English 12‎ > ‎

Unit 1: Cornerstone Genre: Writing for Application

Literary Unit: Driven Learning and Teaching in a Flat, Flipped, Mastery-Based Classroom

Autonomy.  Mastery.  Purpose.  Technology.  Differentiation.  Choice.  R.O.W.E.

Teacher as Facilitator in a Flat Classroom.

Instructional model created by Travis Macy and Chris Corbo based on Jeffco Cornerstone Genre Studies, Daniel H. Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth Behind What Motivates Us, the Flipped/Mastery Classroom model of Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams (http://mast.unco.edu/programs/vodcasting/), and Philippe Ernewein’s Flatter Classroom (www.rememberit.org).  More information on student/teacher roles is available in Prensky’s Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning.

Roles of the driven 21st-century student:

·         Researcher

·         Technology user and expert

·         Thinker and sense maker

·         World changer

·         Self-teacher

Teacher’s roles as facilitator and partner:

·         Coach and guide

·         Goal setter and questioner

·         Learning designer

·         Context provider

·         Rigor provider and quality assurer

As a high school senior, you find yourself in the position of planning the next significant step(s) in your life.  Our work in this unit concerns forward progress in this area combined with work on writing and formatting skills that will be important for years to come.
Focus Skills:
  1. Analyze the context of writing situations considering topic, purpose, and audience
  1. Collaborate with peers and experts to plan, draft, revise and edit writing
  1. Use elaboration techniques to capture and maintain audience interest
  1. Use multi-modal components appropriate to genre and topic
  1. Use an organizational pattern appropriate to genre based on topic, purpose, and audience
  1. Use transitional words and phrases to control and enhance the flow of ideas
  1. Use text features, as appropriate, to signal a shift in ideas; use subtle transition techniques to link major sections of text and create cohesion
  1. Craft a conclusion that implicitly or explicitly links the ideas to the world of education or the work force or articulates the implications or significance of literary analysis
  1. Use precise language, specific vocabulary, and figurative language to advance the topic; use domain-specific language
  1. Use the conventions of Standard English to write varied, strong, correct, and complete sentences
Primary Outcomes:
You will produce two significant, real-life products during this unit.
1.  A college essay to be used for a postsecondary application OR a cover letter to be used for a job for which you might apply. The College Essay should meet the length and content requirements of your chosen school(s).  The cover letter should cover no more or less than one single-spaced page; see Mr. Macy for examples and recommendations.
2.  A resume OR a professional digital presence OR a portfolio.  The digital presence or portfolio may not double with an assignment for another class, but they may highlight your work from another class.  Resumes will be assessed based on content and form as described in the unit reading packet.  Think closely about the format of your resume.  Will you use Naviance to facilitate the process?  Will you use a template from Google Docs or elsewhere?  Storing your information in Naviance may prove very helpful when you request letters from teachers.  You must contract and create a rubric for your professional digital presence or portfolio, and these options must be specifically useful to an educational or professional goal. 
Guiding Questions for Creating a Resume:
1. What is a resume, and why do we use it?
2. Why does word choice matter in a resume?
3. How do I evaluate if my resume communicates effectively to others?
4. How does my writing show my audience that I am a potential asset to their institution?


Unit Checklist

Student carries sheet and checks off or assesses tasks with teacher as they are completed, scores added to TASK category.

        Student          Teacher


___/4               ___/4               Personal calendar (identify due dates, your dates, number of

pages per reading, booktalks, work done at school/at home, etc.).

The calendar must include dates, pages, individual roles for each booktalk, and plans for each group task.


___/5               ___/5               Check in with Mr. Macy to discuss your summer, this year, next year, and your passions in life.  Why?  I care about you as a person, not just an English student.  Hopefully, by getting to know you, I will be a more effective coach and guide--one who can incorporate what you care about in our work together.  We are partners in the eductional process, and, as such, we need to get to know each other.


___/3               ___/3               Mid-unit check-in with teacher

                                                            Are you on track?

___/4               ___/4               Vodcast: "Writing for College Essay" by Mr. Corbo

                                                         View, take notes, ask a question

___/4               ___/4               Vodcast: "The Power of Conventions: Overview of the Revision Process"

                                                         View, take notes, ask a question.

