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Upper El (Mr. D): Systems

This week was full of new pursuits for UE. We started our super-secret project for the Art Auction, began our new science and engineering unit about Human body systems, and we started a new story assignment different from anything we've done there all year.

I can't say much about our Art Auction project, except that we had a great time brainstorming together, and now we're ready to move forward with the... construction process ; )

On Tuesday, we began our exploration of Human body systems. We got some giggles out of the way and then started on the first part of this journey.

Using approved websites and several books, students began researching the 11 body systems we need to keep our bodies alive: cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, nervous, skeletal, muscular, integumentary, immune, lymphatic, and urinary. The goal was to define the main function of each of these systems, which will lead us to deeper exploration later on.

I've found that students are very interested in this topic, and I've had more questions this week than I think I've received in the last three months—all great questions.

On the other hand, they're also simultaneously repulsed. I've enjoyed some comical comments from our group...

Upon researching the digestive system:

"Mr. Derek, this is disgusting, and I don't want to do it..." We solved that problem by just changing websites with a little less description.

"Better?" I asked.

"Yes," said relieved student.

Looking into the integumentary system:

"Is that really what my skin looks like up close?" Followed by a disgusted stare.

Oh man, so many more good ones. We're having fun, or at least I am!

We continued this work on Thursday for half our afternoon time before switching gears to writing stories. Again, we started something new. We're going to end our year by each writing a chapter story. Students will submit an outline, and we'll have a first and second draft of our story as well. It's a more significant task, but everyone is excited about the new challenge.

On Friday afternoon, we celebrated a couple of birthdays with lunch and games at the Library green. It was such a beautiful day, complete with ice pops and popcorn.

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