7-8 Classroom

Student-Led Conference

Dear 7-8 Families, Thank you for taking the time to drive up to the mesa and listen to your students’ reflections these past few days. Your willingness to listen, to ask questions, and to engage in their conversations shows that you value their effort and the quality of their performance. You are integral to their learning process, and the value of this hour together is enormous. Thank you!!!! I am invigorated as I listen to…

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Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

Expeditionary Learning is an educational organization which promotes a teaching philosophy similar to many of the ideals that are embodied here at ACS. One of their core principles states that, “Learning happens best with emotion, challenge, and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected.” This theory is alive and well this semester in the 7th and 8th grades. Adventure, challenge, and support were…

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Kindness

Kindness

While practicing reading, writing, and presenting through Language Arts, we are continuing to study and practice our “Strategies for Success.” Our first strategy in September was all about effort and positive thinking through the Mindset Unit. Our second strategy was about intellectual curiosity through the Mentorship project. And we are currently sinking our roots into emotional intelligence through our Kindness Project. Our first foray into discussions of kindness focused mostly on giving gifts and “random…

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Community

October has been a great month for community-building. This makes sense. Academic growth occurs best within a healthy social fabric. One of our primary goals as middle school teachers is to create diverse interactions. In a small school, such a goal seems simple, but the reality of middle school is a tendency to feel very comfortable working in preferred social groups, often in isolation from other social groups, and at the expense of individuals remaining isolated…

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Mindset

Mindset

To start the year, I like to talk with students about thinking patterns. According to Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset, “What you believe determines what you achieve.” Self-reflection about thinking patterns is an important strategy for improving achievement and self-confidence in both academics and extracurricular interests. Who knows, it might even play out in helpful conversations in your own homes. With this in mind, I have put together a unit of study designed around…

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