Saturday, October 18, 2014

Socratic Smackdown! - Common Core Collaborative Discussion

Imitating the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, students participated in a points-driven collaborative discussion called Socratic Smackdown!  Students first thoroughly researched and wrote about their opinions for why the Roman Empire fell, how it could have been prevented, and what weaknesses are shared with the United States today.  They also gathered citations to back up their opinions to be fully armed for their competitive conversation during the Smackdown competition.  On Smackdown day, students took turns being "Verbal Fighters" (who conversed about these issues, asking their discussion group questions and citing evidence for their beliefs), "Refs" (who took score of the points earned in each discussion), and "Coaches" (who monitored the discussion and encouraged teammates to improve in their discussion skills).  Enjoy the conversations below!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Story Dissection - Common Core State Standards in Action!

Students dove into the Common Core State Standards by participating in a "Story Dissection" collaboration activity!  First, students independently read and annotated a Greek or Roman myth.  Then, in collaborative groups, students analyzed each myth and identified theme, characters' point of view, how setting affects mood, and connections to history, modern media, real life, etc.  Once explaining these elements on post-it notes, students highlighted citations to support each answer.  Finally, they used a VTS strategy called "Color, Symbol, and Image" to explain a "color" to represent the essence of each story, a symbol with a deeper meaning, and an image or scene to best depict each story.  Enjoy the photos below!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To Fall or Not to Fall? - Fall of Roman Empire PBL Presentations

D.A.T.A. scholars in Room A-4 did a phenomenal job today giving group oral presentations answering the driving question to our "Fall of Rome" Project-Based Learning unit:  What factors cause a civilization to fall and how can it be prevented?  Performing in collaborative teams, students reported on their top three reasons Rome fell, they encouraged the audience with a community service project idea created by their team, and finally they reflected on how this project could help prevent America from a fall like that in Rome.  Presentations included skits, puppet shows, artistic posters, business cards, brochures, community service flyers, VTS discussion, audience interaction, PowerPoint presentations, GoAnimate cartoon videos, movie-making and newscast apps on their iPhones, and Movie-Maker movies (with music, videos, news casts, narration, skits, commercials, and more!).  What a fun day and a great way to celebrate and share student learning and success!  Enjoy a couple presentations below:

Fun attention-grabbers!

GoAnimate videos:

Top 3 Reasons Rome Fell - Interactive PowerPoints:

Community Service Cause & Effect Posters:

Flyers and Donation boxes:

Audience silently comments on Today's Meet:

Presenters use VTS strategies to encourage class discussion:

Community Service in action!

Bake Sale for Care Packages for soldiers:

GoAnimate Cartoon Videos:

Click below to watch GoAnimate videos:

Website creations (click images below):

"Breaking News" Newscast:

Prezi presentations:

Voki presentations:

Online polls: