Saturday, September 26, 2009

Nobles, Knights, Serfs and Substitutes

This past week was an odd week for me.  It began like any other as we spent Monday and Tuesday beginning Reading Notes 2 in the workbook and learning about the social structure of the Middle Ages called feudalism.  However, on Wednesday I had to be out of the classroom helping the 6th grade language arts teachers from across the district evaluate their students' writing on the Fall District Writing Assessment.  I never like to be out of the classroom, particularly in September, given how important it is to set the tone at the beginning of the year as to what the expectations are.  Then, as I was driving in to work on Thursday, I received a call from Stefanie, my wife,  who said she was not feeling well and needed me to be at home to take care of Thomas, our two year old, and get Jonah, our 5 year old, off to school.  She has pretty much stayed in bed for the last three days with what seems to be the flu.  Our doctor went ahead and prescribed Tamiflu for Jonah and Thomas to try to prevent them from getting sick.  Thomas had a slight fever on Thursday night, so I made the decision to go ahead and call in for sub on Friday as well.  I hope to be back on Monday. 

In terms of classwork for the week, we took video notes on 20 minutes videos about Feudalism, The Noble, The Knight and The Serf. The notes are taken in two column format where I give students the topics on the left hand side and they fill in the specific details on the right hand side.  We also played a fun review game using white boards.  Two students are chosen to go the back of the room and the rest of the class uses their notes and/or the textbook to find key words or phrases.  I choose one of the words and the students in the back try to guess what it is using clues from their classmates.  My plan was to have students turn-in their work on Friday, which is the normal routine, but we'll have to do that on Monday. I was also hoping to take the student to the lab this past week, to help them set up their own blog (check them out at and to show them more about buying and selling stocks for our stock market contest ( parents are welcome to sign up by clicking here and using this password: smseagles).  Now the plan is to do that on Monday also.

Lastly, I know that many students have been out sick as well.  Of course I will be flexible and work with them to help them make up any work.  I highly recommend that students who have been gone set up a time to meet with me to develop a plan for how they will complete the work, particularly the video watching and notes.

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