16 January 2018

Research continues. Two items require comment tonight: the updated information concerning the deadlines for the project, and I want to make a comment – caution – as it applies to the product portion of the project.

First – my concerns regarding product. I have far too many students that do not seem to have an idea about a product that will represent their project. Many are wanting to do posters or trifold displays. Posters and trifolds are good visual aids for projects with audiences that are up close to the presentation. They are not very effective for presentations in which the audience is 10 to 20 feet away. Additionally, most such displays demonstrate neither creativity nor considerable effort – two important factors for this product. It is possible to be successful with these, but you need to talk with someone or research these sort of displays before beginning your own. If you submit a handwritten type of display like you did in earlier grades – the grade will not be a good one. I have now warned each person and shared both my advice and concerns regarding this “product.”

Now the updated deadline list:

Parent Consent Form – 1/17/18

TYPED Letter of Intent – 1/18/18

Working Thesis – 1/22/18

Working Bibliography – 1/24/18

Research Index Cards – 2/2/18

Each item was discussed in class today. If you need more information, refer to the Curriculum Fair Handbook in the Resources tab of this blog. Should school be cancelled for tomorrow, both the Letter of Intent and the Parent Consent Form will be due the next time your class meets. Remember – extra forms are also in the Curriculum Fair Handbook in the Resources tab of this blog.

10 January 2018

Today was the due date for the Curriculum Fair Research proposals. While most students were responsible and brought in the completed form, some did not. Those that failed to turn in the form will receive a zero in the gradebook until they submit the document. However, by Friday the zero will become permanent. The Letter of Intent will become due two days following my return of the approved proposal form to the student. The Parent Consent form will become due the next day following hte return of the proposal form.

Today students in the eighth grade received new protocols that are more in line with their preparation for high school life. Below is a summary of these new procedures:

As expressed on the morning announcements this morning, students will now be allowed to carry track bags from class to class. A track bag is not the same as a backpack and must be kept on the back of their chair or under their seat during class.  Students will be able to get their backpacks at dismissal . 

Students are also now able to go to their lockers during transitions. With this freedom comes the expectation of responsibility. Students are expected to be prepared for class at all times.

In addition, we have also implemented a new tardy policy. The consequences for being tardy for class are as follows: 

  • 1st Tardy: Verbal Warning
  • 2nd Tardy: Synergy Mark
  • 3rd Tardy: Synergy Mark and Silent Lunch
  • 4th Tardy: Synergy Mark and No Hawk Time
  • 5th Tardy: Synergy Mark and Referral

The tardy policy will begin on Tuesday following Martin Luther King Day.

8 January 2018

An unexpected day off – so some of our Curriculum Fair Research deadlines may need to be adjusted. We moved the Proposal submission deadline to tomorrow. A parent signature is required.

I have had several students ask about the use of index cards. Students will be tracking their research information via 3 X 5 note cards. The details for the specific requirements are included in the handout previously provided. The index cards offer students an excellent means of tracking, organizing and gauging their their research results in way that a smart phone or computer simply does not offer. This “old school” approach is a valuable tool and is included as part of this unit’s lesson.

In the resources tab students can find the full Curriculum Fair Research Handout for both On-Level classes and AC classes.

4 January 2018

We’re back! We are on the edge of beginning our quarter long research project. Packages will be coming home no later than Monday. For now, students should start mulling over some possible research projects that fit into our theme of “Making a Positive Difference.” Today we looked at images dealing with just that theme and considered the wider variety of specific topics that can fit into our theme.

The goal is for students to have the freedom of spending time researching and studying a topic, idea, or person that interests them. The process is full of checkpoints and reviews, so procrastination will not be a viable plan – you can’t wait until the end to do something;it’ll be too late to save your grade.

All four areas of our performance standards will be in play and various genres of writing will be required.

This will be fun!

18 December 2017

Here we are – almost finished with the first semester! Major essays have been written and are being evaluated. The most recent – the argumentative – went through a peer evaluation today. The students used the same rubric I will be using, and I have posted a copy of the rubric in the Resources tab of this blog as well as below.

Argument Rubric 2017-1kertn2

4 December 2017

We will continue our focus on the argumentative essay this week. It is my intention to use various articles and materials as fuel for discussion and arguments.

Sixth period will be focusing on effective introductory paragraphs before completing a compare and contrast essay regarding The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Fifth period will read an interesting discussion on banning certain reading material for 8th graders from Flannery O’Connor written in 1963. Curiously – Flannery’s own words would be banned by a Catholic school in Louisiana in 2000 – long after Flannery’s death in 1964. Gee – are there any books today that are still in debate?

STEM students take a look at the STEM T-shirt design. I would like for us all to have one – if possible – for our yearbook picture. Click the link below or check out the “Resources” tab.

2017 STEM T-Shirt-28px1jf

27 November 2017

Well, we’re back – again. Now we have about three weeks of instruction available to us before the mid-term exams. As you can see, we are tight on time. As such – please make every effort to be in class each and every day.

Tomorrow we will wrap up the instructional portion of our work with parallelism as a writing skill. Then, beginning on Wednesday we will start our work on the argumentative essay. While students have been exposed to this genre of writing in the past, there is additional work to be done.

I do not anticipate any homework for this week. That said, don’t forget to bring in your commercial featuring parallelism for tomorrow’s warm-up.

6 November 2017

Here we are – two weeks before Thanksgiving Break. We have a lot to do and limited time to get it done. Tomorrow we will be out for Election Day and next Monday is the Dahlonega field trip, so we have a mere 8 days before break.

This week will prepare to write a compare and contrast essay. Periods 3, 4, and 7 are focusing on the story of The Giver and our modern society as outlined in our Springboard textbook. Students are completing their reading at home with time being spent reading in class.

Periods 5 and 6 are completing the same activity, just based on different literary works. Period 6 will not begin their essay until next week due to the nature of the novel being read.


1 November 2017

We are continuing our study of short stories from last week.

Important to this week – PSAT is tomorrow! You must be present when testing begins in order to be allowed to test. There is no opportunity for retest. You will not be allowed entry to the test once the testing door has been closed. Be on time!

Get a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast (Halloween candy is not a breakfast food!), and dress comfortable.

23 October 2017

And so, Conference Week is behind us and now we return to a normal schedule. The normal schedule features a variety of activities for a variety of classes. We will work in all classes to complete our Springboard textbook vocabulary exercises during class while reading takes place out of class.

Periods 3, 4, 6, and 7 all completed a short research activity in preparation for our reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart. This material will be reviewed tomorrow following a basic reward reading quiz of the story. The quiz will focus on the details of the story and should represent a great grade for those that read the story. (The resources section here also offers a copy of the story to those who have misplaced their copy.)

Fifth Period is also reading the novel Fahrenheit 451. The first section, “The Hearth and the Salamander,” will be quizzed on Wednesday as a simple reward reading quiz. Simple questions – such as, the girl next door; or perhaps, “What is “the hound?” You get the idea. The entire book needs to be completed by by Friday, Nov. 3.

While our novel is an anchor sort of activity, this class is reading Poe’s short story “Hop-Frog” which is due tomorrow. A copy is attached in the “Resources” section here.

Sixth Period is also reading a novel, actually a novella – Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They too have a short reward reading quiz – So who does Hyde “trample” in Chapter 1?