Last Legs

Friday: You will continue working on the practice Regents Exam assigned through Castle Learning. You may also work on any of the assignments contained in the following checklist:

The portfolio-based assignment indicated on that checklist will be explained in class. It is due in two parts; the first is due Monday, and the second is due by Wednesday.

Monday: You will be given feedback on your practice Regents Exam. You will hand in any revisions of the critical lens responses. Then you will finish organizing your portfolios for next year. Refer to the checklist above for what that portfolio work entails. Note also that there are a few optional assignments that can boost your score and your learning here at the end of the year.

Tuesday: You will take the Regents Exam at 8:15 AM in the gym. You already have a copy of the format and instructions on how to prepare; if it helps, here is a link to January’s examArrive on time, and bring a pen.

Reminder: Final Exam

This is a reminder that will also be shared with you over email and through Infinite Campus: Your final exam begins on Monday, June 3, and runs through Thursday, June 6. You have been given the structure and focus of this exam a few times, most notably with the end-of-year calendar attached to your end-of-year contracts, so this will only briefly review what to expect:

  1. Each day, you will be given  set of passages to read. These texts may be prose or poetry.
  2. After you’ve read the passages, you will answer a series of multiple-choice questions on the passages. These questions will cover main ideas, literary elements and techniques, and inference.

Remember that you’ve been practicing indirectly for this exam since September; all of the close reading and critical thinking we’ve done has inculcated the skills you’ll need. In addition, you should have been practicing more directly for the last month, because the Castle Learning exercises assigned to you function as both Regents Exam prep and prep for our final exam.

That’s not enough, however. You were given at the beginning of this week a last assignment to help you practice and prepare for Monday: another set of Castle Learning exercises on critical reading. Complete this last set of eight exercises before Monday’s exam, and you should be more than prepared for the week. This is also an assignment for Q4, so you’ll be rewarded twice for your hard work.

Note that if you are prepared, you will probably also have time from Monday through Thursday to work on your other end-of-year assignments in class, including an optional critical lens revision, the optional research-driven revision, the online adversarial, and a practice Regents Exam (which will be assigned next week). Otherwise, you’ll be finishing your final exam in class and completing these other assignments as homework.

Send me an email with any questions or concerns, and good luck.

Works of Literary Merit

Before joining this adversarial discussion, be sure that you’ve read the material in the last post very, very carefully. Also be sure that you’ve picked up the Regents Exam packet distributed on May 28; copies of that packet will not be made available online, although you will be able to pick up extras at any point in class.

Also note that there is a writing assignment at the end of this post. It is the same one given to you in class on Wednesday the 29th; check back here to be sure that you understand what you must do by the end of the day on Friday.

Have your Regents Exam packet handy as you read this post. Notice that the scoring grid in the packet splits the exam into two sections: multiple-choice questions and writing prompts. You will be practicing the multiple-choice all week through Castle Learning, where you will find a new set of assignments starting today. (You should be finishing the batch assigned to you in early May, as well.) For the writing portion, we’ll start with the lone essay: the critical lens.

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Feedback: Final Essays

Your scores for this final essay are now available through Infinite Campus. Check your email first; you may have specific feedback or instructions from me. Then click below to see a copy of the rubric and the letter distributed and read to you on May 28:

Note that a small number of you may have had your tiered score on the rubric adjusted up or down by two points to reflects particular strengths or weaknesses. If you have not yet submitted an essay, you obviously have a zero. Schedule a conference to discuss the details—and note very, very carefully the requirements for that conference as outlined in the letter.

Before anything else, you should also read the following exemplary essay:

Note that it does what most of your essays do not do: It follows the guide closely; it includes research of various kinds; it balances anecdotes with empirical data; it offers value arguments and a policy argument; it even includes the elusive extended analogy, a requirement most of you just ignored. These strengths are more than enough to make up for some of the grammatical and paragraphing struggles.

This paper earns a 92, one of only a handful of papers to do so. Compare it to yours. Note the differences. When/if we conference, we’ll start with your understanding of what you didn’t do correctly; only then will we move into a discussion of how you might revise.

Rudimentary Reader Response: Adversarial

Click to see more book art.

Before doing anything else, be sure you’ve carefully read the directions for the adversarial that are outlined in the previous post.

Now use the comments section below to earn points while exploring your Q4 books. Be clear in your choices, and continue to revisit this post to see what your peers have to say.

Rudimentary Reader Response: Directions

The book you’ve chosen to read is the culmination of our year of reading, just like your last, choice-driven essay is the culmination of our year of writing. We began with 50-word short stories; now we end with a full-length novel you chose on your own.

Next week, we will begin preparations for your final exam and Regents Exam. Your book will be part of those preparations, because most of you will be able to use that book as evidence in the essay you write for the Regents. This week, you will be discussing your book with each other through the comments section of this website.

Obviously, not everyone will have finished. That’s a sad but ineluctable result of this process. But even those of you who didn’t finish have a lot to discuss. This process reflects your management of time and your understanding of your reading habits, not just your experience reading a text; more importantly, what I am asking you to do requires only that you read something. Finishing will help, but it is not necessarily required.

The carrot for this : This is another adversarial score, and you will only receive points for what you contribute to this discussion online. We’ve practiced this kind of thinking-through-writing exercise far too often; you need another chance to see its benefits.

Note: You will need to go to the next post in order to have the conversation. These are just the directions:

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