OOEL – Footstep #4 – Listening to Neighbor’s Stories

22 Jan
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Image source: Clipartfest

This week we will be learning about the art of asking good questions during an interview. You will interview a local person who lives in Chennai and write a story or the highlights of the interview (Question and Answer format). We will brainstorm a list of possible subjects you can interview and what makes a good question. The directions and rubric are on Moodle in the Out of Eden section and folder for 2016 – 2017. There are also exemplars or good examples of interviews done last year. They can help give you an idea of what is expected. 

Argumentative Essays

11 Jan

This video gives a brief overview of argumentative essay writing. In class today and tomorrow, you will continue working on your Silk Road essential question: Which three factors had the greatest influence on trade on the Silk Road, and why? You have your graphic organizer and lessons on the Silk Road to respond to this question. 

January Birthdays

9 Jan

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Happy birthday to the following students celebrating birthdays this month: Suin (8), Amy (18), Palani (21), Hakin (27). If I forgot anyone or made an error, let me know. Have a great day!

Paul on the Silk Road

8 Jan

In class we have been learning about the Silk Road. Here is a new article about Paul Salopek and his walk. You can also listen to the interview with him as well. Here is a script of the interview. In his article, he says this about the Silk Road and globalization, something we will discuss this week:

For the past year, Salopek has been following the ancient Silk Road trade routes that once connected China to Mediterranean. Merchants used to move precious cloths and spices. Now they move precious oil and gas. Globalization has made it possible to extract the region’s abundant natural resources, which has brought prosperity to a small but growing middle class in the region. However, that prosperity has also created resentment. Many locals are being left behind. 

“That’s happening in North America too, of course,” he tells Chattopadhyay (the interviewer). “That’s what’s driving some of these movements against globalization.”

Happy New Year & Welcome Back!

8 Jan

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Photo by Rob Martin

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Photo by Rob Martin

 

Greetings and Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a wonderful vacation with family and friends and that you are ready for school tomorrow. Tomorrow is a 1A day. I had a nice vacation with family in New York State. Here are two photos I took in New York City, one of Rockefeller Center where they have a huge Christmas tree and ice skating rink and the other of the Empire State Building showing Christmas colors. 

I received this message from Out of Eden Learn the other day. Jinwon received a personal message on her photos from Paul Salopek. You can see her photos if you click on the link and read his comment. I have pasted it below too:

This is a reply from Paul Salopek:

Your text and photos are great examples of keen observation. The physical details, the noting of time and place, the background (a bit of recent history), all these elements are what journalists like me use to build a good story. It requires close attention. Keep at it. Carry a small notepad around with you to jot such things down—you can use them in later stories.

 

Google Q & A – Paul Salopek

16 Dec
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Image source: Photo by Kevin Crouch

I hope you enjoyed the Google Hangout with Paul Salopek today. I received many good questions via email and will save them for future ‘hangouts.’ If you want to see the places where our students asked questions, skip to 22:54 (EJ) and 41:44 (Amy). Here is an excerpt of what Paul said:

EJ: What is trade like on the New Silk Road? 

Paul: Cool! That’s a really good question. That’s a great question because when you mention the two words Silk Road together you have images of camels…and yet the Silk Roads continue today and that’s something I am writing about now. China has invested trillions of dollars in something called the “One Road, One Belt” project. It’s the most expensive infrastructure project in the history of the world, and it’s designed to tie Europe and Asia together with shipping routes, highways, and railroads throughout the Eurasian continent. From foot level today, it looks like Turkish trucks roaring past on a highway built by South Koreans. It looks like railroads built partly by Australian technology that are being plied by trains from Belarus. So what it is…is a miniature snapshot of globalization….”   

The New Silk Road & Globalization

15 Dec

These videos make connections between the ancient Silk Road network and the New Silk Road routes that China and other countries are developing today.

Why are they developing these ancient routes today? 

Is the ancient Silk Road an example of globalization?  

Should the ancient Silk Road be renamed?

Google Hangout with Paul Salopek – Tomorrow!

