Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Independent Project Introduction

It's time to start thinking about independent projects.  Take some time to browse the idea list sent to you in your e-mail.  Take some notes, and make a list of topics you'd like to explore, adding any of your own that you think of, as well.

Next, take a look at the rubric also e-mailed to you to see how the project will be graded.

Finally, take your priority list, and use it to answer the following questions on a sheet of paper to be approved by Mrs. Edlin:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Stock Market Game

7th grade GOAL students:

Create a Google Doc for your Stock Market Game team.  Share it with each member and with Mrs. Edlin.  Make a list of stocks of interest.  Look for companies and parent companies of products you already know, use, buy, value, and respect.  Compare their prices and their histories.  Explore all the outside links on The Stock Market Game site, and use the other resources below.  We'll start trading next week!

More Resource Links for The Stock Market Game:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Stock Market Introductions

Give yourself some background knowledge in the Stock Market.  Watch the following videos, and jot down any questions they lead you to have.
This Warren Buffett video is a long one... you won't have time to see it all, but it's great stuff to think about if you want to watch the rest on your own sometime...

Friday, October 16, 2015

Deep Thinking Friday

When you get done with your posttest AND with looking at everyone else's comics projects AND commenting on at least 5 of them from all grade levels, choose one of the following videos to watch.  Leave any thoughts or impressions in the comments.  Be sure to specify which video you watched!

The Great Math Mystery
How We Can Make the World a Better Place by 2030
Everyone Around You Has a Story the World Needs to Hear

Thursday, October 15, 2015

After your Comics Project Posting & Posttest...

Watch the following video... these kids are little, but their information about commenting is SPOT ON!

Now it's your turn.  Look at all the comics projects from all the other classes in all the other grades, and leave productive, positive comments.  Follow all the guidelines in the video.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Comics, Cartoons, & Graphic Novels Final Project

Go to the following link: Comics Projects

  • Find your pictures and download them to your desktop.
  • In "Preview," rotate pictures as needed and save.
  • Upload them to a new blog post called "Comics, Cartoons, & Graphic Novels Final Project."
  • Give any necessary background information to viewers of your project.

For the second part of your assignment, you will complete your Elaborated Communication Posttest.  Remember what is expected in a proficient example of Elaborated Communication.  Skip a couple of lines and then answer the following question:

Thoroughly explain how your project shows what you learned in the unit on comics, cartoons, and graphic novels.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sports and Games Around the World

5th grade GOAL Students

Go to the following link:

The link will take you to a Google Doc.  Check out the sites on that Google Doc and read about sports and games around the world that Americans don't know much about.  By the end of class, choose one that you will research and teach the class.  Once you have a topic, start your own Google Doc with facts about your sport or game.  Don't forget to document your sources so you can make a bibliography as part of the project.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Comics, Cartoons, & Graphic Novels Project

Here are the directions and choices for your project for this unit.  This project will show what you have learned during the GOAL unit on Comics, Cartoons, and Graphic Novels.

  • Choose one of the following Options.
  • Write with images.
  • Fill enough paper with your assignment to equal 2 sheets (front sides only) of 8 1/2" x 11" printer paper.
  • Use at least 2 of the following: color, pencil, and/or ink (felt tip will probably be easiest).
  • Have fun.  Be creative.  If you can think of an original or more interesting way to complete the assignment, GO FOR IT!

Option 1: The Characters
  • Divide your 2 papers into 16 sections each, for a total of 32 panels.
  • Write the names/titles/characteristics of each character at the top of the frame.
  • Create your characters.
  • Use the Lynda Barry examples for inspiration, if needed, but do not copy.

Option 2:  The Questions
  • Organize your paper any way you'd like, but use images to answer the questions shown from Lynda Barry's Syllabus.

Option 3:  The Compilation
  • Using the graphic novel examples provided in class, find examples of the following Comics Terms, as shown in Jessica Abel's and Matt Madden's book Drawing Words and Writing Pictures.  Include: motion lines, inset panels, tiers, narrative boxes/captions, speech balloons/bubbles, gutters, medium shots, long shots, close-ups, panels/frames, thought balloons/bubbles, emanata, borders, and anything else you notice that you'd like to show.
  • Use any combination of your own drawing, copying images, clip art, printed images, and/or photos. 
  • Label your images with the title & author of any comic or graphic novel that you used for inspiration.

Option 4:  The Comic
  • Create your own comic.  Use what you've learned.

Projects Due: Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Works Cited
Abel, Jessica, and Matt Madden. Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: Making Comics : Manga, Graphic Novels, and beyond. New York: First Second, 2008. Print.
Barry, Lynda. Syllabus. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly, 2014. Print.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/28-10/2, 2015

It's Homecoming Week!  Things are going to be a little crazy as we Demolish the Warriors, so here's how it will all shake down in Mrs. E's class this week:

5th GOAL:  5th graders are learning the basics of cricket this week through articles and videos.

