JT's first year of high school went well. PHAA's graduation requirements are:
Four credits of English
Three credits of math
Three credits of science
Three credits of social studies
Two credits of arts and humanities
He earned seven of his fifteen this year. One credit each for English, algebra, biology, American government, German 1, music (drums), and creative game design. This was the first year I had to grade all of his work. Usually I only graded spelling tests and the occasional worksheet. He ended up with all As. I was surprised to find he cared as much as he did about his grades. When he looked through the portfolio of his work and saw that he had some lower grades on a few activities in the Rosetta Stone he seemed to want to go back and do it again to improve his score. After so many years of not worrying about grades, he seems happy to see some measure of his work.
I think the most interesting thing we did this year was his creative game design credit. I put together a very basic rubric that he had to meet to consider the class finished.
1. Learn about aspects of game design via books, blogs, and other online sources.
2. Design and develop a playable prototype of a card game, create a rough draft rule book, and alpha version of cards.
3. Playtest the game with a variety of players multiple times. Do extensive self testing. Request feedback from players and incorporate suggestions into the game.
4. Complete a 2500 word essay about aspects of game design and how you applied what you learned through your research to your own game.
EM did a great job this year. We spent a lot of time working on sentence diagramming to help him with his understanding of grammar and writing. He read a lot of books, completed a 6th grade spelling workbook, and studied analogies. He flew through Singapore math 6A and B. He studied a few units of a 6th grade science textbook, but spent the bulk of his year learning about electronics using the Great Courses Understanding Modern Electronics DVDs and doing projects with his dad. We continued our time line study of American history by reading presidential biographies starting with Grover Cleveland and finishing with Franklin Delano Roosevelt this year. His geography unit focused on the countries of Asia and he wrote a report on Mongolia and a poster presentation on India. He learned about the writing of the Constitution in his civics unit and made great progress in his first year of piano lessons.
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I will put together one more post before I take my planned break for the summer. Once I have the final outline this week for next year, I will share my plans and then it's off to the pool!