Saturday, September 27, 2014

Culture: consists of all the behavioral patterns within a social group that are passed onto the descendants by learning. –Tim Megarry

Welcome to another full week of cool stuff to do.  You'll notice a lot more of your work is available to you online. Use your time well, noble learners. 


  • Monday: pgs. 34-35
  • Tuesday: pgs. 36-37
  • Wednesday: pgs 38-39
  • Thursday: pgs. 40-41
  • Friday: Corrections and BHT


  • Monday: Complete "Prehistoric Animal" writing activity. (Be sure you included name, time period, physical description, what they ate, and anything else that's cooool.)  Get ready to present.
  • Tuesday: Independent Reading Book Project
  • Wednesday: Guidance/Spelling/Study Hall
  • Thursday: "Center Square" activity / October Bingo Cards
  • Friday:  Finish up Book Projects

  • Monday: Lesson 1.4
  • Tuesday: pgs. 19 & 20
  • Wednesday:1.5
  • Thursday: pgs. 21, 22, 23
  • Friday: Mid-Chapter Test


  • Monday and Wednesday: 
Plate Tectonics Web Quest                       
OK awesome quest seekers! Use the dynamic links on this site to complete the packet provided to you.  Responses should be well thought out and complete. This will become a part of your Interactive Science Notebook.


  • Tuesday: "The First People: Calculating Clues from Bones" activity
  • Thursday:  Use this Paleolithic Vs. Neolithic Chart to discover some of the similarities and differences between Paleolithic and Neolithic times. Complete this interactivVenn Diagram listing at least five differences and as many similarities as you can find. Save your document to your Drive, and attach it to an email addressed to me.


  • Could you have survived the Ice Age?  Go here to find out!
  • What wiped out the big beasts? Check here.
  • Want to watch a Mammoth Mystery?  Check it out!
  • Here's a video (with associated links) about Neanderthals.  Learn something new!



The following [really interesting and informative] short articles are from, a great educational resource for learning about history. I like that, for many, you can listen as he reads the article to you.  Be sure to follow along so that you can better complete the assignments that follow. 

Type your answers right online below the article., then go to "File", scroll down to "Share" and click on it.  Type in my email address and mail it to me using your name and the name of the article in the subject bar. Do the same for the following short articles. I look forward to all your emails! Get them done by Friday, October 3rd.

Read "A Long Time Ago" (or read along as Mr. Dowling reads this lesson).  

Read  "Ancient Technology" and type your answers right online below the article. 

Read  "Neanderthals( or read along as Mr. Dowling reads this lesson).  

Read  "Theories"  (or read along as Mr. Dowling reads 
this lesson). 

Read "Charles Darwin"  (or read along as Mr. Dowling reads this lesson). 

Read "Archaeology: The Science of History" (or read along as Mr. Dowling reads this lesson).

Read "Lucy" ( or read along as Mr. Dowling reads this lesson). 

Not to make you nervous or anything, but a BHT is to follow. . . Get ready to SOARRRR. . . .

HEY GUYS! . . .


© Young Writers Project, Inc.

Have you heard of The Young Writers Project?  Check out their very first digital magazine, The Voice! It features "the best writing, photography, sound, and videos from all over the YWP World."  What a great way this could be to publish your work, my capable, creative class! (HINT, HINT!)

Flying kid image from
Writer image from
Webquest thanks to
Dowling, Mike. "A Long Time Ago." Updated August 10, 2014 . Web. September 28, 2014
Dowling, Mike. "Ancient Technology." Updated August 10, 2014 . Web. September 28, 2014.
Dowling, Mike. "Neanderthals." Updated August 10, 2014 . Web. September 28, 2014.
Dowling, Mike. "Theories." Updated August 10, 2014 . Web. September 28, 2014.
Dowling, Mike. "Charles Darwin." Updated August 10, 2014 . Web. September 28, 2014.
Dowling, Mike. "Archaeology: The Science of History." Updated August 10, 2014 . Web. September 28, 2014Dowling, Mike. "Lucy." Updated August 10, 2014 . Web. September 28, 2014.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"..the human past is owned by no one. It represents the cultural heritage of everyone who has ever lived on Earth or will live on it in the future." ~

Here's a cool fact for you:  Scientists believe the earth is about 4.6 billion (that's 4,600,000,000) years old.  If every year was represented as an inch, 4.6 billion years would be equivalent to  383,333,333 1/3 feet-- or 72,601 miles. If you had that much string (just sayin'. . .), it would encircle the earth at the equator three times!  Long string = long time!

Scientists believe man has been on earth for about 200,000 years, which, using the same analogy, would be equivalent to about 3 miles, or half the distance to Vergennes.  (That's only .00004 of the time the earth has been in existance.) Puts things in perspective, huh?

The study of human history is fascinating, much debated, and overflowing with intriguing stuff to discover/analyze/challenge/learn! Our goal is to "comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently" as we explore the physical and cultural characteristics of ancient people.



  • Monday:  Prehistory timeline activity
  • Thursday:  View "The First Humans" PowerPoint below and respond to the questions I provide to you. (Follow directions!)

Early Humans Powerpoint from


  • Tuesday:  Click here to complete the tutorial from PBS Savage Planet website titled: "Hell's Crust; Our Ever-Changing Planet," then begin work on multi-direction Plate Tectonic Interactive Notebook Activity. (Have plates colored and ready to go for Friday.)
  • Friday:  Discuss the significance of the "Ring of Fire." (Click here for more information)  Complete Interactive Notebook Activity (see below).
  1. Cut out plate tectonics that were colored for today.
  2. Glue onto globe template provided. 
  3. Use red or orange marker to show "Ring of Fire." List Major and Minor Plates on second template.
  4. Glue two completed templates (map and list) into facing pages in Interactive Notebooks, and provide a title for each.

  • Monday:  More practice on Factor Trees. Complete "5 Factor Trees" worksheet for tomorrow.  Want to practice? Play this cool game!!
  • Tuesday: Mini-Lesson: How to find Prime.  (Need more help figuring out if a number is prime?  Check here!)   Correct Factor Trees. "Challenge a Friend" practice in preparation for tomorrow's you-know-what. 
  • Wednesday:  BHT on Factor Trees--time to move on! 
  • Thursday:  Introduce Least Common Multiples (1.3, pg. 13 & 14) Assign: Share and Show pg. 15.  
  • Friday:  Assignment = Practice 1.3 wkst. & complete "Unlock the Problem," pg. 16


Monday: Introduced "Things to Do on a Boring Day" poem (with a focus on parallel structure and action verbs) Complete first draft for tomorrow.

Tuesday: Organize each line of your poem by length and copy into your Writers' Notebooks. I will assign a grade on Friday, so have them done! As time permits, work on 4th Bingo Square, due Friday as well.
Wednesday: Guidance today. Work on Spelling,Typing Pal, and finishing up Bingo Square.
Thursday:  Watch video below titled, "Animals of the Stone Age" and follow the directions for this activity overflowing with awesomeness.  Warning: It is not for the faint of heart! 
Friday: Activity time (since we won't have it this afternoon).


Monday: Pgs. 26-27

Tuesday:  Pgs. 28-29
Wednesday:  Pgs. 30-31 (Review)
Thursday:  Pgs. 32-33
Friday: Corrections and BHT


MONDAY: Correct "Just Once" tests / R & R (Relax and Read)

TUESDAY: "It Would Be Hard to Smile at a Smilodon" -- CCSS aligned Science/ E.L.A informational reading comprehension activity.
WEDNESDAY: No School This Afternoon!  Woo-hoo!
THURSDAY:  Continue work from Social Studies--read/research Prehistoric Animals (Include name, time period, physical description--size, weight, etc.--diet, and anything else you find cooool.) Fill out form, then create informative paragraph.

FRIDAY:  R & R (Relax and Read).  Remember, you will have a book project (which I will assign) NEXT TUESDAY, September 30.


Get on your camouflage animal skins, you pretend-prehistoric sixth graders; you're going hunting. This is no job for wusses. The animals you'll encounter are a bagillion times weirder than anything you've hunted before. They've got giant horns and spikes and teeth and claws and, well, let's just say your skills are going to be challenged.  You've heard of the Woolly Mammoth and the Smilodon (Sabre Tooth Tiger)? Get ready to meet the Glyptodon, the Arsinotherium, the Uintatherium, and the Coelodonta just to name a few.

Oh yea, I forgot to mention that you'll be traveling without weapons.  You work for Prehistoric Geographic Magazine and  your job is to come back with detailed descriptions of these animals -- what they look like, act like, eat.  Feel free to take pictures if you dare. Good luck, noble hunters, and best wishes for a safe return.

Check out this list of Prehistoric animals. Look here for more animals and  here for more ideas and some helpful descriptions. Guess where you can go to find information on specific animals?  What do you mean you don't know?  OK, I'l give you a hint. It's spelled G-O-O-G-L-E. I won't say another word.

As you wander, feel free to sing along to this timeless little ditty:

·   Quote Reference: Introduction to the Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Oxford University Press, New York .                  
·   image:                                                                                                                                                              
·   Animal video @                                                                            
·   Prehistoric times image:


Sunday, September 14, 2014

"The most beautiful thing in this world is to see your parents smiling, and knowing that you're the reason behind that smile."


Hello parents--
We're off to such a good start!  It really helps knowing (most of) my students as the year begins. It also helps knowing all of you and the potential we have to positively impact your child's academic success. We both want what is best for "our" children, which is why our parent/teacher collaboration will continue to be so important. Together we can provide a learning environment, both at home and at school, that will support and enhance student learning.  

