Thursday, March 31, 2016

Coming Back to Life: March 31, 2016

Focus: What does it mean to be alive but not alive, dead but not dead?

1. Warming up with the Part 2 vocabulary words and

2. Performing a dramatic reenactment of Montag and Mildred's book extravaganza (71-77)

  • What's alive/coming back to life in this scene?
  • What's dead or dying in this scene?

Please post one of your observations on today's class blog to kick off fishbowl discussion.

3. Enjoying F451 Fishbowl #4: Pages 63-80

1. By MONDAY, read through page 102 in F451. Leaders and discussers should prepare for Fishbowl. FISHBOWL IS ON MONDAY NEXT WEEK.

2. If you're giving your presentation tomorrow, Friday, April 1, you should be working on it this week.

3. Complete Day 4 of your seven-day challenge. Some of your charts are blank; remember that in order for your chart to be accurate, you must fill it out every single day rather than filling out the whole thing Sunday night (which I can see in your revision history).

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wading Into Dover Beach: March 30, 2016

Focus: How does "Dover Beach" illuminate Bradbury's themes?

1. Warming up with Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" (15 minutes)

1. Sensory imagery: What does this beach look like? What does it sound like? Feel like? Smell/taste like? Find an image that matches your mental picture of Dover Beach and leave it up on your computer.

2. Verbs: Which verbs strike you? What patterns emerge among the verbs?

1. Shifts: Where would you section this poem? Where does it seem to shift topics?

2. Metaphor: What's Dover Beach being compared to? What do these two things specifically have in common?

Multiple Meanings:
1. The End: What do you make of the last stanza? What's the lesson to be learned here?

2. Extension: Bradbury includes this poem in an upcoming scene in F451. Of all the poems in the world, why do you think he chose this one?

2. Learning Bradbury's vocabulary by entering the Part 2 words in

3. Reading and reflecting on tonight's reading assignment

1. By tomorrow, read through page 80 in F451. Leaders and discussers should prepare for Fishbowl.

2. If you're giving your presentation this Friday, April 1, you should be working on it this week.

3. Complete Day 3 of your seven-day challenge. Some of your charts are blank; remember that in order for your chart to be accurate, you must fill it out every single day rather than filling out the whole thing Sunday night (which I can see in your revision history).

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our Relationship With Technology: March 29, 2016

Focus: What's our relationship with technology? How does Bradbury characterize people's relationship with technology?

1. Warming up by analyzing your survey data:

a.  Take a look at the pie charts and draw at least one conclusion about each graph that goes beyond the obvious (get in touch with your creative brain here).

b. Then, try to finish the following statements ON THE CLASS BLOG:

In 2016, teenagers' relationship with technology can be described as .... because....

c. MINI BREAK: Find a quotation from F451 about technology and/or happiness. Read aloud.

d. In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, people's relationship with technology can be described as ... because...

2. Enjoying F451 Fishbowl #3: Pages 40-63

Reminder: Bloggers--if you want that 10 out of 10, you need to be bringing some passages/page references into some of your questions and responses.

3. Wrapping up by posting (or discussing) the first day of your seven-day challenge

1. By Thursday, read through page 80 in F451. Leaders and discussers should prepare for Fishbowl.

2. If you're giving your presentation this Friday, April 1, you should be working on it this week.

3. Complete Day 2 of your seven-day challenge.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Are We Social or Antisocial? March 28, 2016

Focus: Living in a world full of digital social networks, are we social or unsocial?

1. Warming up with a survey about your relationship with technology/digital networks and a seven-day-challenge

2. Round-robin reading of four articles on binge watching, texting, Facebook, and spacing out

As you read, keep your Google doc F451 notes open and keep track of the following:
  • What are the main points of each article? Try to find one sentence you think is important and type it in your notes.
  • What do agree with in each article?
  • What do you disagree with in each article?
  • What question(s) does this article inspire?
3. Discussing our findings with our Think Tanks

Topic #1: Spend a little time going through your notes on the articles, discussing what you thought they were about, what you agreed with, and what you disagreed with.

Topic #2: What aspects of these articles did you find personally relevant? In other words, have you experienced what these articles are talking about, and/or have you seen it with your friends/family?

Topic #3: What connections can you make between these articles and Fahrenheit 451? Is our society different from theirs? What qualities do we share? What do you think Bradbury was seeing in his society that concerned him?

4. Responding to today's focus question on the class blog

1. Please read through page 63 to prepare for tomorrow's fishbowl discussion.

2. Work on your banned book speech if you're delivering yours this Friday, April 1.

3. Keep track of the individual challenge you've been given starting today; continue all the way through Sunday. Click HERE for the forms; copy the one that's relevant to you and keep it in your F451 folder (or print it out if that's easier).

Friday, March 18, 2016

And...Break! March 18, 2016

Focus: To ban or not to ban?

Assembly: Shortened Class

1. Warming up with banned book speeches

2. Trying out the new PSAT-style vocabulary quiz together

(The first quiz will be Attempt and Completion)

3. Reading F451 (through page 63) while I touch base with handwriters

1. For Tuesday, March 29 we will be reading through page 63. If you're typing your reading journal, I will be looking in your folder to leave you feedback. If you're handwriting, I'll be checking in you on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you're conferencing, show up at your assigned time.

2. If you're giving your speech on April 1, you may want to work on it over spring break.

3. I hope your spring break is full of good things.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Play the Man: March 17, 2016

Focus: What are the characters sacrificing? Which ones are aware that they're making a sacrifice? Is it better to be aware or unaware?

1. Sketching our first encounters with Clarisse (p.5-7), then Mildred (p.11-14)
  • Opening to those pages, finding three significant words or phrases for each, then brainstorming their connotations.
  • Make a statement about how Bradbury's language characterizes each woman (finding the larger pattern).
  • Why do we meet Clarisse first?

2. Trying the same connotation exercise with Beatty and the other firemen (p.32-34)
  • Sketch, then find significant words and phrases from these pages. Brainstorm their connotations.
  • Make a statement (or ask a question) about how Bradbury's language characterizes Beatty?
  • What did you notice that maybe no one else did? Try posting this or your above statement on today's class blog to kick off discussion.
3. Fishbowl Discussion #2: Pages 28-40 of F451

5. Wrapping up: Responding to the focus questions at the tippy top of today's blog.

1. We will have a vocabulary activity tomorrow; it helps to be familiar with the words, but you don't need to memorize them. Just keep flipping through them on quizlet.

2. Our first round of banned book speeches is tomorrow! Remember that if you're not ready or you don't show up on your assigned day, the most you can receive is half credit on your speech.

3. For Tuesday, March 29 we will be reading through page 63. If you're typing your reading journal, I will be looking in your folder to leave you feedback. If you're handwriting, I'll be checking in you on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you're conferencing, show up at your assigned time (you received an e-mail from me yesterday).

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lighting the Candle: March 16, 2016

Focus: What does it mean to burn a book?

PLC: Shortened Class

1. Warming up with highlights and lowlights from yesterday's fishbowl discussion

2. Reading F451 or working on banned book speech while I check in with students who are handwriting 3-columned notes/journals/sticky notes

3. Cooling down by unlocking the powerful story behind "Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

In whatever medium you're using for your reading journal, please uncover the following:

1. What's the story behind that quotation? What's the historical context?
2. How does it fit what's happening in F451?

1. Read through page 40 in F451 for tomorrow and complete whatever type of journal you've chosen.

2. Spend 5-10 minutes flipping through/playing a game with your F451, Part 1 words on quizlet. We will have a vocabulary activity on Friday that will resemble the PSAT; you will want to be somewhat familiar with the words, but memorization is not required.

3. Continue preparing your banned book speech.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meeting Bradbury's Characters: March 15, 2016

Focus: What do we think about Bradbury's human and non-human characters?

1. Warming up with circles of enlightenment: Montag, Clarisse, Mildred,the machines and operator who save Mildred, the typical fireman, the Hound

2. Reviewing fishbowl expectations and diving in

3. Wrapping up with takeaways/questions: So far, what patterns are you noticing in Bradbury's characters?

1. Read through page 40 in F451 for Thursday and prepare for fishbowl discussion; continue your reading reflections. If you're handwriting, make sure you're bringing it to class.

2. If you're giving your speech this Friday, March 18, you should be working on it tonight and every night this week.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Understanding Bradbury: March 14, 2016

Focus: How can we understand Bradbury's language and purpose more fluently?

1. Warming up with a F451 vocabulary game
2. Reviewing fishbowl expectations; Tuesday's group may go into the hallway to work

3. Working on banned book speeches OR reading F451; how are you reading reflections going? Anybody want to switch it up?

1. Finish reading and reflecting on F451, pages 1-28 for tomorrow; fishbowl leaders and discussers need to be ready to go. REMEMBER TO PRINT A COPY OF YOUR SYLLABUS FOR ME.

2. Work on your banned book speech; remember that you if you're not ready for your date (or if you just don't show up), you can receive only half credit at most.

P.S. Any documents you need for this unit are likely on the class website.

Friday, March 11, 2016

To Ban or Not To Ban: March 11, 2016

Focus: What are the far-reaching effects of censorship?

1. Warming up with one statement from yesterday's high velocity brainstorming or from your grid group discussions

2. Going back to the future with Ray Bradbury: Reading the first ten pages of F451 together
  • What are learning about this future society?
  • How does Bradbury describe it?
  • What confuses you?
3. Returning to your banned book brainstorming/outlining and picking dates

4. Signing up for F451 fishbowl discussions

1. Read through page 28 in F451 by TUESDAY and complete whatever type of reading reflection you're doing. 

  • Please e-mail me ASAP if you're planning to conference with me regularly so we can establish a time. 
  • If you need the online version of the reading journal, it's linked the F451 page of my website.
  • If you'd like a study guide, click here.

2. Work on your banned book speech; IF ARE NOT READY TO GO ON YOUR ASSIGNED DATE (OR YOU DON'T SHOW UP FOR CLASS), YOU WILL RECEIVE HALF-CREDIT FOR YOUR SPEECH AT MOST. This is not to be mean; this is a real-world situation.

3. If you are a leader or discusser for one of next week's F451 discussions, I recommend getting ahead in the reading this weekend.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Back to the Future, Bradbury Style: March 10, 2016

Focus: What kind of future did Bradbury create and why?

1. Warming up: Considering what should be banned and censored with a round of "Agree, Disagree, Unsure"

2. Considering why censorship concerned Bradbury, who was writing in the 1950s: If Fahrenheit 451 was his innovation, what prompted it?

Think Tanks:
Topic #1: What strikes you from these websites? What questions do you have?

Topic #2: What patterns do you notice about censorship? What inferences can you draw about life in the 1950s?

Topic #3: Do you think our current society censors less than the 1950s society did, or is our modern version of censorship just different?

3. Entering Ray Bradbury's vision of censorship in the future

4. Wrapping a few loose ends from yesterday:
  • Do I have hard copies of your rubrics?
  • Raise your hand if your project is in your partner's Google folder.
  • If you'd like a say in how much this project is worth and which category it belongs in, please take the 10-second survey linked HERE. You will need to be signed in.
  • Do you have a F451 folder, and is your reading proposal in it? Who needs stuff from me ASAP?

1. Finish reading through page 28 for class on Monday; complete the method of reading contemplation you established in your reading journal. 

2. We will sign up for modified fishbowl discussions tomorrow, so if you know you will be absent, you might ask a friend to sign you up.

3. Bring your banned book tomorrow so that we can get back to developing our speeches.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Collaborating: March 9, 2016

Focus: What happens when we put our heads together?

