This blog is for the use of students and parents of Fortuna High School. Please direct all questions to Mrs. Nuth Kajtaniak at tkajtaniak@fuhsdistrict.net.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Classwork for 12/13/13

Today in class, we read Things Fall Apart Chapters 3 and 4 and completed the following in our journals:

Journal #13: Proverbs from Chapter 3
Write down two proverbs from this chapter (or a previous one) and explain their meaning.

Journal #14: Subcultures
European perspectives often categorize all African cultures as the same.
In what ways does Achebe highlight the existence of “subcultures” within Igbo culture.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Classwork and Journal Entry for 12/12

Hi students,
If you were not here today (Thursday 12/12), the you need to read Chapter 2 and the first 3 pages of Chapter 3 in Things Fall Apart and then respond to the following prompt in your journal.

Journal #12:  Achebe uses the first chapters to contradict the stereotypical European representations of African society.  How does Achebe emphasize the harmony, communication norms, and overall complexity of Igbo society?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gulen Institute Essay Resource Link List (Updated Regularly)

Link to Gulen Institute Essay Prompt

Education Week magazine has a fantastic index of topics that will help you.  Click here for the link.  Topics you can browse include:
Achievement Gap
Charter Schools
Class Size
English-Language Learners
No Child Left Behind
Parent Involvement
Safety and Violence
Teacher Quality
Urban Education
etc., etc., etc.

1.  "How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses" (Wired Magazine, by Joshua Davis)

2.  "Houston Program Connects Low-Income Students With Top Colleges" (NPR's Here and Now Podcast) (Also see, the podcast segment immediately after that one, "Harvard Program Connects Low-Income Students With Top Colleges.")

3.  "How Poverty Affects Classroom Engagement" (Educational Leadership, by Eric Jensen) 

4.  NYTimes: Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say

5.  NYTimes: For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall

6.  NYTimes: Reflections on the Road to Yale

7.  NYTimes: To Fix Failing Schools, Target Troubled Students?

8.  "Research Links Poor Kids' Stress, Brain Impairment" (Washington Post, Rob Stein)

9.  "The Myth of the 'Culture of Poverty'" (Education Leadership by Paul Gorski) 

10.  "Public Schools and the Excuse Culture" (US News and World Report, by Joel Klein):  no link, search for this title on EBSCO ("Good teachers, effective principals, and great schools have a far greater impact on the achievement gap than any out-of-school antipoverty initiative.")

11.  "In California, Parents Trigger Change At Failing School" (NPR)

12.  Video:  "What matters for a child's future isn't IQ.  It's 'grit' (passion and perseverance)" 

13.  Student Voices in School Reform:  "Growing Our Own Teachers in Oakland" (Center for Teaching Quality) 

14.  Colorado District Launches Non-profit to Fund Technology (The Coloradoan)

15.  Article on "Flipped Classrooms":  "Turning Education Upside Down" (NYTimes) 

16.  Educating the Whole Child:  "Schools That Separate the Child From the Trauma" (NYTimes) 

17.  Early Education For All:  Strong Start for America's Children Act (US Senate Website)

18.  "Unrelenting Poverty Leads to 'Desperation' in Philly Schools" (NPR)

19.  School for Creative Studies breaks the box (Durham News)

Elements of Persuasion: Logos, Ethos, Pathos

Link to Logos, Ethos, Pathos PowerPoint

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Journal #11: One World Democracy

What would happen if global governance became a reality in the form of one big global democracy?  What are the possible effects (both positive and negative) of a one world democracy in which each person in the world gets one vote on issues of global significance?

What would be the challenges?

How would a utopian vision of world democracy differ from a dystopian vision of world democracy?

(2 paragraphs)

Journal #10: Define Your Utopia

What would your utopia look like?  Describe in detail what your utopian society would be like?  After you’ve created your utopia, transform it into a dystopia.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Journal #9: American Exceptionalism Cartoon

Discuss the cartoon below. What does this say about U.S. policy in the Middle East?  Does it match our discussion on U.S. ideology, values, and foreign policy?

