These past two weeks have been filled with activity and tying up loose ends. Students finished art pieces, novels, science experiments, and math units. In true DGS style, they are immediately back at it, learning about all sorts of new topics.
Students finished reading novels and wrote reflections focused on themes. For Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, students reflected on the use of storytelling in the book and then on how storytelling impacts them personally. With both The Last Cuentista and A Snake Falls to Earth, students chose a universal theme for reflection, explaining its thread through the novel and then relating the theme to their lives. We tied up our novel units by searching with our small groups for symbolism throughout each novel.
In addition to novels, all students are learning to diagram sentences. This practice may seem challenging, yet it trains them to be precise, well-voiced writers. We have also started a general weekly grammar practice that covers a variety of skills and helps with review.
Up next, we will pause with novel studies for a short story and possibly some poetry. They will be writing their first paper during this time as well.
Middle School completed a lesson on Congress and analyzed a graph published by the New York Times. Each week, the NYT drops a graph with no information or title for students to examine. At the end of the week, they publish the context of the graph and give additional information. The one we deciphered compared population density with racial breakdowns and Senate representation per state. Wyoming was the constant, being approximately all white and with a population of 500,000. The graph then showed how other states compared to Wyoming; we drew in an additional line for North Carolina. Then, we discussed.
Is the graph biased?
What is missing?
Does this seem accurate?
What if you were a Black voter in Alabama?
A LatinX voter in California?
Do the Pacific Islanders and Native Americans have adequate representation?
Who is the other half of Congress?
Is Congress fairly representative of voters?
Why does NC have no Hispanic voters represented in the available statistics?
Is this breakdown similar to your neighborhood?
What else do you notice?
Why is this important?
Finally, we have checked the 2022 election results for the past two days. The visual maps colored red and blue have offered additional observations about land mass, urban areas, and the such. It’s been a great week in understanding the role Congress should serve.
In WHOLE GROUP:
For their PPP (Passion Problem Project) everyone narrowed down their area of research to create an individual BIG QUESTION. Each BIG QUESTION will now guide them as they hone their research topics for their ongoing projects. In the next blog, I will share their BIG QUESTIONS. They are so impressive, and I cannot wait to watch these projects develop!
Finally, we successfully completed a ton of art for the Annual Art Auction. Thank you to everyone for being so, so incredibly supportive and generous! And we are thrilled to have “Mushroom” back so we can hang it in our loft.
The process of creating “Mushroom” was a learning experience, and we hope to try assemblage art again soon. Feel free to continue collecting bits of trash and broken bits for us. We’ll store it all here until we have no more room.
Until next time….