Saturday, December 5, 2009

How do I know what I know? How do I prove what I know?

At this point for our students, our emerging scholars, the challenge is not knowing the material. I think that all of them possess a competitive base of understanding where it is evident they understand the fundamental premises of what is happening. In a larger scope, the question is how do they display these findings in a manner that reflects what they know. Here is where debate and discussion emerge. A traditional paper, an ABC book, an ABC summary, pictures, some type of video presentation, or a poem, are just a few of the many options that stand in front of all 7.8/3 emerging Social Studies scholars. For both groups of students, final drafts/ final projects are due on Thursday, December 17, 2009. This gives them about ten days to make progress towards what has to be done.
Obviously, parents/ guardians play a role in this process. I would stress that some basic talking points about this process could help out in a tremendous manner:
* What have you decided to do?
* Where are you having the most amount of difficulty? (If they answer "nowhere," press them with the opposite: "Where are things going really well on this task?")
* Have you shown Mr. Kannan a rough draft? What did he say? Since his handwriting is really bad, were you able to understand what he was talking about?
* Did you answer all parts of the prompt?
* Have you gone over the rubric to see what he wants in the finished product?

Writing and the composition of any work product involves a level of discussion and discourse. If students can develop the habit of talking openly and honestly about their work, this is where the movement between "getting work done" and "getting work done well" happens. If we wish to develop our students into scholars, I think this would be an instrumental step in the process. If these questions/ talking points, entities that I incorporate in small group discussion in class, can be echoed outside of class as students work, success is almost a foregone conclusion.

If I can be of any further assistance in the process, please do not hesitate to contact me at school or at my home.
All best and happy hunting.
Mr. Kannan

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