The students continue to work on our unit on the “America Becomes a World Power” with a focus to the Spanish-American War. To express their learning, students are focusing on how to properly compose expository paragraphs. This helps students learn to select the most important information and how to present details concisely. In addition, students are expressing the main idea of their paragraph in cartoon form. This is leading into the understanding and creation of political cartoons; how to form and present an opinion. We have learned how Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst may have influenced America to go to war through their style of writing known as “yellow journalism”. We learned about Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti and are now learning about a little known figure in history Alfred Thayer Mahan. We will be moving into reading a book on Teddy Roosevelt and wrapping up the unit by creating a portfolio to showcase their work.
We’re wrapping up our study of key literary elements and moving into two independent reading projects based on short stories the students have chosen. Research shows that when students have choices in their learning, they are not only more highly engaged and productive but also more likely to think more deeply and creatively, work with more persistence, and be more excited about sharing their knowledge. Next week in class, students will begin working on a character analysis, a 5-paragraph informative essay that builds on the expository writing foundation they’ve established in Humanities. I’m looking forward to seeing how they pour the creativity and enthusiasm I’ve been seeing in their journals into a more formal essay!
We started a new unit this week – Chemistry! In this unit, students learn about atomic structure, chemical bonding, and chemical reactions. This unit is one of my favorites because of all the hands-on learning that occurs. To start off the unit I wanted to do something that was fun and applicable to students’ lives, and the changing fall leaves gave us the perfect opportunity to do that! On Monday we went for a short nature walk, observed the changing colors, predicted why the colors change, and collected a few leaves to study. Upon returning to class, we had a class discussion and learned the chemical processes that determine the beautiful changing colors we see each and every fall. Sometimes students learn topics that are exciting but are rarely used or seen in their everyday life. My goal was to connect the science they learn in my class to the real-life experiences they have every day during this season! Science is around us every day, and in so many different ways, as long as you know where to look for it 🙂 Happy Fall!!
Have you ever made a batch of pancakes, sat down to eat them and only found crumbs left on the plate because the recipe you followed didn’t make enough to feed everyone in the family?
In our current unit of study we are learning about the importance of ratios and how we can use proportions to solve problems like the one above. How does adding one extra egg to a recipe affect all the other ingredients? When I mix gas and oil for my motorcycle, how much gas would I need to mix if I only had 3 oz of oil left? A pitcher in the Little League World Series was throwing 80 mph from 46 feet, how does that compare to a major league pitcher who throws from 60 feet 6 inches?
It has been fun watching the students learn how to solve these problems and appreciating the practical applications for what we are learning. As students finish their recipe project this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up Saturday morning to a breakfast of pancakes or waffles that would feed everyone in the family, including the cook.
7th grade students are hard at work in class on their Create-A-Band project. They’ve currently created fictional characters and descriptions for their bands and are working on producing a complete history for their band. This coming week, they’ll finalize their CD cover and lyrics and choose to complete three of five projects – creating original lyrics for a song, compiling a touring schedule with venues and dates, choosing interview questions for a major appearance, writing a newspaper review with both positive and negative opinions of their band or writing a gossip column, similar to what would be seen in a magazine. This project will culminate with group music videos and a class presentation in full costume and character. The creativity is flowing, and we’re learning a lot about the costs involved in being a professional musician.