Out of Eden Walk + Moving On! Project

9 May

Here are a few photos from Paul’s recent walk through Pakistan. He is now in India! Check your OOEL posts and see if anyone has left any comments or questions for you.

This week we are moving from part 2 (compare and contrast) to making your final product for our Diverse Places – Moving On! project. All of the related documents for this project are on PowerSchool. In class you will be making a final product for a teacher who is either moving to India or moving to another country. Keep up the good work!

May Birthdays

1 May


Happy birthday to the following students celebrating a birthday this month: Mayuka (2), Neel (9), Lily (14), Safiyya (19), Ziad (20),and Saho (27). If I made an error or forgot someone, let me know I will correct it. Have a great day!

What Makes India Unique?

25 Apr

Incredible India! We are engaged in research for our final project, Diverse Places – Moving On! You have been comparing two places, one of them being India or more specifically, Chennai. I have lived in India for six years. Prior to moving here, I saw this first advertisement on TV and it sparked a lot of curiosity about life here. The second advertisement on this playlist is ‘incredible’ too. I have been fortunate to have travelled to many amazing places in India. What are some examples of geographic and cultural features that you see when you watch these two videos? 

Diverse Places – Moving on!

20 Apr

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This week we began our final unit of 6th grade Social Studies, Diverse Places – Moving On! Students, in groups, selected two places to compare and contrast. They will be conducting research on the two places and focus on three areas: History, Geography, and Economy. They will also answer the questions that departing or new teachers have given them. At the conclusion of the group project, students will create a product (brochure or video) on the place that the teacher is moving to. Some sample screenshots appear above this paragraph. Mr. Nick and I loved the workstation that Joao, Ayaan, Eunseong, and Shinnosuke created for their collaboration. 


Twin Day for Mr. Nick and Mr. Martin?


Learning from Past Generations (OOEL)

12 Apr
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Photo by Yumin

This week wraps up our work on Out of Eden Learn, Footstep #3 (Learning from Past Generations). If you did not post your story and photos to the Out of Eden Learn platform, please do it by Sunday. Mr. Nick and I really enjoyed seeing the primary source objects you interviewed someone about for this activity. I was also delighted to hear from many of you that you had learned new things about your family history and that, for some of you, you had never heard the story or history of this object. In the process of doing this activity, we also hope you improved your interviewing, note-taking, and writing skills, as well as learned more about the the job of historians. Great work! We will have an opportunity next class to see each other’s work before starting the last unit of the school year. I think this was my favorite Out of Eden footstep project. Here are a few photos of the types of objects we saw.

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Photo by Ray


Photo by Ahsir


Photo by Bua


Photo by Doyeon


Photo by Ellie


Photo by Maya


Photo by Neel


Photo by Paul


Photo by Vel


Photo by Gwenole


Photo by Neil R.



Switching Principals

12 Apr

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The play was AWESOME! If you did not see it yesterday, go see it today. Congratulations to all of the students involved. It was sooooooo funny!

Cool New Features on Out of Eden Learn

10 Apr

Watch this short video to see new features that Out of Eden has created to make your experience even better!

April Birthdays

3 Apr


Happy birthday to the following people celebrating birthdays in April: Bunshiro (3), Simon (11), Yungwon (19), Maya (23), Milo (28). If I forgot anyone, let me know and I will add your name. Have a great day!

This week in Social Studies…

30 Mar

This week we completed our “Meeting our Needs” unit where we learned about how empires in the ancient world traded surpluses to get goods, resources, or products that were scarce in their civilization. We used the Silk Road as a case study and drew connections to trade, tariffs, and globalization in today’s world. If you have been watching or paying attention to the news lately, these are really hot topics. They are always important topics to nations around the world. We end our unit with a reflection on what we have learned (I used to think, now I think…) and a fun scavenger hunt to see how many items we could find in our own homes that were produced in other countries. My hope is that you learned that not everything is ‘Made in China.” I also hope you might take a quick look at the labels on things you purchase in the future.  Have a great week, and get ready for Out of Eden #3, Learning from other Generations.  

Why does the Silk Road Matter Today – Watch this video!

Paraphrase Protocol:



International Sam!



Varnika and Ahmet model the Paraphrase Protocol (What is Snapchat?)

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Your task: Find as many products or goods in your house that were produced in other countries. Which class can find the most countries?


B block – 28 countries


D block – 40 Countries


F block – 67 countries – WOW!


H Block – 55 Countries


Counting the countries


F block found the most countries and generated the longest list of countries where things were produced. Not everything is ‘Made in China’ as some of you might think. :>)

E-portfolio:Blogger Activity

Final reflection for our unit (Meeting our Needs), a Visible Thinking Routine. Students will write this in their e-portfolio. 

Connecting Our Lives to the Past

27 Mar



A few of the many GREAT examples we saw from Out of Eden, footstep #2 (Connecting Our Lives to the Past). Below are some great reflections I read from students. I Tweeted some because they were commendable. 


Paul Salopek is in India!

25 Mar

Join Paul Salopek live from Banbasa Village in Uttarakhand, India!

Explorer Classroom

Globalization – What is it?

14 Mar

What is globalization? Is the Silk Road an example of globalization? 

BriarHill24HrWorldTour – Photos!

12 Mar

Photo by Rob Martin


Photo by Rob Martin


Photo by Rob Martin


Photo by Rob Martin

On Friday, March 9th, students connected via Skype with students in Texas for what they call the BriarHill24HrWorld Tour. This is the 3rd year that Social Studies students have participated in their project, a fascinating ‘tour’ that takes their students around the world to connect with experts and other classmates around the world. Here is their blog and their 2018 schedule. What a great example of using technology to connect with others around the world. 

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Image source: http://briarhill24hrworldtour.blogspot.in/2018/03/pictionary-with-india.html 


7 Mar

Come to Mr. Martin’s room on Friday during recess from 10:30am – 10:45am to Skype with students in Texas who are doing a 24 hour Skype tour. They will attempt to make a call to seven people on seven different continents. They will have introductions, a short weather report, current event, and a quick conversation to learn about our school and Chennai. This is the 3rd year I have worked with this school. It’s a lot of fun! Bring your snack and come to 3126! H block students will join for the last 10 minutes of their conversation when their class begins.  

March Birthdays

1 Mar


Happy birthday to the following students celebrating birthdays this month: Jooeun (8), Yunwoo (10), Juhwan (12), Ryutaro (20), Bua (23), and Donghee (24). If I forgot anyone or made a mistake, email me and I will add them. Have a great day!


Special Learning Journey: Planetary Health (Out of Eden Learn)

1 Mar

Planetary health is a new subject, just like biology and math are subjects, and it focuses on exploring the impacts of environmental changes on human health. Researchers who work on planetary health are interested in the connections between how humans affect the environment and how the environment then affects human health.

This learning journey is optional (not required) and will be open to volunteers. There will be no grades and it will be offered as a club or independent activity. If you like science and health and are interested in things like climate change, pollution, nutrition, and how you can make an impact on the world, then you might enjoy this special opportunity. This will begin next week. Let me know by this weekend if you are interested.


M.S. Spirit Week

25 Feb

Show your school spirit and dress up during the week of February 26 – March 2! I need some ideas for crazy hair day! :>)

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Multiples Day – Superheroes


Multiples Day – Looking Sharp!


Multiples Day – Cool!


Multiples Day – Superheroes

Spirit Week

G6 Team


Crazy Hair/Inside Out Day


Crazy Hair (Or No Hair Day)


Crazy Hair Day


Crazy Hair Day


Pajama Day


Spring Colors Day


Spring Colors Day

Silk and the Silk Road Resources

20 Feb


The Silk Road was a network of trade routes connecting China and the Far East with the Middle East and Europe. Although it’s been nearly 600 years since the Silk Road has been used for international trade, the routes had a lasting impact on commerce, culture and history that resonates even today. Read this article on History.com.

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. 

View this post on Instagram

For two years I have walked the faded caravan trails that formed one of the world’s pioneering experiments in globalization: the Silk Road. Its forgotten byways are littered with old fortified settlements. Khiva, Bukhara, and Samarkand—all gloried trading oases of Uzbekistan—were once walled strongholds. Caravanserais dot the steppes in Kazakhstan, their mighty turrets collapsed into rubble. Parapets. Gates. Palisades. Moats. It is an irony of human relations, of human history. Even along memory’s golden corridor of cultural exchange, of openness, of free movement, we hunkered behind walls. // See the full video and read the dispatch from Ganish, #Pakistan on outofedenwalk.org (link in bio).

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

The Week in Social Studies

15 Feb


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!


Grade 6 SEVAI Day

15 Feb


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!



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

Adesh, William, Anya7AyannBushiroCaoiChanak and Donghee1Doyeon, Somin, Chaeyun3Emily and Chaeyun2jooenMilo and Adam2Milo and Adam3Neil and Iven1

Celebration of Learning + February Birthdays

2 Feb


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!




Listening to Neighbors’ Stories

25 Jan

Interview1Interview2Interview3Photos by Barathi Dasan

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


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. 

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