Ethics, Marble Madness Fractions, and Baldocchi’s Book Club!!!!!

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Hello Everyone and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!

We are thrilled – we had a GREAT week! This week 7th grade began fractions. We decided to take a different approach and Ms. B had us do activities with glass marbles to help us “see and do ” parts of a whole! We totally got it!!!! We also used two different colored marbles to signify fractions. Here are some shots of us doing the lab

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We also had out book fair this week. Scholastic puts on our book fair. It is a great time!!! This year we had a really fantastic selection of book for teens! Miss B bought us each our own book! We got to choose any book we wanted and then we decided that we really liked the books everyone picked out so we had a GREAT idea!! We started our own book club! We are calling it Baldocchi’s book club. We are starting with our own book, when we finish we are going to write a rating on the inside of the front cover and then we are going to recommend it to someone in class. They will read the book and then repeat the process until we have read ALL 14 books! At the end of the year we get our original book back to take home as a remembrance of the school year! Here are some shots of us selecting our novels , our first book club meeting, and the first review!!!!

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Tiffany choose and read “Jefferson’s Sons” by Kimberly Baker Bradley. It is a historical fiction novel about a founding fathers secret children!!!! A MUST read- plus it ties into 8th grade common core!!!

 

In 8th grade we are more than halfway through the novel “Freedom Writers” and we ALL passed the midterm!!!! This book has been amazing!!! EVERYONE loves this book! That has NEVER happened in our room!!!! This book serves as the perfect platform to discuss “real life” issues and situations. This past week we focused on ethical issues and explored our thoughts and ideas about raising children and how we interpreted quotes. Here are some shots of this!

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Until next time we leave you with a challenge- START YOUR OWN BOOK CLUB!!!!!

 

Cherokee Booger Masks- An adventure in paint

The Cherokee Booger Mask Image Hi friends!!!! Its D.J. and Danny here! We are posting to tell you about our awesome social studies project we just finished!!!! The people we call the Cherokee Indians have lived in the southeastern mountains for hundreds of years.  They called themselves “Ani-yun-wiya” which is translated as “real people”.  The name Cherokee is a Euro-American corruption of the Creek Indian name for these people – “Teiloki” – which means “people of the different language”. The Cherokee people probably lived a pretty good life with plenty of game and fish and wild plants as well as the corn, beans and squash they grew.  That was until AD 1540 when the Spanish traversed their beloved mountains.  Then came the French and English with illnesses and prejudices for which the natives had no comprehension.  The Cherokees needed some help to ward off the perceived European wickedness and they got that aid with the development of the Booger Mask. These Booger Masks were made as grotesque representations of enemies or the Indians themselves and were worn during the Booger Dance to elicit humor about fearsome aspects of life.  It is quite likely that the natives made and used the masks before the arrival of the Old World invaders but there is no factual evidence of this.  The Booger Dance was normally preformed during the winter months so its association with ghosts and deities would not affect their crops. We needed to explore this further so we decided to make our own Booger masks!!!! Hey anything that wards off evil spirits can’t hurt right? Miss B brought in her watercolor paper and porfessional watercolors!  Image

 

We studied the masks and designed out own based off designs we saw 

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Here is a shot of Danny working hard!

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Here is a shot of the first phase- we taped the paper down so it would dry flat 

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Since a true Booger Mask is topped with real human scalps we had to improvise- we cut twine and attached it with hot glue!

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Here we are working 

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Here is a close up- we really liked the effect that the jute twine gives!!!! Kind of like real hair!!!!

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Here they are!!! 

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Until next time! 

Novel Labs- Mock Crime Scenes and Candy Class Warfare! Venn Diagrams- NOT just for Reading anymore!

Hello! 

We are loving living our novels! Even the few of us that proclaimed “there are no books I will ever like” have changed our tunes are now trying to sneak read the next section! Miss B has to hide the books so we don’t spoil the fun!!!! 

In 7th grade we are rocking evidence and are noticing things that bring so much more depth of understanding to our reading! Our novel is a mystery. We have been piecing together evidence about Janie trying to figure out if she really was kidnapped! We are far enough into the book that we are getting some AMAZING clues! We have discovered that her “parents” are really her grandparents!!!!! In order to fully develop our evidence honing skills we were surprised last week when we came to class and there was a mock crime scene!!! We had to go into full CSI investigation mode and collect, document, and log the evidence. Based off the evidence we then had to hypothesize what happened to our victim. Here are some shots of the investigation and the scene as we found it!

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There was even “blood” on our radio!

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Collecting evidence!

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We pieced together the ripped up papers to reveal a message!!!!

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Here is what it said!

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We hypothesized the our victim was a girl that was kidnapped from school while she was listening to a book on tape. She cut herself while trying to free herself from the cord- we were correct!!!!!

In 8th grade we are almost halfway through Freedom Writers Diary!!!! We argue over who can take the book home to read ahead! A common thread and theme that we keep coming across is racial perceptions and stereo types. We have decided that much of the issues the kids write about are due to this. In fact many of the issues we deal with relate to this as well! That is the great thing about this book- there is so much the kids experience that we do as well- we can make amazing text to self, text to text, and text to world connections! 

Miss B had us play a game- we called it the “Candy Game” to start. We have been talking about stereo types in reading and social skills- we discussed how passing judgment based off of perceptions and looks can cause conflict and keep people apart. We talked about labeling based off what is really there – not what we think (evidence) – we used a bottle of Windex as an example- 

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Here is our labels for Windex 

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Now we had to close our eyes as Miss B passed out trays of candy – we had to apply this same skill to the candy. 

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We labeled the candies ( there were three types) We classified them using our senses, sight, feel, smell and then taste. 

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After this we looked over our results and decided that even though they all has different attributes they were still- in the end- candy. Then Miss B through a curve ball and asked why the candy was like the book!!!!! Then to even make things more interesting she asked why the candy game was like world peace! We has this!!!! We told her that the candy was like the kids getting bullied in the book – they might look different – they are in the end- all people who have feelings and can be hurt. We said that the candy was like world peace because even though there are differences there is more to people that is the same than different!!! We went on to say that if more people figured this out there would be less bloodshed and hate. 

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Venn Diagram Discoveries!!!!

We are old pros using Venn Diagram’s to show us what is the same and different about a topic in Reading but Miss B showed us we can take that same graphic organizer and we can use it for math!!!! We used Greatest Common Factor and Least Common Multiple since we just finished it and were almost there but needed something else to push us into the mastery area!!!! Well guess what- WE TOTALLY GOT IT!!!! Here are some shots of us mastering GCF and LCM using a Venn Diagram!

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We rock!

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We also wanted to show you how we ace the VENN in reading! We had to compare our characters in the book to Romeo and Juliet and then compare and contrast choices made- 

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Come visit next time to see our Science Magnification Lab , live coverage of our first debate and  our interpretation of the song Gangsters Paradise!!!!