PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Writing on our radar. Now, reading.

Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. -Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Over the past few weeks, we have been working hard on our evolution as writers in 7th grade Humanities.  This process has been long and messy, but ultimately progressive, and I truly believe that each student has improved his or her skills along the way.

Part of growing as writers means shedding the skin of old habits that no longer apply in the current context of scholarship.  Formal, academic writing asks us to pen our thoughts without using “I” or “you,” and instead refer to ourselves as “one” or “the reader.” Letting go of the “I think’s” and “In this essay, I will explain’s” has been a slow, but steady endeavor, but many students have made the leap.

In addition to focusing on formal language, we have been discussing the correct use of commas–a hot topic in our Humanities classroom!  Finally, we have been analyzing our own analysis. What?! The key word here is metacognition.  One of the most common mistakes I found in the American Revolution assessments is that students often use a quote as evidence to support a claim, but their analysis of the quote does not accurately reflect what the quote is stating.  To address this issue, we will take a deep dive into analyzing complex language in order to find insight in our upcoming unit on the classic novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

This week in class, we will be building background knowledge on Hinduism, Buddhism, Hermann Hesse, novel-specific content vocabulary, and mindfulness practices that will allow students to access and understand this complex, vocabulary-rich text.