Weekly Update: Week of April 4, 2016

 Overview this week:

In Social Studies, students are brainstorming potential product designs to help solve the problems they have been researching in their “Future Forecast” task forces. Towards the end of the week, they will begin to design an advertisement (print or commercial) to “sell” their product at the upcoming product convention.

In English​,​ students will be applying what they have learned about persuasive writing in the design of their “Future Forecast” advertisement. They will also be writing introductions and conclusions for the presentation of their product. Starting this week, students will also be meeting with me for a reading conference in which they compare and contrast two books from their genre wheel goals. Students have each signed up for a specific date and time this month.


 

Need to Know:

1. THANK YOU to all parents who participated in a students requests for an interview!

–  Students learned lessons about their  topics and also about professionalism.

2. Parents are invited to the “FUTURE FORECAST PRODUCT CONVENTION”

– Wednesday, April 20th

– Students will be displaying/presenting their “Future Forecast” product designs

      – I will send out detailed information early next week

3. RETAKES FOR SHORT STORIES

      – for any portion of the rubric graded lower than a 5

– students can rework their story based on feedback, highlighting  changes they make

– they must go over their with me at tutorials or by appointment this week


 

Homework this week:

​1. ​Read at least ​30 minutes a day

​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)


 

Table Talk:

– What world problem did your task force choose to solve?

– What have you already learned through your research about this problem?

– What ideas does your team have for a product to help solve this problem?

– How is your progress with your genre goal for reading? Are you completing your entries on time?

– What are you currently reading?

Weekly Update: Week of March 21, 2016

It was great to see all of you last week at student led conferences! I know it meant a lot to the students to share their hard work and learning with their parents.

Overview this week:
In Social Studies, students ​are continuing their research about a major world issue. Towards the end of the week, they will begin to brainstorm possible solutions in

their U.N. “Future Forecast Task Forces.​” In English, students are practicing their research skills and knowledge, and are expected to apply what they have learned about
where and how to find reliable sources of information, skills for keeping track of sources and notes, and strategies for synthesizing and analyzing research.

Need to Know:
1. GRADES HAVE BEEN UPDATED IN POWER SCHOOL
2. RETAKES FOR DIALOGUE AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE QUIZ
      – for any grade lower than a 5
      – tomorrow (TUESDAY, Mar 22) at tutorials, or by appointment
3. RETAKES FOR SHORT STORIES
      – for any portion of the rubric graded lower than a 5
      – students should rework their story based on feedback and highlight changes
      – they will then meet with me at tutorials after break, or by appointment
4. You can read about Student’s Otzi Conclusions on the Blog!
5. International Day is this Wednesday!

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)

Table Talk:
– What world problem did your task force choose to solve?
– What have you already learned through your research about this problem?
– What do you still need to learn about this problems in order to try to solve ​it?
– How is your progress with your genre goal for reading?
– What are you currently reading?
– What will you read over Spring Break?

Weekly Update: Week of March 14, 2016

Here is a link to a video slideshow of photos of the McKnight and Walker Home-bases at CWW as an opportunity for you to see the learning and enjoyment that takes place!

Overview this week:
In Social Studies, students are continuing working with​ their U​.N. “Future Forecast Task Forces.​ “Last week, each group ​identified a world problem,and this week they are working as a team to learn more about the causes and effects of the problem in order​ to propose a solution.

In Englishthis week,​ students will be getting support regarding their research process for the “Future Forecast,” including where and how to find sources of information, skills for keeping track of sources and notes, and strategies for synthesizing and analyzing research.

Need to Know:
1. QUIZ ​TODAY​, March 14 – Sentence Structure and Dialogue
2.You can now read about Student’s Otzi Conclusions on the Blog!
3. Student Led Conferences are ​this Wednesday (Mar 16)
4.Otzi grades are now in Powerschool, and short stories will be input by the end of the week!

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)

Table Talk:
– What world problems did your task for select to solve?
– What do you need to learn about ​this problems in order to try to solve ​it?
– What does it take to work well on a team?
– What are your skills, talents, and interests that you bring to a team?
– How is your progress with your genre goal for reading?
– What are you currently reading?

Weekly Update: Week of March 7, 2016

Overview this week:
While we are continuing the theme of “discovery,” we are turning our focus away from historical mysteries, and will now be applying what we have learned about humans and problems solving to modern and future world problems.
 
