We are (finally) settled into the school year and have started working on the more substantial aspects of our first round of projects.
Below are some updates.
Important Dates to Remember (or Pencil In)
I am very proud of the 12 members of our class who ran for officer positions on Southmoor's student council. All of them ran good, honest campaigns and represented their class and school well. Congratulations to Owen Robbins (Vice President) and Joe Poole (Treasurer) who both won their elections.
Our classroom representative for this year will be Elias Dean. Congrats, Elias!
Our AmeriTowne interview day is coming up, and Suzy, Alice, Stacy, and becca are currently signed up to help us conduct interviews. Interviews will run from 12:30 to 3:00, or whenever we get done.
Students have (for the most part) completed their resumés and cover letters, and they all look very good. I'll have them take those home next week so you can see them!
At this point, we are most of the way through the personal banking component of the AmeriTowne curriculum and will be moving into governance, money management, ethics, philanthropy, and job preparation beginning next week.
English Language Arts & Social Studies
For their U.S.-American history projects, most students at this point have compiled around 20 sources. In addition, most have written their abstracts for their projects and organized their information into five subcategories. As we move into next week, students will be working on writing properly cited essays for each of their subtopics. They have a lot of work left to do, but I am confident they will do it well! This project has been an intentionally slow process so far, as we've painstakingly covered the various details that students will need to have in place for their final products. They've all learned a lot about research and citation, and we've also spent a lot of time reviewing some concepts from last year (namely theses) and looking over examples. My feeling is that they are all now well situated for the next step of the project, which will focus on the work of writing.
At the end, in roughly three-four weeks, students will have lengthy and detailed reports on their subjects, and they will then begin presenting their learning, as teachers, to the class.
All students are still where they should be with respect to their projects. Students may work on their projects at home if they choose to, but doing so is not necessary.
Students took their first unit test this week, and -- as the first test usually does -- it provided us all opportunities for learning about the rewards of effort and the consequences of the lack thereof. I.e., some students did very well and can use their first test as an affirmation of the work they've been putting in, while others did not do very well and will use their first test as an opportunity to recalibrate.
For the first test, I allowed students to decide whether or not they wanted to take their tests home to show their families. From here on out, I'll send other unit tests home in Thursday folders.
Starting today, we are moving into our second unit, which is on three dimensional geometry. Throughout the year, we'll continue to fold in concepts from our first unit which pertain to advanced multiplication and division. There are still some holes related to those concepts that we need to address.
In Mrs. Larson's section, "Students have completed the Ratios and Proportional Relationships unit, including understandings of unit rates, equivalent ratios, and solving problems with unit rates and percentages. The next unit will be a unit on the Number System. In this unit, students will focus on concepts including division with fractions, decimals, common factors and multiples, positive and negative numbers, absolute value, ordering numbers, and the coordinate plane."
There are often questions about science curricula at the beginning of any year. This year, like many in the past, I am not going to start with any science units until we finish our AmeriTowne unit. Immediately after we go to AmeriTowne, we will begin with our first science unit. Though Mr. Coursey has already started with science this year, I find that there simply is not enough time in each day for our class to add that to the schedule until we are done with AmeriTowne. This may mean that students will not receive a science grade on their report cards for the first trimester, and that's okay.
Again, if you want to meet with me about anything, please reach out! My schedule's open, and I would like to meet with as many individuals as possible. Thank you to those of you who've already met with me or scheduled meetings.
All the very best,