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This site is designed for students and parents of Steve Chisnell’s programs at Royal Oak High School (MI). Public readership is welcome. You are welcome to use portions of Steve Chisnell’s posts with appropriate credit or citation. Student-authored work may be used by permission only.
I teach Language Arts courses at Royal Oak High School. Here are links to these classes, including some that I am not currently offering. Students and parents will find all of the necessary information about their courses here!
Being a part of the broader ROHS community means connecting into some of its many extra-curricular activities. I sponsor several, including Royal Oak Model United Nations, Interact youth Rotary, The Roost Student Union, and student service trips.
It doesn’t matter what class you’re in: understanding basic technology use, learning some writing tips, or refining your presentation skills–here are some ideas for everyone.
While my main goal with students is to improve their literacy, what that means becomes a bit complicated. Literacy means thinking critically–both deeply and broadly–about the culture in which we live and learn. Literacy means composition in traditional written forms but also oral performance, close reading skill, and digital composition. Developing literacy is a process rather than an end (I am still learning!), so experimentation, risk-taking, and failure are common: but growth as a writer composing within a dynamic world is not optional. This means authentic assessment projects, cross-disciplinary challenges, democratic participation and service, collaborative teamwork, professional discourse, and an inherent desire to learn are expected behaviors of the literate student.
Most all of my classes and clubs operate online as much as they do in live classroom meetings. Live human interaction is important, but students involved in online learning, communication and collaboration, portfolio production, and multimedia publishing is also a large portion of my courses. This frees our in-person class time for relevant discussion, teamwork, and student-driven inquiry rather than quiet work-time.
This is a fancy phrase which simply means that students are rewarded primarily for achieving success in several key areas of the curriculum (standards) and not by the number of points they earn from doing extra “work” or the amount of time it takes to learn that success.
Therefore, a student who earns an “A” on the seventh effort of an essay earns the same amount of credit as the student who earned it on the second try. It’s the success that matters. Equally, doing 100% of the assignments at 60% skill level does not demonstrate successful learning, and doing “extra credit” at the same level of performance may have once earned “points,” but points are not entirely relevant to grades. See the individual class pages to see how this is handled in each class and on MiStar.
My expectation is that all students succeed, but I recognize that not all students succeed in any skill on the same timetable. Therefore, any scores that fall below the “successful” standard (a “B,” a 3 of 4 pts, or a 6 on the AP 9-pt scale, etc.) may be revised until success is achieved. The conditions for revision vary for each assignment.
Learning By Controversy and Inquiry
MYP and College Board
Technology Access Expectation
Looking for some places to find programs for colleges, rankings, and straightforward approaches to financial aid? Here are some sources! Feel free to add your own in the Comments section! US News & World Report rankings College rankings by program College Board...
The Moodle App can save you a lot of time getting your work done (End of Theory, The Source, Nomads, etc.) and it works fairly well on any smartphone! Download the app on your favorite app store. Be sure to choose Moodle Mobile since it is the most reliable. Choose...
I wanted to give out an essay tip that Mr. Chisnell mentioned in the Flatland essay workshop over the summer. He said that it might be a good idea to start your essay by writing the body paragraphs first. Mr. Chisnell went on to explain that this might help in...
Education is Freedom.- Paulo Freire
What will destroy us:
When dialogue ends, everything ends.- Mikhail Bakhtin