Wednesday, September 30, 2015

9/28-10/2, 2015

It's Homecoming Week!  Things are going to be a little crazy as we Demolish the Warriors, so here's how it will all shake down in Mrs. E's class this week:

5th GOAL:  5th graders are learning the basics of cricket this week through articles and videos.

6th-8th GOAL:  6th-8th graders are starting their read aloud books (Okay For Now for 6th, The Cardturner for 7th, and To Kill a Mockingbird for 8th).  They will also be continuing their unit on Comics, Cartoons, and Graphic Novels.  We'll assess their reflections from last week's field trip using the expectations for elaborated communication, we'll finish up our eyebrow & texture pages, and we'll start exploring all kinds of graphic novels from both our library and the AEA.

Mrs. E's homeroom will have teambuilding and door decorating for homecoming on Wednesday afternoon, and on Friday afternoon, everyone will have our big Homecoming pep assembly!

Friday, September 25, 2015

New School Year: My Hopes for You

In my search for a topic for this week's Deep Thinking Friday, I came across this TED talk by John Green.  I found myself in tears for most of the talk.  I'm not kidding.  I had so many thoughts in my brain that I started writing on post-it notes as I watched.

My brain was full of these thoughts:

  • Why are you here?  
  • Are you bored?  Do something about it!  
  • Be an advocate for yourself, and take charge of your learning.  
  • Find your community of learners.
  • Where might the map of your life lead?
My brain was full of thoughts, and my eyes were full of tears, because this TED talk encompasses my hopes for you, my students, for this school year.  I hope that GOAL becomes your community of learners.  I hope GOAL inspires you to seek out your own communities of learners beyond our school walls.  I hope you love learning, in whatever form you seek out for yourselves.  I hope you grow your brain this year, and I hope you share with us how you did it.  I hope.  I hope.  I hope.

Watch this, and let's have a great school year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reading Contract Self-Evaluation

This year you have been challenged to read a minimum of 40 books in a variety of genres.  Start a new blog post and answer the following questions in complete sentences and with descriptive explanations.  Every question should be its own paragraph.  Use your Goodreads account to help you.

  1. According to the records you kept on Goodreads, how many books did you read this year?  Did you make your goal?  Why or why not?
  2. List the titles and page numbers of each (then I'll be able to see which books count for two) book for the fourth quarter (between April 1 & now).
  3. Did you read books from every genre this year?  Explain.  Which genres did you enjoy the most, and why?  
  4. Compared to the last school year, did you read more this year, or did you read less?  Explain, and tell why.
  5. Describe how you grew as a reader during this school year.
  6. Make a plan of how and what you will read over the summer.  Explain in detail.
  7. What book surprised you the most this year?  Why?
  8. What book did you like best this year?  Why?
  9. What advice do you have for students' success and enjoyment in completing their reading contracts?
  10. What suggestions do you have for Mrs. Edlin on how to make independent reading contracts more meaningful for the next school year and beyond?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mrs. Edlin's End of the Year Evaluation

Please complete the survey at the following link:

One piece of advice... compose your answers on a Google Doc first and then paste them in to the survey when you're all done... that way, if you don't get done, you won't lose your answers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

7th Grade: Mark Twain Webquest

When you're done reflecting on your Stop-Motion Animated Movies, you may continue to the Mark Twain Webquest.  You will find it here:

Your groups are made up of people from your class and from the other GOAL class.  You will find your groups in the Google Doc shared with you through your e-mail.  You will be combining your answers together to make a Google Presentation.  Start at the "Welcome" tab, and then continue down the line with the following tabs.  They explain how to complete the project.

8th Grade GOAL: Documentary Self-Evaluation & Trip Reflection

Compose two different blog posts.

For Post #1, answer the following questions in a blog post about our overnight Images of Greatness trip.  We made the following stops:  Des Moines Art Center, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Drake University, State Historical Museum, Iowa Hall of Pride, IMAX: Journey to Space movie.

