Saturday, September 29, 2012

Practicing the Second Theme of Geography

The second theme of geography is called “Place” and helps students answer the question “What is it like at that place?” Many places have unique physical features and special human characteristics. So this week students learned some important landforms they will need to know as we study ancient civilizations. To show their understanding they are working on a landform dictionary where they match terms, definitions and pictures. Friday their text for the dictionary was due, and the complete project will be due on Thursday, Oct. 4th.
Besides working on landforms, students also began learning how to keyboard. This is something we have taken on as 6th grade Social Studies teachers in order to help students develop proficiency in this skill. Not all students can take it as an elective, so we try to provide another opportunity for them. 

Pictures that follow are of students working on their dictionary and practicing keyboarding.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Learning and Practicing Map Skills

Geography is defined as the study of the Earth and everything that’s on it.  That’s a pretty broad topic! So in order to make geography easier to comprehend geographers have come up with different ways to organize it. One method is to break it up into topics called the Five Themes of Geography.

This week we started defining those five themes and students learned about the first two themes: Location and Place. They discovered that often the first thing people want to know about a location is where it is. So we have been practicing latitude and longitude. This can be a difficult subject for some children, but we will comeback to it throughout the year. By the end of school most students will have mastered the skill.

The second thing most people want to know about a place is what it’s like there. So the next two or three weeks we will be defining landforms, and locating famous world features and landmarks. This is a high interest topic for most children, and they will be completing a landform dictionary as one of their projects.
Don’t forget that this Thursday is Back-to-School Night. It is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Please be sure to attend to receive a class syllabus and to see what we have been doing in the classroom.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Off and Running

Students are gradually settling into the routine of middle school. Most sixth graders will make this transition with minimal problems, but for some it will take longer, and for others it may even take them most of the school year. So far students have completed two assignments, learned how to open lockers, absorbed the expectations of different teachers, and learned how to negotiate crowded hallways. I think they are doing wonderfully!

This week we focused on learning about hemispheres and continents, discovered what alphanumerical maps are, and practiced locating some places using latitude and longitude.
Next week we will continue to work with latitude and longitude. In fact, studentswill have homework where they apply and practice their skills in locatingplaces around the world using latitude and longitude.

Below are some pictures of students working in groups as they research a continent and the bulletin board of student work.