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Static note on adversarial scores: You will be given points for each thoughtful, focused response to the questions below, with no limit to the number of points you can earn during any adversarial reflection period.  Each post will be closed after 48 or 72 hours, depending on the day the reflection is assigned.  You are encouraged to return often to each post to read your peers’ responses; if you offer thoughtful, focused feedback to a peer’s comment, it is worth twice as many points.  See the original post on adversarial augmentation for more information on adversarial work. 

Final Exam Reflection: Part 4

For this portion of the exam, you were given a critical lens statement to interpret.  Then you were asked to write a full-length essay that applied that interpretation to two works of literature.  You were required to use Animal Farm and one of the other texts you studied this year.  To reflect on your performance, answer any of the following questions in the comments:

  1. What was your interpretation of the critical lens, and what was your initial reaction to using it?
  2. Which other work of literature did you choose, and why?
  3. What literary elements and techniques did you identify in your two works of literature, and how did you analyze them in your writing?  (Refer to this document if necessary.)
  4. When you take the real Regents Exam on June 17, you will be able to use any works of literature that you like.  Which will you review as possible choices, and what makes them effective choices?
  5. What is your thesis statement?  How well did you defend it?
Remember to indicate which question you are answering by rephrasing the question as part of your response.  You will have 48 hours to complete your adversarial reflections for this section of the exam.  We will review your answers for #3 and #4 on Monday the 13th.
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Static note on adversarial scores: You will be given points for each thoughtful, focused response to the questions below, with no limit to the number of points you can earn during any adversarial reflection period.  Each post will be closed after 48 or 72 hours, depending on the day the reflection is assigned.  You are encouraged to return often to each post to read your peers’ responses; if you offer thoughtful, focused feedback to a peer’s comment, it is worth twice as many points.  See the original post on adversarial augmentation for more information on adversarial work. 

Final Exam Reflection: Part 3

For this portion of the exam, you were given a poem and an excerpt from an essay to read and annotate.  You answered a short series of multiple-choice questions, and then you wrote two short responses, each about a paragraph in length.  To reflect on your performance, answer any of the following questions in the comments:

  1. What literary elements and techniques did you identify in each passage, and how did you use them in your writing?  (Refer to this document if necessary.)
  2. How did you structure your paragraphs, and to what extent can you identify the necessary elements of a paragraph (e.g., a topic sentence, development)?
  3. Which of the passages was easier to understand and annotate, and why?
  4. What were your initial reactions to the subject of each passage?
  5. Which multiple-choice questions were most difficult to answer, and how did you determine which choice was the best?
Remember to indicate which question you are answering by rephrasing the question as part of your response.  You will have 72 hours to complete your adversarial reflections for this section of the exam.

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Static note on adversarial scores: You will be given points for each thoughtful, focused response to the questions below, with no limit to the number of points you can earn during any adversarial reflection period.  Each post will be closed after 48 or 72 hours, depending on the day the reflection is assigned.  You are encouraged to return often to each post to read your peers’ responses; if you offer thoughtful, focused feedback to a peer’s comment, it is worth twice as many points.  See the original post on adversarial augmentation for more information on adversarial work. 

Final Exam Reflection: Part 2

For this portion of the exam, you were given two passages to read and annotate.  Then you answered a short series of multiple-choice questions.  To reflect on your performance, answer any of the following questions in the comments:

  1. Which of the passages was easier to understand and annotate, and why?
  2. What were your initial reactions to the subject of each passage?
  3. How did you structure your annotations?  If you did not annotate the passages, how can you alter your approach for the exam on June 17?
  4. Which multiple-choice questions were most difficult to answer, and how did you determine which choice was the best?
Remember to indicate which question you are answering by rephrasing the question as part of your response.  You will have 48 hours to complete your adversarial reflections for this section of the exam.

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Static note on adversarial scores: You will be given points for each thoughtful, focused response to the questions below, with no limit to the number of points you can earn during any adversarial reflection period.  Each post will be closed after 48 or 72 hours, depending on the day the reflection is assigned.  You are encouraged to return often to each post to read your peers’ responses; if you offer thoughtful, focused feedback to a peer’s comment, it is worth twice as many points.  See the original post on adversarial augmentation for more information on adversarial work.

Final Exam Reflection: Part 1

For this portion of the exam, you were read a short passage and asked to take notes on its main ideas.  Then you answered a short series of multiple-choice questions.  To reflect on your performance, answer any of the following questions in the comments:

  1. What was your general approach to the passage, i.e., how did you keep yourself engaged and attentive as you listened?
  2. How did you structure your notes?
  3. To what extent did you use the second reading of the passage to help you answer the multiple-choice questions?
  4. Which multiple-choice questions were most difficult to answer, and how did you determine which choice was the best?
Remember to indicate which question you are answering by rephrasing the question as part of your response.  You will have 48 hours to complete your adversarial reflections for this section of the exam.

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From 5/31 through 6/13, you will complete your final exam, which is a practice English Regents Exam.  You will take the real English Regents Exam on 6/17, during finals week, as part of your graduation requirements; that real Regents Exam will not count toward your course average or overall final GPA, however.  Your final exam will consist instead of

  1. your score on 25  multiple-choice questions;
  2. your score on two paragraphs of analysis;
  3. your score on an essay of literary analysis; and
  4. your cumulative score on a series of reflective, online adversarials, each one built around one of the four tasks of the English Regents Exam.

Use the final exam schedule given to you through our calendar and in the Q4 materials (archived under the appropriate heading on the right of the screen) as a starting point.  Then look over the following exam requirements.

General Requirements

You must complete each portion of the exam itself during the class period.  If you are late, you sacrifice that lost time; if you are entitled to extended time, you will receive it after school in one of the preset periods indicated in the final exam schedule (archived under the appropriate heading to the right of the screen).  For each reflective portion, you will be given a class period with computers; you will then have at least 48 hours to augment your adversarial reflection online.  All reflective work will be completed through this course blog.

Task 1: Listening (5/31)

You will hear a passage read aloud to you twice.  While you listen, you will take notes on main ideas and details.  Then you will answer eight multiple-choice questions.  The reflective work for Task 1 will be completed on 6/1.

Task 2: Reading Comprehension (6/2)

You will read two short passages, and then you will answer twelve multiple-choice questions that test your close reading skills.  The reflective work for Task 2 will be completed on 6/3.

Task 3: Comparative Analysis (6/6)

On 6/3, the day you complete the reflective work for Task 2, you will be given two passages, an essay excerpt and a poem, that deal with one topic.  After reading both over the weekend, you will arrive on 6/6 and complete Task 3.  First, you will answer five multiple-choice questions.  Then you will write two short responses, each one a paragraph responding to a specific prompt:

  1. The first will ask you to use ideas from both passages to establish a controlling idea about their shared topic.  You will be asked to develop your controlling idea using specific examples and details from each passage.
  2. The second will ask you to choose a specific literary element (e.g., theme, characterization, structure, point of view) or literary technique (e.g., symbolism, irony, figurative language) used by one of the authors.  Note that you will not be asked to discuss both authors, but only one.  Then you will be asked to use specific details from that one passage to analyze how the author uses that element or technique to develop the passage.  You may use this adapted document to review literary elements and techniques.  You should also and obviously use your notes from throughout the school year.

The reflective work for Task 3 will be completed on 6/7.

Task 4: Literary Analysis (6/8 and 6/9)

Finally, you will be asked to write a full essay over two days that discusses two works of literature you have read from the particular perspective of a critical lens, which is a quotation that offers some insight into the world around us.  You are required to use Animal Farm; your other work of literature may be chosen from any of the texts we have studied this year (e.g., The Invisible Man, Blake’s poetry, “A Modest Proposal,” Bradbury’s “The Earth Men,” “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”).  You will again be asked to make references to specific literary elements and techniques used by your authors.  Return to your notes and compendia, or use this adapted document to review.  The reflective work for Task 4 will be completed on 6/10.

