Showing posts from April, 2015

April 23

Focus Question: What types of economic systems do nations use? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

Today's lesson was mostly devoted to a simulation. Students' task was to draw a car to "sell" to their
classmates, who purchased them with mint Life Savers. In round one, I told students that they had to draw a minivan. Though one customer "purchased" one of the minivans, everyone received a mint for their efforts. In round two, the customer explained what their dream car would be. The producers were then able to draw whatever vehicle they thought would best sell to the customer. We had some creative vehicles! The simulation was followed with a brief discussion of which system was fairer, and students pointed out that each system was fair to some people and unfair to others. Finally, students took notes on three economic systems: communism (Round 1), capitalism (Round 2), and mixed.

Blog Post:

- What is an economic system?

What questions do they answe…

April 22

Focus Question: How can I make my poetry "sing?"

Today's class focused on helping students add rhythm and meter into their poetry. I tried to "hook" students by showing them a video of a postal clerk in Ghana using rhythm to make his work more interesting. Check it out above. Next we defined the term rhythm and looked at two common rhythmic patterns in poetry: iambic and anapestic. There was lots of drumming on desks! (I can't help myself with this alliteration thing.) After that, we defined meter and defined the term foot as it applies to poetry. Students then applied their knowledge by examining poems and deciding on their rhythm and meter. This was no easy task. Finally students wrote poems using a specific rhythm and meter. I'm excited to see what they come up with.

Out of Class Work:

1) Complete your economic systems blog post (C Block) for tomorrow (Thursday).
2) Complete a draft of your sonnet (E Block) or other type of poem (G Block) for Friday.

Introduction to Economic Systems

Focus Question:
- What is an economy/economic system?

Today we began an in-depth look at Globalization that will likely take us to the end of the year. First, we'll be looking at how students' possessions help link them to people around the globe. As a first step toward that, the focus of today's class was a simulation in which students had to make a product using paper in about 15 minutes. Students were very creative, which led us to the question of how we were going to distribute the wonderful products that they made. This led to a discussion of the three basic questions that every economic system must answer.

Out of Class Work
1) Complete a draft of your 13 ways poem for tomorrow (try for at least 7 stanzas)
2) C Block: Finish your blog post answering the following questions:

What did you learn today about economic systems?HOW did you learn about economic systems?What questions do you still have about economic systems? 3) Finish your "So much depends upon.." vid…

So much depends upon....

April 7

Focus Question: What is the job of a poet? What tools do poets use to accomplish it?

Learning Targets:

I can explain how figurative language impacts a pomI can identify examples of figurative language in a poemI can brainstorm topics to write aboutI can use effective repetition in a poemNarrative: We began today by finishing our discussion of figurative language and how it is used in a poem. Students wrote about their morning routine using as many examples of figurative language as possible. Students then completed a "heart map" of topics that were important to them and that they could possible write poetry about. Finally, the class discussed repetition and how it can be used effectively in a poem. Students then took a topic from their heart map and created a pantoum, which is a poem with a specific type of repetition scheme. 

April 6

Focus Question: What is the job of a poet? What tools do they use to accomplish it?

Learning Targets: I can...

DefineIdentifyInterpret Figurative Language
Narrative: Today we started a new unit on poetry. Students first shared their thoughts on poetry. About half the class seemed to like poetry while the other half was a little less enthusiastic. To help inspire us, we began our unit by watching a brief clip of the Dead Poets Society in which Robin Williams, playing John Keating, explained the importance of poetry. We then defined some types of figurative language, identified them in some poems, and, finally, interpreted their use in the Billy Collins poem "Introduction to Poetry," a video of which is below.

April 3

Focus Question: Who is responsible for the Transatlantic Slave Trade?

Learning Targets:

I can present informationI can participate in a discussionI can evaluate the roles of the Africans and the Europeans in the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Students began to day by practicing presentation skills. The goal is for students to do less reading of their slides and more explaining. After about 15 minutes of practice, students presented as lawyers, either prosecuting or defending the Africans or Europeans. After the presentations, students discussed the level of responsibility for the slave trade. At times the discussion became quite heated! After all this discussion of the evidence, students began planning for an essay about their thoughts on the trade that is due Tuesday, April 7 by the end of the day.

April 2

Focus Question: Who was responsible for the Transatlantic Slave Trade?

Learning Targets:

I can synthesize informationI can present information
Today students were assigned on role in our Slave Trade Trial, which is to take place tomorrow. Students will either prosecute or defend one of our suspects: Europeans or Africans. Students started by brainstorming reasons that they might introduce to support their positions and then found evidence to support those reasons. Finally, students created a team Google Presentation that they will present tomorrow. 
Out of Class Work:  Finish your Google Presentation SlidesThink about how your evidence proves your claim

April 1st

Focus Question: Who is responsible for the Transatlantic Slave Trade?

Learning Targets:

Work in a collaborative partnershipAnalyze the reasons and evidence an author provides to prove a claimEvaluate the reasons and evidence an author provides to prove a claim
Narrative: Students began today by developing one question that they still want answered about the Transatlantic Slave trade. We compiled the questions and then moved to a third reading on the subject. Students partner read for about a half hour. Then, the class reviewed the reasons and evidence that the author provided to prove that Europeans are mainly responsible for the trade. Finally, students evaluated which of the author's reasons they found most convincing and why.

March 31

Focus Question: Who was responsible for the slave trade?

Learning Targets:

I can explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to create an argumentI can synthesize evidence from multiple sourcesI can evaluate the African and European role in the slave tradeNarrative:
For the past several days, students have been learning about the Transatlantic Slave Trade and who was involved. Students have discovered that, while the slave trade had disastrous consequences for the African continent, Africans themselves were responsible for bringing slaves to the European slave traders that carried them across the Atlantic. 
We began today by discussing how this new knowledge fit into what author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls the "single story" of Africa. In this story, Africans are generally poor, ignorant, violent, and needy. Some students thought that learning about Africans' involvement in the trade perpetuated the single story because it showed them committing a horrible crime aga…