Tuesday, December 13, 2016

TOK 2, Day 43 (12/13): TOK Presentations


Aims & Objectives
  • explore a real-life/contemporary situation from a TOK perspective in the presentation.

Agenda
  • TOK Presentations!
    • Mariana
    • Sara
    • Tori
    • Sophia
    • Jacob


Monday, December 12, 2016

TOK 1: Day 43 (12/12): Human Sciences One Page Papers


Aims and Objectives:
  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • identify and analyse the various kinds of justifications used to support knowledge claims
  • examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge
  • understand the roles played by ways of knowing in the construction of shared and personal knowledge
Agenda:


  • Review/Discuss LP Framework
  • OPPs: Chase, Rebecca, Emily, Riley
HW:
  • Extended Essay Discussion starts Wednesday.
  • Midterm: Cultural Feast on Friday.  Please bring a culturally-significant dish to share as well as a brief contextualization for the dish.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

TOK 1, Day 42 (12/8): Learning Values, Cont'd



Aims & Objectives
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Essential Questions

  • How does learning occur?
  • What are the values that we hope to engender in the IB Program?
Agenda

  • The Learner Profile as a Framework for assessment
    • Get with your last-class partner and finish work on your current LP Characteristic
    • Move to another partner and choose one of the 5 remaining LP Characteristics
    • Whole class discussion and compilation of LP Framework for TOK




HW:
  • In place of your Blog, please read, review, comment, and edit the Draft LP Framework for Learning. 



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

TOK 1, Day 41 (12/6): Learning Values



Aims & Objectives
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Essential Questions

  • How does learning occur?
  • What are the values that we hope to engender in the IB Program?
Agenda
  • The IS/OUGHT Problem - Learning Values (the Ought)

  • The Learner Profile as a Framework for assessment



HW:
  • TOKIRL on Sunday: Consider using it as a place to reflect on this transformative process.




Monday, December 5, 2016

TOK 2, Day 40 (12/5): TOK Presentation

Thank you for the surprise party.  Use this time to put real thought and work into your TOK Presentation.  Presentations will happen on Friday.

Use the links above to access more detailed information on the TOK Presentation.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

TOK 1, Day 39 (11/30): Reflections on Teaching and Learning in the Diploma Program



First, let's watch this brief video about "Hume's Guillotine":


Hume suggests that there is a gap between the way things are (what we observe to be true) and the way things ought to be.  This is related to a number of logical fallacies with which we often come into contact (the Naturalistic Fallacy comes immediately to mind), and the problem seems most closely related to the goal of maintaining the status quo.

But what if we want to change the status quo? Despite the problem that Hume identifies, taking stock of current circumstances seems like a necessary first step in any attempt to move toward a better world.  If nothing else, Hume's Guillotine insists that present circumstances beg their own question.

With that in mind, please take the next few minutes to silently reflect on your experiences in the Diploma program thus far.  Make (at least) two lists, in which you attempt to identify what the IB Diploma Program IS as well as what you believe it OUGHT TO BE.

Fill your list with adjectives, qualities, examples, random thoughts, quotes, images, or whatever seems appropriate to capture your feelings on these two categories. The lists need not be mutually exclusive: It could be that some items belong on BOTH SIDES of the list.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TOK 2, Day 38 (11/29): EE Draft Final Prep


Today...

  • Submit your EE Draft to TurnItIn
    • Do this first (if you need to, you can do it again at the end of the period!)
    • Use the data and information that this program gives you to do final fixes and revisions on your work.
  • Use the student checklist, the assessment instrument, and this good example to make final checks on your essay. (We'll do this together!)  
    • Check on the professionality of your product (does it look beautiful?)
      • Cover page: Title, Name, Exam Year, RQ, World Studies Domain, Disciplines, Word Count, anything else?
      • Abstract and word count
      • Table of Contents
      • Header with LN and Page Number
    • Check on the RQ placement (On Cover Page? In Introduction? In Conclusion? In BOLD?!)
    • Check the format of your research
      • Do you have all your research cited and in quotes (when necessary) within your paper?
      • Do you have all your research cited in your 
    • Check on the Clarity of your Organization 
      • Are you using Subheadings?
      • Are you guiding your reader through the process of your investigation?
    • Check on the Interdisciplinary Framework
      • Have you clearly identified your TWO disciplinary approaches?
      • Are you "using the language" of these approaches throughout your essay?
    • Check on your Global Consciousness Framework
      • Have you positioned the issue personally, locally, and globally?
      • Have you incorporated and acknowledged differing perspectives?
  • Submit your Finished Draft to TurnItIn Again?
  • Submit your Finished Draft to Google Classroom (for my checkoff grade)
  • Print your finished draft, put it in a folder, and carry it to your Supervisor
REMEMBER: When you hand this folder to your supervisor, ask to set up a time (HOPEFULLY before Christmas break) to sit and discuss your essay.  Block out at least an hour for this....

Monday, November 28, 2016

TOK 1, Day 38 (11/28): Bodies Exhibit Fieldtrip


Have fun, and be ready to discuss this exhibit from a TOK perspective upon your return!!

Friday, November 18, 2016

TOK 2, Day 37 (11/18): Veterans' Day

Until we are called to the Veterans' Day assembly...