In Social Studies, students will be placed into a United Nations “Future Forecast Task Force” to identify a “present and future” world problem and work as a team to propose a solution. This week, they are working on team building and problem identification.
In English, students will be evaluating persuasive techniques so that they may eventually apply these techniques to persuade the United Nations delegation to invest in their proposed solution for the “Future Forecast Task Force.”

Need to Know:
1. QUIZ on Monday, March 14 – Sentence Structure and Dialogue
2.You can now read about Student’s Otzi Conclusions on the Blog!
3. Student Led Conferences are next Wednesday (Mar 16)
4. MAP testing continues this week (math)

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read 20-​30 minutes a day
​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
3. Interview Parent(s) (Skills, Talents, and Interests)
     – Monday night

Table Talk:
– What world problems do you wish you could solve?
– What do you need to learn about these problems in order to try to solve them?
– What does it take to work well on a team?
– What are your skills, talents, and interests that you bring to a team?
– How is your progress with your genre goal for reading?
– What are you currently reading?
Inline image 1

How did Otzi the Iceman Die? Student Conclusions!

What caused the death of the 5,300-year-old Neolithic mummy, Otzi the Iceman?

iceman-murder-mystery-merlStudents have been working for over a month to investigate this historical mystery, adding up the evidence and forming their own unique conclusions. Who do you think has the winning argument?

 6a0120a568f286970b0120a690dfdb970c-800wi iceman-scan-160 1-oetzi-bug

Regan and Ely’s Conclusion: Accidentally Shot by Fellow Hunter

  • Highlights: Creative “paper slide-show” presentation style, used “Otzi’s last meal” to discount the theory of war
  • Click Here for Presentation

Maxine’s Conclusion: Exiled from his tribe and tragically shot by Nomadic Hunter

  • Highlights: One-woman act in the style of a Jimmy Kimmel late night interview (both interviewer and interviewee roles played by Maxine), used location of his possessions to argue that he buried his food as an act of revenge
  • Click Here for Presentation
  • Click Here for Script

Allen, Aaryan, and Xavier’s Conclusion: Ritualized Mercy Killing

Chloe, Isabel, and Tara’s Conclusion: Fight of Villages over Land/Resources

Hassan, Kareem, and Xavier’s Conclusion: Murder for a Sacrificial Death

  • Highlights: Used geographical location to support theory of cause of death, used evidence of “Otzi’s last meal” to disprove tooth-decay theory of death
  • Click Here for Presentation

Yerin and Sahana’s Conclusion: Shot and killed by a Jealous Tribe Member

  • Highlights: Hand-made whiteboard illustrations of Otzi’s last day alive, used Otzi’s advanced and warm clothing (and shoes!) to disprove theory of hypothermia
  • Click Here for Presentation

Rooney, Ruhaan, and Rico’s Conclusion: Killed during Raid on Another Village

  • Highlights: Creative stop-motion lego film to demonstrate Otzi’s last day alive, used pressure marks on wrists and missing arrow shaft as evidence for a companion trying to save his life after he had been shot
  • Click Here for Presentation

Mercedes, Nichelle, and Sarah’s Conclusion: Murder for Spiritual Sacrifice

  • Highlights: Created technological presentation with mix of Prezi and video, used Otzi’s medical kit to support that he was fleeing from the sacrifice and did not want to die
  • Click Here for Presentation

Kevin and Ubaid’s Conclusion: Shot by arrow during Combat

  • Highlights: Used cuts on Otzi’s hands to justify theory of being in combat, dressed in business suits for presentation to demonstrate their professionalism and expertise
  • Click Here for Presentation

Anusha’s Conclusion: Wounded by arrow, then Blow to the Head

Jade, Olivia, and Raina’s Conclusion: Killed by Jealous Tribe Member

  • Highlights:“Searched” for clues with flash lights during presentation to support conclusions, made insightful connection between ancient and modern humans through tattoos and the importance of symbolism
  • Click Here for Presentation
  • Click Here for Script

Akash and Kabir’s Conclusion: Arrow wound led to Hypothermia/Blood Loss

  • Highlights:Creative “draw my life” presentation of Otzi’s last day of life in addition to well-designed and visual Prezi, came to insightful conclusions about life in the Neolithic era marked by conflict over power and resources
  • Click Here for Presentation

