Tag Archives: General Paper

Growing & Razing an Argument: Strategies for Understanding Line of Reasoning

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Zoinks!  This post moved!!

Yup, the content of this post has found a new home within the vast, online landscape we now call edPioneer!

You can read it in full by clicking HERE.

Happy Trails!

 

Prepping Your ‘Summer Sizzle’: The Hot Seat Returns

Summer Headlines...that's hot.

Summer Headlines…that’s hot.

Now issuing your summer homework…TAKE NOTES!

This won’t require too much effort while you’re soaking up the summer sun, but you’ll be glad you did it when that first week back rolls around…

The ‘Summer Sizzle’ activity is a simple, unintimidating way to immerse students in the real world events that General Paper pursues.  Keep a log of this summer’s big headlines, then apply them to the activity linked below:

Hot Seat ‘Summer Sizzle’:  Instructions/Activity Overview

Hot Seat ‘Summer Sizzle’ SAMPLE Headlines List from 2013:  Sample List of Headlines (2013)

Want more guidance on how to run the Sizzle?  Check this previous post…lots of advice on ways to organize groups, approach questioning, spark discussion, etc…

2013 Blog Post…READ ME!

This is lots of fun to assign for a Friday, and it gives students the chance to be conversational with you about the news…encourage them to be curious!  The GP experience is all about inquiry, so remind them that they aren’t expected to ‘know-it-all’ and that ‘General’ Paper certainly doesn’t expect that of them either.  Instead of just spitting out facts like an Internet clone, students should allow their general understanding of the issue to lead them to new questions; by the time they’ve satiated their need for answers, they should arrive at their own conclusions about the issue and its situation in the world.

INQUIRE –> RESEARCH –> DISCUSS –> QUESTION –> THINK CRITICALLY –> DETERMINE JUDGMENT 

Perhaps as the teacher, you have a few questions of your own.  Take this opportunity to show students how to pursue these curious moments responsibly.  Just a couple of talking points to stimulate discussion:

  • Where might we go for answers?
  • What does it mean to corroborate that information?
  • How do we read for information versus reading for analysis, etc.?
  • Where do we find and how do we identify primary versus secondary information in an article?
  • How do we take what we’ve read and put it into our own words?

PAVICH’S WORKING LIST FOR THE ‘SUMMER SIZZLE’…

  • Santa Barbara oil spill (May)
  • Boston bomber verdict (May)
  • Charleston church shooting in SC

    Top Summer Headlines: In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court makes same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

    Top Summer Headlines: In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court makes same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

  • Maximum security prison break chase and capture in NY
  • Confederate flag controversy
  • Terrorist attacks in Tunisia (also France, Kuwait)
  • Same-sex marriage legal nationwide 
  • Nuclear talks with Iran

Best of luck preparing your list.  Share your ideas on The Global Pen’s Facebook page by responding to this post there!

Yours In Collaboration,

Jill Pavich, NBCT

The Ink is Stirring…

Psssst…rumor has it, the Global Pen is inking back into action…

Notice the magical expansion taking place before your very eyes…tab titles are changing, new courses are appearing, dated links disappearing…

BUT NEVER FEAR!  More valuable material will soon be here!

First of all, THANK YOU for bearing with me through this unbelievably busy school year.  A much lengthier, (and rather personal!) post to follow this weekend as I beg for your forgiveness, but here are the hints and highlights as to why the Pen has been so sadly MIA…

  • New AP Capstone Seminar curriculum is eating GP blogger for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Nasty appetite on that one, I tell ya…
  • FSA evil is afoot (I jest, I jest)
  • Pipe dreams of GP publication slowly becoming a reality for blogger/writer/teacher/mommy 🙂 🙂 🙂
  • And perhaps the most cryptic update of them all…a new muse is in our midst…

I’ll let you ponder that last one for a while, but a very clear update on this bloggie is in the wing.

