Last Auction for this Cohort of Students

Students got to finally spend down all of their earnings with our last auction of the school year. Thanks to dozens of donations from local, national and multinational companies, students had plenty to bid on. Moreover, students who demonstrated a willingness to save money over the year were awarded with items like a Camelbak backpack, a Kindle Fire, and Virtual Reality Goggles.

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Highlights from our Visit to the Nevada Capitol

Our last field trip for the year was to the Nevada Capitol. We started with a tour of the capitol and quickly moved through 150 years of history including a look at the first Supreme Court, the first legislative chamber and a visit to the museum. This was followed by a tour of the Legislature and a chance to see first-hand the passage of several bills. Moreover, Assemblywoman Jill Tolles was able to visit with the students and share some of her experiences.

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Our First Week Working With Shakespeare

We finished our first week working with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our initial discussions focused on understanding the historical context in which Shakespeare worked and who Shakespeare was. We unpacked the language of Shakespeare and practiced reading key pieces of dialogue with a focus on iambic pentameter.

This initial work has allowed us to read through the first two scenes in Act I. The students have been doggedly persistent and things have gone as well as we could have hoped.

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Blending Google Forms with Fraction Work

Today we took an assessment covering multiplication and division of fractions and decimals. I changed things up a bit, however, by having students record their answers in Google Forms. This allows for instant feedback like you see below for me and a way for parents to keep current on student performance. In short, I’ll likely be doing this again.

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Zooming In

Today we completed a Zoom In. In this case we took a careful look at Edward Hicks’ Peaceable Kingdom. This is an instructional strategy first introduced to me by Angela Orr which she describes as follows:

The Zoom-In Strategy is an excellent way for you to have students participate in document analysis in a new way. Zoom-In’s are images that have been manipulated so the students only see a portion of the image, rather than the whole thing at one time. Students often struggle to identify the nuances in art, details in a photograph, or historical significance of terms or images chosen by an author/artist/photographer/illustrator. Zoom-In’s highlight these nuances and with the use of guiding questions enable students to analyze primary sources in a new way.

The strategy is important insofar as reinforcing the the habit of making claims supported by reasoning and evidence.

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The First Auction of 2017

Today marked our fourth classroom auction. Impressively, this class has a number of savers who have been sitting out these events in favor of buying their desks and turning them into condominiums.

A big part of a successful auction is receiving donations. Over our winter break, 19 different companies and people contributed items for the effort. These partners in education are not only contributing material items but they are also helping with developing financial literacy. Thank you!

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.