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Freshmen Transition Night

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  1. Freshmen Transition Night

  2. Thank you for coming! • Purpose • To inform parents of HS expectations. • To strengthen the parent-teacher bond.

  3. Transition Items

  4. Texts • The Americans • To Kill a Mockingbird • Of Mice and Men • Ragtime • Johnny Got His Gun • If I Die in a Combat Zone • House on Mango Street

  5. Grading 35% 35%

  6. We use formative items to inform us where kids are getting it and where they are not! • Adjust instruction based upon trends in formative work

  7. Won’t do well in the big game without practice • Summative work without the formative practice • Won’t earn a scholarship without playing in games • Doing the formative work with low performance on the summative items.

  8. Projects and Assignments

  9. Infinite Campus Codes Assignment is Missing Not counting for or against grade, yet. Assignment is Missing Is counting against grade. Exempt Student is not required to do this assignment. Rewrite Student is to rewrite the assignment and resubmit

  10. Standards-Referenced Grading • Will break down assignments by “writing traits” • Assignment will read as follows: • Paper – Ideas and Content • Paper – Organization • Paper – Conventions • Paper – Style • Offers more specifics in terms of feedback

  11. Retesting • On quarter exams students may retake specific parts of the exam • Literal-level Reading • Grammar / Usage / Mechanics • Must attend Interventions to be eligible!

  12. Revising • Writing is a process. • Understand that students may not “get it” the first time. • Revision option available on large papers and projects. • As delineated by individual teachers • Conference or Cover sheet to submit a rewrite.

  13. Grading Periods • Quarters 1 and 3 – Progress grades • Quarters 2 and 4 – Grades of Record • On transcript • “Count” • Eligibility / Interventions – Pulled Thursdays

  14. Grades • They do “count” now. • On the official transcript • Earn credits for passing courses • Need 23 to graduate • 4 must be English

  15. Failure to Earn Credit? • Think economically to motivate students. • Now….these classes are FREE! • Make-up credits….have to pay for them! • On-line courses • Summer school • Squishing additional courses into a future year • Can’t take something they “wanted” to take

  16. Alignment in English Department • Horizontal (within a grade level) • Vertical (between grade levels) • We do talk to one another about….everything. • Past performance in class • Lessons that work well • Assessments • Data

  17. But…. • There will be variation between classes • Not all AS classes are exactly the same. • Not all Junior English classes are exactly the same.

  18. Extra Credit • Like a Hail Mary pass • We don’t give EC opportunities • Focus from our side is more about the learning than the points.

  19. Drop from Middle School Grades? • Middle schools ARE preparing kids well academically! • Learning curve increases in high school • Students adjusting to….

  20. Dropped Grades? (cont.) • Size of school • Speed of assignments • Long-term AND short-term going on at same time. • Freedom of choices • High expectations • Learning curve • Skill development (not just content)

  21. What Do We Do? • A lot of reading • Novels • Short stories • Poetry • Non-fiction items • A lot of writing • Essays • Poetry • Paragraph responses • Note taking

  22. What Else? • Public Speaking • Short and long speeches • Impromptu and prepared • Technology • Will use • Will produce

  23. Life Lessons • Forming an opinion on an issue • Using evidence to defend said position • Taking risks

  24. Self-Advocacy • To take responsibility for choices • To practice time management • To experience challenges • To speak for themselves

  25. How You Can Keep Up • Access Infinite Campus • Grades • Messages • Class dependent – Course Schedule • Ask your student

  26. Date of Class Reminders Handouts from Day Assigned Work Lecture Material

  27. Observations Over 15 Years • Students struggle with work load and expectations at first. • Students DO figure it out. Give them time. • Find their currency (video games, sports, phones)

  28. Many students can be believed. Some cannot. We are competent individuals. • Grading papers takes time…. • 100 students at 15 minutes each = 25 hours • Planning time we receive each week = 6 hours • Includes planning, prep, hall duty!

  29. Communication • Email is best • Phone is less good (never at desks) • Contact anytime • Will push for student involvement in process

  30. Academic Writing

  31. Art of Writing • Some items are up for interpretation (Art) • Word choice • Sentence variety • “Voice”

  32. Science of Writing • Some items are non-negotiable (Science) • Punctuation • Spelling • Organization (somewhat) • That examples are needed! • Sets of three!

  33. They say….I say Structure • Overall structure of academic writing. • Idea that much discussion already exists about any assigned academic topic. • Students are entering into that conversation through their writing. • Not seeking to write the “Right” response / paper. • Seeking to write a “valid” response

  34. Think of it as…. • Superhighway of Ideas • People long before and long after the students’ assignment WILL be debating the same questions we ask!

  35. Their paper serves as…. • The on-ramp to that highway. • They are taking what they have learned, forming their opinions, and writing their thoughts for all to see.

  36. “Valid” • Freaks kids out • They want to find the ONE right answer • They want to give the one answer that the teacher has in his or her head • But… • There are oftentimes many possible interpretations to any given text.

  37. They say…I say • Arguments are already out there. • We want them to do the following: • Gather information • Form an opinion / interpretation • Write and support why their opinion / interpretation is VALID

  38. Supporting Their Opinion / Interpretation • Students often think that just because they say it, that it will be believed….. • Example: taking the car out on a Friday night • Thesis: they should be able to take the car out

  39. Support? • WHY should they be able to take the car out? • They are 16. • They have their driver’s license. • They need to be popular. • What is clear in the kids’ minds with these examples? • What leaps to the adults’ minds with these example?

  40. Clear Support • The evidence the students provide must be CLEARLY tied to HOW their thesis statement is proven valid • The task… • Explain how it is clear to OTHER people • A certain amount of explanation is required!

  41. Point of Academic Writing? • To share a writer’s perspective on a given prompt. • To think about the topic and what it is asking first. • To formulate THEIR response • To share THEIR response • To offer a VALID interpretation of the text • NOT to write and think at the same time

  42. Prove a Point / Take a Side • Topics: • Dropping the atomic bomb during WWII was essential in ending the war. • Interning the Japanese-Americans during WWII was a necessary evil. • The Allies followed the advice of Sun Tzu and The Art of War during their invasion of Normandy.

  43. Academic Paper Requirements • Write in 3rd person • He, him, his, she, her, hers, they, them, it, one • NOT first person • I, me, in MY opinion • Write in past tense – history papers • Write in present tense – literature papers • At minimum – stay in same tense throughout • Upper-level skill!

  44. Writing / Revision Process • Pre-writing • Outlining • Webbing • Free writing • Drafting • Revising • Shifting ideas / content • Filling in gaps with ideas

  45. Drafting…revising…drafting….. • Students get stuck here • They feel that EFFORT should be enough • Perhaps at one time it was enough • NOW they have to work a little more! • Proofreading / Editing • Word choice • Sentence structures • Voice • Punctuation

  46. Publishing • Turning it in • Class wiki • Class blog

  47. Common Issues • Students “vomit” on paper – turn that in. • Teachers have expected students to do some revising on own time! • Teachers give comments – may correct / point out a few mistakes that are in ENTIRE paper. • Students correct only those items that are marked!

  48. Students feel that effort = success in writing. • Teachers look for logic of thought and coherence of arguments regardless of effort. • Teachers offer rewriting options. • Students do not take advantage of that opportunity.

  49. MLA Formatting • We focus on MLA at Legacy in ALL disciplines. • The nuances of MLA, in specific, are not the point. • The point is CITING sources and information!