15 Dec
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Image source: Screen from Google Maps

Students –  We have an exciting opportunity tomorrow at 10:30am in the CIC. Paul Salopek and Out of Eden Learn will be hosting a LIVE Google Hangout Question and Answer (Q & A) session for students and teachers. He is in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Please comment here or send me a question you would like to ask. He has been walking the the ancient routes of the Silk Roads, so this is also a great opportunity to ask him questions about this topic. Your A block teacher will release you to go to the CIC. Here is a great CNN story about the Silk Roads today with interactive maps and stories about the countries along the present day ancient networks for the Silk Roads. Click HERE to see the stories. 

Samarkand fast food: plov, bread, rice soup. #Uzbekistan.

A photo posted by Out of Eden Walk (@outofedenwalk) on

"Tamerlane’s Gate"—an ancient pass north to China. Near Jizak, #Uzbekistan.

A photo posted by Out of Eden Walk (@outofedenwalk) on

More Out of Eden Photos!

7 Dec
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Photo by Amelie

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Reflection by Amelie

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Photo by Yejin

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Reflection by Yejin

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Photo by Clara

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Reflection by Clara

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Photo by Arnav

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Reflection by Arnav

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Photo by Hayden

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Photo by Florian

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Photo by Ava

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Photo bu Seojin

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Photo by Natalie

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Photo by Sanjeev

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Photo by Amy

I am sharing some more photos and a few very thoughtfully written reflections by students in their e-portfolios. I am really impressed with your photos and I have enjoyed reading your reflections. The ones I shared here are among several that really impressed me and where students made strong connections between Paul’s walk and your work with Out of Eden Learn. Keep up the good work. We will start Out of Eden, Footstep #4 as soon as we return from winter break and we will aim to finish the remaining two footsteps by the end of January or early February. Keep up the good work!

The Problem with Maps

7 Dec

This is a pretty cool video that I saw recently. Sanjeev also saw it and sent me a message about it. Check it out! “There’s not “right” map projection. Each comes with trade-offs, and cartographers (map makers) make projection decisions based on the particular tasks at hand. But if you are interested in seeing an accurate depiction of the planet, it’s best to stick with a globe.”

A Return to Bartering

6 Dec

Many Indian villages are returning to bartering amid a nationwide cash crisis. Hard currency is in short supply following the government’s surprise decision to scrap 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in an effort to curb corruption. The BBC visited a village in the state of West Bengal to meet farmers and laborers who are trying desperately to survive without cash in hand. This article makes me think about ancient history and how people traded. 

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Photo by Axel

The Silk Roads (Videos)

5 Dec

The legacy of Ancient China: Chinese silk was important in opening trade routes to the west. The trade routes stretched westward from China through central Asia to Mesopotamia and Europe. I have included several videos which tell the history of the Silk Roads, as well as talk about the Silk Roads today. Watch a video and comment about three things you learned about the Silk Roads from one or more of these videos. 

Three More Geography Games!

4 Dec

I am a little late, but as promised I am sharing three more geography games. It seems like some of you really enjoyed the speed test game where you had to name all of the countries in the world. Here are some more games you might like that were featured in this blog post by another teacher:

GameOn World is a multiplayer geography game developed by a high school teacher and his student in Portland, Maine. The game is similar in structure to that of Kahoot. In GameOn World the teacher selects a game category (cities, places, and timeline are three of the nine categories) and starts the game. The students join the game by going to GameOn.World and entering a game pin. In the location and timeline games, students answer the questions by moving a placemark on a map or selecting a date on a timeline. In some of the other games students answer by choosing a number on a sliding scale. See the directions in the video above. 

Capital Toss is a free geography game from ABCya. The game has a state capitals mode and a country capitals mode. In both modes of the game works the same way. The name of a state or country appears at the bottom of the screen and three rows of capital names scroll across the top. When the correct capital name appears players virtually toss a ball at it. After ten correct answers players can choose a new ball. Three consecutive incorrect answers ends the game.

Where is…? is another good game geography game. This game uses a popular format for geography games; the name of a city is presented to the players and they have to click the map to guess where the city is located. Players are given immediate feedback on their accuracy in the form of a measurement, in kilometers, of the distance between their guesses and the correct answers.

Have fun playing the games!

