Jon's Weekly Update 1-17-17

posted Jan 17, 2017, 1:45 PM by Cynthia Friedman
Fri., Jan 13, 6-8pm                            Talent Show
Mon, Jan 16                                        **NO SCHOOL: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Tues, Jan 17, 3:15-4:15:                    TRUE Rehearsal
Thurs, Jan 19, 3:15-4:15:                  TRUE Rehearsal
Fri, Jan 20                                          **NO SCHOOL: Professional Development
Tues, Jan 24, 3:15-4:15:                    TRUE Rehearsal
Thurs, Jan 26, 3:15-4:15:                  TRUE Rehearsal
Fri., Feb 3                                           Grandparents Day
Sat, Feb 18                                          TRUE PERFORMANCE: Asian Celebration
Thurs, Feb. 23, 7pm                          TRUE PERFORMANCE: Whirrled Pies (With NEHS)
Thurs, March 9, 7:30am                   TRUE PERFORMANCE: COSA ELL Conference
Thurs, April 27, 6pm                         TRUE PERFORMANCE: OSLP Fundraiser, Sam Bonds Foundry

Mon, June 5-Thurs, June 8              Adventure Trip 2017
Fri, June 9                                          **NO SCHOOL--Middle School ONLY
Wed, June 14, 6-8pm                         8th Grade Graduation


Dear Middle School Family,

Today was the first day of language instruction via Rosetta Stone.  Students are self-studying 10 different languages at their own pace.  Mostly Spanish, French, Japanese, and German, but also Swedish, Russian, Korean, Hebrew, Farsi, and Greek.  How cool is that?

I got an urgent e-mail at 4:30 this afternoon: "Is it okay if I work on Rosetta Stone at home?"  Yes.  Of course.  One of the major advantages to this model of instruction is that students will engage in learning another language at least twice a week.  The program adapts to where they're at.  And if they want to blast forward, they can.

Our challenge, as their teachers, and their parents, will be to bring in the human element, and to keep the process of learning a language they don't use every day feel valuable and relevant.  This challenge is no different in a traditional foreign language class.  The advantage we have is personal relevance.  Students have chosen their language from 22 options.  They're learning a language they want to learn.

We are going to regroup our Foreign Language/PE groups to put students studying the same language in the same classroom together.  We'll bring in guest speakers, and engage in cultural projects to enhance their language studies.  

If you have skill with any of these languages and would be interested in participating in this experiment, please contact me ASAP.  The more we can help the students interact with other people, to practice their language with other humans, the better!  Isn't that the goal, after all: to bridge the gap, to connect with other humans who are "foreign" (only to discover how human and interesting and exciting we are to each other...).  Class is from 2:30-3:15, Monday through Thursday.

Can you tell I'm excited about this?  The teachers are also joining in!  I'm studying French, Carrie's studying Spanish, Taylor's studying French, and Maizzy's studying Irish. 

We're so happy to be back to work

Jon & Maizzy