Work for me:

  • CAS Reflections
  • EE Work
  • TOK Presentation Development

Work for elsewhere:



  • Maths IA
  • History IA
  • College Essays
  • Other?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

TOK 2, Day 36 (11/16): IRW

Work for me:

  • CAS Reflections
  • EE Work
  • TOK Presentation Development

Work for elsewhere:
  • Maths IA
  • History IA
  • College Essays
  • Other?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

TOK 1, Day 36 (11/15): The Natural Sciences



Aims & Objectives:

  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge
  • understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action.

Essential Question:

  1. What methods, assumptions, and approaches distinguish the natural sciences as an area of knowledge?

Agenda:


Monday, November 14, 2016

TOK 2, Day 35 (11/14): IRW

Things to work on:

  • EE (Submittable Draft Due Friday)
  • CAS (Grade for Oct/Nov will be entered on Friday)
  • Things for other teachers?

Friday, November 11, 2016

TOK 1, Day 35 (11/11): Veteran's Day

Let's take a few minutes to reflect on the week before we leave to attend the Veteran's Day Program

Thursday, November 10, 2016

TOK 2, Day 34 (11/10): Art, Authenticity, & Value: The "Problem" of Forgery


Aims & Objectives

  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
  • develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions

Essential Questions:

  1. What is meant by authenticity?
  2. What is the nature of value in the (high) arts?
  3. How do we make sense of the forgery?
Agenda:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

TOK 1, Day 34 (11/9): Science, Science Writing, and Writing about Science Writing


Aims & Objectives:

  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge
  • understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action.
Agenda:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016

TOK 1: Day 33 (11/7) - The Natural Sciences


Essential Questions:
  1. What are the natural sciences?
  2. What are the central problems of knowledge creation in the natural sciences?
  3. What are the methods of science and what makes them so powerful?

Agenda:
Homework:

  • OPPS on Natural Sciences Due Wednesday!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

TOK 2, DAY 32 (10/3): The Role Space and Place in the Creation and Appreciation of Beauty

First, this, from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:


Now this, from Talking Heads frontman (and personal hero) David Byrne:



And finally this, from Athens-based orchestral electro-pop violinist/composer, Kishi Bashi:








Wednesday, November 2, 2016

TOK 1, Day 32 (11/2): Bayesian Reasoning & Final Thoughts on Maths

First, let's hear from Maria about her experiences with the UWG History Department.

Then, we should discuss the Nate Silver article.

Finally, I will have you explore one of the following topics.  After our discussion, please build your ideas into a coherent and thoughtful blog post.

  1. "The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.” Evaluate this claim.
  2. “Some areas of knowledge seek to describe the world, whereas others seek to transform it.” Explore this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.


Cybernetics & Machine Learning as a Pathway to Socialist Utopia?
http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/project-cybersyn/
https://aeon.co/essays/how-the-soviets-invented-the-internet-and-why-it-didn-t-work


Totally unrelated:
https://soundcloud.com/arizona-greene


Monday, October 31, 2016

TOK 1, Day 31 (10/31): Spooky Mathematics


Aims & Objectives
  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives
  • understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action.
  • explore a real-life/contemporary situation from a TOK perspective in the presentation.

Essential Questions
  1. How do mathematics shape our modern experiences?
  2. What are the ethical implications of advanced mathematics?
Agenda:

Then we can explore the ethical problems raised by advanced neural nets and machine intelligence:


  • Finish reading/annotating the excerpt from Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise
  • New Natural Sciences OPP due date - 11/9
  • Hold off on TOKIRL - I will assign you a topic on Wednesday!


Friday, October 28, 2016

TOK 2, Day 30 (10/28): IRW

Stuff for me:
  • Your first TOKIRL Blog is due Nov. 6
  • You could begin imagining and developing your Original Art Creations
Other Stuff:
  • Your Extended Essay Draft is Due before Thanksgiving
  • You should be working toward completing your CAS Projects.  Be sure that you are marking these entries as "CAS Project" in ManageBac, and that you are Reflecting!
  • Your other teachers probably have you doing work, too!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

TOK 1, Day 30 (10/27): IRW

We can watch and discuss this video about the Monty Hall Problem.




Then, you can take the day to work on important stuff!

Homework:
Read the chapter on "Bayesian Reasoning" from Nate Silver.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

TOK 2, Day 29 (10/26): TOKIRL & Art Creation Project

I did it! I finally created the TOK In-Real-Life Ongoing Blogging Assignment.  Let's look carefully at the options and expectations for this assignment.

Your first blog is due on November 6, and I will set aside time in class the next day for you to share your own thoughts/findings or to discuss those of a classmates.  You can read each other's blogs by clicking on them on the right side of this page.

Then, we should read through this art-creation assignment.  This will be your midterm assignment, so it's due I guess by the end of the semester? Give it some thought, and make something beautiful and memorable.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

TOK 1, Day 29 (10/25): TOKIRL Discussion

As I said when giving you the TOKIRL Blog assignment, I'd like to start today by opening up the floor for you to share/discuss the writing you did over the weekend.

Then, given enough time, we can either watch this great new TEDTalk about the ethical implications of Machine Learning:

Or we can pick up the math and beauty baton to talk a little bit about what happens when you run interpretive algorithms on art:

Van Gogh and Fluid Dynamics



and what happens when you run them backwards:

Monday, October 24, 2016

TOK 2, Day 28 (10/24): TOK Presentation Prep

We should all sign up for Presentation days.  If you want to meet again before your presentation, pick a day for that, too!

