We have three weeks till Spring Break (and the end of third-quarter!) We will be a bit nose-down for these three weeks, focusing on school work and avoiding interruptions as much as possible. The only 'off campus' ativity will be our bi-monthly trip to Grace Lutheran, to help with the food basket ministry there. We will be doing that next Wednesday, the 11th, though sometimes they call me, kind of at the last minute, and ask us to come a week sooner, I can usually make that happen, but don't always have time to notify all of you about it. Since it is a walking field trip and you have all signed releases, as a part of the registration paperwork, we have done that once or twice. So please be aware that while it is scheduled for the 11th, it may change to the 4th without notification. If this concerns you, please feel free to send me a text, and we can make adjustments accordingly.
You have probably heard by now, that spelling tests were all perfect this week!! The kids were pretty excited about that!! Me too!! What an accomplishment!
We have begun working on our new PBL unit on the Presidents of the United States. I have requested that the students spend this week and even next week too, just READING as much as they can about their president. They have been asked to not start working on their presentations until next week. They have all created an 'Idea Dock' for keeping track of the information they find while reading. It's been fun to hear them exchange information about the various presidents. Each student has at least one 'more recent' president and one from further back in the nation's history (for the most part). The driving question asks them to assess what impact their president had on US history. So they are learning historical details, too, along with personal information. So far, I have been impressed with the work they are doing, and I'm looking forward to it going deeper over the next week.
In the past, I have been somewhat 'generous' with my grading on PBL projects, with the understanding that they were still learning the process. Now I feel that they have the process a bit more under control, and I will be holding their proverbial feet to the fire a bit more, regarding their content. An average amount of energy invested will result in an average grade (C). In order to earn an A, I will need to see a depth of knowledge that represents above-average understanding of their content. Please encourage your students to dig deep and have a well-saturated knowledge of their presidents. Feel free to help them dig into sources that they have access to at home. Feel free to take them to the library, too. We will be spending two weeks searching for information, a few days preparing our presentations, and will have a program on one of the last few days before Spring Break, that you will be invited to attend. Our final presentation will be in the form of an oral report with either a poster or a PowerPoint to illustrate our findings. Students will be graded on how well they present the knowledge they gained while they were researching, and on the depth of their knowledge. I am encouraging them daily, to not just 'skim the surface', but to 'dig deep'. Please encourage and help your student in any way that you can, at home in the evenings, and on the weekends.
Following is the assignment list:
Beth: Washington, Hoover, Andrew Jackson
Daniel: Lincoln, Truman
Rylie: Kennedy, Harrison, Taylor
Aspynn: GW Bush, Arthur
EzMae: Trump, Eisenhower
Layla: Obama, Jimmy Carter, John Adams
Alex: Tyler, Grant, Ford, Harrison?
Lukas: Cleveland, McKinley, Filmore
AJ: Jefferson, F.D. Roosevelt