Well, we are into our third week of learning from home. I hope that you have found a good book to get lost in and have taken this opportunity to learn something new! Since last week, there have been some changes in how our learning at home will work in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep reading. Just like last week, I will post a link for our virtual meet up on Wednesday, April 1st (no joke!) to our Google Classroom page if you are interested in chatting with your classmates.
INDEPENDENT READING: If you are looking for something new to read, check out this list of recommended books from Katie and Christine at Grandville's Kent District Library branch - http://bit.ly/KDLbooks. All of these books and more can be accessed through https://www.kdl.org/downloads.
APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: For those of you that are interested, I'll be posting some optional poetry readings, performances, and writing prompts to our daily agenda slides to inspire you throughout the month of April.
LEARNING: As you read in the email that you received from Mr. Lancto on Monday, there have been some recent changes with our online learning (https://bit.ly/GHSupdates). Teachers are now able to provide feedback on work that was done prior to the break, and students are able to make up any outstanding work! This week you will notice that I am adding feedback to your writing pieces turned in prior to our break and adding in grades to our Infinite Campus gradebook. For those students that are missing or need to make-up work that was to be completed prior to our break, I will also be emailing individual students about options for turning in those assignments.
As things are changing quickly, it is important that you login to your email and Google Classroom spaces regularly. The link to the optional learning opportunities can be found at https://bit.ly/GHSoptional. I have also posted some optional reading and writing prompts to our daily agenda found on our Google Classroom space.
I miss you! I hope that you are able to join us on Wednesday for our virtual check-in. I miss seeing your faces each day. Know that I am thinking of you.
Stay safe and stay in touch,
I hope that you are doing well and feeling healthy in the wake of all that has been happening. I would love to hear more about what you've been up to this past week! You'll find a link to connect virtually posted to our Google Classroom page if you are interested.
VIRTUAL SPIRIT DAY: This Friday, March 27th, we're putting on a virtual spirit day! Snap a pic or short video (10 seconds or less) of you in your favorite Grandville gear and either post it to our Google Classroom site or email it to me. I'm going to compile all the photos into a video which I'll send out at 3pm this Friday! Feel free to share your pride on social media on Friday using #GrandvillePride.
LEARNING: As you may have read in the recent email that you received from Mr. Bearup and Mr. Lancto, there's a great deal of optional learning that you can do during our time away from the classroom, but your teachers are not able at this time to assign any additional work, post grades, or provide feedback on any work that was done prior to the break. This is an effort to make sure that all students have equal opportunity to learn the required material for our class. When we return to the classroom following this break, we can discuss ways to make-up missed work and continue with work we have done in our current unit. However, for right now, take care of yourself, check in with family and friends, and take this opportunity to learn something new that you've always wanted to learn. The link to the optional learning opportunities can be found at https://bit.ly/GHSoptional.
I miss our class and our cheesy videos. I miss our low-highs. I miss our jokes and our general goofiness. I miss seeing your faces each day. I miss you. Know that I am thinking of you and am looking forward to seeing you all soon.
Wow! What a week this has been. Things have been moving very quickly, and suddenly we find ourselves out of school through April 12th, a full month away from school. The impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented, and as a result, we are all in uncharted territory. Let me reassure students and families that our district administrators and staff are working diligently to think through the best ways to support our Grandville families in a variety of ways during this state of emergency.
During our time away from school, we have an opportunity to reconnect with our families and take care of ourselves and one another. For those that are interested, I created the self-care challenge below. Feel free to make a copy of this document for yourself so that you can highlight each of the challenges that you complete. Use the comment box below to tell us how your self-care challenges are going!
It feels like just yesterday we were kicking off the new school year, and now we are already in the home stretch. With just one quarter left to go, this is the time of year when both students and teachers can feel the added pressure of the last couple months of the school year. To help alleviate some of that pressure, I wanted to take a moment to remind students and parents of some of the resources available to you.
First, know that you can always find more information about what we are working on in our class linked to this website and posted to our Google Classroom space. Our daily agenda slideshow, posted on our "Class Links" page, not only lists our in class activities for each day but also includes hyperlinks to any work that needs to be completed outside of our class. Students will also find this on our weekly schedule which is printed and given to students each Monday. We organize all of the work for our class using Google Classroom. All assignments are also turned in via this space. Use the "Classwork" tab in Google Classroom to easily locate everything we have been working on.
When it comes to needing extra help in particular areas, there are a few online resources that can support your learning. For extra help with grammar and writing, make sure you check out some of the resources that we have been using in class:
When it comes to extra support with close reading skills, perhaps one of the best tools at students' disposal is our Seminar time. Each Wednesday, students have an hour in the middle of our day to meet with teachers in the courses where they may need some extra support. Fortunately, we are able to connect our ninth and tenth grade students with upperclass tutors interested in the helping those students who wish to grow their close reading skills. All students need to do is sign up on our Seminar request sheet which hangs near the door in 217.
We have all sorts of support in our building available to our students. If there is something that you need or a resource that you are wondering about, don't hesitate to ask!
I think March is my favorite month. Yes, we welcome back spring, but even better is the fact that March = National Reading Month! In celebration, we host a March Book Madness voting bracket in our high school library!
In February we surveyed our students and staff, asking them what their favorite reads of the past year have been. This year we had over 100 recommendations. We organized the most popular recommendations into our March Book Madness bracket, and each day students have the opportunity to vote for a new book pairing in our library. And, here's the best part, our voting students are entered into a daily drawing to win a signed copy of a book!
So far we have given away signed copies of Christopher Paolini's Eragon, Amanda Lovelace's The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One, Veronica Roth's The End and Other Beginnings, Brittney Morris's Slay, and Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give. And we have so much more to give away this month, including books by John Green, Jennifer Niven, Tiffany Schmidt, and more! Students can vote each day to win!
You can follow along each day in March as we announce our winners using #BulldogsRead on Twitter. We look forward to seeing you in our GHS library throughout the month!
Ms. Jen Ward
An interest in helping young people discover and define their writing voice and reading interests drives Ms. Jennifer Ward to cultivate a student-centered learning environment, one that supports individual learning goals and incorporates purposeful use of technology. In March 2017, Ms. Ward was named teacher of the month by Michigan's 86th district state representative, Thomas Albert. In March 2016, she was named a TED-Ed Innovative Educator and is also a Google Certified Innovator, National Writing Project Consultant, and a 2014 PASCD Emerging Leader. Ms. Ward taught for 13 years in a Philadelphia suburban district and returned to her home state in 2015. In 2017, she joined the Grandville High School bulldogs!