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Upper El (Mr. D): Finalizing a Story & Codes

*I did a little picture editing on the first image to help see it. It was much clearer in class!

This week was all about getting ready for Lit Tea and finishing up any last pieces to our Building a Human project.

For our Building a Human project, after everyone assembled their boards (having read and matched the appropriate titles, pictures, and descriptions together), it was time to answer some questions.

Some of the questions were direct from the reading. We can often find the appropriate matches by process of elimination, and so these questions were to ensure that students were taking away the information.

Other questions were about asking for an opinion or to form a conclusion. These questions require students to pull the information from the reading and then add to that information with their thoughts and ideas. I find these to be the most powerful questions.

Our Flash Fiction writing "ended" last week, with our third story completed for the month. Since then, we've been editing. Students picked their favorite story, and we went through our process. Self-edit, peer review, notes from Mr. D, more self-edits, and then our final drafts.

Some will read their stories at Lit Tea tonight, and I hope you all enjoy the effort they put into these. They're really great and funny and heartfelt. This Flash Fiction writing has brought out some of the best writing in our class this year.

On Wednesday, we "took a break" from all the hard work we'd put into our writing. We spent the afternoon learning how to write and crack coded messages, and the chemistry behind invisible ink. We used a color change reaction of Acids and Bases to write and reveal a hidden message. Since the class has been watching a Mr. Rogers documentary with Ms. Shannon, I though the appropriate first message to reveal was: I like you just the way you are.

From there, students created their messages, encoded them, and then put them to paper in our invisible ink (baking soda and water). They then gave it to a friend to reveal the message with some grape juice (acid). It was a fun afternoon!

That's another great week in the books. One more week until our Spring Break, and it'll be all about Bottle Rockets!

We'll see you all tonight!

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