Change in Schedule for Next Week
A few trends have emerged as I’ve been reviewing your midterm exams. First, there is a clear distinction between a group of students who are able to work in the current course format and those who are struggling. This manifests in everything from knowledge of content to organization/preparation/study skills, etc. While I’m still finishing the F Period exams, I would suspect that about 1/3 of the students are demonstrating a mastery of the content, another 1/3 have an acceptable level of knowledge, and about 1/3 are in desperate need of improvement. The second trend is that it is painfully clear that the majority of students are not doing the requisite work for the course. Honestly, its simple (& was outlined explicitly in the syllabus):
- Read the assigned pages in McMahon (online)
- Complete the corresponding questions for the Study Guide
- Watch the related documentary material
- ASK RELEVANT QUESTIONS in class
- Complete your optional seminar (Gaddis, Research/IA, or Readings)
Consequently, I’m reconfiguring the schedule for two weeks in order to give you all an opportunity to get back on track. To be perfectly honest, I am not comfortable with this level of “hand holding” especially for Year One IB Students. You are perfectly capable of (a) reading & studying on your own each day and (b) advocating for yourself when it comes to your own understanding of the material. I expect each of you to say/yell/use semaphores when you ‘don’t get it’ so that I can help facilitate the content and supporting exercises so that you can develop a mastery of the skills & content necessary for you to be successful.
Here’s the revised schedule (beginning tomorrow)
Friday: Video: Watch and DISCUSS (I’m still surprised by the fact that many of you don’t ask questions in class) Cuba
For the Weekend: Read “Eyeball to Eyeball” in McMahon (Chapter 5). Complete the corresponding questions in the study guide. PRINT these out and give me a hard copy when you come to class on Monday. Please don’t make me explicate a list of consequences in case you don’t complete this; the learning itself should be motivation alone…
Monday: All Students-In class exercises on “The Cuban Missile Crisis”
Tuesday/Wednesday: (probably the best film + book on the subject) Watch & DISCUSS Thirteen Days (Felipe, can I have my DVD back, please?)
Thursday: All Students: Finish DISCUSSING and watching Thirteen Days
Friday: Readings Seminar, ‘The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited” (Sophie has the presentation)
For the Weekend: Referencing the film Thirteen Days, create a graphic organizer (using XMind) that explains the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis across all three Levels of Analysis (Individual, State/Society, and System).
I’ll have these changes rectified on the calendar by tomorrow. For those of you in the Gaddis Seminar, take this opportunity to get ahead in Gaddis. For those conducting a second Research IA, please email in the next few days me to schedule some time to sit down and discuss your progress on both your research question and your collection of primary and secondary source material.