Friday, December 16, 2016

Busy Week

Post-production week is always busy in the 7-8's domain. (We polished off this all-school project muscling the stage platforms back into the garage and filling out a reflective questionnaire.) In class, most of the truncated week was spent with reapplied attention to the US Constitution, but from a very different angle. This time, the kids were invited--independently--to create a proposed constitution for the class. The next step for this work will be to pool their proposals into a collective document on the whiteboard and begin to hash out a final version, using everyone's proposals as a starting point. The resultant debates should echo the clamorous and divided nature of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. We also looked at the long-term impacts of the Constitution as the document particularly pertained to slavery--an institution never mentioned by name in the document, but which is all over the place between the lines.

Speaking of debate, work in English and Language Arts focused on two formal debates to be held next week. The kids watched video of a middle school debate on a proposal to ban boxing. They picked apart arguments and differentiated between assertions and rebuttals. In coordination with thei work in science, the 7-8s worked in teams to prepare arguments and counterarguments regarding genetic engineering, salmon, and mosquitos. They also worked on written assignments pertaining to the public role of the Sonnet Bomber, an anonymous poet who has been leaving sonnets at various businesses around Ann Arbor. The 7-8s are writing sonnets and other formal poems to institutions and people they appreciate.

In math, we welcomed back Ed Feng, teaching probability and statistics through poker. The pre-algebra class continued their assignments and activities on inequalities. Most have moved forward to Chapter Four in our text. The algebra class kept up their studies of linear equations. Many of the 7-8s tested their mettle through timed assessments on the recently covered material. 

We wanted to go sledding in PE, but the weather was too cold, so we played babyball again upstairs--very raucous and delightful--and then did the opposite of raucous the next day: yoga.

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