On Friday we read a text which described how written word had prompted almost every change throughout American history. At first, poetry was the popular format to elicit change, and later poetry morphed into lyrical music that was able to change people's opinions and beliefs. We examined the lines of everything from Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence to John Lennon's Imagine. We began to notice that the words in these stanzas were not just put there arbitrarily--every syllable, every adjective was there for a reason--to prompt change in society. Many students were eager to share songs and poems that they recognized as harbingers of change. In the comments section, I'd like you to list a song or poem which tried to bring change in society. Please add a short excerpt of the lyrics, and explain how these words tried to change beliefs or thoughts.
Remember: Please adhere to all grammar rules, and stay focused on the topic.
Today, we are rolling up our sleeves and digging deep into the world of research. As a group, please take a second to do the following:
1. Create a page in your TB called "RESEARCH BREAKDOWN"
2. Create a box at the top and complete this statement as a group "To me, research is . . . "
3. Share ideas as a class.
4. Now, create a second box entitled "How do we do it?" and come up with at least 3 bulleted steps your group thinks are necessary for meaningful research.
5. Create a third box and research "THE BIG 6". As a group, take notes in TB and decide what steps really need to be made to effectively research. Try these links for help: Cambridge Rindge and Latin School's Big 6 Guide,
Kent School System, KYVL Organizer, and the Calloway County Middle School Big 6 Organizer.
Now that you've thought about the method, take a few minutes to reflect on your topic. In your TB, create a new page called, "My Crimes Against Humanity" Research Brainstorm. At the top, begin working through your thesis. If you get stuck, look back at your notes or go to this organizer by Jim Burke. Once you have a solid working thesis, your next step is to outline your ideas and begin research (outline templates), (more outline templates) using notecards (either electronic or handmade). I use Hughes Middle School's step by step notecard process. Check it out. I also use this resource from New Berlin Schools. When all else fails, I go to this handy-dandy packet from Fayette County Schools. I've found it helpful!
Whew - this seems scary, I know. It's not. Remember, you're safe in here "to learn, discover, and understand."
Have fun with this. I'm here - let me know how I can help you. Comment below to let me know how the process went today.
So far we are about half way through the Crimes Against Humanity unit. Please think of at least three things you have learned so far about this topic, and write a brief summary of them.
I also would like you to browse at least three peer other blogs and leave comments for them. The comments can be editing advice or you can respond with discussion on their topic.
Remember: Comments will not be approved if they do not follow C.U.P.S., or if they're off topic.
Please explore the link below which summarizes some of the possible crimes against humanity.
The article linked below explains the history of law pertaining to crime against humanity. Please read through this article completely.
Please respond to the following questions: Is it the responsibility of the world to prevent crime against humanity? Are the nations of the world doing enough to prevent crimes committed against humanity? What preventative measures should be put into place to keep these crimes from happening? *What questions are remaining about this subject that you would like to research further for a research project?
*Make sure that it's something you're very interested in because you will spend a lot of time reading and writing about it.
REMEMBER: Comments submitted must adhere to the C.U.P.S. and must be on topic. You will be asked to re-write your comment if you do not follow these rules. My suggestion is that you type out your response in MS word and have a peer check your work before you hit send.
Today begins day one of our new unit called, "Crimes Against Humanity." This unit will be informational and historical. The main crime against humanity that everyone should be familiar with is The Holocaust which occurred from 1941-1945. This was a genocide orchestrated by Adolf Hitler which targeted people of the Jewish religion in an attempt to wipe them from the face of the Earth. Unfortunately, this was not the first or last genocide which has occurred throughout history. Luckily, there were a few survivors of this tragedy that were willing to share their stories with the world. We are so lucky to be able to have first hand accounts of this tragedy available to us. Today, I would like you to use some time to research The Holocaust and refresh yourself about what happened and why it happened. Then, I would like you to look up a survivor of The Holocaust and read his/her story. Please comment back with with the survivor's name and a summary of their story.
Remember: You will not receive credit for comments that do not adhere to the C.U.P.S. rules or that are off topic. My suggestion to you is to type it out in MS word and have a neighbor check for mistakes before you send them to me.
I'm looking forward to this awesome new unit!
Welcome to 2015, students! Today is our first day back from winter break, and I thought I would let you know what we will be up to for the next few days. This week the plan is to spend some time practicing our creative writing skills. Everyone will be required to create their own short story or narrative about whatever they want! That is the beauty of this assignment--you may write about anything your heart desires (as long as it is school appropriate)! I'm looking forward to this because I know this will be a wonderful opportunity for some of you to really show off your imagination and talent. As far as your commenting goes for today, I'd like you to spend a few moments brainstorming ideas about which you'd like to write. Please respond with some of the ideas you have about your short story.
