We've been creating Mars landers this week, in conjunction with a story we're about to start reading about Sojourner, the first lander on Mars. I get TOTALLY jazzed up about astronomy, so we spent tons of time looking at video clips of outer space, writing really huge numbers down to get a sense of size, and just talking about how amazing our universe is!
Now their challenge is to create a lander that will reach "Mars" without destroying its payload. Students practice with a small plastic egg, but the real payload is a raw egg in a baggie. I have some rules for them to follow regarding the size of their landers, but for the most part, they get to design and create what they think will be most effective. Look at what they came up with!
We have always run a tutorial period, where we work with students who need remediation or enrichment. It's also the time when band, chorus, and orchestra meet, so there are some challenges to getting to students when we need to, but for the most part, it works pretty well. Starting in January, I met with one group of students who needed some reading comprehension review, but in a way that pushed them beyond where they were. I created the "Country Project" which I wrote about in an earlier post. We spent a few days looking at Google Earth and maps, and figuring out where countries were. Then, students picked a country they knew very little about, and for which we had a book in the library (they had close to 150 to choose from.) Reading those books, the students have been questioning, comparing and contrasting, reading chapters and coming up with main ideas and details, looking at non-fiction text structure, learning phrases in their language, and comparing the weather in their country to the weather at our school.
|Sweet potato cakes from Zambia|
Last week, we had our meal, and what a treat it was! Now, I gave my iPad to a student to take some pictures when I was
Some of the desserts - yum!
Okay. So that was only two for Sunday. Instead of five for Friday. That's all I can muster tonight.
Have a great week!