This week will be a busy one in Seminar as we are working on the group Monster projects. Groups were formed on Friday after we had a long discussion about setting group norms. I cannot stress enough how important the group element of this course is as I am fairly certain it is the only standardized, high stakes “test” of group dynamics for high school students. That can be a little daunting for the students because effective group work is challenging, but I am confident these kids can do it!! We had a great talk about what is necessary in a successful group, and how you can hold group members accountable to norms your group has set. We will continue to revisit that discussion throughout the research and preparation process; I encourage you to check in with your student about how that process is going.
Throughout the week, students will be working on researching their individual element of the project. This will result in a 500-700 word essay that will graded individually. This may replace the wealth essay score, too, if the student improves! Then, toward the end of the week, students will pull all of their research together and begin trying to find a way to “solve” the problem of their chosen monster. They’ll have several days in class to work and then will present to the class at the end of next week.
Last thing: I’m interested in trying something a little different for conferences for AP Seminar students. So much of the class is focused on their ability to be reflective about their own learning and articulate what they know. It seems like a great opportunity to let THEM lead a conference instead of leaving them home and having a chat without them! I’d love to experiment with student-led conferences in a non-traditional format by doing them virtually on Google Hangouts. I’m going to talk to the students on Monday and see if they can help me figure out how it would work, but stay tuned for more info! Obviously, I’ll still be available at the traditional conference times, but I thought this would be a cool way for them to show you their progress at this point in the year.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire