Jon's Weekly Update 10-10-14

posted Oct 13, 2014, 10:12 AM by Cynthia Friedman
IMPORTANT DATES:
Fri., Oct. 10 NO SCHOOL – Statewide In-Service
Fri., Oct. 10: Cycle 1 of the Academic Calendar Ends
Sat., Oct. 11, 12-6pm: Ridgeline Block Party at Southtowne Shoppes
Sat., Oct. 11: 2-2:30pm: Ukulele Performance @ Southtowne Shoppes
Mon., Oct. 13 Cycle 2 Begins (Grades Re-set)
Wednesday, Oct. 22: Picture Re-takes 

Dear Middle School Family, 
The first Cycle of the 2014-15 school year is dead! Long live Cycle 2! Better yet, Live lively! Cycle 2. All work for Cycle 1 is absolutely due by noon, Friday, October 10. I'll be wrapping up grades that afternoon, and then we move forward. No looking back! 

We're flexing some adaptive muscles right now. Work for each Cycle is cumulative. We're doing small, assigned work each week to build our Projects in all subjects. Success (for each individual, at their own level and determination) in the big Projects absolutely DEPENDS on your student doing their weekly academic work.   

The work is incremental and adaptable. Foremost, our curriculum is developmental. If your student doesn't do the incremental work building to the final project, it's like watching the Tour de France on television in preparation to get on a bike and race in the Tour de France. It's going to hurt! and result in failure from lack of preparation.   

 (And it's going to kill their Grade, bit by bit--We're also training for the Grades game.) 

Learning to DO happens through habit and practice and repetition. And exploration, of course, but right now the "Content Knowledge" your student is able to memorize is not nearly as developmentally important as the "Habits of Mind" your student is putting into practice. 

...IF they're putting it into practice. Log in to Jupiter Grades. Ask your student what they're up to. Don't just sign their Weekly Planner: read it! It's broken into "Due Dates" and a "To Do" list for each day. All they have to do is copy the Due Dates from Jupiter Grades. The hard part, the personal responsibility part (HUGE goal), is making a personal plan for getting the work done. And doing it! 

High school is closer than you think. Your role at home, supporting your student's academic work is more valuable than you think. They care that you care. 

I don't assign homework, per se. Bottom line: If they don't get their work done at school, they need to get it done at home. (There's plenty of time to get it done at school, but...) Carrie and I can't do this alone. 

We're in this together, and your student needs to know we're on the same team. 

Communication is key. I'm booked solid with "team meetings" this week and next week after school. If you have any concerns, I'd love to meet. E-mail me, and we'll make it happen. 

We start fresh, with a clean slate, a new Cycle on Monday, October 13. Grades reset, and we get down to new business, new projects. More on that next week. 

Best,
Jon and Carrie
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