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tuesday, 1/7

posted Jan 7, 2014, 2:23 PM by Mr. Thomas

case study kick-off

we began by looking closely at and discussing images of the gilded age (below) and completing part one of the day's worksheet. after that, we watched five minutes of a video called "america's mansions", discussed it, and watched it again. after completing part two of the notecatcher, students were asked to predict what they think the focus of our new case study is. i collected students' predictions. 

complete part three of today's worksheet (due 1/8)

monday, 1/6

posted Jan 6, 2014, 1:16 PM by Mr. Thomas

the men who made america

we began class today by discussing some new, more clear homework expectations (see slides attached) and collecting students' break packet. after that, i returned their 'why do people migrate?' homework assignment and gave students an individualized progress report. after discussing those things, we watched about 30 minutes of episode 1 from the history channel series the men who made america about cornelius vanderbilt and gould & fiske. during the film, students made notes and afterward, they discussed. 

1 page response - who made america? (due 1/7)

thursday, 12/19

posted Dec 19, 2013, 1:05 PM by Mr. Thomas


first, we discussed whether the enclaves we had done fieldwork in on wednesday were diverse or not, deciding once again that diversity is a complicated concept, and that, for example, flushing might not seem diverse at first glance because it is so predominantly asian, but that if you look closer, its residents come from a wide variety of asian nations. after that we discussed the words emigration (moving from) and immigration (moving to), and connected them to the words export (sending away) and import (bringing in). after that, we brainstormed a list of things that migrate (move), including moose, birds, butterflies, even squirrels. then, we watched an amazing video of butterfly migration, and discussed it in terms of this chart. given that all things migrate to meet a basic need, what needs was the butterfly meeting through migration? we defined two important terms: push factors (reasons people emigrate) and pull factors (reasons people immigrate). finally, we looked at our survey data from yesterday's fieldwork, and used those data to discuss the needs people were meeting by immigrating to the united states. 

why do people migrate? (due 12/20)
students should write a response to this question of at least one page in length. the response should show an understanding of the terms migrate, migrant, emigrate, immigrate, and should discuss push factors and pull factors. they should refer to fieldwork, personal knowledge & experience, and pop culture knowledge & experience. 

wednesday, 12/18

posted Dec 19, 2013, 6:35 AM by Mr. Thomas

origins kick-off

today we were out in the field, working as anthropologists to learn about one of four ethnic enclaves in queens (jackson heights, flushing, corona, astoria).


tuesday, 12/17

posted Dec 17, 2013, 4:43 PM by Mr. Thomas   [ updated Dec 19, 2013, 6:35 AM ]

anthropological surveys

first, we discussed anthropology, and what anthropologists do by making connections to the research and fieldwork students did in 7th grade with the bedford avenue project. next, we read & discussed the survey tool that students will be using to do anthropology while in the field tomorrow. after that, students practiced by surveying me and their classmates. finally, we role-played some tricky situations that students might encounter while in the field tomorrow, and discussed strategies that they can use to resolve any problems that might occur. 


wednesday, 12/11

posted Dec 12, 2013, 7:03 AM by Mr. Thomas

brainstorming & focusing

after reviewing how to survey & predict, we brainstormed things we already know about or common text's topic in order to activate our prior knowledge. next, we wrote some questions to focus our brains on what we expected the text to tell us about, and read. students were asked to identify (underline, highlight) only the information that helps answer their focusing questions. we discussed the process of reading and what we learned from the text.

none, unless the text was unfinished. 

tuesday, 12/10

posted Dec 10, 2013, 5:45 PM by Mr. Thomas

surveying & predicting

we continued yesterday's conversation about being skillful readers, and discussed the fact that as readers, each of us is different. i emphasized the idea that when we work on reading skills, the thing that matters most is that students try to learn and use the skills & strategies in order to become more skillful readers. then i modeled how i get ready to read by surveying the text and by making predictions about what it's all about and what i'll learn from it. after that, we surveyed a common text together, and then students practiced on three expert texts before picking the one they felt will be at the right challenge level for them when we begin reading tomorrow. 


tuesday, 12/3

posted Dec 4, 2013, 10:36 AM by Mr. Thomas

study hall

we held class in the library, and students worked in their study groups to prepare for wednesday & friday's final exam. 


monday, 12/2

posted Dec 2, 2013, 6:10 PM by Mr. Thomas

study groups, part 1

we began by discussing the weekend's homework in small groups, and then as a whole class. after that, i provided students with a study guide for this week's final exam, which we walked through together before students divided up the study guide within their desk (study) group. we then discussed the homework: students are to research their parts of the study guide and bring their notes to class for tuesday's study group review session.

homework: prepare study group materials (due 12/3)

friday, 11/15

posted Nov 17, 2013, 1:07 PM by Mr. Thomas

review jeopardy, part 2

i started today by passing out copies of current progress reports printed from jumpro.pe and a copy of my 'grade change request form' (below). we then discussed how we can go about changing incorrect grades or revising work to improve low grades. after that, we played a new and improved version of review jeopardy, with updated procedures for getting answers checked, and a new method of sharing questions & answers. the review game can be accessed by clicking this link.


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