I cannot believe the end of first quarter is in two days! When I made this site, I had every intention of writing weekly blog posts updating parents as to what has been happening in class. As you can see, that didn't happen through this blog!! My goal for 2nd quarter is to be more diligent about keeping up with this blog so you can read to find out what we've been doing. You can always stay updated with assignments though, by going to the class website and clicking on the calendar. I keep that updated with what we are doing in class! Most of the time there are even links that you can click on to take you to the actual assignment. This is great for when students are absent!
We have had an awesome start to the 2016-2017 school year. In Geography we JUST completed Unit 1:Intro to Geography where we brushed up on our map skills that will be needed for the rest of the year. We start with this because everything from here on out will require students knowing how to read and interpret maps. ALL my students made HUGE gains from pretest to post test. I am extremely proud of them. All of our assessments are completed using google forms. I like this because they receive IMMEDIATE feedback as to what they got right/wrong AND in addition to that I am able to provide further information as soon as they submit their work to me on what they can do in the areas they struggled in. All of the results are also emailed to the students via their Fox gmail account. If you'd like to view them, just have your child log into their google account and show you!
Starting Monday we will be doing our very first DBQ. A DBQ stands for "Document Based Question". These are really neat! Basically the students use a set of documents to answer a question. The coolest part of these DBQ's is...there isn't just one right answer. There can be more than one. After examining all the documents students will arrive to a conclusion as to what they feel the answer is and then use the documents to find PROOF/EVIDENCE that their answer is the correct one. In the first DBQ, the answer is written in a 1 paragraph essay. The essay is written to state their answer and then they use the documents to cite their evidence and provide an explanation as to why that evidence supports their answer! Needless to say, this can be a rather complex task. The first DBQ is completed together so that all the students learn the basics of HOW to analyze the document and look for the best evidence. We also go step by step together to show how to take that evidence and write it in a clear, easy to understand paragraph.
We will do a minimum of 4 DBQ's in 7th grade. Each DBQ will be a bit more challenging as they start to work on them more independently. The expectation is for them to be able to write a FIVE paragraph essay to answer the DBQ at the end of 7th grade. We do this because in 8th grade American History, the students will be taught the content using ONLY DBQ's and EACH one of them will require a 5 paragraph essay. We really try to make sure they are ready for this by the time they exit 7th grade!
As always if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask!