Friday, October 21, 2011

Thumbs Up

The presentation left the audience feeling upbeat. Our principal gave it high praise in an e-mail to teachers last night when he described it as "interesting and...well paced..."
Congratulations to all.
Natalie, Louis and I will figure out a way to post a link to the presentation so anyone who missed it can have a look. I'll be posting a link to students' sources shortly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Run Through tomorrow

After today's practice presentation and feedback, I'm really excited to see the run-through tomorrow afternoon at Waterman's. It will give us one more shot to smooth out the transitions and prepare to shine in the evening. Everyone's presentations have coalesced into a real group presentation, a synthesis of like experience from different perspectives.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crunch Time

Though Friday morning's run through had the expected rough spots, the order felt logical and students seemed to begin to see the flow of the presentation.

 I urged students to use this space as a forum for sharing ideas. Again. I am finding it surprising that though they will share their thoughts on FaceBook w/ abandon, putting them on another form of digital publishing meets with resistance.

In general the presentations are better, more focused, more coherent, than the last time we saw them. However, several people, Riley, Avery/Ethan, Dalton, Gabe, Kennedy should get some advice on punctuation and language issues. Apostrophes seem to present a challenge. Remember, an apostrophe goes in "it's" only when it is short for "it is." "Its" is already possessive. Ex: Its zebra-like stripes were black and white. Also, Kristen wished for bigger fonts a few times.

I have specific notes for almost everyone, so I urge students to contact me via comments here, email, GoogleDocs, or at school Monday for those.

The assessment for this process and production is fully half your first trimester English grade.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PSAT-lightened class

Kristen, Janis, Courtney and I rivaled the student numbers this morning as students worked on their fall presentations.

For the kids who were here, we made a GoogleDoc for a script as a place they can write an outline of their presentation.

Leta led a discussion to help us find an logic for the presentation and also connect the work we do for the presentation to the expedition itself.

We decided that we would find the logic of people's choices of topics according to the chronology of the trip. Click here for the current presentation order.

Each "Day Group" is responsible for writing its own introduction connecting the happenings of the day with the topics about to be explored.

Here is the place to make sure you are meeting our expectations regarding the rubrics that contain the word "script."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Deadline Alert

We'll have another showing of work in progress Thursday morning first thing. For the most productive use of our time (part of our expectation), students will fill any major gaps in information or logic by then. We will address individually or collectively timing, script and/or technical issues and questions.

Between now and then, for the best possible presentation and best possible grade, students should take another look at the rubric(s).

No HS meeting this busy, short week...

means Thank-yous are still pending.

Friday I delivered the school's thank-you gift to my neighbors the Camerons, and they were delighted.

Ethan and Kennedy's note to the school board has been edited and forwarded to Kennedy, who will revise by tomorrow.

Friday, October 7, 2011

We saw two more presentations...

this morning, Dalton's look at log driving and Megan's work on solutions for polluting paper mills. Though we all thought the pictures worked well, the fact that he didn't know where many were taken creates a problem both as far as the project's focus on the Penobscot Watershed and the requirement that all information be carefully sourced.

Megan wants to work on her script and fill out her story more with details of obstacles to the closed system mill.

Riley finished his thank-you note. Others will work on them in advisory.

1005 update: Craig finished his time w/ G. Canter and showed us his presentation on electro-fishing. We agreed that it contained lots of information we'd never seen. Craig wants to replace his Wikipedia sourcing w/ the sources Wikipedia is using--double-checking, of course, that it is the actual source of his information.

When do we want to try hotlinking w/in the presentation? Tuesday?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some debate...

amongst producers whether KeyNote or iMovie will work in a seamless presentation including several chapters. The general concern is whether a student will be able to stop and start the progression of slides at will in iMovie. Watching the tutorials linked to the blog for more information might help further understanding on this topic.

Ethan, one of the four producers, has his work currently in iMovie and he has little experience in KeyNote. The three producers, Ethan, Leta and Natalie, who are here today must come to a conclusion about the format as soon as possible. (My observation, at this point parenthetical, is that we may want the work be able to run start to finish without stopping and starting anyway.)

The work we saw this morning ran the gamut, some slick enough for show now and some needing more thought and research. You know who you are.

Specifically, Leta wants to focus her attention on statistics and Maine's possibly unused system of fining water polluters; Ethan and Avery want to look at the big picture of birch bark canoeing by putting their "Lamborghini" of prehistoric water travel image to work and helping us understand how this technology set the tribe(s) that used them apart. Also they will take the "you" out of their text. They'll remember they are the experts explaining something to an audience, not addressing peers or children.

Aidan's project wants more attention to dam removal in the Penobscot Watershed, the monetary and civic costs; Natalie wants to add sound and more detail regarding the national park creation process; Gabe will work on stating his problem/solution(s) clearly in words; Zeb will pull back from our experience to explain why we chose No Trace Camping in the first place; Riley wants to build on his Maine/community connection in his explanations of alternatives to hydropower.

Thank-you notes are still pending. Zeb, Ethan, Aidan (w/Natalie's help), and Riley have words on a page. All need help. Click here

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Beginning to Tie Loose Ends

Zeb "volunteered" to write a letter home to parents announcing the presentation.

Everyone missed the thank-you note deadline. We'll shoot for tomorrow, along with the eight slides and eight bits of information. If they're not yet Keynoted, GarageBanded or iMovied we'll move in that direction during class.

Students spent the English block focusing and working quietly on their presentations.

Courtney, Kristen and I finished a draft of the rubrics we plan to use to assess the evening's production.

For more tying, click here. (I put a permanent link on the upper right hand corner of the blog.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

More Story Arcs

Due Thursday: at least eight slides; at least eight facts; keep attribution in mind. Let me know if you need a hotlink citation lesson. Also, start writing your script.

Chayse, Zeb--
Problem: Camping/human activity disrupts
Obstacle: Meeting human needs
Solution:  Find camping area that provides for human needs while disrupting the natural world as little as possible
Real solution--Camp cleanly, zero-impact camping

Ethan, Avery--
Problem: For Native Americans what's the best way to get through the Penobscot River
Solution: Making birch bark canoe
Obstacles: Available resources, traditional ways?

Problem: How do we study fish without killing them?
Solution: Electrofishing--history, why use this
Obstacles: What goes wrong? settings, lack of skills, techno failure
Real solution: Continued use of it--connect to project

Problem: Getting logs to mill and market
Solution: (historically) Log drives
Obstacles: (explore reasons for stopping) pollution, etc.
Today's solution: Trucking, is it economical, ecological?

Problem: Loss of alewives and habitat
Solutions: Take dams down
Obstacles: Need power
Real life solution: Replace the power sources, then remove dams

Problem: Pollution in Penobscot River could harm lobsters in Penobscot Bay
Solution: Bring river to the standards of the Clean Water Act
Obstacles: Failure of companies and people to follow law; lack of enforcement; economic difficulties
Real world solution: Strengthen enforcement, improve education of stakeholders

Monday, October 3, 2011


The high school will write thank-you notes to :

Nicatou-Dalton, Aidan
Sam-Zeb, Chayse
NMW, Ruth-Gabe, Ken
School Board-Kennedy, Ethan
Joan, Michael-Avery

These are due Wednesday morning first thing for a final edit and signing.