I hope you are all enjoying the long weekend! 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.
This will be my last post of semester one, so I wanted to update you on grades and midterms.
This class has been about skill development all semester, so grades are pretty set at this point. Students have had opportunities to show their skill level in writing, research and presentation at least three times, and each time I’ve replaced the lower score with the higher one. The one area where I have not done much formal assessment is in reading. Students have read a ton while they’ve researched, but we haven’t had time for a lot of formal assessment. I will do one more formal assessment of their reading during the next two weeks. The student will sit down with me and talk me through their research reading they have done for their IRR. I will give them a rubric for how this will be scored on Tuesday, but it is not something they should worry about! I want to see that they are reading closely and carefully and can identify and critique the line of reasoning in the articles they’re using for their research reports.
Once that reading score has been entered, students’ grades will be set for the semester.
The nature of AP Seminar makes a midterm really silly; students are in the middle of a project and, as I explained above, their grades are very reflective of their current skill level. I do not need to give them a test to know how they’re doing. Our midterm will consist of a reflective conversation wherein students will talk about their progress thus far and make some goals for second semester.
Don’t worry--they aren’t getting off easy!! They are neck-deep in their Individual Research Reports. The work I saw last week in class was incredibly promising. Drafts are due on Tuesday and we will start digging into revisions of those drafts. Final drafts will be due next Monday. Per College Board rules, I can’t give them scores for those since they are official College Board assessments. If I could, I would just make those essays their midterm!! Instead, we will spend the week of midterms getting to work on their Team Multimedia Presentations.
Please ask your students to tell you about their Individual Research Reports! They’re doing some excellent thinking and researching, but the more they talk through their research, the stronger it gets. Another adult to bounce ideas off of is always valuable!
Have a great weekend! The next time you hear from me I will (hopefully) be giving you dates to come see the students give their Team Multimedia Presentations!
Mrs. Hattie Maguire