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Faculty Highlights: Week of November 7

• Mr. Vrecheck subbed for Mrs. Clemens’ Intro to Art class and took on a water color project with the freshmen.  He even explicitly drew comparisons between calculations students had to make for the project and Algebra. 
• Mr. Enright’s Intro to Law exam provided students with a copy of Mrs. O’Leary’s affidavit for a mock trial on the Chicago Fire.  Students are assessed on their ability to construct a sound argument in defense of their assigned cause – just as a lawyer would for his or her client.     
• Mr. Awe and Mrs. Millsap’s Biology exam required students to interpret given data provided on tables in the exam.  This mimics the ACT’s College Readiness Standard “interpolate between data points on a table or a graph.”  
• Mr. Behzadi’s final exam began by showing students one of the final scenes from Batman when a group of civilians on a boat were faced with the moral dilemma of deciding between saving themselves and detonating a bomb on another boat full of criminals or risking losing their own lives and refusing to detonate the bomb.  Students were required to articulate a response to this dilemma from established moral thinkers like John S. Mill, Immanuel Kant and Aristotle. 
• Students in Mr. Behzadi’s Theology III class also created a commercial selling these moral thinkers’ unique approach to ethical decision-making.  Not only was this a creative and engaging idea for students -- watching the commercials was a great way to review for the final and prepare for the essay described above. 
• Mr. Haggerty and Mr. Goolsby’s Journalism Final provided students with specific examples of poor journalism and asked students to select which element of journalistic ethics is most lacking (fairness, attribution, right of reply or rebuttal or good taste).  Clearly, students in this class don’t just learn how to write, they learn how not to write and how to critically examine the work of other writers.  The exam also included an editing section that was formatted like an ACT English section. 
• Mr. Mota’s AP Spanish IV final does not have one word written in English on it.  Students are required to translate a passage from Don Quixote as part of the exam. 
• Dr. Berry and Mr. Sweany’s Latin finals provide students with unseen works in Latin, guaranteeing that the exam assesses students’ translating skill and knowledge of Latin – as opposed to their ability to memorize a translation previously covered in class. 
• Mr. Good and Mr. Blew collaborated on an Excel level Algebra final that goes beyond requiring students to merely solve equations, it requires students to use given information in word problems to create equations.  Again, this is aligned to the College Readiness Standard which asks students to “solve real-world problems with first degree equations.” 
• Mrs. Tierney and Mr. Taylor included an English ACT section as part of their final exam.  ACTs are useful as they assess the College Readiness Standards and help us to determine what students most need to be successful in college. 
• Mr. Daly’s English II final also measures College Readiness Standards as it requires students to interpret the meaning and main ideas of passages students had not yet seen.  Students are also challenged in an essay to discuss Hamlet as a “revenge tragedy.” 
• Mr. Flaherty’s U.S. History final asked students to evaluate various arguments about events in American history.  As students now live in a world where fact memorization has become less and less useful, this exam evaluates the skills students most need in the 21st century.  Students also had to analyze a poem written by a young Englishman who was sent to Virginia to work as an indentured servant.  
• Mr. Himes’ Web Video classes made documentaries on “A Day in the Life of a Mount Carmel Student” as their final exam.  The exam came with a detailed rubric and students were required to post their videos to youtube by the end of the exam period.