Fishbowl: Service Animals

We used a sample Smarter Balanced Test item to get ready for a persuasive essay on service animals. We read through three texts, annotated for evidence and then rehearsed for our writing using a Fishbowl. In a Fishbowl, students sit in a circle with several students in the middle. Participants share ideas around a topic…

Blending Our Learning with Google Classroom

This week we leveraged many of the elements of Google Classroom including building presentations for our Great American Day, taking a quiz with Google Forms, reviewing geography with http://www.earth-picker.com/ and Google Maps, and sharing data via Google Sheets. Taken together, we were able to blend our learning and reach outcomes not possible just a few years…

Our Work with The Phantom Tollbooth Begins

Today we started our work with Norton Juster’s classic, The Phantom TollBooth. We did a lot of things to get us ready for this including careful observations of paintings by Salvador Dali (e.g, The Persistence of Memory) and a close reading of Abbott and Costello’s skit, “Who’s on First.” In addition we deconstructed how puns are largely based…

Our Pro Se Court

Today we did our first Pro Se Court. This was the culmination of reading through four different sources on zoos and identifying evidence to support claims about the value of zoos. All of the source material (here) is written at the 7th grade level and this required students to navigate complex text and work with challenging…