Students continue to explore models of math in the real world. Math 1 students are working to answer the question, "How can we measure very big things?" as they learn and apply rules of similarity and proportion while practicing the algebra skills from last quarter. Math 2/3 students are growing toward modeling systems of linear inequalities that are personally relevant. Our community member and small business owner, Steve Evans, spoke with students about maximizing profits and how to be successful. Thank you, Steve! We will be creating posters to share with our 7th grade students who are exploring linear relationships.
As we approach mid-quarter, please keep an eye on the detailed pages in Infinite Campus to track progress. If a student misses class, you can provide support by encouraging the student to come to study before school or after school. I am also available most lunches and during X-Blocks with teacher approval.
Dates to keep in mind as we move toward the winter break and the end of the semester:
We are excited to get the HS kids out on another adventure - an international trip. Students will have the option to travel to Costa Rica as part of the 3rd Quarter expedition, Fish Stories, March 4-11, 2019 (an optional extension of learning; not required for expedition participants). If you are interested in this opportunity, please attend the family meeting on October 25th from 6-7pm in the RSS Commons.
For more information, follow the link:
Students should be coming home, in the next few weeks, talking about Habits of Crew (HOC=character traits: integrity, empathy, stewardship, perseverance, service and responsibility). Character traits are not often looked at in relationship to a student's performance in school. Frankly, it's a crucial consideration when you are growing young humans into adults. As educators we earn the privilege to come along side young adults in the classroom, and we also get to become more wholly human in their presence. Being an educator is something that is earned over time, in partnership with your student.
We do our very best and so do they. That is the expectation. Some days things work out. Others, not so much. This is the story of humanity. That being said, the story of a HS is a bit awkward and dysfunctional. We don't like to talk about our own humanity, much, because it is often painful. It is filled with joy, laughter, compassion, frustration and a lot of weight. There are over 150 human beings in the HS space, and we balance our function and dysfunction together. Learning happens in relationship with others.
As an English teacher, I am fortunate to be the keeper of stories. And, honestly, that's why I've chosen this vocation. Students gift me with their voice and perspective so I may have a greater understanding of humans in general. I am a life long learner and I want them to embrace that philosophy. Not only can we grow as learners, but we can grow as humans in our community.
I've learned, writers do their best writing/ communicating when they're not afraid to be human in front of the people who read their stories. That is why I'm choosing to write these thoughts from my heart and not simply giving you the gist of HOC. I am being as vulnerable with my writing as I hope students will be. There is an enormous amount of empathy required in a writing community.
In one of my Stand Alone classes, last week, we explored the inquiry process. We asked each other what we needed to learn. I believe our takeaway was this: ALL VOICES ARE WELCOME IN OUR CLASSROOM. On good days and bad days. What we have to say matters. And it starts when we've created a safe environment where students are welcome to tell their stories. They tell stories to become more fully human and to have a greater understanding of the humanity around them. I wish this for our families, as well. I wish for you the courage and empathy it takes to be a human at RSS and the perseverance to learn and practice the Habits of Crew in our community.
RSS Compassion Project:
A small group of high school students have taken on a big project. Thomas Feeney, long time Renaissance community member and dedicated RSS supporting/substitute teacher was recently diagnosed with AML Leukemia. Students in our Compassion Project class have been researching what this diagnoses means and ways in which we can impact Thomas's world in a positive way. Yesterday, community member Rita Klement came into share her personal story with cancer. The discussion was very candid and impactful. This will help us, help Thomas...as the first step towards designing anything successfully is looking at the problem through a lens of empathy. Look for more information (coming soon) about our drive to support Thomas and his family in his recovery.
Student Written/Directed One-Acts:
Students had the opportunity to have a fantastically informative discussion with published author (and RSS parent) Jana Zinser. Zinser was able to paint a picture (for our class) of an author's process and gave us insider tips about marketing/preparing those works for real world scenarios (like publishing houses and Hollywood executives). The discussion allowed students to reflect on character and plot development, alongwith the pitfalls common among new and developed writers. The discussion even prompted students who were unsure of writing a one act to try it out! I'm excited to see the impact of Zinser's expertise in our finished products. You may see some of them on the RSS stage this December!
We had a successful first book club. We are looking forward to more voices in the room. Please join us on Wednesday at 1:30 in Meghan's room. You should have read 1/2 of Mindset or Outliers for the discussion. Everyone is welcome!
Please send your student to school with a computer every day or make arrangements to borrow one from the office. We will be doing writing assessments and iReady math and English assessments in the next two weeks.
The HS Team
I wanted to send a quick note to let you know that we handed out books for the Outliers Expedition on Friday. The choices are: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Mindset by Carol Dweck.
PARENTS/ GUARDIANS/ FAMILIES/ OTHER: YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN US!!
Your student does not have to be in this expedition for you to participate.
Please feel free to read along and come to our first book club.
READ or LISTEN TO THE FIRST 1/4TH OF THE BOOK (Outliers=p.77; Mindset=p.66)
by Wednesday, August 15th
in Meghan's room
We want any and all perspectives in our learning. We want to raise the stakes on reading and literacy in our classroom. Please come visit with us in real time about the reading we're doing at RSS HS.
Hope to see you,
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Here, teachers and students will share about what we're doing in the HS.
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