Halloween 2017: The Celebration

Thank you to all the parents who helped put together our celebration. Having multiple stations kept everyone engaged and having a great time. (You have set the bar high for our Holiday Celebration!)

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A Game of Catch via Socratic Seminar

Today we did a Socratic Seminar with Richard Wibur’s A Game of Catch. This is a particularly difficult text that requires some time to fully understand and comprehend. Although the story is pretty straight forward, the subtext or hidden message, takes some effort to get to.

To the credit of the students, they got there. They saw the symbolism of the apple tree and what it meant that Scho ends the story by saying, “I want you to do whatever you’re going to do for the whole rest of your life!”

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Using a “Fishbowl” to Enhance our Discussions

Today we engaged in a “fishbowl” to debate the pros and cons of having classroom pets. We used materials that presented both sides of the issue and students annotated and rehearsed making claims from either perspective.

We read through three articles over the week and today we employed the instructional strategy. Students in the fishbowl debated the issue and could sub themselves out for someone on the outside who wanted to make a point.

All of this work allowed the students to complete a piece of writing on the topic. And the writing? It is pretty fabulous.

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Our Pro Se Court on Zoos

We finished our fifth week of instruction with a Pro Se Court. After spending the week reading through four different articles on the value of zoos, students were divided into three groups: petitioners, respondents, and justices. The petitioners had to argue that zoos needed to be closed, respondents had to explain the value of zoos, and justices had to weigh the evidence and the strength of the arguments. In turn, the justices had to rule in favor of either the petitioner or the respondent.

There were eight groups and the justices were split 4 to 4 on closing zoos.