What else should you expect in the next 7 days?  Let’s put it this way, friends…

CLEAR YOUR LESSON PLANS FOR THE NEXT 4 WEEKS because I have a whopper of a unit for you!! 

Learning Target?  It’s a GP Content Meets Common Core Writing Standards type of task, and it’s sure to shine up your kids’ essay content while simultaneously preparing them for the upcoming, state-standardized exams!

Can’t wait to share once again with each of you!  Stay tuned throughout the week as the Global Pen transforms in size and shakes out a little ink in the process!

Happy Friday, all!

Collaboratively Yours,

Jill Pavich, NBCT

 

Mission G(P)ossible: Operation Debate

The GP End is Near!  Just 6 academic days left before the GP Exam arrives!  The lesson in today’s post is perfect for wrapping up your final week of instruction or as a themed, Saturday Session event; but it can also be used any time during the school year to accomplish the following learning goals:

  • Build content knowledge
  • Heighten hot-button-issue awareness
  • Sharpen argumentative mindset
  • Broaden discursive reach

The GP Situation Room…solving the world’s probs one GP essay at a time

This past Saturday, my students rallied together for Saturday Session #3, where I challenged them to the ultimate GP Mission…I call this one…

OPERATION DEBATE

The activity itself took the full, 3 hours of our Saturday, so if you’re using this activity in the classroom, you’ll want to break it up into smaller parts, which I will slow-down and lay-out in this post:

  • DAY 1:  Organizing Teams/Instructional Overview
  • DAYS 2-3:  Top-Secret, Team Research and Debate Strategy
  • DAYS 4-5: Debate Presentations
  • DAYS 6-7: Essay Session

Cue the theme song…here we go!

ORGANIZE THE TEAMS…

As a bird’s-eye-view point of reference, take a look below at how the Mission G(P)ossible Debate Topics are laid out:

This is a Teacher Reference…don’t share the actual debate topics beforehand because its part of the fun letting them randomly select their Missions without knowing what they’re getting themselves into!  Plus, it’s a great way to get them to step outside their comfort zones in a fun, non-threatening way!

There are 7 debate topics total listed below.  If you have an average class size of 24, you will only need to select FOUR debate topics.  This will put:

  • 3 kids on a team
  • 6 kids total in a single debate
  • @ 4 debate topics,
  • = 24 kids!

Adjust the numbers according to:

  • How many kids you have
  • How many team members you want on a side (groups of 2, 3, 4, etc.)
  • How many debate topics you want to cover

Mission G(P)ossible Debate Topics

CLICK HERE for a PDF version of the Operation Cover Sheets.

Who is winning the gender wars?

  • Operation Rosie Riveter (women are winning it)
  • Operation Ken Doll (men are winning it)
DEBATE: Who is winning the gender wars?

DEBATE: Who is winning the gender wars?

PS…I put the incorrect spelling of “Rosie the Riveter” on my original folder (image above), but I amended this in the document I linked for the Operation Cover Sheets…woops, humanoid moment!  Rosy must be Rosie’s alter ego when she’s really being “I am woman, hear me roarrrr!”

Should international tourism be regulated?

  • Operation Jet Set (no!  don’t regulate it!)
  • Operation Homebody (yes!  regulate it!)
DEBATE: Should international tourism be regulated?

DEBATE: Should international tourism be regulated?

Should any limits be placed upon scientific research?

  • Operation Einstein (no limits to science!)
  • Operation Chucky (limit science!)
DEBATE: Should any limits be placed upon scientific research?

DEBATE: Should any limits be placed upon scientific research?

In an increasingly environmentally-concious society, is Global Warming still a threat?

  • Operation Apocalypse Now (yes, it’s still a threat!)
  • Operation Brightside (no, it’s decreasing in threat!)
DEBATE: In an increasingly conscious society, is global warming still a threat?

DEBATE: In an increasingly environmentally-conscious society, is global warming still a threat?

