Cultural History This week in Cultural History we continue to analyze, as well as compare and contrast Meso-American cultures. So far we have looked at daily life regarding the Inca, Maya, Aztec and Anasazi native tribes. Disease, weapons, earthquakes, draught, Spanish explorers?!?!. . . Students inferred as to why and how these civilizations met their demise, but had help as they participated in a Meso-America "Hands on History." Here students recreated major contributions, technological advancements, as well as use their new understanding of the writing systems and astrology to complete a myriad of informative tasks. Lastly, we watched episodes of Voyage of the Mimi to help us gain a better understanding of what life LOOKED like in Meso-America.
English Language Arts
Students were so excited to participate in a book study on the the informational text, World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky. Each day we read both aloud and in groups in order to summarize key ideas and discuss what we read. During the study students produced two text dependent analysis papers in order to examine the problem of unsustainable human practices that are harming oceans and ocean ecosystems. Following the study, we are creating persuasive essays in order to educate others about one problem that is harming our oceans. Each student researched to chose a topic that they care about.
We've also been busy identifying nine parts of speech, distinguishing between dependent and and independent clauses, and learning about the three types of sentences (simple, compound and complex). Students are learning how to improve their sentence fluency by using more than one type of sentence in their writing.
As we came to the end of trimester 2, students worked with a partner to teach the class one thing they learned during the trimester by creating a keynote and presenting it to the class. Each team also used an interactive component or game to help the whole class review important concepts. We ended our book study with a Socratic Seminar this week! Students discussed big ideas from the book such as: Does trash ever really go away? Does change in one part of a system affect the whole system? Does activism always create positive change?
Math In math this week we worked on multiple representations of functions. Students are now able to translate among graphs, tables and equations. Students completed study guides and the test is scheduled for March 28th/29th. As we work through these assessments we will also begin looking at our next unit, Geometry. Students will be allowed to use a calculator in this unit for basic calculations so please provide them with a basic 4 function calculator starting next week. Students can also use this same calculator on the State Assessment in May.
Science Students finished up our unit on the ANIMAL KINGDOM with a favorite lab, the Owl Family Lab, where they took on the roles of individuals in an owl family and worked to help owlets survive. This simulation is exciting and very informative as we find out how difficult it is to keep baby owls alive and safe from even unseen dangers such as poison. We were also so thrilled to have a visit from Lila Arnold from Lowcountry Raptors. She brought in five owls and students learned about each owl's unique structural and behavioral adaptations. We have recently been studying the FUNGI KINGDOM. Students have dissected mushrooms (the fruiting body of the fungi) and conducted partner research on weird & wonderful fungi from around the world. On March 29th we will go to Bennett's Point DNR Field Station to conduct a plankton tow and dissect a squid. This will definitely be a trip to remember!
Shannon Duffy: Science firstname.lastname@example.org Elizabeth Hargrove: Cultural History email@example.com Karen Miller: ELA firstname.lastname@example.org Deborah Mixon: Math email@example.com