We survived the first week!! It was touch and go there for awhile at my house (we have a new kindergartner!), but I think we all made it. I hope you’re enjoying this relaxing, warm weekend.
Students now have their blogs up and running. These will be a place to practice writing and research as well as a place to begin storing ideas for future research projects. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the students’ first entries and getting a glimpse of what they are interested in researching this year. I encourage you to ask your student if you can take a look! My hope is that students fully engage with their blogs. These will never be graded or edited; rather, they are places to practice writing and thinking. I’ll always give feedback, and they will grow tremendously if they write often! This is a great time for them to practice writing simply for the sake of learning rather than to earn points.
Assignments like blogging will be recorded in MiStar as “not graded” and will be given a score of 4=advanced, 3=proficient, 2=somewhat proficient, 1=not proficient, 0=not completed. All assignments that are factored into students’ course grades will be entered as out of 100. At this point in the year, you may see some low scores. Please don’t be alarmed!! We will repeat these tasks and the grades will be replaced as the students’ skills grow!
This week we will begin forming research teams for our first big research project. For the next three weeks students will be working both independently and with their teams to fully explore an issue or problem of their choosing. In the first week of October, they’ll present their findings to the class. Please ask your students about their research topics!! The more voices involved in the conversation, the better. My students last year discovered that their parents were actually excellent resources for helping them think of additional avenues to explore (Imagine that!! Parents are useful!)
Enjoy your weekend and please let me know if you have any questions.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire