Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do you hear that, young scholar? That is the sound of inevitability. It is the sound of your own opportunity for triumph.

I will be honest enough to say that I had a fairly horrific student teaching experience. It was bad. I cannot even begin to articulate how many things transpired that convinced me of my own ineffectiveness in the classroom. There were only a few rare rubies that were collected from this quest. One such gem was when I was at on of many low moments:
"February is the best time to teach. With the combination of the cold and the weather, they are just primed to learn. February is the month."

As we look at the calendar, we are moving towards "the month." Both groups are going to experience the upcoming week and month with different senses of trepidation and challenge. The journey will look different for both groups with the only constant being that February being "the month."

7th Grade
This week marks the commencement of the Judicial Branch with "the greatest video of all time." It is almost a rite of passage. If a student learned American History with me, they had to do their time with "the greatest video of all time." Students will be asked to take notes on specific sections of the video, ensuring that information is reviewed on a nightly basis.
In addition to this, students should be spending time reviewing their concepts learned about the goals and principles of the Constitution, as well as the Legislative and the Executive Branches. Flash cards is an excellent way to initiate this process. There is much information to be reviewed in preparation for the Final Exam that will start on February 22. Starting from next week, I will open up my room for study sessions to assist with this process of studying and reviewing.

8th Grade
World War I starts this week. Students will begin the process of understanding the war from the perspective of thematic analysis, historical development, and primary/ secondary source rendering. It will require a great deal of planning to ensure that students COMPLETE WORK ON A NIGHTLY BASIS. ASSESSMENTS WILL BE GEARED TO MAKE SURE THAT STUDENTS ARE KEEPING UP WITH WORK CONSISTENTLY AS WELL AS UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS DISCUSSED IN CLASS. This unit is driven by reading and comprehension, as students will be introduced to some of the finest writers and some of the most heart rendering conditions that humanity has had to face.

With conferences looming large next week, I can only stress the importance of making sure that all steps are taken towards academic success. This starts every night with competent completion of assignments and not falling behind. At the same time, student advocacy where uncertainty is present will also be another formula in ensuring that students are successful.

Happy hunting.
Mr. Kannan
Photo courtesy of and

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