Humanities with Mr. Conrad

Our 7th and 8th grade Humanities mock trials were both a wonderful success. The prosecution and defense teams in both classes presented their cases like an episode of Law and Order – “bong-booong.” Using critical thinking skills and collaborative teamwork the classes prepared for trial by writing opening statements to introduce their team perspective to the jury, created detailed questions to promote evidence to support their case using their own witnesses, determined what questions could be asked on cross-examination to attempt to trip up the opposing team, and plead their case using facts and emotion to assert their team perspective of guilty or innocent. Each and every student played their role perfectly presenting the jury with a tough decision. The trial centered around the charges that “JC Roberts” possessed, and possessed with the intent to sell, anabolic steroids. In 7th grade, the defendant was found guilty on one count and not guilty on the other. In 8th grade, the defendant was found not guilty on both counts. The trial was very professional and I loved Geoff Chackel’s comment that our students literally out-performed actual attorneys he’s seen in court. I see some future attorneys in our classes.

I appreciate the large gallery of parents and relatives who came to view the trials. That support truly helps students understand your interest and encouragement in their studies. I also thank all volunteers who helped prepare students and those who sat on the jury, we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

“W🍀W. So well organized. Love how the students take it so serious. I can tell they are growing up. Thanks for being such positive role models. I can see the respect”.
❌⭕️💜🍀 — Quote from Nancy Hoffman

Humanities with Mr. Conrad

Our 7th and 8th grade Humanities mock trials were both a wonderful success. The prosecution and defense teams in both classes presented their cases like an episode of Law and Order – “bong-booong.” Using critical thinking skills and collaborative teamwork the classes prepared for trial by writing opening statements to introduce their team perspective to the jury, created detailed questions to promote evidence to support their case using their own witnesses, determined what questions could be asked on cross-examination to attempt to trip up the opposing team, and plead their case using facts and emotion to assert their team perspective of guilty or innocent. Each and every student played their role perfectly presenting the jury with a tough decision. The trial centered around the charges that “JC Roberts” possessed, and possessed with the intent to sell, anabolic steroids. In 7th grade, the defendant was found guilty on one count and not guilty on the other. In 8th grade, the defendant was found not guilty on both counts. The trial was very professional and I loved Geoff Chackel’s comment that our students literally out-performed actual attorneys he’s seen in court. I see some future attorneys in our classes.

I appreciate the large gallery of parents and relatives who came to view the trials. That support truly helps students understand your interest and encouragement in their studies. I also thank all volunteers who helped prepare students and those who sat on the jury, we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

“W🍀W. So well organized. Love how the students take it so serious. I can tell they are growing up. Thanks for being such positive role models. I can see the respect”.
❌⭕️💜🍀 — Quote from Nancy Hoffman

Augmented Reality is here in time for Christmas! The 4th graders have been working with Mr. Lenz and Mr. Chapple to create an interactive 3-D sandbox that allows us to create all the landforms and bodies of water that they have been learning about in class. The computer software registers the height of the different landforms and then projects different colors and contour lines onto the sand to show the differences in elevation. Kids and adults alike have had a blast creating mountain ranges, archipelagos, plateaus, canyons, and more! We invite you to come in and play!

This week, the third graders presented their Hobby Passion Projects. I asked the children to teach themselves a new hobby. The hobby could be anything, as long as it was something they had never done before. These kids persevered through failure, and journaled the process they went through, reflecting on how they were feeling, what was working, and what they were going to try next. All the students presented their hobby in front of the class and demonstrated what they learned. There were magicians, jugglers, chefs, and more. There were some raised eyebrows from teachers across the hall as Joseph did a skateboard trick down the hallway! Oh what fun was had! The 3rd graders journaled, they practiced, they had choice, they learned, they learned about learning, and they walked away from it slightly better than they were coming into it. In a few weeks and months I’m going to follow-up and ask who is still doing their hobbies. I think, I hope, many will say they are. Let your kids surprise you!

The second graders have taken a deep dive into the scientific method and are honing their scientific writing skills. They have completed several science experiments, both in the classroom and in the lab, focused on erosion, weathering, tectonic plates, earthquakes, and volcanoes. They followed the process of asking a question about how the world works, recording a hypothesis, writing a detailed procedure, recording results, and writing a conclusion. Through these inquiries, they have had to work on their non-fiction reading and writing skills. They are gaining strategies in order to ‘read to learn,’ such as using a glossary to learn new lingo. Some of the new vocabulary we’ve learned includes: crust, magma, mantle, inner and outer core, tectonic plates, erosion, weathering, landforms, and compass rose. The students have enjoyed seeing the connections between science, reading, writing, social studies, and even their local community. If you’re interested in learning more about how the Earth formed and has changed over time, ask a second grader!

Sight words are words that you know at a glance and do not need to sound out. Memorizing sight words helps Kindergarteners with reading and writing. We have been busy learning our sight words by practicing writing them in colored sand and in shaving cream. We have used movement and games to practice with our bodies. We even decorated a sweet holiday candy cane treat with some of our most common words. We have fun while we learn!

Being mindful of ourselves and others is a very important part of our days in Pre-Kindergarten. The week before winter break, we began our time together listening to Miss Banni who read us a story called “A Perfect Gift”.  We talked about how each of us is a unique and perfect gift and that sometimes the most important gift isn’t something that can be wrapped but rather something inside of our heart to be given to someone else. The answers the kids came up with included kindness, love, heartfulness, joy, peace, hugs, and many others. As a visual representation, we created an ornament that included our special gift inside to hang on our Christmas trees. As we begin a new year together, may we all take a moment to enjoy one another’s gifts each and every day.