Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Stepping into CI - Officially Up and Running

Hello all!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I announce that the new mother site is up and running, in official terms! Below you'll find a quick overview of what we currently offer or are beginning to offer. You can read the detailed announcement here.

What's Changing?

  1. The blog is still up and running, but you can find access to all of our resources here: www.steppingintoci.com. Be sure to bookmark this site!
  2. We have become three! Pomegranate Beginnings Publishing/Stepping into CI now includes: Miriam Patrick, Rachel Ash, and Robert Patrick Ph.D.
  3. We are widening our offerings. Up until now, you may have seen our blog posts, our publications, the book studies, and our podcast. Now we are offering a wider range of ways to get a regular dose of CI, and new materials for you and your students. 

Okay, so.... What are you offering?

Glad you asked :) 

  • Free
    1. The Pomegranate Beginnings blog has always been and will remain free. You can always check it out here, and get updates via Facebook, email, or Twitter.

    2. Book Studies with Rachel and Miriam is a somewhat new endeavour for us (we are on our second book study), but we will continue to provide this for free.

    3. Our most recent offering is the Stepping into CI Podcast. This by monthly podcast includes the voices of Miriam, Rachel, and Bob along with special guests. There are a variety of topics up for discussion. Past topics include: Our favourite CI things, reports from the field, Free Voluntary Reading, and Why CI.
  • Paid Subscription
    1. CI Bites is a brand new offering from Bob Patrick, Ph.D. When you subscribe to Stepping into CI, you will get a bi-weekly email from Bob with CI tips and inspiration. Be sure to check out the sample!

    2. The Latin Listening Project was born out of Rachel's desire to have easy listening for learners of Latin. Miriam began the first series of the LLP with her horror series Sonitus Mirabilis. When you subscribe, you'll have access to every episode, including a complete vocabulary list and transcripts for each episode.

    3. Lastly, Miriam, Bob, and Rachel are offering exclusive organised units from their own successes in their classrooms. Each unit will be neatly packaged for teachers to access online and will include a variety of activities, tasks, and resources.

Where does the subscription money go?

As always, Pomegranate Beginnings Publishing/ Stepping into CI strives to be transparent. The three of us are also teachers and we know that money is not free flowing. We want to honour your time and money. We offer two subscriptions options:

1. Monthly ($4 per month)
2. Annual ($36 per year)

The money goes to help run the site and to provide all of these resources and materials, both free and paid.

Okay, sign me up! 

Great! Join us at Stepping into CI. And don't forget to join the conversation online:

Pomegranate Beginnings Publishing on Facebook

Pomegranate Beginnings Publishing on Twitter


Monday, September 25, 2017

FVR - A Whole New World

I have stopped and started my blog post on my FVR project from last year so many times and yet, I never finished it. I think the reason was because I wasn't ever 100% happy with how it was going or the outcome, and I also didn't quite know why, so I didn't feel comfortable reflecting on it until I figured it out.

It is still a work in progress, but I am at a point where I feel that I have pulled some great things from it and changed some things for the better. I do intend to do at least one follow up, maybe two. Today's post is going to detail what I did last year, briefly, what I think went well and what didn't, and my new project for this year. I do want to go ahead and give a plug for Rachel's and my book study this semester because it is playing a HUGE role in how I've changed things. Also, you can hear more about this experience in today's Stepping into CI podcast. The details are at the bottom of this post.

Last Year

The Plan

Last year I knew that I wanted to implement a Free Voluntary Reading project. I knew that I wanted to give kids choice, but also that I wanted to provide assistance to students who needed it. What I put together ended up serving its purpose, but did not end up being what I wanted.

