It's week 4 - our first full week!
Our first unit in both the honors American Literature (HAmLit) course as well as the Composition through American Literature course (CTAL 10) focuses on what it means to be American. Students are reading a novel of their choice from an American author which will serve as a mentor text during this unit. We will examine what we learn from this writer about the values, beliefs, and perspectives on the American identity. Additionally, we have been exploring excerpts from a wide variety of American voices - foundational texts as well as contemporary voices, poets and journalists, women and men, colonial writers and immigrant voices. This week we will add our reflections on these readings to our Unit 1 Note Catcher in order to prepare us for the essay we will write at the close of this first unit. Over the course of this unit, students are asked to develop their own definition of what it means to be American based on their readings from a wide variety of American voices.
We will also be revisiting our learning and behavior contract for our class - our GRIT matrix. Last week we spent some time reflecting on our progress as readers. We used our writer's notebook to establish some goals and strategies to help us recognize our Growth as readers. This week we will revisit our goals for Respect. What does respect look like in our classroom? We spent time as a class during our first week together coming up with the habits and routines that demonstrate respect. In order to ensure that we are using our time to the fullest, this means being in your seat when the bell rings with our weekly wordplay handout on your desk, making sure phones and earbuds are away before class begins, and making sure that we are listening to one another, responding at appropriate times using appropriate language. We'll spend time reviewing our daily and weekly routines this week and talk more about what respect looks like in our daily classroom space.
At the close of our week, weather permitting, we'll head outside for our reading day and to do some tie-dying in preparation for Homecoming Spirit Days the week of September 20th-24th. I'm looking forward to our first full week together!
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!