The argument essays for To Kill a Mockingbird are due today. Because I have required my students to include one outside source in their essays, a works cited page is in order.
Proper formatting of works cited pages used to be a mainstay on the STAR test in California; one could always count on a question or two that asked how to cite a particular work, or to what a particular piece of information in a citation referred. Refreshingly, I do not see this reflected on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. This is most likely attributed to the ease with which works cited pages can be formatted and generated from the Internet.
With this in mind, I have rounded up the outside sources my students were to pull from for this essay and have created a Works Cited Page from which my students can go "shopping." I display it from my computer and instruct my students to select the source(s) they have used, keeping them in alphabetical order, and, in their best handwriting, to simply copy down what they used and slip it into their essay packets, behind their final drafts.
As my students select their sources, I am able to talk through the variations in formatting and address any questions or concerns they may have. I explain to them that they will most certainly be expected to type their works cited pages in high school, and could very well be left to their own devices in terms of formatting (again, thank you, Internet). In the interest of time and priority, however, I have decided to present them with the gift of an all but ready-made works cited page.
Today will be the last vocabulary review of the year, having reached 200 words. Time is running out, and while I did not necessarily set a goal of 200 words, it does seem like a good number upon which to end.
All but the last word (disingenuous) in this final set are from the introduction and first chapter of Travels With Charley. As is customary, my students will copy down the review, sharing new sentences should they so desire as we move through the powerpoint, and then selecting the vocabulary homework that works best for them in terms of performing well on the vocabulary quizzes.
Disingenuous has been included as the last word on the list, because today my students will be receiving a progress update from me that will require a parent signature. This year has been a little bumpy at times with keeping the parents of my students informed about grades, and sometimes that bumpiness has been a result of the disingenuous tendencies of some of my students. Thus, as a segue into the final focus of today's class session, I give them the word disingenuous.
At the beginning of the week, students who are "in danger of failing" were given a red card (a small piece of red construction paper upon which I had written their names and their current percentages). This was done in order to give these students the rest of the week to come see me and determine what they could do to improve their grades before today's progress updates go home. All week long, I have been meeting with students during lunch, trying to help them get their grades back on track.
I have prepared an academic grade progress update for each student (as I mention in my reflection, my school is moving away from online posting of grades) and distribute them as close to the end of the period as possible. Most of my students are more or less aware of their standing, thanks in part to the red cards, but I still want to discourage personal conversations with me about grades during class time. Distributing the progress updates at the end of the period means there is no time left for such conversations. I invite any student who would like to discuss his/her grade with me to stop by during lunch next week.