Go to the Moodle Web Page to register for a second forum on discussing poetry. Mr. Richardson and I think this may work better for the project involving two poems with the second round teams from Iowa / Massachusetts.
Go to surfyourwork.com to begin your comments on your poems and your replies to other people's comments about their poems.
The index of poems read in class provides the text of the poems you heard in the dark, on the floor, with Kel.
You will need to register once. On the right side of the page, below the big "login" button, click on the "Student registration" link. I will supply you with the 5-digit student access code in class. There are two scroll bars, so make sure you use the right one to move down to the bottom of the registration pages. There are three or four screens, and it shouldn't take you more than a few minutes to register. Then in the future you'll just log in on the first page.
The web site did not seem to like Internet Explorer yesterday, so try Netscape or Safari.
Go to the "A. P. Writing" page, click on the "Forum", and respond to the "Test Forum, Day One" on a crucial aspect of life after the A. P. Exam.
Life after the A. P. Exam,
or "Why Good Poems are often Sticky . . ."
I) The Beginning
A) feel, don't think: I'll dump about 50-60 individual, brightly colored poems on the floor of 114. You'll spend half the period reading them, silently or out loud. You may not speak the words "essay", "multiple choice," or "answer the question." This is day one of the rest of your life, in English.
B) about the stickiness: Most of the poems are covered with contact paper, and some of them have masking tape or Velcro on the back corners of them, because they spent months of a school year stuck to the white cinder blocks outside in the hallway. Part of the first Writing Day, I tried to wallpaper as much of the blank cinder blocks in the hallway as possible. Hence, my referring to them as "Cinder Block Poems." A lot of them have the name of a former student who chose that poem (three of whom teach on campus right now). Many are sticky from the contact paper, to help them last longer, or from the masking tape. This stickiness seems entirely appropriate. Good poems, like peanut butter or oatmeal, should stick to you. At the end of this project, your name will be on at least one poem.
C) Have poem, will travel: By the end of the period, select at least one poem to take with you. I tried to avoid duplicates. The other class will have a different set of 50-60 poems to read. The next day, I'll swap the remaining poems with each class, so you can find others which match your taste. Your ultimate goal is to find two poems you like, individually, and a third you can connect with a partner.
II) The Guidelines
A) the followers: Eight of you have three or four A. P. Exams (2nd: Jonathan, Diana, Tracy; 3rd: Ken, Ali, Francesca, Lori, Halcyon). When you are in our English class, you participate. When you are outside of our English class, until your last A. P. exam, you don't. People from the other section may contact you to be a partner. Say "yes," but not more than once. (See section C, below).
B) the leaders: Eleven of you have finished A.P. exams as of today. Congratulations. You just became 11 out of the 13 two-person team leaders. You'll have a little bit of homework at night, starting on Wednesday night.
C) Why you're not in New Jersey any more, Toto: We are going to try testing some on-line software, as though we were in a "Virtual High School" kind of environment. Second period will belong to a state EAST of the Mississippi River (with one member seceding to the "WEST" of 3rd period, to make our numbers even), and Third period will belong to a state WEST of the Mississippi. Thus, you can practice communicating with a partner that you neither "see" nor "talk to" (for the purpose of this assignment), as though they were hundreds of miles away, not on the softball team or in your homeroom. You will post your work on line, on the experimental RPS "Bricks and Mortar" web site, and will conduct "threaded discussions" about your poems in the "chat" area of the website. Eventually, you will post a short commentary on your poem on the web site for the whole class (all 26 of you) to read.
III) The Academic Requirements
A) Choosing poems: You will ultimately choose three poems to write about and to read out loud.
1) Choose one poem you like because of WHAT it's about.
2) Choose one poem you like because of HOW it's written.
3) Choose one poem with your partner that links together in subject matter or craft or who is by the same poet, so that you have a pair of poems between you.
B) The first two poems only require a paragraph or so of comments each, on a journal-entry level of style, slightly proofread for clarity of communication and competent punctuation. Other people will read this, in addition to just your partner, so you need to be lucid.
C) sharing and playing well with others: The two poems you and your partner jointly connect will have a slightly longer written component, although nothing overly formal. I anticipate grading much of this on a pass-fail level of evaluation,
D) being heard and not seen: We'll start reading poems aloud on Thursday. If you're a "free" person, I'll expect you to read once on Thursday and another poem on Friday. After A. P. U. S. History on Friday, almost all of you will be more available.
E) picking sides: The 11 free people can choose especially among the 8 more heavily committed students with 3 or 4 A.P.'s. We need 12 teams of one student from each class, so the "free people" can't choose each other. The one team entirely from second period can take turns with one of its partners going to the learning lab or the library, so you're not in the same room as your partner.
F) no more ink or pencils: I'll bring in six iBooks into 114 for Wed-Fri of this week and Mon-Wed of next week. If we need more computers, I'll reserve some in the learning lab or in the library. Mr. Richardson also assures me you can upload your comments and read your partner's remarks and other students' work online from home, as well as on campus. Hence, pretending you're from different states.
IV) Poems are fun
A) oral gratification: We should read poems aloud, preferable without seeing the words of the poem in front of us, at first.
B) fresh air and sunshine: We This is a terrific activity for the gazebo or the amphitheater, so wear suitable clothes for outside when the weather is cooperative (or bring a jacket or something to sit on, if you're wearing white. No Marilyn Monroe stuff, ladies. The amphitheater is several rows high. The range of the "airport" hubs for the iBooks is about 150 feet, so we'll have to experiment with reception, or if we like reading outside, and you do some uploading at home, that may not be a problem.
C) "since feeling is first, who pays attention to the syntax of things will never wholly kiss you": What e. e. cummings said. Let's celebrate sensation, vent some emotions, and read some stuff your parents didn't get to study when they were in high school. A lot of these poets are still alive, for goodness sake, and several have been to our school.
Web pages with information about your poets