2007-2008: Week 26 Reflections

February 22, 2008 (Day 116)

Reflections
In Morning Meeting, we revisited a topic that engaged us extensively in the fall – the drought heavily impacting the southeast.  We examined the U.S. Drought Monitor website, overseen by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and compared this week to mid-November.  There has been a slight easing nationwide, but much of the southeast remains in the two highest stages of drought, and this includes virtually all of North Carolina.  These comparisons improved our abilities to transfer visual representations of percentages into estimates of the numbers themselves.  We then compared this week to the same time over the past eight years.  We then checked in with the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s website, and we read a story (“Deal lets Six Flags operate wet rides”) about the Six Flags theme park securing permission to operate this season after the installation of water-use reduction equipment like low-flow toilets, etc.   We also learned more about the role of the federal government in overseeing and adjudicating disputes among the states, and this is seen in the attempt by Georgia to fix a map error due to a faulty survey from over 100 years (“1818 map error raises new water war front”).  The Nashville Tennessean newspaper acknowledged the border flaw (“Tenn. lawmakers denounce Georgia measure aimed at Tenn. River”), but it has only emerged as a pressing issue today because of the drought and the survey would allow Georgia to make a stronger water rights claim.  However, border disputes require both states to agree, and Tennessee has no inclination to do so.  The period ended with our watching another webcast episode of The Reconstruction: The Second Civil War.  The main focus involved the settling of free blacks on sea islands in Georgia and South Carolina – land that was abandoned or given to them by the Union army.  We realized know how ironic that this unwanted land has become so valuable because of its proximity to the ocean today, and now sea island blacks are being displaced as the land around them becomes exorbitantly expensive (for example, in the Hilton Head area).  In Math, we talked about geometric expressions and worked through some word problems.  In Spanish, we reviewed the translations and the verbs “ir” and “jugar.” Mrs. Rowland then administered a brief diagnostic quiz and we went over it.  The period concluded with the class practicing expressions for weather.  In Humanities, we took our assessment on The Scarlet Letter.  In Science, we entered our water data (from the stormwater pond and the swamp) from our excursion to Sewee and then created graphs for it.   Upon finishing this, we crafted our reports for yesterday’s lab.  In Flex time, we sampled two paths to improve our ability to avoid run-on sentences.  One was an online grammar lesson with a presentation and sample quizzes, and the other was a webcast video.

February 21, 2008 (Day 115)

Reflections
In Morning Meeting, we watched CNN student news, and the main story involved the current delegate counts for the major candidates in both parties.  We used this as a jumping off point to ponder the perception of the presidential party races if the delegate-selection procedures were reversed.  This brought some perceptive analysis and a better understanding of how each major party awards delegates – Republicans by winner-takes-all and Democrats by proportion.  Therefore, if the procedures were switched, Barack Obama would have a commanding lead over Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s lead over Mike Huckabee would be marginal.  These choices affect the mathematics of the races, the way the media analyzes them, and the way Americans view the selection process.  We then continued our examination of Reconstruction after the American Civil War, and today’s webcast looked at the death of Abraham Lincoln, the background of Andrew Johnson (from Tennessee), and Frederick Douglass’ wary view of Johnson after meeting him.  In Math, we worked on solving word problems involving fractions, percents, and area determination.  In Spanish, for about forty minutes, we practiced speaking by asking our classmates how often they did different activities, and then we talked about the results (changing verb forms and using correct pronouns — you, he, she, they, and I).  In Humanities, before beginning our Webquest, we read and discussed an article about the treatment of female celebrities by the media (“Boys Will Be Boys, Girls Will Be Hounded by the Media,” The New York Times (2/17/2008).  This piece linked strongly to the treatment of Hester Prynne by her community and made us ponder the long history of this “double standard” for behavior by men and women. The Webquest is giving us insight through research into the perceptions of the British of the American Revolution.  In Science, we did a laboratory investigation of dilution.  In the lab we started with a 10% solution of food coloring and made observations of what happens when you make a series of solutions that are less and less concentrated.  We were able to visually see the disappearance of the red food coloring as we diluted the solutions from 0.1 parts food coloring to 0.000000001.  The color totally disappeared by about 0.0000001 parts, but we knew through inference that there was food coloring in the more diluted cups also.  This concept was compared to Federal Water Quality Standards as outlined in a chart given to us.  It also related to the water quality tests performed at the Sewee Educational Center yesterday.  It was a great lab to understand how industries use “dilution as a solution for pollution.”  However, after this lab, we are no longer sure that is true.

