Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekly Update 3/23/12

Kraft Packaging Redesign Project

Last Thursday we presented our final packaging designs and commercials to six Kraft packaging engineers, our parents, and our Thomas teachers and administrators.  Some of us were a little nervous, but we all had fun.  The tips that the engineers provided us with were helpful and proved that they are really good professional engineers.  Plus, we all really love our Michigan State yo-yos!

Macaroni and Cheese:  We liked that we got to present to actual Kraft engineers and hear their thoughts and ideas.  It was really cool and a great experience.  We learned that a lot more goes into package engineering than we thought.  

Oreos:  We liked working with food that we recognize and eat.  We learned that there are a lot of different ways to make a package.

Swedish Fish:  We liked having free will to create whatever we wanted.  We learned a lot about primary and secondary packaging.  We also enjoyed the gift bags of food and the yo-yos!  We liked making and presenting our projects!

Teddy Grahams:  We liked how we had freedom to build what we wanted how we wanted it.  We enjoyed making the commercial.  We also enjoyed how the Kraft people listened to our ideas.

Oreo Cakesters: We enjoyed working with different packaging materials, and we learned that it takes a lot of tries to make something good.  We also liked learning life skills like presenting to an audience.

Capri Sun:  We liked making our prototype, and we like the idea that there's a chance our new packaging might actually be on shelves!  We really liked working together in our group.

Sour Patch:  We liked that we had a lot of free rein on our project.  We liked that we could design our own project with some supervision but did most of it on our own.  We had a choice to do anything for our commercials.  We made three versions and then chose the one we liked best.

Chips Ahoy:  We learned patience because it took a while to build our prototype, film our commercials, and put it all together.  We really liked putting our Garage Band music in the commercials.

Kool-Aid:  We liked that we could use all of our creativity in this project, and we learned that new packaging might be important to the future.  We liked that all of the Kraft engineers' and our parents' comments were so encouraging.

Thanks to Mr. Aho for subbing for Stephen, who was out sick during the Singing Narwal group's rhythm performance in music.  Today was our last day of music class, and we are looking forward to starting Industrial Technology after break. 

We wrapped up our music rotation with a Sigma Talent Show.  Here are some of our performances.

Sigma learns about Germany, too!  
Mrs. Lussem taught us a German dance called the "Schuhplattler" during the last few minutes of class before spring break.  

Sigma students teach!  Thanks to David P, Shane, and James for teaching the class how to create and share documents in googledocs.  This allows us to write our Yellow Death WEX responses on our laptops, share with Mrs. Ziegenfuss, and then revise after reading her comments.

 Shane and David helping Jake and Samson.

David and James teaching the group.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Are Your NCAA Picks Smarter Than a Sixth Grader's?

It's March and with that comes college basketball action.  With our lesson in finding the mean for a set of data and then being able to compare and analyze, Sigma students made 2012 NCCA tournament picks based on specific statistics.  We will follow our predictions throughout the tournament to determine which statistic most closely aligns with the most game winners.  We will award 1 point for correctly identifying the first round winner, 2 points for the second, 3 points for the Sweet Sixteen, 4 points for the Elite Eight, 6 points for the Final Four and 10 points for the champion.

Our predictions:

Name: Mick
Stat: Blocks Per Game
Prediction: Kentucky 64, Syracuse-59

Name: Kevin
Stat: 3pt Field Goals Made
Prediction: Florida State 84, Iowa State 80

Name: Max
Stat: Rebounds Defensive
Prediction: Mississippi Valley 52, Syracuse 51

Name: Andrew
Stat: Assists Offensive
Prediction: Iona 83, Creighton 80

Name: Kate
Stat: Rebounds Offensive
Prediction: New Mexico State 105, North Carolina 96

Name: Lauren
Stat: # Losses
Prediction: Murray St 82, Syracuse 68

Name: Mili
Stat: Points Total
Prediction: New Mexico St 79, North Carolina 82

Name: Anna
Stat: Steal %
Prediction: VCU 30, Ohio 22

Name: Elton
Stat: Offensive Points Average
Prediction: Iona 87, North Carolina 81

Name: Josh
Stat: Offensive Rebounds
Prediction: North Carolina 88, New Mexico 80

Name: Kyle
Stat: 3-pt Field Goal %
Prediction: Indiana 104, Creighton 95

Name: David R
Stat: Offensive Rebound %
Prediction: New Mexico St 89, West Virginia 76

