Woops! This post was meant to go on my Student website for GP…but oh, well; it gives you more reason to check us out at The GP Indie (a website dedicated to my classroom of awwwwesome GP students this year!)
Ready to start those Two-Column Notes for Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Chapter 9??
Access this HANDOUT to help you along! (Link available by 6pm this evening, 2/24/14).
The TCN’s are DUE on Wednesday, 2/26/14. 🙂
Good luck, and email me with any questions!!
Greetings…Big Brother here…I seem to have censored my own site…
Just a few short days ago, I posted a note that I was planning a November workshop to be hosted at my high school. Yet now, it seems that the post has mysteriously disappeared, that I’ve somehow rescinded said offer, and am now replacing it with the following Doublespeak message:
There is no November workshop. There was never a November workshop. The workshop opportunity is in December.
What’s up with that?!
Allow me to UPDATE you on the blog post that seems to have traveled down the Orwellian Memory Hole, of the local workshop event that seems to have vaporized into thin air as if it never existed at all (yikes…the Delete button is ominously powerful, all of a sudden!)
I originally drummed up the idea for the November workshop because lots of teachers had been asking about ‘best practice’ when it comes to grading the classroom essay and scoring it according to the CIE rubric. Lots of the teachers I got to know through the Cambridge “Best Practices” workshops have mentioned that they wish the GP training was two days, as opposed to one.
Looks like we got to cash in a wish from the genie lamp…CIE might be granting us the luxury of a 2-Day, GP-training workshop after all…!!
While this is NOT yet definite, it seems likely, so there will no longer be a need for the November session! Hence the vaporized post…it’s my job at the Ministry of Blogging to make sure you get the most up-to-date information!
Stay tuned to The Global Pen for updates about a possible, two-day GP workshop through Cambridge’s “Best Practices” series. I hope to have dates, times, locations and workshop agenda details for you soon once this information firms up and pans out (#hello-idiomatic-expressions).
If you have not already done so, follow me on Twitter @ edupavich!!
Unexpectedly OUT for a day? I’ve got the universal sub-plan for you!
If you’re a subscriber to Upfront Magazine, this will be especially beneficial, but honestly, the linked handout can align with virtually ANY current events magazine you provide for your kids!
- Class set/Consumable set of semi-recent Upfront Magazine edition (or other)
- Individual copies of the Core Ideas handout
EMERGENCY LESSON PLAN:
- Distribute the __ edition of Upfront (or other) Magazine
- Distribute the Core Ideas handout
- Ask students to first survey ALL articles in the magazine before choosing ONE to focus on for the assignment.
- Students must select ONE article from the magazine and complete the corresponding questions contained in the Core Ideas handout.
- Have students create a FactFinder Flashcard using the Summary format
- Have students Journal about the topic by voicing their thoughts in response to what they read
- Have students formulate an overall opinion about the issue, then complete an Opinion-Proof argument in response
- Picture Notes it!
Though I would never give up my summers off or my guaranteed holidays home, there are times in the school year when I wish we had 365, not 180, to teach to this curriculum. There’s just so much to do in so little time!
This always gets me thinking…how can I maximize the opportunities for learning in my classroom?
In my opinion, the best thinking cap is the one fashioned for freshmen, so if I’m going to solve this puzzle, I need to be pondering like a pupil.
I remember being 15. Grades were never an issue because–lucky for me–school was something I did naturally. I was a natural-born nerd 😉 But I definitely had those days where classroom content failed to mesmerize me for whatever teenaged reason.
So what does a student do with his or her time when he or she is not immediately engaged in the lesson? Why, survey the scene, of course.
Lots of times I found myself staring at the walls…
- I’d read and re-read the signs hanging about;
- I’d question the writing on the board–does that homework message pertain to me or is that for some other class?
- I’d sketch an image I saw on a poster;
- I’d practice vocabulary definitions in my mind from the word wall;
- I’d try to memorize a poster adage (“What’s right is not always popular, but what’s popular is not always right”…that hung on the podium of my sophomore year professor, lol).
Anything to pass the time…
- because it was Friday,
- or because there was a pep rally next hour,
- or because softball try-outs were that day…
- because Mrs. __ is repeating herself from yesterday,
- or because I hated reviewing tests,
- or because I already knew everything about topic x…
- OR because I knew nothing about topic x and I intended to keep it that way…I was as stubborn as I was smart, lol.