 

December Birthdays

30 Nov

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Happy birthday to the following students celebrating their birthday in the month of December: Seohyun (2), Sanjeev (3), Hyewon & Jinwon (9), Natalie and Nathan (13), Akshaya (14), Shanmugam (24), Samira (30), Riley (31). Let me know if I forgot anyone or made an error.

Cool Maps – Population Growth

28 Nov

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Mr. Jet shared this map on Twitter and I thought it was cool. World Population History is an interactive map and timeline of the world’s population growth from 1 C.E. to today. The map is essentially a heat map of population centers. The timeline at the bottom of the map features little place marks that feature developments in science, trade, and major political events. You can click on the markers in the timeline to learn more about each development. Check it out!

Cities of the Indus Valley

22 Nov

How was the Harappan civilization similar to other civilizations we have studied? What made it unique? Watch a video and add a comment.

Out of Eden Learn Footstep #3 Photos

20 Nov

Here are a few photos from Out of Eden Learn, Footstep #3 – Neighborhood Walk Photos. We are enjoying the photos and stories from this footstep project. Please remember to post your photos and story on Out of Eden Learn, reply to any questions your receive, and thank other students from our walking party who comment or praise your work. Continue to comment and share your questions in our walking party.

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Photo by AllbyMyself

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Photo by Don’tStealmyPotato

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Photo by Donoughtman

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Photo by Jeveboss

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Photo by Keeptrekking

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Photo by the DiscoDog

 

Monsoons and India’s Climate

17 Nov

What is a monsoon? As we enter monsoon season in India, how do these seasonal winds shape, influence , or affect India’s climate?

 

Incredible India

17 Nov

Here is the advertisement we watched in your last class. There is another advertisement (#2) along with some short videos which show the amazing physical and human geography of India.

Photography Workshop

15 Nov
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Photo by Rob Martin

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Photo by Rob Martin

We look forward to seeing your photos for Footstep #3 this week. I am happy that Mr. Aneesh and Mr. Carl stopped by our classes to share some of their knowledge about taking good photographs. We hope you apply some of their ideas, as you take photos of your neighborhood. The directions for the project have been shared with you and are on Out of Eden Learn. I have also shared both of these presentations and will add them to Moodle under Out of Eden Learn. Remember to write a story to go along with your two photos. Prompts or directions have been shared as well, along with a rubric.

 

Help me find this book!

14 Nov

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Please help me find this book. If you borrowed it, please return it to the library as soon as possible. I sign out books under my name and will not let students borrow books from my class if I cannot get them returned. In the future, you will need to sign out it out from the library. Thanks for helping me find it. – Mr. Martin

Geography Awareness Week: November 13 – 19

13 Nov

Each year, over 100,000 Americans actively participate in Geography Awareness Week. Established by Presidential proclamation over 25 years ago, this annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP) encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the interconnectedness of our world. During this week, I will post fun games for you to try out. Here is the first one, which many of my students have enjoyed:

Countries of the World Quiz – a timed (15 minutes) quiz to see how many countries you can identify on a world map

 

Taking Neighborhood Walks (OOEL – Footstep #3)

11 Nov

We are launching Footstep #3 today and Monday (11/14). The footstep is posted on Out of Eden and you can see the directions there. They have also been added to the Moodle folder for Out of Eden Learn, along with a rubric. Here is a video of the directions, along with a a video I made of some photos made by students. You will see more examples of photos by looking at examples done by other students in our walking party. Out of Eden Walk has an Instagram page where you can see Paul’s photos. Click on the link to see some amazing photos! 

Gallery Walk & Reflection (Out of Eden Learn)

11 Nov

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Photos by Rob Martin

In class this week, students learned about SMART goals and created a one goal for a learning habits or area they wanted to improve in our new trimester. Students also reflected on Out of Eden Learn, Footstep #2 and responded to these two questions in their notebook:

What did you learn about your neighborhood or what did you notice about your neighborhood?

How does this activity connect with Paul’s journey and/or the Out of Eden Project?

If I Were President…

8 Nov

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Congratulations to Jinwon and Hyweon, who wrote submissions for the New York Times. Click HERE to read what they wrote. Great job! We are proud of you.