Friday, November 6, 2009

Different Visions of Voyages

As the first trimester comes to a close in a short period of time, it might be essential to gauge where we are and where we need to be in our voyages. Both groups of students have been pushed to limits where frustration, happiness, agony, and some tears have resulted. There have been a preponderance of "teachable moments" that have emerged and brought forth the idea of sacrifice. At different points this trimester, I believe that each student has understood the need to give more and expect more out of both the content and themselves.
Now that we find ourselves almost a third of the way done with our journey, we have to examine how things will become more arduous in this next phase. Certainly, students will have to recognize that the commitment needed in the first trimester will be more so needed in the subsequent ones. The work will increase in magnitude and difficulty, and the room which will allow foreseeable errors will be decreased. Once again, students must prepare themselves for encountering more of those "teachable moments," which are hated in the initial phase, but provide the best fodder for teaching and understanding.
The seventh graders will receive their Chapter 5 Writing Tasks this Monday. Revisions and all extra credit tasks will be due Monday, 11/16. Upon the return of these items, the analysis of Chapter 6 will begin, where students will analyze the works of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. This will culminate in the Chapter 6 Exam as well as the Chapter 6 Writing Tasks. For eighth graders, identifications submitted on Tuesday will be matched with reading the challenging secondary source of Howard Zinn and his analysis of Industrialization. Students will be given a copy of his chapter on "Robber Barons and Rebels." It is a 35 page packet and students should not lose it. Additionally, students will be expected to annotate or create notes to accompany this reading. Our study of Zinn will allow us a greater understanding of the time period and will expose students to the need of reading history in a bit of a different light than reading other forms of literature.
Naturally, as work increases, so would the potential need to communicate. I can be reached through school email or at my home. All stakeholders are invited to initiate contact when communication is needed.
All best and happy hunting.
Mr. Kannan

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