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.


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.

Q4 Calendar Retrospective

As a counterpart to this post, which offers details of the assignment itself, and this post, which contains your Q4 contract, be sure you’ve read the following:

This should give you some much-needed context for the writing of this essay. You’ve been preparing for nearly a month; this week, you’ll be conferencing with me and working together to finish your final drafts.

Don’t forget to use Google Drive to share documents with me and your peers. You may also want to use this adversarial post to discuss your essential question as it evolves.

Research-Driven Writing Response

Below is a link to the prompt and outline distributed in class on Tuesday, May 7. It details what is due by May 20, when you will begin submitting these essays. A copy has been emailed to you and shared on Google Drive, as well.

We will look at these instructions together, but the onus for the actual response is on you. You must create a plan and execute it. You may work together, and you should work with me when necessary; conferences, including email, are essential to this sort of inquiry-based learning.

Formal Argument: Essential Questions

Click below to load the guide to essential questions that we covered in class:

Now that we’ve had a chance to conference, and now that your essential question has been approved, you can begin discussing your thinking. This will be raw insight that may eventually focus your research, writing, and revision work.

To help get you started, post your essential question in the comments below. All top tier comments should be essential questions; all replies should be in answer to them. That’s your next adversarial goal: to discuss your thoughts on your peers’ essential questions in this space.

Collaborative Comparative Analysis: Invisible Men

Note: This assignment has been revamped as of Monday, April 8. It’s now significantly easier.

Assignment: Comparative Literary Analysis

Due Date: Monday, April 15

Google Drive Requirements

  • Choose a group of any size, or choose to work alone.
  • Open a Google Drive document and complete all of the essay, from start to finish, in this one document.
  • Share that document with me.

Other Submission Requirements

  • Follow our old protocol for this: Finish your Google Drive document, print a copy, and upload a copy to (when that window is opened on Friday). See the Resources page for the complete step-by-step guide.

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Q3 Portfolios: TIM Literary Analysis (x2)

Prefatory note: Always refer back to the portfolio overview linked to here as we review your writing this week.

Mode of discourse: Literary analysis (of The Invisible Man): Chapter 4 + Chapters 9-11

Revision prompt: Revise both of your in-class responses according to the commentary below. Read the following note carefully before moving on.

For the Ch. 9-11 assessment, your revisions are required. You will be given the corresponding 100-point score from your first response if you do not revise. This means that a +2 formative bonus will turn into a 57/100, if you do not revise; a +5 formative bonus, into a 75/100; and so on.

The original preface to our study of the novel (click here to read it again) gave you this prefatory material:

The 1897 Novel | Here are two copies of the novel, which is part of the public domain:

You should also feel free to use the Wikipedia entry for The Invisible Man. (We will have a conversation on using this sort of resource as part of our studies; you can read the one from last year if you wish.) When you are asked to skim a section, it is to speed us along to a key moment in the writing—not just a plot point, but a moment where the author’s language is especially worth study. Here are those chapters:

  • Chapter 7: The Unveiling of the Stranger
  • Chapter 9: Mr. Thomas Marvel
  • Chapter 13: Mr. Marvel Discusses His Resignation
  • Chapter 19: Certain First Principles
  • Chapter 20: At the House in Great Portland Street
  • Chapter 21: In Oxford Street
  • Chapter 25: The Hunting of the Invisible Man
  • Chapter 26: The Wicksteed Murder
  • Chapter 27: The Siege of Kemp’s House
  • Chapter 28: The Hunter Hunted
You will be asked to read the rest, but you will not be given any quizzes on plot for those sections.

I want you to note a few things about the original resources you were given. First, you had copies of the novel in every format that exists: your hard copy, an online version, a searchable online version, and an audio book. You were given time in class over and over again to read The Invisible Man, plus advance notice of which chapters we’d be discussing or analyzing in class. Then you were told that you couldn’t fail these assessments; they would be formative, meaning that you could only earn points back.

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