Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Brunch

Hey guys!

Here is the signup sheet for our Studio D Holiday Brunch. Don't forget to please specify what you are bringing so we don't get 10384704 cups and nothing to drink.

Don't forget, if you can't bring anything it's ok. Just bring you!

Click HERE to sign up!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Creating Infographics

As part of our Human Rights Awareness challenge, students are getting their Geography content with Coach West so they can be better informed about the part of the world their group is (eventually) researching. Students were given their map of Central America yesterday, and will have a map quiz on Friday on the countries and capitals. We wanted a way for them to get more information about each country but also display it in a creative way that could be incorporated into their final presentation.

Each group was given/chose a country to research. Group assignments are as follows:

Honduras- Religion
Cuba- Information
Costa Rica- Children
Haiti- Health
Puerto Rico- Justice
Guatemala- LGBT
Dominican Republic- Protest
Mexico- Speech
Panama- Food/Water
El Salvador- Women
Belize- Education
Nicaragua- Disabled

Each group is responsible for researching and presenting the following information about their country:
Government Type
Official Language
Historical Fact
Major Religions

As a class we looked at Piktochart,, all of these are resources students can use to create their infographic. They are responsible for researching information about their country, keeping track of their sources on a shared Google Doc, and completing ONE infographic for the entire group by Friday. We will use these as a study guide for their quiz on Central America.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Studio D goes to Catawba Trail Elementary

Today, students from Studio D9 took a trip to Catwaba Trail Elementary school to work with their Quest 4th graders on a design challenge. I met Mrs. Thompson at a professional development I did on design thinking and she and I made plans for our students to collaborate. We liked the idea of it benefiting both my students as well as hers.

I planned for students to redesign the report card, which is a challenge that I had previously given to D9 early on in the semester. I wanted the material of the challenge to be understandable for the 4th graders, but still challenging enough to require them to work through our design process.

Charles, Kayshon, Emma, and Chelsea all came with me to Catawba Trail and led their own project groups.  I must take a minute and applaud these students for their great work today. They were wonderful leaders and led by example, working with their group and modeling all our techniques while teaching the 4th graders, as well. They were professional and the students in QuEST noticed, and commended them for their work.

When we arrived, the 4th graders had already brainstormed what they thought should be included in a report card. They were very thorough, and the students and I were all really impressed with how well thought out their list was. The students were all inclusive with things like grades, progress, attendance, social behaviors, and communication all included in their list.

Next, our students each joined a group and were then given a student for whom they would design a report card. Each group was given a current report card and interview, complete with picture, from  their student. Each interview contained information such as their likes and dislikes, educational goals, strengths, weaknesses, and what they would like to see on their report cards. The QuEST students read through those interviews and highlighted information they thought might help them create their new designs, and this completed the Gather Stage of their project. 


To move on to Glean, each group had to decide which information they highlighted, along with information they had compiled onto class lists before we arrived, was the most important to include in their new design. Everyone wrote down their ideas and after we had some time to read over our entire group's input, we chose a few things to focus on. After each group had some 'non-negotiables', we began a silent prototyping time. Students were quick to identify this as the Generate stage, because they were coming up with their first ideas/drafts of a new report card for their student. 


We reminded students that during the Generate stage, wild ideas are good things, not to worry about whether or not they thought they could bring their idea to life, not to criticize other people's ideas, and to be open-minded. After a great production stage, students had some good ideas that incorporated information they had gathered about their user. We talked quickly about how to critique someone else's work, and reminded the students to always be kind, specific, and helpful whenever they are giving their input on someone else's work. 

To make their feedback more honest, we made it anonymous by allowing students to write their comments on post-it notes and place the post-it on the draft. We each took turns writing our feedback about each design on the post-its and took some more time later to make clarifications on feedback, ask questions about comments that had been made, and decide as a group which parts of our individual design would we pull into our first group effort.



These guys were feedback wizards! Their feedback was to the point, specific, kind, and helpful. I was really impressed by how well they were not only able to give criticism, but also how well they received it. 

Wrapping up the Generate stage, we found we were out of time. Students in Mrs. Thompson's class were going to move on to the Gauge and Go stages without us for now, but we made a point to say that we'd love to see their final designs. I had such a great experience working with those bright 4th graders. They are students I'd be proud to have in Studio D any day! My students also had a great time, and loved getting to share their love for the design process with other, albeit younger, designers. Thanks so much to Catawba Trail Elementary, Mrs. Thompson, and the QuEST students for having us today. You guys are awesome!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Big Ideas Fest Takeaways

Coming soon!  

I'm finally home and I can't wait to share with you what I learned this past week at the Big Ideas Fest in Half Moon Bay, CA!! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

12.4.13 The Book Thief: Part Two through Four Reading Questions

Mrs. A left you questions to go along with your reading. You may read however you like: in pairs, alone, read as you go and answer questions, read the whole thing and go back and answer questions....whatever works for you.

These are the questions, broken down with guidelines of what you should be doing each day. If you have not finished the summary of Part 1 that is your number one priority. All of this will be done BEFORE Mrs. A gets back!

Day One Work: 
Part Two - The Shoulder Shrug
A Girl Made of Darkness
The Joy of Cigarettes

The Town Walker
Dead Letters
1. What does Liesel give herself as a birthday present?
2. What is the source of the “second Watschen” that Liesel receives?
3. Explain the colors in this chapter/scene. For example, what color does Lisel
know the real scene was and what color did she see? What do you think this
might mean?
Hitler’s Birthday, 1940
1. What is the “minor calamity” and why is it a problem?
2. What is the issue between Hans and Hans Jr.?

Day Two Work:
100 Percent Pure German Sweat
1. On page 108 the author includes the sentence “It was a small moment, but it
was also a preview of troubles to come.” What literary device is at work in this sentence?
2. “It reminded her of an unpopular child, forlorn and bewildered, powerless to
alter its fate” (109). What is the “it” in this sentence? How does this metaphor work to make the reader feel a particular way about this scene?
3. What do the Germans burn and why?
4. “He was just an animal, hurt among the melee of its own kind, soon to be trampled by it” (112). What do you think the author is trying to tell the reader with this comparison to animals?
The Gates of Thievery
1. Why does Papa slap Liesel?
Book of Fire

Day Three Work: 
Part Three - Mein Kampf
The Way Home
1. What does Liesel promise Papa in exchange for the book?
2. What book does Papa buy with cigarettes this time?
The Mayor’s Library
1. Summarize this chapter in a few sentences.
2. “The mayor’s wife bruised herself again” (137). What does this sentence literally mean
and how do you know?
Enter The Struggler

Day Four Work: 
The Attributes of Summer
1. Who is Johann Hermann and how did he die?
2. How does Liesel learn to swim?
3. What convinces Arthur Berg to let Rudy and Liesel into his crew?
4. Why does Liesel throw up? What does this show us?
The Aryan Shopkeeper

Day Five Work: 
The Struggler, Continued
1. What is the English translation of “Mein Kampf?” How is this title ironic?
2. Who is “the Struggler?”
1. What do the neighborhood kids steal and why?
2. Where do the chestnuts come from and what do Rudy and Liesel do with them?
The Struggler, Concluded

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Vocabulary Unit 4

Since Mrs. A is out of town this week, we are going to go ahead and begin Unit 4 vocabulary without here. I've attached the new words and their practice problems so that you may begin using those to study for your quiz, which will most likely be next week.