Thursday, October 24, 2013

Update... It's Been WAY Longer Than a Week!

This teacher/blogger has been naughty!  It's been far too long since I updated this blog, but I'm back on the bandwagon.  Here's what's been happening in room 101 up to and during this last week of the first quarter:

English 8:  Students are busy finishing their Prezis on important women in history.  They're due Friday, and then students will have a chance to share the inspiring information they've learned.

5th GOAL:  5th graders started the quarter learning about cricket: all the rules, all the equipment, all the fun!  They practiced for a few days, and then Mr. Edlin came to umpire their big match.  They kept score and had a great time.  Now, they're finishing up research on a sport or game from another country.  They'll be creating projects to share their knowledge and to teach the class how to play the sport of game they researched.

6th GOAL:  6th graders are loving their read aloud book Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt.  They have been discussing the book on their class wiki.  They have also been busy with their Models and Design unit.  They have been creating physical models of the Humdinger, a mechanical device that hums when you pull a string and then dings when you let the string go.  They have been collaborating in groups and making models that will recreate what the Humdinger does.

7th GOAL:  7th graders' read aloud is The Cardturner by Louis Sachar.  They have been learning a little bridge while listening to the tale of Alton & his Uncle Trapp.  Online discussions have taken place on the wiki.  Students finished a unit on Big Science.  The debates were great between whether biotechnology or an environmental car should be what the government backs as its next big science project.  In the end, students presented their own personal opinions in the form of a campaign poster, complete with unique slogan.

8th GOAL:  8th graders are in the middle of hearing To Kill a Mockingbird as their read aloud.  Tom Robinson's trial has just started, and we're all engrossed!  Students have discussed the book in an online wiki.  They're also in the middle of a unit on Mandarin Chinese.  We've learned some basic vocabulary, and now students are writing skits to perform to show what they've learned.

Deep Thinking Fridays:  Deep Thinking Fridays started with a simple question: "Is Google knowledge?"  The video sparked such fantastic discussion that a 6th grader suggested we have a Deep Thinking Friday EVERY Friday.  What a great idea!  Since that first time, we've discussed many topics including: What is consciousness?, Just how small is an atom?, littering and pollution (video and image), and Is your red the same as my red?  Deep Thinking Fridays allow students to think outside the box and ponder big, mind-blowing questions and issues.  One student reported that Deep Thinking Fridays gave him a headache, but he liked it!  By pondering life's mysteries and dilemmas, students engage creativity and imagination.  They think about their place in the world, and they debate the possibilities and explanations.  The discussions have been amazing.  Stop into room 101 on some Friday, and see for yourself... Join the deep thinking FUN!