February 26

ELA B10: Feb 26 Student explore blogging…

  1. Yesterday you did a great job of setting up your English blogs. Today, you’re going to continue with that and then write your first two posts.
  2. Assignment:
    1. Explore some of the ELA B10 blogs linked on my website that were created by former students. Choose any two and write a thoughtful and relevant comment about their content, being sure that it relates to our topic of discussion recently, “Inequality”. After writing your comments, be sure to add the Link from their blog post to your own entry so I can trackback to read your comments.
    2. Write your own blog post about Racial Inequality and some of the topics that have come up in our discussion. Remember there are certain requirements to complete for each blog, which include:
      1. A thoughtful and well-written journal response that reflects on the topic and ellaborates on your own personal views and convictions related to it. This writing should be a minimum of two paragraphs, being sure that a paragraph consists of at least five or six sentences. I’ll be looking for complex sentences that are consistent with students of your abilities and grade level.
      2. You’ll also have to add a picture to your post.
      3. Find an article or other blog website (belonging to someone outside our class) that discusses a similar topic. Your link must be relevant.
      4. Comment on a friend’s blog, from our class, being sure again that the comment is genuinie and relevant. You should create a link to your friend’s post that you added the comment to.
      5. The very last thing for you to do is include a youtube video, but for this blog post you will not do that just yet. (Because another teacher is broadcasting during this class, we need to be especially careful of any youtube searches. We’ll figure this process out later.)
    3. Enjoy the process!
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February 25

ELA B10: Feb 25 Configuring individual English blogs…

  1. We started in my classroom where students had a look on the smartboard to see where the specific “tabs” for the blog dashboard are. It was important that they understand this basic part because were going to work in the dafting computer lab where the only way for us to all go through the steps together was for them to practice good listening skills. …………………………………….. How do you think that may have gone over?! ūüėź
  2. We slowly (and with ever-so-much-patience) went through the steps needed for each student to tweak his or her blog so that it was fitting to their personality and they configured the settings properly for safety reasons, etc. They were able to add their friend’s blogs as links to their websit and even write a post or comment already. Things are off to a good start!
  3. For  more information, there are video tutorials on this website to help guide you through more options for your blog.


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February 24

ELA B10: Discussion questions / blog tutorial…

  1. wordle.netWe discussed the questions that I’d asked students to have completed for today. They weren’t all done but the discussions that came from the questions were pretty serious and on task – I was very pleased!
  2. I shared with students, since the conversation came back to the larger cultural group of Canada that suffers the most from prejudice and stereotypes. I have a copy of an email that was circulated through Saskatchewan Parks and Resources by an employee that was discovered later and fits the criteria for hate mail. We had a good discussion about the reality that so many of these topics seem absurd to them, that of course people should be treated equally, but we talked about the truth that it wasn’t so long ago that our country thought very differently. It’s pretty fascinating, actually, the “reality” these kids have always had that is so different from my own.
  3. Then we looked at some of the student blogs I created for them and the “behind-the-scenes” format they’ll soon get used to.
February 23

ELA B10: Review video, discussion, blog introduction…

  1. We had some tired fuddy-duddies this morning who were quite distracted by having to be up and back at school after a week of holidays! We started with a Comma activity that was a little different from what they were used to. Instead of placing the comma where it most likely belongs, or multiple choice placements, this sheet has a sentence and asks two questions, should the comma be removed from one place or added to another. It was a little tricky but they did a great job!
  2. Next we reviewed the context of the video we watched just before the break. We discussed again the issues surrounding people from non-visual minorities and considered whether it would be more difficult to be part of that type of minority or a visual minority. They had a great discussion with very real consequences for each side. 
  3. Students then independently filled out questions from the video and were asked to have them completed for tomorrow’s class.
  4. Next, we took a look at some examples of blogs created by some of my former English students. We talked about some of the great benefits of creating a blog for English and some of the ways that it is a more authentic learning tool than journalling. I think they’re excited about it, so I’m interested to see how they use the opportunity!


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February 13

ELA B10: Feb 13 Finish viewing School Ties…

  1. Even though this movie is over two hours long, we somehow managed to finish watching it in two classes! How that happened I have no idea considering we spent some time yesterday morning discussing the topic of non-visual minorities ¬†before starting it… and… we had a little time left today to discuss what we’d watched and how it applied and was relevant to our unit. We did it, though!¬†
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February 12

ELA B10: Feb 12 Non-visual minorities – better or worse?

  1. We had a short discussion today as an introduction to the topic highlighted by the movie they were about to view. We reviewed the fact that we’ve discussed recently a lot about the prejudice and racists attitudes towards several minority groups in our society – Black people in the states (predominately) and Japanese, East Indian, or Aboriginal peoples in Canada – but the focus shifted today to minority groups of people who are just as likely to face certain levels or discrimination but are not as visually apparent. In this regard, they may seem to blend in to their surroundings or society to a certain extent but there is always the potential around them that someone may have a prejudice against them, not based on skin colour, but other things just as unfair, such as their religion or sexual orientation.
  2. Students then began watching the movie School Ties, with Brandon Frasier who plays a Jewish quarter-back who is hired by an elite and private prep-school who otherwise excludes Jewish students from enrolling. He originally hides this area of his life from his new school mates, until it’s discovered and his friends quickly turn on him even though he seems to be the same honest guy they were originally drawn to prior to knowing. It’s a really great movie and I was so pleased to see (and hear) how well students were equally drawn to the story line. In particular, it was intriguing to me how Mike and John kept adding play-by-plays to what was going on in the movie but their comments were completely relevant and insightful! Impressive… lol how did that happen!?¬†

    See if this movie looks familiar to you.


February 11

ELA B10: Feb 11 Recording the photo narratives…

  1. It’s slightly difficult when there is only one computer I can make available to students who are ready to record and produce their narrative photo essay. I could only set up one student at a time at my school computer so they could use the mic system I use for broadcasting the online classes. Other students did a fair job of continuing to edit their own project until it was their turn or working on something else to use their time well.
February 10

ELA B10: Feb 10 Pc time for narrative project…

  1. Students had this second day to work in the pc / drafting lab to develop and edit their narrative writing project. They not only were asked to focus on developing the plot and content of their writing, but to create a photo essay using approximately five or so photos that are well-selected and fitting images to accentuate but not distract from their reading. 
  2. If they had time and were unable to record today, they were encouraged to practice reading their narration in a manner that focused on the few key elements they would be evaluated by and attempt to sound realistic in the role they wrote for themselves. 
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February 9

ELA 10: Feb 9 Narrative writing time…

  1. Students were given their first assignment on Friday along with their evaluation sheets and an example of a good final product. Today, they had the whole class to develop their three paragraphs and edit it to include more of the plot, characters, setting, imagery, foreshadowing, and conflict.
  2. We’ll use some computer time tomorrow for them to find at least five images to use for the photo part of their photo narrative. We’ll seee if we can’t record a few tomorrow as well.
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February 6

ELA 10: Feb 6 Narrative writing assignment…

  1. We started their first assignment today. They were given a handout that detailed what is expected for the project, we read through it carefully and I explained the details (even starting over when someone admitted they hadn’t been paying attention..lol), and discussed the rubrics attached that they will be evaluted by.
  2. To help them understand what the final result will look like, I showed them one completed by a student in Young. Her’s was done so well that when it was over the students here were quiet for a bit and someone had to ask if it was real.
  3. They had some time to brainstorm and we will begin the writing process on Monday.
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