New Semester, New BreakOut Edu Game, plus the Roman Empire and the Short Story, "There Will Come Soft Rains"
In all of my classes, students competed in groups once again to defeat the unrelenting BreakOut Edu game determined to not let it beat them. Their efforts and teamwork paid off. 6 of the 8 teams competing broke in! The winning teams worked together effectively and communicated respectfully to create ideas and suggestions that ultimately won them the prize.
In Social Studies 7, we've moved on from Greece to learn about ancient Rome. We've worked hard in class to answer 3 essential questions this month: (1) How did the Etruscans and Greeks influence the development of Rome?, (2) What were the characteristics of the Roman republic, and how did it change over time?, and (3) Did the benefits of Roman expansion outweigh the costs? The unit culminated with students participating in a debate over the last essential question where teams attempted to convince the other side to join them. The most persuasive students were Davis Ledesma from 1st period and Luci Clark from 6th period. Congratulations you two!
In Language Arts 6, we've been reading a short story "There Will Come Soft Rains" by Ray Bradbury. Students have been enjoying the post-apocalyptic story of a futuristic home that attempts to survive after humanity has all (assumingly) been destroyed by a nuclear bomb. Students were asked to write summaries of the story, as well as, identify a theme they learned from the story. This culminated in a Summary Test where students demonstrated what they've learned this year about how to write a summary.
In Social Studies 7, students have been very busy! We've finally completed our unit on Greece! Students completed their second test of the year before moving on to compete in the National Geographic Bee. Students participated for a week in my class answering difficult geography questions over seven challenging rounds. The top students were asked to compete in the school-wide competition at the school assembly. Unfortunately, no students from my class made it in the final competition, but there's always next year! Lastly, students completed our GREEKS competition by competing in the Olympic Games. Congratulations to the top 3 city-states: Corinth, 1st place holding the Trophy of Athena; Megara, 2nd place holding the Trophy of Apollo; and Argos, 3rd place holding the Trophy of Hermes!
In Language Arts 6, students have been learning about argumentative essays. We've read several examples in class, such as "Can Animals Feel and Think?" and "How Smart Are Animals?" We even learned what Cornell Notes are, so we could cite textual evidence that author uses to prove a point in an essay. Lastly, students were asked to write their own essays arguing their side to a controversial that hit home for many of my students: Should people be allowed to keep pitbulls as pets? The responses were varied, but one thing became certainly clear: students were fired up and ready to write!
In Social Studies 7, we have begun a new competition, The GREEKS. Students have participated in a city-state draft where they selected their own polis they would like to compete for. Over the next two months, students will be completing events to earn points for their team. On Thursdays, students have been doing a great job dressing up for our weekly Toga Party!
In Language Arts 6, we've been learning more about focused note-taking. Our strategy this week is to use Cornell Notes to collect textual evidence from the article, "How Smart Are Animals?" This lesson will culminate in a summary of the article.
In Social Studies 7, students have come back from Thanksgiving Break to demonstrate their knowledge of ancient Greece's geography, mythology, and government on our first test of the year.
In Language Arts 6, students continue to learn about summaries and how to write their own on a nonfiction text, "Can Animals Think and Feel?" Also, this week we began our new grammar program, NoRedInk.
In Social Studies 7, students have been exploring the 4 types of government that existed in Ancient Greece. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to answer the Essential Question, "How did democracy develop in Ancient Greece?" Students participated in a Government Simulation where we selected songs to listen to based on how that government makes decisions.
In Language Arts 6, students have been reading an article, "Face Your Fears: Scare the Phobia Out of Your Brain." As we read, students are learning to pull out textual evidence from the article to use in their summaries. By the end of the unit, students will be able to answer the Essential Question, "Why is it important for us to face our fears?"
In Social Studies 7, students were assigned groups and were tasked with creating a presentation for one of the 12 major gods and goddesses from ancient Greece. Using Google Slides, students created interactive presentations that even included video to share with their classmates the important aspects of their god or goddess.
In Language Arts 6, students have been crafting their own short stories based on a fear. Students are expected to create a story where their main character must face their own worst fear. As students are writing, they are using their newly acquired knowledge on the elements of plot to help them flesh out their spooky stories!
Students in Social Studies 7 have been working to answer the Essential Question, "How did the geography influence the development and way of life in Ancient Greece?" This lesson culminated in a Book of Knowledge assignment where students created their own children's book.
Students in Language Arts 6 have been learning about the elements of Plot. They worked in groups to define each of the key content terms, such as exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Each group was tasked with creating a poster that was used in a Gallery Walk.
Lastly, all students competed in a BreakOUT Edu game. Students traveled back in time to the radical 80ss. In order to make it back to the present day, students must work together as a team to solve a series of 80's inspired puzzles.
To begin the year, I asked students in each of my classes to share a little about themselves. In Social Studies 7, students wrote autobiographies that included information about their pasts and what they hoped to be in the future. Students reflected on the essential question, "How does reflecting on your past help you to know your future?" Below are some pictures of the excellent autobiographies students wrote.
In Language Arts 6, students crafted poems based on George Ella Lyons "Where I'm From" poem. Students wrote their poems to describe themselves to their classmates thinking about the ordinary, everyday items in their life. Every student presented their poem to the class before they answered the essential question, "How does poetry help us share things about ourselves that would normally be hard to say out loud?"
Also, I had the privilege of going to Outdoor School this year. It was a blast getting to know students a little better in the great outdoors of Camp Latgawa. Here are some highlights from the week.
My favorite time of the year, the start of a new school year! Another chance to test your mettle, to improve and be better than you were the year before; for me, the fall meant new challenges in school and on the basketball court. I don't like to rest on my laurels trying to find new ways to continuously improve. As a teacher, I'm finding the drive hasn't changed. I'm excited to have a new batch of students to get to know and grow with throughout the year. This year will be better than the last!
Students, I promise as your teacher to do the following:
Parents/Guardians, thank you for taking the time to get to know me on my site. I appreciate you taking a vested interest in your student's education. While I have your attention, there are a few items my class still needs. I've attached the school supply list below. Most importantly, I could use Kleenex tissues and Clorox wipes (does not have to be name brand, generics welcome). All last year I found our class running out.
Also, please take the time to fill out the Parent/Guardian Survey. This will help facilitate communication between us and will allow me to get to know you a little better too. I look forward to partnering with you to help your student become a prompt, prepared, productive, and polite citizen!
In U.S. History, students have been working very hard on several test grades. The first one was a COTUS (Constitution of the United States) Booklet. This project had students making connections between the six purposes of the Constitution stated in the Preamble with John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, as well as, create drawings depicting their interpretations of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Next, we dived into Frederick Douglass’ slave narrative “The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass.” Students, as they read, were expected to pull out textual evidence in order to answer the essential question: How does Douglass in his narrative describe the way a slave master would dehumanize, marginalize, and objectify an enslaved person? The content was grim, but the students essays were not. Many have grown as writers and did an excellent job answering the question on the Slavery Test.
In World History, we have just wrapped up our unit on the Renaissance. We accomplished many tasks during this unit, but none more fun for me than the Renaissance Leading Figures Activity. Students were asked to dress up as one of the leading figures from the Renaissance to participate in a Meet and Greet. Some students went above and beyond portraying their historical figure and received certificates recognizing their accomplishment.
Lastly, this past Friday was the Color Run. It was a blast, and it was exciting to see the community of students come together in a positive way. Everyone had fun and even got some free cookies and punch at the end of the race.
My students do such great work throughout the year that I can't keep it all to myself.