Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blogs for 2016-2017

This is the list I have as of today. If you aren't here, please send me your blog address so I can add you. Meanwhile, since no one knows you exist, no one will read your blog or give you credit for having written a post.

A set of Blog Requirements and Dates, 2016-2017

While it would be most convenient if we could lay this blog at the feet of each student knowing that, each week, every student would put together an insightful and meaningful set of musings about the progress of this endeavor, plus an informative summary of the ups and downs of the work, that seems unlikely in the real world. A more reasonable expectation is that, even now, you are staring dumbly at the screen, completely overwhelmed by the notion that a teacher would assign you work during this senior year, let alone a volume of work which would require (shudder) effort.

Let us bottle that sense of wonder and channel it into a productive bit of writing for your first blog. Listed below are the topics and dates for each post you have to write. The dates reflect two points: 1) blogs must be written weekly and 2) the date listed is the Friday of the week during which the blog post is due. It can be written earlier. The topics are starting points. We expect that you will include in each post some idea of where you are where you are headed but these topics will also help you get a handle on your emotions each week and move you into a mode more productive than simply a laundry list of things you have accomplished, alphabetically ordered.

 And remember -- if you have something else to say, feel free to say it in addition to or even instead of these prompts.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

2016-2017 Intro to format and other details

Requirements for the days you work on your Frisch LEADS project:

The Frisch LEADS project is worth 30% of your annual grade.
You have to meet with your teacher-mentor at least three times over the course of the semester to make sure the project is running smoothly and appropriately. You are responsible to make the appointments.

You may not come to class unprepared to work. What does that mean?

The following are acceptable activities for Frisch LEADS:

* Reading texts and other media that are part of the research for your project.
* Blogging on the progress of your and other classmates' projects.
* Meeting with your teacher-mentor to decide on the course of your project and how it's being implemented.

You must write a 20 page paper that: reflects research of at least 15 printed sources (non-electronic), 2 interviews, 3 audio/visual sources and 5 printed/electronic sources, all conforming to MLA guidelines.

The paper is driven by an underlying question, challenge, or investigative impetus; it serves to draw together a topic or idea which stems from literature or the literary and which crosses over into the real world. It is not simply a review, but an attempt to challenge a long-held view and reimagine a concept in a new light.

Sample project ideas:
* Legal insanity defense and Hamlet or another character
* Spousal abuse/women's shelter chesed, especially in light of the societal norms in literature (A Doll House, A Streetcar Named Desire)
* The ethical dilemma of governmental spending on the space flights (science fiction)
* A defense of apartheid through literature
* A literary cookbook -- recipes (and what makes them reflection of their times/places) derived from literary references to food
* Physical disabilities and equality and the roles the disabled have played in literature over time
* Use of conflicting lenses such as Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, multiculturalism to analyze a work of literature and how we can create more equality or better mental and physical health as a result of our knowledge of past injustices
* Understanding of leisure time in the past and in literature and how our society's physical and mental health measures up against past societies'
* Time and how different societies view it and how to use it

Monday, September 2, 2013

How to Conduct an Interview

Here are some good pointers on how to conduct an effective interview:

Tips on Conducting an Interview

Introduction to Blogging: What Makes a Good Blog

Your Project Blog:

A good blog has interesting posts on the topic the blogger has chosen. Your blog will be devoted to tracing how you are making your project come to fruition. We will prompt you with questions to answer about the progress of your self-directed learning. Your blog posts therefore will tell us that you are working consistently, are meeting benchmarks and are thinking deeply about your chosen topic.

Failure. In school, failure is a bad word, but in this project failure is another method of learning. We don't care if something you do in your project doesn't work, doesn't pan out, doesn't end up the way you wanted it to. Maybe we need to redefine what failure even means. Failure doesn't mean you failed. Failure means you learned something and are taking another direction to meet your goals. By all means, post about your failures, setbacks, obstacles. We want to hear what you learned, how your setbacks caused introspection and made you rethink the way you were undertaking all or part of your learning experience.

Obviously, when something you've done is progressing well, is giving you satisfaction, is challenging you and broadening your worldview and changing the way you think about the world, please share that experience as well.

Blogging Requirements:

Each one of you is required to create a gmail account, if you don't already have one, and then create a blog using blogspot. We'll walk you through the process.

Once your blog is made and you've tinkered with the layout and background and other design elements to make the blog personal and appealing to you and your readers, we will embed all the student blogs into the wiki, so that you can easily view your classmates' blogs and we can easily monitor the progress of your project.

The aim of the blog is for you to take your readers on the journey of the design, development and execution of your project. The blog is worth 30% of the grade for the paper. The blogs and their completion will factor in heavily when your teacher computes each quarter's grade. Writing for the blog should also allow you to develop a personal voice and writing style.

Blog post requirements:

Clarity and Mechanics

Postings must demonstrate reflection and awareness of the progress of the project

Postings are written in a style that is engaging and appropriate for both writer and reader
Postings exhibit coherence and unity and adhere to the standards of written English
Postings are weekly and one per calendar month must include discussion of one other student blog

Example of a good blog post on blogging:

Here's a link to a blog post that demonstrates what a good blog post should be (This is going to be a very postmodern moment: we're going to use a blog post about blogging to show you how to blog):

The Imperious Loudmouth


Comments are an important part of the blogging genre. We're going to ask you to make thoughtful comments on your classmates' blog posts and integrate some of your peers' observations into your own observations.

We're English teachers. Of course, we couldn't resist adding this!

Multimedia content and hyperlinks:

A blog is partly a visual media. Notice that most blogs have embedded videos or images. Consider what the images and videos add to the reader experience, and consider how you might find interesting visuals to emphasize and develop the ideas in your blog posts. Blogs also allow you to deepen a reader's learning by directing a reader to sites with relevant information. Be sure your blog posts include hyperlinks.

In-class practice: 

Select a blog post and two comments that you think are successful in demonstrating a well thought idea. Post your answer as a comment to this blog post. Be sure to adhere to the rules of standard written English.

Sample blogs:

Here are some good sample blogs from last year's Frisch LEADs projects:

This blog traced the topic of comparative mythology, focusing on creation myths from around the world and comparing them to the Torah:

Cogito Ergo Sum

This blog was about sharks, a very different topic from the last one, to say the least:

C Zucker's Blog

Welcome to LEAD: Learning. Exploring. Analyzing. Designing.

Cougars Learn Together
LEAD (Learning. Exploring. Analyzing. Designing.) is Frisch's student-designed curriculum.


* demonstrate mastery of curricular content
* reveal ability to analyze content through myriad lenses
* apply analysis to real world events
* create relevance between text and life through research and evaluation

Paper components:

* selection of text acting as springboard for assignment
* sophisticated analysis of text, including its literary components and its cultural identity
* explanation of how the text applies to a real world issue or dilemma
* selection of media through which you bring to life a complex issue
* selection of sources (at least five) through which you will gain greater understanding of your topic
                 ^ books, newspaper/magazine articles, popular and scholarly journals
                 ^ art forms such as works of visual art, music and theatrical or dance performances
                 ^ interviews with experts in the field
                 ^ videos
                 ^ blogs (though the responsibility to fact check and assess for quality and validity rests on                       you)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

quite a project

Just a note to AP students:

Some of you might not have finished the fourth blog at the outset of the storm and I have not read a few so while I will try to post responses to number 4 later today, I do not want anyone to fall too far behind in the research. Take this time to assess resources, crystalize ideas and formalize the scope and focus of your project. I await blog 5 by the and of the weekend (and if you still owe me #4 I will be looking for both).