Hey Mom and Dad!!!
Glad to see ya stop by and find out about this class! It’s pretty amazing… Like nothing you and I ever saw in school, that’s for sure!
So if you’d like to know about the program expectations for your student, you can check out our Orientation Lobby and meet the TEAM! Your child can give you a tour and let you know what it’s like. They might also want to give you a tour of the Lobby– it’s pretty strange, but in the best possible way!
My Suggestion for Checking Your Child’s Progress:1 Check their Progress in the GAME! Have them log in to this site, and show you their stats page! At the end of the first 5 weeks, they should be done with BOOT and should have 22 missions mastered. If they’re not there, they are behind!
2 Check out their BLOG! The blog is where everything is updated and kept in order- it’s how we “turn assignments in” in our class. The address for your child’s blog is Http://sthswolves.com/p06XXXXXX. (replace p06XXXXXX with their student number) They should know the address, as they should be on it at least 3x a week!
3 Check Focus. All grades were updated on Feb 10, 2016- and include any new information or missing work brought to me by students today, Feb 11.
I’m a huge dummy! I messed up and the grades aren’t showing on interims released 2/11/15.
I have updated all grades in FOCUS and you can get the most current info there. But I really hope that you take the chance to look at your child’s portfolio website and also their progress in the GAME. Let them show you what we’re doing here… It’s innovative and exciting! 🙂
Sorry about the grades, I take full responsibility that they aren’t on the progress reports- but they ARE updated and current in FOCUS!
Grading is not done in my class like a normal class. I’m looking for work habits and innovation, not rote memorization. There are never tests, never homework, and never a pop-quiz. Everything is hands on. The software we use is expensive, so there’s really no way to expect homework to be possible. That’s the good news. The bad news is that SINCE there is no homework, I want ALL OF THE TIME that your child is in class. Focus on being creative in your own way for the whole class period. If they choose to do their own thing in my class period, they’ll owe me that time back. This generally means time after school. If they can’t serve it, that’s OK… but it will come off of their grade. If they have the software at home, if you’re willing to write a note telling me that they made up 30 minutes doing a tutorial or something for you at home in one of our applications, I’ll accept that as well.
Also, I don’t often update in Focus. This is not a standard class, so it’s hard to conform to standard rules. The bottom line is that everyone gets a “C” or better if they are constantly working during class- even if they have a hard time with the concepts and don’t completely “get it.” If they keep a journal daily, they’ll have an “A” or a “B”. (I’ve never had a student get just a “C” if they were working every day, by the way.)
When they say they don’t “get it…”
If your child is not passing, he/she has made the choice not to engage in the class, it has nothing to do with not “getting it.” I’ve had lots of students with no technical or artistic ability succeed easily in my program (and believe me, I mean absolutely NO artistic/technical skill). All they have to do is show effort and participate in class, and they are guaranteed a “C” in the class. That’s with a complete failure of all technical and artistic skills. If they have less than a “C,” they are simply being irresponsible with their time and not participating in class at all.
Should I get the software you use in class at home?
I’d say only make the purchase if your child is REALLY into it, and staying after school to do extra work. If they show that kind of dedication… they’ve earned it and will most likely stick with it. They should also contract with you to continue to take the class for the rest of their high school career. If they don’t want to do that, it’s probably a phase and might be a waste of money.
Want to know more about my classroom strategies and philosophies?
Just jump over to the teacher’s page… I have a lot of articles there on how I teach and why I teach the way I do. The bottom line is that I teach problem solving and responsibility through art and technology.
What does the work look like that comes out of the program?
Well, you can poke around the site to see examples of excellent student work (there’s a play button in the top right). Keep in mind, these students got the exact same instruction that your child did- the video based training guarantees that! So your child can get there, too!!! It only takes effort!