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Mr. Smith
About Me

2017 graduate of Upper Valley Educators Institute

Served as teacher intern in Hanover High English department in spring 2017 and at Richmond Middle School in fall 2016

Taught 6th and 7th grade language arts at Indian River School in spring 2016

Moved to teaching following a 10-year career in communications at Dartmouth College

About Humanities

In quarter two 8th graders focused on researching and writing a thesis-based essay about whether the Confederate monuments should stand or fall. Students found reliable sources, compiled Cornell notes, and wrote papers using reasoning and evidence to support their claims. Along the way, students compared two articles that tried to make sense of the myth of Robert E. Lee. They also read other Civil War texts including an overview, an excerpt from the book "Killer Angels," and an account with primary sources about two brothers fighting on opposing sides of the war. We also examined the use of rhetoric and ethos, pathos, and logos in a remarkable 2017 speech by Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, and we read the short story "The Flowers" by Alice Walker. Ideally, students left the unit understanding that the monuments decision is a multifaceted issue that involves facts and history, emotion and rhetoric, and the country's continuing struggle with race relations. Some students may have left agreeing with John Quincy Adams, who once said "Democracy has no monuments"! Next term we will continue studying government while reading "Animal Farm," and we will start examining World War II. 

About 7th Grade Language Arts

In the second quarter 7th graders practiced note-taking and comprehension strategies with stories including "The Gift of the Magi," "Fish Cheeks," and chapters in the book, "Blizzard of Glass," about the 1917 Halifax explosion. Students also wrote a summary of a "Yankee" magazine article about the 100th anniversary of the explosion and Nova Scotia's continued custom of sending a Boston a Christmas tree every year. In the days leading up to the holiday break, students produced "commercials" for objects in class. They used language and style to convince classmates that their invented products were absolutely necessary. Most recently, students wrote character analysis papers about a person in their independent reading books. Key to this assignment was using evidence - in this case quotes from the text - to support reasoning. Next, students will read a book about a refugee and write a literary analysis paper. Along the way, we'll respond to some writing prompts and continue listening to the wonderful book, "Home of the Brave," about a refugee from Sudan.