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PROJECT: changes made to MYP We are keeping what seemed to work pretty well from last year and then just adding in critical places a little bit more support.” Already in accordance with the new English Language Arts content expectations by the state of Michigan, English classes require students to complete an extensive research project on a topic thus Rubel explains the research necessary for the Personal Projects was a perfect fit as it will be substituted to fulfill the Michigan’s research requirements. “I think we all realized the biggest area of loss
of points for [the students’] score was in the way they did their written part — they didn’t document their sources properly and things like that — and so we as English teachers recognized we can help the kids out along those lines,” says Heymoss. “I think we saw a need that we could fulfill. The kids had something lacking in their projects and we have to do a research project or paper anyway because of our new state requirements. So four teachers [Mary Blair, Krista Laliberte, Danielle Harsh, and Christina Hammitt] joined
Mr. Rubel in the summer and hammered out a process whereby the kids could do all their research and their personal statement right in class for credit, and we kind of killed two birds with one stone,” says Heymoss. According to American Literature teacher Mary Blair the three and a half weeks spent in class working on the Personal Projects will not have a much of an impact on the content of the class or the material covered. “We’re not losing a large amount of time here,” she says. “I would say that maybe we had to
slightly quicken the pace in a sense where the students may have to read one or two more pieces on their own, something along those lines, but nothing drastic. We’re not losing a unit or we’re not going to not read a book because we don’t have time. We’re still doing everything that we did before.” Rubel is positive about the benefits the changes will bring to the students. “We’ll get through the wrinkles and maybe we’ll find that we need to make some changes each year, which is good.” He adds while looking through the pile of Personal Projects from last year, “but ultimately, we know that the experience is worthwhile.”
Published on Feb 19, 2011