Archive for the ‘[RE] General Commentary’ Category

Let’s do this quickly.  You all started these papers early in April; you reviewed every step and completed each section one by one; and then you were given an extra week to complete the final paper.  First reason your grades are, for the most part, as low as they are: Absolutely none of you completed the optional rough draft, which would have inevitably improved the final product.  After that, it comes down to laziness and procrastination.

If you want to see the modified DAMAGES rubric used to grade your papers along the matrix given to you in class on 6/14, load it here.  Then load this exemplary paper (or this one) and compare it against your work.  These students completed all or almost all of the steps required of them.  They earned full or nearly fully credit on the easy parts of the assignment — grades #2-#7 — and that meant both higher marks on the actual paper and a nice cushion besides.

More than anything we’ve done all year, this paper’s total percentage (out of 300 points) reflects your work ethic and focus.  It is much less about ability than your willingness to follow directions, read what’s in front of you, and ask for help.

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Click here to load your scores in a new window.  Remember that you must enter a metacognitive response to this score and the feedback below — as those instructions indicate, no more than 15-20 minutes, but a focused 15-20 minutes.

You’ll note that I’ve put both classes together in this document to save time and space; note, however, that in an adversarial, you are competing directly against only your immediate classmates.

Use the scores to center yourself around how well you did.  Relatively speaking, a 74 or 78 (the lowest scores, excepting the student who earned the first zero ever awarded) means that you did not answer many questions correctly, either by volunteering or when challenged directly.  Even an 84 or 88 means that you lacked something; perhaps you didn’t augment your scores, and perhaps you simply weren’t keeping up with the assigned work.

Focus your metacognitive journaling especially on how much work you did over your spring break to prepare for the last two days of this adversarial.  Start with this: Did you finish the novel?  Not reading the 30 or so pages given to you is obviously not helping.  On Thursday, how did you do answering questions about the plot?  Look at your copy of the text; if it’s not annotated, you hurt yourself.  On Friday, were you able to contribute to the discussion by continuing to read closely and annotate the Chapter 26?  If you didn’t read or annotate in advance, as you were instructed to do, why was that?

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Let's commiserate.

A quick recap:

  • You were assigned the last half of the novel (about 30 pages) over spring break.
  • You were given the focus of this SOAPSTONE analysis before break, as well.
  • On Thursday, you worked individually to analyze the selection, which is reprinted below.
  • On Friday, you had about 30 minutes to work with a group to refine your responses to just three elements: Occasion, Speaker, and Tone.

First, take a look at the passage in question.


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Click here to read more of Blake's poetry.

Blake's own printing.

I have waited to return these essays to you for a reason.  Before explaining, here is a list of documents related to the assignment:

Put simply, you were asked to discuss what Blake’s poetry reveals about innocence and experience by analyzing the way he wrote — something about the authorial choices made in constructing the two poems.  I have waited to return your grades so that you must do a little legwork to understand them; I have not made many comments on your paper, although you will find a few, and this will force you to use the information below to understand your performance.

You must also complete a compendium entry that synthesizes the feedback below.  Visit the Reflections page at the top of this blog for more information.


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The adversarial that ended on 3/18 with a two-day collaborative assignment—a small-group analysis of one page of Chapter 4 in The Invisible Man—has been tabulated.  The final grades are below.  I have posted them anonymously and without the day-by-day breakdown for two reasons:

First, the breakdown was visually complicated by absences (17 over seven days), make-up totals, and the inclusion of your group assignment as an adversarial component, not a separate quiz.  I will explain any pressing confusion over your final total to you in individual conferences; otherwise, you have the information you need below.

Second, the augmentation scores—shown as a separate column in the table below—included, for the first time, negative values.


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The Invisible Man

From the 1933 film version by James Whale.

Welcome, tenth-graders.  As the year ends, I’ll slowly introduce this blog to you; eventually, you will use it for adversarial discussions and certain elements of your research paper.  For now, note that any post with [RE] in the title refers to you.  You can also find assignments, feedback, and so on through the categorical links to the right, or by using the static pages at the top of this site.

This first post contains general feedback on your most recent quiz, a 15-minute response covering Chapters 9-11 of The Invisible Man.  (Clicking that link will load the entire novel in a separate window; it is the same file archived at our BHS website.)You were allowed to use your copies of the text and any notes you brought with you.  The task was relatively straightforward:

Explain why the Invisible Man chooses Thomas Marvel, both in practical terms—i.e., what he wants Marvel to do for him—and in terms of personality.  The more specific you are, the more points you will earn.  You may use your annotated copy of the text, but nothing else.

I’ve broken down both halves of the prompt below.


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