Are you sensing a theme here? I admit: it's been a bit of a challenge this year maintaining www.hilliardsclass.com for my APs and hanging out here on the STEM Weebly for you lovely Stemmies. But, alas, there are updates to update!
First off, I want to LOVE YOU UP SO MUCH for your House on Mango Street work. You wrote deeply and with care, and you used the mentor text to guide and inspire your writing. I was impressed to say the very least. You can read more about my teacher perspective on this assignment HERE on the teacher blog I contribute to.
Since then, we've been plugging away at poetry strategies and Poetry Out Loud. We spent a day or two getting after the Five S Strategy for Passage Analysis, and then getting into teams to read #allthepoetry and work toward a deeper understanding of the tribute's poem for recitation.
Here we are today, on the eve of Thanksgiving Break, and we're having our classroom competitions, saying our holiday fond fare thee wells, and gearing up for a Food Lit mini unit upon your return.
November has gone quickly, and I suspect the rest of our time before Winter Break will as well. Let's make the most of it, and let's keep working hard and using our big awesome brains.
Cheers to you for doing just that in the month of November!
Here's to your first Week in Review! Took me long enough, right? :)
This week we got into The House on Mango Street, our 3 Close Reading Questions, and our Reader's Bios. We spent some good class time doing what students do in an English class: reading, writing, and talking about the text. I want to remind each of you that this is the work of the course, these are the skills you need for the year, and that this work can be rich and rewarding. I invite you to find the meaningful cow with me.
And I remind you that finding the proverbial cow is challenging and requires strong reading habits, strong work ethic, and a really great attitude.
On Friday, I presented Design Thinking to the group for Academy Day. I did have some technical glitches that threw me off, and it was wicked early, but such is life.
For my two cents, having an understanding of Design Thinking, particularly Human Centered Design is an important part of our Academy Project. My hope is that students understand that if our ideas are rooted in empathy, our designs are broad and limitless, our prototypes are tested and tweaked, and our implementation both succeeding and failing in ways yet to be determined, that we will always be circling back to what inspires us and why we need to work to solve problems and contribute to a greater good. We will constantly be ideating, testing, and refining.
There are plenty of TED Talks, and maybe we'll watch some. But for now, please know that yes, you do and have had a say in this project. And please also know that your teachers have intentionally designed this process for you. And finally, please know ESPECIALLY that you are a powerful, intellectual, spirited, and inspiriting group of students. And we will work and work and work and work because that is our job.
Finally (*she said climbing off of her soapbox), you also spent a few minutes Friday mind mapping some potential community garden ideas. Check 'em out here.
We've miles to go before we sleep (or plant). And in English, you've just got to trust me. ;)
All the best, everybody, and see you tomorrow.
I am so incredibly pleased with your progress and where we're headed this year, both in English and STEM Academy. We have a chance to truly make the world a better place and YOU have the chance to learn, apply, and create designs that, right now, are only notional. How cool is that?!
Typically, I'll give you a proper Week in Review, like this one over at www.hilliardsclass.com, but for now, I wanted to take a moment to hit the high notes.
This week, we've taken the STAR test, talked a bit about the importance of choice reading, and jumped into what is the very first square of The House on Mango Street, which is this beautiful prose poetry novel that I think you're really going to like.
As mentioned in class today, we will use this text to sharpen our literary analysis skills, write some inspired and well-crafted narratives of our own, and to expand our ideas and thinking about the concept of Community and Identity.
Today we completed the anticipation guide and began our first round of Philosophical Chairs. Y'all are some pretty smart cookies, and things are looking up.
Now, get ready for a full court STEM Academy project presentation press, and be prepared to share, ideate, and inspire!
Your teacher, Mrs. Hilliard :)