Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What to expect in the new year

The new year being upon us, it might be a good time to forecast what is to lie ahead for the emerging scholars on 7.8/3. Prior to this, please note that all students' assessments have been graded and scores have been entered in the gradebook. Any student who wishes to revise their assignment will have until Monday the 11th to do so. I would advise them to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss where the revisions should focus. The results speak for themselves: Those who embraced the challenge of doing something worthwhile and treated it as such did extremely well. Yet, this is in the past and we are now looking at what lies ahead.
For the seventh grade students, they return to chapter 7 and the Constitutional Convention for a week and then we commence study of the Constitution. A 65 page packet will accompany this instruction. This will lead into the Final Exam, a comprehensive assessment that covers work from Chapters 5, 6, 7, and the Constitution. It is a formidable task (Any exam that is over 25 pages in length has a tendency to do that.) Students will have to begin the process of working well and taking extra steps to ensure that they are not caught from behind on it. Challenging as it is, I am going to start a new endeavor. "Extra Credit Fridays" will begin on 1/22. Essentially, students check in with me for five minutes at the start of lunch to receive an assignment that is due at the following class and is to be done over the weekend. These tasks are completely voluntary and will be worth quite a bit of extra credit. They will also serve as excellent review for the Constitution. Finally, it will start to develop the good and successful habit in students to not be afraid of extra work in order to solidify comprehension and receive extrs points in the process.
For the eighth grade students, their introduction to chapter 19 and Progressivism will consist of a two day brief thematic lecture followed by a computer based assessment on various tasks. Students will be able to collaborate, but the expectations will become heavier as their time in class will be devoted to completing this task, while outside of class time will be needed to work on the identifications for the Progressivism Unit. Following this, students will engage in a study of Imperialism through a variety of self chosen tasks that integrate primary and secondary sources.
In the final analysis, I would say that what lies ahead for our students in the next month will be much tougher than what has been done. I think that this will be another benchmark in our journey towards the pantheon of scholarship that many are ready to enter, but still require some last checks at the door.
As always, if I can be of any further assistance or guidance, please do not hesitate to contact me at school via email or at my home.
All best for a safe and strong New Year!
Mr. Kannan

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