Saturday, April 25, 2015

Winning Teams of War Lords of Japan

We finished the simulation War Lords of Japan about a week ago, and just finished our Asia unit study of China and Japan this last week. Students have already expressed their disappointment that the simulation had to end. They loved pretending to be samurai of 15th century Japan.

Our next and final unit of study for the school year will be about Latin America. We will be discovering the history of the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas. It is exciting to learn about indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere. Much of the information concerning these peoples is relatively knew. Mayan glyphs have just recently begun to be understood, so it is fun to see from year to year what new discoveries have been made.

Below are pictures of the teams who won War Lords of Japan.

Blue Block: Winning team: Nagasaki: Fernando, Elisa, Parker, Cole, and Kayli

Green Block: Winning team: Shikoku: Jaden, Rylie, Emma, and Claire.
Not present for photo, Juan.

Red Block: Winning team: Ella, Alexis, Nick, Chris, and Marcus

Sunday, April 12, 2015

War Lords of Japan

We are having a good time experiencing the 16th century of feudal Japan, during the shogun era. Students are learning the history of this period, as well as Japan's history up to and through World War II. Below are pictures of students as they work in their teams trying to become the shogun.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Special Visitor

We have had some good times in Social studies. Just before spring break we had a visitor: Flat Stanley. My grandson, who lives out of state, sent me Flat Stanley, a literature character familiar to many elementary school children. Flat Stanley came to visit Portland, Oregon and had a wonderful time. He flew with Mr. Bigelow to the University of Portland, and to Oregon State. He also ate at Voodoo Doughnuts, went to downtown Portland to the food carts, Pioneer Square, and the Pittock Mansion. Then Flat Stanley visited Hazelbrook Middle School. Students were excited to meet him, and share their day.

Since spring break, we prepared for War Lords of a Japan, a simulation about Japan during the time of the shoguns. We began the simulation on Friday. Students can expect to have essays about Japanese history to read for homework every night of the simulation. Then they will have quizzes about the essays, which help them play a game like Risk.

This next week is the last week of the third term. Monday, April, 6th, is the last day students can turn in any late work. Friday there will be no school so teachers can have a workday to enter grades.

Below are some pictures of Flat Stanley’s visit and the first day of War Lords of Japan.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mapping China

Students were busy this week creating a map of China. Working on a map gives them an opportunity to become aware of critical land features and become familiar with surrounding countries. China’s geography played a great part in the development of its culture and history. Separated from the rest of the world by high mountains and large deserts, China became a unique culture all its own. As I have studied China over the years I have come to realize its impact on the world. The Chinese were ahead of Western civilization in many of the inventions we use everyday. I hope students enjoy this look at a distinctive and unique culture that they probably know little about.

Below are pictures of student in Social Studies class working on their maps, and some students in Flex class learning to keyboard.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pennies for Patients

For several years Hazelbrook students have annually collected funds to aide in research for people touched by blood cancer. We call it "Pennies for Patients" and it is sponsored by the Olive Garden, who calls it "Pasta for Pennies". To help increase enthusiasm our school has turned it into a competition between Hawk Time groups or "Homerooms". My Hawk Time has been actively involved to raise funds for this worthy cause. Many of us have personal experiences with cancer. My own brother died from myeloma, and one of Hazelbrook's instructional assistants was just diagnosed with leukemia. This is the last week for fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Hawk Time that raises the most money will get a catered lunch from Olive Garden. If you feel so inclined please feel free to contribute to this worthy organization by sending in funds with your child, or by using the online address below.

Click here to donate.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Investigating China

Students ended their study of ancient Egypt last week by taking a unit test. Over all, most did well, and I think enjoyed learning about this ancient Mideast culture. Beginning next week we will be underway in our study of ancient China. First, we will examine China’s geography, and look at some of its legendary dynasties. China is a country of extremes: the highest mountains, one of the largest deserts, and some of the longest rivers in the world. This subject is new and novel to 6th grade students, but promises to be appealing.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

End of the First Semester

How quickly time passes. This week marks the halfway point in the school year. I keep reminding students that they are now halfway to becoming 7th graders. We are almost finished with our study of Egypt. This last week students worked on producing five paragraph essays about the achievements of this ancient culture. It was all to develop their writing skills and practice showing evidence for their thinking when they write. 

The next week students will learn about Egypt’s rival to the south, Nubia, and the later kingdom of Kush. Today this area is known as Sudan. Anciently some great black Pharaohs conquered Egypt, but restored Egypt to its former glory since Egypt was in decline at this time.

Next week we will put together a timeline of important ancient Egyptian events. Then students will prepare for the unit final by completing a study guide, and playing a review game.

Since it is the end of the first semester and the beginning of the second, students in Flex will rotate to a new Flex class.  We have had fun creating videos on our iPads and learning about world geography.

Below are pictures of students working to complete book trailers in Flex class.