December 8th Update

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I’m about 75% through the papers that I have collected thus far.  With that said, there is still a nice stack of graded work sitting above and inside student mailboxes as we speak and so in the meantime, those materials can be brought home for you to look at.  I try to comment as much as I can on the bulk of the materials, specifically writing assignments and activities that we don’t necessarily fully review during class that day.  I have a teaching assistant that comes by once or twice a week that I ask to focus more on the Math problems so that the kids can have everything corrected for them to review on their own time (the problem is I don’t think they are using their notes and every other resource I’ve provided to their benefit).  The graded work represents assignments that were submitted- if something was submitted late, it will be input into the gradebook  shortly after I  receive it.  If you have work completed that is not in the gradebook, please show it to me as soon as possible so I can make the correction.  This typically happens when a student is out and makes up an assignment but never turns it in for credit.

My advice would be to check the gradebook by Sunday evening.  This will include assignments that I collected during the same day (and thus if a student has a 0, that means they did not hand it when it was due), as well as missing/late work and so when I’m grading, I just attack the stack from the top down until everything’s input properly.  This will include the essay grades for the history project as well.  By Sunday evening, I’ll be able ot tell students which assignments they need to make up in order to improve their grades.

Lastly, I’m going to try a different approach to note-taking as we move forward.  The idea now for ALL OUR SUBJECTS is for students not simply just ‘list’ facts, rather, my goal is to have them explain why they feel that piece of evidence is important in the first place.  Amateurs can copy word for word from a textbook, but in training experts , it’s imperative that we teach our students ‘how’ to think, to see issues from all sides before making up their minds.  I know it’s an unpopular answer, but I truly believe a lot of what goes on in my classes is not something that is easily ‘quantifiable’, meaning students are learning so many different things, being exposed to so many different ideas that the challenge is sometimes to try and ‘think less’!  🙂  .

The best way for our students to learn is to challenge them, especially when they are up for it.  We have a few different projects coming up soon for History as well as Math (we will be buying/selling/trading stocks) and so I look forward to you all seeing what our kids will be up to in the near future.

Thanks again for all of your support at home!

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