1 paragraph

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Freedom of the Press, Privacy, Transparency, and Accountability Assignment

Choose one article/website listed below to read and/or investigate.  On binder paper, please complete the following questions in paragraph form.  (3 paragraphs)

1.  Summarize what the article/website is about as well as its main points.
2.  Read the article or website carefully and discuss (in detail) what you learned.
3.  What are some things that surprised you or interest you in particular?
4.  In what ways does the content of your website connect to the democratic ideas of the freedom of the press, right to privacy, government transparency, and/or government accountable to the people.

Website/Article Links:
"The War Logs" (New York Times collection of WikiLeaks releases)
ProPublica site on government surveillance
The Guardian's Series on the NSA (National Security Administration) Files
"How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets" Article (New York Times Magazine)
"WikiLeaks' War on Secrecy: Truth's Consequences" (Time Magazine)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Journal #8: Pillars of Democracy

Link to Foreign Policy/Democracy PowerPoint

Out of the list of "pillars of democracy" in the above PowerPoint, which two do you think are the most important or do you feel most strongly about.  Please explain.  Write at least one well-structured paragraph.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Amartya Sen's "Identity and Violence" Reading and Context Clues Handout

If you were absent today, please view the PowerPoint on "Close Reading Strategies," and then read the first 5 paragraphs while doing the following:  number each paragraph, underline/highlight important points (one per paragraph), left column annotation, right column annotation (one of each per paragraph).  DO NOT do this without first viewing the PowerPoint.

Close Reading Strategies PowerPoint Link

Example of Annotation Strategy Link

Link to the reading

Link to the handout

Monday, October 14, 2013

Final In-Class Essay (DATE CHANGE: Thursday 10/17 AND Friday 10/18): Explaining the Conflict

Link to Essay Description

Link to Essay Planner (optional)

Link to AXES Support Paragraph Formation (optional)

Journal #7: "The Underground War in Gaza"

1.  In what ways does Joe Sacco, author of “The Underground War in Gaza,” attempt to remain neutral and show both sides of the conflict?  Explain (in detail) what parts of the piece seem to present the Israeli military’s position and what parts of the piece show the Palestinian perspective.  
2.  Do you think Sacco manages to remain unbiased, or does his own perspective seem to permeate his neutral journalistic stance?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Short Essay: Israeli and Palestinian Literary Analysis

In what ways does the literature of Etgar Keret (Israel) differ from the literature of Darwish and Kanafani (Palestine)?   In what ways do you think these authors reflect the political situation of their particular region?
Use your chart to contrast the subjects/themes, tone, characterization, and setting.  Discuss at least two literary elements.
May be hand-written or typed
Short Introduction (4 sentences) that contains a THESIS statement. 
Two body paragraphs (8-sentences)
Conclusion paragraph (4 sentences)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Journal #6: Before we read literature from Israel and Palestine...

In one paragraph, describe what you think Israeli and Palestinian literature will be like?  For example, what are their stories going to be about?  How might the subjects, characters, setting, and tone of Palestinian literature differ from that of Israeli literature?  Think about the realities of living in a conflict zone while responding, as well at the role of the arts in a conflict zone.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Reflection Questions on the film, Promises (Due Monday, 9/30)

Please answer the following questions in complete sentences on binder paper.

