I hope you had time this past weekend to soak in the absolutely gorgeous weather. I can't count the number of times I said to my husband, "Wow, it's gorgeous outside!" Like many people, fall is my absolute favorite season. I love cool mornings and warm afternoons, I love baking with pumpkin, football games, the leaves changing, and the perfect running weather. I love taking walks in the early evening with my family. The sunsets are to die for out in the country where we live. Since I've lived in Kentucky, I've learned that the smell of smoking tobacco barns (is that the right description?) is the number one giveaway fall is here. I absolutely LOVE this part of the year.
We began Unit 2 last week. The essential question guiding this unit is completely different from the last. Students are answering the question "Why is it important to be a smart consumer in the 21st century?" Of course, students are learning to master Common Core Standards in this unit. We're focusing on the informational writing standards in addition to reading standards asking students to identify theme and main idea and their development in a text, citing textual evidence to support inferential and explicit analysis, and the meaning and impact of words and phrases in a text. We are also focusing on Language Standards as we prepare for the EXPLORE test during this unit.
The text we're using all focus on the theme of consumerism and we're trying to get our students to think outside the box. They quickly identified food and advertisements as things we consume; we also had them to think about the lyrics in the music they sing and listen to and the news reports they listen to and watch, to name a few. We showed several advertisements from Dove's Beauty Campaign and as a woman, I loved watching my female students' mouths drop as they watched the face of a woman photoshopped for an advertisement. We had a great discussion about the unrealistic expectations both men and women have on the outside appearance of women and how it affects them as teenagers. This week's Article of the Week focuses on how food companies get around commercial limitations in children's programming. Several companies are creating online games and cell phone apps that "blur the lines between entertainment and advertising." I can't wait to see how they respond to the reflection question in the next few days.
The EXPLORE test will take place on Wednesday, September 25! This test is the a stepping stone for the ACT taken in 11th grade. 8th graders take the EXPLORE test, 10th graders take the PLAN test, and juniors take the ACT. The EXPLORE test results will give students a picture of where they stand on the ACT prep spectrum since both EXPLORE and PLAN are preparing students for the actual ACT. The ACT is an extremely important test that students need to prepare for. Getting into the college of their choice may depend on their score. We're excited for our students to have the opportunity to take this test. Parents, please talk to your child about th