Monday, May 11, 2015

Weekly Objectives for 5/11/15 - 5/15/15

Overview - It is finally that time of the year!! It is Project Time!!!  The News Room is open for business. We conducted interviews today, and will soon be handing out job acceptance letters.  It looks like our workload will be doubled from the beginning of the year.  Expectations are going to be much higher and the deadlines are going to come fast.  We will be competing against the other corporations in June.  You heard that correctly, the News Room is entering the competition!!

***** Please Be Aware That All Information Can Be Found on Our Rescue Bots News Page *****
***** This Transition Will Start next Week ***** 

Monday - 5/11/15 - 
       Wow!! We are finally here!! Today, we met with Andy Anderson from NERIC, and he presented on Internet Safety.  This was a great introduction to Digital Learning, before the students begin their research work.  
       The remainder of the day was spent on interviewing interested applicants for the News Room.  I was blown away by their professionalism.  Students were dressed in suits, ties and dresses.  You could clearly tell that they had practiced their questions and replies before sitting down.  The handshakes were amazing, as well as their eye contact.  These are all part of the 21st Century Skills we are looking for in our candidates, as well as future employers.  Please stay tuned in!!! 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly Objectives for 5/4/15 - 5/8/15

Overview - We are currently in our second week of the STEM ramp-up for our rescue Bots Robotics Unit.  In our classroom, we continue to research natural disaster causes and ways to prepare for them. The students are responsible for creating Warning Bulletins and Disaster Awareness posters.  On Friday, they are expected give a brief presentation of their work.  The students will be assessed using various rubrics that measure their creativity, collaboration, and presentation skills.  These grades are very important to them as they will be the only social studies grades for this quarter.  All of the students have been informed of their importance.  They are also being encouraged to stay after school to complete their projects. 

Monday - 5/4/15 - 
       The STEM team had a special visitor from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.  Sheriff Mulverhill presented to our students this morning in the LGI Room.  He spoke about the career choices he made and how they set him up for success later on in life.  He discussed his responsibilities and focused on how well he must collaborate with other agencies.  The most important part of his presentation was describing how he prepares for impending Natural Disasters.  This gave the kids a true perspective on how these disasters are handled.
       Back in class, we resumed our research of Natural Disasters.  Miss Zusy provided a short mini-lesson on the expectations for the Disaster Awareness Poster.  Students collaborated on the creation of their bulletins and processed information to place into their work.  This week has definitely provided the students with background information that will better prepare them for their upcoming project.

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday - 5/5/15, 5/6/15 and 5/7/15 - 
       For the past three days, the students in our class have been working diligently on completing their Natural Disaster Projects.  They are required to present their work Friday, May 8th.  There will be (6) total grades given per student that will be the overall Social Studies score for the 4th Quarter.  The remainder of the time will be spent on the Robotics Unit.
       The groups are required to produce three Warning Bulletins that inform the general public about their Natural Disaster.  They are also responsible for presenting a Natural Disaster Poster that will be placed in the hallways during the Robotics Unit.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekly Objectives for 4/27/15 - 5/1/15

Overview - The NYS Exams are now a thing of the past. We are ready to move on and jump into our next major project.  Over the next couple of weeks, the entire sixth grade will begin the "Ramp - Up" process.  During this time we will begin to expose students to our over all theme: "Rescue Bots."  Students will learn about Natural Disasters and their impact on our societies.  They will also learn about a new generation of robots being created to assist rescue workers when these disasters strike.  In each room, teachers have created lessons centered around these general themes. Our intentions are to flood their brains with as much information about these two topics as possible.  After the two weeks are up, we are hoping that the students will be able to make an informative decision as to which job they would like to apply for during the project.  We will have the jobs and their descriptions posted soon.  We will also have a description of the project for the parents in the near future.

Monday - 4/27/15 -
       Today in class we broke into groups of four  and discussed what our "Ramp-Up" week would entail.  Students are going to be challenged to produce "Emergency News Bulletins" that focus on preliminary warnings, in-process warnings and aftermath warnings.  Our hope is that they will pick up valuable research skills, strong writing abilities, and confidence with their speaking capabilities during their presentations.  We will provide more information as the week unfolds.

Tuesday - 4/28/15 - 
       The students worked in groups researching various aspects of Natural Disasters.  They are being challenged to produce (3) News Bulletins that will be read to the general public.  Each news bulletin must have information about the Natural Disaster and any safety precautions that need to be taken.  The three pieces will be broken into a pre-disaster warning, in-the-disaster warning, and post-disaster warning.  They bulletins must be filled with straight facts and useful information.
       The students are expected to use credible sources and provide information stating where they pulled their info from.  In addition to completing these bulletins, the groups are also responsible for designing a Natural Disaster Warning Poster for their selected disaster.  The groups are expected to share their work in a presentation in front of the class.  Additional credit will be given to the groups that also produce a video warning on YouTube.

