We had a great second week in middle school. Students completed a spelling, writing, and mechanics diagnostic. I will use these diagnostics to help guide instruction during our grade specific ELA classes. This week we began our reader's workshop with mini-lessons about close-reading, annotation, and reader response. Throughout the year we will consistently return to these foundational elements to support reading comprehension and critical thought.
Perhaps the most exciting part of our week was the preparation for our Genius Hour project. We got some inspiration after watching a wonderful short documentary about a little boy named Caine who used passion, ingenuity, and innovation to create a cardboard arcade in his father's storefront. I've linked the video below for those who are curious, but I'll warn you right now...I teared up! Each student then engaged in some serious brainstorming, individually and with partners, to explore different ideas. They completed a March Madness style "Passion" bracket and have narrowed their amazing ideas down to a single project that they will complete over the next six weeks. Students completed notes to prepare for a Shark Tank (or as we are calling it - Guppy Tank) pitch that they will present this Tuesday.
The kids are doing a wonderful job showing resiliency as we learn new protocol for how to be at school and adjust to being back in the classroom after so many months. I'm very proud of them!
Here is the link for the short film "Caine's Arcade."
Check out these videos if you'd like to learn a bit more about Genius Hour.