Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"We are bound only by the limitations of our imaginations, and maple syrup." ~Misha Collins


". . .The ground is almost bare, yet very little grows. This season is not good for much . . . unless you’re one of those overalls-clad, Northwoods diehards who eagerly awaits the running of the maple sap. If you are, you lovingly set aside this season, “from the Ides of March to the singing of the spring peepers,” for tending your trees."
~by Eva Apelqvist



                       ANCIENT GREECE

Monday:  Finish Shield Activity

For the people of ancient Greece, vases were designed for function as well as beauty. These terra-cotta vessels were used in nearly all aspects of daily life--for storage, carrying, mixing, serving, drinking, and for holding perfume or cosmetics. See HERE.  Creating amphoras was a hot, dirty, and laborious job, and although they served a real practical purpose, they were elaborately shaped and decorated--a skill often handed down from father to son. 
 A closer look can be found HERE.   
Designs galore HERE!   
Create a Greek Amphora!  Directions HERE.
Interactive Greek Amphora Design HERE.


Voting is a right best exercised by people who have taken the time to learn about the issues.  ~Tony Snow

Monday-Friday:  Follow directions for completing your persuasive/argument writing piece (business letter format).

Left over from last week:
  1. Complete paragraphs outlining three issues of concern to you.
  2. Be sure to provide evidence to support each point. (Cite each source!)
  3. Acknowledge an opposing point of view -- it strengthens your paper.
  4. Complete your intoduction and conclusion.
  5. Finish typing & pair-sharing.
  6. Edit & revise.
  7. Turn in on Friday.

Monday:  Unit 7 Review Test and Corrections
Tuesday:   Unit 7 Final Test.  Let's DO it!
Wednesday: SBAC review
Thursday:  SBAC review

Friday:  SBAC review




Lesson 10, Test Friday!



Sunday, March 20, 2016

Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education. Franklin D. Roosevelt

As we learn more about what makes a democracy, we have before us a true "teachable moment."  Here is an opportunity to teach our children about how responsible, engaged, and informed citizen participation is vital to a healthy democracy.
These students are intelligent, empathetic, and aware of the controversy, and often the rhetoric, that comes with any election process, and clearly they are developing their voice, their opinions, about this one. We must show them that we value these opinions and challenge them to support their opinions with facts. (That begins with showing them how.) 

We can start by finding out what is important to them and then make watching or reading about the presidential debates a shared experience. Look HERE for ideas.  

From class discussions, it's clear that our students are value driven and have clear opinions about what kind of world they want to live in.  They/we have their parents to thank for that. What a wonderful community.

With all the chaos and confusion of  this election season, let's not forget . . .

MARCH 21-25

Monday: We are aware of many issues that concern American citizens in this presidential election year. For today: Take 5 minutes and create an independent list of things/issues that are important to you. Combine lists and add more as you think of them.  From this enhanced list, choose 8 that you are particularly passionate about.
Tuesday-Thursday: Using the list from yesterday, write a business letter entitled, "Dear Presidential Candidates." Present your top three issues using the B.E.E. format. Remember to support each of your choices with facts. Use your computers to find out more about each of them. Directions in class.
Friday: With a partner, conference, edit, and revise. 

FYI: Here's your incredible brainstorm list! (Yes, YOU DID THIS TOGETHER, you brilliant, politically-aware young citizens, you!) 

global warming, pollution, animal cruelty, increased (deadly) diseases, racism, cure for cancer, climate change, free college tuition, ISIS, gun control, women's rights, bringing soldiers home, our space program, tax reformhealth care, cost of living, suicide bombings/terrorists, securing our borders, child care, child abuse, immigration, pay equity, minimum wage increase, education, increased securityperscription drug costs, defense of social security, Wall Street accountability, family medical leave, second amendment rights, national defense, Washington accountability, U.S. trade reform, taking care of our veterans


Wednesday:  Create a chart showing the difference between Greek and Roman gods. Provide the name and a brief description for each of the 12 major gods, the Olympiand: Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Dionysus, Hera, Hermes, Hephaestus, Poseidon, Zeus.

FRIDAY:  Choose a god or goddess from the list you created and write a short (typed) description.  Then design a shield (four inches in diameter) with a symbol that exemplifies that god or goddess.

  • Click on your god or goddess of choice HERE to read about their characteristics.


