Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekly Update 4/27/12

On Wednesday night, we celebrated poetry month with Thomas's annual Sixth Grade Poetry Night celebration.  Mr. Bill Bucinsky was our host.  He made up poems about everybody as they came up.  He also played music and had us do fun activities.  Lots of parents and students came to listen and watch, and some of us performed our own poetry.  We had cookies, iced coffee, and lemonade and had good times!  Thanks to Hannah and Gina for filming a few of our talented poets!

The Poetry Night Program

Anna reading her original poem

Mili's metaphor poem

In IT, we built bridges using 28 popsicle sticks, Elmer's Glue, and masking tape.  Our goal was to built the strongest bride we could.  We tested our bridges by putting a piece of wood in the middle of the bridge and then connecting it to a bucket of sand.  We kept adding more sand until our bridges broke.  Two of our bridges were so strong that they never broke:  James & Elton's and Nicholas and Kyle's bridges each withstood over 50 pounds of sand!!  
Testing bridges

Mili & Anna's bridge being tested

The builders of the indestructible bridges!!
Nicholas, Kyle, James, and Elton

Last week we had an after-school cooking taught by Mrs. Krupiarz. She taught us about kitchen safety and how to make a delicious chocolate cake. She was very helpful and patient teaching and explaining things to us.  
Below are pictures of the different kitchen groups.

Lauren and Anna with their fabulous hats.
Our Wacky Chocolate Cakes. Yum!
We love the cakes

In celebration of Arbor/Earth Day, all interested students received seedlings from IDOT, thanks to Mr. Green.  We each got an oak or a dogwood seedling to plant.  Happy Arbor Day!
Cici, Max, and Samson with their trees.

Congratulations to David P. who won a bronze medal at the Chinese Language Fluency Contest at Northside College Preparatory High School.
Way to go, David!!  

In social studies we studied the Persian Wars.  Each group wrote a skit about one of the important battles.  In our skits we included a chorus, 4 lines for a messenger, and our chorus lines had to rhyme.  We included all important people, facts, and key terms from the battle.  Then we performed our poems to teach the class about our battle.

Andrew, Mick, Lauren, & Stephen reading their Persian War poem about The Battle of Marathon.

Kyle, Mili, and Morgan and their version of The Battle of Marathon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekly Update 4/20/12

Showdown for Shea!  Thomas vs. South Crosstown Classic!!
On April 16,  many Sigma students attended the volleyball game between Thomas and South teachers which was held at Hersey High School.  It was a really fun night, and lots of students, teachers, and community members came out to support this great cause.  Money raised from entrance and raffle ticket sales went to help a former Thomas student named Shea with travel bills to New York to receive cancer treatments.  Shea has been fighting sclerosing Hodgkins lymphoma for three and a half years, and we were glad that we could help her get the treatments she needs.   We raised over $9,300 to help Shea!!

The Thomas crowd!

Miss Renno is an awesome, tricky volleyball player!

Gina attempting to win a t-shirt during the contest between games.

Lauren at the game.

Girls from Mrs. Ziegenfuss's homeroom, 6-12.

Mrs. Ziegenfuss with Tommy the T-Wolf and Mr. O'Rourke, Thomas's former principal

This is the raffle table at the Cross Down Classic. Cici is standing there with her tickets. 
Ready to WIN!!!

Andrew and Josh getting ready to go into the gym.

Thomas T-Wolves and South Cardinals united for a GREAT cause!!!

In social studies/language arts  we participated in a debate to learn about the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta.  We were each assigned either Athens or Sparta, and after we read about our city-states, we debated which one was better.  We also learned about the rules of debate, including opening and closing arguments and how to make a rebuttal.  We learned to defend our position, even if we didn't agree with it.  We also learned that Lucas is a really good debater!

 4/5 Spartan team

7/8 Athenian team

7/8 Spartan team

Mili representing Sparta and Jaz representing Athens.

Hannah representing Athens and Lucas representing Sparta.

Lucas giving a dramatic closing argument for Sparta.

In science we did an experiment which showed where most of the earth's water is located.  What has more water, the earth's lakes or the earth's atmosphere?

Hannah, Kyle and Samson

Morgan, Lucas and Matthew

Mr. Aho's shirt for the Just Move It Challenge! 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

University of Chicago Field Trip 4/13/12

The whole group on U of C's main quad.
At the museum, half of us went on a simulated archaeological dig while the other half of us toured the museum.  Then we switched activities.  In the picture below our guide, Moriah, is explaining the process before we dig. In this picture you can see the time period levels from earliest on the bottom to most recent on top because that is the order in which archaeologists find things when they dig at a site.   We got to dig up artifacts from all of the different time periods.  We really liked how many different things we found, and we liked using the trowel and brush to uncover artifacts.  We drew diagrams of the objects we found and took notes about what we thought they might have been used for.  One of our favorites was the mask from Roman times that Anna and Mili excavated and Lucas is wearing below.  We could see how some things advanced through time, but other things stayed the same over the years.

During our tour of the museum we saw many cool artifacts from the time periods we studied in social studies!!  Our favorite was "Lammasu," a gigantic sculpture of a winged bull with a human head that protected King Sargon II of Assyria, pictured below.  We couldn't imagine how in the world the Assyrians were able to carve it, and we also liked learning about how it was dug up and brought to the University of Chicago.  It was so heavy that two ships sank while carrying parts of it!!  Another favorite was the Egyptian mummy still in its colorful coffin and the HUGE statue of Tutankhamun.  We couldn't believe they were genuine Egyptian artifacts!!  We were also excited to learn that people who work at the Oriental Institute actually dug up some of the artifacts themselves.  We were thankful for Moriah and Josh for being such great guides and teachers during our visit.  Many of us want to come back to the museum with our families!

After our Oriental Institute tour and dig, we ate lunch on the quad.  We were glad to have a warm and sunny day for this.  Some of us pretended that we were U of C students, not sixth graders.  We brought iPads from school and dowloaded the U of C app.  Then we went on a short tour of the campus.  Highlights were the old buildings with tons of ivy and cool architecture.  We also liked the interesting statues, the domed library,  and the landscaping.  We thought the campus was well put-together with a pretty design.  Some of think maybe we'll go to school there someday.  Nicholas would like to go to U of C's medical school.  Thanks to Cici and Katherine for the beautiful, artistic photos below.  They both have a real talent for photography!