How is Silk Made?

20 Feb

Silk production, or sericulture, is the nearly 5000 year old process that supplies the world with its most prized threads.

Paul Salopek has spent many months walking through the ancient Silk Road region of Central Asia. He has written a nice article about it HERE (CLICK LINK). Read his article and watch the longer video on his blog post. 

The Week in Social Studies

15 Feb

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Photos by Rob Martin

This week we learned more about the Silk Road and how it is was not just one road, but many interconnecting routes – a network – that connected China, the Indian Subcontinent, Arabia, the Horn of Africa, Persia and the Roman Empire. We worked on our ability to summarize the main idea of a text or listening passage, as well as defined vocabulary related to our current unit. Our essential question is: Which three factors of the Silk Road had the greatest influence on trade, and why? Here are some class photos of students collaborating to review vocabulary. 

We also began a new Learning Journey for Out of Eden Learn, The Past and the Global. We have new schools in our walking party and you wrote footstep #1, an introduction to your walking party. All posts should now be on Out of Eden. Please read and comment on other posts in our walking party and respond to any questions you are asked. 

Check out this really cool feature on Out of Eden Walk on Paul’s walk through the Silk Road. It features photos, videos, maps and much more! If you use Instagram, you will like the photos on Out of Eden Walk. 

Have a good weekend!

Seven levels of nourishment: village feast, #Kyrgyzstan.

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Grade 6 SEVAI Day

15 Feb

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Here are a few photos from the Grade 6 visit to the Tree Foundation to help support some of the initiatives there. Students learned about sea and fresh water turtles, cleaned the walls, painted, cleaned turtles and much more. I will add some photos of the other trip to the Blue Cross Animal Shelter, if you took any photos. Email me! These two organizations are looking for volunteers, so this might be something of interest for you and your family. We hope you had a nice day. Thanks!

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The Silk Road

11 Feb

Everyday Borders and Barriers

6 Feb

I preparation for our next unit (Meeting our Needs), we will focus on ancient China, it’s geography, and the Silk Roads. What barriers led to China being an isolated country? 

Take a slow walk around our school. As you walk, ask yourself:

  • What kinds of borders and barriers do you notice?

  • How is your movement restricted or prevented?

  • Are there any ‘invisible’ borders: places where not everyone feels able to go even if there is not a sign blocking their entry?

  • Are there places where you don’t feel welcome or don’t like to go.

Photograph borders or barriers that you notice around our school campus.

Student photos (Google Slides) – Click LINK

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Celebration of Learning + February Birthdays

2 Feb

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Mr. Nick and I enjoyed meeting with your parents for the Student-Led Parent Teacher Conferences on Wednesday night and Thursday. We also appreciate the students who volunteered to share work we have done for the Out of Eden Learn Project at the Celebration of Learning in the CIC. We heard many parents complement this online project and your work. 

We begin our new unit, Meeting our Needs next class. This will focus on China, trade on the Silk Roads, and globalization in the world today. We will also be starting Learning Journey 2 with new schools. Your recent work on the interviews was excellent and we have enjoyed reading the stories.

Here are the February birthdays: Somin (1), Chihiro (10), DoYeon (17), Hyeongjun and Iven (24), Raymond (28). Let us know if we made any mistakes or forgot someone. Have a great day and weekend!

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Listening to Neighbors’ Stories

25 Jan

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Students this week are interviewing an adult who lives or works in Chennai. This person could be someone they have never spoken to before, or someone they already know.  Among questions students will create, they need to ask the person for a story or memory about Chennai, for example: How did they come to be in this place? How have they seen the area change over the years? What are some of their memories about the area? Do any particular events in the area stand out in their mind? Students will write up the highlights of their conversation (or a Q & A). Alternatively, they can upload an audio file retelling their story in their own words.

In class this week, Mr. Martin modeled an interview with Ms. Priya (B, F, and H blocks) and Ms. Lakshmi (D block). Students also had an opportunity to ask a wide range of questions (yes/no, open-ended, and follow-up questions). Students will edit their work in class on next Monday and Tuesday and post their work on Out of Eden Learn. 