Sometimes it was educational dazing, sometimes it was just plain dazing. But even still, what I visually stared at always stuck.
As amazing as we are as teachers, we have to allow for the margin of error that not ALL students are ALways engaged at EVERY moment during our class. No matter how much they love and adore us for our dynamic enthusiasm for the job, they have Life weighing on their minds, just as we do.
Is this like teaching by osmosis?!? Perhaps we could mark it up to ‘differentiated instruction’ ?!? 😉
* * *
At its core, asking teachers to turn inattention into learning is like asking someone to successfully saw another in half. Surely this feat is merely illusion, right?
Today, while talking with a colleague about how super-nerdy-cool this year’s Upfront poster ‘line’ is (themed, “Great Moments in History”), it inspired me to create the following classroom visual, which I will share in visual format below…(Danielle Eddy of Boca Raton High School, I dedicate this post to YOU!)
Reaching out to our student population from a multitude of mediums…we work hard, we work smart!
The Global Pen would like to take a moment of silence to remember the lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attack on our home soil 12 years ago. Our hearts go out to those who loved and lost a family member or friend in this terrible tragedy.
In light of our current deliberation over whether or not to engage in a political response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, the Global Pen would also like to recognize the value of human life.
From West. To East. And beyond.
If there’s one thing the left and right wings of American democracy have in common, I guarantee, it’s the value of human life. Let us come together in that regard right now…WE REMEMBER…
Concerned about the Lies Your History Teacher Told You?!
The plight of Martin Luther King Jr. and his nonviolent struggle are not some of them…
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Birmingham Church Bombing in Alabama, 1963. During this extremist act, four innocent girls and two boys were killed during the bombing of a church known for housing members of the Civil Rights Movement.
Hauntingly enough, President Barack Obama addressed the American people this week regarding a possible strike on the Syrian government for unleashing chemical weapons on its people, a tragic event that also snatched the lives of innocent women and children for no reason other than perverting power.
No matter the time, no matter the circumstance: ONE life lost is one too many…
But nevertheless, here we are. Collectively pondering the value of life as members of a global society are sacrificed in both the past and present.
I dedicate today’s post to the many innocent lives that have been lost in the name of DEMOCRACY & FREEDOM or the lack thereof.
Lesson Plan Inspired As a Result?
While students view the clip, ask them to complete the following handout as a source of notes…
- “Daring to Dream” Companion Handout
If you are a member of the Upfront community, I challenge you to make the teaching world a better place…just as MLK did for social rights, do so for educational progress…how can YOU leave your MARK? What will YOU contribute to your legacy?
Scour the MEDIA world; find a valuable–perhaps timeless—CLIP (so we can use it year after year!) and develop a HANDOUT to correspond!
Several colleagues have expressed interest in contributing to the GP curriculum. Here’s your chance! ANY professional can do this. You don’t need to be a ‘seasoned’ (whatever that means) GP teacher to contribute!
Let’s collaborate by adding to this bank of timeless, valuable materials-in-the-making!
EMAIL YOUR SHARABLE MATERIALS to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll showcase them in a post dedicated to YOU, and your HARD WORK!!
SHARE…I double-dog DARE you 😉
Lots of curiosity about ordering exam essays/feedback from Cambridge for teacher use, so thank you for inspiring today’s post! Here’s the information I gathered to share with you, thanks to the help of a few of my favorite, super-AICE Coordinators (thanks, Amber and Kelly @ Jupiter High!). Feel free to pass this information along to your school’s AICE Coordinator.
It looks like you can order essays by accessing the CIE Website, then logging in to the CIE Direct tab in the top, right corner drop-down menu. ONLY Test Coordinators can log in and order materials here, though. Once logged in, Coordinators should go to SUPPORT MATERIALS, then RESULTS. They will need to fill out an interactive PDF form to tell them which essays they’d like returned with feedback.
The deadline for requesting such feedback from the May/June administration is SEPTEMBER 30th.
From what I understand, it can be pretty pricy to order these, so Coordinators will need to chat budget with administration. But they are really worth it! As English teachers, we know how valuable tailored feedback is in promoting improvement!
