Saturday, October 3, 2009

Climbing Summits

The month of October brings some new and varying levels of challenge to all of our students. Conferences always seems to bring with it a sense of urgency coupled with a sense of reflection. This dichotomy is unique and distinctive to the season, almost akin to the individuality of each falling leaf from the trees. For the seventh grade students, as the autumnal breeze increases its intensity, so too does the Social Studies curriculum. We will be concluding our journey through Colonial anger and frustration and will be examining how to represent such findings. Students will be taking an exam on Chapter 5 on October 21, and simultaneously will examine multiple learning styles and how this plays a formative role in facilitating deeper understanding of content. While this is ongoing, students will also be assigned their first Task Rotation Assessment which asks them to analyze Colonial Resistance through frames of reference. October brings with it a drop in temperature, but an increase in focus and work. This would certainly be an appropriate way to describe the 8th graders right now. The driving focus is the Constitution Exam. This week, students will be completing their Constitutional Inquiry Tasks. At their submission, students will be working on their Constitutional Writing Tasks. In the process, students are encouraged to spend nightly time studying for the exam. This might take different forms. For example, one night can be spent studying for the Amendments, being able to identify specific amendment numbers and the rights covered in them. The next night can be spent studying goals and principles within the Constitution. Then, an evening could be spent on studying different branches of the Government. This pattern can continue to the actual exam, which is scheduled for September 22 and 23 (Formal letters sent out this week.) Students are encouraged to speak with me for additional help, if needed, attend study sessions, post on Moodle, as well as take an active and proactive role in order to achieve success.
To all stakeholders, information about logging in to examine student grades has been passed on through school letter. Please begin the process of monitoring your child's academic performance, as Friday, October 9 represents the halfway point of the Trimester. In addition, students will be receiving conference confirmations within the week. I certainly hope that all students can hold portfolio conferences that highlight all of their pursuits of "the good, the true, and the beautiful." If I can be of any further assistance in any and all endeavors, please do not hesitate to contact me either at school or at my home.
All best and happy hunting.
Mr. Kannan

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