Saturday, October 31, 2009

Defining Progress

At this point in our journey, progress is being made with each incremental step. 7th Graders are engaging in the fierce battle of defense pieces and writing tasks. Questions such as, "How do I know this is an example of Sensory Feeling?" or "Have I proved this enough?" are being coupled with "Do you have my rough draft" or "Can I come up during lunch to talk this out?" These are the types of questions that one would expect from emerging scholars. This is where we are. Final Drafts of the Chapter 5 Writing Tasks are due on Thursday, 11/5. Once this is done, we begin our next journey through the Revolution and the writings of Jefferson and Paine. With three weeks to go in the Trimester, more seventh graders are embracing the process of revisions and working through adversity. This is where we should be and as we make progress it is essential to ensure that no one is left behind in its wake.
The eighth graders are in a more precarious position. As the wake of Monopoly and the acquisition of wealth as well as the blessing or curse of Free Parking still looms large, students are being introduced to the world of thematic appropriation of content. I have always felt that the outlining of several themes at the outset of a unit and then the engagement of these ideas within the history makes for more vibrant discussions and more powerful work products. Students are introduced to that this week in the process of understanding chapters 17, 18, and 19. At the same time, students are also embarking on their introduction to the subversive world of Howard Zinn, who will play an essential role in helping us carve out our own conception of History. With only a few weeks to go in the Trimester, my hope is that students begin to understand how things progress and take advantage of all that is there in order to maximize and enhance student achievement.
As always, if I can be of any further assistance or help, please do not hesitate to contact me at school or at home.
All best.

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