Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Class Happenings

This past week we have started our study into Reconstruction. I will be the first to admit my knowledge of this time is limited but what I have learned so far has been fascinating and troubling at the same time. Students have also been fascinated with this time period because they are already making cause and effect type connections between Reconstruction, Civil Rights, and current news they here on TV. This is one of the directions I hope to move towards as we continue studying US History from Reconstruction to current times - helping students make connections between the past and current history. For instance, we just read an article about Cherokees who once owned slaves during the Civil War, sided with the Confederates, and are now denying the descendents of those slaves the right to vote in Cherokee elections (read article here).

We are also continuing to look at probability and dice. We should be winding down by the end of the week. Today we watched a video from Jim Gandy on WLTX. First of all, he was discussing data collection, an area we have studied in depth. Second, he was comparing forecasting much like rolling dice and the probabilities found in weather much like dice. Could the connection be any more obvious? You can catch the video of Jim Gandy's segment of "Climate Matters" here.

We have also started discussing how we can expand our vocabulary. One way to do this is through the study of Greek/Latin root word, prefixes, and suffixes. We have been looking at various root words, and when placed with a particular prefix or suffix, changes the meaning of the word. This has nudged us towards looking at some of the words used in the Harry Potter books. For instance, Voldemort is made up of the Greek/Latin roots "vol" and "mort". "Vol" means wish and "mort" means death. Fascinating stuff!

A little later on I'll share more about our adventures with Dr. Doug, a scientist from USC. I just realized I don't have pictures from our exploration. Ah, shucks!

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