Friday, June 27, 2008
MLA Grading Is Finished ... What Next?
On May 22, I received 12 MLA research papers to grade from my Intermediate Writing Class on topics varying from Louis Armstrong's influence on American Jazz music, Astrobiology, and the existence of dragons to the origin and need for toilet paper, Cesar Chavez's revolutionary ideas, and the original intent of the US Constitution. Unfortunately, one student (a graduating senior) didn't turn in a final project (and thus failed this semester) and three other students failed; two papers received A's.
After grading papers until 4:15 AM, I turned all but the astrobiology back on the last Class Day, June 12, and on the same day received six more papers from my Advanced Writing Class. (Two students didn't turn in papers, one failing the class and one receiving a C- rather than the strong A she had earned over the course of the year). These papers covered the topics of the Wii gaming system, global warming, the physical effects of forgiveness, aliens as demons, the effects of obesity, and Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.
Well, after helping to plan, shop for, and then assisting at our art council's "Taste of Art" summer art classes consisting of woodworking, acrylics, and crafts this Monday through Thursday (will post on the MECAC site in a few days), I haven't had much time for grading. So it was today, the final deadline for Heritage Christian School grades, that at last I e-mailed the grades to the parents and to the school and also snail-mailed the papers back to my students.
Whew! So all of the work associated with Class Day is completed for the school year -- a fact for which I am intensely thankful. It's been a long haul this year, with reluctant students, failing grades given to homeschooled students for the first time in my years of teaching at Heritage, several non-supportive parents as well as the first time I've tackled teaching BOTH high school writing classes. In the past, I've taught one or the other class, not both, but with so many students wanting to take high school writing, I didn't have much choice. It's been a very tough year at Class Day which was made bearable and even pleasant at times by encouraging and thankful notes and gifts from a few of my most motivated students, including handmade earrings, a gift certificate to my favorite tea shop, and a lovely candle.
Although the deadline for my own children's grades for Heritage also was today, I simply have not had time to pull together the scattered forces of my mind to start totaling up math, Latin, and vocabulary quizzes and tests, not to mention E's high school courses for her transcripts. I'm planning to tackle the stacks of ungraded papers on the school table Monday and mail in grades by the end of the day, Lord willing. My plan was to be done with all homeschooling endeavors by July 1, so I hope to just squeeeeeeeeze in the remaining work on the final day of June.
Yes, I still have textbooks to order for next year's schooling, but I have a pretty good idea of what I need to purchase for each child, and with the exception of E's high school texts (especially Spectrum Chemistry), it shouldn't be too expensive. E will need ABeka's American History, SMARR's American Lit, and Spectrum Chemistry. I have purchased her Bible curriculum already (Jason Boyett's Pocket Guide to the Bible); she already has her Saxon Algebra II book as she already started it this year, and she's finished with foreign languages after two years of Latin.
T will be starting Saxon Algebra 1/2, so I only need to purchase tests for him (and remember to copy them so I can reuse them for the younger boys when they reach 8th grade). The other two boys only need the consumable student texts for ABeka Math for grades 3 and 6. We'll be buying the rest of the Sonlight 7 books we don't have from the old one-year SL 6, which will include literature, readers, history, and religion for all three boys. (B will need his own level of readers, but will participate in the remainder of the SL 7 books; his readers will be from the old SL 2 books I have on the shelf.) We are planning to study astronomy for science which I purchased at the homeschool convention in May. I need to find the boys a good keyboarding program (Mavis just isn't cutting it), plus I need grammar books for J and T. I'll also be putting J and T through my own Beginning Writing Course on the Thursdays we're not at Class Day. I'm still debating between Latina Christiana II or Traditional Logic, both from Memoria Press; I may teach the logic but review vocabulary from Latina Christiana I on a weekly basis; we'll see. So it's not too much to purchase this year and minimal planning still to do; I should be able to make all purchases on a single day if finances allow or just an hour here or there if we need to spread out the purchases.
I am seriously hoping to spend most of July researching and writing a chapter of my book. I need to buckle down and tackle one of the planned chapters, researching and writing as I go. I hope to have a serious piece of writing at least in complete rough draft form by July 31.
I'm just so glad to be finished with all of the grading for Class Day courses for this school year. Yay! (Imagine me jumping for joy, please.) And now it's off to read more of Blue Like Jazz and get the grades done for our own students. But a huge burden is gone now -- two burdens, actually, if we count the art classes plus the writing courses, both of which have been hanging over my head and have required significant output of time, energy, and brainpower. I'm DONE!!!!!