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