1. Warming up:




2. Preparing and sharing in mid-sized groups (please put students together in groups of 5-6 based on where they are sitting, but people who worked together should stick together):

In each group, select TWO members to take notes and share them with me directly during class. Here are some things each person/group should chat about:
  • What did you focus on?
  • Why did you pick that particular focus?
  • How would you implement your ideas? (Share your actual project--if your group wants to watch/see it, feel free to Google share it with them)
  • Ask and discuss any questions you have.

3. Following up as a large group via today's blog

  • Please post one takeaway (either from sharing your own or from listening to others) on today's class blog.
  • What is one small thing you can do, starting today, to help you develop your innovation/imagination skills?
  • Take some time to read and respectfully comment on others' posts.

Ex: I wanted to redesign classrooms to emphasize collaboration. From now on, I'm going to do my science homework in a small group because I'll understand it better if I'm talking about it with others.

Ex: My brain works best in natural sunlight. I'm going to bring a heavier sweatshirt to keep in my locker so that I can do school work / eat outside every chance I get.

4. Distributing Fahrenheit 451 books (they're in a box on the back shelf) and designing your reading plan

Here are the two things I need:

1. Show me that you've actually done the reading. 
2. Show me that you're thinking about the reading.

Please create a F451 folder inside your English 10 folder.

Inside that folder, create a new doc and call it Reading Proposal. Please write me a reading proposal that addresses a two-part problem:

1. How can you show me that you're reading F451 and that you're thinking about it? What will be your method/medium? Possible options: 3-columned notes? Annotations? Journaling/freewriting? Regular reading conferences? Old-school study guide? What else?

2. Why is this method/medium the most meaningful way for you to accomplish the tasks above? Defend your ideas.

3. What do you specifically need from me to make this happen?

1. If you have your own copy of F451, bring it to class tomorrow. If you don't, bring your ID so I can check out a book to you.

2. Finish your reading proposal right away if you did not finish in class. If you need a reading journal, for example, I need to bring you one tomorrow.

3. For Friday: Bring your banned book to class. We will select presentation dates and continue planning our speeches.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Defining the Value of Your Innovations: March 8, 2016

Focus: How do define the value of what we're creating?

1. Warming up:

Click HERE to take a survey on sleep.

Click HERE to take a survey on grades and rubrics.

2. Thinking about what you'd like Ms. Leclaire to look for

If you like rubrics, try Googling "blank rubrics" and fill one in with your values.

If you don't like rubrics, try typing some questions you'd like me to respond to as I explore your mini-project.

Ideas to consider regarding assessment:

  • What do you want people to take away from your project / understand in a new light?
  • How does your medium fit your purpose?
  • What makes your project innovative? Why does your project matter?


3. Working on implementing your projects

1. We will share these tomorrow, so please finish up what needs to be finished. 


3. If you're planning to purchase a copy of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, now is a great time! We will start this book on Thursday.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Innovation: March 7, 2016

Focus: What does the process of innovation feel like?

1. Warming up with the re-invention of the heart (and your answer to the last survey question)

2. Implementing your proposals: Trying, failing, trying again....creating, innovating

3. Closing with tips from innovative people who have failed their way to success:

Will Smith (named by Newsweek as "most powerful actor in Hollywood"; described by Forbes as "most bankable star worldwide")

J.K Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series and first person to become a billionaire from writing books)

Steve Jobs (former CEO of Apple)

Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft)

1. Tomorrow will be the last day of in-class work time on your innovative mini-projects, and we will share them on Wednesday, March 9; decide what you need to accomplish tonight and write it in your calendar.

2. If you'd like to purchase your own copies of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, now would be a good time. You need your books on Thursday.

3. Don't worry about your banned book speeches yet; we will return to this on Friday with a more solid time frame.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

From Imagination to Innovation: March 3, 2016

Focus: How do we move from imagining future learning to inventing it?

1. Warming up by exploring the importance of innovation and the results of yesterday's survey

Can these changes be applied in the physical model for school we have? Or would we have to scrap everything?

Innovation: Coming up with new ideas of value and implementing them

2. Offering you my proposal as a think-aloud

3. Brainstorming, goal-setting, planning, and starting!

Click HERE for the proposal if you didn't make a copy of it yesterday.

