Saturday, September 17, 2011

7th Grade PBL Field Trip to the Estuary!

On Friday September 16, 2011 the entire 7th grade class at D.A.T.A. took part in a cross-curricular Project-Based Learning field trip to the Ventura Estuary.  Our trek began at 9:00am as 18 teams of 10 students each led by a chaperone walked the bike trail to the river's end to the estuary at Ventura Beach.  Along the way, students took part in a Language Arts activity writing observations of the world around them and making inferences about each observation.  At the beach, students rotated in groups to participate in four additional activities including:  1) Water Testing lab for science (with student-made inventions for getting water from the estuary from their INSIDE Language Arts class), 2) Estuary topographic mapping for math, 3) comparison of America to Roman Empire in strengths and weaknesses for world geography, and 4) a pollution assessment and beach clean-up for community service.  Also, don't forget the P.E. portion--a good 3-mile walk to and from the beach!  Students enjoyed a fun-filled, educational day connecting their activities to the ultimate guiding question:  What factors cause a civilization to fall and how can it be prevented?  This question is the foundation for the Project-Based Learning (PBL) unit that 7th grade teachers at D.A.T.A. are currently collaborating on while teaching the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, community service as a prevention method, water testing as a prevention to contaminated water (wealthy Romans died from lead poisoning from their water pipes), inflation and mapping lessons in math, Roman games in P.E., and even Socratic Seminar in AVID class debating the reasons for why Rome fell.  It's great to be at D.A.T.A.!  Enjoy the eventful photos below:

After the Field Trip, students analyze photos and explain similarities to the Roman Empire in message boards on (our online classroom):

Student water testing data results:

In "The Navigator News" too!

D.A.T.A. students and other community service volunteers later helped paint a mural about water conservancy on the bike path wall leading to the beach!

The D.A.T.A. "Peace and Love Club" is selling T-shirts with the mural icon to help Cheers for Children too!

Club Day - Photo Booth for Photography Club!

On September 8, 2011 at lunchtime, D.A.T.A. students had a blast visiting club booths and signing up for clubs they were interested in joining.  My Photography Club put on a zany Photo Booth to take photos of students dressed up in fun costumes.  Enjoy the photos!

G.A.T.E. Architects in Action!

The G.A.T.E. class participated in a "Rebuilding Rome" activity in which they were to commemorate Roman architecture through the rebuilding of a famous Roman building using paper, tape, and glue.  In teams, students researched their piece of Roman architecture (Pantheon, Colosseum, Forum, Roman roads, Roman baths, Circus Maximus, aqueducts, and Hadrian's Wall) and its importance to the Romans.  Then, students planned and executed their buildings including descriptions and finally posted photos they took of their buildings onto (our online classroom) with a description of the importance of their building and how it might be used today if it were reintroduced into society.  Enjoy the photos below!

Students use ThinkQuest to begin the project:

The Roman Colosseum was important to the romans because they used to have fights there. However, I think we would be able to use it as a sports center.

This is the inside of our Colosseum. There are small dead figures, because they did use the Colosseum for fights.

This an Aqueduct that we built out of paper. Aqueducts are very important to Romans because it brought them fresh, purified, clean water. Without the aqueducts, they would probably would have died of thirst and disease because of dirty water. We could use this in the future if we put it in our oceans so we can have better tasting and cleaner water.

The bath was important because without clean people there would be more of a chance to get diseases. In fact, the Roman bath is still used today and we all know it as a pool. We know of these because there are water parks and hotel pools everywhere.


Circus Maximus is Latin for "greatest circus". This building was burned down three times in its history of Rome. This was built for the same reason that the colosseum was built, which is to distract the people from the problems in Rome. There were chariot races here, but this would be cool for Nascar racing today.

This is the massive Roman Forum that stands in the oldest part of Rome. Many people such as merchants and commoners traveled from many lands to find what treasures lie here. People traded news, bought things, and scavenged the endless limestone walls for new places to find.  Today it could be used as a city hall.

My group built Hadrian's wall, a wall in the Roman Empire that is now in England and Scotland. It served as a boundary, but the Romans did not need other walls because there were rivers that served as boundaries from Rome and the other province\es. It was about 30 feet tall and had ditches, burms, and guardposts throughout the length of the wall.
This is another side view, but this time it's getting the opposite side and more of what it would look like if you were standing on one of the hills by it looking down on it.  I think that they should build a museum on the wall to show the history of Rome, or the English Military could restore it and use it for the same purpose the Romans used them for!

This is our replica of the ancient Roman roads. The Roman roads were used to travel from place to place. Even though they were bumpy and unstable, they helped the Romans travel and transport things whenever they needed to. The Roman roads are still used today in places all over the world. We use roads just like the Romans did, as a way of transportation.
This is why the Roman roads were and are still important.

This is a picture of the front of the Pantheon model, which served as a temple to the gods for the Romans.  Today, this would be similar to a church or cathedral.