Friday, January 20, 2017

What You Will

This week, Place Out of Time moved into its second stage. Place Out of Time is a University of Michigan program in which students from several different schools interact online as different figures from history. Each of our 7-8 students completed a three-paragraph proposal for each of three different historical personages. Their range was impressive, from scientists to authors to admirals to mathematicians. Those proposals were then reviewed here and submitted to the program's directors at U of M. (Summers-Knoll turned in its selections early.) Next week, the students will be assigned their characters from the initial three choices.

In the context of the food project, we read and analyzed nutritional guidelines from five countries across the world. Then, we looked at them in the context of Peter Menzel and Faith D'Alusio's remarkable book, Hungry Planet, in which families were photographed all over the world with all the food they consume in a typical week. The kids assessed some of these photographs in terms of expense, nutritional value, and the stated guidelines from various governments.

We also began our work on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, which will be our 7-8 play this spring. First, the kids learned which parts they would be playing. (Every student in the 7-8 takes on a role.) We watched a funny summary of the play and enjoyed a five-minute account of how each character interacts with the others, and the many ways in which they are deluded and confused (so many). The kids were very entertained. Then we passed out scripts and began reading the play aloud.

Math met twice this week, on Thursday and Friday. On the former day, Sam previewed the AMC national math exam, which most of the kids will take next month, and students completed registration forms. With the sixth graders visiting, the kids discussed differences in content and approach between the 5-6 and 7-8 programs, and went through content from both the pre-algebra and algebra curricula. On Friday, Ed Feng continued his ongoing work (and play) on probability and statistics, and Karl taught a lesson on Thales, Pythagoras, and the classical Greek influence on the deductive origins of modern mathematics.

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