Saturday, September 26, 2009

The First Month Over: From where to where we have come

One of the most critical elements I can stress to students is that scholarship is a journey. Like all journeys, it is essential to examine from where to where we have come at certain points in this process. With our first month coming to a close, students have gained some valuable elements. One such element would be the understanding that each summit climbed is succeeded by another summit that awaits. Yet another critical element gained is the idea that process is critical to product; both are “hopelessly devoted to each other.” Indeed, both elements are “the word” as we leave our first month together and enter a tougher second.
For the seventh grade students, trace fossils conceptions will be supplemented with the analysis of the road to revolution. As we examine the steps that the Colonists took to freedom, we will end up analyzing how the revolution started. Terms like economic rights, political rights, as well as the ability to want to be free will be elements that shall be appropriated into our discussion. Our journey begins with Scholarly Sparknotes, student generated teaching aides that will be completed on Tuesday and presented on Wednesday of this week. Chapter 5 will be critical in helping to fortify our understanding of colonial discontent and the reclamation of power in the emergence of our nation.
Power is of vital importance to our 8th grade emerging scholars. The Constitution Exam is rapidly approaching. This Friday will mark three weeks until the exam. Tentatively scheduled for October 22 and 23, the exam will be a two day affair with the first day consisting of writing and the second day consisting of the multiple choice component. A letter will be forthcoming that will detail the critical elements of the exam format and content. Students are past the half way point of the unit. I ask all stakeholders to ensure that students are engaging in a nightly review of the concepts covered thus far. Naturally, there will be study sessions each week during Wednesday’s lunch period. We will also be adding study sessions to be held in the mornings, which will be announced very soon. Each week, students are taking checkpoint quizzes on the Constitution. A pattern is emerging which strongly depicts the disparity between those students who are actively engaging in effectively nightly study of the concepts covered and those who are not. To the former, I applaud your efforts and hope that they can continue. To the latter, I implore you to modify your approach and embrace “the fierce urgency of now.” Perhaps, opening up a dialogue with me in a private setting, or trying new and different approaches to your studying. I am fully aware that some of our students have endured the study of the Constitution in the past. I am cognizant of this and applaud it. However, the topic is so intricate and challenging, I would advise all stakeholders not to underestimate it and seize this particular moment as essential. With three weeks to go, good things can happen if the “fierce urgency of now” is understood. However, as we work towards a specific moment in time, I remind all stakeholders that when this moment approaches one has a choice of either grabbing it with tenacity or realizing that it will pass by without a care of what remains. I implore students and stakeholders to make the right choice in such a critical moment.
The school has sent home information with how parents/ guardians will be able to access their student’s grades and academic status through online means. If further clarification is needed, please do not hesitate to contact any of the core teachers or your child’s advisory teacher. Conference confirmations will also be forthcoming very soon and your vigilance is requested in ensuring that these arrive. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at school via email or at my home.

All best and happy hunting.
Mr. Kannan

1 comment:

  1. OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH!! YOU ARE TEACHING THE LITTLE PEOPLE ABOUT OUR CONSTITUTION!!! WELL I AM ALL GROWN UP AND LEARNING ABOUT AWESOME THINGS!!! In honors history we started but learning about the begining of man kind and began to discover the works of Jared Dimond and the transition of hunter-gatherer life to farming! Then we went on about early civilizations like Harrapan societies and Mesopotamia!! SO COOL!
    And now I am learning about the Axial age and how a new religions sprung up. We are looking mainly at India. I couldn't help but remembering my favorite social studies teacher! STAY COOL MR. KANNAN!!!!!!!

    - Patricia (Patty) Linninger

    P.S.- India has very interesting social classes... verryyyy curiooousss