Set up
* groups of 3-4 separated by class and book

* once every two weeks = 52 minutes (class period) of reading and discussing
* end of each period, fill out survey about what they read, what help they need, and what they want to know
* after reading, working on final project surrounding book

My Role
* observe
* help as needed
* grade projects

The Outcome

As I said, I feel this ended up serving its purpose. Students read books they chose, students supported each other with my help, however I wasn't ultimately happy with it. Student projects (as always) ranged from not turned in to so amazing I tweeted images of their work and ran down the hall to show my colleagues. However, it just didn't sit right with me. I didn't feel "good" (if you will) about this way of doing it:
  1. There was little/no avenue for students to change books if they were finished/didn't enjoy the book. Because they were working in larger groups of 3-4, one or two people changing the book severely messed with the process of others. It wasn't logical to have them switch books. It also required more copies of the book in my room at any given time. While this isn't usually an issue, if one of the other Latin teachers needed a class set, we didn't have enough copies. 
  2. The project took longer than expected. My original intent was for them to work on the project after reading and to have the project be a window into what they read and how the interpreted it. What I found, however, is that students, when presented with the idea of a project, were open to it, but procrastinated so much that they didn't have time to switch books. Also, the question presented itself (and I didn't have an answer) of whether or not groups had to do a project for each book they read. 
  3. Groups were a double edge sword. Groups provided support. They allowed students to bounce ideas off each other and help each other when needed. They also allowed for students to fall through cracks (if I wasn't careful) or for students to game the system. I had some students who needed my direction nearly every time at first because they'd let their group do it for them. I had others who needed my direction nearly every time towards the end because they figured out they were good enough to skim some books and get the gist.
Ultimately I realised (and I already knew this), the point was reading -- not projects -- not being with friends -- not discussion. Reading is what FVR is all about. 

This Year

You can hear a lot more about how things are going this year on today's Stepping into CI podcast (details below). In this post, I want to focus on the logistics and details of what I am doing. 

Physical Set Up

Originally, my books were housed in a basket at my desk. This served its purpose, but made students get in a line because it was so small. Recently, I purchased a small toddler bookshelf. It sits on top of another shelf where we store notebooks and makes the novellas look a little more like a library. This not only serves the purpose, but helps set the space in a more pleasing way as well. 

Students sit in chairs (we are deskless) for reading. I also allow them to sit on the floor or lay down, if they choose. This is not a problem for me personally or my school in general. By setting the space with my expectations (see below) I rid myself and them of any behaviour issues as well. 


In my room, we read three days of the week, for ten minutes at the beginning of class. Two of these days are silent reading. One day is paired reading and discussion. This allows for students to confirm things with each other, ask questions, and share what they enjoyed (or didn't) from each novella. 

We read. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. We read. When I say "we", I mean "we" -- the students, and me. I read too. This is really important I feel if we want FVR to be successful. If students see us working on other things they'll feel as though reading is busy work for them. If students see us staring at them or watching them "like a hawk" they will feel punished. But, if students see us reading, especially if we read what they are reading, they begin to see the importance of reading and don't even wonder about the "why". 

Current "Outcomes"

Really, this should be left for another post, but I am already seeing great things from FVR that I just HAVE to share:

  • my students are reading. on their own. 
  • my students are reading. in a second language. on their own. 
  • some of my students are taking books home to read. 
  • some of my students are telling me how much they love the books they read. 
  • some of my students are begging me for more time to read. 
  • my students love to see me read, especially if it is the book they are reading, and love to tell me how they feel about it and hear my thoughts, as if we were part of a secret club. 
and lastly.... my students are reading! :) 

Find More

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A New Year, A New PBP!

Oh my, is it already August? I know some of you are just getting into the thick of your summer break, but here in Georgia, we are back already! Rachel and I are just in the midst of pre-planning while others welcomed students back this week. As we prepare for this school year, Rachel and I have been reflecting on how far Pomegranate Beginnings has come and the exciting things Rachel and I have been working on for this new year.

This post is a break from our regularly scheduled posts, because it is all about new and exciting things for Pomegranate Beginnings! These things are slowly being rolled out and we can’t wait to share them all with you!

A Welcome

Rachel and I are very excited to welcome Dr. Robert Patrick officially to the PBP team! You may have seen his guest posts from time to time on our site and you may already know that PBP published his book Itinera Petri: flammae ducant. Now, he is officially part of the PBP team. Both Rachel and I are connected to Bob in a variety of ways. I am proud to be his daughter and his colleague at Parkview High School. He serves as an inspiration, sounding board, teammate and so much more for both of us. Bob comes to our team with a plethora of great ideas and thoughts on what we already do and how we can move forward. Look for more from him soon!

Pomegranate Beginnings Publishing, LLC

As we welcome our newest member to PBP, we are also taking the step to become more official when it comes to selling our books and guides. Taking this step will allow us to offer bulk purchasing options for schools. You may see some changes to our publications page as we go through this. If you ever have any questions about purchasing books from us, you can contact us here.

