This past week has been a lot of fun struggling through the frustrating--but rewarding!--process of creating infographics. I challenged the students to create an infographic representative of their individuality and to use it as a way to brainstorm for their college app essays. They rose to the challenge and the graphics they have created are incredible!! Please ask them to show you what they’ve come up with--I think you’ll be very impressed with their thinking.
This coming week we’ll use those as a springboard for narrative writing. Most students are choosing to begin writing their college app essays but a few are planning to start some fiction pieces. Either is fine with me as their grade on the piece will be determined on their commitment to the writing process--conferencing with me, asking insightful questions, revising. We will work on these all week and next week students will do graded conferences with me to assess their progress. In the final week of school--exam week-- I will be in Missouri grading AP exams for the College Board. Though it’s less than ideal for me to miss the final week of school, I’m actually excited about the plan I’ve come up with for the students to complete with my sub. I have secured a highly qualified writing teacher (and former AP teacher!) to sub for me. She will be conferencing with the students about their college app essay drafts and they will submit them to me electronically on the day of their final exam. Conferencing with a qualified stranger is a fantastic opportunity for them because she is exactly the kind of audience who will be reading their college app essays. When I read their essays, I can’t help but see their sweet little faces in my head. I hear their voices and I laugh at all their jokes. A reader who doesn’t know them can give a different kind of feedback. Perhaps jokes fall flat when the reader doesn’t know you as well. Perhaps a line I’d “get” as sarcastic doesn’t come across that way when the reader doesn’t know you. I think the kids are excited about the opportunity to work with this substitute. Please encourage them to take full advantage of her expertise. She’s really looking forward to working with them!
One final, very important thing about this upcoming week: Reading and Books.
On Friday we will have our end of the year reading party to celebrate all the reading we’ve done this year and make plans for the reading we’ll do this summer. I have a list of books I’m planning to read that I’ll share with the students and a list of suggestions I’ve gathered from the staff at the high school. We’ll revisit the reading resolutions we made in December and think about what we need to do to make time to read this summer. And, of course, we’ll read. Hopefully, it will be outside in the sunshine. If you’d be willing, I’ve found that reading parties are always more successful with snacks! We’ll take any donations you’d like to send in with your students. You can sign up here if you’re willing: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f054fa8aa2eaafc1-summer
Also, it’s time for kids to start returning my books!! I am happy to share my collection with them all year, but I always get nervous this time of year when I see how empty my shelves are. I know some of my books are buried under beds or piles of laundry. If you could help me out by reminding them to start bringing those back, I’d appreciate it! And, if someone is in the middle of something and can’t finish it before summer, I’m happy to check it out to them over the summer--I’d just like to know who has what!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire