Coming Soon to our “Flipped” Room!

After Spring Break big changes are coming to our room! Mrs. Baldocchi will be testing a “flipped classroom” model ! In order to reach the next level on our quest to being a 100% authentic, hands on educational setting we are trying something new! Mrs B will be creating instructional videos for us to view at home and we will then devote more class time to hands on exploration of concepts and I.E.P. goals. Stay tuned for BIG THINGS!!!!

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Art and Skills Buddies – Session 1

This year we are happy to announce that we are continuing  our “Buddies” Program! This year we are partnering up with Mrs. Meyers room. Our new friends are in Kindergarden and First grade! We are so excited to be starting – this week we created a lesson plan based off collaboration, friendship and growth. We worked with our buddies on a watercolor that we will transform into one big collaborative tree of friendship! Here are some photos of the session- it was amazing and ALL the kids were engaged and excited to work on our lesson! We were also so impressed with how mature and kind our new friends are!

What a Week! Look what came today! <3

We are pleased to announce that our tablet/ laptops came!!!! When we get called that UPS has something in the office we know it’s got to be good! Check us out! Now we are fully capable to set off on a financial literacy adventure!

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The Tablet/ Laptop! The Key boards detach so we can use them MANY ways!!!

The Tablet/ Laptop! The Key boards detach so we can use them MANY ways!!!

It’s a GREAT day to be in Room 108!!!!!

Great news everyone- WE GOT FUNDED!!!! Thanks to the AMAZING souls at Donor’s Choose we got another project funded! We are now the PROUD  owners of 4 new laptops and will now have a Financial Literacy center in our room! We are thrilled and thinking of what great things we can do next!

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Financial Literacy – Our Newest Donor’s Choose Adventure!!!!! Help us get our laptops!

Hello Everyone!

It has been a VERY busy week around here- we are completing our first round of the PARCC test. Everyone did really well !!!!

Financial Literacy

We want to share our newest Donor’s Choose Grant! We are working on securing 4 laptops with cases! This much needed technology will help us embark on our financial literacy project! Financial Literacy is a skill that is often lacking in adults- did you know that over half of all American’s are in serious credit card debt? We have pledged to become informed in all things money, credit, loans, and budgets! Help us reach our dream by checking out our project proposal here is the link;

http://www.donorschoose.org/pbaldocchi?rf=link-siteshare-2015-03-teacher_account-teacher_2246000

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Until Next Week!

We are back!!!!! Algebra All stars- Novels- Debates and we travel to Ancient Greece!

Hello everyone! We have missed you all so much! We are back- please tune in to see our weekly posts. We have had a TON of changes here, and are doing the most amazing work in Room 108! Spring is trying to sprout here in Chicago but we think it’s jackets and sweaters for a few more weeks.

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Algebra All Stars- Exponential Growth and Functions- 8th Grade 

Wow! What a unit- we are exploring exponents, exponential growth- decay and functions. Following our 90% hands on and or creative curriculum promise we made to ourselves this year we set about on some Algebra challenges. Miss Baldocchi began our unit by posing a question- here it is

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Most of us choose the $100.00 but then we watched the legend of the gain of rice and tried this theory out ourselves- Wow!!!! We were shocked!!!!!

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Then we took out our trusty chess board ( 101 uses!!!) and tried the theory ourselves

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This we discovered is Exponential Growth! Simply amazing! We went on to learn and practice- growth- decay and the functions of exponents. We learned the “Laws of Exponents”. We love Algebra!!!! Our mid term was to calculate a Zombie Apocalypse-  it was awesome!

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Ratio and Proportions – 6th and 7th Grades 

While our 8th grade buddies are plugging away 6th and 7th has been learning all about ratios, proportions, and proportional relationships! There are literally limitless ways you can learn about these concepts and another fav of ours ( UNIT RATES!!!!!) using hands on and real world experiences.  We took over 150 photos of this unit ( yes – we love the camera! 🙂 ) Here are just a few ways we show mastery and meaning!

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We no longer tell anyone we are bad at math!!!!!!! This unit was so much fun and we are not over with it yet!

Math Intervention as “Out of the box” as we can make it! 

Some of us are still working on personal math goals and sharpening basic operations- we built these cool “operation hangers” so we can have a visual, tactile and concrete way to learn. They are not fancy, pretty or expensive but THEY WORK!!! Here is a shot of them.

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The Lightning Thief and our travels to Ancient Greece! 

Our latest novel for grades 6-7- and 8th is Percy Jackson the “Lightning Thief” By Rick Riorden. Miss B had planned 3 different novels for this reading unit but when the rest of us hearing the 6th graders talk about it we demanded a change! This is our favorite novel of the year and we are so enthralled with Percy’s journey that Miss B ordered the rest of the series for us!!!!! The novel delves into Ancient Greek culture and we learn about the Gods. Miss B loaded us up on all things ancient Greek! We studied Greek Math and Science , are learning the alphabet and are in love with all things Greece

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Writer’s Workshop Reaches New Heights! 6-7-8

We are serious authors and poets in Room 108. We decided that we needed a designated writing area that was only for drafting ideas, writing, editing, revising and publishing. Welcome to our new 6+1 Writing Center!

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We have been hard at work on the “Idea” and “Fluency” traits- here is our new visual aide- “THE RAFT” 

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We have been writing up a storm- if you come visit please make sure to ask to see our portfolios!

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Debate Over What Counts ! 

Twice a week we have “moral centers” Miss B sets up an issue- we study both sides to an issue and then pick a side and debate/ argue our point.  Here are some shots of an issue hitting Chicago this winter!

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We then created a podcast of our debate!

Odds and Ends-

We are still using our core social skills and have weekly sessions, we are still incorporating art into our social emotional time !

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Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Miss B’s Crew

8th Grade Teaches 6th Annotation and Figurative Language Rapping!

Today Ms. B turned the tables on us and had 8th grade teach 6th grade annotation using a song! We used the song “Let it Go” from Frozen by Idina Menzel. We LOVE this song!!!!!! Each 6th grade  student buddied up with an 8th grade “teacher”. Here is a shot of all of us at the table.

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We listened twice and then the 8th graders taught us how to go line by line – we extracted the meaning- it was FUN- like a game of Clue! Here are some shots of this

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After we did this we had an awesome discussion about “letting go” and then we wrote!

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Miss B also showed us a VERY COOL rap about the elements of figurative language! This way we can remember such things as plot, character, theme,etc!

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In math the 8th grade is embarking on an art based unit to teach Phythagora Theory. More to come on this next week!

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Math Talks with Miss B

We added a new technique this week in order to help grow our math thinking. In order to assist gaining new academic knowledge and to “think about our thinking” we began “Math talks”. We can’t use paper or pen- just our minds. Using a secret hand symbol we let Miss. B know if we get it and how many ways we can solve it . We then go to the board and talk. Here are some pictures of the process

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So much to say! Close read with 6th- narrative collage and linear equations! More too!

Hello! We just officially ended the busiest first quarter we have ever had since starting this blog! We made a promise today to get back to our weekly updates. We now have 6th grade joining us for a reading block and couldn’t be more thrilled! 🙂 In 6th we are working on hammering our basic reading skills and are just learning the close read method (annotation). Miss B devised a color coded system for this and- to date- we are just focusing on three main symbols. Here are on some shots of this using Miss B’s all time favorite book- The Day the Crayons Quit!

Close Reading with 6th Grade!

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Megan Coyle Style Narrative Collage with 8th!

To wrap up our Forged by Fire novel we created a collage! Collage is a very intricate art for that uses a compilation of images to create an overall image and or portray a message. One artist who is known for her beautiful collage work is Megan Coyle. We studied Megan’s work and then selected a scene from the novel that spoke the most to us. Here are some shots of this and Danny going through the process of building he narrative collage.

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Graphing Linear Equations and wrapping up slope !!

In 8th math we just completed a grueling and difficult unit on Linear Equations. Wow it was a tough one- we learned so much and are so excited to report that we can all graph an equation, find slope, and so much more!!!!!! We are a very hands on group that prefers visuals and doing vs sitting and listening to lecture. Here is a shot of the day we absolutely mastered and nailed graphing the equations! We mastered this skill through the use of a deceptively hard video game ” Rescue the Zogs”. This game was no joke- there were 10 levels that we had to progress through and each level was SO DIFFICULT! Here are some shots of this-

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Evidence using Picture Books- 6th

Here are some shots of us using a great new book that that Miss Bought “Crankenstein”. This book is  hilarious – with Halloween approaching it was a PERFECT theme! Here we are learning about evidence. We used the amazing and rich illustrations in the book to point out evidence that supports the text.

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See you next week! ❤

Andy killed himself- is this a way to end a book?!?! Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Welcome!

We have been hard at work on our first novel unit- Tears of A Tiger by Sharon Draper.  This was an amazing and thought provoking book. Without spoiling it for you ( YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK) it is about a group of high school friends that see their lives change forever when one of them dies in a drinking and driving accident. The book follows the effects of this fateful night and in the end the driver, Andy, committed suicide because he could not live with the guilt. We were floored that he did this- better yet – we were angry and upset! This book brought many questions and issues up about teen drinking, suicide and friendships. Many of us have had friends die or be killed but no one we know has ever committed suicide. We discussed this a lot in our room and Ms. Bodanyi’s room as well.  

This week Miss B choose a U2 song called “A Day Without Me” for our small class close read. At first listen we were stuck- the song had an upbeat tempo and we are not huge U2 fans! 🙂 After we received the lyrics it all began to fall into place- it was about suicide! We listened again and annotate to pull the meaning from the text. Here are some pics of that

Renell Hard at Work!

Renell Hard at Work!

Annotating to pull meaning from unfamiliar text

Annotating to pull meaning from unfamiliar text

The Lyrics

The Lyrics

By the end of the close read we were able to decipher that this song was not random as we first thought and that Miss B chose it because it goes with one of the theme of Tears of a Tiger !  We also discovered that the song -despite the tempo- was actually quite sad and about a person who felt that they were all alone and had nothing to offer the world, just like our character Andy! After this our writing prompt was this—–

Our close read argument statement

Our close read argument statement

Wow!!!! This ignited a fire storm in everyone present !!!! We have tons to say about this some of us felt that it was not selfish and others did- here is one person’s perspective on the topic- ( Rough Drafts)

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Here is another ( Rough Draft)

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Off to a great start- right? Stay tuned for more excellent writing! Next week we will be starting our research projects about teen drinking – driving- and suicide.