Jon's Update 1-15-2020

posted Jan 16, 2020, 12:17 PM by Cynthia Friedman
Important Dates
Tues & Thurs 3:10-4:00 pm TRUE Rehearsals
Mon, 1/20 **NO SCHOOL: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Fri, 1/24, 6-8pm Ridgeline Talent Show
Sun, 1/26, 2:15-2:45pm TRUE Performance Lane Home and Garden Show, Lane County Fairground
Fri, 1/31 **NO SCHOOL: Grading Day
Sun, 2/16, 11-11:45am TRUE Performance Asian Celebration, Lane County Fairground

Dear Middle School Family,
We are officially halfway through the school year! Term 3 ends on Friday, January 17, marking the end of the first semester. We will be sending home Semester 1 report cards next Friday, January 24. Please remember that you can log in to Jupiter Ed at any time to monitor your student's progress.

Next week, we will begin the first phase of our next big project, returning to John Green's "Crash Course World History." Once again, students will take notes, sifting through the "information overload," in search of topics of deep interest that they feel demand more elaborate explanation. Links to the videos will be in Jupiter Ed, so the students can re-watch the episodes at home if they need more time to take better notes.

We'll continue to develop our writing and editing skills, as well, with the Article of the Week assignments. Each week, students will be assigned a current event to read and annotate in preparation for their written response. The AOW response assignment is an adaptation I've developed for middle school from the college textbook, "They Say, I Say," by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein.

Their response is a two-paragraph assignment. Their first paragraph should start with an assertion made in the article, followed by an explanation of the assertion, using evidence directly from the text. Their second paragraph is an assertion of the student's position in response to the assertion in the first paragraph. They use their own experience, as well as evidence from the text to explain their position.

Later in the year, as the students become more adept at these short assignments, we will be using evidence from multiple sources to discuss more complex topics. By the end of their middle school experience, our students are more than prepared for academic writing in high school and college.

The complexity, and the quality of the students' work is going to increase considerably over the next few months. Please check in with your student (and with Jupiter Ed) about their progress, and how they're feeling about the work they're doing. We are happy to meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns you have as the year progresses.

Best wishes,
Jon and Maizzy