___/4               ___/4               Vodcast: "The Power of Conventions: Basic Punctuation Rules"

                                                         View, take notes, ask a question.

___/4               ___/4               Vodcast: "The Power of Conventions: Basic Quoting Rules"

                                                         View, take notes, ask a question.

___/4               ___/4               Vodcast: "The Power of Conventions: MLA Potpourri"

                                                         View, take notes, ask a question.


___/8               ___/8               Working with one or two partners, use resources to find three legitimate examples of real college essays. As a group, print, read, and code the text. Finally, jot down a summative plus/minus/interesting for each essay and rank them from best to worst; be able to defend your ranking based on specific traits.


___/8               ___/8               Working with one or two partners, use resources to find three legitimate examples of real resumes. As a group, print, read, and code the text.  Generate a list of positive and negative traits of resumes with regard to formatting and language (one list for formatting and one for language).

___/8               ___/8               Working with one or two partners, use resources to find two legitimate examples of real cover letters. As a group, print, read, and code the text. Generate a list of what should and should not be included in a cover letter.

___/8               ___/8               Working with one or two partners, use resources to find two legitimate examples of real professional digital presences or portfolios (one example is at www.followtravismacy.blogspot.com).  Generate a list of traits that make for an effective professional digital presence or portfolio.



___/4             ___/4             Read and code unit packet pages 1-10.

___/4             ___/4             Read and code unit packet pages 11-20.

___/4             ___/4             Read and code unit packet pages 21-30.


___/4             ___/4             Read and code unit packet pages 31-40.


___/4             ___/4             Read and code unit packet pages 31-40.


___/4             ___/4             Read and code unit packet pages 41-50.

___/4             ___/4             Read and code unit packet part 2 of 2.



___/10             ___/10              Checklist work completed on time.


             ___/98             ___/98





___/10               ___/10               "Overview of the Philosophy" vodcast quiz.


___/20               ___/20               The Power of Conventions (all four vodcasts) vodcast quiz.


___/60               ___/60               College Essay or Cover Letter (see breakdown on Writing Rubric)


___/40               ___/40               Resume or Professional Digital Presence or Portfolio


___/20               ___/20               Vocab #1 Test.


___/20               ___/20               Vocab #2 Test.









Cover Letters:





Before beginning the resume, please read background information at:



http://sites.google.com/site/collegeboundcoach/contact-me/college-application-resume-example (example resume)


Effective formatting is essential in creating a powerful resume.  A few recommendations:

  • Clear section for name and contact information
  • Easily-identified sections, formatted in uniform fashion throughout
  • Within sections, accomplishments listed from most recent to oldest
  • See Naviance for recommendations of possible sections
  • Action words and numbers highlight your effectiveness
  • Listing relevant skills may be appropriate


Naviance provides one effective tool for building and formatting a resume.  Login using your standard user name and seven-digit phone number; then go to Family Connections, About Me, and Resume.



VERY Basic Formula for a College Essay:

  1. Present a rich picture of yourself as an outstanding individual
  2. Expose your vision for future, goals, and potential impact on the world/school
  3. Show how the specific school to which you are applying provides a connecting point for #1 and #2 above














































Daily Working Options (Status of the Class; Results Oriented Workplace)

Class begins with five minutes of reading in a book of choice; the book (different for each student) should be challenging, interesting, and registered on the class blog.  The teacher begins class with status of the class, which involves a quick discussion of the calendar (if needed) and very brief check-ins with students or groups of students about what they will be doing that day.  Work ensues, with students and groups moving to various work spaces to continue work on the task(s) of their choice.

·         Stations and computers readily available

·         Quiet reading

·         Video viewing (vodcasts and similar)

·         Booktalk (if available and previously scheduled)

·         Test/quiz

·         Writing (drafting/typing/discussing with peer)

·         Peer editing

·         Library (research)

·         _____________

·         ____________





Travis Macy,
Aug 23, 2011, 10:21 AM
Travis Macy,
Aug 11, 2011, 3:15 PM
Travis Macy,
Aug 11, 2011, 3:16 PM
Travis Macy,
Aug 11, 2011, 3:16 PM
Travis Macy,
Aug 25, 2011, 5:39 AM