Goal: Finish at least this sheet by the end of class; if you have a busy weekend (say, you're going to Vegas), try to get started on the research aspect of your mini-project.

Need a pep talk? Click here for MIT's list of current top innovators...who all happen to be under age of 35.

1. Essays due in by 3:00 pm today.

2. Complete the aspects of your mini-project that you assigned yourself. We will share on Wednesday, March 9.

3. Don't worry about your banned book speeches yet. Let's wrap up your essays and mini-projects first.

4. Make sure your parents/guardians know that I will be at conferences tonight from 4:00-6:00.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What Kind of Learning Might Prepare You for the Future? March 2, 2016

Focus: What will you need to learn for the future?

"To create the future, we must first imagine it." -- The XQ Institute

1. Warming up with a quick survey linked HERE, followed by a five-minute clip on American high schools

After (or during) the clip, please post a takeaway or question on today's blog from this clip.

2.  Discussing with your think tanks the video, the ideal school day, and the "XQ" factor

Topic #1: Discuss what you saw...did you see or hear anything you hadn't considered before? Questions? Takeaways? Opinions? 

Also, if you'd like, explore this website together about the Super School Project and the quality they define as "XQ."

WHAT IS XQ? (from

IQ: How We Think

It measures your cognitive capabilities.

EQ: How We Learn In The World
It measures the ability to connect, collaborate, and learn from others.

XQ: IQ + EQ + That Certain Something

XQ is the agile and flexible intelligence that prepares students for a more connected world, a rapidly changing future, and a lifetime of learning.

Topic #2: What do your ideal school days look like?  Share your thoughts from yesterday's/last night's writing.  Would your ideal school day develop "XQ"?

Topic #3: Look through your binders, folders, and/or Google folders. Find one task you've been given this semester in any class, and re-frame it a way that develops your "XQ," or the kind of learning you might need for the future.

Ex: Instead of a traditional speech with an outline, rubric, and step-by-step process, I gave you a problem to solve.
3. Creating a mini project that captures learning for the future

The problem: American high schools are failing to prepare their students for the future. 

Your task: create something that moves people--students, teachers, parents, administrators, and/or the community--to inspire others to rethink our school system.

Click HERE for the proposal and some space to brainstorm.
You will have Thursday, the long weekend, Monday, and Tuesday to work on this. They will be due Wednesday, March 9.


2. Click HERE for the proposal; please finish by the end of class on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Restructuring the School Day: March 1, 2016

Focus: What kind of school day fosters creativity and learning?

1. Rapid-fire responding to yesterday's "What if...?" questions (5 min)

2. Discussing school schedules in think tanks:

Topic #1: What other types of school days are out there? Share your findings from last night.

Topic #2: What do you like about the structure of Arapahoe's school day? What don't you like? Is our school day conducive to creativity and learning?

Topic #3: Take a moment for each member of the group to develop his/her own "What if...?" question regarding the structure of the school day. Take this topic to pose and discuss those questions.

3. Reconsidering what learning looks like: What if learning looked like...?

4. Pulling together your ideas and creating your ideal school day

Please do this in your "School Day" doc.

How would your school day start? What does your ideal school like as you're walking in? What do you do first? What's your first class of the day? What are the halls like? Lockers? What does learning look like in your first hour class? What does the classroom look like? How long is your class? What happens next? Do you go right to 2nd hour? How do you get there? What does learning look like in second hour? Keep going...How many periods are there? Are there bells? What's lunch like? Etc, etc..

1. Spend 10-15 minutes continuing #4 on today's class blog.

2. Synthesis essays are due in by this Thursday (I'm extending your deadline by a day). Come in for conferences if you'd like extra help beyond the feedback I've left for you. Click HERE for the update regarding feedback. E-MAIL ME TODAY IF YOU'D LIKE MORE FEEDBACK ON SOMETHING SPECIFIC.

3. Please let your parents/guardians know that I will only be at conferences this Thursday from 4:00 to 6:00.