Then, we'll watch and discuss a couple more of the presentations from last year.

Friday, October 21, 2016

TOK 1, Day 28 (10/21): Communications Styles

First, we can debrief on our time at the Montessori Fall Festival.


Then, we'll take this nifty communication styles assessment.

Topics for Discussion:

  • How does the communication style that you ended up with mesh with the way you think about yourself?
  • What conflicts can you see arising because of your communication style?
  • What benefits can be gained from considering this exercise in the future?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

TOK 1, Day 27 (10/19) Knowledge Questions, Machine Learning, Algorithms, Ethics & Art


First, please access your Practice with Knowledge Questions assignment.  Write your knowledge question somewhere on the board. Do not tell us what your RLS is.

We will begin by discussing your questions and checking them against the qualifications for good KQs.

Next, let's debrief on Grant's talk.

Then, given enough time, we can either watch this great new TEDTalk about the ethical implications of Machine Learning:


Or we can pick up the math and beauty baton to talk a little bit about what happens when you run interpretive algorithms on art:


Van Gogh and Fluid Dynamics





and what happens when you run them backwards:

Monday, October 17, 2016

TOK 1, Day 26 (10/17): IRW

Hey, gang! I'm absent.  While I'm gone, please use your time to do things that you need to do.  This might include:

Stuff for me:
  • Your Practice with TOK Questions assignment that I gave you like forever ago and none of you have touched yet.  This is on Google Classroom and is DUE by midnight tomorrow. Remember: no spoilers! Don't share your RLS with your classmates until our discussion on Wednesday.
  • Your first TOKIRL Blog.  
    • I finally did it! I made this assignment.  It's a thing of beauty. 
    • It is REALLY important that I get you writing and reflecting about the stuff we have been talking about, and truthfully, these blogs will probably make up the bulk of the graded work in this course going forward.  
    • Your first blog is due on Sunday, and then on every other Sunday going forward.  Read the instructions carefully. 
    • You have a lot of leeway for topics to write about, but I might suggest using this first blog as an opportunity to process all that heady math stuff that Grant talked us through last class.
    • You all wanted me to start writing, so I wrote this blog about Math and Beauty as an example (737 Words)
  • Reading for your One Page Papers: Natural Sciences will present on Nov. 2, Human Sciences will go on Dec. 8
Other stuff:
  • CAS Reflections: Some of you are doing GREAT! Others, not so much. 
  • Work for other classes: Use your resources, team up to accomplish great feats.
  • Decompress: Give yourself the opportunity to NOT THINK?! This might be worthwhile, but don't distract others.

Friday, October 14, 2016

TOK 2, Day 25 (10/14): IRW - TOK Presentation 1-on-1s

Things to work on:
  • EE 10-page draft (due on Google Classroom by 10/14 at bedtime)
  • TOK Presentation Planning
    • IA Topic Development Questions (On Google Classroom) must be answered with forethought and care before we will have your official conference
    • We will set presentation date (or schedule a second conference) at your 1-on-1.
  • College Applications
  • Work for other classes?
While you are working, we will discuss TOK Presentations in our 1-on-1 conference.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

TOK 2, Day 24 (10/12): IRW

  • EE 10-page draft (due on Google Classroom by 10/17 at bedtime)
  • TOK Presentation Planning
    • TOK Presentation 1-on-1 conference will happen on Friday.
    • IA Topic Development Questions (On Google Classroom) must be answered with forethought and care before we will have your official conference
    • We will set presentation date (or schedule a second conference) at your 1-on-1.
  • College Applications
  • Work for other classes?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

TOK 1, Day 24 (10/11): KQs & OPPs


Aims & Objectives

  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • identify and analyse the various kinds of justifications used to support knowledge claims
  • formulate, evaluate and attempt to answer knowledge questions
  • explore links between knowledge claims, knowledge questions, ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
  • explore a real-life/contemporary situation from a TOK perspective in the presentation.
Essential Questions
  1. What makes a good knowledge question?
  2. What are mathematicians working on these days?
Agenda
  • Practice with Knowledge Questions: Share Time
  • OPPS:
    • Cassandra: Coincidences, Chaos, and All That Math Jazz: Making Light of Weighty Ideas
    • Malachi: Five Equations that Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics
    • Pate: Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
Homework:
  • "Cave" Remediations

Thursday, October 6, 2016

TOK 1, Day 23 (10/6): Mathematical Beauty

Brewer explores Mathematics and Music, with accompaniment.

Then, we walk on the Greenbelt.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

TOK 2, Day 22 (10/5): IRW

Things to be completing:

  • EE 10-page draft (due on Google Classroom by 10/14 at bedtime)
  • TOK Presentation Planning
    • TOK Presentation 1-on-1 conference will happen on Friday.
    • IA Topic Development Questions (On Google Classroom) must be answered with forethought and care before we will have your official conference
    • We will set presentation date (or schedule a second conference) at your 1-on-1.
  • College Applications
  • Work for other classes?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

TOK 1, Day 22 (10/4): Knowledge Claims, Concepts, & Questions (& Maths)



First, let's review the following ideas from TOK:
  • Knowledge Claims
  • Knowledge Questions
  • Knowledge Concepts
  • Real Life Situations
These are the building blocks of both your TOK Presentation and Essay.  Getting good at identifying Knowledge Claims, linking to knowledge concepts, and extracting Knowledge Questions from Real life situations is essential to success across this course, and across the IB Curriculum.

Now, we'll shift gears (slightly) back to our ongoing discussion of Mathematics.  As you view the video on Mathematics and Beauty, please record any and all explicit or implied Knowledge Claims made or alluded to.

After the video, we will work to follow these claims toward the formulation of good Knowledge Questions.

Your Homework (you can begin now):

  • Choose (or locate or develop) a Real Life Situation that has something to do with MATHS, and use it to complete the Knowledge Question Development Activity (On Google Classroom).
  • Feel free to choose your RLS from your own personal reading/knowledge/experience.
  • Having trouble coming up with an RLS?
  • Do not share your RLS with your classmates or me (yet!)
  • Be prepared to share and discuss your Knowledge question as we begin class on Tuesday, 10/11.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TOK 1, Day 20 (9/28): Maths & Knowledge Questions



Aims & Objectives

  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world.
  • critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives.
  • identify and analyse the various kinds of justifications used to support knowledge claims.
  • examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge.
  • formulate, evaluate and attempt to answer knowledge questions
  • explore links between knowledge claims, knowledge questions, ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
Essential Questions
  1. What role does beauty play in Mathematics?
  2. What role does mathematics play in beauty?
Agenda
  • Continue discussion, "Are Numbers Real?"


Homework:
  • Update your CAS reflections (at least two written reflections for the month)
  • 10/11 - Maths OPPs due: Cassandra, Malachi, Pate
  • "The Cave" Remediations Due 


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

TOK 2, Day 19 (9/27): IB Presentation Prep

Aims & Objectives

  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
  • develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
  • formulate, evaluate and attempt to answer knowledge questions
  • explore links between knowledge claims, knowledge questions, ways of knowing and areas of knowledge
  • explore a real-life/contemporary situation from a TOK perspective in the presentation.
Essential Questions:
  1. What makes an effective real life situation for the TOK Presentation?
  2. What is the structure of the TOK Presentation?
Agenda:
  • Discuss RLS ideas
  • Look at examples of Real Life situations
  • Review "Knowledge Questions"
  • Watch previous TOK Presentations
Homework:

Monday, September 19, 2016

TOK 2: Day 16 (9/19) -- Intro to the TOK Presentation


  • First, let's take a look at the Assignment description document.  Pay special attention to this diagram from the TOK Guide (p. 55).  It demonstrates the general progression of an ideal TOK Presentation:


    • Above the line: Real-world, contextual, subject-specific
    • Below the line: The world of TOK, broad, interested in the nature of knowledge
  • Your Assignment: Begin work on your TOK Presentation

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

TOK 2, Day 12 (9/7): History as an AOK

REMEMBER: The FIRST FIVE PAGES of your EE, along with accompanying Works Cited, are due TO ME by next Friday, September 9. This will be your first major grade for this course, and I WILL deduct points for incompleteness and/or tardiness.

Aims & Objectives:
  • develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
  • develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
  • examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge

Essential Questions:
  1. How do historians construct knowledge? 
  2. What counts as evidence in history?
  3. What role does interpretation play in constructing historical knowledge?
  4. What limits exist to our pursuit of objectivity in history?

Agenda (Google Slides):
  • History Blog Discussion
  • History Knowledge Framework Discussion
  • History Prescribed Title Talk

Homework:
  • Complete 5-page EE Draft by Friday, 9/9.



Friday, September 2, 2016

TOK 2, Day 11 (9/2): History as an AOK

REMEMBER:  The FIRST FIVE PAGES of your EE, along with accompanying Works Cited, are due TO ME by next Friday, September 9. This will be your first major grade for this course, and I WILL deduct points for incompleteness and/or tardiness.

Aims & Objectives:
  • develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
  • develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
  • examine how academic disciplines/areas of knowledge generate and shape knowledge

Essential Questions:
  1. How do historians construct knowledge? 
  2. What counts as evidence in history?
  3. What role does interpretation play in constructing historical knowledge?
  4. What limits exist to our pursuit of objectivity in history?

Agenda (Google Slides):
  • "Prove That it Happened" Game

Homework:

Blog: respond, in 400-600 words, to one of the following questions (Due Sunday, 9/4):
    1. To what extent is History always viewed through the lens of the present?
      1. What role does interpretation play in our understanding of the past?
        1. To what extent is objectivity attainable in history?
        Remember to model your response after a TOK Essay.  This means frame the question, give context and definition as needed, and ground your response in at least one Real Life Situation.

        Wednesday, August 31, 2016

        TOK 2, Day 10 (9/31): History as AOK



        REMEMBER:  The FIRST FIVE PAGES of your EE, along with accompanying Works Cited, are due TO ME by next Friday, September 9. This will be your first major grade for this course, and I WILL deduct points for incompleteness and/or tardiness.


        Work Day.

        Friday, May 20, 2016

        TOK 1 End of Year

        TOK 1: Here are your final responsibilities...

