Tag Archives: class discussions

Stoics Reign on Caesar’s Parade

Read the first scene of Julius Caesar(or here or here).

Recall class discussions on the “Four Postulates.”

Recall class discussion on Stoicism and Epicureanism.

What is the Feast of Lupercal? Why would it have any appeal to an Epicurean? A Stoic?

Are Marullus and Flavius more Epicurean or Stoic in their response to the citizens’ preparations for Caesar’s victory parade?

How do the citizens behave throughout the scene? Initially are they Stoic or Epicurean? How do they leave?

Predict Caesar’s response to Marullus and Flavius driving away the vulgar herd.

Who killed Pompey? What is a Triumvirate? Why was the First Triumvirate “unofficial”? Who forms the Second Triumvirate?

What other questions can you raise about Act 1, Scene 1?

No Class is Complete Without a Film Study

Watch Kingdom of Heaven and consider the following questions:

  1. What religious symbols are prominent throughout the film, and what was their purpose and place?
  2. Have you ever been in a conversation that was cut short with the phrase “god wills it”?
  3. “To kill an infidel is not murder, it is the path to heaven!” Discuss.
  4. How do you discern God’s will?

Consider other questions arising from class discussions.

Create a Film Review using the microcontent template (Dashboard–>Write–>Review).

Trackback.

Bloggiest start to the bloggiest year ever.

What a funny word, “bloggiest”. Should I say it is a “most bloggy” start to the year? Does correct English matter in a blog?

All students I teach have begun a blog, of sorts. For the most part, I’ve insisted the content of the blog must be school or course related, the myriad responses to Macbeth fit this category. Other responses are more like “snowflakes”, snowflakes is my term to describe the phenomena of no two responses to the same prompt being identical.

I aggregate(not related to the term aggravate) RSS feeds from each class to aid in tracking down assigned work. Each student has a spreadsheet I term the Data Collector that averages rubric scores and totals moderated comment feeds, too. I then collect the Data Collectors periodically to determine scores to enter into GradeLogic. The data collectors serve a dual purpose, a foundation to build a grade obviously, but a powerful device to bring a landslide of peer pressure and collaborative assistance on the lazy, slower, or reluctant bloggers. Those that finish first have always shown a willingness to “share their secrets” with others.

Students are also instructed to collect and deposit appropriate comments on each other’s blogs, too. It is proving to be a fine art to learn to comment. Last year I found the aspect of commenting to be more valuable than the creation of the posts. Comments must contain evidence of critical thinking, I said, not simply “gladhanding”. If you troll the blogs you’ll notice the biggest difference right now between a veteran blogger and a newbie is the quality/quantity of appropriate comments. Students complete work earlier to benefit from positive/any attention from peer “commentors”. Any student who doesn’t get their blog post done on time, gets punished by receiving low or no rubric scores from their peers. However, unlike class discussions, the very nature of blogging allows anyone to catch up at any time. The students themselves seem to have an unofficial pecking order for who writes the best comments. They have internalized their own standards for what they will accept as a comment on their blog and are very persuasive at convincing each other to measure up. A few students are positively verbose and comment on all they can. Others choose fewer responses yet measure their words very carefully. Those that finish writing a post early, are left to hustle remaining students.

The grade 10s are shifting their attention to Keyboarding modules for a while, although I keep prodding them about “Turing Tests”. iGod is our most recent fascination.

The grade 9s get their prompts from Mrs. Fraser’s class then I help them become a bit more tech savvy.

The Grade 11s are in the midst of Macbeth and may see no reprieve for at least 2 more weeks, I figure. The more traditional assignments I’ve used for the last 14 years are as appropriate in a blog as they have ever been in my class. Doing it with blogs is just so cool!