Our final day of school on 6/13 will be spent preparing for the Regents Exam by reviewing your performance over the previous two weeks.

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The study of rhetoric is the study of language, especially as it is used to argue and persuade.  For the next three days, you will adversarially deconstruct examples of diegetic rhetoric in Animal FarmDiegetic refers, in this case, to any writing or speeches created by characters in Animal Farm in order to persuade other characters to

  1. adjust their moods or feelings;
  2. change their mindsets or beliefs; or
  3. take a particular action.

To prepare for these three days of analysis in class, you should have isolated the key speeches and writing in the novel.  In your compendium, and for each example of persuasion, you should have the following:

  1. SOAPSTONE thumbnail:
  1. Subject
  2. Occasion: immediate and general
  3. Audience and Speaker: relationship, history, expectations of each other
  4. Purpose (see three goals above)
  • Central claim
    1. Backing or evidence for claim
  • Rhetorical appeals:
    1. To logos (logic)
    2. To ethos (character and authority)
    3. To pathos (emotions)
  • Other persuasive techniques:
    1. Particular tone(s)
    2. Rhetorical questions
    3. Imagery
    4. Connotative diction

    You are hoping to emulate these strategies in your own persuasive speeches, which we will begin toward the end of this week.  For the adversarial component of this study, you can use the comments section of this post to analyze any of the following speeches according to any of the above requirements.  Responding to a peer, either to elaborate or to refine his or her ideas, will earn you twice as many points as posting your own ideas.

    Start with Old Major’s speech, which is reprinted below.

    (more…)

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    Go back and read this post, which introduces the concept of online adversarial augmentation. It offers you the opportunity to increase your adversarial scores—not a new concept, but one updated beyond the handwritten or typed requirement of the original guidelines.  You were given time in the library lab, in the classroom, and at home, plus a day of specific instruction that reviewed how to post comments.

    Here are the results of our first online-augmented adversarial, from 4/25 through 5/1:

    The brief notes cover the obvious: points lost for packing up early or refusing to participate; failure to utilize online (or offline) augmentation; and so on.  Here are the results of our second online-augmented adversarial, from 5/2 through 5/8:

    The general notes cover your participation, or they point out success with a particular lesson; there are no notes about online augmentation, however, because there was no online augmentation.  And that ought to trouble you as much as it troubles your teachers.

    You are in the midst of a final month that depends largely on your ability to use the resources in front of you.  You have all the time you need; you have all the documents you need; you have all the access to your teachers that you need.  If you work hard and steadily, you will do very well.  If you don’t work hard or steadily, you may not do well at all.  That none of you took advantage of this last online adversarial, even when given a day in the computer lab to get started, underscores the necessity of resource management.  You must track your progress and participation without access to the scores and without being forced, on penalty of a zero, to do work.

    This extends far beyond any remaining adversarial discussions—and with your copy of our final calendar, you know when they’re coming—but let’s revisit the original guidelines for augmenting a scored discussion:

    Augmenting Point Totals
    In order to encourage students to continue these discussions after the bell dismisses the class, the adversarial format allows for augmentation of point totals:

    1. Any student who wishes to earn additional points after an adversarial lesson has ended—whether or not the student spoke—can do so by submitting an additional writing assignment.
    2. Based on the insightfulness, specificity, and effort evident in the submission, this work may earn additional points toward the daily point total.
    3. The submission must specifically reference in-class discussion, which can be done in a variety of ways:

    a. By answering a question in new or greater detail
    b. By elaborating on a classmate’s specific comment
    c. By explicating passages not mentioned in class
    d. By expanding on an essential question of the unit
    e. Etc. —there are many ways to earn more points

    As always, you should speak to me or send me an email if you need clarification.  Remember, there are no traps or trapdoors here; the way forward is clear, but it requires you to start walking.

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