Lots of stuff coming fast!
Follow up to the last message
Attached you will find the game plan for this week. This assignment is being given to your student today or tomorrow (Red/Gray) and they will have the 90 minute period to work through the steps. (Remember, students have had these packets for more than two weeks and plenty of class time to work with them. Your student is already very familiar with them.) What they don’t complete in class is home work (the first assigned this year).
This material will be assessed on Wed/Thurs. (test grade).
Please help me remind your student that this assignment must be turned in at the beginning of the period on the test day and that the assignment is designed make them successful on the test! Some learning would be great too.
I’ve included a couple of files that may be of some help.
Feel free to email me with any questions.
Testing Schedule Change
I just wanted to let you know that we have had to re-arrange the Geography calendar a little. The changes are already reflected on the class calendar at BinghamsPlace.com and in GradeSpeed.
Overall student performance on the Geographic Review assessment was below expectations and below standards that students will need for success on the End of Course (EOC) exam in the Spring. Further, there is no way for us to continue our conversation about geography until the fundamentals are clear in every student’s mind. There really isn’t any reason to push forward with the curriculum until this learning is accomplished. So, we are circling back to work on effective study and reading strategies and the same content followed by another assessment next week.
You may hear from your student that some of the class norms/procedures have been changed by me as well. This is to facilitate learning until all students are able to succeed with more open and liberal policies.
If you have questions, feel free to reply to this message. As always, it’s a pleasure to work with you and your student.
Getting help for your student
Well, you are already doing the best thing possible to help your student in school, being closely engaged with what is going on in your student’s artistic and academic life. That you are viewing this post proves that. This web site is the single most valuable tool for you and your student for success in Geography. By way of an example, most of the time, you don’t and your student doesn’t need to ask me what is going on in class or what materials they need if they miss class. It’s all right here on the web site.
Organization is critical: Just as each grade level gets more difficult than the last, this course will become more rigorous as the year progresses. If your student is doing well, that’s great, it’s a good start. But that early success will require continuous improvement to be maintained. Ninth graders at all ability levels need tight organizational skills and tools. Systems only work if they are used regularly, as in daily! And systems like binders, folders, compositions books, pencil pouches, agendas and calendars will only be used regularly if the system is simple. The fewer steps and the fewer tools the better. Kids have to have what they need when they need it, that should be the goal as you work with your child on this.
Homework lunch: Most students at HSPVA can’t or don’t want to meet with a teacher after school. For this reason, on most Gray Days, I offer “homework lunch”. A student just needs to grab their lunch and come to my room. We’ll eat together and they can get the help they need. My expectation is that students are engaged enough with what is happening that they come in with specific topical questions, not vague plaintive questions like, “what do I need to do to get a better grade?” or “what did I miss when I was gone?”. They need to come in with exact questions, ideally that they have written down such as, “when you were talking about climate the other day, I didn’t really understand the difference between Tropical Rain Forrest and Tropical Savanna, would you explain that to me please?” or “I noticed I missed question 4 on the quiz about land use, can you explain to me why GIS isn’t the right answer?” These questions generate meaningful dialogue that has purpose and will result in positive outcomes for your child. This time may also be used for re-testing or make up testing.
The class calendar on this site will tell you when these are available. In some cases, I will assign a student homework lunch with me if I feel that they are not taking the active steps needed to be successful or if I note a specific learning deficit that might indicate potentially poor performance on the state mandated End of Course (EOC) exam. If I assign a mandatory homework lunch, I will email you and tell you why I believe it is needed.
I work hard to make the class engaging and relevant to students. But you already know that you are the most effective actor in your student’s success. Your active engagement with your student and their activities will have the greatest impact. After all, it’s a kid’s job to resist effort and take the path of least resistance, it’s our job to make sure they don’t! Please know that I understand and appreciate your help.
Geography @ HSPVA