Students began an argumentative reading and writing unit in ELA. As part of our yearlong Seeds to Shoreline project, we are reading excerpts from Mark Kurlansky's World Without Fish to help us understand the impact of unsustainable human practices on our oceans. We are examining the techniques the author uses to persuade, considering whether he might be biased about this issue and researching to learn more. Following research, students are beginning to compose argumentative essays on topics they care about. We are focusing on using stronger, more varied sentences in our writing while studying the 3 types of sentences (simple, compound and complex). Argumentative writing topics range from the benefits and drawbacks of uniforms, the necessity of homework in school and the problem of ocean plastic pollution, among many others. Ask your child what they are writing about! We are hoping to share our work with community and state stakeholders in order to make our voices heard.
Expressions, Equations, Inequalities….Oh My! That has been our focus for the last month. Now it is time to move on to Geometry. We will begin to investigate the steps to finding surface area as they apply the transformation of the nets of two-dimensional shapes to three dimensional figures. Students are allowed to use calculators in class, on homework, quizzes, and tests, (a simple 4 function calculator will work.) Please make sure your child has one by the end of next week. They will also be allowed to use this calculator on part of our SC Ready, state assessment, in May; therefore we need to be practicing now. We will also cycle back to ratios, rates and percents.
We have really enjoyed continuing our learning of ancient civilizations, traditions and daily life. As we move away from World Religions, we still will analyze the many Asian philosophies as we move into China and Japan. Working in groups, students are become masters of 3 specific Chinese philosophies: Legalism, Confucianism and Taoism. Students have been tasked with reading up on their assigned philosophy and then create a skit to "showcase" their new learning, as well as created a detailed historical outline and artistic representation to show (through pictures) the big ideas of each philosophy.
I am excited to announce that we will be rolling out our Chinese Contributions project (to be done at home.) I have loved seeing how creative students can be and this group is no different. Students will choose a Chinese contribution and then create model of the contribution, as well as prepare a written report to present to the class. Chinese contributions include, but are not limited to: fireworks, gunpowder, noodles, seismograph, stirrups, kites, abacus, etc.
Chinese philosophy group projects in action...
Students have thoroughly enjoyed all the experiential learning in our ANIMAL UNIT. We had conducted a behavioral lab with earthworms, testing to see if they prefer wet or dry environments, while learning about their external anatomy. On our field trip to the Port Royal Maritime Center, students dissected a squid to get a look at the inner workings of an invertebrate organism. We learned the difference between ENDOtherms and ECTOtherms and then worked with goldfish - slowly dropping the temperature of their water and observing how this change in temperature affected respiration rates. Our next unit takes us to the KINGDOM FUNGI!