6th-8th GOAL:  6th-8th graders are starting their read aloud books (Okay For Now for 6th, The Cardturner for 7th, and To Kill a Mockingbird for 8th).  They will also be continuing their unit on Comics, Cartoons, and Graphic Novels.  We'll assess their reflections from last week's field trip using the expectations for elaborated communication, we'll finish up our eyebrow & texture pages, and we'll start exploring all kinds of graphic novels from both our library and the AEA.

Mrs. E's homeroom will have teambuilding and door decorating for homecoming on Wednesday afternoon, and on Friday afternoon, everyone will have our big Homecoming pep assembly!

Friday, September 25, 2015

New School Year: My Hopes for You

In my search for a topic for this week's Deep Thinking Friday, I came across this TED talk by John Green.  I found myself in tears for most of the talk.  I'm not kidding.  I had so many thoughts in my brain that I started writing on post-it notes as I watched.

My brain was full of these thoughts:

  • Why are you here?  
  • Are you bored?  Do something about it!  
  • Be an advocate for yourself, and take charge of your learning.  
  • Find your community of learners.
  • Where might the map of your life lead?
My brain was full of thoughts, and my eyes were full of tears, because this TED talk encompasses my hopes for you, my students, for this school year.  I hope that GOAL becomes your community of learners.  I hope GOAL inspires you to seek out your own communities of learners beyond our school walls.  I hope you love learning, in whatever form you seek out for yourselves.  I hope you grow your brain this year, and I hope you share with us how you did it.  I hope.  I hope.  I hope.

Watch this, and let's have a great school year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reading Contract Self-Evaluation

This year you have been challenged to read a minimum of 40 books in a variety of genres.  Start a new blog post and answer the following questions in complete sentences and with descriptive explanations.  Every question should be its own paragraph.  Use your Goodreads account to help you.

  1. According to the records you kept on Goodreads, how many books did you read this year?  Did you make your goal?  Why or why not?
  2. List the titles and page numbers of each (then I'll be able to see which books count for two) book for the fourth quarter (between April 1 & now).
  3. Did you read books from every genre this year?  Explain.  Which genres did you enjoy the most, and why?  
  4. Compared to the last school year, did you read more this year, or did you read less?  Explain, and tell why.
  5. Describe how you grew as a reader during this school year.
  6. Make a plan of how and what you will read over the summer.  Explain in detail.
  7. What book surprised you the most this year?  Why?
  8. What book did you like best this year?  Why?
  9. What advice do you have for students' success and enjoyment in completing their reading contracts?
  10. What suggestions do you have for Mrs. Edlin on how to make independent reading contracts more meaningful for the next school year and beyond?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mrs. Edlin's End of the Year Evaluation

Please complete the survey at the following link:

One piece of advice... compose your answers on a Google Doc first and then paste them in to the survey when you're all done... that way, if you don't get done, you won't lose your answers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

8th Grade GOAL: Documentary Self-Evaluation & Trip Reflection

Compose two different blog posts.

For Post #1, answer the following questions in a blog post about our overnight Images of Greatness trip.  We made the following stops:  Des Moines Art Center, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Drake University, State Historical Museum, Iowa Hall of Pride, IMAX: Journey to Space movie.

1.  What was your favorite part of the trip, and why?
2.  At the art museum, you had to find 4 things: favorite, best example of "art," Why is it ART?, and celebrity award.  Write about them and include pictures if you'd like.
3.  What was the most educational part of the trip, and why?  What is something specific that you learned?
4.  What was the most fun part of the trip, and why?
5.  If you could improve the trip in any way for the group next year, what would you change?  Explain.

For Post #2, embed your documentary into your blog post.  Then, answer the following questions:
  • Describe the process you went through to make your documentary.
  • What are some specific interesting facts you learned about your topic?
  • What are some specific things you learned about filmmaking?
  • Which parts of your documentary make you proud?  Why?
  • Which parts of your documentary would you improve if you had more time?  Explain.
  • What is your advice for the group next year on how to successfully complete this unit and to make stellar documentaries?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

7th GOAL: Stop Motion Reflection

Now that you've finished making your stop-motion animated movies, write a reflection on the process.  First, embed your stop-motion movie into a blog post.  Then, in paragraph form, answer the following:
  • Describe your movie
  • Describe the process of making the movie
  • What was the hardest part, and why?
  • What are you most proud of, and why?
  • During this unit, what did you learn about the process and/or skill of animation?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

6th Grade Westward Expansion Projects

You will be creating a VoiceThread project to share your facts.  If you don't have an account already, use your school username and password to create an account for yourself.

For this project, you will need to find AT LEAST 5 pictures relating to your topic.  The pictures will be what the audience looks at while they listen to your comments.  Then, they'll be able to comment on your project and talk about connections they can make between their topic and yours.

