Wednesday, August 27, 2008

2007-2008 AP Lit Students

Guys, I just wanted to let you know that I'm proud of each of you. AP scores were never my driving motivation. It was more important to me that we all had the opportunity to deeply engage with literature and learn to know ourselves. Your final film projects we incredible, and I thank you for your effort.

If you're the type of person who likes results and numbers, be comfortable in the fact that result-wise, we had our best year ever, with four people earning College Board credit. Although I don't know who you are (haven't seen the score sheets, for reasons explained below), wonderful job. I'm glad your hard work paid off. For the rest of you, I commend you for your hard work and devotion to the subject. Let this be a practice run for the real thing.

I wish all of you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and make sure to drop me a line to inform me of your educational success. I have decided to seek new opportunities outside of the Buffalo Public School district, but can be reached via email ( Better yet, befriend me on Facebook.

Again, good luck in all that you do.

To anyone outside of class who has been checking in on what we're doing, I am retiring this site, as I'm no longer tangibly in room 305 (although spiritually I will always be there...or something like that). If you like the kind of stuff my kids did, stop back. I'll be posting links to my new classroom blogs in the coming months.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flickr Flicks

Here are the URL's to the films from Flickr we watched in class today.

The Process

I reworked the illustration from class today.

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Initial Due Date - Film Project

It occurs to me that I need a catchy name for this film project. Hmm.


Anyway, you've told me that it would be fair to mandate that by Thursday, May 22nd you have your storyboard and rough draft of your voice over narration completed. On that Thursday we will have a share session, so please come prepared.

That is all.

Image from Flickr Creative Commons pool. Created by PPDigital. Image link.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Other Nuggets of Wisdom

Here are some of the ideas you brought in today.

Nuggets of Meaning

As you mine your art and brains and experience for an inspiration for your film, I'd like you to consider another avenue. Most of the lines we developed so far are didactic, or instructional. I'd like to open up the floor a bit more. Consider these lines and snippets culled from the poems we studied during Poetry Professor.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Movie Project Brainstorming

Today in class we did a little research and generated ideas for possible central themes of our films. Here is the chart we developed (click to enlarge):

Homework: These were a tad safe, a smidge boring, and I have a feeling you can do better. Go home. Look through your DVD collections. Scan your playlists (or CD's, if you still have them). Search your art for statements about life. Bring one great quote or thematic nugget into class tomorrow. Don't forget.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Final Film Project - Life, etc.

Opening Writing Activity

Today, we watched this video from Baz Luhrman. Here are the lyrics to the song.

You're essentially finished with school. In a little less than five weeks, you will walk across the stage (literally) and onto the next stage (figuratively) of your life. So...what do you know about life? If you could claim one motto as your personal statement, what would it be? What have you learned about life or love or behavior or family or friendship or courage or hope or strength or loss or garbage day that you feel you need to share? Take 10 minutes, go off to somewhere quiet (don't leave the room) and write something along these lines.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Post Exam Reflection

Well, hello folks. Hope you enjoyed the rite of passage that is the Advanced Placement Literature exam. I hope the multiple choice didn't drain your brain into nothingness, and I hope that the free response was relevant to the works we read in class. We'll talk in more detail on Monday.

Meanwhile, today I'd like you to sit back and reflect on the experience of AP Literature. What work (poem, short story, novel) resonated most strongly with you? Why?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Exam Review Checklist

Listen, you've worked hard all year. Now's the time to relax and get enough rest to clear your head for tomorrow. So tonight, do not cram. Do not stay up late. Pick one area you're still not too sure of, do a little brushing up, and go to bed. Early. Like before 11pm.

Here's what you might try to finish fine tuning. Choose one:

  • Review one or two of your major works at Sparknotes. Review your annotations.
  • Sign out a review book and complete a multiple choice test
  • Write a practice essay. Grab one of my extra credit essays out of the bin and complete it.
Test Taking Strategies
  • Multiple Choice
    • Some passages and poems are accessible. Some are more antiquated. Scan through the poems and passages. Quickly find the ones that you feel comfortable with. Answer those questions first. Then go back and attack the other passages.
    • 1 point, -1/4 point, 0 points - If you have no idea, but can absolutely eliminate one of the answers, then statistically you've got a pretty good chance by taking your best guess (over the course of the exam)
    • Read the questions (not the answers) quickly, read the passage, then read each question and the corresponding lines carefully.
      • chronological
  • Essays
    • Answer the entire question. Do not ignore statements like "explain how it relates to the meaning of the work as a whole"
    • Your introductions can be two sentences:
      • Make a brief, general statement about the topic
      • Then, answer the question, briefly, in the last sentence of the introduction.
        • "In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor serves as a mentor to Robert Walton by sharing his own story of overreaching."
    • Write, write, write. Use all of your time.
    • No rough draft. Outline.
    • Write legibly (Jason!)
    • Obviously, answer all three questions. Manage your time.
Remember, I'm buying donuts/bagels/fruit for tomorrow morning. Ms. Froebel has a list of your names, so you'll be able to exit breakfast. I'll be here at 7:30.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Official "I Have a Question" Post

Are you nonplussed by near rhyme? Bewildered by bildungsroman? At sea with Shakespeare? Disconcerted by diction? Confused by connotation? Flummoxed by figurative language?

SPRING BREAK EDITION!We're doing Poetry Professor and I absolutely can't wait to ask a question about Invisible Man edition.

Excited about Ellison? Confused by the nameless narrator? If you're lurking and have a question about the novel, jot that baby down and I'll get right to it. Basically it is Tuesday and I have come to the realization that I have nothing else to do. By the way, grades will be emailed to you by the end of the week. (BTW, if you're shy, anonymous questions are cool too!)

If so, leave a question. I'll address it either in this space or in class.

(P.S. The more specific the question, the more likely you'll get the help you seek.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Exam Review Excercise Regimen

So folks, for the next few weeks we'll be working on exam prep. We'll be working our way through the practice exam provided by the College Board. Remember, bring the exam to class. Here's the exam practice regimen. Remember...30 minutes a day of cardioacademicalvascular activity will help you develop a healthy mind body connection. I have no idea what that means.