two students from Forming EBCs, to Making EBCs, and finally Organizing EBCs.   You can see the growth in the train of thought as they worked through paragraphs 7-12 of Plato’s “Apology.”

Jessica’s progress: Forming EBCs

Jessie 1

I questioned Jess’s use of the word “unique” in her claim.  What was it she was really trying to say about Socrates at that point?  I also asked for pronoun clarification.  Who is the “they” she is referring to?

Jessica: Making EBCs

Jessie 2

While the first claim may be an improvement over “Socrates is unique…,”  the evidence she offers does not support her new claim.  Neither evidence #1 or #3 really support how people can “benefit from his teachings.”  I asked Jess to go back into the text to come up with stronger evidence if she still wanted to make that claim.  The second claim was confusing because of the spelling error (“believes” instead of “beliefs”).  I thought this was stronger than either of the original claims, so I asked her to think more deeply about Claim 2.

 Jessica: Organizing EBCs

Jessie 3

By the time Jessica got to this page, she had re-thought her claim and was able to come up with an expanded version that had to clear points that she could defend.   Her textual evidence is also stronger than it had been in the Forming EBC stage.  She is now ready to write.

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Lauren’s Progression:  Forming EBCs

Lauren 1

Lauren’s claim is confusing because of the pronoun usage (“them” and “they”) and wordiness.   Her thinking and evidence are fine, but she needs to be more concise and precise in her claim.

Lauren: Making EBCs

Lauren 2

Lauren amended her claim in the first set, yet I encouraged her to use stronger diction than “killing him would not be a good idea.”   She obviously put a lot of thought into her second claim because you can see that she used WhiteOut to make changes.   This demonstrates that she is thinking and making adjustments as she is working.

Lauren: Organizing EBCs

Lauren 3

Lauren went a bit overboard and tried to incorporate everything from the Making EBC worksheet.  The result is a confusing, wordy claim.  I am asking her to trim down the wordiness and get to the heart of what it is that she wants to say.  I would still like her to rephrase “killing him would not be a good idea.”  Once she does that, then Lauren will be ready to write.

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Once they have completed the Organizing EBC worksheets and revised them a bit from my feedback, the students went head-to-head with their partners in a dry run of what they intend to write in a paragraph.  I asked them to work in pairs, giving impromptu “speeches” to their partners using their claims as the thesis, and the points as signposts.  They had to attempt to convince their partner to agree with their claim.

The partners, while they were listening, had to decide whether or not they were convinced to agree with the speaker and then back that up with reasons why (or why not).  They had to refer to the textual evidence given as support for the argument to determine its strength and clarity.  They also had to critique the speaker’s argument for its logic and progression.  Finally, the listener had to write down three clarifying questions for the speaker.  The homework for the speaker , then, was to write a response to the three questions while also revisiting his/her argument in preparation for an essay.

The partners then reversed roles so that everyone left the room with three questions to answer.  When they come in next class, they will be permitted to use the worksheets, their question responses, and their text to write an essay in support of their chosen claim.

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Reflections on Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

1a. Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy

I have taken several workshops in Visible Thinking, and I use it consistently in my classroom.  I have found that the SEE/THINK/WONDER exercise is a wonderful lead-in to the Jane Schaeffer style of writing embraced by the Webster Central School District.

I have an in-depth knowledge of mythology and the Hero’s Journey process through my association with the Joseph Campbell Foundation and as past leader of the Mythological RoundTable (R) Group of Rochester.  I use this knowledge to create lessons that create a greater understanding of Cultural Mythology and The Odyssey

Student work with the Hero’s Journey culminates in the publication of an annual anthology of short stories.  My experience with on-line publishing through the publication of my own books aids me in this part of my work with students.  As such, I have working knowledge of what makes good writing.

As a stage performer who was trained in Theatre during a summer session at Thames Valley University in London, England under the tutelage of Rodney West from the Royal Shakespeare Company, I have much to bring to my students’ understanding of theatre and plays, particularly the works of William Shakespeare.  I also perform with various community theatre companies in the Rochester area.

