Saturday, October 27, 2012

Large World Maps and Conferences

The past week and a half, students discovered just how large and challenging the world can be. They worked hard to complete a preview map of places we will be studying this year. During conferences many confessed that perhaps the most challenging thing they have done so far this year was completing this map. However, I do believe students learned a great deal from it including how to be thorough and careful with details.

In the second half of class, teams of children took previous research they completed about an assigned country and worked to complete a script for a slide presentation. They will continue with that research by putting it into presentation form this next week and then show it to the class so we all can benefit from what they've learned.
We are finishing up our unit on geography and will have a comprehensive test on Friday. Two days will be spent going over a study guide and another day playing a review game. Most children find this very helpful and do quite well on the unit final.  So homework this week for students will be studying for the test on Friday.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Five Themes with Google Earth

We were very busy this week defining the remaining Five Themes of Geography and preparing for the Jog-A-Thon fundraiser. Students were very excited to participate in the different school spirit themes for each day, and were even positive about running in the rain. 
In class, we applied our knowledge of the five themes by reading how pollution has affected the reefs in a homework assignment. During the second half of class students also used Google Earth to explore the five themes further by visiting such places as the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Ziggurat in Iraq, looking at the Taj Mahal, the Buddha’s birth place, and even important Aztec and Mayan temples in Mexico. I can truly say that we really enjoyed our Google Earth experience.

Don't forget to put parent-teacher conferences on your calendar. They will be Wednesday evening, Oct. 24th from 5 pm. to 8 pm., and Thursday from 8 am. to 8 pm. Make sure you return the form to schedule an appointment time.

Pictures below show students practicing reading fluency with their iPads and working with Google Earth in the computer lab.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Finishing Landforms and Discovering Famous Landmarks

This week students turned in their finished landform dictionaries. For the most part they did a great job. I think their work was some of the best I have seen during the past few years. Also, during the second half of class, we continued to practice keyboarding and then researched some famous landmarks.
Students are starting to seem comfortable with being 6thgraders. They have settled into routines and are starting to behave like “middle-schoolers”. However, we are still working on transitions between activities. Many of them think a change in activity is the perfect time to talk with their peers. So we will continue to work on switching gears efficiently in order that time is not wasted.