Analyzing Historical Maps in 7th Grade Social Studies

The 7th grade students are completing document based writing.  They are looking at historical maps and determining what these maps tell you about the map maker – his or her understanding of geography, what their culture was like and their purpose for creating it. Here is a sample of work from one of our students, Naija B.


“A map says to you. Read me carefully, follow me closely, doubt me not…I am the earth in the palm of your hand” Said once by Beryl Markham. A map leads you to your destination, your target. All your answers are on a map. Read closely, look closely, and follow closely. Your questions are solved. What guides you is not your mind but a map, There are some rough roads, you might hesitate to find where you want to go, You might be puzzled and confused. Do not use an app but instead use something that is a challenge because once you’ve accomplished this test you will feel like you’ve come to your home, your destination. These maps show who is the main source, the main center. A map will also show you directions, your geography, who is in it. In one of the pictures, there are traders, their kings, there are rulers, there are also many different surroundings in a map like land, the map can show you were sources of water are like an ocean, also can show you land or grass. There are many different traits, people, and other kinds of things. A map is everything, What you see, What you follow, and what you do.”

Fitnessgram in PE

We just finished the Fitnessgram testing in Physical Education so we decided to give the kids a chance to take a break from the norm and we are playing different “creative” group games. For the next few classes, we have taken the CHOPPED approach. For those that are unfamiliar with the television show, Chopped is a show that brings together chefs to compete against each other by cooking a meal for different judges. The only thing is that the chefs do not know the ingredients until it is time to cook. We have taken that approach in P.E. Students are put into groups and will work together to create a game using different pieces of equipment. They must also create rules and a scoring system for the game. When time expires, groups will be selected to explain and demonstrate their game and to the rest of the class.

Learning about Native Americans in 2nd Grade

The second grade had been learning about Native Americans. Students made representations of Native American homes, clothing, and artifacts. They also wrote paragraphs to describe their project in full.



A Trip to Steppenwolf Theater

After reading the novel, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” in class, the middle school students in 213 went to see the play at Steppenwolf Theater. Following the play, the students were also able to participate in a discussion with the actors. The novel and play were both thought-provoking, funny and sad all at the same time. The experience forced all of us to examine how we “look” at one another and the importance of empathy.

Multiplication Madness in Room 120

Learning how to multiply and divide are the most important math skills that third graders learn. During the month of November, students in Room 120 have been very busy learning multiplication strategies and practicing fast facts every day! For a few days, they actually changed their name to a multiplication problem! Children were able to learn their fast facts by quizzing each other with flash cards, playing many games, making charts and more! They are well on their way to becoming multiplication masters!

2nd Grade Goes to the Zoo

2nd grade went to the Brookfield Zoo just before Halloween. They enjoyed observing different animals in their habitats and loved spending the day outside with the beautiful fall colors. Students had a great time bonding with each other, and many parents were able to join us for this fun fall day. It was a great way to spend some of that extra Halloween energy!

3rd Graders Learn About Poems

After reading the story Penguin Chick, students worked on Cinquain Poems. They learned that a cinquian poem consists of five lines. The first line includes the subject. The second line includes two adjectives that describe the subject. The third line includes three verbs ending in -ing. The fourth line is a four-word phrase followed by the fifth line-a synonym related to the subject. Students used the information they read about to write and illustrate their poems.

Butterflies in 1st Grade Spanish

First grade students in Spanish room 203 begin the year with La oruga muy hambrienta, also known as The Very Hungry Caterpillar! We read the book and sequence the foods the caterpillar eats according to the days of the week using flip books we create, as well as discuss our own food preferences. We also learn about monarch butterflies and the journey they take each fall from Canada and the United States to their over-wintering sites in sanctuaries in Mexico, which is our country of study for the year. We make paper butterflies and mini messages to send to Mexico with Journey North’s Symbolic Monarch Migration. Then, we add ourselves to the map and wait until the spring, when we will receive butterflies and also map them to find out where they originated.

Composting in Kindergarten

Kindergarten students in room 110 have been learning all about the cycle of organic materials through composting in and out of the classroom. The students were introduced to their red wiggler worms and made them a wonderful home inside a plastic bin. They made a comfy, delicious home for their new friends using damp newspaper. Now the students are able to compost their banana peels, apple cores, and paper towels instead of sending it to the landfill. Since the worms can’t keep up with all the organic waste from breakfast and snack students have started composting outdoors in a tumbler. The food waste mixed with dead leaves and small twigs will create some wonderful soil for planting in the spring. Which will complete the composting cycle.

8th Grade Science Olympics

The 8th grade class began their science explorations with STEM challenges of Olympic proportions! The students were given 5 different challenges, Regatta, Dominoes, Aerodynamics, Cartesian Divers, and Slow Roller. After a brief introduction to each challenge the students, working in groups, chose three of the five challenges in which to compete.

The students then researched concepts associated with their challenge, discussed and formulated a plan of action and tested their hypothesis. On the day of their challenge the students had 15 minutes in which to create their final hypothesis based on their observations and results from the practices.

Regatta: Students researched buoyancy and created a boat from wax paper, aluminum foil, or copier paper. Once the students had their construction floating they would had gram cubes until the boat began to take on water. The winning boat held 1305 grams!

Dominoes: Students researcher force and inertia. They then designed how they would set up 100 dominoes to knock down with a single push. Each branch added an additional 10 pts. Each 110 degree curve added another 10 pts and any dominoes that fell up or down an incline would gain a two pt. bonus. Highest competitor was 295 dominoes!

Aerodynamics: Students researched Bernoulli’s principle in terms of flight and the force of air. Students designed a paper airplane that would fly as far as it could while remaining in a 90cm width. The longest flight went over 10 meters!

Cartesian Divers: Students researched Pascal’s principle. Placing three divers into a 2 liter plastic bottle filled with water. Students had to manipulate the density and buoyancy of the divers to make them descend on a specific order and rate. Very challenging but all teams were successful!

Slow Roller: Students researched force, inertia and friction. Using a variety of objects, such as, rulers, wooden dowels, and yarn, students designed a course that with a single push keep a marble rolling as long as possible without going off a large piece of construction paper. First and second were divided by a mere .01 second!

Each team earned 5pts for a first place finish, 3pts for a second place finish and 2pts for a third place finish. After all of the challenges were completed the totals were tabulated and the overall Science Olympic Winners for the 2018-2019 school year are:

First Place:

Trevel A.; Alexis G.; Brooke A.; and Karrion W.

Second Place:

Fidel R.; Jalen D.; Chloe N.; and Brenden D.

Third Place:

Maeve Mc.; Eric R.; Felix Z.; and Jalen J.