Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 10- Wrapping up our Nonfiction Unit on Bullying (Week of 10/30/2015 )

It was a whirlwind week full of emotion and growth.

AVID Milestones
This week in AVID, we continued building our superhero posters in class to prepare for our gallery walk on Friday. Students collaborated to create characters and stories to symbolize their struggles and how they're going to conquer them. We also continued Tutorials and reflections this week to help us grow and succeed in middle school.

English Milestones
On Monday, I handed my students a printout of their final quarter grades with a reflection sheet for them to fill out. I asked my students to reflect honestly and candidly and they owned up to their mistakes, recognized where they need help and identified how to get it, and set a goal for the next quarter. I am really impressed with the thought my students put into this reflection. Yes, quarter grades haven't gone out yet. I gave my students an advanced copy to give them a jump-start on a tough conversation with you. I hope they took my advice and approached you to talk openly and honestly about their grade.

Also this week, we began our Bullying Project presentations. I'd like to apologize for putting two presentations back to back. I definitely don't put projects and presentations that close together and it wasn't my intention to at all. I would like to note that my students handled these projects and their presentations with finesse. I know that the end of the quarter got pretty stressful, but my students persevered and pushed through. Well done!

With the good must come the bad, namely the products turned in for the Bullying Project. The major issue here is that students did not use their project guidelines, formatting half-sheet, or rubrics when creating their projects (all available on my website as well as handed out and discussed in class). Please encourage your student to read and reread the directions and rubrics carefully, to listen to the directions carefully, and to ask questions when necessary.

As such, ALL STUDENTS have been afforded the opportunity to revisit this project on their own time and get it into tip-top shape. Students have until Monday, November 9, 2015 to have their projects shared on Google Drive in their shared English folder to get it rechecked. After November 9, I will no longer recheck projects. In order to be successful, students should use the following: their project guidelines packet (pink), their formatting half-sheet (blue), and their product rubric (pink). These are also available on my website.

Students who are taking advantage of this opportunity need to inform me in class that they will be turning in their project for a redo. If I don't hear from them, I am assuming that they do not wish to redo their project.

Our moment of zen for the week

As I noted last week, we're all works in progress. Failure helps us grown and learn, and that goes for me as their teacher as well. As long as we're working to our best ability and using the tools at our disposal, we'll continue to mature as people and that's far more important than a letter grade from a small snapshot of someone's life.

Some conversation starters for the dinner table or drive home:
1. What did you learn from your first presentation that you used in your second presentation?
2. How can you use a rubric to check your work before turning it in?
3. How is the rubric similar to the project guidelines?
4. What do you, the student, have control or when it comes to school? (projects, tests, homework, classwork)
5. What is something you're proud of for the first quarter?

Warmest regards,
Kevin Laffin


  1. Thank you for the update via the blog post. I used your conversation guide with my daughter, it was good for me to hear her answers!

    1. I'm glad to hear it! Thank you for taking time to read the blog :)