Perhaps we could COLLABORATE and share these materials with one another in a workshop or in an informal meeting? I’d be happy to throw it together, so just let me know what we can organize as a group. I’m also interested in piloting some kind of scoring system for us all to use to make the process similar across the board, and user-friendly for classroom essays! If any of this sounds interesting, ‘Talk to Me,’ by dropping a comment down below!
In the meantime, here’s some further information that may prove helpful in getting you and your Testing Coordinator pointed in the right direction for ordering:
How should I apply for an enquiry about results?
Enquiries about Examination Results Forms can be downloaded from the Support Materials section of CIE Direct. These forms should be completed and signed by the Head of Centre. The forms should be submitted to Cambridge from the school or, in the case of an Associate School, via the Cambridge Associate, within the stated deadlines below.
Schools are required to submit requests for enquiries about examination results by the following dates:
May/June – 30 September
October/November – 26 February
What fees apply to Enquiries About Results?
For details of the fees that apply to Enquiries About Results please refer to the Fees List in the messages section of your CIE Direct account.
How long does it take to process an Enquiry About Results?
We will deal with enquiries in the order in which we receive them. We cannot guarantee the date by which we will process enquiries, however, we will make every effort to communicate the outcome as quickly as possible, and whenever possible, within 30 days of receiving your enquiry.
It is essential that schools contact Cambridge if an acknowledgement letter is not received within two weeks of submitting the enquiry.
As faithful followers of the news, we know the 2013 summer headlines…but how do we teach them?!
Here are a few renditions of the “Hot Seat” I explored in each of my classes yesterday as we informally chatted about the summer’s news. Feel free to chime in with different ways you approach current events discussions/ideas-sharing/student engagement with your teen population…we’d love to hear a variety of these approaches for use on future current events projects!
- LOW TEMPERATURE…Try the “Boy v. Girl” Game-Style Challenge…inspired by my fellow colleague (props to Ms. Lisa Maultasch!), I split the class into boys versus girls. I wrote each of the ‘Hot Seat: Summer Sizzle’ issues on index cards to start. If it was the girls’ turn to go, they would send a representative up to sit in the Seat. That girl would select a card, doing her best to give “sufficient” evidence of her understanding on the topic. If she could not, the floor would be given to the boys’ team, who would collaborate as one, collective voice to determine a proper response. Any boy could then step up as the spokesperson to relay the answer. If they were correct in their knowledge of the issue, the boys got to take the index card from the Hot Seater girl who could not provide sufficient enough input. Then, this same scenario happened in reverse: a boy would approach the Hot Seat individually; if he could not provide sufficient knowledge on the selected summer headline, the girls could formulate a response collectively and the best team won the index card. Tally up the cards won at the end, and voila! Credit, extra credit, homework passes, participation points, or what-have-you in the way of incentives. More importantly, a baseline awareness was created regarding local, national, and international news.
- MEDIUM TEMPERATURE…Try the “Groups” approach…students organize into teams of 4. The Summer Sizzle Headlines are hanging via index card on the board. First, groups discussed what they know and/or what they learned via interview about the headlined topics. Then, as a group, they determine THREE issues they’d like to present to the class when in the Hot Seat. (It’s amazing how a single group might pick all environmental issues, or all political issues, or all entertainment issues…showing interest in and paying automatic tribute to the General Paper THEMES without even realizing it!). Put groups in the Hot Seat and have them ‘school’ the class on the issues they chose while audience members draft one-sentence summaries in their notes for each of the issues discussed.
- HOT, HOT HEAT!…Try the true-to-form, HOT Seat…students elect to approach the Hot Seat on their own accord; they are there individually, as opposed to group support. Since it’s the beginning of the year, I allow them to pick the Summer Headline they are most comfortable with to discuss. They begin by explaining the issue in its obvious form
Once they finish up their basic summary, however, I bring the heat: I delve deeper into the issue by asking them questions that span beyond the obvious. Specifically, I encourage students to look at a single issue from a variety of lenses (political, environmental, social, etc.), and from multiple levels (local, national, international).
