We made it through first semester! Welcome new parents and students if you are a transplant from Mrs. Volansky’s class!! I write a weekly blog to give an overview of what we’re up to and, hopefully, help keep everyone on the same page.
First, a word about the midterm. I am ecstatic about the students’ performance on it. The class average on the whole thing (the three essays + the multiple choice) was a 104.4 on the AP scale. That converts to a 4 on the five point AP scale. Here is a the formula if this is all gibberish to you. The important thing to know is that scoring a 4 or a 5 equals college credit in most cases. We are well on our way to lots of 4s and 5s in May!! Your students will receive their scores in class on Monday, and then we will discuss the essays and multiple choice on Wednesday. Students will have time to get additional feedback, ask questions, etc. If your student did not do as well as he or she hoped, please encourage him or her to come see me before school to discuss the results of the test. And, please remember that we still have thirteen weeks to improve!
This week we will begin our unit study on Pop Culture. We will look at how or if pop culture reflects our values and we will read a number of texts--both old and new--that examine how we interact with “popular” media. We’re starting the week talking about Zombies. Make sure to ask your students about why modern life feels rather “undead”.
We are also kicking off this semester’s independent reading lists. Per student request, I’m giving all of the recommended lists to them up front so they can make a plan for the semester for their reading. My expectation is that they will read at least three independent novels and complete two assignments: a book review (see here for examples) and a book advertisement that can be posted in the classroom. We will talk about all of this on Monday, but please ask your students which books they are planning to read this semester. I want to encourage them to make a plan now and work hard at sticking with it. Many students liked the freedom of last semester’s independent novels, but others expressed a desire for more deadlines. I’m going to work a little harder on helping them hold themselves accountable to their own deadlines. I could give them hard and fast dates, but I am much more interested in helping them learn how to monitor their own work and set their own goals. You can really help me out by pestering them about it now and again at home!
I’m excited about this second semester and can’t wait to get started! Have a great week.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire