• Balloon animals and Why Little Things Are Big - an essay by Jesus Colon

    Posted by Joelle Cowan on 12/20/2019 3:00:00 PM

    Within the past few class sessions, we've had some wonderful opportunites to learn new crafting skills! We all contributed our creative energies toward luminary bags that were featured at the Parks and Rec Winter Wonderland. Then, one of our wonderful 8th graders led us all on a balloon animal lesson! Lovely flowers and dogs were created under her able leadership. 

    We've also continued our thoughtful work on stereotypes, identity, single stories, and the ways these ideas can collide and have a big impact. We underscored this by reading Little Things Are Big by Jesus Colon and reflecting on how we might have reacted to his momentary dilemma. 

    We'll be diving right back into this tricky topic after we return from break, when we tackle the big ideas represented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

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  • A Single Story

    Posted by Martha Wells on 12/10/2019 9:00:00 AM

    In the last week or so, we have continued discussing sterotypes and the impact of a single story. To that end, we finished our stereotypes concept map and watched a lovely TED talk by a Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie. 

    This week, we'll explore the concept of a single story and "street calculus" in the context of a short story/essay by the author Jesus Colon. 

    We're working hard on diving into these challenging concepts! The students are showing some great depth of thought and serious consideration of these themes. 

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  • Identity and Society

    Posted by Martha Wells on 11/25/2019 3:00:00 PM

    For the last few weeks, Joelle has been leading the students through a continuance of our examination of human rights in society.

    For Veteran's Day and a few more class periods, we discussed the rights and equality issues around the draft during the Vietnam War Era. Students seemed to especially enjoy examining music of the era. 

    This past week, we have begun diving deeper into questions of our own identity and how we see others' identities. Students began making concept maps of the concept of stereotypes, and we will move from stereotypes into further discussion of seeing past "a single story". 

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  • Harrison Bergeron

    Posted by Martha Wells on 10/31/2019 8:40:00 AM

    We have spent much class time reading, discussing, dissecting the short story, Harrison Bergeron. The students had several writing assignments regarding Harrison Bergeron such as "What was your reaction to the ending of the story?", "Outline three alternate endings to Harrison Bergeron" and "Write and Alternate Ending to Harrison Bergeron".  We had a Alternate Ending to Harrison Bergeron SLAM and the students' endings were superlative!  Many of the endings, were original in thought, concisely written, and thought provoking.  This was a very interesting and informative unit of study regarding EQUALITY.


    We will be studying modern wars for Veterans' Day.

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  • Equality

    Posted by Martha Wells on 10/1/2019 3:00:00 PM

    We continue to read Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut.  We continue to discuss this short story thoroughly, as we  examine the difference between equality of outcome and equality of opportunity.  Your student's contribution to our discuss are thoughtful, convincing with cites from the story.  We will be finished with the story by next week.

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  • Human Rights

    Posted by Martha Wells on 9/18/2019 11:00:00 AM

    The sixth, seventh and eighth graders will be studying the broad concept of Civics for the first portion of this semester.  We have started discussing the United States as a country of laws and how they afford us basic Human Rights.   Later, we will be investigating the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Youth and how different countries around the world are providing those rights to their youth.

    To begin this unit of study, the students are reading the short story, Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut.  This thought provoking short story asks the students to examine how the promotion of equality that pertains to individual rights in a society that has taken equality to its furthest extent, violate human rights, so prominently. 

    We will also be reading the short story, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, by Ursula Le Guin. Another thought provoking story story that will ask the students to examine the question of can you be the recipient of human rights at the expense on another?




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