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PM TALONS English Civil War Assessment

March 10, 2014

Morning reflection

In assessing your own and our collective learning during our study of the English Civil War, provide evidence and reflection on the following points and questions.

Group Project

  • Describe your selected section of the unit and what you understand to be the main idea at the heart of understanding it.
  • Considering your own presentation, as well as those of others:
    • What are you proud of contributing to your group and the class’ understanding of your topic?
    • How would you alter or improve your group / class participation to ensure better understanding of your topic in future units?
  • How should we as a class look to improve future experiments in collaborative unit planning / teaching / assessment? “Ask and yea shall receive…”

Individual Learning

  • Other than your own section, describe an element of the unit which captured your interest.
    • What will you remember about it?
    • How does it relate to your existing knowledge/feelings/assumptions about history and politics?
  • Considering the entire unit (course material as well as collaborative unit planning and group work), what questions / issues did the English Civil War unit raise for you?
  • Describe your daily engagement with the topics covered/discussed in class. Use examples of strategies and habits used in your daily studies.
  • How would you undertake a similar course of study to greater effect in the future?Aspects of this unit you would strive to duplicate or change to improve.

Big Question

Answer any one of the following questions in a brief paragraph supporting your answer.

  • Who ought we ‘cheer’ for in studying the English Civil War?
  • If those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, what are we ‘doomed to repeat’ by not learning about this period in English history?
  • Do you agree with the statement, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”?
    Why or why not?

AM TALONS English Civil War Assessment

March 10, 2014

Feedback on Remixing the Great Book of Knowledge

February 27, 2014

Inspired by the spirit of helping write the Great Book of Knowledge, the TALONS classes were proud to create and present a series of remixed podcasts riffing on the two-part CBC Ideas episode produced by Philip Coulter. Having posted finished versions of the podcasts on the class blog, and sharing the collected remixes live on K12 web radio station 105 the Hive, the class received a notable piece of feedback by email the other day:

Hey talented TALONS people!

I heard some of the remixes you posted on Soundcloud of The Great Book of Knowledge. They were terrific! Really imaginative work- you had a great feel for the ideas behind the programme and for how to take those ideas to another level, which is what remix is all about, and you obviously get it.

You’re lucky to be in such a great programme, and from a little cruising around your site its obvious that you’re doing really interesting work. Keep it up with creating things that no-one ever thought of before- thats called Art, and that brings us a better world!

Philip Coulter

Producer, The Great Book of Knowledge
“Ideas” CBC Radio

Morning Podcasts

February 18, 2014

The morning talons class was tasked to create one audio presentation per quad. The presentations had only the criteria that it must relate to CBC’s podcast The Book of Knowledge and a given topic. The seven topics were: Social Effects, The Wiki, Connection, Culture, Recreation, Trust and Communication. Students had 5 days (including the weekend) to come up with a workable idea, start bringing it together and add the finishing edits. Without further ado, the audio files are linked below. Let’s just say that the pod casts speak for themselves.








Social Effects




February 18, 2014

The TALONS classes have been discussing a variety of topics in Social Studies this semester, and now have produced a document of learning to show their understanding and progress. Drawing from a CBC podcast about Wikipedia, and using some of the concepts from the short film Everything is a RemixTALONS learners recorded a podcast using clips from the CBC show. The class first divided the CBC podcast into seven parts and each group of four students made a remix from that section, and now will be broadcasted from 105theHive, a student internet radio. The audio files are posted below. Fallow the conversation of comments on twitter at #talonsss or @talonsblog.

Life Before Wikipedia

Impact of Wikipedia

The History of the Wiki

The History of Wikipedia

Language/ Culture/ Nuetrality

Reliable Sources

Online Contibutors

The Great Book of Knowledge | CBC Ideas

February 6, 2014

Image via The Atlantic

Adding to our recent discussions of Howard Zinn’s look at Columbus’ meeting with the Arawak People, as well as our emerging inquiries into the nature and meaning of history, culture, and truth, this weekend’s homework listening is the recent CBC Ideas episode The Great Book of Knowledge (Part I).  From the episode page:

We used to need libraries to make the sum of human knowledge available to all. Today we have Wikipedia, where the sum of human knowledge can be shaped by all of us. But can we trust it? Philip Coulter suggests that the collective mind is perhaps the best mind we have.

