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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Coming Up This Week in Room 755

Friday the 13th of August was our first day of school.  It was a 1/2 day.  And frankly, it was a little messy.  Oh well.  As long as students got my invitation letter to their class's Parent Night, I'll be happy...and if they have their supplies on Monday.

Here's what coming this week.

Monday - I'll be introducing the class and some procedures for class.  They will also set up their Composition Books for the year. 

I always do something to demonstrate how I run my class.  I am gong to introduce the clip below - "It's the hard that makes it great" from Tom Hanks's speech to Geena Davis in A League of Their Own.  Teaching 7th grade (for 15 years now) I am seeing how important it is for students to understand that it does get more difficult to do well (or it should) in school.  But it is the hard work, the struggle, that will separate my students from the crowd (not just in our building, but in our region, state, and country).  I do expect my students to be different and behave differently.  So here's Tom Hanks to help. 

Tuesday - We'll begin looking at our connecting themes for the year.  The first one, and the one I come back to nearly every day, is Conflict leads to Change.  And generally speaking, change is what starts the conflict, so it is a cycle.  I do introduce a bigger hook, that it is their world to make a difference.  My generation messed it up, and their generation will have to clean it up.  Odd thing: I think they will do it.  I think our young generation will see through the stupidity of my generation (consumerism, status, environmental disregard, and testing to determine value) and change it.  If they don't...

Today, I'll let Adam Sandler help me introduce the concept of conflict.

Wednesday - Our second theme is Culture; what it is, what difference it makes in society.  This is always fun for me, because our school has had students who were born in over 50 countries around the world.  Traditions, religion, customs, cuisine, and language is something our students naturally understand.  We have a good time comparing the beauty and weirdness of our cultures and families.

I use Fools Rush In and My Big Fat Greek Wedding to compare and contrast cultures.


Thursday - Students have an assignment early in the week to find out as much as they can about where their family is from (heritage), why they live in Dalton, and what brought their families to the region.  Today we look at Human-Environment Interaction, Location, and Movement as themes for the year.  This introduces them to the idea that people live where they live for a reason, at least when they have the freedom of movement.  This becomes a great hook when we look at Darfur, apartheid, Mao's China, and other times of closed societies.  No videos today.  I introduce rules for class discussions and reflections today.

Friday - The concept today is Governance.  We look at the wording of the Declaration of Independence and discuss why governance is important in society.  We learn throughout the year that when there is no governance chaos ensues.  People create chaos because the see opportunities for power.  Eventually, the citizens get tired of the fighting, killing, and unrest and (in the countries we study) generally cave in to tyrants.

I'll draw something like I did in this video.

That should make for a busy and rewarding first week.

Posted via email from Murry's World


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