Hello! This will be my last entry of semester one. I will be seeing lots of you in semester two, but I know some students are moving to other AP Lang teachers (hopefully due to scheduling and not me chasing them away!!). I know everyone is caught up in end-of-semester studying, but I highly recommend taking some time this weekend to engage in some reflection about why we have Monday off! I am always reminding students that they need to take opportunities to “deepen their contextual pools” --learn more about the world around them--and this is one of those opportunities! Novi High School hosts a wonderful event called “Unity in the Community” at 7pm on Monday evening in the Auditorium featuring speakers and artistic responses to MLK day. There are many other wonderful service learning and memorial events in the area as well.
Since it’s the end of the semester, I know everyone is fixated on two things: grades and midterms. I’ll try to answer all those questions in this post.
Student grades are currently up to date except for the reading multiple choice quiz we did on Friday. I forgot them at school (grrr!!) but I will enter those scores on Tuesday morning. Currently, both Multiple Choice Reading assessments are marked as “not graded”. After I enter this third Multiple Choice Reading assessment, I will mark the highest scoring one as “graded” and it will count toward the student’s score.
Synthesis essays have been graded and entered into MiStar. I was so happy with the progress these essays show! Research writing is difficult, and the students rose to the challenge! Please ask your student to share his or her essay with you; they are well constructed, interesting arguments. I usually avoid giving scores before students can see comments on their papers because I think it’s incredibly frustrating for students to see a number without any feedback. However, there are some students who did not achieve proficiency (80%) with the essay and I would like to give those students an opportunity to revise. Students who scored lower than an 80% will be allowed to submit a revised essay by Friday, January 20. If they’d like to get started on those revisions today or tomorrow, they are welcome to email me their essay with specific questions about what they may need to revise.
The only remaining grade for the midterm is one additional reading score. We are doing the writing portion of the midterm early this week and then we will take three days “off” before the multiple choice portion of the midterm. On the “off” days, students will be watching and reading the transcripts of several inaugural addresses--President Lincoln's second inaugural, JFK's, and finally President-elect Trump’s Inaugural speech. All three speeches were given to an incredibly divided electorate; I had planned to do something else, but I think it would be foolish in a rhetoric and argumentation class to skip this opportunity to examine such important speeches! Students will read the speeches for message, purpose and tone and discuss their effectiveness in small groups. I am hoping that they will see the real-world, practical application of the skills we’ve been practicing all semester. This is a great chance for students to dig into the words of our elected leaders and decide how they feel about them.
Tuesday: In class rhetorical analysis essay
Wednesday: In class argument essay
Thursday, Friday, Monday: Reading/viewing activity with speeches
Tuesday: Multiple choice review
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday (depending on the hour): Multiple choice exam
The two essays and multiple choice will be combined for the midterm score which is worth 20% of the student's grade. The midterm will be curved, but I have found that most students typically do very well on this midterm--they're ready!! For the next two weeks I will be posting practice materials on Google Classroom for the students to use. There are a number of them posted already. Students who feel like they need extra work brushing up on the skills we’ve been working with all semester should use those practice materials.
It has been a great semester, and your students have worked hard and grown a lot. I’m looking forward to continuing our work in second semester.
Enjoy the long weekend!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire