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Faculty Highlights: Week of September 12

  •  After using our library databases to research, Mr. Timbers’ freshmen were asked to take a position on social networks and write papers that either argued for their use or against their use.  This assignment asked students to think critically, write clearly and research and evaluate information – 3 of our “Essential Skills.” 
  • Fr. Peter discussed Carmelite History with Mr. Timbers’ Theology I class.  Fr. Peter is also beginning a grief group for students who are victims of bullying.    
  • Mr. Behzadi allows students who are willing to come in before or after school to re-take quizzes they didn’t do well on.  This is yet another way to send the message that learning isn’t “over” when an assessment is given – and yet another example of growth mindset. 
  • While Mr. Iwerson’s students wrote autobiographical narratives in his class, he told his students to think of what they saw, heard, or smelled and instructed them to write about that when they experience “writer’s block.”  Mr. Iwerson’s showed his students specifically how to struggle through the obstacles students regularly face when tackling academic work.  This was a lesson in perseverance as much as a writing lesson.
  • After a quick lecture, Mr. Glonek’s students used given information from their books to infer the acidity of various substances.  Mr. Glonek has transformed G104 into a productive learning environment where every student seems eager to be involved.  Mr. Glonek’s science posters on the wall, displayed student work and motivational posters have all sent powerful messages to students that learning is paramount and student work is valued.
  • Mr. Mota and Ms. McKay are organizing a trip to Spain over spring break this year and met with parents of interested students on Tuesday evening this week to review logistics.  Mr. Mota and Ms. McKay’s extra work and collaboration will expand our curriculum overseas during a school break and provide a rare opportunity for our students. 
  • Mr. Hansen placed students in groups to answer questions about arguments for the proof of the existence of God and randomly collected one student’s answers to assign the group a grade.  This required every student not only to record the group’s discussion himself, but to hold his classmates accountable to the group’s work.  This is a creative way to hold our students accountable to collaborating.    
  • As Ms. Mayhan’s World History class covers all of the world’s religions, she had students sing a song written about the Bodhi Tree designed for young people studying Buddhism.  I am sure no one would be surprised to hear that Ms. Mayhan’s students sang with enthusiasm and I am sure no one would be surprised if every student remembered Buddha’s story as well. 
  • Mrs. Tierney’s English IV students were divided into groups to lead seminar discussions on various topics found in Beowulf.  In preparation for the seminar, Mrs. Tierney showed our students how to use our library’s databases to find what others have said about Beowulf.  Seminar topics include investigations into the concepts of kingship, heroism, symbolism, fate, fatalism, folklore, and superstition.  
  • On Wednesday morning all faculty worked to synchronize and update our curriculum guides in anticipation of our upcoming Quality Assurance Review.  Although this is tedious work, these documents are on their way to becoming another way we can approach the learning of our students as a team and another way we will impress our review team. 
  • Mrs. Smola displays the birthdays of students in her Studium on one of her bulletin boards.  This is a great way to make Studium space feel like home for students.  During a review for a test this week, she showed students how to utilize electronic sources on her textbook’s website.  Be sure to check out the e-resources that come with many of our textbooks.  Mrs. Smola didn’t just give a test and expect her students to study for it – she showed them exactly how to prepare for the test. 
  • John Haggerty organized today’s Freshmen Retreat which included presentations from Mr. Stimler, Mr. Hansen, Mrs. O’Connor, Mr. Antonietti, Padre, and Mr. O’Connor.  Our seniors led small group presentations and some gave talks to large audicences of freshmen.  This afternoon, Fr. Tony, Padre, Fr. Peter, Fr. Marlon and Br. Dave enrolled all of our freshmen in the Carmelite Scapular. 
  • Mr. Antonietti didn’t just ask his seniors to respond to questions on Beowulf.  He gave them a clear step-by-step process on how to answer his questions in one paragraph.  His directions instructed students to start with a topic sentence that answers the question directly, then provide textual evidence (by quoting Beowulf directly) to support the topic sentence, and lastly, explain what effect the evidence achieves and how it achieves that effect.  By explaining exactly how to write responses to essays, students learn how to create clear literary interpretations – a skill they will use throughout their lives.   
  • Mr. Bogucki’s Spanish I students work on mistakes they make on their Spanish quizzes by answering the questions: What mistake did I make?  What did I do wrong?  What can I do in the future to avoid making that type of mistake again?  What is the correct answer?  This approach uses assessment as the start of learning as opposed to end of learning and is another great way to promote a growth mindset in our students. 
  • Congratulations to Coach Frank Lenti who soon will surpass the record to be Illinois’ all-time winningest football coach.  Most impressive about Coach Frank and his extraordinary staff is not the number of wins they’ve accumulated but the way they have won.  The discipline, dedication and passion seen in our football program shows us at our very best.

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