Are we taking modern technology too far?

  • Operation Jetson (no! technology is appropriate for our times)
  • Operation Old-School (yes! technology is taking it too far!)
DEBATE: Are we taking modern technology too far?

DEBATE: Are we taking modern technology too far?

How justified are the high salaries and bonuses paid out in celebrity professions?

  • Operation Cash Flow (yes, these bonuses are justifiable)
  • Operation 99 Percent (no, these bonuses aren’t justified!)
DEBATE: How justified are the high salaries and bonuses paid out in celebrity professions?

DEBATE: How justified are the high salaries and bonuses paid out in celebrity professions?

Which form of entertainment makes for a richer, audience experience: the theatre or the cinema/television?

  • Operation Broadway (theatre!)
  • Operation Starlet (cinema/television!)
DEBATE:  Which makes for a richer, audience experience: the theatre or the cinema/television?

DEBATE: Which form of entertainment makes for a richer, audience experience: the theatre or the cinema/television?

Feel free, of course, to adjust the debate topics and mission names at your discretion.  I chose mine based on what we still needed in terms of content exposure.  If it’s near test time, consider hot-button topics that you think might show up on the test!

Display the Mission G(P)ossible titles (above) in front of the classroom and allow students to ponder the cryptic names of each; do NOT tell them what the debate topics are!  It’s part of the fun to watch them blindly select their topics 😉

The teacher should select a group of team leaders.  If there are 4 debate topics (which is just about perfect for a class size of 24), you will need 8 leaders (since there are 2 sides to every debate, of course!) to head to the front of the room.  These leaders will then browse the Mission titles and select an Operation of their choice.

Once leadership is secured, these students should then be asked to draft their team of researchers.  Again, for a class size of 24, your leaders will select at least 2 more researchers from the audience to join them in their mission.

PERSONAL NOTE:  

  • If this is the first debate/public-speaking experience your students will have, I like teams of 3 on a single side for a debate…typically, I’ll have the team leader engage in the Round 1 speech of 2 minutes; then I’ll have the other two team members tag-team the Round 2 Counter speech, which is a 1-minute time frame.  
  • Since public speaking can be intimidating, I like the idea of one, more confident student taking control of the first round to get the argument going, followed by the potentially less-bold students having a ‘partner’ to rely on in the follow-up round.  
  • This strategy ensures that all students feel comfortable in their role.  In turn, they will relay information more confidently while getting familiar with being in front of an audience.  As the year progresses, you can tighten this standard, but it’s always nice to start slowly!

INSTRUCTIONAL OVERVIEW

Click HERE for a PDF copy of the Special Intel sheets I gave each team.

Now it’s time to navigate the activity with your class.  Have them find a cozy group spot somewhere in the room, keeping in mind that they have NO idea who their opposition is (hence, the cryptic Operation titles!), so they’ll need to keep their research focus, quiet, and confidential (built-in, classroom management technique to keep down the noise level!  I did it this way to micro-manage a devoted, energized-bordering-boisterous, Saturday Session group of 35 kids…all by my lonesome!)

The GP Investigator Squad...Missions accomplished!

The GP Investigator Squad…Missions accomplished!

Each team will be given their Top-Secret File, in the form of a manila folder.  Inside of this folder, teams will find the Special Intelligence pertaining to their debate task.

Topic Secret, Special Intelligence...should you choose to accept this GP mission!

Topic Secret, Special Intelligence…should you choose to accept this GP mission!

MISSION TARGET = the prompt

RESEARCH ANGLE = the argumentative thesis/central idea students will be researching and upholding in the debate

SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE = themed ideas to get students moving in the right direction as they begin their research; this is a brief, teacher-generated scaffold of ideas meant to inspire more in-depth examples…the intention is for students to take the research and run with it!

SECRET WEAPON = unique ideas that the opposition might not necessarily think of, which will serve as Thor’s Hammer during the debate!