        For the TOK Course:
        1. TOK SLO - Begin May 4, finish May 6
        2. TOK IRL Reflection from last Monday Class - I have Sara's, Tori's, and Mariana's
        3. Get a copy of Cat's Cradle.
        For the EE:
        1. EE Formal Research Proposal - This is Very Late
          • Mariana - I have proposal but no Annotated Bibliography
          • I have nothing from Jacob, Tori, or Sophia
        2. Meet with EE Mentor to discuss Research Proposal - This will be documented in two ways
          • Your mentor will compose a note in Managebac to the effect that you have met
          • You will write a brief reflective note about the meeting in Managebac.  
            • Aim for a healthy paragraph 
            • where you started vs. where you are going
            • Revisions to focus/RQ?
            • Mentor's remarks
            • Next steps
        3. Complete Preliminary Outline - Due May 20 on Managebac - This can be very rough, but it should at least give an idea of your possible organizational structure, and DOING IT should give you an idea of what you still have left to learn.
        For CAS:
        1. Update CAS reflections/activities for April
        2. Log CAS reflections/activities for May
        3. From Ms. Holloway: 
          1. FINALIZE all CAS Activities that end this year (band, clubs, etc.)
          2. Request supervisor review for these items (maybe let your supervisor know that these are in their email)
          3. Enter your Aims/Goals before you leave for Summer Break.
        4. Begin to think about CAS Project(s)
        What have I forgotten to include?!?

        Thursday, April 21, 2016

        TOK 1 (4/22): TOK Presentation Practice

        Since we do not have enough time left in class to do the full presentation process this year, we will take the time we do have to talk through the process as far as possible.

        Next class (Tuesday), you will each take 5 or so minutes to talk us through your choice of RLS, the thinking you've done about it, the knowledge question(s) you are wrestling with, and how you see those KQs developing.

        To prepare for this, you should have completed:

        • Select a Real Life Situation that is complex, nuanced and layered and worthy of exploration from a TOK Perspective
        • Use the “Practice With Knowledge Questions” form and the “Knowledge Questions, Concepts, and Claims” to extract strong Knowledge Question
        • Complete the “Topic Development Questions” for their real-life situation.  Though this form is an early draft for their ideas, it should be completed to a high degree of specificity.

        Click on the “TOK Presentation” Tab above to access all these documents.

        What you share next class will grow out of these documents.  I hope that this is less presentation than discussion, where one person shares ideas that we all then help to develop as a group.  Come ready to engage in the thinking of your classmates.

        I have moved the SLO to Monday to give us a chance next class to talk through a couple more TOK Titles, and review the context and contents of a good TOK Essay.

        See This End of Year Calendar

        Wednesday, March 30, 2016

        TOK 1, March 30th - Extended Essay Research


        This document has the instructions for your Formal Proposal and preliminary annotated Bibliography, which is due on Friday, April 1 (no foolin'). You will create this as a digital document, and then submit it both on paper and using the ManageBac System.

        There is also a nifty template form now, so that your Formal Proposal will look extra formal.

        Only after you have done some serious research into your topic will you be ready to develop a formal proposal.

        Next, take a look at Purdue's OWL description of an annotated bibliography.  Notice that the annotated bibliography contains 2 parts.

        • Part 1: The bibliographic entry, listed in a conventional citation format (such as APA or MLA).
        • Part 2: The annotation (150-300 words), which gives a brief overview and assessment of the material from the source that you have found.  This annotation should contain at least:
          • brief objective summary of the work.
          • An evaluation of the source, its limitations and strengths.
          • reflection upon its usefulness in your research.  How does it fit? What does it add? What does it change in your thinking?
        Purdue also has this example for you to look at.

        Continue research.  You already have a broad idea of its direction, which should give you a good place to start your reading. You might start with Internet searches, but you should move quickly toward more reputable sources, including books, periodicals, and scholarly journals.

        Here are some of the resources available through our LMC (if you need a password, you can find them here):
        Remember that once you FIND a promising source, the next (and perhaps most important) step is

        READ THE SOURCE.
        • Take notes as appropriate, including direct quotes that may be pertinent and summary elsewhere. 
        • Include page numbers in your notes.
        •  Create an appropriate Works Cited reference. Compose your Annotated Bibliography using your notes.

        Friday, March 18, 2016

        TOK 1: Day 70 (3/18): Wikipedia and the Extended Essay

        Lets start by looking at this article from yesterday that discusses the Wikipedia entry for President Obama's supreme court nominee, Merrick Garland.


        Consider:
        1. What knowledge concepts are involved in the situation?
        2. What knowledge claims are being made?
        3. What knowledge issues are at stake?
        4. How are the various actors in the situation navigating these issues? 
        The remainder of the period should be spent on 

        READING.

        Monday, March 14, 2016

        TOK 1, Day 68 & 69 (3/14 & 3/16): EE Workday


        Begin by taking a look at this document. It gives the instructions for your Formal Proposal and preliminary annotated Bibliography,  which is your next major checkpoint in this process (Due by April 1). You will create this as a digital document, and then submit it both on paper and using the ManageBac System.

        Do not begin creating this document now.  You must first begin

        READING.

        Only after you have done some serious research into your topic will you be ready to develop a formal proposal.

        Next, take a look at Purdue's OWL description of an annotated bibliography.  Notice that the annotated bibliography contains 2 parts.

        • Part 1: The bibliographic entry, listed in a conventional citation format (such as APA or MLA).
        • Part 2: The annotation (150-300 words), which gives a brief overview and assessment of the material from the source that you have found.  This annotation should contain at least:
          • A brief objective summary of the work.
          • An evaluation of the source, its limitations and strengths.
          • A reflection upon its usefulness in your research.  How does it fit? What does it add? What does it change in your thinking?
        Purdue also has this example for you to look at.

        Now, I'd like for you to begin your research into your topic.  You already have a broad idea of its direction, which should give you a good place to start your reading. You might start with Internet searches, but you should move quickly toward more reputable sources, including books, periodicals, and scholarly journals.

        Here are some of the resources available through our LMC (if you need a password, you can find them here):
        Remember that once you FIND a promising source, the next (and perhaps most important) step is

        READ THE SOURCE.
        • Take notes as appropriate, including direct quotes that may be pertinent and summary elsewhere. 
        • Include page numbers in your notes.
        •  Create an appropriate Works Cited reference. Compose your Annotated Bibliography using your notes.

        Wednesday, March 9, 2016

        TOK 1: Practice with TOK Concepts, Questions, and Real Life Situations

        Take the first 25 minutes of class to free-write on the following Prompt:

        “Without application in the world, the value of knowledge is greatly diminished.” Consider this claim with respect to two areas of knowledge.

        Rather than trying to write paragraphs, make a list of your ideas as they come to you.  Hit enter twice when your brain jumps to a new idea. Try to consider:

        • What words and ideas are key to understanding this prompt? What are tentative meanings/definitions for these words/ideas?
        • What TOK concepts seem to be at play?
        • What Knowledge Questions spring from the demands of the prompt?
        • What sorts of arguments are there that seem to  support the assertion? To refute it?
        • What ways of knowing are at play in thinking about this prompt?
        • What areas of knowledge seem pertinent?
        • How does the meaning of the prompt change within the context of different AOK/WOK?
        • What Real life situations come to mind when you think about this prompt?
        Do not stop writing! If you get stuck, reread your list and add to ideas you have already thought of.

        When we finish, take 5 minutes to reread all that you wrote.  Take note:

        1. Where did you finally "hit a stride" with the task?  How did you find entry into it?
        2. What one idea do you have that is already WELL PUT? This is an explanation that you think is clear and compelling and strongly worded.
        3. What one idea do you have that still feels half-formed? It seems important, but maybe you aren't sure how to say it yet?
        4. Note previously unnoticed links between your ideas.  
        5. Pick one question above that you found (relatively) easy to answer and one that you found difficult (or that you haven't yet addressed).

        Thursday, March 3, 2016

        TOK 1: Fractals


        Today we will discuss the wonderful world of Fractals.

        Creating Fractals
        To begin, you will attempt to make some fractals of your own.  You will need:

        • A large piece of paper
        • A pencil
        • A ruler
        • Perhaps a protractor
        Follow the rules to create your fractal.

        What do you notice about the image that you are creating? What can we say about these diverse images?  What would a definition of fractals be?

        Fractals in Nature
        For Benoit Mandelbrot, who gave fractals their name and their theory, one of the most startling aspect of what seems at first to be a purely mathematical exercise was the frequency with which we encounter fractals and fractal-like structures in nature.

        Take a few minutes to consider, and try to list ten examples of natural fractals.


        Finally, consider this TEDTalk from Ron Eglash, "The Fractals at the heart of African design"




        Now, let's apply the principles we learned from Fractals to a real-world problem:

        How Long is the Coastline of Great Britain?
        This question is also the title of one of Mandelbrot's original treatments of the topic.




        More Fractal Resources:
        "Scientists find evidence of mathematical structures in classic books"

        Friday, February 26, 2016

        Don't Forget CAS!!

        Continuous engagement in 
        Creativity, Activity, & Service 
        is a REQUIREMENT of the IB Diploma Program. Find opportunities to 
        Engage in CAS Activities, and 
        REMEMBER TO REFLECT IN WRITING!!
        http://trojans.managebac.com

        Monday, February 22, 2016

        TOK 1, Day 62 (2/22): Math in the World

        Today we will present our Math in the world mini-project
        You will be responsible for identifying Math as it interacts with other Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing in the real world. Each of you will be attempting to discover links between Math and one other area of knowledge, and to ground these links in real-life situations.

        Steps in the process:
        1. Pick an Area of Knowledge other than Math (each of you should pick a different AOK!) 
        2. Now: brainstorm ways that this area of knowledge seems to interact with Mathematics.  What do they have in common?  Where do they seem to be in tension?  Consider for each:
          • Scope & Application
          • Concepts & Language
          • Methodology
          • Historical Development
          • Links to Personal Knowledge
        3. Create a visual representation of the comparison. This could be a map, a Venn diagram, an infographic, a collage of some sort, or any creative expression of the relationships.  But make it specific, and make it beautiful.
        4. Finally, seek out a real-life situation (personal, historical, or current event) that demonstrates some interesting and thought-provoking interaction between these two areas of knowledge.  
        Now, begin by:
        1. Showing us your visual representation and talking us through the commonalities and differences that you perceive between the two Areas of Knowledge. (feel free to raise questions for us!  Inspire discussion!)
        2. Summarizing/describing/demonstrating your Real-life situation, and pointing to the ways that it shed new light on our understanding.
        3. Raising one good Knowledge question based on your Real-life situation.  Try to incorporate one or more of the Knowledge Concepts (see poster), and remember the qualities of a good Knowledge Question.

        Tuesday, February 9, 2016

        TOK 2: Day 59 (2/11) - TOK Essay

        Begin by downloading this PDF, which is the required TOK Essay Planning and Progress Form. In order to edit and save this information, you will need the newest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.  (If you can't get it, just write your reflections somewhere else for now, and we will transfer them into the form later!)

        Fill out the first part of the form.  For your "First Interaction," you should reflect on the preliminary discussions that we had about the titles (on 1/20 and 2/9).  You will fill out

        Then, check out these "OLD" TOK Assessment Criteria.  While these are no longer the official criteria for assessing your essay (that criteria can be found here), they are useful in their specificity.

        Notice the main points of emphasis in this document.  Your essay should:
        1. Identify and explore compelling knowledge issues that are clearly related to the prescribed title.
        2. Demonstrate an understanding of your OWN perspective as a learner, and develop links between this perspective and the issues raised by the prescribed title.
        3. Carefully analyze knowledge questions related to the prescribed titles, acknowledging the subtlety of the issues involved, naming and exploring assumptions, and considering counterclaims and multiple perspectives.
        4. Present ideas within a logical and coherent organizational structure.  Cite sources appropriately.
        One website suggests that you think of these criteria as follows

        CONTENT (criterion A)- incorporation of Knowledge Issues
        CREATIVITY (criterion B)- incorporation of Personal Thought 
        CRITICAL THINKING (criterion C)- incorporation of arguments and counter-arguments 
        CLARITY (criterion D)- well-structured essay

        For the rest of this class period, I would like you to prepare for a one-on-one conference with me next block.  The two things I want you to have prepared when you come to this conference include:

        1: A "Prepared" version of your the Free-write that you began last class period.  You may continue to accumulate ideas for a while, but before the end of the block I would like you to give it enough shape that it could act as a focus of conversation at our individual conference next class. You could do this by:
        1. Sorting/organizing your current ideas
        2. Creating a set of headings
        3. Highlighting/annotating
        4. Translating your notes into a visual representation - mind map, tree diagram, etc.
        Whatever means you use to shape this exploration, I'd like for you to identify
        1. Your favorite idea/point
        2. Your best concrete example
        3. Your most surprising or counter-intuitive thought
        4. The most muddled point of your thinking
        5. An opportunity to explore your own perspective as a learner
        2: A completed TOK Essay Planning Document - Please be as thorough and detailed as possible. You will see that some of this might be drawn directly from your preliminary exploration, but the TOK Essay Planning Document should be used as a first step toward creating a plan for content & structure.

        Print both of these documents out and bring them with you to our conference.

        Some additional resources for planning/preparing your TOK Essay:




        TOK 2: Day 58 (2/9) - TOK Essay Brainstorming & Freewriting


        Please take out your Prescribed Title Brainstorming work.  We will spend the first 30 minutes or so discussing your preliminary ideas for these topics.

        After that, I'd like you to spend about 40 minutes freewriting on your chosen topic.  This freewrite should be:

        • Continuous - Don't stop writing.  
          • Let thinking flow from your mind to your fingers.
          • When you get to a block-point, begin rereading what you've written and pick up where your mind strikes on something new.
          • Often your own preliminary ideas will spark new ideas upon review.
        • Freeform - Do NOT focus on organization. 
          • Force yourself to let your mind follow threads.  
          • If you know you are "jumping around", hit enter twice and start a new block of text.  This makes your thinking easier to delineate later.
        • Focused on OPENING rather than CLOSING
          • Raise questions, even if they seem too dumb or too hard to answer
          • List possible avenues
          • Explore an anecdote that pops in your head, even if you're not sure how its related.

        Monday, February 8, 2016

        TOK 1: Day 58-59 (2/8-2/10) - Math in the World

        Math in the world mini-project
        You will be responsible for identifying Math as it interacts with other Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing in the real world. Each of you will be attempting to discover links between Math and one other area of knowledge, and to ground these links in real-life situations.

        Steps in the process:

        1. Pick an Area of Knowledge other than Math (each of you should pick a different AOK!) 
        2. Now: brainstorm ways that this area of knowledge seems to interact with Mathematics.  What do they have in common?  Where do they seem to be in tension?  Consider for each:
          • Scope & Application
          • Concepts & Language
          • Methodology
          • Historical Development
          • Links to Personal Knowledge
        3. Create a visual representation of the comparison. This could be a map, a Venn diagram, an infographic, a collage of some sort, or any creative expression of the relationships.  But make it specific, and make it beautiful.
        4. Finally, seek out a real-life situation (personal, historical, or current event) that demonstrates some interesting and thought-provoking interaction between these two areas of knowledge.  
        When we come together (on Tuesday?) you will be responsible for:
        1. Showing us your visual representation and talking us through the commonalities and differences that you perceive between the two Areas of Knowledge. (feel free to raise questions for us!  Inspire discussion!)
        2. Summarizing/describing/demonstrating your Real-life situation, and pointing to the ways that it shed new light on our understanding.
        3. Raising one good Knowledge question based on your Real-life situation.  Try to incorporate one or more of the Knowledge Concepts (see poster), and remember the qualities of a good Knowledge Question.

        Tuesday, February 2, 2016

        TOK 1: Day 56-57 (2/2-2/4) - Groundhog Day and TOK

        In honor of Groundhog Day, we will watch the 1993 film, Groundhog Day.  The movie is about a weatherman, Phil, who gets stuck in a sort of time loop, having to relive the same day over and over again.

        After viewing the film, we will discuss the questions below.  After the discussion, please write a well-organized reflective blog post in which you consider the ways that the film relates to TOK.

        Mind-Body (Cartesian) Dualism

        Watch this short video about Rene Descartes:


        Now consider: Phil seems to be repeating the same day over and over again, but while his mind and memory remain intact from day-to-same-day, everything else in the universe (including his body and presumably his brain cells) seems to reset.

        1. How does this film relate to the dualism posited by Descartes? 
        2. To what extent do you go through your life understanding "yourself" (or your "self") to be somehow separate from your physical form? 
          • How is it that I can so easily say that I "will always be myself" when I know that every second I am actually physically changing? 
          • How can I reconcile this "unified" view of "myself" with my memory of myself as a small child?
          • Give examples of moments/situations where you act in a dualistic mode and/or a non-dualistic mode.
        3. How does this philosophical position highlight a tension surrounding knowledge-creation in the areas of knowledge? (I'm thinking specifically of Natural Sciences and Religious Knowledge Systems, though you may think of others.)


        Monday, February 1, 2016

        Wednesday, January 27, 2016

        TOK 1: Day 54 - Is Math For Real?



        Let's begin with a quiz.  Circle all answers that you believe are true.  Be prepared to discuss.

        As we discuss your answers to the quiz, consider these questions as well:

        • Is Mathematics discovered or invented?
        • Is Mathematics a tool or a body of knowledge?
        • Need Mathematics map onto our experienced reality? How should we proceed when the conclusions of mathematical thinking seem at odds with our experiences?
        • What is math good for?

        Friday, January 22, 2016

        TOK 2: Day 52 - Ethical Dilemmas


        First, let's watch this video:


        Now, consider:

        • What is your reaction to the problem?  What does your choice suggest about the grounds that you use to make ethical decisions?
        • What changes between the first and second situation?  What are the implications of this change?
        • How is this relevant to REAL LIFE?
        Some other videos:




        Thursday, January 21, 2016

        TOK 1: Day 52 (1/21): Determining Cause

        Let's watch this short TEDx about the dangers of correlation vs. causality.


        Discussion:

        1. Where do these issues arise in our daily lives?
        2. Where do we see these issues causing the most trouble/danger?
        3. Why are the risks of spurious correlation higher for the human sciences than the natural sciences?


        Now take a look at this site:

        Spurious Correlations Engine

        Finally, we will spend some time with an activity where YOU are responsible for determining causality in a complicated, real-world situation.

        Wednesday, January 20, 2016

        TOK 2: Day 51 (1/20) - Inside Out & the TOK Essay

        Let's start by debriefing on Inside Out.  Please access the materials that you worked on in relation to this flick. (Blog post and viewing guide).

        I hope our discussion can center around the major questions:

        • What role do emotions play in the development of our personalities? 
        • What are our "core memories" and how do we see them shaping our personalities?
        • What is the relationship between emotion and memory?
        • What emotions does our society value more than others?  What effect does this have on us?
        Then, we will begin our work toward the TOK Essay by opening up the floor to discussion of this years Prescribed Titles. Focus questions for this discussion include:

        • Which of these titles "speaks to you" and why?
        • What important concepts and definitions are embedded in these titles?
        • What areas of knowledge/ways of knowing seem to lend themselves to these titles?
        • How are these titles reflected in the real world?

        Tuesday, January 19, 2016

        TOK 1: Day 51 (1/19) Outside In & Extended Essay

        Let's start by debriefing on Inside Out.  Please access the materials that you worked on in relation to this flick. (Blog post and viewing guide).

        I hope our discussion can center around the major questions:

        • What role do emotions play in the development of our personalities? 
        • What are our "core memories" and how do we see them shaping our personalities?
        • What is the relationship between emotion and memory?
        • What emotions does our society value more than others?  What effect does this have on us?
        Then, we will work toward a little EE deadline:
        • Secure your EE mentor
        • Develop a preliminary research question.
        • Write an email to him/her that describes your ideas and requests a meeting.


        Monday, January 11, 2016

        TOK 1 and 2 - Days 49 & 50 - Inside Out and the Human Sciences



        While I'm out conducting English IOCs, please reflect on the Human Sciences as they are presented in the recent Disney/Pixar film, Inside Out.

        Please begin by copying the following quote into your blog and reflecting on it in writing for 20 to 25 minutes:
        What role do emotions play in the development of our personalities? How do our emotional responses interact with other ways of knowing (like reason) to help guide us in making important decisions in our lives?
        At the end of this time, please turn your attention to the Inside Out Viewing Guide (Access and Complete on Google Classroom).  Please enjoy the film and use the viewing guide to reflect on the film's relation to TOK concepts.

        Additionally, please remember the following:

        • Seniors should be Revising your midterm essays (due Friday)
        • Everyone should be updating their CAS reflections (DO IT!)
        • Juniors should be Developing your EE Mentor Request (email) or Formal Proposal