Overall Score: 2.3 = D
Liked: Toward the end of the discussion, comments were more insightful. The discussion on religion. Switching the inner and outer circle so all had a chance to speak.Outer circle participation. Questions that made us think. People had something to say about others opinions. Class was able to have conversation about opinions. People were willing to speak out. Second session had more participation. The outer circle participated and helped the conversation keep going (x2). Twain’s uses facts to describe religion as a conflict. Arguments were based on both opinion and experience. Interesting conversations. Hot Seat. Passionate about opinions and beliefs.
Learned: The role of religion and conflict (x 2). How human will fight for what they believe in (x2). How Twain uses rhetorical triangle. Use of imagery to show point of difference. Lots of conflict with disagreement. Even with rules to prevent dilemmas we still bend and break those. Classmates views on society. Discussing how far humans can go with only their will. Twain uses imagery to help readers understand his point. Religions are complicated. Humans may not be a dominant species. Religion is important to all. Religion’s role in the way people ac (x2)t.
Room for Improvement: Provide more details to explain what we mean. More participation (x 10). The essay was difficult and satire caused confusion. Work on more preparation to understand the story. Be more specific and clear when writing questions. More classroom exercises to build community and rapport between students. Story more related to students. Mark Twain was a trip. We have difficult time understanding his combination of satire, humor, and philosophy. Teacher should call on people (x 2). Limiting participation of outer circle. More direct references to text. More details. We miss Mark Garcia! Hard to tell when they are going to speak! Anxiety with new classmates. Feeling judged by others and being afraid that comments are going to be taken personal.
Overall Score: 4.35
Liked: Discussed many themes and connections to real world. Interesting conversation with wide discussion from most participants. Started to correlate justice to the texts and morals and values. How participants used evidence from texts. Good points that covered topics. Use of logical reasons. Like to learn about moral sense and how it causes greed. Got to hear different views of morals. Ideas of Realist literature could be adapted to modern society. Everyone’s ideas related one way or another. We connected the two texts (x2). Seminar explained the jumping frog. Discussion integrated views of justice. Very active outer circle during discussion. Very good flow and clarification was always available to keep conversation going and went into different topics organically. No awkward silence!(x2) Interesting!
Learned: About human forces that drive us (x2). Relationship between greed and power (x 2) The relationship between justice and stories. Moral sense in the wrong hands can lead to darkness and evil. Society should change morals to improve society. We must keep our moral sense! What the Jumping Frog really means (x2). How hu/man’s moral sense is the ultimate downfall. Animals can be better than humans. Moral sense can cause conflict but can be good. Greed can shape moral sense. Gaining power can destroy moral sense. Connection between human nature and justice. Despite moral sense being considered a defect by Twain, it also help us as individuals. The purpose and message of “The Celebrated Jumping Frog.” Mark Twain’s ideals and how they related to historical context and recurring themes. How having moral sense can cause individuality!
Room for Improvement: Make questions more related to Overarching Topic. Focus more on texts equally (x2). Better system that incorporates everyone’s views and voices (x8). More evidence! More participation (x3) More students providing their questions (x6). Outer Circle has to chill! Wait for inner circle to finish speaking (x2) Everyone participated but we should wait for other to speak. Maybe twice before jumping back into the conversation.
Overall Score: 2.9= C-
What we liked…
Students used evidence to support reasons and claims and made connections from Mark Twain’s time to present day. Discussion was respectful and everyone was engaged (x2). Good ideas and the conversation flowed well with diverse opinions. Questions were very broad and it got the group into the conversation. Everyone knows when to jump into the conversation. Participants argued respectfully and gave their perspective and opinion. Everyone shared questions. No awkward silence. Conversation stayed on topic x2. We got to have some insight on how our classmates see the world. Mark Garcia gave good questions and insightful comments. Everyone consistent talked and discussed different questions. Students used real world examples. Most people agreed and showed understanding of speaker’s point of view and opinion. It was professional. Everyone used evidence and facts as support. Everyone gave good answers and showed understanding. Students brought others into the conversation. Good questions kept the conversation going. Liked the essay. No one was messing around being distracting and immature. No interruptions. Valid points and good examples of justice. Good responses to ideas with thoughtful opinions.
What we learned… many perspectives on justice or injustice based on Mark Twain’s essay “The Lowest Animal.” How Mark Twain’s essay is useful for today.
Challenges & Room For Growth
What should improve/change: Have everyone participate, get involved, and speak up! ( x17) Only a few people held on to the discussion for a large part of the time (x4). Provide other students with chance to speak. Ask more questions and discuss disagreement while having a broader point of view and seeing other perspectives(x3). Don’t be so shy or intimidated and gather up courage to speak up (x5). Some people need to be more clear when they speak so everyone can understand. Consider counterarguments to our points of view. Second session was cut short. Bring in PEERS!!
Overall Score: 3.2= C+
Strengths: I like when Zack said, “What can we do to change the humans to be the highest animals?” (x 7)
I liked when we discussed if justice depended on wealth and where your place is (class). (x2)
I liked when Anthony questions if Twain’s comparison between human beings animals without knowledge was fair. (x2)
I liked when Janet asked if humans can ever rise above being the lowest animals.
I liked the comment that there can not be justice if we do not have moral sense.
I like when people asked specific people to comment on questions.
I liked that most of us disagreed that Mark Twain’s generalizations were inaccurate and exaggerated. (x2)
Learned about: The importance of respecting different ethnicities and races. Humans should stop judging one another. Different perspectives on Twain’s ideas in “The Lowest Animal”. Human beings and animal traits can be different.
Room for Growth: There was awkward silence. Check your body language! Be prepared! We need more participation and involvement. (x 8) Ask Questions! More response to direct questions (x2). Speak out! Don’t be shy… It is not fair when students take up the courage to ask a question and no one follows up with a response. Don’t spend so much time on a confirmed question. The conversation was at times superficial and could have gone deeper. More outer circle members should take the “hot seat”. There should be more preparation and thought going into the questions to inspire conversation.
“Unless we base our sense of identity upon the truth of who we are, it is impossible to attain happiness.”
* Write the quote
* Explain what the quote means to you.
* Do you agree? Why or why not? Explain using evidence from your experiences.