Monthly Archives: January 2014

Class Agenda #45- Trend Report

Opening- Group Juggle 3.2

Class Work- 

New Assignment-

LT- I can present ideas, arguments, and evidence logically and formally in a way is appropriate to my purpose, audience, and task.

Use TWITTER AND your research skills to find something that is trending now. Could be from the weekend. Could be from last week. Then, use your writing skills to draft an essay of about 250 words that does the following:

  • (NEW) You must use and cite MULTIPLE SOURCES in your essay.
  • Summarize the story.
  • Analyze the story- Ask yourself, why did this story trend?
  • Predict- What are the outcomes or implications of this story?
  • Cite- Credit your sources using our MLA Format
  • Tweet- Share your links with your twitter followers.

Essay Week! Day 1

Opening Circle-

Would rather be in extreme cold (10 or less) or extreme heat (100+).


Essay Options- 

Use the following Outline to attack this Critical Lens Essay-


Critical Lens:

“Whosoever does wrong, wrongs himself…”
—Marcus Aurelius

The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus, 1944

Be sure to

  • Provide a valid interpretation of the critical lens that clearly establishes the criteria for analysis
  • Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the statement as you have interpreted it
  • Choose two works you have read that you believe best support your opinion
  • Use the criteria suggested by the critical lens to analyze the works you have chosen
  • Avoid plot summary. Instead, use specific references to appropriate literary elements (for example: theme, characterization, setting, point of view) to develop your analysis
  • Organize your ideas in a unified and coherent manner
  • Specify the titles and authors of the literature you choose
  • Follow the conventions of standard written English


  1. Introductory Paragraph
    1. Hook- Broad statement related to the lens that gets the reader’s attention and leads to the critical lens quote
    2. Critical Lens – Give the quote and include the name of its speaker.
    3. Analysis of the quote – What does it mean?  Interpret it.
    4. Broad Thesis – State how your 2 books agree or disagree with the lens quote. This must introduce the titles and authors of your two texts.
    5. Expanded Thesis –Briefly preview the 2 examples from each book that will be the subjects of your 4 body paragraphs
    6. Concluding sentence that will help transition from broad thesis to first body paragraph


  1. Body Paragraph #1

A. Transition/Topic Sentence

B. First example from Book A that supports or refutes the lens

C. Explain – Include a literary device in your explanation – use specific literary terms and underline them.

D. Connect this example to the lens quote – state clearly how it supports or

refutes the lens.


  1. Body Paragraph #2

A.   Transition/Topic Sentence

  1. Second example from Book A
  2. Explain – Include a literary device. Use the term and underline it.
  3. Connect to lens in conclusion.


  1. Body Paragraph #3
    1. Transition/Topic Sentence
    2. First example from Book B
    3. Explain – Include a literary device.  Use the term and underline it.
    4. Connect to lens


  1. Body Paragraph #4
    1. Transition/Topic
    2. Second example from Book B
    3. Explain – Include a literary device.  Use the term and underline it.
    4. Connect to lens



See reverse for Concluding Paragraph




  1. Concluding Paragraph


  1. Transition into restatement of thesis – do not restate the lens quote; refer to it. Do include the titles and authors of the works discussed. Use different wording from the introduction
  2. Strong Concluding Sentence- Give “food for thought” to your reader on the value of the main idea of the lens and its topic. Give your reader something to take away from the experience of reading your essay.



Base your answer to this question – What are the benefits of sleep on the brain?– on the reading below-

Sleep yourself to a
better memory?
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Every lifestyle choice has the potential to affect your cognitive abilities and health. In recent years, various researchers have found that a habit that most of us take for granted — sleep — may affect our memory in noticeable ways.
Does sleep help long term
memories stick?
In a study published in the June 2011 issue ofScience, University of Washington researchers studied the role of sleep in forming long-term memories by using a special breed of fruit flies that could be induced to sleep on demand. First, the male flies studied in this paper were “trained” by being exposed to other, genetically engineered males who released female pheromones. After several courtships and rejections during this training period, some of these flies were then forced to sleep for 4 hours. These sleepers made no further attempts to court the engineered males when exposed to them again — suggesting that sleep had helped form a long-term memory of the earlier deception.

But flies who didn’t sleep were tricked once more by the same genetically engineered males. The researchers in this study concluded that training alone was not enough to trigger memory consolidation — sleep was a necessary component. While this study’s results don’t necessarily carry over to humans, they help cast the role of sleep in a new light.

How lack of sleep could hurt you
Not only may sleep help your memory, but lack of sleep may also hurt your health. A 2010 study from Biological Psychiatry found that chronic insomnia may lead to loss of brain volume. Researchers used fMRI scans to examine the brains of 37 human subjects with and without chronic insomnia. Insomniacs had a smaller volumes of gray matter in three brain areas — and the more serious the insomnia, the greater the loss of volume.

And in 2012, a preliminary study from the Washington University School of Medicine found that in mice, poor sleep may be related to brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.

The future of sleep studies
The third of our life that we spend sleeping has always been something of a mystery. Now a new wave of studies are finding indications that while we may appear to be in a stupor, our brains are actually hard at work. It may take many more years or decades before we reach definite conclusions about all the many roles that sleep plays, but most scientists agree that getting a decent night’s rest is a good idea.

Class Agenda #41 – Get a handle on your Emotions

Opening Circle-

  • Read the following instructions-
  • When you’re done, work on lumosity.

Lumosity and the Mind-

Directions- Send me an e-mail in which you argue for or against the validity of this study? You can use the study to either prove your point, or argue against specific points.

Emotional control
and the brain
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Could you learn to have better control of your emotions? A 2013 study in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that a certain type of working memory training can help people regulate their emotions in high-stress situations.
The link between emotion and working memory
Emotional control, or the ability to regulate your emotional responses and stay focused on a goal, helps determine success in personal relationships as well as in professional ones. The researchers in this study noted that emotional control and working memory rely upon some of the same brain areas, including the frontoparietal area and the amygdala. Since these two functions share brain pathways, they posited that strengthening one could strengthen the other.Working memory, your ability to store and use multiple pieces of information at once, is a skill drawn upon in many aspects of daily life. Every time you mentally calculate a tip while splitting a bill or hold on to your original train of thought when interrupted, you use your working memory.

Special emotion-oriented working
memory training
Researchers divided the study’s 34 participants into two groups: one trained working memory for 20 days, while the other placebo group played simple games for 20 days.The group that trained worked with a special version of the dual n-back task, a common neuropsychological task used in many studies. The traditional dual n-back task has people observe sequences of two types of stimuli, typically an image and a sound. People must compare the current item with what they heard or saw 1, 2, 3, or more trials ago.

Researchers added a twist to the dual n-back task to refocus it on emotions. Training participants heard words that evoked strong emotional reactions (dead, evil, rape) and saw images of people making negative facial expressions (fear, anger, disgust).

Training helped lower emotional distress
After 20 days, all participants watched a series of emotionally disturbing films on topics such as war, famine, or accidents. While watching, participants were asked to either control their emotions or not attempt any control.As a group, those who trained working memoryself-reported less distress when they watched the disturbing films while trying to control their emotions. Self-reported distress was significantly higher in the placebo group. Furthermore, fMRI brain scans showed that those who trained working memory also had different patterns of brain activation.

The future of emotional training
The ability to rein in your emotions and keep a cool head is crucial to success in many avenues of life. While there are still many open questions about emotional control, this study suggests that researchers may find a clue by exploring its relation to other well-studied brain functions. The more we learn, the better we may be able to help people understand not only their intellectual capabilities but also other aspects of their cognitive well-being.