Amarene, Ethan, and Ian’s Conclusion: Murdered by Rival Tribe during Hunt

  • Highlights:Presentation based around a humorous and engaging storytelling approach using including illustrations and visuals, argued that the ultimate cause of death was the blow to the head
  • Click Here for Presentation
  • Click Here for Script

Chase, Tim, and Ethan’s Conclusion: Killed during Revenge Raid by Rival Village

  • Highlights: Creative “draw my life” presentation of Otzi’s last day complete with humor and background music to recap the events leading up to his death, used the fact that the copper axe was left behind to argue that Otzi’s killers were less advanced
  • Click Here for Presentation

Mayu and Marie’s Conclusion: Killed by Rival Villagers during Supply Run

Linnea’s Conclusion: Chased by Wolf then Accidentally shot by Arrow

  • Highlights: Creative “Flip Book” video to visualize Otzi’s last day alive and his cause of death, used location of Otzi’s arrow wound in his shoulder to indicate that the wound was an accident (almost missed Otzi!)
  • Click Here for Presentation

Sarah and Anushka’s Conclusion: Stole Copper Ax and killed as Revenge

  • Highlights: Used the copper ax to argue that Otzi was a thief – not a man of importance to his tribe, created a visual Prezi with mountain backdrop to guide listeners through the steps of the presentation
  • Click Here for Presentation

Rand and Ozod’s Conclusion: Murdered in Battle because he was a Leader

  • Highlights: Creative and convincing CNN news-flash style video including an interview with news anchor “Jeff Hodges” (Ozod) and historian “Josh Joshes” (Rand), used Otzi’s valuable possessions and man injuries to disprove theory of a funeral ceremony
  • Click Here for Presentation

Student Votes for Presentations!

  • 1st Place
    • Marie and Mayu – McKnight Homebase
    • Xavier S, Allen, and Aaryam – Walker Homebase
  • 2nd Place
    • Rand and Ozod – McKnight Homebase
    • Tara, Isabel, and Chloe – Walker Homebase
  • 3rd Place
    • Anushka and Sarah – McKnight Homebase
    • Amarene, Ian, and Ethan – McKnight Homebase
    • Raina, Jade, and Olivia – McKnight Homebase
    • Sahana and Yerin – Walker Homebase
    • Rico, Ruhaan, and Rooney – Walker Homebase
    • Xavier B, Hassan, and Kareem – Walker Homebase

Happy Super Tuesday!

 
Today is a big day in U.S. politics – several states are voting on the Democratic party and Republican party nominees (who will run for president in each party). While the candidates won’t be decided by today, we are getting closer and closer to finding out who the Republican and Democratic candidates will be in the presidential election this fall!
 
If you are watching the news today, you will see the names of many different candidates. This article does a great job of explaining who each candidate is and what they are known for in 100 words.
 
Inline image 1
 
Also, don’t forget that the Philippines presidential election is coming up May 9th! The 16th President of the Philippines elected in the year 2016! This article has the latest info on how the election process in the Philippines works, and who is running for president. Maybe this would be a good topic for someone’s current events…

 

Weekly Update: Week of February 29, 2016

Hello everyone! Happy Leap Day!
Overview this week:
In Social Studies, students are finalizing their Otzi the Iceman presentations and will present their conclusions in front of the class this week. See the rubric here.
In English, students are making the final editing changes to their short stories. They are due this week. and we will celebrate our accomplishments as writers at the end of the week as we share our stories with one another. See the rubric here.

Need to Know:
1. Otzi Presentations
  • Tuesday, Mar 1st for C/D block 
  • Thursday, Mar 2nd for E/F block

2. Narrative Short Story due = Wednesday, March 2nd 

3. MAP testing starts THIS  week (language test today, reading test Wednesday)


Homework this week:
​1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
***students may also be completing various tasks for short stories and Otzi presentations, though they have class time for this as well


Table Talk:
– How have you grown as a storyteller while writing your short story?
– What are some good story ideas that other students have had?
– How do you think Otzi died?
– What evidence supports your conclusion?
– How did you make your presentation engaging and convincing?

Weekly Update: Week of February 22, 2016

Overview this week:
I hope students enjoyed their week of CWW and that they came home not only muddy but with lots of stories about their learning and experiences. 
In Social Studies, students are working in their groups to put their ideas into a presentation that proves their conclusions with evidence. See the rubric here.
In English, students are making final revisions to their stories and starting the editing process as well, focusing on peer-editing, sentence structure, and punctuation. See the rubric here.

Need to Know:
I have adjusted the due dates of the Otzi presentation and short stories. This will be communicated to students this week both in class and via email.
1. NEW Due date for Narrative Short Story (both C/D and E/F) = Wed, March 2nd 
     – this is the final day students will be allowed to edit/make changes
     – students are allowed to do some work on this at home at this point
2. NEW Due date for Otzi Presentations (C/D students) = Tues, March 1st
     – all groups will present in class this day
3. NEW Due date for Otzi Presentations (E/F students) = Thurs, March 3rd
     – all groups will present in class this day
4. MAP testing starts next week (reading and language usage first)

Homework this week:
1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
3. Learning Habits Survey Monday or Tuesday night (via student’s email)
***students may also be completing various tasks for short stories and Otzi presentations, though they have class time for this as well

Table Talk:

– What was the BEST part of CWW?
– What did you learn at CWW?
– How have you grown as a storyteller while writing your short story?
– How do you think Otzi died? What evidence supports your conclusion?

Weekly Update: Week of February 8, 2016

Overview this Week:
In Social Studies, students are working alone or in teams to answer five research questions about Otzi the Iceman by supporting their ideas with evidence. This week they will also begin figuring out how to put their conclusions into a persuasive and creative presentation. They will work on this the week after CWW as well. In English, students are now working on revising their short stories, and are focusing on balancing action, description, dialogue, and introspection to help them “show” and not “tell” the story. They will also have an in-class non-fiction reading assessment. Finally, students should continue to work on reading for their genre goal and completing their reflective entries after they finish each book.

Need to Know:
1. In-Class Nonfiction Reading assessment this week
    – no need to prepare for this – we have practiced and reviewed these skills and questions in class
2. CWW next week
    – Walker/McKnight schedule here if you want to print it
    – We are collecting recyclables (paper, plastic, glass, old toys, old electronics) all this week
3. Students may at this point spend SOME time revising short stories at home
    – not required to work on this at home 
    – should only be spending about 30 min at a time, if at all    
    – Revising is happening in class this week, editing the week after CWW
    – Final Draft Due Monday, Feb 29th
4. “Countries of the World Donut Challenge” (completely optional, click link for more info!)

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read 20-​30 minutes a day
​​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
3. Bring Recyclables for CWW

Table Talk: 
​- What are you currently reading?​
– Are you finished drafting your story? What are some areas that you will improve on when revising?
– How do you think Otzi the Iceman died? What evidence makes you think this?
– What are some ideas you have for making an interesting presentation about Otzi the Iceman?
– What will you be doing at CWW? What are you looking forward to?

Weekly Update: Week of February 1, 2016

Overview this Week:
In Social Studies, students are investigating a true historical mystery of the Neolithic era: How did Otzi the Iceman die? Students have developed hypotheses and are now using their background knowledge as well as a variety of sources to evaluate their theories and eventually draw conclusions. 
In English, students are working on drafting their short stories, and are focusing on balancing action, description, dialogue, and introspection to help them “show” and not “tell” the story. Students also continue to work on reading for their genre goal and completing their reflective entries after they finish each book.

Need to Know:
1. Students are working on their short stories in class only
     – Rough Draft Due Friday, Feb 5th
     – Final Draft Due Monday, Feb 29th
2. Grades will be updated tomorrow with the quiz from last week
    – those who want to retake the quiz should see me in tutorials this Thursday to review
3. “Countries of the World Donut Challenge” (completely optional, click link for more info!)

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)

Table Talk: 
​- What are you currently reading?​
– What new genres have you enjoyed so far?
– What ​is your short story about?
– Why do writers use dialogue and introspection in their stories?
– How do you think Otzi the Iceman died? What evidence makes you think this?
– After seeing your report card comments, what are your strengths as a student?
– After seeing your report card comments, what do you need to work on getting better at as a student?