During the first week of February, students will be completing the final unit of study on ancient China. This unit is focused on understanding how two famous leaders: Emperor Qin Shihuangdi and Emperor Han Wudi unified and introduced China to the world. Students will be creating paper scrolls using the Great Wall of China and the Silk Road as iconic backdrops. Each scroll will list the important contributions of each leader. Students will use the scrolls to answer critical-thinking questions centered on focus questions. For the rest of February, we will be diving into the marvelous culture of ancient Greece. Our studies begin with a riveting presentation by Ancient Artifacts. This presentation highlights the famous battles between Greece and Persia. We will then closely examine Greece’s geography, learn how people became citizens with rights, and how forms of government such as monarchy, oiligarchy, tyranny, and democracy were practiced in Greece. In another unit, students will become Greek city-states and battle over who was the strongest city-state, Athens or Sparta. Finally, students will study Greece’s phenomenal culture by creating a Google Presentation centered on Greece’s literature, writing, architecture, etc.
We have just completed our reading of Maroo of the Winter Caves! Next steps include a final “polishing” of the notes, which will serve as the primary source of information we use to construct the Maroo website. Students will be receiving a refresher course on how to build a Google website, then will proceed to construct their own site on Maroo. Some of the elements they will include are: information about the protagonist and major characters, two character descriptions (Maroo and Old Mother), a list of the antagonists in the story, examples of foreshadowing, personification, imagery and the four types of conflict. Additionally, they will write a page discussing one of the central themes in the book, a page summarizing the full plot including an expanded summary of the climax and denouement, and finally, a graphic called “Plot Mountain” which shows the shape of the story and where all the major events fit in. Students will also be learning how to visually enhance their web pages using photographs and other graphic features.
We have been working on a Pre-Algebra unit and the students have been doing a great job! It is a complex topic and the students impress me everyday with their enthusiasm and love of learning! In the beginning of the unit students had to make guesses and see if there were correct. This is called the “guess and check” method or “mental math”. This is a valuable learning experience because it helps the students do math reasoning. After using this method we moved on to the traditional method of solving one-step equations by isolating the variable and performing operations to both sides of the equation. They are doing a wonderful job and you should be very proud of them. We will be solving one-step inequalities next. I have updated my new website on Haiku. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am always in my room during break and lunch time to help your son/daughter.
We are looking forward to the field trip to the California Academy of Sciences. Students will be exploring earthquakes and ecosystems. We are focusing on the hydrosphere (water). It is the source of life and the force of change. After that we will study climate change. We will research in Science and write the essay in English.