Name: Nick
Stat: Assist %
Prediction: Kentucky 104, Syracuse 98

Name: Matthew
Stat: Free Throws Made
Prediction: New Mexico St 83, UNC Asheville 58

Name: Jake
Stat: Number of times in Final Four
Prediction: North Carolina 54, Duke 53

Name: Gina
Stat: Free Throw %
Prediction: Lehigh 54, UNC Asheville 36

Name: Hannah
Stat: Number of Championships
Prediction: Duke 26, Syracuse 23

Name: Katherine
Stat: Number of Wins
Prediction: Kentucky 32, Syracuse 31

Name: David P
Stat: Points Defensive Average
Prediction: Long Island 70, UNC Asheville 68

Name: Jaz
Stat: Conference Wins
Prediction: Syracuse 105, Wichita 95

Name: Sammi
Stat: Number of times in NCAA tournament
Prediction: Kentucky 26, Purdue 23

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekly Update 3/9/12 by Morgan, CiCi, Gina, Hannah, and Sammi

We had a busy week on Sigma, with ISAT testing and a crazy flipped schedule.  We managed to get a lot of learning in, too, as you can see in the photos and graphics below from language arts and social studies.  Be sure to check back next week for pictures and an update about our Kraft Packaging Project presentations!

In social studies we made 3-D relief maps of China and learned about the geography of China.  Here we are working on our group maps and posters.

In language arts this week we finished reading our literature circle historical novels.  We used tagxedo to make the posters below. We added text to describe our main characters and then we chose colors and shapes to symbolically represent our novels.  Some of us finished early and had time to make tagxedos about ourselves.

The Kite Rider group (13th century China):  
Samson  made his in a lightning shape to represent when Haoyou bravely flies into a storm.

Lucas and Shane made theirs in the shape of China, where the book is set.

David P. made his in a tree shape to represent when Haoyou flew on his kite into a tree.

Catherine, Called Birdy group (Medieval England): We made our Tagxedos about Catherine, from Catherine Called Birdy.  They are in a bird shape because she is like a bird herself; she is "caged" and doesn't know how to flap her wings on her own in life yet.



Ties that Bind, Ties that Break group (1905, China):
Matthew and Jake used a foot shape to represent Ailin rebelling against having her feet bound.



James's image is in the shape of a Chinese temple.

Jaz and Sammi chose a map of China for their design.

Crispin groups (1377, England)
Several people used a cross shape to represent the lead cross Crispin carried.  
The cross was the clue to his true identity.

Kevin & David R.

Nicholas & Eddie 

Kate chose a key shape because Crispin was searching for the key to his true identity. 

Mili and Anna both chose the shape of England, where the story is set.
Lauren's chose a heart shape because Crispin "lost his heart"and was devastated when his mother died.

The Golden Goblet group (ancient Egypt):
Both groups chose a goblet shape for their design because the main character, Ranofer, must solve the mystery to find out who is robbing tombs of valuables such as the goblet he finds.
 Kyle and Josh
Mick and Max

Goddess of Yesterday group (Ancient Greece): 
In this book the main character, Anaxandria, has never seen a horse and is amazed to see horses used in battle.

 Elton and Stephen


A few "just for fun" tagxedos about our own personalities and interests!

 David P.



Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekly Update 3/2/12

Kraft Packaging Redesign Project Update:
This week we presented our keynotes to get feedback from our classmates before we present our final projects to the Kraft engineers on March 15.  Each group explained the changes they made in the packaging and why they made them.  Then they showed their commercials, too.  Check back next week to watch our final presentations with our voice recordings.

In language arts we are continuing our WEX unit responding to Yellow Death, and we also started our historical fiction literature circles using a Facebook-like program for school purposes (safe unlike Facebook). We do our homework on Edmodo. Then we comment on each other's  work. Also, we create decisions about how much to read and talk about the books we are reading.  Here's a screenshot of Shane, David P., Samson, and Lucas's discussion about Haoyou, the main character in their book, The Kite Rider.

For Chinese class we had a kung fu master come in and show us different styles of kung fu.  Some of us volunteered to demonstrate what we learned from him.  We learned defensive and offensive techniques and had a lot of fun.



Nicholas, Kyle, and Sammi, among others
David P.

Lunch bunch:  eating lunch and playing Apples to Apples.

In music we performed our Rhythm Projects