Remember: comments must use correct grammar, capitalization, and punctuation or you will not get credit for your work. Also, comments must not contain any inappropriate information.
Happy Monday class! I know what you're feeling; we have two Mondays (including today) before Winter Break. What is the point of trying these last two weeks? It's ok to have these feelings, but you must push through and finish strong these last few weeks! We still have a lot of learning to do! Last week we were able to make SO much progress in our argumentative writing in such a short time. I am quite impressed with everyone in here especially those of you I had the pleasure of working with last year. I have seen so much growth and positive change in everyone. Keep up the good work this week while we practice Socratic Seminars and examine some articles written about S.E. Hinton-- the author of The Outsiders.
Even though we will be working very hard these last two weeks before break, I hope to incorporate some holiday cheer along the way. I'd like to read a traditional holiday story with the class and discuss all of the different family traditions there are out there. I am sure there are plenty of things that your family does during this time you find completely ordinary and normal, but others have never considered doing. So I ask you, what holiday story is your favorite? (Mine is "The Grinch") What story would you like to read as a class? What kind of traditions do you have during this time of year with your family? (For example, a lot of people do "elf on the shelf" these days, and they didn't even have that when I was a kid.) Do you celebrate any holidays other than Christmas? (I'd love to hear from someone who celebrates Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.)
Hello Ms. Simmons' class! This is the first entry by your new guest blogger, Ms. Arneson. I love that your class is able to use blogging as a tool to learn and share ideas with one another. I started my first blog when I was in eighth grade too! That was when blogging first became a mainstream tool to communicate with your peers; it was around the year 2004. I never imagined that ten years later I would be writing a blog to communicate with my own students. It is so wonderful to be able to look back at some of the things that I've written over the years and to see the dramatic changes I have undergone as a writer and as a human being. When I look back at some of my old entries, I have a flood of different thoughts and emotions. At first I can't believe how immature and petty the things I worried about were. It makes me thankful to be able to look back and see how far I've come. My previous writings make me realize that some of the things that seem so incredibly important right now really won't matter a few years from now. I also feel a flood of nostalgia remembering all of the interesting things that have happened to me through the years. If you could write a letter to be delivered to your future self, what would you want them to remember about you? What things in your life do you think you will look back on ten years from now and realize weren't such a big deal? Where will you be and what will you be doing when you go back and read your middle school blogs from ten years ago...?
It's that time of year! The time when we're supposed to be thankful for all the good in our lives. I want to try something different today. I've been thinking about all the things in my life that have been stressing me out or causing a challenge. I wonder if I can re-think those things. Rather than being stressed about them, be grateful for them. Sounds weird, eh? I think you should give it a try.
I'm thankful for...
1. A house that's not always clean. I'm thankful for this because it means my child is making memories, like this weekend when we made a fort in the living room with blankets and chairs. It was a M-E-S-S, but we had a great time.
2. Students who always complain about school. My "kids", as I call them, have no idea what it's like to live somewhere where they don't have the opportunity to go to school. They think most things are "boring" and "something they'll never use", but maybe I should be glad they don't know the difference.
3. The hours and hours and hours of my personal time I spend working - grading papers, making lesson plans, trying to find ideas for class. Even though I might complain about this, I should be thankful that I have a job I love and a place I go every day where I can try to make a difference in a student's life.
4. My bills. What?! Why in the world would I be thankful that I have bills to pay?! I'm thankful for this because it means I'm living and I have responsibilities. I have a house that's warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It has lights, running water, indoor plumbing, and carpet. It has a stove, a refrigerator, a dishwasher and a washer and dryer. While they might not be the top-of-the-line, they work and make caring for my family easier. I have to pay for them, yes, but maybe that's not a bad thing after all.
5. The nasty callouses on my feet. They're ugly, I tell you. But you know how I got them? I danced from age 3-18 and started running after that. While my feet may not be the prettiest around, I'm thankful they're not because it means I USE them. My parents gave me the opportunity to dance and my love of running is now my lifeline. I'll sacrifice my feet for these things.
Now, you give it a try! What are things in your life that you often complain about? How can you change your attitude and think about why you should be thankful for those things?
Today is the day! It's one of my favorite days of the year! I love taking students to the public library in our city. The library is full of FREE resources that you can use for learning or pleasure. What I love so much about this trip is hearing students talk about it afterwards. Now, I realize there are some of you who will roll your eyes and think this isn't much of a field trip, but you have no idea how many students come out of the library saying things like, "I didn't know you could download free music!" or "I wish I would've known about that online Encyclopedia for my science paper!" or "I've never been to a public library in my life." All of those statements amaze me, but also excite me because now you know.
For those of you who had the opportunity to attend, what was something new that you learned while you were at the library? What resources do you plan to use now that you know they're available to you? What other "gems" are in our community that students at CCMS might not know about?