Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Social Studies Tuesdays and Thursdays

I apologize if it's been too long since my last post; life gets hectic, and sometimes I don't want to school after school hours.  Anyways, today I'll explain how my Tuesdays and Thursdays are going this term, and give a preview of what's to come.  Buckle up!  This post will probably end up taking a while!

My Tuesdays and Thursdays start with French, which we have combined with Mrs. Kenter's Spanish class.  Some of our kids are excelling at learning language.  Many of them have completed more than 20% of the language (as scored by Duo Lingo, which is our online language program) this term.  I only have 9 students, but they are mostly flying.  In fact, I recently gave the students who have completed 20% of the language the chance to learn other languages.  The kids are having fun, and I enjoy seeing them learn.

Next is my Mesopotamia and Egypt class, built for 1st grade students.  This class is a Core Knowledge curriculum class.  These kids are amazing!  They've learned four of the Mesopotamian kids (ask them!), and enjoyed learning about it.  We're now learning about Egypt.  The kids have learned a bit about Egyptian hieroglyphics, and will learn a bit more about Egyptian language this week.

My third class on Tuesdays and Thursdays is my India and China class.  This is also a Core Knowledge class.  The kids are have learned some Indian customs, including some about henna tattoos.  They're now learning about some Mandarin numbering, and should have 1-10 memorized (or rather yi through shi) memorized soon.

Group 5 (consisting of students from Grades 4, 5, and 6) follows, and this class is taught with Mrs. Kenter.  This is a class on early American culture, and the students are learning both documents related to the American revolution and how to create their own government.  It's turning out to be harder than they thought, and some of these students are being challenged for the first time.  That said, they're also rising to that challenge, and it's great to see.

After lunch, Mrs. Kenter and I combine to teach Group 6, which is composed of 5th and 6th grade students, and Group 3.1, which is composed of 3rd graders with some 2nd graders thrown in.  We had to create a unit based on both 3rd grade standards and 6th grade standards.  We feel like we did it!  Our project covers both ancient civilization (in the form of Egypt) and human geography.  Our project is a choose-your-own-adventure book that the kids are writing based in Egypt, and the kids seem incredibly interested and seem to be working hard on their books.

Finally, we end the day (as we end every day) with Shakespeare.  Mrs. Kenter wrote some about that yesterday.  I just think this class is amazing!  The students are translating MacBeth.  I've known college students that have had trouble with what these kids are doing with aplomb.  More to the point, the students invited our Director to class to see it, and he came and saw what has turned into the comedy of MacBeth.  The kids ROCKED it!  I couldn't be much happier.  One of our two groups is even creating a scene for the end of Act III.  What an amazing group of students we have at FDA!

That's where I am right now.  I hope this novel was worth the read!  Until next time!

John M. Adams, Social Studies.