I’m doing good. My class, while not perfect, has many positive attributes, and I like the kids even when they cause me to raise my eyebrows at the sort of behavior that one can expect from 11 year olds as hormones overtake all good sense and control. What did we do? We didn’t take pictures, I didn’t take pictures. I’m sorry I will do better next week, when I start having some of my kids who have gotten permission, to take pictures of our learning. Okay, now for the meat.
We started learning about first humans and the kids really seemed to enjoy it, even though we read two lessons from our rather turgid textbook. I will say they had nice short bios on Mary Leakey and “Lucy”. Additions that engaged the kids were a paper copy of the National Geographic map that went along with their story on early human evolution, the first episode of the NOVA video series “Becoming Human”, and cave handprint stencil activity that we did. Unfortunately, I used paper that stuck to the table and ripped when I tried to get it up. We will be re-doing that this week, and I should have pictures and video. I also showed a BrainPop video on Human Evolution as an into activity.
We went out to the native plant garden at our school, and I had them do some short writing of sentences using sensory descriptions of what they could smell, hear, and see. We’ll be going back this week and taking pictures and video. This was a good activity for the end of the school day as it allowed them to get out of their seats, etc.
We started reading Hatchet, and they liked it a lot. This is going well. I’m doing the reading right after lunch, and we’ve been doing a whole class discussion on what we’ve read. My favorite was when they worked on developing questions using the Bloom’s Taxonomy Flip Books in groups, and then answered the question.
They did get time on the MacBooks. I just had them read some other student blogs, answer a technology survey, and do activities related to what we’re learning about. I’ll be introducing blog comments next week. You can follow us at: http://sacsshoolblogs.org/msmercer2012.