Friday, September 28, 2012

Another MineCraft Project: Explorers - Columbus

I asked the students to create some representation of an explorer of their choosing: Poster, time line, PPT, etc. Three of my students opted to do Minecraft presentations. This is one of them - this is not the original presentation (which was much more informative), this is the retake because I decided I wanted a video, so enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Landform Polls

My 7th graders have been creating polls about landforms that they have been studying. Please take a few minutes to answer as many of these as possible - I'd love for all the kids to have some results!

Poll 1            Poll 9                Poll 17             Poll 25
Poll 2            Poll 10              Poll 18             Poll 26
Poll 3            Poll 11              Poll 19
Poll 4            Poll 12              Poll 20
Poll 5            Poll 13              Poll 21
Poll 6            Poll 14              Poll 22
Poll 7            Poll 15              Poll 23
Poll 8            Poll 16              Poll 24

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Five Themes Finished!

After weeks of hard work, planning, learning, traveling, and craziness, I am proud to present my students' Five Themes of Geography videos! There are four total, they will all be added by the end of the week.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Our 5 Themes of Geography

Over the last week my 7th grade students have been working on a video project that I outlined last spring.

Students have spent time working on identifying and defining the 5 themes of geography, writing scripts, and now recording video of how the 5 themes fit into their lives in Blairsburg, IA. Yesterday I sent one group to main street to film, while I escorted another group all the way out to Old 20 from the school! For those of you unfamiliar with the area, we walked about 30 minutes (about 2 miles) to take 15 seconds of video.

At the beginning of the project the students were featured in an article on the front page of the local paper, the Daily Freeman Journal. The kids are using iPads, iPods, and phones to capture the video that they will edit using iMovie and Splice after we are finished. More to come!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big History Origin Stories

As part of the Big History Project the students are learning about different "origin stories" or "creation stories" from cultures throughout history. I decided that the best way to learn about all 7 stories would be to jigsaw them. The students are using their iPads and the app "StoryKit" to create actual story books of their assigned origin story. On Friday the students will share their books with the class.

First, the app is great. It's nothing fancy, but it's really easy to use and doesn't have a steep learning curve, so the students were able to get right to work.

Second, the origin stories have been fascinating. The students are shocked at some of the stories - we had a discussion about being respectful to the beliefs of others since some of the stories are so "out there" to the students.

I have two girls who are creating a book about the Mayan origin story. One of the things they have to include is the age of the earth. We started looking through different websites together and learned that the Mayans do not ACTUALLY believe (as we interpreted it, anyway) that the end of the world is Dec. 21, 2012. So fear not! What we established from the research is this:

Mayans believe that the cycle of the universe can be split into 5 periods of 5,125.36 years. Dec. 21, 2012 is the end of the 4th cycle of the world. Therefore, we actually have another 5,125.36 years before people could really begin saying that Mayans are predicting the end of the world. What we are really approaching is the end of the 4th cycle. Cool, right? This is SUPER news!

I plan to have the students post their stories to their blogs after they are finished, so stay tuned to the blogs listed in my last post to see what they came up with!