Over the course of showing your pictures, your comments need to include the following information:
  1. Introduce yourself and the topic you researched.
  2. Give at least 5 interesting facts you learned.
  3. Explain why your topic was important to the idea of Westward Expansion. 
  4. Share at least two questions that you didn't find the answers for or that your research made you wonder.
  5. After doing your specific research, do you think Westward Expansion in the United States was a good idea?  Why or why not?  What were the pros and cons?  Explain.
When your Voice Thread is done, click the menu icon for your project on the VoiceThread dashboard page.  Create a post on your blog and share the link.  

As your classmates finish, go into their projects and listen to their comments.  Make comments of your own, at least one comment on each person's project (it's not necessary to comment on each individual slide unless you want to).  Use the following sentence starters to make connections with your own project and to add to the information provided:
  • This reminds me of...
  • This is similar to...
  • I wonder...
  • This made me realize...
  • I noticed...
  • You can relate this to...
  • I'd like to know...
  • I'm surprised that...
  • If _____, then _____...
  • If I were..., I would _____...
An example of a VoiceThread project:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

5th Grade GOAL: Blogs & Fibonacci Numbers

Complete the following items:

  1. Finish your blog post reflecting on Independent Projects.
  2. Comment on at least 3 other students' Independent Project blog posts.
  3. Set up your Goodreads account.
  4. Using widgets, attach your Goodreads account to your blog.
  5. Add books you're currently reading to Goodreads, and/or update your progress on those books (MAKE SURE TO LOG OUT WHEN YOU'RE DONE).
  6. Watch the following videos:

Finally, start a blog post (you don't need to publish it yet) on what you think about Fibonacci numbers at this point.  For some of you, this is the first time you've ever heard of such a thing.  What are your thoughts?  What are your questions?  What are your observations?  What did you learn so far?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

6th & 7th Grade GOAL: Be Inspired and Inspire Others!

  1. Go to the TED site or the TED Ed site.
  2. Browse all the different TED talks available.
  3. Watch a TED talk of your choice.
  4. Write a blog post about the TED talk including the following information: what it was called, what it was about, who you would recommend it to and why, and how you would rate it on a scale of 1-5 stars and why.
  5. Include the link or embed the talk into your blog post.
  6. If you have time, repeat steps 1-6.

8th Grade GOAL: Intro to Documentary Films

Today in class, you are going to be investigating different aspects of documentary filmmaking.  Watch and read as much as you can this period.  If you're already in a documentary film group, divide and conquer so all the links get covered by someone in your group.  You're not required to take notes, but feel free to write down anything you'd like to remember for the process.

About Documentaries
Ken Burns on Story
How to Create a Digital Story
The Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling
What is Digital Storytelling?
Documentary Filmmaking Resources
Digital Storytelling Resources
What is a Documentary Film?

Filmmaking Tips
Shoot Like a Pro: Interview Basics
How to Film an Interview
Composition + Framing: Storytelling with Cinematography
How to Write a Documentary Script
Rock Your World: Producing Documentaries
Documentary Storytelling Techniques

Documentary Examples
Mad Hot Ballroom
Supersize Me
The Awful Truth

Monday, April 6, 2015

Project Reflections!

Third quarter was full of projects... Independent Projects, History Day Projects, Images of Greatness Projects... LOTS of projects.  On your blogs, complete the following reflection in paragraph form.  If there is a way to include a picture or to embed your project, please include it in your blog post.

1.  Briefly describe your project, both your topic and the format in which you presented.

2.  What do/did you like most about your project?  Explain.

3.  What are two of the most interesting things you learned about your topic during your research?  Why did they interest you?

4.  What was the hardest part of this project, and why?

5.  How did you improve as a learner or as a student during the process of this project?  Explain.

6.  If you could do the whole thing over again, what would you change and/or improve?  Why?

7.  What are you most proud of when it comes to the whole experience of this project?  Explain.

8.  If you have any genuine suggestions about how to improve this project or how to make this project more meaningful to future students, please include them at the end.

When you finish your blog post, you may go to any site on Idleness Prevention Society.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Deep Thinking Friday

Two videos to blow your mind...

Why There Are 360 Degrees In A Circle by 9pops

You Can't Touch Anything by VSauce

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fiddler Costumes

Here are some pictures to help you envision the costume suggestions handed out in rehearsal for Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.  Ask Mrs. Edlin if you have any questions!  Costumes need to be at school on Friday, February 20.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quarter 2 Self-Evaluation

Please send Mrs. Edlin an e-mail with answers to the following questions (answer in complete sentences, self-editing to submit your best work):

1.  How many books did you read this quarter (November 1-January 22)?  Did you make your goal?  Explain why or why not.

2.  List the books you read this quarter.

3.  Is your Goodreads account updated?  Make sure you've labeled every book with the 2015 school year and with the book's genre.

4.  What went well with your reading contract this quarter?

5.  How can you improve your reading contract next quarter?

6.  Do you have any questions or concerns about other GOAL assignments?  Explain.

7.  Is there anything Mrs. Edlin can do to help you be more successful in GOAL?  Explain.

We're halfway done with the school year, folks!  Let's make the last half GREAT!