Reminder: Please submit your summative essay to Mr. Martin for our most recent unit, if you have not already done so. Thanks!

Great Quotes

15 Jan

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Martin Luther King Day celebrates the life and achievements of the influential American civil rights leader. Known for their oratorical power and eloquence, King’s speeches emphasized the importance of compassion, unity, and empathy. In the U.S. today is a national holiday. 

Welcome back! January Birthdays

14 Jan

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Welcome back to school. Monday is a 1A day. We hope you had a nice vacation, whether you stayed in Chennai or traveled. We look forward to hearing about your time spent away from school. 

Happy birthday to the following students celebrating birthdays in January: Jooeun (1), Shyam (5), Anais (8), Sungmin (24), and Ayaan (25). If we left someone off this list or made an error, let us know.

This week we will continue to focus on our compelling question: Was agriculture good for humans? We will see examples of the negative effects of the agricultural revolution. We will also be starting Out of Eden, Footstep #4. 

 

Last Post of 2017

27 Dec

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Paris in winter

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MS Christmas Party – Good times! Funny photo!

Greetings! I hope you are having a great vacation, whether you are in Chennai or traveling in India or overseas. My family leaves for France tomorrow morning, our first trip there. I really enjoyed your neighborhood photos and shared some of the best ones (there were so many!) in a post below this one. Check them them out! I also shared the photos on my Twitter handle and got some nice comments and ‘likes’ from Out of Eden Learn, Paul Salopek and others. They were very impressive and inspiring! Whether you are in India, in your home country, or traveling, take many photos and choose one to share with me. I will be happy to add it to our class blog when we return from vacation.

Happy New Year!

Out of Eden Learn: Footstep #3 – Taking Neighborhood Walks

20 Dec

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There were so many great photos taken for Footstep #3 – Taking Neighborhood Walks. Your task was to walk in your neighborhood and capture images that showed the physical traits and/or cultural characteristics of Chennai, India. Along with your photos, you needed to write a paragraph describing the photos, why you took them, and what wonderings you might have about the things you took photos of. My hope is that you learned more about your neighborhood or saw it in a new way. Great job!

Climate Change

12 Dec

This video has been going around social media. It’s a short, but powerful video about climate change and the effects of it.

 

Paul Salopek – Trekking across the ‘unknown’ Afghanistan, untouched by war (PBS Story)

7 Dec

Paul Salopek is one of the few people to have crossed a roadless, mountainous part of Afghanistan by foot. The journalist had previously reported there during the war. But as part of his Out of Eden walk around the world, he’s encountered a completely different Afghanistan than the one he had come to know. Hari Sreenivasan from PBS NewsHour talks with Salopek about the latest leg of his journey and what’s next. Click HERE to read the story. 

Creation of Written Language

5 Dec
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Cuneiform tablet from Mesopotamia

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Tokens from Mesopotamia

In class this week, you will learn about the development of writing in Sumer, a society in ancient Mesopotamia (pages 101 – 103 in your textbook). Here is a video playlist that supports the reading and the work we will do to answer our supporting question (#2): How did the development of agriculture in Mesopotamia lead to the development of writing?

December Birthdays

5 Dec

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Happy birthday to the following students celebrating a birthday this month: Yash (2), Kavya and Rajiv (6), Marc (16), Thibault (17), Caio (20), and Seunghyun (24). Let me know if we forgot anyone or made an error. Have a GREAT day!

 

From Hunters-Gatherers to Early Farmers

29 Nov

This playlist features videos that show the gradual change from migration to our earliest villages and the development of agriculture. Our current question that we are focusing on is: Was the development of agriculture good for humans? Explain. I hope you find these videos helpful. If you find other helpful resources, please share them with me, and I will add them to our class site.

Our Greatest Innovations

27 Nov

What were the best inventions or innovations in history? I saw this article on History.com: 11 Innovations That Changed History. I also found this article from The Atlantic magazine, The 50 Greatest Breakthroughs since the Wheel.  Finally, here is one other article from International Business Times: Top Ten Greatest Inventions That Changed The World. What do you think is the greatest innovation or invention in history?

