2007-2008: Week 30 Reflections

March 20, 2008 (Day 135)

In Morning Meeting, Mr. Kreutner led us through an exercise about feedback protocol for adults and teachers.  This endeavor primarily involved discussing the value in seeking feedback about strengths and weaknesses when one is leading a group.  We also brainstormed the best strategies for offering constructive criticism and how one should best use feedback that one receives.  This exercise correlated to the end of Third Quarter and the regular period of evaluation.  In Math, we used 3-d manipulatives in small groups.  This linked to our recent work in geometric shapes, and thi entailed looking at patterns and the relations of the shapes to each other.  Mt. Longanecker challenged us several times to compete and replicate the designs of models with a finite number of pieces.  In Spanish, we took our Unit 4.1 test.  In Humanities, we read aloud several parts from Act I of Romeo and Juliet.  We then broke into small groups and undertook scene and quotation analysis.  After finishing this work, we reconvened and made small group presentations about our findings and analysis.  An all-class discussion of the play to date and today’s activities concluded the class.  In Science, we practiced delivering presentations in our Making a Difference (MAD environmental project) groups.  Mrs. Ewing gave us feedback about our content and our delivery, and this gave a chance for all groups and all individuals to gain experience and to improve in public speaking and presenting.

March 19, 2008 (Day 134)

Today was a Learning Outside the Classroom day, but it was atypical because we engaged in some classwork.  The day began with team-building and strategy based small-group games.  We had three races, and each included multiple legs with three rotations around a coin.  The first involved carrying a coin on one’s cheek, the second was a sheer speed game, and the last involved carrying a full cup of water while blindfolded.  We then took a section of the Stanford Achivement Test.  Several challenges involving the 2-D physics sandbox, Phun, came next.  We then headed downstairs for some time with the kindergarten class.  We drew, built blocks, and played puzzles with the students in Ms. Pat’s 5-year-old class at Hibben Preschool.  We then took the final section of the Stanford Achievement Test.  It was back to Phun and then off to lunch at Wild Wing’s.  After lunch, we had a double Science period, and this allowed us to consult with Mrs. Ewing individually and in our MAD (Making a Difference) project groups.  We worked on our most recent lab reports and on the latest update for our MAD Project.

March 18, 2008 (Day 133)

In Morning Meeting, we began the day by analyzing several editorial cartoons about the state of the economy.  Our identification of the visual illusions and the connections to current events launched our lesson about America’s investment bank crisis (and the related mortgage crisis).  This included an explanation of a “run on a bank.”  In Math, we looked at the Pythagorean theorem (for a right triangle, the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides) and the concept of interpolation (guessing a value of a function when you know several of the other numbers in it).  The former is a key concept in geometry and the latter is the same in algebra.  In Spanish, we practiced several listening activities, and we also reviewed for Thursday’s test.  In Humanities, we continued to get a sense of the characters, plot, and themes through Act I scene iii of Romeo and Juliet.  In Flex Time, we visited Mt. Pleasant precincts 6&7 for an overview of voting procedures and to learn about voting machines.  We also talked about the non-binding referendum that Mt. Pleasant was holding about changing the date for elections to town council and the debate surrounding this issue.  In Science, we engaged in an editing exercise.  To start, we read and interpreted William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 60” and then looked at an analytical essay about the piece.  We learned about “marginalia” and efforts to vary sentence patterns, vocabulary, etc. in our writing.  We then worked on and edited the questions for our Making a Difference project.

March 17, 2008 (Day 132)

In Morning Meeting and Math, we took a section of the Stanford Achievement test.  In Spanish, we continued increasing our mastery of expressions using “tener” (to have), and we began to learn about “venir” (to come).  We also watched a webcast of Spanish-speaking students using these verbs in conversation.  In Humanities, we had a discussion about the second and third scenes of Act One, and we focused on keeping the characters straight and getting a sense of the trajectory of the story.  We then took on roles and read aloud in class.  In Flex Time, we had a web chat called “All Things Considered.”  We pondered questions that connected all of the courses and Learning Outside the Classroom experiences.  The exercise also pulled double-duty because it linked to the grammar workshops we had last week, and we had to demonstrate our understanding of proper grammar (and spelling) by correct and thoughtful participation in the chat.   In Science, we worked on our MAD (Making a Difference) projects.

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