Friday, October 7, 2011

Ascending through and to challenges

For Seventh Graders who need a link to do their homework on Wednesday night, please click here!
The upcoming week will pose much in way of challenge to our students. While they have faced challenges in Social Studies up to this point, I believe this week will be instrumental in setting up some of their most formidable hurdles up to this point.
Progress reports were sent home this week for students who are not performing to a satisfactory level or for students who are not demonstrating the most successful of habits. It is here where some level of articulation or discussion is needed. Perhaps, students need to open a dialogue with teachers as to how improvement can be achieved. Simply put, no student who received a progress report this week should be happy with where they are. It is our responsibility as educators and adults to help these students meet their own responsibility in being able to perform to the highest of their capacity and to demonstrate the habits of successful scholarship. If you know of a child who received a progress report, it might not be a bad idea to initiate this dialogue with students as to how they can initiate a discussion with their teachers about reaching their potential as emerging scholars. There is no room for "foolish pride." Rather, there are teachable moments and this could be one of them. For students who did not receive progress reports this week, I think a moment of affirmation can be given. Discussion of what is working would be wonderful and further articulation as to how this can continue would be even better. As we progress further in our journey, the work will become more arduous, the demands more intense, and the sacrifices required will increase. It is my hope that I can be of assistance into this transition period of heightened challenge.
For the seventh graders, this week will be spent discussing Chapter 5, in lieu of the upcoming chapter 5 exam. We will spend some time analyzing primary sources, reviewing content for the exam, and analyze how to approach test taking. What does it mean to study? This will be our focus this week. The exam will be difficult, but these are the same students who have read Arthur Miller. It will be and can be met. Students' revisions of their writing tasks on The Crucible are due on Wednesday of this week (10.12). Additionally, students will have writing extensions on Chapter 5 due on Tuesday of this week (10.11). It is my hope that students can continue the dialogue that has been started in terms of what the demands of scholarship entails.
The 8th graders have The Constitution on their minds... or at least they should. The exam is on the 20th and 21st. This week will feature more insight given as to this topic. At the same time, students will be working on their Constitutional Projects that will be due on Friday. Student grades will be updated by Monday with their quizzes and writing prompts included. Students can revise both items by Monday, 10.17. Nightly study for the Constitution Exam should be a must each night. Students have two pages in their packets that talk about test topics and can self monitor their progress with quizzing themselves on these concepts. These are on pages 2 and 3 of their packets. A great "family night" activity would be a "Constitution" night where students and parents/ guardians spend an evening familiarizing themselves with the Constitution. What a heartwarming vision: A family sitting around the kitchen table or the living room, talking about Senators and the Supreme Court. All one needs is hot chocolate and it's like a Norman Rockwell painting!! In any event, I hope students are able to initiate contact with me if they need further assistance or guidance in all that is due this week and all that lies ahead.
Conferences are scheduled for the week of the 17th. I hope that all of our students will be represented at these moments to discuss student greatness and opportunities to discuss how further achievement can be obtained.
All best and happy hunting.
Mr. Kannan

Photo courtesy of Michal Marcol, whose portfolio is:

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