What’s my schedule?

2015-2016

1st block everyday AP Gov

2nd block A Day – Law

2nd block B Day – Government

3rd block A Day – Government

3rd block B Day – Honors US History

4th block everyday – AP US

Best time to reach me – Any day after 1:30.

Silver Season

This year marks my 25th year working in education.     I am larger and balder, but just as ready for the beginning of a new school as I was back in the day.

This year I’m excited to be taking over for Mrs. Whitney in APUS and adding Honors US History to my course load.    I’ve had the opportunity to teach these courses in the past and they rank among my favorite things to do.    I spent a portion of my summer vacation attending an AP Summer Institute to prepare me for the newly redesigned exam.     I can’t wait to get at it.

Also, new this year for our AP courses will be the possibility of students receiving credits from the University of Maine, Fort Kent.   Students in AP Gov can receive three credits and APUS are eligible for six credits.   As a father of college student I know the true value of free credits.   The only students NOT eligible for these credits are those who are already taking two college credits in one semester.

This year in government will have the advantage of a presidential race heating up.    I’m looking forward to watching the stocks of individual candidates rising and falling.   I love to hear from parents about how their children is starting to take an interest in the outside world and that your chatting about it in the car or around the dinner table.

In all of my courses this year I’ll be making the transition to Proficiency Based grades.    Although not a gigantic change in the way I’ve done business for years it certainly will be different not putting an A 🙂 on rock star papers that cross my desk.   The parents in this region are probably more comfortable and well versed in grading 1 to 4, but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call me at 336-2151 extension 104.

I hope everyone’s school year gets off to a fantastic start.

– Mr. Nolette

Important Dates

Here are some dates you probably want to know about:

Trimester 1

September 1 to November 24

Trimester 2

November 30 to March 11

Trimester 3

March 14 to June 9 (plus the mountain of snow days we may or may not have received)

 

What’s been going ?

As the trimester hurtles to a close, I’m more keenly aware than ever that I’ve neglected this space for too long and it’s time for an update.

AP Government

Meeting on a daily basis is a real treat.    I’ve taught this course in the past on an every other day basis and it’s simply worse.   It’s a real pleasure for me to begin my day with such a wonderful group of students.

We’ve made steady progress toward preparing for the May exam.   We’ve spent time learning about the foundations of government and politics, researched the origins of the Constitutional Convention, debated the nature of federalism, and are currently in the thick of dissecting the Bill of Rights.

We begin almost everyday discussing world events and watching the occasional Saturday Night Live skit.    I hope you’ve seen an increase in their awareness of the outside world.      I make every attempt to link what’s happening in the world to how you might use it on the exam in May.     Nothing spices up an answer to a  Free Response Question than a timely example.

US History

My smallest group and a pleasure  to teach.    Thus far, we’ve examined the long and short term consequences of the Reconstruction period.    Our work took us from 1865 to 1965.   Students wrote strong essays showing what they know about the period.

We are currently discussing how a transformational change like the industrial revolution impacts the society.    We looked into how the mega rich lived and explored the demands of labor unions.   We’ll continue after break by checking out city and rural life.

Government

Much like AP Government, the government classes have explored the Constitutional Convention and are beginning the Bill of Rights.  Once we understand the basic structures of our government we’ll study the branches in more depth.

These classes often begin with a conversation about current events.   We had many discussions about the elections in November and their consequences.

Current Events

Today, this class walked out the door and the course has been completed.

Students engaged in many projects about what makes something newsworthy, how different countries interpret the same event, and looking for bias in the news.

We discussed a wide range of local, national, and international stories.    This is a fun course to teach because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

 

What’s your policy?

At the beginning of the year all students in all courses received a copy of my grading and behavior policies.      They read:

Objectives

Students will meet the objectives identified at the beginning of each unit of study.     

Grading

All grades given in this course will be based on a 1 to 4 scale.

1 – Fail to meet the standard

2 – Partially meets the standard

3 – Meets the standard

4 – Exceeds the standard

Major point of emphasis – Formal assessments will carry more weight when determining the final grade.   The instructor will make it ’s value clear when assigned.

College Credit

All students will take the AP Exam in May and have the opportunity to receive university credit depending on their chosen institutions policy.    Eligible students will be enrolled at the University of Maine, Fort Kent RuralU program.    Students who pass the course will be issues 3 credits from UMFK and may be eligible to transfer those credits based on their chosen institutions policy.

Responsibilities

Every student is expected to behave like a fine upstanding citizen.   Every student is expected to help create  a  positive learning environment.    Everyone, myself included, will adhere to the BJSHS PBIS responsible and respectful expectations.  Students who deviate from this course will be dealt with accordingly.   

Preparation

Every student is expected to come to class prepared to learn.    Every student come to class every day with their iPad.    Students need to take care of personal business (phone calls, visiting lockers, use of the restroom, etc) prior to beginning of class.    Students are expected to begin working immediately upon arriving to class. 

What’s my grade?

Grades for my courses can be found at http://powerschool.rsu10.org/public/.

I make every effort to keep current on grading, but occasionally life gets in the way.    It might take a little awhile for me to unbury myself from the correcting pile.

Please be assured that I work diligently to make sure no one is surprised at the end of the trimester.

If you’re concerned about a lack of academic progress, don’t hesitate to contact me at mnolette@rsu10.org.

Where’s My Kids Stuff?

At the beginning of the school year I polled each class and offered them the following choice:  I could give them assignments by a. paper b.  eBackpack c. a website or d. through the district email software FirstClass.

The nearly universal choice was a. paper with a b. eBackpack back-up.

So, this means all of our child’s work has been given to them and can be found buckfield.ebackpack.com.

Your student has a username and password for that website.

Bringing it to Buckfield

Hello!

My name is Mike Nolette and I’m new to Buckfield, but a veteran teacher.   This year marks my 24th year involved in education.     From 1991 to 2001, I taught at Mt. Valley High School and would still be there had it not been for an opportunity of a lifetime.

In 2001, I left MVHS mid-year to work for an educational non-profit.   My role there was to work with teachers using technology in the classroom and help administer a $7 million federal government.    The purpose of the grant was to reward teachers for great ideas and help those ideas spread to other classrooms.    At just about every step of the process we were rewarding teachers with money and prizes.   I was an educational Santa Claus for six years.

Also, during this time period I worked Maine’s Laptop Initiative helping to train teachers across the state of Maine.     My work with Apple extended into several other states as well.

Alas, giving away money is a horrible business model and when the grant ended it was time to find new work.  Fortunately for me a job at Dirigo High School opened up just when I needed it.

For the last eight years I have been teaching social studies right down the street from my home.    I’ve been lucky enough to teach my own child for several years and walk home at lunch to share a lunch with Siri, our lab.

During the budget apocalypse of 2014 my position at DHS was reduced and I was asked to transfer to Buckfield .    Leaving DHS has not been an easy task, but I knew Buckfield was a small place with a caring staff and good students.

Thus far my transition has been made easy by the caring people here at BJSHS.    It’s been a warm welcome (and a few scorching days) and I’m looking forward to making connections in this community.

Feel free to contact me at any time.   The phone number of the school is (207) 336-2151 or for a quicker response my email is mnolette@rsu10.org.