1.  What was your favorite part of the trip, and why?
2.  At the art museum, you had to find 4 things: favorite, best example of "art," Why is it ART?, and celebrity award.  Write about them and include pictures if you'd like.
3.  What was the most educational part of the trip, and why?  What is something specific that you learned?
4.  What was the most fun part of the trip, and why?
5.  If you could improve the trip in any way for the group next year, what would you change?  Explain.

For Post #2, embed your documentary into your blog post.  Then, answer the following questions:
  • Describe the process you went through to make your documentary.
  • What are some specific interesting facts you learned about your topic?
  • What are some specific things you learned about filmmaking?
  • Which parts of your documentary make you proud?  Why?
  • Which parts of your documentary would you improve if you had more time?  Explain.
  • What is your advice for the group next year on how to successfully complete this unit and to make stellar documentaries?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

7th GOAL: Stop Motion Reflection

Now that you've finished making your stop-motion animated movies, write a reflection on the process.  First, embed your stop-motion movie into a blog post.  Then, in paragraph form, answer the following:
  • Describe your movie
  • Describe the process of making the movie
  • What was the hardest part, and why?
  • What are you most proud of, and why?
  • During this unit, what did you learn about the process and/or skill of animation?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

6th Grade Westward Expansion Projects

You will be creating a VoiceThread project to share your facts.  If you don't have an account already, use your school username and password to create an account for yourself.

For this project, you will need to find AT LEAST 5 pictures relating to your topic.  The pictures will be what the audience looks at while they listen to your comments.  Then, they'll be able to comment on your project and talk about connections they can make between their topic and yours.

Over the course of showing your pictures, your comments need to include the following information:
  1. Introduce yourself and the topic you researched.
  2. Give at least 5 interesting facts you learned.
  3. Explain why your topic was important to the idea of Westward Expansion. 
  4. Share at least two questions that you didn't find the answers for or that your research made you wonder.
  5. After doing your specific research, do you think Westward Expansion in the United States was a good idea?  Why or why not?  What were the pros and cons?  Explain.
When your Voice Thread is done, click the menu icon for your project on the VoiceThread dashboard page.  Create a post on your blog and share the link.  

As your classmates finish, go into their projects and listen to their comments.  Make comments of your own, at least one comment on each person's project (it's not necessary to comment on each individual slide unless you want to).  Use the following sentence starters to make connections with your own project and to add to the information provided:
  • This reminds me of...
  • This is similar to...
  • I wonder...
  • This made me realize...
  • I noticed...
  • You can relate this to...
  • I'd like to know...
  • I'm surprised that...
  • If _____, then _____...
  • If I were..., I would _____...
An example of a VoiceThread project:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

5th Grade GOAL: Blogs & Fibonacci Numbers

Complete the following items:

  1. Finish your blog post reflecting on Independent Projects.
  2. Comment on at least 3 other students' Independent Project blog posts.
  3. Set up your Goodreads account.
  4. Using widgets, attach your Goodreads account to your blog.
  5. Add books you're currently reading to Goodreads, and/or update your progress on those books (MAKE SURE TO LOG OUT WHEN YOU'RE DONE).
  6. Watch the following videos:

Finally, start a blog post (you don't need to publish it yet) on what you think about Fibonacci numbers at this point.  For some of you, this is the first time you've ever heard of such a thing.  What are your thoughts?  What are your questions?  What are your observations?  What did you learn so far?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

6th & 7th Grade GOAL: Be Inspired and Inspire Others!

  1. Go to the TED site or the TED Ed site.
  2. Browse all the different TED talks available.
  3. Watch a TED talk of your choice.
  4. Write a blog post about the TED talk including the following information: what it was called, what it was about, who you would recommend it to and why, and how you would rate it on a scale of 1-5 stars and why.
  5. Include the link or embed the talk into your blog post.
  6. If you have time, repeat steps 1-6.