Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weekly Update 3/20/13

Weekly Update 3/20/13
Have a great spring break, everyone!
Thanks to Lorie, Claire, and Veronica for helping with this week's blog.

Math:  March Madness!!
In Math, we made brackets for March Madness. We each got one statistic to research (steals per game, offensive rebound percentage, etc) and advanced our teams based on who had the most or best number.  

You can follow the results here.

It will be interesting to see which statistic is the one which best predicts the winners.

Emma and Alex S. researching their stats.

Veronica and Patrycja

Arlington Heights Memorial Library Bookmobile Visit:
On Wednesday, March 20, Teri and Amy from the AHML came to Thomas to tell us about great books and to let us check out materials from the bookmobile.  We enjoyed being on the bookmobile and finding great new books to read over spring break, and we all promised to return them on time!

Period 4/5 entering the bookmobile

Period 7/8

Amy, one of the teen librarians, asking period 4/5 some book-related trivia questions.

Period 4/5 looking for books

Patrycja, Lorie, Claire, and Carol looking for books

Audience for Seventh Grade Debates: 
On Monday period 7/8 was invited to listen to Mrs. Kirr's seventh grade class debate about important issues.  The groups followed official debate procedures and were very passionate about their viewpoints.  We got to hear two debates:  one about whether violent video games should be regulated and one about whether energy drinks should be banned.  We are excited to have our own debates next year!

Period 7/8 in the audience for the debates

Energy drink debate teams (for banning on the left; against on the right)

Audience for Eighth Grade Drama-Improv Performances:
We got to see the 8th graders perform improv skits for their drama elective.  This was their end of the quarter performance. They did emotion skits and played games like hitch hiker and a modified version of freeze tag.  We got to suggest locations and emotions and ask questions.  They were really funny, and many of us want to take Improv in 8th grade.

Here, they are playing "hands," where the people on the bench speak and the people behind them make motions to go with what they're saying.

Emotion skits

∑igma Celebrations!!
Congratulations to Emma, whose PTA Reflections Contest pencil drawing of a horse jumping advanced to PTA District judging.

Good luck moving on to the next level,  Emma!

Congratulations to Lorie, Michael B., Matt, Patrycja, Ziran, Veronica, and Paul, who all won raffle prizes from the LMC for participating in the Rebecca Caudill books voting.  They won books and assorted gift cards, courtesy of the LMC and PTA.  Thanks to Mr. Hillmer and Mrs. Schultz in the LMC for organizing this fun event.
Ziran, Paul, Matt, Patrycja (with her prize, Eldest), Veronica, and Lorie

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekly Update 3/15/13

Our bloggers celebrating π Day
 Thursday, 3-14-13!
Front:  Rhea, Keatyn, Tyler
Back:  Cassy, Alex S, Emilia, Isabel (The banner says "Happy π Day!")

Science:  Rocks and Minerals
In science we are learning about rocks. There are 3 groups of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. We have a list of activities each with points.  We can choose any projects from the list that add up to 100 points. 

Here is Tyler's list with the projects he's going to do.

This is an obsidian rock that Mrs. House let Michael P., Colin, and Nathan H. borrow for their video on rocks and minerals.

Social Studies:  China World Watcher Notes
We went on our ScoopIt website and read news articles about what's happening in China today.  Then we posted on our blog about what we read.   The next unit in the book is about Ancient Greece, and we will also be reading Greek myths in LA!

Alex Y. reading about current events in China

Rhea  using her tablet

LA:  Poetry Unit
In LA, we are working on our poetry unit. We are learning different poetic terms like repetition which is words or phrases that are repeated in a poem, and rhyme and rhythm patterns. We are learning much more, but it would take hours to explain. We are also reading poems from the literature books and evaluating them in our packets.

In Langston Hughes's poem "Mother to Son," the mother talks about her life not being a crystal stair, so the 7/8 block went to the staircase to look at the landing and think about what the mother meant. 

Daily Grammar Practice
In DGP we correct bad grammar in sample sentences, including periods, commas, etc. Then we label all of the parts of speech and decide what type of sentence it is.  The last thing we do is graph the sentences so we know how the sentence is formed.  Now that we know all of the parts of speech really well, we can graph complicated sentences like the one below.
William went out into the hall to try to graph the sentence by himself without help from the class. He got most of it right!

∑igma Celebrations!
Happy Pi day!!!!
Thursday, March 14, 2013

A parody of the actual video below for pi day.

A pie flavored pie.

Jack got to keep the wood puzzle pieces after the puzzle cube that he learned to solve broke.

Our book drive to benefit Bernie's Book Bank, which provides book to needy children.
Claire, Annie, Cecelia, and Carol helping organize the donated books!

We brought in lots of books for our book drive!!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekly Update 3/1/13

This Week's Bloggers are posing for the camera with their beautiful faces!
Lorie, Kayce, Patrycja, Claire, Carol, Cecelia, Emma, and Emilia

LA:  Maniac Magee Response to Literature
For our final essay about the book Maniac Magee we are writing about things that change or stay the same about Maniac's character.  Kayce is writing about how brave he is from the beginning to the end. Claire is writing about how Maniac was helpful throughout the whole story.  We are also working on writing interesting leads for our introductions and reflecting in our conclusions.  So far our essays are going really well.

Jackie and Ben are writing about the same topic, how Maniac changes from lonely to having a loving home, so they worked together to discuss their responses.

Kraft Project Prototypes and Commercials
In our Kraft research we are making our very own commercials for our new Kraft packaging products! We are going to present our Kraft prototype and commercial to Kraft engineers in April.  Mrs. Ziegenfuss and Mr. Aho provided our different materials, and so far we are great engineers!  The string cheese group is shooting a very funny commercial, too!  Check back soon to see pictures of our finished prototypes.

SS: Ancient China's Emperor Qin 
In social studies, we wrote creative RAFTs on Emperor Qin.  We had four choices of Role, Audience, Focus, and Topic to choose from.  We could 1. Pretend to be the Great Wall of China and write "Graffiti" on it and say why it was a necessity. 2. Act like a Terra Cotta warrior guarding Qin's tomb and write about how we should remember Emperor Qin. 3. Make a scroll and write 5 lessons from the Confucian Book that Qin should learn from to be a good leader. 4. Write a job review for Emperor Qin pretending to be one of his supervisors.  Our RAFTs turned out really creative and will help us study for our China unit test on Monday.  
Here are some examples chosen by our bloggers:

Claire used a tea bag to make her Confucian scroll look old.

Isabel wrote about the Great Wall on a real stone.  

Annie wrote Qin's job review in English and in Chinese.  He didn't get a very good review from this government official!

Alex Y. wrote his information about the importance of the Great Wall on a photo of it.

Morgan created a Confucian scroll using branches

Sean did a really good job of explaining to Emperor Qin why he should follow the teachings of Confucius.

∑igma Celebrations!

Another stop-action video from Charlie for science in the news, this one about how ice cream is made.  Thanks to Michael P. for editing!
Today is Justin Bieber's 19th birthday, so at lunch during blog time we had a Justin Bieber dance party.

Sing along with us!

Happy Birthday, Justin!
Photo chose by Lorie:)