Friday, December 7, 2012

The upcoming week: 12.10 to 12.14

It is a challenging time of year.  Certainly, our students feel this.  I can only hope that all of our stakeholders are doing their best to assist our students in a tough stretch.  The two week Winter Recess will be beneficial to allow a certain moment of tarry or recharge before another strenuous stretch kicks off in January.
For Social Studies, students will have some challenging elements this week:
Monday- Reading of Dr. Seuss' "Yertle the Turtle."  Homework for this will be for students to complete questions on the reading.
Tuesday- Reading of Kozol's article on illiteracy in America.  Homework for this will be for students to compelte questions on the reading.
Wednesday- In class assessment on Kozol, Dr. Seuss, LeGuin, Bradbury, and Swami Vivekananda.  (That's a real interesting dinner party right there.)  Students may use their homework for successful completion of this assessment.
Thursday and Friday- Students may work in class on their Chapter 20 Enrichment Sheets.

At this point in time, grades have not been updated.  By 12.9, I will have updated students' status in terms of turning in assignments, not having turned in work, and so on.  Yet, the actual tabulation of scores and recording of comments will not be done until the Winter Recess.  So much of the work being submitted goes beyond numeric scores and must reside in the domain of talking about work, identifying points of strength and potential improvement areas.  As you can tell, this will take time.  I am sorry about the delay, but I assure you that I will have inputted scores and comments before January 5.  I think that talking points with students might be more on the reflective side of things, though.  Perhaps, preliminary discussions can be present with children as to how they feel they did on their work, did they put forth their best effort, where they think the work can improve.  This reflective discussion between process and product might be nice to have even before the final score is recorded.

I think that this is where we are and where we hope to be.  Trapped between the world of what is and what can be, we seem to meander on, "boats against the current."  (I am getting ready for the 1920s unit as you can see.)  If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
All best.
Mr. Kannan

If you are interested in putting to memory the closing line to Swami Vivekananda's address to the Parliament of Religions Conference in 1893, here it is:

I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.

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