News from Tom:

May 21, 2013

I have really enjoyed beginning four mornings each week with my students in Ninth Grade American English class. Their ten weekly test scores average ranges from 81 to 97%! They have demonstrated solid study skills and good retention with vocabulary enhancement, grammatical knowledge and language mechanics. This semester, they also had two series of writing assignments to help familiarize them with thoughtful and formal expectations of work turned in. For instance, Mary Flegler, my Community of Teachers mentee, introduced students to poetry by Wendell Berry and had them learn the format of a business letter to their state representative. All are ready to easily proceed next semester to Greek & Latin Roots class.

Greek & Latin Roots students excelled this semester with class scores from five challenging chapter tests averaging from 82 to 100%! Fantastic! The sophomores and juniors in this class ate up the material so fast and well and asked imaginative questions to keep things rolling. Many students from this class joined my Transitive Vampire exploration offering in April as we frolicked with prepositional phrases and bowed to subordinate clauses. These twelve classes were so much fun and I applaud the students who requested them and the dozen who took them for the sheer joy of learning how sentences work!

Students in Depth Psychology presented their research on luminaries such as Rogers, Laing, Beck and Satir. We finished the story of Parsifal and the search for the Holy Grail and pondered whether the Disney movie about a basketball-playing dog is derivative. We finished class with dream imagery from the alchemical progression of the colors black, white and red. World Today class with Sallyann was a special treat for me this semester and our keeping each other up to date with breaking and developing news stories from a variety of sources needs to be a curricular component for all.

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