Our classes will be taking the reading portion of the MAP tests on Friday, December 6th, and the language (grammar) portion on Monday, December 16th. I created this 9 min. video to share with students to help them feel comfortable with the changes.
Students are beginning to generate ideas for their genius hour projects... Here are some guidelines I am trying to impress upon them:
1. Cost should not be an issue. CREATE or collect what you need - there is no need to purchase anything.
2. This is not something that is "Google-able." If you find the answer to your query in a couple of days, it's not a project.
3. This is not the same as your science "freesearch." This is a year-long project.
4. Whatever you decide to do, you must do it SAFELY. Do not endanger yourself or others.
5. You may ask someone to be your mentor on this project, but do not ask them to do it FOR you.
6. You MAY keep reading - until you find inspiration. If you do not find inspiration, then your project will be to somehow share about what you've read this school year.
We have two more ideas brewing for Genius Hour... Check them out on our Genius Hour Celebrations page.
We finished reading Red Scarf Girl, but did not finish with the unit until this Thursday, when we were fortunate enough to Skype with Ji-li Jiang! We saw a DVD of her and interviews with her parents, read a picture book by her, and came up with great questions to ask when we Skyped. The students ran the show when all four 7th grade LA classes got together in the LMC. Her quotes are archived here on this Storify site.
We also started our neuroscience portion of the pilot for the district. We are reading and writing about Phineas Gage - ask your child to tell you what happened to him!
Mixed up in all this was Halloween, fun breaks between classes, Genius Hour, the spelling bee (congratulations to our winners and alternates - see them on this page), and using the genius "habitudes" of imagination, curiosity, perseverance, and adaptability!