As students begin their research, be sure to circulate the room to make certain that all groups understand their task.  Also, discuss with them how the “Research Angle” provided is actually the

This message will self-destruct...

This message will self-destruct…

potential THESIS STATEMENT for a persuasive essay written on that prompt!  It’s essential they see this connection right away in order to comprehend how the spoken activity will eventually translate into a written one!

If you have the time, feel free to stuff the Top Secret folders with other valuable research tid-bits, as they apply.

For example, I might a print-out of the following link inside Operation: ‘Rosie Riveter,’ who will be arguing in favor of women winning the gender war:

Obama Signs Measures to Help Close Gender Pay Gap

Stuff the manila folders with any top-secret intel that might help strengthen your students' arguments...leave them to find the connections and synthesize the information :-)

Stuff the manila folders with any top-secret intel that might help strengthen your students’ arguments…leave them to find the connections and synthesize the information 🙂

TOP-SECRET, TEAM RESEARCH & DEBATE STRATEGIZING SESSION

For this portion of the activity, we migrated over to the computer lab, so if you’re taking a week for this activity, you’ll likely want to make some reservations at your Media Center or Computer Lab.  Productive noise, welcome!

Here are a few snapshots from Operation Research…

Investigative Squad for Operation "Apocalypse Now!"

Investigative Squad for Operation “Apocalypse Now!”

 

 

I am woman, hear me ROAR as I win the gender WAR!

I am woman, hear me ROAR as I win the gender WAR!

 

Pavich, your activity rocks...seriously!

Pavich, your activity rocks…seriously!

Room-Full-of-Research...I love the buzz of productivity!  GP, bring the noise!

Room-Full-of-Research…I love the buzz of productivity! GP, bring the noise!

INFORMAL DEBATE PRESENTATIONS

Debate Type: informal, have fun with it!

SPEECH SET-UP:

  • ROUND 1, 2 minutes…the argument for or against
  • ROUND 2, 1 minute…point-counter rebuttals to Round 1 opposition speech
  • Audience Vote, Teacher Confirmation  (if they vote the same as you, they get a treat!  This ensure that they vote based on evidence, not friendships or entertainment!)

Once students have spent a sufficient amount of time researching their argument, they’ll draft up a strategy for presenting it.  Here are a few things they’ll need to work out as a team:

  • Who will give the solo, 2-minute speech in Round 1?
  • Who would rather team up with a partner to provide counterarguments/rebuttals in the 1-minute segment of Round 2?
  • What paperwork should we bring to the podium?
  • What will we say if the opposition raises Points X, Y, Z?
  • Who will be in charge of organizing our information on the board for the audience to follow?

Once these final details are ironed out, it’s time to hit the podium!

On the board behind each team, I’ve provided space for them to write the following information:

  • Mission Target/Essay Prompt
  • Investigative Coordinates/Persuasive Thesis
  • Mission Accomplished/Evidence to Support the Argument

Have one student from the group quickly jot the information on the board, OR pre-arrange the information on large post-it notes or magnetic card-stock print-outs for quick swapping (which is what I will definitely be doing next time around!)

Debate Board...the audience should write down the information and take some quick-notes about each subject argued!

Debate Board…the audience should write down the information and take some quick-notes about each subject argued!

Theatre...or Cinema?  Which is better?!

Theatre…or Cinema? Which is better?!

I encourage students to arrange ideas into Hand Approach themes, or sub-points, so the audience can follow supporting details easily.  I also encourage them to use the Point-Counterpoint Chart to draft additional arguments as they arise organically during the course of the debate.

Students can take any notes they’d like up to the podium…

Typed, copy-pasties from online research

20140426-140240.jpg

Handwritten thoughts and scribblings

Either of these sets of notes is pretty free-form, but encourage them to keep a list of their original sources handy as well.

ESSAY SESSION

From the podium to the pen!

From the podium to the pen…speaking meets writing.

