• Mr. Armstrong

Week 5. Recap

I wrote that last blog post while the Chiefs were losing, and then they turned it around after halftime and won the game! Logical conclusion: if I write this blog post right now, they will win their game tonight too. I powerful.

There were really three main takeaways from this past week worth reminding you of:

1. If you are in a Blue Class, on Monday we practiced giving meaningful feedback to our writing teams and to others in class using one of three methods: directly interacting with their work on the document itself, replying to professional emails, and - most importantly - through face to face conversation (with masks, obv). I hope you found this process helpful. My goal is to try and provide an authentic audience, inside this classroom and beyond it, (as often as possible) for your writing and thinking.

2. Your Padlet was due. I asked you to turn it in with a professional email reflecting on the writing process and your successes and failures within it, taking into account the role time management and team/teacher feedback did or did not play in the work. Overall your emails were excellent and many, if not most, of you were honest about where improvements can happen next time. I finished grading Padlets this weekend. Check Infinite Campus and let me know if something is wrong or if you are planning to revise to raise your grade. I will accept your writing as many times as it takes to get it right and/or to get the grade you want. Though, no offense to grades: I'm more concerned with you being proud of your work while learning and progressing from your failures.

3. We ended the week by discussing some long term tips and tricks for using several Google apps, mainly Docs, Drive, and Classroom. I focused on Google Docs the most because it is the most relevant to our work next: turning in your first writing portfolio. A few highlights I don't want you to forget:

-if you use a template in Docs, I suggest Report MLA

-Heading vs. Header

-the header should only have the page number, which I'm not worried about right now

-the heading should NOT go in the header

-heading info: name, class, large assignment (Sept. Portfolio), type of writing (narrative)

-center your title (for now, don't work too hard on crafting a clever title)

-title your actual document for Google Drive (English 2 Sept. Narrative)

-you need some sources at the end of some assignments, not no citations yet

I also suggested cleaning and organizing your Google Drive at some point when you have time. My experience with turning assignments in that will be a learning experience this week for me too. Please be patient as I/we work out the kinks.

We will be meeting in the classroom for our independent reading time. I had a TON of books you requested arrive in the mail this weekend (I owe my mail lady a gift card or something). If you are still fake reading or are just unwilling to try anything, please conference with me about it. I don't care about page counts or book reports or quizzes. I just want to help you find something you can enjoy that will help you progress as a reader. Progress looks different for everyone.

And that's okay.


About Mr. Armstrong

This will be my twelfth year teaching English Language Arts and my fourth working at Carthage High School, which I graduated from in 2005. I love being back in my hometown helping our sophomores find an appreciation for reading and writing while challenging them to discover and develop the value, depth, and power of their own voices. Hopefully this will be a year of daring greatly and learning bravely.