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Closed for the Summer!

2 Jun

Last day 6

Dear Class of 2023!

It has been an honor to teach you. Have a great summer and stay in touch. We will miss you! 

 

Gallery

Final Reflections on 2016-2017

2 Jun

Have a Great Summer

31 May

Summer-vacation-clipart-clipartfest

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Have a great summer. We will miss you and wish you the best of luck in 7th grade. Comment and tell us what you will miss about 6th grade and what you are excited about doing this summer. 

Learning from Past Generations

29 May

Students have completed their final Out of Eden Learn footstep for the year, Learning from Past Generations. Students interviewed someone, typically a family member, about a meaningful and old object (at least 30 years!). They learned to develop their interviewing skills through the types of questions they would create and ask. Each student wrote a story that highlighted the most important details from the interview. Learning the story behind the object and why it is meaningful were key things to learn. I love this activity because students learn new things about their parents and their own family history. Here are some excerpts from some stories:

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“Overall, I had an awesome time learning about something that I never knew my mom was carrying with her for the past fifteen years!!” – Emi

“After the interview was over, I thanked my grandmother for letting me interview her. In addition, this interview has helped me get to know my grandmother more. Furthermore, this experience has improved my relationship with my grandmother.” – Nashiha

‘I think this was a valuable interview because I learnt a lot about my mother.   I always knew she was nostalgic about most of her possessions and this ring had a great memory.  I am so satisfied at the end since I know she was very proud to be in a family which respected female children.  As quoted by her, “This ring is so precious not only because it has travelled several generations but also it shows the respect of a female child in my family.”’ – Suman

“At the end of this interview, I learned quite a bit about the dynamics between my mother and grandfather. It’s quite inspiring how inspired my mother was by my grandfather!!!  I think my mother will keep this letter for as long as humanly possible!” – Shanmuga

‘“Objects that are from the past are like flashbacks you have on the back of your mind.” I interviewed my grandmother. The object I interviewed her about was a necklace that she had ever since she was a kid. My grandmother has had it since 1956, when she was 5 years old. The necklace is made out of gold. The necklace is about a foot long.’ – Shandaneh

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“People have many things that are meaningful to them. These can be an artifacts, heirlooms, or something that reminds them of good memories. For this footstep I interviewed my mom about something that meant a lot to her. This happened to be a stuffed animal. Surprisingly, it is in fairly nice condition considering that it is over 40 years old.” – Owen

“Anything can hold memories. It can be a photo or something passed down from generations. That one thing for my grandmother was a large bowl. The bowl is heavy and is gold in color with black specs on it. It’s shiny and clean, but you can still tell that it is still old. I never really wondered what it was even though I walk past it every day. In conclusion, my interview with my grandmother was very informational. It helped me learn about an object which I thought was just a random artifact in my house. It also helped me learn about my grandmother’s love for my great great grandmother.” – Shiv

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“In conclusion, my interview with my dad was very, very interesting because I learned a lot of things about him and now I feel like just listening to this interview again because it inspires me to do a lot of things. For example, achieving a lot of things like helping other people in many ways.” – Lokesh

Textbook Return

23 May

Textbook

Please return your textbook this week. I will sign your forms saying you have returned the book. Thanks! – Mr. Martin

Asking Follow-Up Questions

12 May

As we prepare to do interviews for our next Out of Eden Learn footstep (Learning from Past Generations), we will talk more about the importance of asking follow up questions. Here are some helpful videos that tells you more about these questions.

Worldometers – a COOL site!

5 May
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Screenshot of Worldometers 

Check out this cool website that Sangwoo found while doing research for his project. It features live statistics on all kinds of information. Thanks for sharing Sangwoo!

Why Geography Matters More Than Ever (PBS)

4 May
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“Geography matters today more than ever, but only if we are looking at the right things,” writes teacher Chris Heffernan. World map mosaic by Luis Cristino da Silva in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images

As students finish their comparing places project which has focused on comparing the physical and cultural (human) geography of two places, I thought I would share this interesting column I just read on the PBS Newshour website. Here is an interesting excerpts and the column itself. 

“Geography matters more now than ever because students need to know human geography. They need to understand the relationships that exist between cultures. They need to see not just the differences in cultures, but the similarities. Students need to know that the kid sitting in a school in Afghanistan today probably doesn’t speak the same language, practice the same religion or live in a home that looks anything like a student in the United States, but they have a lot of things in common. They both love their families, the both want to play and they both want to learn. When we focus on the similarities instead of the differences, it changes the picture.”

 

Final Projects – Comparing Places

3 May

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Students have been working very hard for several weeks now for our comparing places project. Students chose either China or India to compare with a country of their choice. Focusing on the physical and cultural geography and characteristics of their two places, they conducted research, evaluated resources, developed note-taking skills, and learned academic vocabulary and comparative language. They wrote an essay comparing and contrasting their two places, as well as learned how to cite their sources using an MLA format. Their final step is to create a visual product (video, poster, slide show, etc.) demonstrating the highlights of their two places and how they are unique. Final products are due this week. Next week on Monday and Tuesday, students will share their learning. 

Selecting Powerful Images / Writing Good Captions

21 Apr

In class this week, you have finished your essay where you have compared and contrasted your two places (countries) and you have ensured that you cited your resources (Work Cited/Bibliography) under your essay. This should all be on your note-taking template under your notes. Once this is finished, you are now ready to move to the final stage of your project. It’s time to make a product that visually demonstrates your learning of the physical and cultural characteristics of your two places. You are:

  1. Collecting images and writing citations for your images.

  2. Storing your images in a folder (desktop, Google Drive, or another place of your choice).

  3. Saving the URL for each image you find and adding it to the work cited information.

These two videos are helpful resources as you write citations for your images.

China and Renewable Energy

11 Apr

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, using fossil fuels to drive rapid industrialization. So why is it now investing billions of dollars in green technology? Watch this video to learn more. I saw this video today and thought it was a nice connection to economy and the environment and what is happening in China today. 

The Economy Playlist

3 Apr

This playlist features helpful videos to review some of the concepts we have been learning about in class. Our last area of research for your project is on the economy of your two countries. Continue to use the guiding questions on the shared document (“What is good information?) as you complete your research this week.

 

Comparing Places

29 Mar

Here are some videos that compare countries or places.

BriarHill World Tour Summary

19 Mar
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Photo by Rob Martin

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I’d like to thank Luca, Christian, Vedha, Emi, Shandaneh, and Clara for participating in the Briar Hill 24 Hour World Tour on Friday, March 10, after school. It was a nice opportunity to learn about a public school in the United States (Texas) and for our students to share information about AISC. Here is a link to the blog for this project: BriarHill23hrWorldTour.

Welcome back – Cartoons

19 Mar
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Image source: The New Yorker

HW cartoonWe hope you had a restful vacation and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, a 2F day. On Tuesday, you will post your Out of Eden work for Footstep #2 of Learning Journey #2. 

Briarhill24hrWorldTour

7 Mar

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An exciting opportunity to available for you on Friday from 3:30pm – 4:00pm if you are interested in coming to my classroom to participate in the Briarhill 24 Hour World Tour. A school in Texas (USA) is doing a 24 hour Skype activity with teachers, students, and professionals around the world. It will be 4:00am their time and 3:30pm our time. A Google Form has been sent you with more information and a request for participation. This is optional, but I would love to have some students answer questions from their students. Please respond to the Google Form by Thursday at 3:30pm. 

 

How Religion Spread Around the World

5 Mar

Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are five of the biggest religions in the world. Over the last few thousand years, these religious groups have shaped the course of history and had a profound influence on the trajectory of the human race. Through countless conflicts, conquests, missions abroad, and simple word of mouth, these religions spread around the globe and forever molded the huge geographic regions in their paths.

SEE – THINK – WONDER

When watching this video, what you see or notice?

What does it make you think about?

What questions or wonderings do you have when you watch this video?  

GUIDING QUESTIONS

What story does this video tell you about the spread of religion?

What does it mean for an idea to spread? 

What needs to happen for an idea to spread?

Fake News vs. Real News

27 Feb

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This Thursday we will have our second Inspiration Conversation of this year on Fake News vs. Real News. We will be meeting on the 2nd Floor of the ES/MS CIC at 3:45 for snacks and refreshments, and we will start the session at 4:15. I hope that you can join us as we explore what makes news fake, what tools do we have to help us determine if something is fake, and what role do we have in stopping the spread of fake news. This is a pressing and important issue in the world today, which plays a role in everyone’s life. This is open to MS and HS students. See you there!

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A little humor!

26 Feb

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Image source: The New Yorker

Best Dab Poll (Stem Fest)

21 Feb

 

Dab A Group

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Dab B Group

Dab B Group

Dab C Group

Dab C Group

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Dab D Group

Great job at STEM Fest! I loved the projects (Sustainable AISC and Surviving a Flood), and I can see you worked hard and learned a lot. I am not sure who started the dab dance move at Stem Fest, but here are a few photos I took. We need more poll questions. Vote for the best one, and send me some more poll questions to add to our class blog.

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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. 

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 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 post shared by Out of Eden Walk (@outofedenwalk) on

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

A post shared by Out of Eden Walk (@outofedenwalk) on

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.”

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!