Well, we all survived the Mock Performance Task 2. It wasn’t pretty in some cases, but everyone ended up finishing the task and (I think) learning a good deal about how to manage a large, independent project. Many students struggled mightily with breaking the work into manageable chunks, and I imagine many of you saw them scrambling to finish at the last minute. As I told them in class, as hard as it was for me to watch them struggle, I think they all learned a lot from that process. Hopefully, as we move into the real, College Board Performance Tasks, they will be a little (a lot?) more careful about working steadily over time.
Final grades for those essays will hopefully be posted before the break. They will be in Schoology labeled “Mock IWA” (Individual Written Argument). I have promised my family that I will not bring any grading home over the break; now I’m having to practice what I preach to the students and work steadily all this week! I am posting grades and feedback for the Individual Multimedia Presentations as the presentations are occurring, so if students presented already, those grades are updated.
In this final week before break, we will be forming groups for the first Performance Task. It is imperative that students think carefully about the topics they are interested in exploring as this is a project that they will work on for a number of weeks. Due to the group nature of the project, it is likely that not everyone will get to research exactly what they would like to research, but my goal is to get as close to that as possible. If you can, chat with your students in the next few days about potential research areas. This will help once we start narrowing ideas in class.
Over break, students will have the option of beginning research but this is not an expectation. Many have expressed a desire to use that time to get a jump on things before midterm craziness sets in. Others are ready for a complete and total brain break. I think either option is completely fine, and I’d encourage you to talk with your student about his or her choice. When we return from break, students will have about three weeks to complete their Individual Research Reports (part one of the Performance Task) and then at midterms we will shift into the Team Multimedia Presentation preparation. There will not be any additional midterm for the course.
I hope you all have a restful, relaxing break! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire