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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boo! Week of 10/27-10/31

This week we had our first Socratic Seminar on the banning of fast foods in certain cities. We collected data using a Google form and read several articles on fast food bans around the country. We learned about two helpful sites, Writing Fun for help organizing writing and Dance Mat typing for keyboarding skills - what a fun game! Some of us are taking part in AFI's Ghost Story Challenge. The winners could win a FLIP Video Camera(BTW, MOM and DAD, this is a great Christmas or Hanukah present.) Check out the rules here.

Next week we are having a mock election and possibly having another socratic seminar on the end of textbooks in the classroom. We are trying to figure out whether or not it would be cheaper to provide a mini laptop such as an eeePC to every 6th grader, rather than a set of textbooks. These laptops could be used all the way through high school. We are trying to collect information. To prepare, we are starting another survey, to be posted soon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20-24

This week we became Image Detectives.
We also finished our Letters to the Future President using Google Docs and submitted them. We cut and paste our letters into to see the keywords from our letters. Wordle is awesome! We have been talking about the upcoming election and have been planning a mock election. We have been studying Google Elections Maps to check out the campaign trail and the electoral votes.

Please take this survey on fast food. We are using the data for an upcoming Socratic seminar.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life Maps

At the beginning of the year, we each made Life Maps to get to know each other better. Below are some picture of our maps. For each map we had to share 7 events in our lives in a creative way. We also had to present the maps to our class in an oral presentation.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Week of 10/6 - 10/10

Eventhough we had one day off, this week was busy with the Presidential Debate. Many students watched and analyzed the debate, some students watched the whole thing, and boy were they tired! We researched the use of presidential campaign songs and picked our own campaign songs.
We also read different accounts of the American Dream and took a sample citizenship test
We formed groups and traveled to different stations around the room and hallway to read several different points of view of the American Dream. Next we filled in a graphic organizer. Next week we will share our answers and start a Letter to the Future President Project. Students in Mrs. Hartman's Section 2 class are working with partners with Mr. Spevack's 6th grade class from the Bronx, NY. On Friday, they had a video conference with them using Skype. Mr. Davis used a Flip Video Camera to film the action. Next week we will also be going to the computer lab to work on our letters using Google Docs.

Week of 9/29-10/3

This week we started a unit called American Dreams and discussed what the American Dream means to different people, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., our family members, and teachers. James Truslow Adams first used the phrase, "the American Dream" in 1931.Each class created a wordle or word cloud of our collective American Dreams. We also talked about how the financial crisis and the failed bailout will affect the American Dream for many people.
We also made posters with our groups about what the American Dream means to us.
Each class also made a wordle, click here to view one.