A Morning with Corey Flintoff!Posted by Vincent O'Hara
When Ms. Lauer told us that Corey Flintoff, NPR’s former international correspondent based in Moscow, would be coming to our school to speak with the seventh and eighth grade humanities classes we did little to mask our exuberance. Mr. Flintoff discussed the propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation used by the Kremlin during his time stationed there. Our classes prepared by delving into the history, government and international relations of Russia with the goal of understanding the tumultuous relationship between our governments. Furthermore, the seventh and eighth graders learned about how propaganda is used by all people to persuade or create bias.
Much of Mr. Flintoff’s presentation focused on the Malaysian Airlines flight that went down in Ukraine in 2014, and how the Russian government handled accusations that they were responsible for the tragedy. Mr. Flintoff’s experience searching for the truth was a dramatic, and at times an unsettling narrative. However, our students were mature, composed and intellectually engaged. They asked insightful questions about other stories Mr. Flintoff had written – chasing Somali pirates with the French Navy, reporting alongside US troops in Iraq, and covering the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
We couldn’t have been more proud watching our students in action, making conversation with Mr. Flintoff, a recognized and celebrated radio reporter. What a great experience!
We the People…Posted by Debbie Leidlein
We have been studying the Constitution and government in eighth grade humanities. In a recent lesson students were asked to rewrite the Preamble in their own words. Having pondered over every single word and phrase both individually and in pairs, the entire class came up with the following version:
“We the citizens of the United States, in order to construct an impeccable nation, institute fairness and equality, guarantee internal peace, defend the country as a whole against foreign attacks, advocate for public health and happiness, ensure the rights of freedom for ourselves and future generations, do decree and form this Constitution.”
Why Are Wheels Round?Posted by Ann Palm
During our transportation unit the PreK-4 students experimented with wheels. The children discovered wheels make things move more easily. Although our car did move with both square and oval wheels, the car with round wheels moved best and traveled the farthest. After the experiment the children had fun using different leveled ramps to race cars. They discovered the steeper the ramp the faster the car would go. It was a fun afternoon and learning experience!
How Big is It?Posted by Faith Barbuto
During our recent study of the mammal animal group, we learned that the blue whale is largest animal that ever lived. They measure approximately 90 feet long, pretty big, but how big is that? To give the kids a concrete representation of how big that is, we set out to measure a blue whale using our bodies. We couldn’t find any whales so we had to use paper but the idea was the same. First we determined that the arm span of an average kindergartener was about three feet. A little math helped us figure that we would need 30 arm spans to reach 90 feet. Since we have 15 students each child would need to stretch their arms out twice. We headed out to the playground to see just how big a blue whale is!
Multicultural Approach Starts with SelfPosted by Cameron Ross-MacCormack
As a starting point to building an inclusive classroom community we spent some time investigating ourselves and each other. There are many ways to be human and multiple perspectives or lenses through which we see the world. “My Favorite Part of Me” and “Self Portraits” are two assignments matched with “I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont. Above, we observe our many pigment variations to help with color mixing in a very matter-of-fact way before starting our self portraits. Below are a few examples of our work.
Cloning and ImmortalityPosted by Michelle Lamb
Eighth grade students are finishing the novel The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer and taking a look at the controversial themes within the story. The plot is about a boy named Matt who is the clone of a 143 year-old tyrant and follows his journey through childhood as he discovers his purpose in life in a futuristic United States.
By first discussing morality and ethics before beginning the book, we set the tone for exploring the novel through our own moral lenses. As the topics of immortality and cloning came up and evolved throughout the story, we often discussed personal feelings, societal purposes, and global impacts of these topics.
As we finish The House of the Scorpion this week, we will reflect on the impact these topics had on the characters in the novel and write our final thoughts. This book is a literary gift to young adult readers, as it is truly eye-opening and helps them reflect on their belief systems and the rapidly-growing technology in our world.