During the summer of 2012, I did a lot of work studying the PARCC framework in anticipation of it being adopted by New York State.  I also wanted to see how well the framework would fit our schedule, our curriculum, and our classes.  I did the entire first quarter step-by-step according to the PARCC framework, and found it to be something that individual students MIGHT be able to be successful at (if they were already proficient writers), but certainly NOT realistic from a feedback/grading perspective.  In one quarter, I read and graded (not to my usual scale) over TWO THOUSAND pieces of writing because I followed the PARCC framework to the letter.  I was exhausted, and the feedback was NOT what I have been able to provide in the past.  Imagine how thankful I was to learn that New York decided NOT to go with the PARCC framework for its schools!!  I dropped it in the 2nd quarter.

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1b. Demonstrating knowledge of students

Early in the year, the English Department gave a pre-assessment so as to determine the strengths and weaknesses of our particular group of students.  Through the results, I knew what I needed to focus on at least in the realm of persuasive writing, with my classes.

As a teacher of the enriched program, students are expected to come in with strong writing skills, so I create lessons that involve higher level thinking and reasoning skills, and I challenge their use of effective sentence structure and diction.  I am also familiar with what is popular in teenage literature, and since these are most likely my readers of current young adult fiction, I work to connect the curriculum literature they will be assigned to that which they read by choice.

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1c. Setting instructional outcomes

I use District-approved rubrics for grading writing assignments, particularly those that model state assessments.  I allow students to see the rubrics in advance so that they are aware of the expectations.   For some long-term projects, I show them models of former students’ work (many allow me to keep their projects afterwards) so that they can get an idea of what I am looking for in their work. 

Although I teach similar literature to both levels (English 9 enriched and 9 Regents), I adapt lessons for each level.  There are things I may have to work more on with the Regents kids (like doing more close readings of certain speeches in Romeo and Juliet) than are necessary with the Enriched students.   I also teach an abridged poetry version of The Odyssey to the Regents students, while my Enriched students read a full-length prose version.   I choose the poetry version for the Regents kids to help prepare them for when we read Shakespeare (which is primarily in poetry).

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1d. Demonstrating knowledge of resources

For each class, I purchase (out of my own pocket) five separate Spruz websites for online class assignments.  I maintain and weekly update these websites while also monitoring student performance on the online assessments.

When publishing the student short story anthology, I am savvy with using Lulu.  I work with students on creating the cover for the book, and then I do the uploading and final editing for publication.  I also post websites of various writing contests so that students may submit their work for possible publication and honors.

On the classroom sites, I place links to helpful online sources for all units.

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1e. Designing coherent instruction

I create study guides for my students that not only provide background material about the author and topics/ideas we shall be exploring in a particular piece, but I give them vocabulary lists, reading questions, Reader Response questions, and literary analysis questions.   Because I have seen how Visible Thinking exercises have benefited my students’ writing in the past, I work to create thoughtful Visible Thinking exercises to accompany the units of study.  I know that students need to be prepared for the state tests,  so I design lessons and assessments that mirror what they might see in the future.

My curriculum advisor, Jeremy McBride, has copies of all my unit plans on file.

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1f. Designing student assessments

All assessments are designed to test skills that students will need to be successful in all areas of English Language Arts, but particularly those that will be presented on state (and soon, federal) standardized tests.  I particularly focus on the areas of:

1.  persuasive writing

2.  literary analysis

3.  close reading of both fiction and non-fiction

4.  research

 

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Reflections on the Danielson Framework

English 9 Enriched: Parody- Young Frankenstein

How could I ignore Mel Brooks’ classic parody?

Similar to what we did with the creation scenes from the 1931 Universal film and the 1994 Kenneth Branagh version, we watched two video clips, did a SEE/THINK/WONDER for each one, discussed comparisons/contrasts, and then had a short writing assignment.

These are the two clips from Young Frankenstein (1974).

The first depicts Gene Wilder (as Victor Frankenstein) and Peter Boyle (as the Creature) doing a tap dance to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”  What I want the students to see is the parody of how people become afraid of the creature and also how the creature comes to loathe people who treat him badly.

The second clip is when the Creature (Peter Boyle) comes upon the house of a blind priest (Gene Hackman), and the priest unsuccessfully tries to offer his guest some hospitality.   I want students to make the connection to the blind man in the hovel where the creature has been spying on and learning from the family that lives there.

