Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Semiotics and Kung Fu

Today we presented some great projects and also passed out our mini-project on semiotics/Indian symbols. I took a few sections through the process and this will be due on December 5th.
We also talked a bit about how to earn that top grade. I read some stories that students wrote on their tests, which was by far more than the minimum. Remember students, you can always earn extra credit by writing!
The PTO provided popcorn and a movie for all the hard work done raising funds, including our Ice Cream Social! Thanks again PTO, the movie was a big hit!
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Be sure to be thinking about (and working on) your Native American projects.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Testing, testing 1,2

We had a test today on Native Americans and for the most part, the scores look pretty good! Some students aren't finished with the writing component and may take their tests home over the weekend. Several students did NOT use their materials in a manner that I have emphasized since the first day of school. Students

As usual, I will give poor/failing grades a chance to redo their test for higher points. Our next couple weeks of running writing will be free writing either stories or informational reports and will be due December 5th! Hopefully students are on the way to starting (or finishing) their projects.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Freakanomics Friday

We had a heavily shortened day-our chorus went to the mall to perform and to see Santa Claus of course! We hammered through some economics notes and also did some light duty economics work with the students who weren't gone (see picture). We are still a little off schedule and will be working dilligently to get caught up on the Georgia pacing guidelines.
A few students have lost their notebooks! Please make sure they catch up. You can print out notes and cut and paste them into a notebook if you choose! Or, you can do like several parents and have your student copy the notes word for word as a consequence of not being responsible with your notes. Notes are extremely important for success in our classroom environment.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Learning to fly

Today we covered the Plains Indians, including the Pawnee and the Comanche tribes. Remember that both were nomadic, but the Pawnee actually farmed for half the year and hunted buffalo for the other half.

Students learned what a travois (truh-VOY) was today, it was like a sled the Comanche used on land. The also learned about the Comanche's mastery of horses after the Spanish introduced horses in the New World in the 1500s.

I rewarded all the hard work with flying lessons. Here's KAT throwing a little mustard on with a loop-de-loop in the F-16. You can get this program when you download Google earth. As you can see, we are flying over the Great Plains!

Students also went over to NHM, I'm sure they are telling you all about their "field trip"!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sufferin for Suffrage!

Today we celebrated Elizabeth Cady Stanton's birthday. After a long life of fighting for women's rights, Stanton died without ever casting a vote! Wow.
We had our author visit, which was fantastic and entertaining, as well as informative on the editing and writing process. If you still want a book, it's not too late. Check your student's planner or take home folder for the important information.
Tomorrow we will go to the middle school for additional instruction in art, PE and computers! Make sure to write a short note if you didn't turn in a permission slip.
Several sections got into the Plains Indians and took notes on them. If you want to be ahead of the game, please check the following link for what we discussed or will discuss in the near future.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hopi you are doing well

Today we took notes and got in depth on the Hopi Indians. We talked about the adaptations the Hopi had to make to survive in the hot and dry climate of the desert. We also looked at the slide show on our homepage and talked about how students could make projects from those ideas. Please make sure your student also is thinking about their project, it's due in a few scant weeks! I had a great project already come in. It's a tipi made in Sketchup
We did a before and after chart on the Hopi in a couple of sections (see picture). I stole this idea from another Social Studies teacher.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Project Due December 3

Hi all!

Yesterday and today we talked about the Pueblo tribes from the desert southwest. I also introduced the project every student will do.

This project is open ended and can be about ANYTHING you've learned in Social Studies this year.

Ideas could include, but are not limited to:
Pottery (clay or salt dough)
Kachina dolls (use paper towel tubes)
Fake arrowheads
Igloos (styrofoam blocks?)
Mocassins (leather?)
Drums (paper/coffee can)
Paper/clay villages
Salmon trap (Kwakiutl)-made of toothpicks or popsicle sticks(?)
Physical map (paper mache)
Longhouse or other Native American structures-(roundhouse)
Fabric (bark, cotton using a hand loom)-weaving
Mounds (Mississippian culture)-paper mache
Totem pole
Buffalo/bison and how it was used maybe(?)
3-D model using "Sketchup" program from Google (it's free! and "relatively" easy)
Model of a Native American-label tribe and region
Basket (woven out of paper or other materials)
War shield
Sand painting
Games (lacrosse, Aztec equivalent of basketball)-court?
Agriculture (for example how Pueblo Indians irrigated)
Any kind of scene from the tribes we've studied
Hunting tools (bow and arrow)
Wooden carvings
Petroglyphs/cave paintings
Flute or other instrument
Snowshoes (string/sticks?)

Here's a direct link. We'll probably add some more ideas as we have discussions.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Today in several sections we went over the Preamble to the Constitution. We also had a lively debate about Election Day! Many of the students had great points for both parties and several people had issues with both candidates. Very nice to see high level thinking out of our students. Yesterday, Obama won the school election in our mock election by a very slim margin, so whoever you are voting for (even if it's Bob Barr!) be sure to cast your ballot and honor our democratic (well, Electoral College) process.

In several sections we discussed the tragic case of Sun Hudson. If your student has questions, please review the case with them. This law that allows "pulling the plug" on infants is a great concern of mine, personally!

We didn't do much in terms of notes, so just make sure everyone is caught up with the Kwakiutl and Nez Perce notes off the website.