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.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Studying Egypt

This week students completed their study of Mesopotamia by taking a quiz. Then we were off to Egypt looking at its geography and creating maps. We will be studying Egypt over the next month. Students will learn about important pharaohs, hieroglyphs, and mummies. They will also have a couple of writing projects during this unit to practice informative writing for testing this spring.

This Thursday, Dec. 11th, a map of Egypt is due. Please make sure that your student completes it and turns it in.

Below are pictures of students working on iMovie projects in Flex class.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Underway in the Second Term

We are several weeks into the second term and learning about Mesopotamia, "the land between the rivers" or modern day Iraq. Mesopotamia is considered the "cradle of civilization". Students have learned that we can thank this early people for many things: laws, government, the sixty-second minute, the plow, and even the wheel. We will continue our study for the next week or two by looking at the Akkadians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians.

In Flex period we have enhanced our understanding of early settlements by discovering the importance of water sources. It is hard for civilizations to develop if they are not located near a water source. We looked at the statistics of water issues around the world. This week we'll see a video that discusses the importance of Portland's water source, the Bull Run watershed.

Below are pictures of students discussing laws and situations that might apply to Hammurabi's Code of Laws. Hammurabi's Code is considered the first great legal document.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Finishing Strong

Next week marks the end of the first term. Students will finish it by having a geography unit test. Then we will start our discovery of ancient civilizations. Before we start our study however, students need to first understand how time is measured. So we will discuss timelines, B.C., A.D., B.C.E., and C.E.

This last week students completed world maps, and did review for the test next Tuesday. Amidst all the hard work, they took time to have a Halloween party and on Friday some dressed up in anticipation of trick-or-treating.

Below are pictures of students in their costumes. (And some teachers too!)