A Peek Inside the Classroom

Middle school is finishing up an ELA unit on Women's History and female authors. They've continued to read novels and books collaboratively by logging into their Zoom classroom each day and doing read-alouds with each other and Ms. Caitlin.

Sixth Grade recently finished The Birchbark House by Louise Erdich, which chronicles the coming-of-age of young Omakayas, a girl of the Ojibwa Nation living on Spirit Island in the middle of Lake Superior in the Canadian Province of Ontario. Students have been working on mapping out Omakayas' story through seasons charts, noting her growth8th grade computers and experiences based on spring, summer, fall, and winter. They will also submit a research WebQuest on First Nations People of Canada. Last Friday, they put their comprehension skills to excellent use and played Jeopardy for extra credit points! By creating a Birchbark House Jeopardy template in PowerPoint, Ms. Caitlin was able to share her screen via Zoom and students answered questions in categories that covered everything from characters to setting and place, to food in the book. Check out this link to see a clip of their Distance Learning Jeopardy and enjoy their enthusiasm for reading, even over the web!

Check out a clip of Distance Learning Jeopardy
Seventh grade is busy cranking out a literary analysis essay based on Monika Schroder's Be Light Like A Bird, a tale about young Wren, a girl who works with her friend Theo to transform her grief over the loss of her dad in a plane crash into an opportunity to make a positive difference in her community for a local wetland, Pete's Pond. Since beginning literary analysis essays in sixth grade, the seventh grade has grown as analytical writers and continues to demonstrate their skills in meaningful analyses of books and stories. They're well on their way to eighth grade ELA!
 
And, eighth grade is finishing Loung Ung's First They Killed My Father, the true story of a young refugee girl who survives the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian Genocide and chronicles her triumphant tale of overcoming odds in the face of the impossible. As part of their study of nonfiction autobiographies, the eighth grade has written reflections and poetry from Loung's point of view at the different stages of her childhood. We're sharing with you Jalani Walker's poem about Loung's evacuation of the Cambodian city of Phnom Penh. Jalani, in his own words, has beautifully articulated Loung's fear, worry, and confusion about becoming a refugee, all from the perspective of her six-year-old self.
 
Through the end of the school year, sixth grade will read an exciting historical fiction novel about Roman History, the seventh grade will read a historical nonfiction account of the Western African Kingdom of Mali, and eighth grade will read their last novella and prepare for their virtual graduation, which will be live-streamed for anyone to see! Keep your eyes open for the link where you can tune in and join us in honoring our amazing Class of 2020! We're so proud of them and they deserve a fantastic celebration. We're making it happen, because "Impossible is Nothing"!