It looks like a few of you are worried about your grades. Let's clear up how grading works, and what we can focus on now.
Assessments are 70% of your grade. When you look at teacherease, your average assessment grade will be very similar to the overall grade you got for the class. How do we get better at assessments?
1. TAKE NOTES! Take notes that make sense to you. You can add drawings, poems, diagrams, anything that makes them stick in your brain.
2. UNDERLINE WORDS YOU DON'T KNOW! Keep track of words you don't know and look up what they mean. If you learn one new word every day, after a year you will have learned 365 new words! You need to know a lot of vocabulary to pass the Regents.
3. LOOK OVER GRADED TESTS YOU GET BACK. The questions on each test are often related to each other, so if you stumbled on a past test, make sure you understand the mistake so you won't make it again.
4. COMMUNICATE! Find an appropriate time to talk to your teachers. Send us emails too. At appropriate times, talk to your classmates who are getting better test grades, and ask them what they're doing differently.
5. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE. If someone is distracting you, ignore them. If you're getting distracted every day, talk to your teacher at an appropriate time, or email us, and we can figure out strategies.
6. ESSAYS. The purpose of an essay is to give information that is relevant to your argument.
a. Focus on information, not on spewing out as many words as you can. You need at least two unique facts for each of your body paragraphs. Collect your total of 6 facts first, before you start writing.
b. Make sure you can write a sentence to explain how each fact connects to the main idea of the essay. If you can't connect the fact to the main idea, don't use it.
c. Break down your sentences! If you're using the word "and" or if you're using a comma, think about whether you can split that sentence into two or more sentences. Just because a block of words looks kind of like a paragraph, doesn't mean it is. If there are no periods, the whole block of words counts as one sentence.
For example, if you wrote something like:
Hammurabi was from Babylon and he was a leader and he thought he was sent by God so he wrote his Code of Laws and made everybody follow them.
Look at how many different ideas are in that sentence! You could break that sentence into 4 sentences, which is almost a full paragraph:
Hammurabi was from Babylon. He was the king of Babylon. Hammurabi claimed that his Code of Laws were sent by God. He claimed the laws were divine so that people would follow them.
You would then want to improve upon the sentences by adding your source citations (According to Document X...). In addition, you can add more information. If you're talking about where Hammurabi is from, what else can you add about Hammurabi's background that helps the reader understand your main idea?
You're all capable and we believe in you. Your teachers are working hard to make sure we do our best for you. If you do your best, we will be victorious!!!