Wednesday - 4/29/15
       The groups are deep into their research.  At the end of class today, we expect all research to be completed and also would like to see the groups begin their bulletins.  The students are required to bring in (1) poster board per group.  The board will be used for their Natural Disaster Warning poster.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Weekly Objectives for 4/13/15 - 4/24/25

The last two weeks have been devoted to NYS Testing in Math and ELA.  We will resume our daily schedule starting next week!!! Students will be diving into Natural Disaters!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weekly Objectives for 4/6/15 - 4/10/15

Overview - The final presentations will begin this Tuesday.  The Greeks will present on Tuesday, Romans on Wednesday, Heirs to Rome on Friday, and finally, Asia and the Americas the following Monday.  The groups must present their Power Point, along with a brochure and tourist video.  After the presentations, a short assessment will be given to check for comprehension.  The students will also fill out a student evaluation rubric, along with a peer presentation evaluation.

Monday - 4/6/15 - 
       The 6th grade STEM team was visited by Angela Benedict, from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe's Environmental Division.  She was here to discuss natural disasters with the students.  This presentation is a precursor to the upcoming Rescue Robots Unit based around Natural Disasters.
       In Social, the groups were given one last day for preparation for their presentations.

Tuesday - 4/7/25 - 
       Wow!! The presentations were amazing.  The students have definitely shown vast improvement in all areas.  Their power points were crisp, clean and full of concise information.  The graphics fit really well with what they were presenting.  I was astonished to see how well they had memorized their lines.  The brochures were professionally done, and the videos were awesome!!!!
       After the presentation process, the groups then administered their formal assessments to the class.  The groups were allowed to take the assessments collaboratively, using each other's notes from the presentation.  The students really seemed to grasp the note taking process, and are learning how to take only the key words out of the language.
       At the end, all groups filled out reflection pieces, along with evaluation rubrics.  Nice job on  day one!!!

Wednesday - 4/8/15 -
       The Roman presentations were fantastic!! The groups truly put in a tremendous amount of effort over their breaks in order to be prepared for their presentations.  We were educated about "Rise of Rome", following the Greek collapse, all the way down till the Fall of the Empire.  The students were in full costume, and the crowd was actively engaged.  Nice job.

Thursday - 4/9/15 - 
       No class today.  Field trip to Massena Central for a play.

Friday - 4/10/15 - 
       The end of the week finished off with "Heirs to the Roman and Persian Empires."  Once again, the class was treated to amazing costumes and informational Power Points. The groups did a nice job assessing the groups and there was great feedback from the crowd.  Amazing work done by all.  We have one final presentation on Monday, and then our students will begin taking the NYS Exams.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Weekly Objectives for 3/23/15 - 3/26/15

Overview - We are in the final week of preparation for our Ancient Civiliaztion Presentations.  Student groups are finalizing brochures, touching up Power Points, and printing off assessments.  The room is abuzz  It is amazing to watch them coordinate and collaborate. Just when you think that they might not pull it off, they prove you wrong.  We will be presenting our work upon return from Spring Break.

Monday - 3/23/15 - 
       Business as usual.  The groups are actively engaged and working away on their projects.  Today, in Monday Morning Meeting, the students met Tony Green, from McAdam's Cheese.  He presented on the factory and the interview process.  It really was an amazing chance for the kids to see a local success story.

Tuesday - 3/24/15 -
       The students continue to work toward their deadlines.  They are now beginning to tear into the clothing aspect of their presentations,  The groups are starting to understand that these civilizations are more than just dates in time.  They are getting to know who these people are from their culture, languages, battles, discoveries, and so forth.

Wednesday - 3/25/15 - 
       My room is a total disaster zone, but that is what we expect when completing PBL projects.  Out of chaos comes creativity and success!!  We only have two working days until Spring Break, and there is still quite a bit to accomplish.  Many groups will be staying until 3:15 to complete their work.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Weekly Objectives for 3/16/15 - 3/17/15

Overview - The students groups are deep into their research projects, and are beginning to produce some amazing results!!  This week we will place our focus on getting the final copies created for our Power Points, Assessments, and Brochures.  The students are definitely working more cohesively within their groups.  The new peer evaluation forms have created a sense of accountability and responsibility.  Students can no longer hitch a free ride!!  We are looking to extend the deadlines for completing the overall project until after break.  Next week we will turn our focus to creating travel commercials for the ancient civilizations.

Monday - 3/16/15 - 

       Students continue to work on their Ancient Civilization projects.  Some of the groups are now finalizing their assessments and PP presentations. Many of the groups are realizing that they may have to stay after school to complete the work.

Tuesday - 3/17/15 - 
       We continue to work feverishly toward our deadline date of this Thursday.  Over half of the groups are on track to finish within the set time.  The other groups need to make a decision on how much time they will spend after school to make sure they meet the deadline.  It is truly amazing to watch them come together and solve problems when the expectations are set at a high level.  Nice job!!      

Wednesday - 3/18/15 - 
       The collaborative groups are really starting to produce results with the deadline dates approaching quickly.  Students are beginning to balance out their workloads within each group, and most of them are able to handle the loads.  If a student is struggling, then the group has continuously come to their aid to remedy the situation.  They have really taken ownership of this project and the evaluations are an excellent addition.  They can see the end in sight, and understand that hard work does pay off.