July 4th Update

Thursday 4 July 2019

David and I know you need "bodies of work" and it is something that we hear loud and clear.  I've published one today (from Barbara Kruger) and we are working on publishing more as quick as we can.

You'll find two ways of looking at bodies of work on the site already.  The first is a collection of 5 speeches by Michelle Obama.  She isn't on the Prescribed reading list and we don't think you will be studying her speeches as literature.  Thus, reading and working with a collection of her speeches, five of them in this case, constitutes a body of work in the eyes of the IB.  Some of her speeches match quite nicely with the global issues as well.

While this first approach will be the most common - teach 5 speeches that you've personally curated for the students - there is another approach.  I'm calling it the flexible body of work approach.  This is what you will find with the Nike advertisements.  Technically, because there are 6 commercials being used in the "intertextuality" section of the lessons, there's a "body of work" already there for Nike commercials (with Nike as the "author" or the "ampler definition of authorship" that is needed). 

There isn't a body of work for Nike print advertisements though.  But the "Toward Assessment" box at the end advocates for another approach.  After you have looked at an initial Nike print advertisement - the Colin Kaepernick one - and gone through the various materials, you have the opportunity to turn it over to your students.  The key in this "flexible" approach is to make sure that you give students time in class with the Nike advertisements they have self-selected.  Come time for the individual oral or the higher level essay, students will have a lot more material they can work with because you have already analyzed these texts in class, even if it wasn't whole class study.  However, students cannot - come individual oral time - just look up Nike ads online and chose one for their oral (in conjunction with a literary work).  Instead, they can go back to their learner portfolio, look at the group work that was done with several Nike ads, and use one of them.  That's valid because they have already studied it as part of the course.

Finally, here’s an updated running list of what we’ve been doing on our end:

  1. Samples of how to construct your course: this is going to be one of your most immediate concerns.  What’s required by the IB?  Is my course syllabus okay?  There are 8 examples and possibilities of what you can do while also recognizing there are other equally right ways to go about it (and wrong ways too). 
  2. Examples of how to plan units of study: the new course allows for so much flexibility and choice.  There are at least 10 different ways you can plan your units of study.  See how in the unit of study section!
  3. Learner portfolio materials: this is part of the radical change from the IB.  It can be complicated to implement, but also transformational.  We’ve updated the site so you have what you need to begin that journey.
  4. Exemplar material for the individual oral: this is the biggest change in assessment and one of the areas you will have plenty of questions.  There’s already a model example on the site with three more to come! We think this alone is pretty awesome!    
  5. Exemplar material for Paper 1 and Paper 2: we already have examples of student responses for Paper 1 and Paper 2 published on the site.  Check them out and then ask any questions if you have them!
  6. Resources, lessons, and materials tailored for the new course in connection to the course concepts: actual lesson plans for the seven concepts are filling up quite nicely including on Michelle Obama speeches and "How to Write About Africa."
  7. Creating student accounts: this is a feature only a small percentage of subscribers use, but we think it can be quite valuable.  Sign your students up and go from there. 
  8. Bodies of work: Michelle Obama speeches and Nike advertisements are already up and running.  More will come as the summer progresses.  
  9. Course trackers: check to see if your syllabus fits the IB requirements.

While we have been anticipating your needs, we also want to hear from you.  If there’s something else you need, let us know!  Hearing from you helps us help you.  We are pretty good at getting back to you in a timely manner if you have a question. However, to create something we think is quality and worth publishing takes time; it won't be instantaneous, but your comments will plant seeds for future posts.  Over time, like the current site - over 800,000 words - you will have a wealth of information, a wide variety of exemplars, and lessons that you can use in your classroom.  Each subscriber and each school has different needs and David and I are here to meet each and every one of them to the best of our ability.

Finally, actions often speak louder than words. Our actions, including responding to your individual and specific questions in a timely manner; providing you with new teaching material each and every week; and giving you exemplar assessment materials to use with students have shown our worth.  Over the years, we believe that we have proven to you that we are trustworthy and knowledgeable, reliable and dependable, professional and polite, and finally creative in our approach.  We do not take your subscription for granted and we sincerely hope that you stick with us – as we will stick with you – through these new and complex challenges.



Tags: Tim, updates, new course

Comments 3

Brendan Ghazavi-Gill 13 June 2019 - 00:07

Hello Tim, Just a suggestion for 'body of work' writers. I was thinking that Charlie Brooker would be a great candidate. He certainly has issues of global relevance: surveillance, food resources, technology, social media, politics, abuse, shootings, sexuality, and on and on... I will be using him this in the coming two years. theguardian.com

Brendan Ghazavi-Gill 13 June 2019 - 00:09

Dear Tim,
Another one could be The Leith Company leith.co. / and linked with taboo. They use great humour in their adverts.

Tim Pruzinsky 13 June 2019 - 22:34

Hi Brendan,

Thanks for the great recommendations. I'll be sure to check them out!


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