We had a fun day today. I did not realize how much bowling talent we had in the class! Students went to Memory Lanes to bowl. While we were at school, students rotated between my classroom and Mr. Marchetti’s classroom for various activities.
I feel so fortunate to be teaching so many wonderful students this year. I hope that all of you have a wonderful winter break, and I will see you next year (2017)!
For students who would like to continue or begin their service over winter break, here are some frequently asked questions that may help questions that arise:
1.) How can I support my child as they communicate with people/ presenters during their service learning project?
Some students will chose to reach out to community members for assistance with their service learning project. Other students might decide to invite a representative in to present about an issue that they would like to tell the class about. I always advise students to share emails with parents before the send them to an adult that they do not know. Parents can help by proofreading emails answering email-related questions that might be confusing for students. Also encouraging students to check their email for responses to inquiries can be helpful too.
I have had many students stop in during the beginning of advisory to check in about scheduling a speaker to visit class. That is a great time to connect. Students can also talk to me during class-time.
2.) How is my child being graded on the service learning project?
Students are grading on their projects at different stages of their project. The work that we have completed in class is graded and discussed as we go along. Students deciding and following through with their own service learning project is where the authentic learning happens. This may be one of the first projects where students have had the independance to create and follow through with a project-based project, and nerves around that responsibility is perfectly normal. We saw an incredible transformation in our students last year through the implementation of this project, and I am so excited to see what this group of students creates. They have so many wonderful ideas already.
The next part that students will be graded on for their service learning is their presentation that will be due between February and March.
3.) Can my child invite their friends or family along for help with the service?
Absolutely. One of the most exciting parts of service learning is that it is an academic project that truly fosters community. Students will be presenting about their project independently, but their friends are more than welcome to help them complete their service.
4.) How much assistance should I give my child on the project/ presentation?
The more you can check in with your child about their service learning project, the better. The purpose of the service learning project to let students take the reigns in their learning and help to create a positive change in the world. Some students will feel more comfortable taking the lead with their project than others. If students need further assistance from me, please encourage them to talk to me so I can help them to focus the direction of their project. If you can do that from home, that would also be wonderful. This project builds confidence in students, and it is a process. Thank you for your patience as students learn how to be effective leaders!
5.) How much time should the service learning project take?
This will truly vary from student to student. The important thing is that the amount of time that your child would like to take on their project works with your life and schedule, so should check in with them ASAP about what they have in mind.
6.) When is the service learning project due?
Students will begin presenting about their service learning projects in mid-February and the presentations will continue through March to accommodate for students who will be finishing their projects at different times. Some students are planning projects that involve planting and they will not be able to take place until the Spring. They will need to tell the class what they plan on doing and they will complete an educational service project about what they will be doing. We will be able to follow up at the end of the year.