Blog posts, Podcasts, and Book Studies Oh My!

Rachel, Bob, and I have long been working on a variety of ideas that come from our own desires and feedback we’ve received from you all. To that end, you will begin to see some changes to this site and how PBP provides its resources to you. While some of these are ready and available for preview NOW, others will roll out as we go forward:

  1. New Mother Site - Slowly we will be moving to a brand new “mother” website. This will serve as the new home for all of our products and resources. You can check out what we’ve got so far at: steppingintoci.weebly.com.
  2. New Subscription Service - As we move into our new mother site, you will have the option to enjoy both free and subscription items. This is a marriage between all our ideas and the subscription service will help maintain the website and the work we do. While the subscription service is not running yet, it will be up in the next few weeks! In the meantime, you can always check out our free resources and preview many of the things you would find in our subscription service. More details will come about how you can sign up for this.
  3. Blog Posts - As always, our blog posts will remain as you have enjoyed them these past few years: free. They will continue to be published by Rachel, Bob, I and guest bloggers as well. Please keep reading, commenting, and sharing!
  4. Book Studies - This past year, Rachel and I began a book study project. We have already published our series on James F. Lee’s book Tasks and Communicating in the Language Classroom. You can check it out here! Our book studies will be part of the free resources Rachel and I offer as part of Stepping into CI. Our next book study will begin shortly and will cover two books: The Book Whisperer and Readicide. Join us!
  5. Stepping into CI Podcast - Rachel, Bob, and I have been working on a podcast that we will post regularly through the school year. While this will be Free, and you can already check out our first episode here, for free! Our podcast is meant to work alongside the others you may listen to in that while we will discuss theory on occasion, we are dedicated to providing a podcast with direct classroom applications and practical ideas and experiences.
  6. Latin Listening Project - This is a PBP baby that Rachel and I have been discussing and tossing around for at least a year. It is something that we are both very passionate about having and we have heard the request for such things for Latin. So, I am very proud to announce that I am working on my first series in what I am calling Latin Story Radio. I don’t want to give too much away, but I have been working hard on this and am very excited to present the first episode! These listening projects will be part of our subscription service, but you will always be able to sample the first episode for free.
  7. Organised Units - This is something brand new to PBP and it is because of our readers that we’ve decided to put this out! As part of our subscription service, we will be putting out occasional, organised units for you to take and use! While each unit will be different and level specific, we will include a variety of resources that may include: lesson plans, vocabulary lists, embedded readings, movie short scripts, and more!
  8. CI Bites - This project is brand new to you (and us)! CI Bites comes from the mind of Bob and will come straight to you every Mondays and Wednesdays! The purpose of this part of PBP is to provide bi-weekly, brief posts and ideas on CI practices we can use immediately. Bob is committed to providing quick, easy to read, and easy to implement ideas to you regularly. (personally, I cannot wait for these to come out!) While this will be part of our subscription service, you will be able to preview them before purchasing.

As always, please feel free to contact us at any time by commenting on our posts, or by contacting us directly. We are very excited to roll out each of these things for this and the coming years!

Welcome to the new Pomegranate Beginnings!  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Inclusive Teacher Workshop

