Tag Archives: Scobie

Your Own Words (a class for Summarize THIS! graduates and some others) (Scobie)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

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Ok, you’ve got your basic writing act together. You know what it means to wright tightly from a source, and your grammar and punctuation is getting mostly reliable. You can produce reasonably polished work without an editor.

Now you need the challenge of flexing all these muscles more creatively and generating your own words and awesome ideas!

I’ll give a project or a prompt or a format to write in each week, and you’ll loosen up, get brave, and produce something original within the scope of that week’s work.

In class we’ll read your work aloud, or sometimes quietly, and share thoughts, and I’ll give coaching. Some weeks we’ll re-issue the assignment to refine or expand or improve it. Other weeks, we’ll move on.

  • This class is listed as HS-only, but middle schoolers may join with instructor permission, which may include getting an advisor recommendation, and or doing a writing sample.
  • 70 minute slot minimum.

Geometry, Spring Term (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Ok, let’s make this a complete Geometry class!





We’ll continue to explore the major geometry topics through spring term to complete the course. You know who you are!

  • planning on using a block slot to get three classes per week
  • expect in-class tests, quizzes, and puzzles
  • expect collaboration on some work,
  • expect homework, which will vary in size, small assignments during the week, occasional larger assignments during the 4-day weekend gap between block meetings

Middle School Read Aloud (Scobie)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

Image result for books

If you love listening to writing and stories read aloud, this is for you. Some discussion. Mostly just listening.

Dictionary Game (Scobie)

Yup, it’s that game where you make up plausible definitions for inscrutable words and then try to guess which one is the REAL definition. Sometimes we do it the other way around: read a definition and make up the word! Over the years, we have had more fun and hilarity with the dictionary game than should be allowed in a lifetime, but we’re going to keep on playing, regardless. Newcomers welcome: you’ll get whatever coaching you need to play well.

Summarize THIS! (Scobie)


The in-school coached work session! See “Coached Writing Session (for Summarize THIS!)” in the class blog, and talk to your advisor!

This class is primarily a homework class in which you’ll do one piece of edited, finished writing, from a half page to two pages per week, to a specific word count. Expect to listen to the audio or video source piece several times (Excerpts from  This American Life, The Moth, and other well-produced audio/videos are common). Then you’ll take notes, make a draft, improve it using a check-list. Finally, you’ll work with your editor to further improve your work every week. For most students, it’s a several hours of work each week, but a great investment in becoming a competent writer.

  • As usual, credit for the class requires all summaries to be complete and up to the checklist standards for the class.
  • If this is a repeat class for you,  I’ll be asking you to up your game.
  • IMPORTANT: All writers are required to find and work with a qualified and willing mentor/editor for every assignment. I can be editor for up to two students this spring term. If you hope to have me as your editor, ask early. I reserve the right to choose who I will edit for.
  • Must be scheduled in a 70 minute slot.
  • All students are encouraged to use the in-school coached writing session offered this term.

Coached Writing Session (for Summarize THIS!) (Scobie)

Ever wanted to take Summarize THIS!, but been intimidated by the outside work requirement? Ever taken it and failed to complete all the work? Do you know you need help being a productive writer and learning how to put together a draft? This will be an in-school work environment for the Summarize THIS! class. What if most of your draft could be completed in school, in a quiet environment, with relaxation coaching, technique coaching, and productivity coaching?

I’m hoping this opportunity will get some brave new writers into the Summarize THIS! class in Winter term. And I’m hoping some who have struggled with it in the past will use this to try again. I can’t promise all your work will get done in school, and you’ll still need to respond to your editor’s notes, but this should provide a huge boost in getting the work done each week.

  • Depending on your history and experience, your advisor may require you to take this if you want to take Summarize THIS! in spring term.
  • Must be scheduled in a 70 minute slot minimum.

Typography & Design (Scobie)

This is a mega class.

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Image result for typographyRelated imageImage result for design

What makes the design of letters beautiful? Useful? Boring? Exciting? Readable? Attractive? What would it mean for letters to be efficient? What is the relationship between letters and logos? Why are certain letterforms used for certain messages?

This Megaslot course will be a 7-session deep dive into the topic of typography and its role in communicating information through design. We’ll take walks to look at typography in the world, watch a documentary about one of the most powerful typefaces ever designed, learn about the language and history of letterforms, practice designing letters from scratch, and even take a first stab at designing your own font. This class is intended to be at the pre-college level, so I’m restricting it to high schoolers only. Don’t worry, I’m happy to teach it again.


Body by Science (Scobie)

Important: This class requires direct permission from the instructor. Get it before prioritizing the class.

It’s not comfortable or easy. In fact, it’s the hardest thing you’ll do all week, I promise, but it only lasts about 10 minutes. Plus, it’s an opportunity to dramatically increase your physical strength, increase your cardio-vascular fitness, and explore your own mental and physical discipline, using some of the most up-to-date science in fitness and muscle development. As long as you rest enough and eat well, you will get stronger every week. 

You’re also required to help support the other workouts by staying quiet and alert, helping to record data, and making weight changes smoothly and effectively.

Homework is in the form of good nutrition, hydration, and adequate sleep. This may require special support from your family.


  • 80 minute class slot STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
  • Maximum of 7 students in a 70 minute slot
  • Your commitment helping to run the class efficiently is mandatory

Science of Flight (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

Image result for flight scienceI’ll be partnering with “The Great Courses” here to co-teach alongside video lectures by Professor James Gregory. We’ll look at both the history and scientific principles behind most kinds of flying, with occasional math, and more for those who want it.


Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind (Scobie) (BLOCK)

This is a block class.

Note: This class is open to high school students only.


‘Sapiens’ is a fascinating, provocative, and occasionally problematic book about the history of the dominant human species, our species, Homo Sapiens. This will be a book discussion class, requiring significant careful reading each week: approximately 40-60 pages. “Reading” here includes taking notes and coming to class prepared, meaning that you have specific questions and/or other ideas to talk about directly from the reading.

You should be a strong reader, note taker, side researcher, and thinker, or be willing to work very hard on your own (or with outside help that you find),  to compensate for any difficulty you may have with any of these areas.

You WILL be expected to ask questions and share ideas and opinions from the book in class every week. If your plan is to follow along quietly, and occasionally skip the reading, don’t sticker this class.

There will be a timeline project associated with the class to visualize the human timeline. Talk to me if you are interested in that particular aspect of the class!

Required texts/materials: A paperback copy of the book, plus a notebook, pen or pencil, and highlighter https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062316117/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_mdkICbHZ53F4R Students will be responsible for obtaining their own texts/materials. Materials should be procured by: long enough before first class meeting to complete a first short assignment