Tuesday, August 16, 2011
They Survived the First Day of School...
I am happy to report that the first day of school was fantastic for both Caitlynne and Christopher. They were both eager to go back today so I guess that means something.
In addition to meeting many other boys, Christopher has a friend from basketball in four of his classes so he was very happy. His favorite class is an elective called "Math, Science and Technology Enrichment". There were some very interesting electives offered to the 6th graders so he opted not to learn a language (1 credit) and, instead take four electives (.25 credit each) - one each quarter - the Math, Science & Tech class, Public Speaking, Current Events and Science Expo. In addition to his core and elective classes, he will also take PE, drama, art and choir. 7th graders have 2 credits allocated for electives so Caitlynne chose to take French as well as art, public speaking and current events. She liked all of her teachers but thought they were all very young. She was disappointed to find that she does not have a single class with any of the 7th grade girls that she met over the last few weeks. They all met for lunch though and she will walk to and from school with them so there will be plenty of time for socializing. The classes are quite small (anywhere from 10 to 20 students) and Caitlynne seemed to think there were a lot more boys than girls in all her classes. The schedule of class days/ times is incredibly confusing (I thought it was a Bingo card when I first saw it) but the kids seem to have figured it all out and that is what matters.
Each middle school student is given a MacBook Pro on the first day and it is "theirs" for the rest of the year. Last night the kids spent some time getting the computer set up and I have to attend a class Wednesday to learn how to set parental controls, etc. Not fun but necessary. The school has an intranet and each student has access to his/her class webpages to view assignments, review class notes, complete and submit their homework, etc. The kids like this because, if they forget to write an assignment down or can't remember when a test is, they can check online immediately and not have to call 5 friends to get an answer (which answer, as experience has taught us, may or may not be correct). Having the kids complete and submit their homework online will be a new and interesting experience for us. I am not so thrilled about this aspect as I believe paper and pencils (and dictionaries, not spellcheck) remain an important part of learning. But, hey, it might just be me as I still read actual books and have not moved over to a Kindle or a Nook!