Weekly Updates: Week of February 22, 2015


I hope everyone had a wonderful CWW. I had a great time working with Cotolengo and Kids International Ministries.

This was a short week and students only had two class periods. We spend the week finishing up the compare & contrast brain frames for the Silk Road Map & Guide. Students used their brain frames to write compare and contrast paragraphs for the assignment. Part of the time was spend on catching up and finishing any part of the assignment that they were still missing. We will start fresh next week with International Trade

Weekly Update: Week of February 8, 2015


This week we continued working on the Silk Road Map & Guide. Students came to class with materials needed to organise their maps. We also spend some time finalizing our research. Students used their research to complete a Unifying Characteristics of their region worksheet and then completed Group Work Evaluation Sheet. On Thursday we begun comparing and contrasting the human and physical characteristics on their Silk Road Map and Guide with other sections of the Silk Road.  They will need to write paragraphs comparing and contrasting the characteristics in the different sections.

All work for this assignment should be turned in by Friday, February 29.


We will be taking a break from regular classes to focus on Service Learning during CWW next week.  Regular classes will resume on February 22

Weekly Update: Week of February 1, 2015


This week we started working on the Silk Road Map & Guide assignment. Each student is responsible for researching part of the Silk Road. They have to gather important information they will need to know about the human and physical characteristics of their section in order to safely travel the route. Students begun by making research questions that needed to be answered about their section of the road. We spent the second lesson conduction our research and gathering information. The third lesson was spend on gathering maps and pictures, as well as typing information students want to include on their map. Students need to bring print out of materials needed to class next week.

Weekly Update: Week of January 25, 2015


On Monday students learned about the Silk Road. We did a quick telling brain frame where students shared their previous knowledge about the trading route. After that students watched a short presentation about the Silk Road and completed a short reading followed by a discussion. Students had a chance to visit the UNESCO world heritage website and learn more about different cities along the Silk Road. On Wednesday  & Friday students were introduced to the Silk Road Assignment. This is our first performance task. Students will be working in groups on the assignment but will be assessed separately. Details can be found below.



Please keep reminding students to watch CNN Student News as part of their weekly homework.

Weekly Update: Week of January 18, 2016


After reviewing the physical features students had more time to label the Physical Map of Asia. After that we peer edited our maps. We talked about the difference between physical and human geography. Students watched a Prezi about the physical and human geography and completed a sorting activity with the different characteristics. We also talked about the characteristics that unite and divide us in ISM and then we did the same for the entire world. Students worked in groups and explained their thinking on a poster board. They presented their opinions to the rest of class. As usual, we finished the week by playing CNN Student News Kahoot.


Each month one student per class is declared the News Master based on their score from the CNN Student News Kahoot. Students should be watching CNN Student News for homework.

Weekly Update: Week of January 11, 2016


We began the week by reviewing all the countries of Asia. Students labeled a blank map to check their own knowledge. We spend some time finishing our Class Travel Map and then went over questions related to the information from the map to check our understanding and check our map reading skills. After that we went over different geographical features found on the planet Earth and played a review game. Students begun work on physical features of Asia map where they had to label the most important features in Asia and use their best mapmaking skills. We finished the week by playing CNN Student News Kahoot.

Need to Know:

Students need to finish their class work in class. They should not be taking class work to complete that at home. If they are not done in class they have to find time during tutorials to finish their work. The only Social Studies homework they should be completing is watching CNN Student news videos.


There is lots of fun ways to improve your geography skills! There are lots of fun games there that can make you a geography expert!








Weekly Update: Week of January 5, 2016


Welcome Back! Hope everyone had a nice holiday break.

We kicked off the new semester with a new unit on Interactions. Students defined what interactions mean to them and then brainstormed different ways societies, countries, and cultures interact with one another. We looked at a Gunter Holtorf’s 23 years of travel and students reflected on his adventures and the different interactions he has had over the last twenty-three years. We also made a list (and defined) top ten words that will be important for this unit. After that we went over the importance of maps and the different components that go into mapmaking. Students took a survey on Asian countries they have traveled to and then used the class data to create a travel map using all the components that go into creating a good map. We finished the week playing CNN Student news Kahoot.

Need to Know:

All semester one grades and comments are now posted on gradebook. Please let me know if you have any questions.


We will be looking at current events weekly for the rest of the school year. Please remind students that they are required to watch CNN student news during the school days (each vide is 10 minutes long and there are five of them in a week).

Weekly Update: Week of October 16, 2015


Students missed the first class this week because of MAP testing. The lessons begun with the introduction of our Unit on Innovations. We went over the essential questions and came up with class definitions on innovations, inventions, and discoveries. Students then were given a list of twenty inventions to rank in order of importance. This was followed with a discussion on what they thought was the most important invention on the list (most voted for either internet or irrigation). The next class students defined the word genius and came up with a list of features a genius should possess. They also completed a Marshmallow Challenge activity where they had to work in groups to build structures using pasta, string, and tape. The goal of this was to complete the tallest structure possible that would be able to hold a marshmallow on top without collapsing in just twenty minutes. This was followed with a TED talk video on the activity and a short discussion about the importance of innovating and team work.






Need To Know: 

This will be a busy unit with four performance tasks that need to be completed in just eight weeks. We will be starting work on the first performance task before the October break. I’ve attached it below for you to look over. Please make sure that the students spend a bit of their October break working on this.

Innovation in Time


We will be spending more time discussing current events and news during the second quarter. It would be great help if you encouraged your kids to spend some time every day looking at news. You can also have some family discussions about what is happening in the world and why those things are important.



Students completed a brain frame comparing and contrasting their culture with one of the other student’s cultures. This was the last part of the National Geographic Feature Assignment that students turned in on Wednesday. This completes quarter one and our unit on Identity. The end of the week was spend on completing end of the unit surveys and taking part in some  healthy competition using geography skills.

Completing National Geographic Feature Assignment and Working on a Compare and Contrast Brain Frame



Who said maps weren’t interesting?!




Need To Know:

Unit 2 Newsletter can be found here.  It outlines the plan for the second semester. Please let me know should you have any questions.


I hope to see all of you during the Parent Teacher conferences on Wednesday October 14, Monday October 21, and Tuesday October 22.

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