Hello parents and guardians!
When my son started school, I learned quickly that school was always “fine” and they did “nothing” every single day!! It wasn’t until his second grade teacher had a blog that I learned all kinds of great things were happening in his classroom. So, this is my attempt to help you see that we are doing “something” and things are usually better than “fine”. I’ll probably update once a month, and I’ll always email to let you know!
AP Seminar started with a thematic study of wealth, poverty and all things related to money. We read all kinds of different texts and examined the arguments the authors were making in those texts. Students also chose longer, nonfiction texts (hopefully you are seeing them reading those at home!) to supplement our discussion of wealth. We are using these readings to help us learn to break arguments apart and evaluate evidence.
In the last two weeks we have moved into practicing for our first College Board Performance Task. Students are writing a 1200 word informative essay on a topic of their choosing. After they complete those essays, they will join with 3-4 peers to pool their information and create a team presentation. Final drafts of essays are due next Wednesday and presentations will be in two more weeks. Students will have opportunities to conference with me about their writing in class this week Thursday and Friday and next week Monday and Tuesday. After next week Wednesday, I hope you'll be hearing about their team presentations! If you're really lucky, they may share those with you. They are often very fun to watch.
Please encourage your students to space out their work on the essays! We have talked many times in class about how to work in small chunks so as to avoid the dreaded “all nighter!” If you can reinforce that at home, I’d appreciate it.
What’s in the Gradebook?
If you’ve been monitoring Schoology, you’ll notice many assignments are listed as only worth 3 points in the “Formative Practice” category. These are practice only and do not count toward the students’ grades; however, they are incredibly important! If you see many 3s, you can rest assured that your student is doing his or her work in a timely fashion and performing proficiently. They will likely do well on future assessments. If you see mostly 2s, your student is only partially proficient and might need to ask more questions or see me for some help in AA. 1s indicate that the student attempted the assignment but definitely needs more help, 0s mean the student did not attempt the practice.
As we move into October, you’ll start to see some larger assignments in Schoology as well. For instance, tomorrow I will enter the Research Conference assignment. Students walked me through their annotated bibliographies and answered questions about their research process. Most students did very well on this assignment. I encourage you to talk to your student about this research assignment. They did some fascinating work.
I hope you have a great October! I’ll check back in at the end of the month.
Mrs. Hattie Maguire