Several of you have asked about extra credit in the past, and I have always said no, I don't offer it. One reason is because we have the revision policy, which allows you to re-submit an essay for a better grade. To me what we do in class is should be about learning, so if you want to get extra "credit" then you need to show me that you are doing extra learning. It's not about padding numbers for a grade point average bottom line.
However, I've begun to revise my thinking on this in light of several factors. For one, some of the writing we've done the last unit was not all of a traditional essay variety. We have begun to experiment with blogs and wikis - with mixed success. And of course it should always be about your learning. With all this in mind, I am going to offer extra opportunity to extend your learning. For those of you who want to improve your grade (say a C to a B or a B to an A), I suggest taking me up on this. For those of you satisfied with your grade (say you already have an A), I can offer you two things: a real opportunity to challenge yourself in preparation for future learning and the chance to bump your grade up to an A+.
I've come up with several ideas to demonstrate extra learning. Since we are in the 21st century and I want to prepare you for the skills of tomorrow's workplace, all of the choices involve technology. If you need technical assistance, please ask. But remember, part of this involves you learning more about the technology to maximize its potential. In all cases, if you want the extra credit, you must talk to me about what you'd like to do beforehand.
Below are some suggestions I came up with. Choose one or talk to me about your own idea.
- Take your Literature Circle wiki page and organize the information on it. Put the ideas, passages, responses, and any other information into a coherent final product. This will mean re-arranging, editing, deleting, modifying etc. If someone else in your group wants to do it, then work with them. As part of this you will need to set up a free account and profile with wikispaces.
- Work with someone from one of the other classes who read the same book as you and combine your pages into an organized final product. As part of this, you may have to create a whole new page with all the combined and edited information. You will also need to set up a free account and profile with wikispaces.
- Create your own personal blog using Blogger.com or another free online program and post regular entries over an extended period of time. It doesn't have to be all about what we're reading, but more about what your interested in. As long as it's your thinking and writing. Post several times a week to earn the credit.
- Work with a partner or a small group (doesn't have to be from your class period) to create and maintain a wiki resource on A Midsummer Night's Dream that includes information on the characters, themes, and some literary devices in the play. Set up a page in wikispaces or pbwiki and continually add to it. You won't earn credit just for setting it up, but rather for maintaining it by continuously adding and revising the information to it. If you do this right, it could become a great resource for you when you write a paper about the play later in the unit.
- My wild card suggestion: Create something English class-related with Flickr. This is a photo sharing site that allows you to do many interesting things with digital pictures. Be creative. Learn something about how to use it for an English class, do it, and then show me.
- Do you have any suggestions?
Important note: As with anything you do for school, you must abide by the Branford Public School's acceptable use policy for computers and the Internet.