 

Where is Paul?

23 Nov

Have a nice long weekend and see you on Monday (2G Day). All students should have have written their reflection for their Trimester 1 summative assessment (Why do people migrate?). That should be on your e-portfolio. If you have not finished it, please do it this weekend. Otherwise, there is not homework. I am sharing a few photos of Paul Salopek from his journey. He is currently Pakistan. 

Neighborhood Maps

21 Nov

Here are a few of the many great maps that were created for our Out of Eden Learn Project. We hope you slowed down and explored your neighborhood and noticed new things about where you live. As we prepare to begin our unit on settlement, we hope this was a good activity to help you think about where you live. The purpose of this activity was for you to think about your own relationship to a place. It is also a chance for you to share more about yourself! We are also happy to have our guest speakers, Balajee and Karthik, come to our class to talk about the history of Chennai and how it was settled. 

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Stories of Migration: Escape from Raqqa

15 Nov

The story of Ahmed and his family, who were caught up in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria. We have learned about why people migrate or leave their home. This is a very powerful video from the BBC that a friend shared with me. Ahmed is just one of nearly 250,000 people who fled Raqqa during the military offensive to drive out the Islamic State group from the city.

Produced by Nader Ibrahim, BBC Arabic and Coda Studio; Animation by Alessandra Cugno; Illustrations by Sofiya Voznaya

News Brief: Pollution in India

13 Nov

The pollution problems in New Delhi have been featured in the news a lot in the recent weeks. Thick smog blanketed areas of northern India, exceeding 10 times the recommended safe limit. Low visibility from the pollution has been blamed for an 18-car-pileup about 30 miles from New Delhi. Breathing the air has been likened to smoking 50 cigarettes in one day. Cold temperatures and slow winds have been blamed for the dangerous rise in pollution. – National Geographic

 

Sharing our Learning – Migration

9 Nov

Students in Social Studies finished their presentations on why people migrate. They shared their learning in small groups and received specific feedback from classmates on what they did well and an area they could improve. We also began Footstep #2 for Out of Eden Learn (Creating a Neighborhood Map). Students are exploring their neighborhoods, slowing down and looking for things they might not have noticed before. Be like Paul and practice slow journalism! The directions and rubric have been shared via email and has been posted on PowerSchool. 

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Student feedback on maps made last year. Photo by Rob Martin

 

November Birthdays

2 Nov

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Happy birthday to the following students celebrating a birthday this month: Catherine and Hanae (3), Eunseong (6), Clara (9), Ema (15), Ellie (16), Adesh and Emily (25), Joao Pedro and Jaehui (27). If I forgot anyone, let me know. Have a FANTASTIC day!

India Week and Guest Speaker

29 Oct
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Photo by Rob Martin

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Photo by Rob Martin

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Photo by Rob Martin

We celebrated India Week at AISC this week. Parents came to advisory to talk about Rangoli or Kolam designs and their importance. We also finished our research to answer our compelling question (Why do people migrate?). In class this next week, students will be creating a Google Presentation or poster to show their understanding of a group of a people in history and why they migrated. Mr. Phan gave a presentation to a few classes and told his story about his escape from Vietnam after the war. If you were not able to ask him a question, feel free to ask him one when you see him at school.

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Photo by Rob Martin

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Photo by Rob Martin

Walking the Wild Rim of War (Out of Eden Walk

24 Oct

Paul’s most recent blog posts, Walking the Wild Rim of War and Heart Like a Wheel feature his journey in Afghanistan. His photos and videos are amazing and show a part of the world we often associate with war. Here is a quote that I found very interesting when he described the process of turning wheat into flour to make bread:

“Isolated by 20,000-foot mountains and years of civil war, and rich in tumbling glacial creeks, the people of this remote territory of Badakhshan Province depend on the flexed green muscle of running water to survive—to eat.”

Check out the videos. Not many people are living this way in anymore. It’s a land far removed from the comforts and access to technology we have in our lives. 

Buckshot gravel: facing the bodi Wakhan winds, in ‪#Tajikistan #Pamirs

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