Friday, January 27, 2017

Week 19 -- Introducing our Place Out of Time characters

We received our Place Out of Time character assignments back from the University of Michigan on Monday, so we have spent the majority of our homeroom time digging into them. Students are focusing on getting a broad overview of their characters, creating timelines of personal and historical milestones, while slowly filling in the massive P.O.O.T. research log. What were Ella Baker’s parents like? What did Heddy Lamar keep in her pockets? What is George W. Bush’s greatest regret? Does Peter Jackson have allergies? Some of the questions they’ll be asked will be unknowable, but by the time we peak with the Place Out of Time simulation, everyone will be able to make educated guesses on how their character might react to a wide variety of situations. Our next big assignment will be to compose a “resume” for their character, written in their voice, which will be posted on their profile page on the Place Out of Time message board.

Our cast of characters:

Hedy Lamarr
Stephen Hawking
Ella Baker
Emma Watson
Robert "Bob" Ufer
Bill Gates
Peter Jackson 
J.K. Rowling
George W. Bush
Jazz Jennings 
Steve Jobs

In math group, we have spent the week focusing on making progress in our Singapore books, balanced with math and strategy games.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Week 18 -- Move-up day, leading assembly

Demonstrating "Mystery Person."

This was an unusual week in a few ways. First of all, between the holiday and the ice day, it was quite brief. Second, Thursday was our annual “Move-Up Day,” during which everyone is temporarily promoted to the next grade level and spends the day in the appropriate classroom. Our sixth graders all became seventh graders and joined Karl and Rachel upstairs. In their places, we welcomed visitors from Chris and Spencer’s classes and made them honorary fifth graders. It was a novel way to spend the day, and everyone got a glimpse of what next year might look like for them.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Week 17 -- Mr. Thomas Jefferson and the Forehead Game.

We began 2017 with a visit from an especially distinguished guest speaker, Mr. Thomas Jefferson, primary author of the Declaration of Independence, the first Secretary of State, and the third President of the United States of America. We had an informal and wide-ranging conversation with Mr. Jefferson, learning about what schooling was like in his day, what he did in his leisure time, and a bit about his on-again/off-again friendship with fellow founding father John Adams.