One of the pitfalls of presenting over anything that you are passionate about is the likelihood of overselling it:
It's so easy, effective, practically magic in the classroom! It will solve all your teacher woes! I don't know how I ever taught without it!
I am a passionate teacher, and I am always excited to share things that I have found to be successful in my own classes. I do my best to make anything I share accessible, but I have erred on the side of big ideas lately, instead of thinking about structuring digestible and useful first steps towards these big ideas--things any teacher can take and use in his or her classroom without requiring a major overhaul of method and theory. 
I love what I am doing in my classes right now. It isn't without fault, and there are a thousand things I'm going to tweak next year, but I am happy with my progress toward a no-fail classroom and my students' comfort in Latin.
However. It's not been easy. It's not been without teacher woes. I have spent over a decade developing the skills I use daily in my classes, and I have thrown out more ideas, approaches, worksheets, and activities than I could begin to enumerate. I have made a million mistakes, and I have struggled to slowly pare my practices down to things I believe make an impact on my students' success. There's been a great deal of ego-swallowing and more than a few tears and a little blood shed. 
I think I get so swept up in my excitement that all I communicate sometimes is "Come do what I'm doing! It's fun! It's rewarding!" and I forget the "It involves a huge amount of work and self-doubt! I am constantly questioning my practices and progress! I spend hours upon hours researching and planning and creating materials--only to change it all a month later!" Forgetting to communicate those things does a disservice to anyone seeking to do the same things in their own classrooms. What I do is not easy. I don't have all the answers. I feel lucky when I get an entire day over the weekend to focus exclusively on my family. I stopped reading blogs and going on facebook this last semester so I could survive the amount of work I had taken on.
Next year will be my fourth year without a textbook. I plan to do everything differently. Again.
I work very hard to make my classroom inclusive, yet have forgotten that workshops need to be inclusive too. Teachers come to workshops from very different starting points, and we need to meet them where they are--something I know very well as an attendee who comes with ADHD and difficulties with aural processing. So I will be working on my workshops and presentations to make sure I communicate the struggle and the importance of taking small steps instead of jumping off the high dive before learning to swim (everyone loves a mixed metaphor, right?).
So this is my apology: if my enthusiasm has hidden the difficulty of this work, or made you feel like anything less than total CI is wasted potential or time, I am sorry. It is hard work, and I recommend teaching yourself slowly, by adopting a couple of practices at a time until you feel comfortable enough to add more. And contacting myself or Miriam for help, support, and positive thoughts. That's the most important thing I want to communicate to you right now: we are here for you, we want you to be successful, we know and validate the pain and struggle you are going through.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Roll a Write - an alternative to the free write/bingo write

I readily admit, I stalk Pinterest and elementary school sites for fun ideas. Last week I was on Pinterest during lunch and came across this nifty idea that is used in elementary art classes to help kids draw and learn about landscapes. I decided it would make a great timed write activity. It requires little prep and takes the entire period.

Quick Info

  • What is it called? Roll a Write
  • What supplies are needed? the student document and as many dice as you have groups or students. 
  • How long does it take? 6 rounds of 3-5 minutes + remaining time in class for edits and adds
  • What levels could do this? I could see a level I class doing this in the late spring with much lexical help or in small groups. I did this with a level II class in late spring. 


I prepped this activity in about 15 minutes. I am linking to the version I created here. If you'd like to use my form, please make a copy of it, rather than edit this particular piece. I chose words that students knew or we were focusing on working with for our current unit. I also made sure to put in some words that the kids had expressed a love or passion for (unicorn, death, octopus, et.)

That's it. The prep was quick and if you use the form with the dice already put on it, it will be even quicker! 


The process requires a little explanation for the kids, but I found that they were quick to catch on. 
  1. pass out papers and dice. Read over the instructions with the kids. 
  2. Explain that students will roll and then write for 6 rounds. Each round will give them an element to their story. While the general element is dictated by the roll, they can interpret it any way they want. 
  3. Students roll the first die, circle their choice, and write for 3-5 minutes. 
  4. Students roll the second die, circle their choice, and write for 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Students roll the third die, circle their choice, and write for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Students roll the fourth die, circle their choice, and write for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Students roll the fifth die, circle their choice, and write for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Students roll the sixth die, circle their choice, and write for 3-5 minutes.
  10. Students get whatever time remains in class to make changes, add on to their story, and connect the pieces. Some students may focus on grammar corrections (if they are ready!), others may want to add more detail. Some may simply re-write in neater handwriting. Wherever they are in the process is fine.
  11. Have students put this in their timed write folders/notebooks. 