Assignments
Leadership & Life Skills
– for Friday, 2/22 – Moodle on-line text “Letter to the Editor” about Crab Bank Island; for Friday, 2/29 – Moodle resources for map analysis about women in politics in America; for Friday, 3/7 – Moodle on-line text about possible shadowing/career interests

Math
– for Friday, 2/22 – complete word problems worksheet

Spanish
– for Friday, 2/22 – study the verb “to play – jugar” on page 115, write Acts 35 and 36 on page 117, begin to study for next Thursday’s test with Acts 3 & 4 on page 128
– for Monday, 2/25 – study the vocab for weather expressions on page 118, complete Act 41 on page 119, continue studying for Thursday’s test by learning the meanings and spellings of Vocabulary 2 on page 131 and grammar 2 on page 130

Humanities
– for Friday, 2/22 – The Scarlet Letter test

Science
– for Friday, 2/22 – Sewee reflections (33) due

February 20, 2008 (Day 114)

February 19, 2008 (Day 113)

Reflections
In Morning Meeting, we previewed the upcoming week, and this included looking at the next three on-line course assignments for L&L Skills.  We then delved deeper into the thread of slavery, Civil War, and Reconstruction that we have been exploring for the past month.  This involved starting to watch a webcast of PBS’ The American Experience program entitled Reconstruction: The Second Civil War.  It originally aired in 2005, and our analysis today began with links to American “reconstruction” experiences in Iraq and post-World War II Japan and Germany.  In Math, we examined and learned the steps to solve a word problem.  In Spanish, we reviewed how to conjugate “-ar” verbs.  Mrs. Rowland also administered a brief quiz, and then we reviewed it.  The class concluded with a discussion about the verbs “ir” and “jugar.”  In Humanities, the conclusion of The Scarlet Letter consumed our energies, and we debated the ending and other aspects of the novel.  In Flex Time, because we were hosting a guest who participated in a National Geographic Explorer program, we dedicated this time to learn more about her experience at the Galapagos Islands.   We used Google Earth to gain a sense of the geography and relative position of the islands, and then we watched the video that they produced about their time there in 2006.  We then engaged in an on-line chat to ask questions about the Galapagos Islands and her experience with the National Geographic program.  In Science, we reviewed the property of polarity in water and discussed how it relates to storm water pollutants.  We then went online and viewed several compounds including nitrates, sulfates, and PCBs.  Each molecule was classified as polar or nonpolar.  This helped us understand why so many pollutants dissolve in water.  We also talked about E. coli and where it comes from.  We verified that it was not able to dissolve in water because it is an organism with a cell membrane.  Understanding the structure of the cell membrane helped us understand why bacteria cannot disappear in water and why some substances can get into the cell due to the polarity of the substance.  Tomorrow we will be collecting water samples and testing for some stormwater pollutants while at the SEWEE Center in Awendaw.

Assignments
Leadership & Life Skills
– for Friday, 2/22 – Moodle on-line text “Letter to the Editor” about Crab Bank Island
– for Friday, 2/29 – Moodle resources for map analysis about women in politics in America
– for Friday, 3/7 – Moodle on-line text about possible shadowing/career interests

Math
– for Thursday, 2/21 – page 23 – #s 3, 5, 9, 11, 13; page 133 – #s 5, 6, 10, 13; page 165 – #s 8, 9, 10, 11

Spanish
– for Thursday, 2/21 – study p. 114, the conjugation of “ar” verbs and translate the following sentences into Spanish:
1. Everyday we go to Spanish class at 9:30 A.M.
2. Every Saturday I chat with my friends and we go to the movies
3. Y?’all never play the guitar in math class, do you?
4. How often do you like to go to rehearsal and/or practice?
5. When do your friends go to the beach with you and play volleyball?
6. Do you and your parents want to play chess every night or navigate the Internet?
7. How often does your best friend rent videos from Blockbuster and watch movies?
8. Every Sunday all the students and their families go to church and then spend time together.
9. Sometimes when it rains we don’?t play tennis or practice sports
10. It almost never snows in Charleston. but it is often cloudy.
– for Friday, 2/22 – study the verb “to play – jugar” on page 115, write Acts 35 and 36 on page 117, begin to study for next Thursday test with Acts 3 & 4 on page 128
– for Monday, 2/25 – study the vocab for weather expressions on page 118, complete Act 41 on page 119, continue studying for Thursday’s test by learning the meanings and spellings of Vocabulary 2 on page 131 and grammar 2 on page 130

Humanities
– for Thursday, 2/21 – paragraph on the American character due
– for Friday, 2/22 – The Scarlet Letter test

Science
– none

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