Term 3

We are moving into the second semester and third term of our academic year!

I want all of my students to be successful! To help my students develop responsible habits and keep track of their work, here are a few of the resources I make available in my class:

I keep a list of all the work due for the week (in both of my classes) on the white board. Students are able to see what is due for the week and keep track of when they are expected to hand it in. This is updated weekly.

I keep a clip board with a list of missing assignments for each student in my classroom, updated weekly. Proactive students are able to check this list and keep caught up on homework. I also keep a list on the white board of students who are missing summative exams in my classes, updated every other week.

If students do not bring pencils or paper to class, I do have a small supply in my classroom that I distribute to students as needed. This supply is not limitless, however. Please make sure your students have the supplies they need!

I hope that we can make this new term amazing.

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Christmas Break is Approaching!

The break getting closer, and so is the end of Term 2.  When we come back we’ll only have a week or so to straighten out grades.  I want to remind my students that while the end of Term 2 is January 18, my deadline for accepting late work is January 11.  That is a little more than one week after we get back from the break!

I highly encourage my students to get totally caught up before we leave for Christmas Break, and then to keep caught up in the week after we come back.  No one wants to spend Christmas vacation doing homework when they could be spending time having fun with family!

If your student is missing work, please encourage them to come and talk with me.  I am happy to provide additional copies of worksheets.  I also allow students to take or retake tests during lunch or after school.

Fresh Start!

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”  -L.M. Montgomery

Now that term 1 grades are locked we have an opportunity for a fresh start!

Hopefully students have been able to figure out how to navigate their classes and keep themselves organized through their first term as middle school students.  If your student is still struggling with organizational skills, here are some suggestions or things to be aware of:

I suggested to each of my students that they have three pockets in their binder for my class – one for work that needs to be completed, one for work that is completed and needs to be turned in, and one for work that has been graded and passed back to them.  If students are consistent and organized, I think we can minimize the risk of lost and missing homework for this new term.

I keep a list of all the work due in both of my classes on the white board.  Students are able to see what is due for the week and when they are expected to hand it in.  This is updated at least every week.

In class I keep a clip board with a list of missing assignments for each student that is updated weekly.  Proactive students are able to check this list and keep caught up on homework.  I also keep a list on the white board of students who are missing summative exams in my classes.

I hope that we can make this new term amazing and that each student will have access to the tools they need to succeed.

Technology Policy

Students will have access to Chromebooks and other technology in our classroom, which will be used for specific content-related tasks and activities.  Students will also be given access to a school email account (ex: jsimpson@renacademy.org or jacob.simpson@renacademy.org).  To ensure that our classroom technology is used appropriately, it is crucial that students commit to following our technology policy, as outlined below.

  1. Technology (both personal and school-issued) may be used ONLY for approved websites and applications.
  2. Any devices used in the classroom (personal and school-issued) must be connected to the school Wi-Fi and filtering system.
  3. Only school assigned email accounts will be used at school.
  4. All email messages, images, content, etc. will be appropriate for our school setting. (Inappropriate language and image use can result in the loss of the student email account, student suspension, or other appropriate consequences.)
  5. Students are not allowed to use the email chat function during class instruction.  The chat function should never be used to send images.
  6. Students will not change any device settings on school technology without teacher permission.
  7. Students will not share passwords, log into others’ accounts, or tamper with others’ accounts in any way.
  8. Students should not use their school assigned email to sign up for any online websites, programs, or groups unless approved by a teacher or administrator.
  9. Students will be respectful in all of their online communication:
    1. Any contributions to online discussions and activities will be kind and appropriate to the task.  No silly comments, emojis, etc. that will distract others from the assigned task.
    2. when using a collaborative/shared document, students will show respect for others’ work at all times.  No student will delete or alter another student’s contributions without their permission.
    3. Students may use the comments portion of a shared document only to discuss the assignment.
    4. Students may not share class documents with others without teacher permission.
    5. Students will add Mrs. Bischoff as a contributor for any documents being used in class.
  10. Mrs. Bischoff reserves the right to monitor students’ classroom documents, accounts, and search history to ensure a safe and respectful online learning experience.
  11. Any email concerns or issues should be reported immediately to the supervising teacher.

Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in detention, the loss of the student email or technology privileges, suspension, or another appropriate consequence.

Also important to note:

  • If students add their actual birthdays or other personal information to their accounts,  Google will disable their account.  We may or may not be able to restore the account.  Students should not add ANY personal information to their account.
  • The student email account will be used for their entire Renaissance Academy student tenure.  This will be the same account students use next year.
  • Students should only use the email account for school assignments, projects, school communication, etc.  This drastically reduces junk mail and keeps their environment more safe.

Announcements for Oct 1-5

We have a busy week coming up!  We have reached the end of Unit 1 and so this week has been full of reteaching principles and playing review games.  I hope that all my students feel prepared for our unit tests.

In my writing classes, we will have a unit grammar test next week.  This will cover all of the grammar principles we learned up to this point.  A description of those principles can be found here.  In addition, we also have the rough draft and brainstorm for our fictional story due on October 4 (Oct 5 for 7A and 7B).  It is extremely important that the rough draft is finished on time so that we can properly workshop and prepare for the final!

In my language arts classes, we have already had our vocabulary unit test.  Next week we will have our unit spelling test and our unit comprehensive assessment exam.  A list of spelling words to study can be found here.  In addition, we have our first book report due on Monday Oct 1, which students should come to class prepared to present.

If students feel that they could use some extra practice to prepare for either the unit grammar or  spelling test, I have put together Kahoot! challenges that they can do at home.

Grammar Review Pin: 026935
Spelling Review Pin: 0349317
**You must have the Kahoot! app downloaded to a device for the review to work**  Kahoot!

Success in my Class

One of the things I learned in my many years of primary, secondary, and higher education is that truly successful people create their own opportunities and drive their own success by asking questions and acting.

I hope to instill an attitude of proactivity in all of my students.  I truly want every single student in my class to succeed! When it comes to success, talent is a factor of course, but a good work ethic and the drive to seek opportunities for improvement will get you farther than talent alone ever will.

As is outlined in my disclosure document, I allow students to turn in work late up to a week before grades are due (October 19 for term 1).  I allow students to retake exams and quizzes if their grade is lower than a D (69% or below).

If a student is not happy with their grade on an assignment, I will make provisions for them to earn back some of their lost points if they come and talk with me about it.  This must be done within the week, otherwise I will never be able to keep up with the grading on my end.

Most homework from my class should be finished or at least started in class.  If you notice that your child has a lot of homework in Writing or Language Arts it is likely because they were not using their time in class wisely.

I am more than happy to spend time giving students one-on-one instruction or feedback if they ask for it.  This is not always possible in class, though I always do my best. Students are also welcome to come and see me after school.  I am always in my classroom until 3:30 on school days.

This requires a lot more time from me, but that is an investment I am happy to make for students who are willing to put in the effort to do well. If your child is struggling in one of my classes, please encourage them to come talk with me and I will work with them!

The average week in my class!

Language Arts:

We have weekly spelling and vocabulary worksheets that are always due on Thursdays.  Students will have time to work on these in class, but anything not finished in class is expected to be finished as homework before they are due in class on Thursday.

We also do a fair amount of reading in this class. We have a weekly focus story that we will read through as a class.  In addition, students are expected to read daily on their own.

We have weekly assessments on Thursdays.  These are part of the student’s summative grade and are very important.

Writing:

We have weekly grammar worksheets that are always due on Thursdays. Students will have time to work on these in class, but anything not finished in class is expected to be finished as homework before the due date.

We will have grammar quizzes weekly as well.

We will have small, medium, and large writing projects in this class.  Large projects will always be announced at least a week in advance, and are a part of the student’s summative grade.  Due dates for large and medium projects will always be published on the Writing page of this blog.