Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unbounded Horizons

This particular entry will be a truncated one, as grading has been the focus of the weekend. Updated Social Studies progress reports will be given to all students on Monday. These will include all recent graded work. It is my hope that you will be able to review these particular items with your emerging scholar.
It was wonderful to see so many of you at Curriculum Night last Thursday night. Of the many impressions I imagine you absorbed, I hope you were able to take away the idea that our Social Studies experience is one of horizons and endless vistas of knowledge as we strive to take bold steps towards the pantheon of scholarship. This is certainly the focus for both grade levels this week. Seventh grade students will begin to take their first steps into the textbook and Chapter 5, as the Road to Revolution begins with Scholarly Sparknotes, an activity where students absorb a particular act of Colonial Resistance and explain its relevancy to their colleagues. Students will receive this task description on Monday, and begin the process of working on it all week. Trace Fossil papers will be submitted back on Monday. Revisions of these tasks are due on Friday, 9/25, and students will be expected to follow the policy of revisions for this task. Overall, the papers were quite strong. Over 90% of the team scored a B or above on the paper, and, with revisions, that number will move to 100%. Students who submitted rough draft after rough draft saw the reward of this process of redefinition in their final product. The bar was set high for all students, and my hope is that we can take this focus and intensity into our next foray of the steps that led to the American Revolution.
The focus and intensity that seventh graders are beginning to show have seen their residence amongst many of the eighth grade students in the past two weeks with our study of the Constitution. We continue this journey this week, with the study of the Judicial Branch and the legal system that the framers' envisioned. Students will receive their Checkpoint Quiz from last Wednesday, along with an updated progress report on Monday. Students are encourage to attend study sessions on Wednesday afternoons during lunch, as well as seek out additional help. More forums will be posted on Moodle this week and students can do much to begin the process of engagement in dialogue and discussion. This week's quiz on Wednesday will cover goals, principles, and structure of the Constitution, as well as Articles I and II. It will be tougher than last week quiz, so students are encouraged to continue their good work in this realm. The exam is rapidly approaching. We are within the 30 day mark until the exam, and as we approach this benchmark, students will be expected to raise their level of commitment in conquering this adversary as they pursue the scholarly notions of "the good, the true, and the beautiful."
As always, if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at school or at my home.
All best and happy hunting!
Mr. Kannan

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