2007-2008: Week 18 Reflections

December 18, 2007 (Day 82)

Reflections
Today was the final day before Winter Break and the end of the First Semester.  In Morning Meeting, we competed against ourselves and each other as we sought to attain the highest vocabulary level and garner the most grains of rice for those in need.  Our vehicle for this was FreeRice, a site we have worked on a few weeks ago, and it users ad-supported revenue to make rice donations to the hungry.  The site was spotlighted on National Public Radio this week.  In Math, we played a review game, and it included individual and group components.  The bulk of the attention was on fractions, integers, and algebraic concepts.  In Spanish, we reviewed several of the on-line Spanish resources available to us.  This served as a link for advancement and extra credit at one’s own pace, and we determined methods for keeping Mrs. Rowland apprised of the sites and topics we have worked on independently.  We then had a fiesta to celebrate the holiday season.  In Humanities, Mrs. Logan shared one of her favorite holiday traditions, ” A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” a poem by Dylan Thomas.  Mrs. Logan helped us place the piece in context historically and in terms of the poetry we have studied this year, and then we watched a film version.  Mr. Kreutner then read three Grimm’s Fairy Tales to us: “The Willful Child,” “Ferdinand the Faithful and Ferdinand the Unfaithful,” and “Donkey Cabbages.”  We then had a holiday party, and mentor Zach Thames joined us for the rest of the day.  We cleaned up in preparation for the break, and then Zach led us through a presentation of his college search process.

Assignments

Have a great break, and return happy and healthy on Thursday, January 3 with all of one’s materials organized and ready for the new semester.

December 17, 2007 (Day 81)

Reflections
In Morning Meeting, Mr. Kreutner read Oscar Wilde’s “The Happy Prince” (1895) to us.  Before hearing the story, we made connections between the time at which the piece was written and the state of America and the world.  We were able make linkages to the Industrial Revolution (and its environmental impact and the accelerated pace of change), child labor, and to the holiday season.  Similar conditions exist today because the pace of industrialization has been uneven, and some countries are in the beginning stages of modernization.  These developments create their own set of positive and negative outcomes (higher standard of living but also environmental degradation and higher cost of goods as countries compete for them).  In Math, we continued working with fractions, and we mainly focused on adding and subtracting fraction combinations of various levels of complexity.  This was done in both individual and group forums.  In Spanish, we took our Unit 2 assessment, and this included an oral interview aspect.  In Humanities, religion in colonial New England was the topic of the day.  We discussed Roger Williams (founder of Rhode Island colony) and Ann Hutchinson (very religious, but her views on faith and women’s rights got her in trouble in Massachusetts – she was forced to leave and went to R.I.).  The life and times of these two individuals led us to a class discussion of state-sponsored religion and state (government) vs. religion.  In Science, we reviewed water polarity and its impact on global warming.  We then corrected the data graphs we created in Microsoft Excel.

Assignments
Leadership & Life Skills
– respond to on-line feedback for Moodle reflection from Friday – address comments and submit revised version for tomorrow

Math
– finish quiz sheet

Spanish
– bring web page analysis sheets
– extra credit – bring Hispanic food for fiesta

Humanities
– none

Science
– “Making a Difference” (MAD) folder due today (Monday, 12/17).  This includes four articles and one proposal paper.

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