I just LOVE "back to school" time!
The sight of pencils, notebooks, and glue lining the aisles of the grocery store.
Filling out my brand new "school-year" calendar for the top of my desk...with brand new pens.
The smell of the school as I walk into the doors for the first time in months. You know, that freshly waxed smell.
It's this time of year that I like to take a chance to introduce myself to the parents (and any students who may read this) and give them a little heads up about me, my classroom, and any points of emphasis I'm going to focus on this year.
I teach social studies at Cheney Middle School. 7th and 8th graders are some of my favorite people on the earth and I honestly say, that Mondays don't bother me! Sometimes I get so excited for things coming up the next day, that I can't sleep at night. I am active on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook...Follow me @JillWebs
Many times, I am the first time students encounter someone who specialized in Social Studies. This means that things may be a little different that what kids are used to. In my classroom...
- There is no textbook to lug around. We use one periodically, but rarely. I keep a class set in the room.
- Very few, if any, multiple choice questions. A lot more writing. Tests will be very different from anything your student has probably tackled before...especially in a social studies classroom.
- Worksheets are used for data collection, applying something learned in class, and assessment. A lot of collaboration with peers and team work.
- More projects. Technology integrated into the subject. Projects are completed at school. No "parent assembly" needed...that is unless your child has an awesome idea and chooses to involve your help at home :)
- Every day vocabulary such as primary sources, contextualize, corroborate, bias, artifacts, inference.
- Questions that don't have one right answer. Having to defend their answers with evidence.
- Learning to "Think like historians."
- And very little homework. If any.
This is a lot to take in for kids coming into my room...and for parents as well. Don't worry...I will train your child in the ways of historical thinking, they will receive advice from past students, and will have many opportunities to have their great work shared throughout the state, country, and world through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
The Four Letter "F" Word.
Will NOT be allowed in my classroom.
Will NOT be allowed to be used to describe my class.
Will NOT be used to explain how the day went, once mom or dad ask at home.
Don't worry...we're "G" rated around here. I'm not talking about anything inappropriate. I'm talking about the word FINE.
Ugh! I HATE that word. It literally is the laziest thing you could possibly say in response to "How was _____?"
Not good. Not bad. Fine.
All 7th and 8th graders will be told on day one that this word is NOT allowed in my room as a response to anything. Find a word, any word that is better than that. Provide some evidence to your answer... Always.
For example...if you ask your teen "How was your day today?" Don't let them get away with saying "Fine." Make them give you a REAL answer with examples to back it up.
And if they try to sneak it past you...let me know!