Once debate presentations are complete, students will need to transfer spoken knowledge into written communication…let the Operation Essay begin!

You can organize this any which way you’d like, depending on class writing needs.  For example, students could:

  • Write a full, persuasive essay on their debate side.
  • Write a full, discursive essay on their debate topic.
  • Draft part of an essay, based on several debate topics (i.e. choosing any debate topic other than you own, draft an intro plus two, discursive body paragraphs–one in favor and one against–that adheres to the selected prompt)
  • Write ’em individually.
  • Write ’em as a team.

Either way, students are getting exposure to content, finding the connection between content and essay prompt, and practicing the writing craft!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Collaboratively Yours,

eduPavich

UNICEF Tap Project

As I mentioned in my most recent post, my students are writing their final essay today…but we’ve taken essay writing to a WHOLE new GP level this time!  imagesIf you are interested in having your students not only write about global issues but be a part of the solution to one as well, CLICK HERE!  Visit The GP Indie to see what we were up to today while writing. 

Earlier this year, we did a unit on the value of potable water; and today students are writing to the prompt:

“How far do receiving countries really benefit from development aid?”

Being a part of the UNICEF Tap Project is providing cleaner drinking water to countries in need AND it’s giving students knowledge and experience to support the above essay prompt…share this with your kids as a mini lesson in writing and in global citizenship 😉

Collaboratively Yours,

eduPavich

Cambridge “Best Practices”: June 2014

Breaking news...I'm facilitating this summer's GP Best Practices!

Breaking news…I’m facilitating this summer’s GP Best Practices!

Interested in attending Cambridge’s “Best Practices” workshop this summer?  Great news…I’m facilitating a two-day workshop for AICE: General Paper 8004!

If you are interested in learning more about this awesome opportunity in June 2014, CLICK HERE!!!!!!

Collaboratively Yours,

eduPavich

Boy/Wind: TCN Ideas for Chapter 9

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!)

Greetings, GP’ers!

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!!

Genuinely,

Mrs. Pavich

Workshop Update: Blogger Channels Orwell

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?!

Orwellian paranoia terrorizes teacher blog...

Orwellian paranoia terrorizes teacher blog…

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!!

Collaboratively Yours,

eduPavich

Substitute Meets Upfront ;-)

Unexpectedly OUT for a day?  I’ve got the universal sub-plan for you!

Absence Happens...

Absence Happens…

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!

MATERIALS:

EMERGENCY LESSON PLAN:

  1. Distribute the __ edition of Upfront (or other) Magazine
  2. Distribute the Core Ideas handout
  3. Ask students to first survey ALL articles in the magazine before choosing ONE to focus on for the assignment.
  4. Students must select ONE article from the magazine and complete the corresponding questions contained in the Core Ideas handout.

ADDITIONAL TASKS:

  • 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!

Collaboratively Yours,

eduPavich

A Poster’s Worth A Thousand Essay Words

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?

Not entirely…

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!)

You teach, your classroom teaches, too!  Draw attention to posters by putting them on the board and connecting their content to your learning goals!

You have a degree in teaching, but your physical classroom is a born natural! Draw attention to posters by putting them on the board and connecting their content to your learning goals!

Target the poster's primary information, making it super-visible to that back row!

Target the poster’s primary information, making it super-visible to that back row!

Class Content, GP Relevance.  Placing an essay prompt next to it really puts learning into perspective.  Guide students toward pondering the connection!

Class Content, GP Relevance. Placing an essay prompt next to it really puts learning into perspective. Guide students toward pondering the connection!

Have revolutions ever made the world a better place?  Examine two revolutions in support of your view.  (May/June 2012 Released Test prompt)

Have revolutions ever made the world a better place? Examine two revolutions in support of your view. (May/June 2012 Released Test prompt)

Reaching out to our student population from a multitude of mediums…we work hard, we work smart!

Collaboratively Yours,

eduPavich

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