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Mark Moraleda

Humanities Teacher
mmorelada@newrootsschool.org

 

 

Classes Teaching

Academic Writing

Here's a secret that most (if not all) accomplished writers know: more times than not, good writing does not happen on the first try. It is both a process and a skill that, like learning to play a soccer or the piano, takes time and practice in order to get better at. The goal of this course will be to improve the ability of students to express themselves in the written form. Students will practice elements of the writing process which include brainstorming/pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. They will practice these skills with various writing pieces which will include, but not be limited to, argumentative and research writing. As a result students will develop their understanding of important components that go into each. These components include writing from third person point-of-view, thesis statements, supporting evidence, counter-claims, and in-text citations, among others.

 

Humanities Expedition II (Social-Emotional Learning (SEL))

The primary goal of this course will be to improve the social and emotional competence of its students. Course will explicitly teach some of the current research-based practices being implemented toward Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). Practices directly address some long-standing issues that have prevented students from both personal and academic growth. Issues include, but are not limited to, egocentrism, lack of resilience, and underdeveloped psychosocial and executive functioning. Course will also explore current research in areas of identity, belonging, peer groups and introversion, among others. In order to acquire knowledge and understanding of concepts and issues, students will read some research. Readings will be accompanied by various songs, film clips, art, poetry, fiction, and autobiographies/biographies, and so students can identify, apply, analyze and evaluate SEL topics and concepts. All readings, discussions, and products completed throughout the course will lead to exploration and examination of experiences, decision-making processes, and emerging personalities of students themselves. Finally, students will create an original play (or musical), which will include and be loosely based upon events from students’ lives.

 

Philosophy

The goal of this class will be for students to develop their own individual philosophies regarding topics like moral standards, free-will, war, and our sense of place in the world. However, to reach this point, they will need to develop some tools with which to form and defend their respective philosophies. To help inform their thinking, students will be learning about some of the ideas that philosophers from Western societies - Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Kant and Kierkegaard - have introduced. Later in the year, students will also be introduced to some of the ideas that have influenced Eastern philosophical thought, which include Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.