Looking ahead at my packed calendar for the next few weeks leads me to believe this blog won’t get written on the weekends! Instead, I’m going to give an overview of the next three weeks and then I’ll check back in after Thanksgiving.
What We’re Working On
Students have started their second practice performance task. This one is independent, and they’ve all chosen research questions and begun their work! One thing we worked on Friday was seeking out information from trusted experts. They all drafted and sent emails to a teacher in the building and shared their blog entries explaining their research questions. I encouraged them to email you, as well! Hopefully you will get a chance to look at their blogs and chat about their questions with them. I want them to get in the habit of talking about their questions with lots of people because that is the best way to make sure you’re considering lots of perspectives.
Balancing the Workload
Since this is a big, independent project, I fear it will be tempting for some to procrastinate. Please help your students avoid this!! They have a calendar for the month, and we’ve talked about ways to manage deadlines, but some reminders from home will help, too.
We have LOTS of work time built into class; the more students can stay organized and work steadily, the happier they’ll be!!
I’ll check back in after Thanksgiving; in the meantime, feel free to email or call with any questions.
The next few weekends are crazy in Maguire Land so this weekend’s blog update will cover the next three weeks.
What We’re Studying
Monday we will begin a new thematic unit, and we will be considering how work shapes and impacts our lives. We will continue our practice with rhetorical analysis and close reading--understanding not just what a text says but how a writer shapes conveys his message--and begin writing full rhetorical analysis essays. Students wrote one in groups last week, and I was very pleased to see how well those went! They will write a timed, in class essay independently on Monday for feedback only (no score!) to see which skills need the most practice. The remainder of the unit will be dedicated to a rhetorical analysis essay that they will write during Writers’ Workshop. As with our last essay, the more students embrace the writing process and work steadily, the better feedback they will get as they draft. Most did an excellent job with this during the recent synthesis essays, so I’m hopeful they’ll do the same over the next three weeks.
Things to Look For in MiStar
Students should start to see gradual improvements in their grades as we revisit and reassess skills. The constructed responses from last week replaced an earlier score if students saw an improvement. We also did a second annotation test last week. Students reported feeling much stronger with this test and a quick glance through them suggests to me that they are right to feel more confident. I will score those tests and record them by the end of this week. If your student is not showing improvement, please encourage him or her to come see me in AA or before school. Graded synthesis essays will be returned on Wednesday.
What to Ask if Your Student Claims To Have ‘No Homework’?
Many students are swamped by homework, but in AP Lang students get work in chunks and I encourage them to spread it out. As I tell them constantly, if they work 30 minutes every night, they should have no problem getting their work done for my class. Still, that’s very tough for some of them! Here’s some suggested things to ask them about if they claim they have nothing to do:
Enjoy your weekend and the next few weeks! I’ll update the blog after Thanksgiving, but if you have any questions in the meantime, just shoot me an email or give me a call.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire