Investigating the Earth and the Sun

Our investigation of the Earth and the Sun began today with this focus question: How and why does your shadow change during the day. This is the launch for our studies that include a survey of the solar system, a look at our atmosphere, a focus on the Earth’s surface and defining characteristics of the Earth.

Below are images from our first investigation in which we traced our shadows at 11:20 and again at 2:40.


Socratic Seminar: A Game of Catch

This week we completed our first Socratic Seminar. We used the text A Game of Catch to reinforce the habit of buttressing claims with evidence from text. In this case, students had to build their case and answer the questions, Why did Scho fall from the tree?

Our Socratic Seminar followed the structure listed at (here) in which 100% of the talking and arguing is done by the students.

Our DeskCycle is Immediately Put to Use

It didn’t take long for students to start using the DeskCycle. In fact, all of our 15 minute slots were immediately taken after I posted time sign-ups on our whiteboard. Great that the kids are excited to move and great that they are opting into exercise. Most are reporting burning over a 100 calories in their short turns on the cycle.


Our Study of the American Revolution Begins

Today we started our study of the American Revolution. The big idea for students to grasp, after working through 17 units, is that disagreements about principles of government led colonists to seek independence from Great Britain. Students will be introduced to important battles, historical figures, and writings so they know what values were at the heart of the Revolution.