Sunday, November 29, 2015

Looking At Mesopotamia

I just realized it has been a while since I did my last post. Since that post, we have been busy in the classroom. We finished our geography unit, and the first term. Now we are studying the early civilization of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia was basically ancient Iraq, and is considered the cradle of civilization. It was here that western civilization got its first start. We can thank this culture for the 60 second minute, the wheel, and irrigation systems, to mention just a few items.

This week students will learn about such civilizations as Babylonia, Assyria, and the Akkadians. They will also have a reading assignment about Nebuchadnezzar and the ancient city of Babylon. Finally, they will finish up the week with a quiz over Mesopotamia, and then we will be on to studying about Egypt.

Below are some pictures of students working on presentations they did for Flex class, and students learning about characteristics that make up civilizations.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Fun

Friday we had some interesting visitors attending class: students in their Halloween dress. Partying in middle school is always different for 6th grade students. They are used to classroom parties like in elementary school, and it can be a bit of a let-down when they realize it is "business as usual" for middle school. However, they weren't completely disappointed, as at Hazelbrook we have a party for all 6th graders during the last period the day. For many, this is their first real "big kid" party. There is music, dancing, a haunted house, a movie, games in the small gym, a candy walk,  and fingernail painting. As well, students can purchase snacks and drinks. Hopefully, your student had a great Halloween experience at school, and on the weekend.

This next week students will have a geography unit test, which ends the first term which focused on mastering geography skills like using latitude/longitude, measuring distance on a map with a scale bar, understanding the five themes of geography, and knowing different types of land forms. We will spend some time preparing for the test at the beginning of the week, and then students will take their unit final on Thursday. For our new unit we will begin our study of ancient civilizations, focusing first on Mesopotamia. It promises to be novel and interesting for our 6th grade students.

Below are some pictures of students in Halloween costumes.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Halfway Through the First Term

We are halfway through the first term. It is hard to believe because the time has gone by so quickly. Students have learned a lot since the beginning of school. They have learned how to navigate through middle school, through new classes and schedules, and they are learning how to be more independent.

This next week we will have parent-teacher conferences. This is an important time to check with your students to see how they are feeling and coping with school. Hopefully, by now you and your child have figured out how to access Synergy so you can see their grades and keep up with their homework. If not, then this is something we will be talking about at conferences to hopefully help you get underway using this online tool. Don’t forget you can also check my online calendars to help you know what your students is doing at school

We just finished several weeks of keyboarding in Flex class. However, all students in Social Studies and Flex can practice keyboarding at home if they so desire. They have been given login cards with usernames and passwords. It is just that Flex was the only class where we had time to address keyboarding.

Below are some pictures of students keyboarding and of Ms. Brands class visiting to collect data for science.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Jog-a-Thon Views

Friday Seahawks students participated in Hazelbrook's annual fundraiser, the Jog-a-Thon. We had fun in Hawk Time dressing up as Disney animal characters. Seahawks students were Winner the Pooh (Bigelow's Hawk Time), Sebastien the crab (Troncoso's Hawk Time), the 101 Dalmatians (Brand's Hawk Time), and the character Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch" (Petrides Hawk Time). The Jog-a-Thon is Hazelbrook's only fundraiser, and the funds are used to help teachers purchase supplies, subscribe to classroom magazines, fund field trips, provide scholarships for events like outdoor school, etc.

Last week in Social Studies students practiced latitude and longitude, and learned about the first and second themes of geography. The first theme is called "Location", answers the question "Where Is It?" and is exemplified by the use of latitude and longitude. The second theme of geography is called "Place", and answers the question "What is it like there (in that place)?" As part of this theme, students will begin this next Tuesday to learn about different types of world landforms. Then on Friday, they will have a quiz over the landforms. It will be important for your student to study his/her daily notes so that they can do well on the quiz.
Below are pictures of my Hawk Time students, and students running the Jog-a-Thon.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Learning about Geography

Students spent the first full week of school reviewing their understanding of continents and learning about hemispheres. They also spent time practicing locating items with alpha-numeric grids. This is all background to help students understand latitude and longitude, which we will begin this next week. Friday students also used Cornell notes to read a Jr. Scholastic article about the Middle East. Hazelbrook School has students use Cornell notes as part of a school-wide effort to teach students effective organization and study skills.

Besides learning new geography and organization skills, we also had school pictures this week. Whew! We did a lot last week, and this next week parents can expect us to continue to be very busy. Besides learning latitude and longitude, students will also learn about the first themes of geography. As well, on Friday they will run a Jog-a-Thon, the school's only fund raiser. Please check the calendars on this web site to keep current with what your student is doing, and to keep up with what students are doing for homework.

Below are pictures of students creating continents and researching facts about them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Welcome to school year 2015

Welcome to the Seahawks 6th Grade Social Studies classroom blog.  I have a blog in order to help communicate better with parents and students. In this blog you can find two weekly calendars as well as pictures and information about what we do in class. You might want to subscribe to this blog so that you can see when it is updated and to keep up with weekly assignments. It is exciting to start another year of school and be able to work with Hazelbrook's 6th grade Seahawks' students and families.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Outdoor School Pictures

We had a wonderful experience at outdoor school. The three Skyhawks teams were at two outdoor school sites, Trickle Creek and Cedar Ridge. I was privileged to attend with the Red and Green teams at Trickle Creek, so my pictures will only be of our experience there. The weather was wonderful and the director was very complementary about our students. She said the Hazelbrook team was one of the best groups that had visited this year. Yeah! Go Seahawks!

Below will be pictures of students at outdoor school.