Cultural History: We continue to learn and grow with our new knowledge of ancient civilizations. We were extremely excited to learn that within the last week or so a major discovery occurred in the Valley of the Kings. King Khufu's Pyramid (found in Giza) contains a never before discovered room that is so big it could hold a jumbo jet. No one knows exactly what they will find, but archeologists are scrambling to figure out what the room contains...STAY TUNED. We have enjoyed learning about the many Greek gods and goddesses and were inspired, warned and educated as we read through, watched and/or performed a variety of Greek Mythology tales (The Golden Touch: King Midas, Odysseus and Pandora's Box). Finally, using out newly discovered knowledge, we created Ancient Greece Travel Brochures to not only inform, but entice one to travel to either Ancient Athens or Ancient Sparta. . . All aboard!!!
Our focus has been on reflecting on our work and setting new goals as we prepared for Portfolio Night. Students capped off their first novel study of The Giver with a summative assessment and used rubrics to evaluate their "Where I'm From" poems and videos. We completed reflections of ourselves as readers and writers and wrote new goals for trimester 2. Students created portfolio binders designed to showcase published work that they will produce this year and created digital portfolios on iPads. We all participated in a gallery walk and shared compliments and suggestions as we previewed each others portfolios.
Next up, we are beginning small group literature circles! Students shopped among 8 book choices this week and chose their favorite. If I sent you an email asking for a book for your child, plan to send the book on Monday. All 8 novels we are reading feature THE HERO'S JOURNEY! We will integrate our work with social studies by studying the original hero, Homer's Odysseus from The Odyssey. We are also beginning a new writing unit. Students have been developing ideas about true stories from their own life and will write PERSONAL NARRATIVES. We started by working with partners to examine personal narratives written by middle school authors and also by published writers in order to determine the characteristics all narratives share. Then, we "wrote off the page" to develop our ideas and used a graphic organizer to plan our story. See the slide show below to see us in action in English Language Arts!
Field Experience - Seeds to Shoreline Project
In Science this week we switched gears from WEATHER to BIOLOGY in preparation for our field trip on Friday. This trip is the beginning of of our yearlong project Seeds to Shoreline where we collect, grow and replant Spartina alternaflora into the salt marsh to rebuild this essential habitat. This week we did a fun "thinking" lab titled Living, Non-Living or Dead. After the lab we outlined the 7 characteristics all living things have: MRS. GREN (movement, reproduction, sense, growth, respiration, excretion, and nutrition). Our trip to PRSF was a great success! We collected seeds, toured the center, bagged oysters for the SCORE program, and took a nature hike out into the marsh. If you have the opportunity near your house to collect seeds we would GREATLY appreciate it.