The Busy Week

So with all this crazy weather going on, we’ve had a lot of projects all piling up lately.  Plus, this Thursday and Friday, we had parent-teacher conferences.  That being said, I ended up missing my entry last week.  For those of you that regularly follow me, who are you?  And also, sorry. 🙂

So what have we been doing?  Here are a few highlights.

Social Studies:  The students recently completed a “Shark Tank” simulation to learn about some basic concepts of capitalism.  After watching clips of the show, the students had to come up with a new product or service, then develop a business plan around it that they then presented to us.  The students did a great job, dressing formally for their presentations and giving us plenty of data.  They came up with several very creative ideas, including a robot lawn mower, plastic hats that go on top of your car, an app that determines whether or not you’re sick, and more.  To top it off, we talked with our counselor’s son at the University of Indiana, who just recently presented his own app to an investment group that works for Mark Cuban as part of his business class.  A great experience.

Language Arts:  Our students finished interviews of their family members a few weeks ago, and now, they are turning those interviews into biographical narratives.  This activity is not a naturally easy process for many of the students, so we have been providing lots of feedback on a daily basis.  In addition, they have been working with each other and referring to peer examples to get some ideas.  It’s been a great process, and some of the drafts we have read have been fantastic.  We are looking to collect these pieces later to create a book that the students will edit and produce together.

Math:  The students have been using SketchUp, a computer software program, to create 3-D models of various classrooms and outdoor parts of the school.  In the process, we have been making connections to our chapter on scale, realizing how the sizes of different objects in the recreation must match up.  The students have been very meticulous, and the few samples I have seen look great.

As you can see, we’re trying to incorporate a lot of project-based learning into our classroom, and I think it’s had great results.  The students love coming into school each day (at least, their parents said that during conferences).  It’s not hard to find an extension activity for the students when they get done with a lesson – they just go work on their project.  All in all, it has been a busy, hectic, but incredibly satisfying past few weeks.

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