The thing about this IB course is students are expected to master something called an oral commentary. It's one reason the IB program is such a good one - not only do they have to pass a test (like in AP), and write well, but they also have to speak well, and think quickly on their feet. During the "real thing," students get two passages - one from a work they've studied (but they don't know what the passage will be), and one from a work they haven't seen - and are given twenty minutes to textmark it (alone), then are asked to give a 5-10 presentation on it. It's a long and involved process, but the kids learn a lot.
I'm teaching the first half of the program, so I'm expected to get the kids ready to do these commentaries once they are seniors. This year, we did a few of them in class to start out the year, and scored them as a class on the rubric. That got to be pretty tedious after a while, so I've scheduled the 65 of them after school with me. Every day this week and next, I've got oral commentaries scheduled until around 5pm with kids.
Today was day one, and it was really good! Kids are connecting Siddartha and Brave New World, linking them together with an original thesis around some topics we came up with. I especially enjoyed Nneka's; she worked her butt off for it. I had her as a 9th grader and she was a bubbly kid without a lot of self-discipline. She's still bubbly, but she's adding a layer of maturity and is quickly becoming a favorite. She told me this morning, "I think you're going to like me this year," as if I hadn't her 9th grade year, and told me how hard she planned to work to get at least an 85 in the class. She was well on her way today.
Today was a long day. I left at 5:30 instead of 7:00. I feel a little guilty about it now, but I brought some work home.
The Draw Of Daft Punk - In a visually engaging Pitchfork cover-story, Ryan Dombal puts the duo in perspective: Zoom out for a second, and this entire scene can seem deeply silly: ...
32 minutes ago