Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 17 -- Building Up to P.O.O.T.

Evening Meeting Reminders: (You should have already received a number of emails about these events.)

Thank you to the third, fourth and fifth grade parents who came to our Curriculum Night on Thursday. It's always nice to have a little time to chat in person. And, thanks to Deborah for making it happen. We'll be welcoming our SK fourth graders for day visits to the 5/6 classroom this coming week.

Sixth grade parents who are interested in hearing about the 7/8 program have an opportunity to meet with Karl this week (Thursday 6pm) before the O.W.L. presentation, speaking of which....

This week Jason and Rachel will be doing a parent orientation for the Our Whole Lives health program on Thursday night at 7pm. A major part of O.W.L. involves parents directly so, if you can't make the orientation meeting, please let us know so we can find a time to get you the materials from the presentation and/or answer questions you might have about this important and engaging program.

Rachel's Parent/Student Book club will also have its January meeting on Wednesday night and their is a Digital Citizenship Presentation on Tuesday night.

Week 17 ---

In the middle school we're getting ready for the Place Out of Time simulation. The first activity for the simulation happened last week when the students did a little preliminary research to help them select and submit a list of three people from history that they would be interesting in learning about deeply as they portray that person over the next several months. (They should receive their character selection next week.)

This week we went a little further into the specific background of this year's simulation; a case that asks us to weigh, amongst other topics, endangered species/wildlife management, the environment writ large, traditional vs. modern culture,  and trade regulations.

In groups of two, the students researched and made short presentations on these topics. In this video you see Owen and Rushil discussing some ideas pertinent to their presentation on Greenland.  In addition to the researching and evaluating the factual content this project was a good introduction to presentation software (Google Slides, specifically) for the students who hadn't worked with it before, and an opportune moment to talk about what makes for a good or bad slideshow. (How many of us, how many times, have sat through a PowerPoint where the presenter spent most of the time reading from the slides or crammed so much information on each slide that the content was obfuscated in a cloud of illegible text?)

You'll hear lots more about P.O.O.T. over the coming weeks.


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