Want to know what I mean by this rather abstract bit of advice?! Well, you’re in luck because I love a good model…
But, patience is a virtue! Take the extra time to observe the dialogue string below, which models HOW to probe students on the issues, and how to guide them toward GP connections:
So GP Student A walks into the classroom…
Teacher: Student A, what issue do you elect to explore?
Student A: I’d like to talk about the recent WILDFIRES occurring in the U.S.
Teacher: Ok, super! Tell me everything you know.
Student A: Well, there are lots of wildfires breaking out in dry states in the West like in Arizona, and California, particularly near important landmarks like Yosemite National Park in the Sierra mountain-chain region. There was also the Beaver Creek fire in Idaho, I think it was.
Teacher: So how does this impact us on a national level?
Student A: Basically it destroys our environment. Like, when the wildfires hit places like Yosemite, it’s destroying entire habitats and animals and plants unique to this environment. My mom mentioned the Sequoias native to the region. Also, I remember reading that the wildfires are posing a threat to the water supplies in California and the Bay Area. Since water is our most basic and essential need, if we don’t have it–well–people in this area could die.
Teacher: Wow, amazing observations about the wildfire’s impact on our environment. Points earned for knowing your stuff!
Student A: Whew! Awesome! (smiles, and relief at surviving the Hot Seat)
Teacher: But wait a minute, let me approach the same topic from a different angle for a minute…
Student A: (uh-ooooh-face)…
Teacher: It makes sense that the wildfires are destroying our environment, but how might they be hurting our economy? Consider that for a minute. Take your time and think about the connection between fire and $$$$…
Student A: (puzzled face, followed by light-bulb)…oh, wait, yeah…soooo…if the wildfires destroy parks like Yosemite, it hurts the economy because then tourists don’t get to visit this site, which is pretty popular otherwise. If the fires destroy what there is to see, no one is going to come to visit it. Our economy takes a hit because that means less tourists spending money there, whether it be on food or hotel or admission tickets.
Teacher: Brilliant connections made between wildfires and our economy. Ok, now that we have a foundation of knowledge, let’s talk about how it can be woven into a GP essay. In essence, what is the “GP Relevance” of this information we’ve studied? Well, there are lots of SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY prompts on the GP exam. A lot of the times, Section 2 of the GP exam will ask you to write essays that cater to the following style of essay prompt: To what extent can we rely on modern technology to control otherwise unpredictable events? So, Student A, let me ask you this…is it possible to beat Mother Nature with modern tools, i.e Technology VERSUS Earth, Air/Wind, Fire, Water…?
Student A: Yeah…totally…I mean, we can use technology to fix pretty much anything today.
Teacher: Prove it 😉
Student A: Ummm…well, hmmm…like hurricanes, we can tell when a hurricane is coming. That’d be technology trumping an unpredictable event, right?!
Teacher: That’s definitely a start, Student A, but you seem unsure. Let’s put our heads together to make sure. Audience, what do you think? To what extent can technology control unpredictable events like natural disasters?
Audience 1: Oooh, I know. Like how Student A said, when it’s a hurricane, we can use technology to predict the path of the hurricane before it harms us. We have the option to evacuate in advance. A couple of years ago, during Hurricane Willow, my family and I drove north to my Grandma’s in Tallahassee to avoid the storm. We boarded up and left.
Teacher: Good point. Technology is definitely a friend to us in Florida, where we are hurricane-prone.
Audience 2: Yeah but in other parts of the U.S., natural disasters like tornadoes aren’t as easy to predict no matter what technology we have available to us. Sometimes natural disasters just kind of drop out of the sky without warning.
Teacher: A valid argument, but where–SPECIFICALLY–have we seen this? Can you provide a concrete example to further support your logic?
Audience 3: I know! How about the Moore, Oklahoma, issue from the summer…didn’t they have, like 10 minutes to evacuate, or something like that?
Teacher: 16. They had 16 minutes. Props for the concrete support, (Audience 3)!
Audience 4: Well what about the sinkholes we looked up? You don’t even get a minute’s warning on that one. The one that happened in Orlando came out of nowhere! One minute you’re standing there, and the next…well, the earth gives way and just kind of swallows you up…
Audience 5: My family and I go to Orlando every year for New Year’s…
Audience 1: Yeah, so that’s GP relevance on the LOCAL level, right?!
