One of Wheatley initiatives this year has been the 10th Grade Research Paper. Using the goal of having every 10th grader write a 5-page research paper, this initiative aimed to articulate and align the necessary research skills and experiences across grades so that all of our 10th graders would be prepared. This was an initiative that involved teachers in our English, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics and Special Education departments. Assisting across all departments has been our librarian, Ms. JoBeth Roberts.
At last night’s Board of Education Work Session, Wheatley students and faculty provided a wonderful overview of some of the work being done as part of this initiative. Led by Mr. Stephen Collier, our Secondary Chair for English, and Mr. Brian McConaghy, our Secondary Chair for Social Studies, the evening featured:
- JoBeth Roberts, our librarian, who discussed the tremendous online research tools available (for students) through Wheatley’s IMC web site
- Colin McKenna, one of our English teachers, who showcased some of the online editing tools students used, including Noodle Tools and TurnitIn. To showcase the research project completed in the ninth grade (along the theme of a human rights activist), Mr. McKenna introduced Micki Wain (Class of 2017), who discussed her research project on Kailash Satyarth.
- Lauren Blum, one of our English teachers, who showcased the 10th Grade research topic. The theme of the paper was connected to the work students had done during their reading of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Amanda Sivin (Class of 2016) was introduced to discuss her paper on the interpretation and understanding of beauty in the face of social media and photo tools found in apps such as Instagram.
- Jacob Freund, member of the Class of 2014, discussed his History Day project and the publication of his winning paper in the Journal of the West. Jacob though very highly of the assistance he received while working on his paper.
- Madison D’Ambrosio (Class of 2015) discussed her award-winning History Day website on the Pentagon Papers. Madison will be heading to Maryland in a few weeks to compete in the national competition.
The work on the Research Paper initiative has been a helpful and productive one this year. With every student having completed a significant research paper by the end of 10th grade, we can move forward with greater confidence next year as we expand the research paper into the 11th grade social studies classes.