Tips and Tricks

A few things stood out to me as being helpful in this activity:
  • I have enough dice for each student. I bought a bag of 60 dice. Each student had his or her own dice. I prefer it this way. This could easily work if you only have enough for each group, just adjust the writing time. Similarly, if you have no dice, kids can google "roll the dice" and google will roll a die for them. Apple phones also have this feature I believe, or they have an app kids can get.
  • Keep the dice rolls quick. If students get caught up in the dice, they won't have time to write!
  • A brain break is NEEDED for this activity. Asking students to write for this long, even with dice rolling breaks, is hard work. Here is a list of brain breaks I like to refer to.
  • Keep the atmosphere light! While I won't answer any "how do you say" questions, I will answer "what does it mean" questions for kids who don't know the words on the paper. Even though they are writing, this kind of support helps lower the affective filter and keep it fun!
  • Edit the categories as you will. I like having multiple problems in a story because it gives it twists and turns and keeps it compelling for students.
  • When students get stuck: tell them to go back to the description: focus on the detail, who, what, where, why. What things are in a place? What body parts do a person/monster/animal have? What animals/objects are in a forest?
I'd love to hear what stories come of this if you do it, or what categories you add/change! It's a great activity for a day when you need a little quiet, or you want to give the kids a chance to be creative in their writing. I plan to do this again, but in groups. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dictation Follow Up - Quick Lesson Ideas

Rachel and I have posted quite a bit on dictations, and there are an almost infinite amount of ways to do them. My personal favourites are the QR code dictation and, believe it or not, a traditional dictation. I've always wondered about what to do as follow up for a dictation. Do you simply do it, collect it, and call it a day? What might some quick follow ups be to a dictation? Here are some ideas that I adapted from follow up reading activities to be quick checks for Dictations:

Student marks the image
being described
  1. Partner Read - Typically, one might do this with a story and images that the teacher used to help tell the story. One partner reads each dictation sentence while the other partner points to the image being described. They then switch roles. This is a quick exercise that takes just a few minutes. 
  2. Seek and Find A - Again, this is a follow up to a reading, and one can do any number of things with it. For our dictation, we did two activities. First, students cut out images that another student had drawn the previous day (they hadn't seen these particular images), then they matched each sentence to its image. 
  3. Seek and Find B - The second thing we did, after everyone had put the images in order, was to scramble the images up and while I read the sentences out of order, each partner found the picture and held it up for me to see. It was an easy and quick formative assessment 
  4. Latin II students put
    sentences in order.
  5. Story Listening - Another thing you might consider is doing a quick story listening session with the dictation. While you tell the story, you draw images on the board and label them. You can then save the image (I have a smart board, or you an take a picture of your work) and use it later for another story session, a timed write, or an assessment. 
Each of these activities was quite quick. The longest is story listening and that took 10-20 minutes, depending on what you wanted to do. Today, my Latin II classes did all four of these. 

How we did it today:

Set Up - What we did yesterday

  1. Students completed a scrambled egg dictation with numbered sentences so they could know the order
  2. Students drew images with each sentence

Follow Up - What we did today

  1. I chose one student's drawings that were fairly simple and clear and scanned it into my
    A student clarifies which image he
    has chosen by matching it to
    a dictation sentence
    computer. I removed any signs of which picture was which. 
  2. Students were put into pairs and given a set of these images. They cut each one out.
  3. Seek and Find A
  4. Partner Read
  5. Seek and Find B
  7. Story Listening

Final Thoughts:

This lesson was quick paced and met the needs of students. I could quickly see who knew what and who needed support. Students found it fun and engaging and most participated fully. All in all, I think it was a good way to review a dictation in new and quick ways. I did put a brain break into the lesson. I felt it was important for students to have this break and reset before doing the longer activity. 

What ways do you follow up with a dictation?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

R, R, R - No Failure Classroom - An update

One of the things that Rachel and I really believe in is the No Failure Classroom. We've posted on this a few times and, today, it made an appearance in another blog that Rachel and I participate in. If you are interested, you can find these posts here:
  1. Everyone Needs a little R, R, and R
  2. Growing a Latin Program Part 2
  3. No Failure Classroom at Work
One of the things, mentioned in two of these posts, is the R, R, and R day. Since its first implementation last year, we have changed the way we do this somewhat. In this post, I'd like to discuss these changes. 

Basic Premise

Not much has changed from our last post in regards to the reasoning behind offering this day. Ultimately what it boils down to is:


  1. We want our work to be comprehensible. Sometimes, students do poorly on an assessment because something was incomprehensible. This can be as simple as the instructions. It can also refer to the stress level, health, etc. of our students. A student who has a cold will often find things harder to understand. 
  2. We want our work to be compelling. Students may perform at a lower proficiency level because something isn't compelling. Having a day like this allows students to show their skills using something they feel is compelling. 
  3. We want our work to be caring. This speaks to both comprehensibility and compellingness and everything else under the sun. We want students to succeed. Having R, R, and R days allows our work to be caring in the ultimate way. Our classes aren't about a "gotcha" moment or "tricks". It is truly about acquisition and proficiency. 
* Credit to Rachel Ash for the three Cs

What We've Changed

Since last year, a few things have changed. Rachel and I are teaching upper level classes now, while our colleagues teacher the first years. Rachel's and my kids are now in their second year of R, R, and R. Our understanding of Comprehensible Input and the no fail classroom has improved and been updated. Knowing all that, a few things have changed. 