Did you ever watch this?  Let's do it!
Horrible Histories--Groovy Greeks


Monday:  Common Core Math games
Tuesday:  Lesson 7.6.  Use Algebraic Expressions. Share & Show, pgs. 391-392. Practice & Homework, pgs. 393-394
Essential Question:  How can you use variables and algebraic expressions to solve problems?
Wednesday:  Lesson 7.7. Problem Solving - Combining Like Terms. Share & Show, pgs. 397-398.  Practice & Homework, pgs. 399-400.
Essential Question:  How can you use the strategy use a model to combine like terms?
Thursday:  Lesson 7.8.  Generate Equivalent Expressions.  Share & Show, pgs. 403-404.
Essential Question:  How can you use properties of operation to write equivalent algebraic expressions?
Friday:  Lesson 7.9 Identify Equivalent Expressions.
Share & Show, pgs. 409-410.  Practice & Homework, pgs. 411-412. 
Essential question:  How can you identify equivalent algebraic expressions?

Lesson 7.6

Lesson 7.7

Another 7.7

Lesson 7.8

More 7.8

Lesson 7.9

10 True Tales: Heroes of Hurricane Katrina

Based on what we read and talk about, you’ll be able to draw a lot of conclusions or determinations called INFERENCES.  We’ll talk a lot about them as we read this book.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"History is yours to make. It is not owned or written by someone else for you to learn. History is not just the story you read; it is the one you write. . ."

 Daylight Savings Time, March 13, 2016

Change isn't easy. . .
So how's everybody doing after losing that (oh so precious) hour of sleep on Sunday?  I must say, the ol' rise and shine isn't exactly working for me right now.  Fiddling with people's sleep schedule has proved to be not such a good idea in lots of ways. For example, it takes a bit of adjusting before productivity regains momentum (which costs businesses $434 million annually!) and groggy drivers make the morning commute a bit more of a challenge. 

For those of you who aren't morning people to begin with, I feel your pain!

So, why engage in this peculiar ritual in March and November?  Read on to see what many people believe is the reason for the bi-yearly switch-a-roo. 

Myth #1:  Daylight Savings Time was established to help the farmers.
Well, no.  Truth be told, it's just the opposite. In fact, farmers lobbied hard against it because it left them with an hour less time each day to get their crops to market.  They actually blocked Daylight Savings Time until 1966 when President Johnson managed to sign it into law.

Myth #2:  It helps us to conserve energy.
Nope.  In fact, it's just the opposite here, too.  A study made in 2008 found that it actually hikes air conditioning bills on those warm summer days and increases our gasoline usage.  (Hey, if it's still light out, why not get in the car and go somewhere?) Also, since mornings are darker, people turn on more lights.  
So much for this theory, huh?

Myth #3:  We have Benjamin Franklin to thank for Daylight Savings Time.
Oh, he might have toyed with the idea when he was in France in 1784, suggesting that rising earlier was a great way to get more done (obviously a morning person. . .), but it was actually a guy by the name of William Willet, a British builder, who proposed the idea of "British Summer Time" in 1905.  No surprise that the farmers opposed it here, too. It became a law after Willet died in 1915.

Myth #4: There's no changing it now.
Never say never.  In 2007 the government extended it by a month thanks to the lobbying efforts of businesses who profit from longer evenings (recreational facilities, golf courses, outdoor water parks, etc.).  On the flip side, schools/parents don't want their kids waiting for the bus in the dark on those cold winter mornings . .  

Interesting to note:  Arizona and Hawaii don't change clocks twice a year like the rest of us.  

Something to consider.  . .


"History is yours to make.  It is not owned or written by someone else for you to learn.  History is not just the story you read, but the story you write. . ."

Monday:  Three ways to approach the same information: 

1.  "The Rise of Democracy" -- Read it  HERE.

2. Forms of Government Prezi (Another Great Overview!)

3.  Watch these (very short) videos that also explain. . .

Now you should be sufficiently brilliant to complete THIS worksheet! Please turn in!

Tuesday:  Jigsaw activity -- Four forms of ancient Greek government:  monarchy, oligarchy, tyranny, and democracy.
  1. Divide into 4 groups. Each group should create a chart addressing the following aspects of one form of ancient Greek government to share with the class. Then. . .
  2. Create and perform brief role-play demonstrating this form of government.
  3. Copy all information on graphic organizer creating a symbol for each form of government.
Chart should include:
    • The name of the form of government
    • The definition
    • The etymology
    • Information about how this form of government worked in ancient Greece
    • Why this form of government declined in ancient Greece
    • What do we know about this form of government in today’s world?

Wednesday: Simulation of Athenian democracy.

Democracy--A Short Introduction

Check this out!  When done, create a Venn Diagram that shows the similarities and differences of Athenian Democracy and Democracy in the United States.

 Thursday & Friday: Go HERE to learn about the development of government in ancient Greece. What a FUN read!  Don't forget to go through it all, though--there's an assignment at the end!  


and the Solar System

Tuesday:  Videos (below) & discussion



Wednesday: The Life & Death of Stars PPT & Notetaking activity

Thursday: Begin work on Part 1 of the Independent Project -- Space Newsletter Worksheet

Other Resources:

I love this song/video. . .made for kids of all ages 
just like you & me.

For the Teacher: