Saturday, February 26, 2011

ISAT Week is upon us!

The "madness" does not only happen in March, but starting with ISATs.
Students will be taking their ISAT tests next week. Testing in their first period classes, students are reminded to bring a supply of #2 pencils, their calculators (if not already collected), a silent reading book, and healthy snacks with clear bottle of water (not flavored.) In recognition of the demands of the week, there will not be any A.M. or lunch help sessions, unless specifically arranged by a teacher. Students are encouraged to get plenty of rest and do their best on these tests. Our work will be done primarily in class, but students might have to "think" about a concept or engage in some small work outside of class. However, all attempts have been made to work well in class so that students can do what is needed to perform their best on these tests.
Once ISATs are over, next week will begin the third trimester and what will come for all of our students will be a fitting capstone to what hopes to be a successful year of scholarship.

All best.
Mr. Kannan

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Choices and Opportunities for 7.8/3 Students

This week, much awaits 7.8/3 students in terms of choices to be made. What is done this week will have a profound impact on the direction students take for the remainder of the trimester, and quite possibly, for the remainder of the year. We await the results of their choices and cheer them on as they strive to make the right ones.

7th Grade
* The Final Exam is this week- I truly believe that the right choices have already been made for this path. Students who are reviewing this weekend, ensuring that they actively engaged in review, and are focused upon doing well will probably fare better than those who do little or nothing. Students will have the opportunity to study for specific questions Tuesday and Wednesday evening and this will assist in their construction of a quality exam product. I do hope that students find the reservoir within them to embrace only their best on a formidable exam.

8th Grade- Click here for the Themes of the 1920s Prezi!
Attention: Go to this link in order to view/ download a copy of how to go to Tommy Guns!
* Nightly assignments on the 1920s unit will complement the preparation of a World War I primary source assessment for Friday. This blog will be updated with tips for students, sites to be visited, as well as other student work regarding the primary sources in question.

On Tuesday night, if students recognize that they need to take a modified assessment which will have a grade ceiling, they may undertake this option, as well.

With time disappearing in our journey, I think that students need to continue to exercise those right choices and the cost of the negative ones. Seeing that they are closer to the end of their journeys than to the beginning, this becomes vitally important. If I can be of any help in this voyage, I invite you to initiate contact with me and I assist in any way I can.

All best.
Mr. Kannan

Photo courtesy of

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

For 8th Grade Work on the Primary Source Assessment on WWI due on 2/25

*If you want to examine the rubrics for the technology component of the assessment, click here!

Modified Assessment

*If you have not started your assessment, you are in trouble. The reality is that you might have to take a modified assessment. There are two parts to this, and if both are completed and completed well, you will earn a maximum of 75% on the assessment. It might not be perfect, but it is better than where you are if you are taking this, which means you are at a bad place. Once again, both parts need to be done.

Click here to complete the first part of the modified assessment! This will also serve as the retake for the book exam. If you are taking the "Modified Assessment" you are ineligible from taking the retake option.

Click here to complete the second part of the modified assessment!

For those who are analyzing Yeats' "The Second Coming"

* Check out this wall of renditions of the poem. Perhaps, this might be useful as you expand your understanding of the poem.

For those who are entering the world of the Prezi!

* Click here for a Prezi about "Strike Against War"

* Click here for a Prezi about "War"

For those who are blogging, here's an example of a Blog on "War"

If you are interested, here is a sample of a blog on Reed's "Whose War?"

For those who are glogging, here's an example of a Glog on Emma Goldman's "Address to the Jury."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

8th Grade Students! Your Exam for Thursday is here!

For today's exam, simply go to the link below, take the exam, and hit "SUBMIT" when you are done.

You can use the whole period. When you are done, start previewing the 1920s packet that is online at the blog in the link for 8th grade Handouts.

Click here for your exam!

Good luck!
Mr. Kannan

Ascending through the "Marble Steps of a Dream" with "the Fierce Urgency of Now"

When Dr. King spoke of "the fierce urgency of now," he articulated a reality that both encompassed his time and transcended it. In any endeavor that seeks to transform reality from what is to what should be, there is the undeniable "fierce urgency of now" that has a determinant impact on whether or not our endeavors are successful. When 7.8/3 Social Studies students entered Room B405, consciously or not, they became a part of a similar social experiment. (Cami from Period 1 says that this expression is overused, but I tend to disagree. She gets credit for recognizing its importance, though.) They became participants in an endeavor to move them from students to scholars. This week might go far in seeing how successful this transformation is.

7th Grade
* Students should be studying on a nightly basis for the Final Exam that takes place next Tuesday through Friday. A letter detailing the basics of the exam will be going home on Monday. Extra credit for students who return the letter back to me signed on Tuesday.
* Our field trip to DuSable Museum and the State of Illinois Building is on Friday.

8th Grade
* Students will have an exam on World War I this week in two parts. Wednesday's exam will be focused on the historical elements of World War I, with a 20 question multiple choice test from the textbook that will be taken on line. Students will have to take the assessment, take a snapshot of their score, and then email me the snapshot by the end of the class period. Thursday's exam will be focused on analysis of the Primary Sources that have been read thus far for World War I.
* Students will have to complete a Technology Task on one of the Primary Sources by 2.25, worth 2000 points. Students should be working on this outside of class, as well.

We are past the midway point of our journey, reaching the completion of 2/3 of it. My hope is that students recognize this instant, this "fierce urgency of now" and seize it in order to make the most of it.

All best and please feel free to initiate contact with me should you have any questions about this journey or your student's place in it.
Mr. Kannan

E.C. for both groups. Read the article linked here.
7th Grade- Explain how the article, the recent events in Egypt, as well as what you have been studying all fall under the idea of "forming a more perfect union." Why were the ideas in Senator Obama's speech consistent with World and American History?

8th Grade- Explain how the article, the recent events in Egypt, and Progressivist thought are all linked? How does the idea of a "hero of construction" tie into what was read in the article?

You can email me your thoughts, handwrite it, or compose another technological medium to express your ideas for extra credit. Due Friday.
Photo courtesy of and

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Being Heroes in an Army of Construction

The unexpected two days off from school in the past week does not deter us from our overall goals and sense of purpose. The idea of being able to be the change that we envision is something extremely powerful for our students this week. Assessments loom large as we are into the closing weeks of the trimester.

7th Grade
The Final Exam is near, soon to be here. The exam is going to take place on the 22nd- 26th. A letter regarding it will be forthcoming. Students need to concentrate their studying each night to the appropriate concepts that will be featured on the exam. Students have sample questions in their packet from past exams and this can be used as an excellent guide as to how to prepare for this exam. Many students have embraced index card and the flash card method should be actively pursued, as I believe that this has been a successful method in the past. The online flash card resource, Quizlet, might be another resource for two reasons. The construction of online index card further strengthens the hold on material. Additionally, the site has excellent review games that students can play based on their index card. The mobile application allows it to be portable, as well. We will continue our RTI questions each day, and this can further assist student comprehension.

8th Grade
Students will have an enrichment sheet on the Helen Keller sheet due on Monday, with another enrichment sheet due on Pirandello's "War" due on Wednesday. Additionally, students will be required to post three comments on Edmodo by Thursday night for a grade. Students will be working towards a two day exam on World War I and an assessment on World War I Primary Sources due on Friday, 2.25.

Nightly work is going to be critical in seeing our students become the warriors in an "army of construction," to become the change they envision. The words of Progressivist thinkers loom large in such a pursuit: "The fight goes on, the cause endures, and the dream shall never die."

All best.
Mr. Kannan
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