1.  What happens to people when "normal" means being surrounded by war? (5+ sentences)
2.  Over the course of the film, how do the children change? (5+ sentences)
3.  What is the message of the film?  Overall, what is the film trying to teach us about peace-making? (5+ sentences)
4.  What kinds of circumstances do you think contribute to extremism on each side of the conflict? (5+ sentences)   (In other words, what kinds of things make people accept and adopt extremist points of view?)
Total = 20 points

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Comparative Media Analysis: Gaza Flotilla Raid of 2010

Before attempting this assignment, familiarize yourself with the Gaza Flotilla Raid by viewing the following Associated Press video:   Gaza Flotilla Raid AP Coverage May 31, 2010

In this assignment, we are going to compare and contrast news media on the Israeli-Palestine conflict to try to find the persepctive and bias in each media outlet's reporting.  You will read three articles on the raid of a "Flotilla" of humanitarian aid attempting to break through the Israeli blockade of Gaza that happened on May 31, 2010.  Take notes describing how the articles are different.  Make one column for WAFA (The Palestinian News Agency), one column for Al Jazeera (the major news agency for the Arab world), and one column for The Jerusalem Post (Israeli news agency).

Your task:  As you read each article, briefly summarize the content of the article paying careful attention to whose perspective it appears to represent.  You will notice differences in the content as well as who is being interviewed.   After you summarize the content on your chart, please write two paragraphs summarizing your findings and discussing what you think really happened.

Here are the links to the three articles:
WAFA (The Palestinian State News Agency)
Al Jazeera (Arab News Agency)
Jerusalem Post (Israeli News Agency)

Article in Spanish

Monday, September 23, 2013

Journal #5: Walls Between People

Answer in one 8-10 sentence complete paragraph.
1.  What kinds of problems do you think are created when walls are put up separating ethnic groups, or groups of people with differing cultures/religions?
2.  WHY do you think a physical separation of peoples causes these problems?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Journal #4: Analyzing Tone: "Operation Blend In" and "Arab, American, Muslim, Marine"

In The Arab-American Handbook, read "Operation Blend in" by Maz Jobrani (pg. 145) and "Arab, American, Muslim....Marine" by Bill Bazzi (pg. 149).  For each of the readings, answer the following in paragraph form in your journal.

1.  What is the author's message in each of the essays?  How do know?  (USE QUOTES/PARAPHRASES)
2.  How would you describe the author's tone (attitude)?  How do you know?  (USE QUOTES/PARAPHRASES)

(10 points total, at least 2 paragraphs)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Op-Ed Article: What Putin Has to Say to Americans

Today, an op-ed piece by Russian President Vladimir Putin was published in the New York Times about the conflict in Syria.  Given the cold relations between the United States and Russia in recent months, this is unprecedented.  Please read the op-ed piece by Putin, as well as two or three reader comments listed below the piece.

Write 2 paragraphs on binder paper discussing what aspects of his argument you found to be strong and what aspects of his argument you found to be weak.  Think about who his audience is and how that might impact his message.  Also think about what his motivation might be for writing this piece.  Finally, discuss what you learned from the comments below Putin's piece.  Were there points you agreed with or disagreed with?

Link to Article

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Homework 9/11/13

1. Summarize your assigned section of the Timmerman article (“Odyssey of Food and Clothing”).  8-10 sentence paragraph

2. Following our game in class, please answer questions 1-5 on page 114 of Rethinking Globalization text in complete sentences on binder paper.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Journal #3: Military Intervention in Syria?

After viewing the "Overview of Conflict in Syria" Powerpoint, please complete the following in your journal:

Please write one paragraph (8-10 sentences) explaining your position.  Should the United States intervene in Syria’s Civil War?  Why or why not?


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Film and Literary Analysis on Baraka

This week, you will view the film Baraka and compose a literary analysis essay.  You may download the essay requirements below:
Link to Baraka Essay

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Brief History of Haiti

Journal #2: Invading New Markets

On page 62 of your Rethinking Globalization book, you will see a cartoon.
1.  What do you see going on in the cartoon?
2.  What do you think the artist is trying to say with this cartoon?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Journal #1: On Indifference

1.  Define "indifference."
2.  Where do you see indifference in your community/school?
3.  Where do you see indifference on a global level
4. Where have you seen indifference in history?

All journal entries belong in your composition book.  (2 paragraphs of 10+ sentences.  5 points)