 

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Enriched, Visible Thinking

English 9 Enriched: Visible Thinking- Frankenstein’s Creation

Students will be evaluating film techniques as well as comparing and contrasting film to text.  for the Visible Thinking part of the exercise, we will watch two different film interpretations of the creation scene in Frankenstein.    They will be looking for a total of ten things they notice (See) in each clip; however, they have to find two in each of the following categories: Characterization, Lighting, Set Design, Sound/Music, Costumes/Make-Up.

The first is from the Universal Films 1931 production starring Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein (notice the name change) and Boris Karloff as the creature (on a side note, Boris Karloff’s– whose real name was William Henry  Pratt– great grand-nephew lives here in Rochester).

NOTE: the YouTube link is to one person’s channel, and the videos all play when going to this link.  The one I used in class is the four minute piece at clip 3.  I am saving Gene Wilder for when we do parody!

The second is from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994) directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Victor Frankenstein, with Robert De Niro as the Creature.

After watching both clips, students shared what they saw in each of the five categories with a partner.  They then went on to write three things they THINK about how the clips reflect events in the novel, followed by three things they WONDER about how the clips reflect the events in the novel.  They must keep in mind as they write what they think and wonder that they are going to be asked to write a comparison/contrast piece for the film clips and the novel.

Students were then given two different colored Post-Its for SEE/THINK/WONDER; one color that related to the Universal film, and another for the Branagh version.   We then shared aloud and posted them in the front of the room on a large poster paper.  Once all students had the opportunity to share, we discussed the major similarities and differences between Hollywood and Shelley’s work.  They then went on to work on their writing pieces.

Alive

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Enriched, Visible Thinking

English 9 Enriched: Frankenstein- Forming Evidence-Based Claims

Because of how the Forming EBC worksheets seemed to be helping my Regents kids better organize their ideas (as opposed to how we had been doing the same activity earlier in the year in a journal…they must prefer worksheets), I decided to see the sheets might work with my Enriched kids and Frankenstein.

I had the kids read the four letter from Robert Walton at the beginning of the novel.  I then listed on the overhead several ideas surrounding Walton:  his dream, his willingness to sacrifice for others, his doubts, his education, his relationship with his sister, his relationship with others (besides his sister), his financial background, his resolve, and his loneliness.   These were from Prestwick House’s Activity Pack for Frankenstein.

I then instructed the kids to “go head to head” with their partner…or in one case, a group of three because we had an odd number (meaning that they had to turn their desks to face the person across the row from them so that they could talk face to face).   Once they were in place, I drew names for them to choose which of the ideas about Walton each pair wanted to work with.   The catch was that once a topic was chosen, it was off limits for the next pair.  In one class, we started at the beginning once all eight had been selected by the first groups.  That gave the kids in that particular class who were drawn last an opportunity to have some choice instead of being “stuck” like most last groups are.

Alpha 1 Forming EBC

Using a Forming Evidence-Based Claims worksheet (like those in the Regents classes with Plato’s “Apology”), the partners had to argue and agree on what three pieces of textual evidence they were going to use to best support the idea they’d chosen.  Once they had their textual support, they had to explain why that detail was important to the topic.  Finally, they had to make a claim about Robert Walton’s character based on the evidence.

Delta 1 Forming EBC

These are some examples of student work:

 

Katie Fr Letters 1-4 EBC

In this, Katie is making the claim that Robert Walton is curious.  She also extends her claim with several points (signposts).  This is a very strong response.

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Brittany Fr Letters 1-4 EBC

Brittany is making the claim that Robert Walton is wealthy.  This is situational for the character, not a character trait (which is what was assigned).   She and her partner will have to go head-to-head once more to come up with a trait that is specific to Walton’s character based on the fact that he was a wealthy man.  She does state that “wealth wasn’t an important thing in his life,” so I will ask her and her partner to dig more into that idea.

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Melissa Fr Letters 1-4 EBC

Melissa claims that Robert Walton is compassionate and a loyal friend when she and her partner examined Robert Walton’s relationships with others.   She sites Robert Walton’s interactions with the stranger that has boarded his ship in the middle of the tundra.  She also offers points (signposts) to explain her claim.

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Next class, the students will use the information from these worksheets to write a paragraph characterizing one aspect of Robert Walton.  The “Claim” sentences will serve as the topic sentences for the paragraphs, the quotations will be the concrete details (CDs), and the “Connecting the Details” responses will serve as part of their commentary (CMs).

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Filed under Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 3: Instruction, English 9 Enriched, Visible Thinking