Teacher: Exactly. So you’d agree that sometimes we can predict and prevent Mother Nature’s wrath whereas other times we cannot…
Audience 3: Yes, it just depends on where you are and which natural disaster your area is prone to.
Audience 4: Yeah, it’s based on the circumstances.
Teacher (smiles)…thinks to self: ‘mission accomplished….’
This is the best case scenario because students are listening to one another and benefiting from each other’s contributions. Listening to one another probes further thought. The teacher takes a back-seat, merely guiding, as the conversation unfolds. The students draw upon the task that was their homework to fuel the challenge that is their classwork. The highest levels of critical thinking are tested as they discuss the issue together!
What else can you do to immerse your students in the headlines of summer? Submit your experiences here! Who wouldn’t benefit from a fresh approach to common practice?! Pay it Forward!
Happy 1st Day, GP Colleagues!
I sure hope the first day back in the GP classroom treated you well!
In honor of the new school year, I have a VIU…Very Important Update…regarding the new year…
Starting with the 2013-2014 school year, there is one basic adjustment to the GP exam that we MUST be aware of…
It regards how many prompts are on the GP exam. Traditionally–as you may have learned from my previous PowerPoints, covering overview/basics–the GP exam has consisted of 15 prompts from which students are asked to select TWO, so they can write TWO, full essays within the span of TWO hours…
However, PLEASE NOTE that this year’s syllabus will be cutting a single prompt from each of the three sections; therefore…
THERE WILL BE 12 PROMPTS TO CHOOSE FROM ON THIS YEAR’S GP EXAM AS OPPOSED TO THE TRADITIONAL 15.
It is super important that you make your students aware of this change in the General Paper 8004 syllabus! Any previously-released exams you share with them will showcase 15 prompts, so just make them aware that the test they will see this May/June will include just 3 less prompts, one omitted from each section to drop us from 15 to 12 options total.
Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but we want clarity across the curriculum, and we want to make sure No Student (or Teacher!) Is Left Confused.
For more information, check the AICE: General Paper 8004 Syllabus for the 2014 administration.
Best of luck to you this semester 🙂
Happy last-Friday-of-Freedom, GP Teachers!
In honor of THIS special Friday, I’m going to share with you what I’ll be giving my students NEXT Friday…just smile and think, oh hey, there’s still THIS Friday, which means I’m still off!
Back to next Friday, I’m going to give my students the “Hot Seat: Summer Sizzle” handout, linked here. They will have a weekend to take the list of people/places/events home and interview at least 3 people concerning the information on it.
The list on said-handout’s reverse side represents some of the current events/hot topics that took place this past summer, 2013. I am asking my students to INTERVIEW, as opposed to GOOGLE, these ideas because it will get them comfortable with talking about the issues, which is what a great deal of our class is all about 🙂
They will take the weekend to ‘research’ (aka, talk!) about as many of these people/places/events as possible. Then we will engage in a “Hot Seat” activity on Monday following. The Hot Seat can go down in a number of ways, but I usually ask for a few eager volunteers to start; I have them take a seat (5-7 max) in the chairs in the front of the room. The audience and I ask them the Hot Seat questions and they compete for points. If a panelist/Hot-Seater gets a question wrong and an audience member wants to take a stab at it, that audience member can replace the panelist/Hot Seater if the answer is right!
This is the first of TWO documents for this activity. As this is my first time running the ‘show,’ I still need to drum up a solid set of Hot Seat questions now that I have the working list of issues.
Speaking of which, am I missing a Sizzly Summer Headline? PLEASE submit! I was wracking (?!) my brain today between the many pre-school meetings, so it was–I admit–a bit of a scattered process as I tied my Hot Seat all up for bloggie submission.
Tout your expertise here by commenting below on summer issues not on the list!
One word to the wise…keep a close lid on outbursted answers and whispered ones during the actual Hot Seat…answers from panelists gotta (yep, ‘gotta’) be genuine for you to run the show authentically; and there also has to be enough focus from the audience so answers can be both heard and absorbed from the activity.
Otherwise, you’ll be in HOT water, Teach!
Adopt, Adapt, or Entirely Alter…Go Forth and let your classes (Academically) Prosper!
Props to Sunnie Petric (and her hubs) for inspiring this post, fellow teacher and Croatian 😉