It's been a busy couple of weeks in middle school with lots of projects simultaneously claiming our brainspace.
In HISTORY we started a new Threshold studying agriculture and civilization. As usual, we bring our studies back to a big question, and this introduction examines foraging versus farming. Is farming an improvement over foraging? Students watched introductory videos and researched current articles discussing modern agricultural discoveries and practices. They had to not only find connections to our ancestry, they also had to critique the article as a viable source and look at its perceived bias.
In the coming week, our review of the agriculture articles and how we read information will lead us directly into close readings of primary sources for our upcoming field trip. On March 28th, middle school is set to visit Common Ground at Allison Creek Presbyterian, a 20+ acre space with walking trails and a 19th century cemetery and connected graveyard. The graveyard holds the remains of formerly enslaved Black members of the Clay Hill community. The church has worked tirelessly to honor the difficult history and to speak openly about the at times violent, tragic past that occurred onsite. We will learn about significant historical events and hear stories about people of the past from Clay Hill community.
In ENGLISH, we have begun the difficult task of narrowing down a dizzying 64 famous poems into the best two according to our POETRY March Madness. Of course, in addition to reading 64 poems and writing our own in four different formats, we also have to do a bit of gambling with our NCAA Men's and Women's NCAA Tournament predictions. So...essentially... we are arguing about poetry, grappling with confusing language, stepping out of our comfort zones with creative writing, and pitting the nation's best college basketball teams against each other - all in 25 days - as we count down to the DGS Literary Tea. Completely reasonable. What could possibly go awry?
We've already narrowed down our poems to a manageable 32, with the last of the first round being revealed Monday.
The students are still writing up the Men's Bracket - We will share it when it's on the wall:)
Below: Writing up brackets is serious business!
Please plan to vote with us at the Literary Tea on March 31st for the award of Best Poem of Poetry March Madness 2023! It's shaping up to be quite a competition!
For ELFT, students have been diligently fundraising and simultaneously planning their Savannah trip. They did an absolutely fantastic job executing their Kids' Night Out Event and deserve a round of applause for being so caring, intentional, and flexible in their work while entertaining a bunch of young ones through rainy day activities. WhooHoo for Middle School! Please be on the lookout for emails in the coming weeks about more fundraisers that they have planned for the rest of the year. In planning their itinerary, students have found lots of fun and engaging activities. Up until now, budget has not been a main focus for the itinerary; it was certainly considered in the housing and car rentals. In the upcoming weeks, students are asked to now broaden their search for additional activities that may be inexpensive or even free, as many so far require costly tickets and entry fees. To mix it up and hold them to budget constraints, they are challenged with getting creative in their planning. Kathleen and I look forward to walking alongside them as they pursue various opportunities for exploration. It's shaping up to be quite a fun and valuable adventure!
Below: Reading marathon of The Golden Compass. Even the teachers wore their pajamas!
Mr. Derek against half the school at recess seems like a fair division of teams.
Below: Constructing the Universe with Mr. Matt requires measuring ourselves - apparently even our faces!
Below: Kids' Night Out on a rainy Friday = Legos and crafting
Until next time.......