It's important, too, that students know we're collaborating to ensure their academic success. Homework is one of the ways we can do this.  Students have a planner that they are required to fill out daily. They then come to me to review and initial. They are supposed to share it with you each evening and have you initial, as well. (There is even room for notes when necessary.) It takes only minutes, and it's a chance to connect and validate all that your child does during the day. If students are encouraged, supported, and held accountable for their work both at home and at school, they will be motivated to do their best.

 Please know that your child is required to read 20 minutes per night at the very least. They have a "two books per month" (or approximately 300 pages) goal. Time will be given here as well, so they should be mindful to keep their book in their Trapper Keeper so that it's available at all times. We're aiming for 25 books read this year.  The literature I read to them can also be counted, and we'll keep track of all the informational text we read as well. 

“books are like comfort food without the calories” 
― Elizabeth BergHome Safe



  • Spelling/Word Study: Pgs.  18-19 - also Independent Packet due Thursday
  • E.L.A.:  Modalities activity; begin rough draft of paragraph describing how you use your senses to learn.
  • Math:  Group work -- Worksheet 1.1
  • Science: No Class
  • Social Studies:  Finish "Wonders" packet
  • Reading:  Read and discuss "Just Once"


  • Spelling/Word Study:   Pgs. 20-21
  • E.L.A.:  Begin typing paragraph / work in Writer's Notebook
  • Math:  Pg. 8
  • Science:  Pangea lab (think flower pot. . .) Complete pkt.
  • Social Studies:  No Class
  • Reading:  "Just Once" review; complete reading


  • Spelling/Word Study:  Pgs. 22-23
  • E.L.A.:  Guidance overlapped our time; use to "catch up" on this week's work.
  • Math:  Small group work: n/a (no assignment)
  • Science:  No Class
  • Social Studies:  Collect packets. "What Makes a Wonder a Wonder"
  • Reading:  "Just Once" independent activities


  • Spelling/Word Study:  Pgs. 24-25 (Independent Packet due today!)
  • E.L.A.:  Complete typing / work in ELA Interactive Notebook
  • Math:  Worksheet 1.2
  • Science: Science Interactive Notebooks -- Continental Drift
  • Social Studies:  No Class
  • Reading:  "Just Once" test


  • Spelling/Word Study:  B.H.T. (Big Honkin' Test) / Corrections
  • E.L.A.:  Review work for week. Prepare and turn in ELA Notebooks and Writer's Notebooks
  • Math:  Pg. 12
  • Science:  No Class
  • Social Studies:  Activity block -- n/a
  • Reading:  Independent Reading

Come In; We're Open image:
So Many Books image:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake." ~ Frederick Douglass

San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 - Preview Image
Photograph depicting the St. Francis Hotel following the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco.  Online courtesy the U.S. Archives and Records Administration.
No one
can comprehend the calamity to San Francisco
in its entirety.
~Emma Burke, eyewitness


Tuesday:  We introduced our review of Plate Tectonics with a visual journey to the 1906 SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE.
(Metric Converter -- kilometers to miles)

Plate Tectonics

A preview of PLATE TECTONICS--scroll to the bottom to answer 2 questions.


  1. Close read of "Alfred Wegener and Continental Drift"
  2. Group Activity:  Complete "Writing Frame:Continental Movement

Monday:  Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Power Vocabulary (Introduced last Friday: Played Vocabulary Concentration.) 

Assignment: (1) Power Vocabulary Crossword, (2) Matching, and (3) Word Search/Missing Fact sheets packet (with accompanying vocabulary sheet to use as needed for reference)

  1. Quiz on Power Vocabulary
  2. Hand out KIDS DISCOVER "Seven Wonders of the World."
  3.  Assignment: Complete "Get Set to Read" then begin reading/discussion.
As time permits (to be continued on Monday):
  1. "It's In the Reading" -- After reading KIDS DISCOVER, choose the best answer for each question and fill in the appropriate circle.
  2. "Everything Visual" map study. Study the map to answer questions.

Monday: Begin ELA Interactive Notebook with "Parts of Speech" activity
Tuesday: Complete activity. Begin typing "How I Learn"
Wednesday: Guidance/Spelling
Thursday: Finish typing "How I Learn"
Friday: Work on Writers' Notebooks activities for September.


Monday: pg. 10 Introduce words for the week.
Tuesday: pg. 11
Wednesday: pg. 13 & 14
Thursday: pg. 15 & 16
Friday: Test

Monday: Begin Go Math Fall Assessment
Tuesday:  Complete Fall Assessment
Wednesday:  Begin review of Division of Larger Numbers (n/a)
Thursday:  Pages 5 & 6 Group and Individual Practice
Friday:  Mad Minute. Finish small group work/check out online activities.


San Francisco Earthquake story:  "San Francisco Earthquake of 1906" September 9, 2014 San-Francisco-Earthquake-of-1906>.
Plate Tectonic image:
YouTube video "Plate Tectonics--A Documentary" from
Math Facts image: