Jon's Weekly Update 10-18-16

posted Oct 18, 2016, 9:27 AM by Cynthia Friedman


Fri, Oct. 14                                   NO SCHOOL: Statewide In-Service
Tues, Oct. 18, 3:15-4:00:             TRUE Rehearsal
Thurs, Oct. 20, 3:15-4:00:          TRUE Rehearsal
Tues, Oct. 25, 3:15-4:00:             TRUE Rehearsal
Thurs, Oct. 27, 3:15-4:00:          TRUE Rehearsal
Mon., Oct. 31 & Tues., Nov. 1     NO SCHOOL: Parent/Teacher Conferences
Tues, Nov.1 , 3:15-4:00:               ****NO TRUE Rehearsal****
Thurs, Nov. 3, 3:15-4:00:           TRUE Rehearsal
Saturday, Nov. 5, 5-5:30pm       TRUE Performance: Whirled Pies Downtown (8th and Charnleton)
Fri, Nov. 11                                   NO SCHOOL: Veteran's Day
Fri., Nov. 11 ALL DAY               TRUE Performance, Oregon School Board Association Conference, Portland + Portland Mini-Concerts
Fri, Nov. 18, 6-8:30pm                 Barnes & Noble Bookfair--TRUE + Performance
Sat., Nov. 19, 5-5:30pm               TRUE Performance, Axe & the Fiddle, Cottage Grove
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 3:15-4:00:       First ALL-IN TRUE Rehearsal

Dear Middle School Family,

I'm happy to report that nothing spectacular happened this week.  We're taking our time settling into the routines and structure of our days and tasks this year.  It is such a luxury to be able to slow down and really pay attention to how well (or not well) things are working. We're smoothing out the kinks, for sure.  

The work load in my classes right now is light.  I'm more concerned with the quality of the students' writing than I am with volume of production.  Having the opportunity to sit down with each student and go over every one of their more 'in-depth' assignments together is proving to be a valuable experience for all of us.  Maizzy and I are literally sitting down with students and circling and underlining, and writing notes on their work as we talk with them.  

The bar is high for each student, according to where they're working from.  And most (not all) of the students are going back and revising their work.

I had to (not kidding) put a cap on the number of times Maizzy and I would look at a piece of work.  Students are allowed ONE re-evaluation.  

"But... But..." 
"Have a peer read it, and give you feedback before you re-submit it..."

Peer feedback, as the students grow to better understand what good feedback looks like, is also growing in practical value.  We're going to work more on this in the coming weeks, helping the students build the skills to give and utilize! peer feedback.

I'll continue to refine this whole feedback/assessment/support process as the year goes on.  We are sincerely teaching each student to grow their writing ability from where they are at right now, no matter where they're at.

Writing well is like weaving spells: it's Magic, when it works!

We'll keep working on it.  There will be a lot of messy process writing in short bursts, but when it comes to the edited work, the focus will be Quality over Quantity.

Have a lovely weekend,

Jon and Maizzy