It features 30 million articles, in 287 languages. And it’s written and edited — for free — by 77,000 contributors around the world.

What did we do before Wikipedia? Well, if you wanted to know something, you looked it up in a book. And if you didn’t have the book yourself, you had to go to the library.

In the old days, books contained pretty much all the information there was. And they were written by “experts” — and that usually didn’t mean you.

But what if you knew something that the guy who wrote the book didn’t know? Or what if they were wrong? Well, too bad.

And then, along came the computer, and after that, the wiki. And everything changed forever.

In addition to finding a playable version of the episode on the page linked above, you may also download The Great Book of Knowledge in the iTunes store, or as an mp3 by clicking this link. Or this one right here. Those with devices will find CBC Ideas in the Podcast Ap.

For Monday, have an outline and/or notes on the episode to discuss with the class. As well, you are invited to engage in discussion of various elements of the episode on the Talons Social Studies Twitter hashtag: #talonsSS. 

Grade Ten Pre-Speeches

November 22, 2013

Thanks, Jackson!

#Eminent2013 Evaluation

November 22, 2013

Night of the Notables, live on 105 the Hive!

November 20, 2013

Notable class of 2012

Tonight the TALONS classes will be presenting their Eminent Person Study at the annual Night of the Notables. A tradition in our program, as well as in our district going back to the early nineteen eighties, Night of the Notables is a one of a kind rite of passage for TALONS grade tens, and – in addition to the Fall Retreats – a welcoming initiation for our grade nines.

Tonight, the TALONS classes Perform.

And we hope to be able to share as much of it as we can with you, out there, on the Internet! If you haven’t already, you can check in with TALONS progress on the Eminent Person Study collected in previous posts on Defying Normality, as well as the Twitter hashtag we have been using this year: #Eminent2013.

We would love to hear from you! Your questions, encouragement, and other participation are appreciated, always – if you’d like to share a message with the TALONS this evening, send @talonsblog a Tweet, or send your message to the #Eminent2013 tag.

You will also be able to tune in to live proceedings from the event, as well, via K12 Student Web Radio Station 105 the Hive. TALONS alumni Zoe will be reprising her role as Notable Host this evening, and sharing our Notable Addresses from Gleneagle’s Broken Wing Theatre beginning at 7pm (PST), followed by our Learning Center gallery walk from 8pm to approximately 9:30pm.

To listen to 105 the Hive, press Play on any of the media players on this page:

As the speeches will be delivered in two sets of interwoven dramatic monologues, each speaker will not be individually introduced. To help you listen, here are the notables in the order they will appear:

AM TALONS Notables

Steve Jobs
Nicola Tesla
Leonardo DaVinci
Fawzia Koofi
Jim Henson
Ching Shih
Josephine Baker
Jimi Hendrix
Glenn Gould
Anne Frank
Maria Mozart
Salvador Dali
Beryl Markham
Annie Oakley
Evel Knievel

PM TALONS Notables

Alexander Graham BellSir William Samuel Stevenson
Charles Darwin
Heath Ledger
Agatha Christie
George Lucas
George RR Martin
Joni Eareckson Tada
Lubna al-Hussein
Alice Stokes Paul
Elizabeth Taylor
Cecil B. Demille

Revised TALONS RSS Blog Bundles

November 11, 2013

Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 3.51.08 PM

After having realized that a few blogs from each grade weren’t syndicating with their classmates’ blogs, I started four new RSS feeds in Yahoo Pipes which now seem to have every TALONS blog coming through. I’m not sure if this was a problem with maximum capacity of Yahoo Pipes or another breakdown in the chain, but it seems to be remedied with the new configuration.

If you have been subscribing to the RSS feeds formally posted on this site, you will need to change your subscription to these new feeds, groups by grade and cohort. To subscribe, copy the ‘link location’ from each of the links below, and subscribe by adding to your content in a feed reader such as Feedly, or Flipboard.


PM Grade Ten Blogs

PM Grade Nine Blogs 


AM Grade Ten Blogs

AM Grade Nine Blogs 


As of now, the comment bundle for the grade tens seems to be functioning correctly. Here is the address once again, however: Grade Ten Comment Bundle.

The grade nine comment feeds had to be separated, unfortunately, for them all to come through. Here are those links:

PM Grade Nine Comments

AM Grade Nine Comments