Latin I

In Latin I, much stays the same. Students are given particular activities to complete and meet about specific stories and activities. Latin I classes have R, R, and R days with less frequency than the upper levels, but we all reserve the right to have one whenever we feel we need one. 

Latin II+

In Latin II and above, we've decided that students should choose how they show their proficiency in the standards. This means they come up with their own way, rather than choosing from a list of assignments. I will be honest and say some kids have had a hard time struggling with this. When this comes up, I have a set of questions I start to walk through:
  • What does the standard say?
  • What do you think that means?
  • What ideas do you have that you think will show your proficiency level in this?
  • What have we done in class that has applied to this?
I also always allow them to redo or resubmit previous work. I will be honest and say most do not choose this option. Most students choose a different assignment that they want to do.

I did provide a FAQ for my students who were struggling with what to do on R, R, and R days*. What I have found, however, is that this kind of work requires students to rethink how they think of grades and class. This is good, but can be a process with ups and downs. Some days students seem to have a very good grasp of the process, and others they need a lot of guidance and sometimes get frustrated.

* Please note that these are based on our standards and may need editing for your use.

What's changed in general

One of the things that's changed in general is what we allow kids to do when they don't have work. I still stress that this should be community building, and most kids take advantage of that. I keep a box of activities ready for my classes. But, we also allow kids to work on other work or put their heads down. Here are the things I keep in my box. 
  • Minotaurus and other board games 
  • decks of cards
  • puzzles of varying difficulties

I do spend money on these, but not as much as one might think. I only bring games that I have at home already, or ones that I made (I'm currently working on checkers sets using old fabric, paint, and bottle tops). I get everything else in bulk (cards) or from the dollar store (puzzles). I do spend some money on plastic bins to keep my puzzles in good condition. The box itself was a gift. 

Other Considerations

If this is something you decide to implement, I'd take a few things into consideration. There is no one answer to these, but I've attempted to provide my own thoughts on each issue. 
  1. How often should I have a regular R, R, and R day? I honestly base this on the class. I have been giving one every other week this semester, but, given a few factors, we won't be having one until next week. It really depends on where you and your class are. 
  2. What about special R, R, and R days, for example if everyone fails a test? We operate on the 80% rule. If 80% of a class doesn't make 80% or better, we take the burden on ourselves, rather than putting a retake or remediation on the shoulders of the kids, and work with the entire class. We had one such incident last year, which you can read about here. 
  3. Can kids turn in work anytime? Or just on R, R, and R days? Personally, I don't offer work unless on an R, R, and R day. If a parent emails, I talk about these days as well. If a student comes to me, however, and asks specifically, I always take the work. This happens rarely, as most kids get the work done on the R, R, and R day. 
  4. What about kids who take poor advantage of the system? We've always maintained the right to lessen these in frequency or to not have them should a student or a class take advantage. One of the reasons I am not having one this week is due to this very reason. We will have one later, but I am lessening their frequency since students do not feel like they need to take good advantage of the time that often.

Final Thoughts

Of course, however, I always bear in mind that kids are kids. One of the big reasons many teachers do not accept late work or offer retakes is because of the argument, "but this isn't how the real world works". And yet... it is exactly how the real world works. We receive and lose opportunities based on what we do and how we do it. We offer this day to our kids to allow them to show us what they couldn't do, be it on account of sickness, emotion, absence, or lack of understanding. These days take pressures off of kids who already feel overwhelmed at school - just like when adults take a "mental health" day (for example). When we miss a payment, or we fall on hard times, often we get a grace period, a fee (and a second chance), or, if we can work it out, forgiveness. That's what really stands behind these days: a chance for students to learn how to, and demonstrate, better skills, and get the help they need, just like we might in the "real world".