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tuesday, 1/7

posted Jan 7, 2014, 2:17 PM by Mr. Thomas

the earth liberation front

summary:
after doing a gallery walk of students' colonial brochures and colonial region posters and filling in a notecatcher about the different regions, we looked at some amazing images of the natural world and of the destruction of nature. i then introduced students to the earth liberation front, a so-called eco-terrorist organization fighting a revolution to protect the environment. after that, we watched the trailer of a movie about the elf, and discussed it. finally, students wrote an exit ticket about the elf and their tactics. 

homework:
comparing colonies worksheet (below, due 1/8)

monday, 1/6

posted Jan 6, 2014, 1:12 PM by Mr. Thomas

colonial region posters

summary:
we began by defining what a region is, and by discussing the regions of the united states today and of the original 13 british colonies. next, students moved into colonial region groups based on the colony they studied for the brochure project. then, we discussed the poster project criteria, group roles, and work expectations before students worked for 30 minutes on a poster. these posters will be used to teach their classmates in a gallery walk this week, and students will be quizzed on their mastery of this information on friday. 

homework:
finish colonial brochure (due 1/7)
finish colonial region poster (due 1/7 at the start of class)

thursday, 12/19

posted Dec 19, 2013, 12:54 PM by Mr. Thomas

research (continued)

summary:
we began by checking in about the work students did in class on wednesday. after that, students moved to be in groups based on colony, with some students switching to research new colonies with my approval (because there aren't enough good resources for them about their old colony). finally, students continued their new research with some new resources selected & provided by me. at the end of class they turned in their notecatchers so that i can asses their current demonstrated level of mastery of our research learning target. 

homework:
continue colony research (optional)

wednesday, 12/18

posted Dec 19, 2013, 6:34 AM by Mr. Thomas

colony research    

summary:
i was out in the field, working with 8th graders today; mr. atorino was the substitute teacher for the class. students received a collection of texts about their colony, and after reading through them, thought about the research questions in their project description and made notes in their notecatcher. after that, they met up with students who are researching the same colony, and they shared notes. finally, students were asked to write me some questions they haven't been able to answer about their colony so that i can adjust tomorrow's class to meet their needs. 

homework:
create first draft of colony brochure (due 12/19)

tuesday, 12/17

posted Dec 17, 2013, 4:40 PM by Mr. Thomas

the 13 colonies

summary:
first, we discussed what a colony is, and then we added to our brainstorm charts about the 13 british colonies. after that, i modeled what a skillful reader does when they read, and then students added to their chart based on the information in the text. 

homework:
read & understand expert text (due 12/18)

thursday, 12/12

posted Dec 12, 2013, 7:00 AM by Mr. Thomas

poetry showcase

summary:
after a quick final practice, we circled up, reviewed expectations & how to give feedback. next, students presented their poems in two voices, and their peers wrote them warm feedback. after the presentations, we delivered our feedback to the authors, and enjoyed the kind things people said about us. 

homework:
none.

wednesday, 12/11

posted Dec 12, 2013, 6:57 AM by Mr. Thomas

poems

summary:
students worked on their poems throughout class, either by starting with peer feedback, or continuing to write / revise. 

homework:
be ready to present your poem in class tomorrow.

tuesday, 12/10

posted Dec 10, 2013, 5:40 PM by Mr. Thomas

letters & poems

summary:
students who had previously finished their letter projects worked on their poems in two voices. students who hadn't worked on their letters before moving on to their poems. 

homework:
none

wednesday, 12/4

posted Dec 4, 2013, 10:28 AM by Mr. Thomas

poems in two voices

summary:
we began by reviewing what poems in two voices are and how they work. then, students had about 35 minutes to work on their poems with their self-chosen partners. after that, students were asked to identify their next steps on the three major writing assignments for this case study: the letter home, the letter to black elk, and the poem in two voices. 

homework:
none.

monday, 12/2

posted Dec 2, 2013, 5:57 PM by Mr. Thomas

giving helpful feedback

summary:
after discussing some examples of feedback during the warm up, we identified some qualities of high-quality, helpful feedback, and i provided some sentence starters for the feedback we would be giving each other today. next, we did a read-aloud of one student's letter, and classmates gave her feedback. after some practice giving helpful feedback, we read one of our letters to our desk group, and gave each other written feedback. next, students will use that feedback to revise their letters. 

homework:
none.

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