Trimester I: Final Comments
Z's performance in history last trimester has been a model of academic deportment. Her unceasing enthusiasm for the subject, the depth and urgency of her questions, the genuine care she put into her work, and the unsurpassable curiosity which accompanied her quest for knowledge—all were a sign of a great critical thinker. Although all of Z's assignments were of high quality, her final project stood out as one of the finest scholastic works produced by her classmates. Z's final assignment, which asked the students to engage in creative and expository writing in the form of a fairy tale and its historical annotations, truly demonstrated the sophistication of her analytical skills. Z's eloquent story created history; her knowledge of the subject matter reflected history; and her detailed and well-supported historical analysis, brought history and make believe together through her strong critical thinking skills. I applaud Z's academic achievement and encourage her to continue exploring.
Y's work ethic was outstanding last trimester. She was determined to have her performance reflect her expectations, and she spared no efforts in achieving this goal. Whenever there was a chance of revising a piece of work, Y took it. Whenever there was an extra credit opportunity, Y was the first one to submit her work. As a result of her persistent work effort, Y's grade was steadily climbing up throughout the trimester. I recommend that next trimester, Y continue her consistent academic work. I suggest she keep refining her writing skills, and I recommend she make and follow brief outlines for her arguments. In addition she needs to use more historical evidence to support her ideas. Employing various examples will help Y's analytical skills and will lead to a sophisticated historical understanding.
X is a hard-working and committed student of history with a strong sense of self-advocacy in her own learning process. She never hesitated to ask for help, and I was very impressed with her well-developed self-assessment skills: she knew exactly what she needed to work on to bring her performance to the level that pleased her. Some writing assignments posed challenges for X, but with her typical thoroughness and care, she steadily worked her way through them and learned in the process. I recommend she continue asking questions in history, which seemed to help her understanding a great deal. I encourage her to examine assignments critically and ask her questions before she does the work to make sure she stays on the right track and has a clear understanding of the teacher's expectations. I am sure that with X's determination and work ethic, her performance will continue to grow as the year progresses.
W is an exceptionally articulate student of history. Her written work has been excellent: W has a solid grasp of expository writing and has demonstrated a great mastery of organizing her arguments and supporting them with evidence. Although W was not the most frequent participant in class discussions, her comments were among the most profound. Whenever W chose to voice her opinion, the conversation was immediately taken to a deeper level of understanding. I believe W's excellence in both written and oral work is due to her well-developed critical thinking skills and the attention she pays to the world around her. I encourage W to continue the hard work she has done since the beginning of the year, and I am sure her scholarship will continue to reflect the high standards she sets for her performance.
V's passion for learning and her unceasing intellectual curiosity became apparent from the first day of history last trimester. V was never satisfied with a mere presentation of facts; she wanted to know why things happened as she made connections and looked for logical patterns in history. V practiced her critical thinking skills actively in writing and in discussions. The confidence and analytical reasoning of a debater could be seen clearly in V's class contributions. Likewise, her written work was often structured as debate arguments, which is a great way to organize expository writing. Thus, V's ability to think logically and build coherent arguments was well established; I would like to challenge V to continue deepening her well-structured thinking. I suggest she consistently use evidence to support her arguments, and I hope she continues to ask excellent questions.