Grade Check

Hey all,

Just a reminder that if you didn’t do so already, I’d like a note from someone at home confirming that they’ve checked your grades. I want to emphasize, though, that this is a rare check with home regarding your grades. In 8th grade, we seek to inspire students to become more self-motivated. It is an important step in the transition into high school and, sooner than we’d like to think, college. In order to succeed later on in life, it is important that every student have opportunities to be personally motivated to get good grades because they have worked hard and care about their own grades. Take a look at this neat explanation of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation and see how it follows you into the work world: http://p2pfoundation.net/Intrinsic_vs._Extrinsic_Motivation

I have been generally very impressed with students who come regularly to check in on their grades and ensure that they are caught up. I am especially proud of those who take the extra time to ask questions when they are confused, email when they need help, and speak up when they feel they are being left behind. These are skills that you will use in real life as well as the rest of your school career. That being said, I want to spend a moment expressing my concerns with project grades. I am going to start posting class averages of project and essay grades in the hopes that it will encourage more students to follow prompts and rubrics, and especially to ask questions ahead of time when they are confused. Please remember that the only person hurt when you do not ask questions is you.

I hope that the recent project grades will be a learning experience, both for the students who did well, and for those who did not.

Nonfiction And Me

Hey all,

I have been doing a lot of thinking this weekend about nonfiction and I realized how important it is to our society today. Even fiction mediums try to look like nonfiction! Think about shows such as “Teen Mom,” or “Catfish,” on MTV, or “Gold Rush,” on Discovery Channel. We are totally surrounded by documentaries! Even fiction shows and movies want to look nonfiction now. Think about Paranormal Activity. That is a great example of a totally fiction source that wants to look nonfiction.

I will offer two points in extra credit to anyone who brings and puts into the bin THIS WEEK (10/7-10/11) an answer to this question: why would fiction try to make itself look like nonfiction? You can use Paranormal Activity as an example, or if you can think of any other fake documentaries, you may use them as examples to support your answer.

One last comment about nonfiction — twitter interviews are really interesting, but very difficult to read. That will (time permitting) be a topic for discussion in class this week. In the meantime, check out this twitter interview of Paul McCartney from The Beatles (maybe show your parents or grandparents, who might know The Beatles):

What does Paul McCartney listen to? Here’s your answer.

Don’t forget to bring one ACTUAL nonfiction source to class tomorrow to start working on your projects! Have a beautiful Sunday.