The Seven White Team is working on their own blogs to comprehend their ELA book, Afrika by Colleen Craig. I know what you’re thinking, “Why is the book spelled Afrika instead of Africa.” Africa, is actually spelled Afrika in the South African language Afrikaans. Mrs. Pruett wanted to make this project interesting, so she gave us two mini-research projects, and four journal entries. Before we had the iPads, we would work on our project the old fashioned way, by scrapbooking. It would be easier with our new technology because we wouldn’t have to use up all of that ink and paper. On the iPad, we could customize the blog any way we want and it would also be easier not to plagiarize. These blogs are free because we use the Google website Blogger. All we have to do is log into our account and once it logs on, you click add blog. We are supposed to read the book in four weeks (not including vacation). This week is the last week we are reading the book. The second and third week we read the book, we did both journal entries and research projects, but the first and last weeks of reading the book, we only have to do journal entries. To define an Afrika blog journal entry, each group member of the blog writes about a main character of each quarter of the book in first person and what they went through during the reading. The minimum of what we write is two paragraphs with seven to ten sentences for each paragraph. To define an Afrika blog research project, we could choose between topics such as Historical investigator, Cultural Attaché, and Biographies. These mini research projects help on our research skills and we also learn a lot on South Africa.
To see these blogs, scroll down a bit for a full list.
On the Friday before the holidays, December 20th, 2013, Mrs.Pruett told us about FutureMe. It’s a website where you can write an email to your future self. If you tap on the bar on the left that says “Write”, you will be able to write your email. Just fill in your email, type the email, set the date, prove you’re human, and you’re all set! You’ll get the email on the date you set it to. FutureMe is good for reminders in a few days or what you want to tell yourself in a few years. You can read anonymous emails other people wrote by tapping on the bar that says “Read”. You will find recent emails and old emails. If you want to find out more about FutureMe, you can tap on the bar that says “What?” That will take you to a page where you can read about FutureMe, how it started, and what you can do if there are problems with sending or receiving emails. The “What?” page is actually funny and unusual compared to other websites’ information pages.
On the day before Winter Vacation we used FutureMe to write letters to ourselves. We wanted to remind ourselves what we were like back in 7th grade. Someday, whenever we get our letters, we’ll be like “Oh look, I was like this in 7the grade! I was little and crazy!” We wrote the letters so we could look back on ourselves and tell the FutureMes what to do. We wrote the letters to 2019, the year we’d graduate, or to June 2014 when school would be out. Wouldn’t it be cool to hear what your PastMe is telling you to do?
Here is a link to FutureMe: http://www.futureme.org
In Science we finished the cell unit and now we are moving on to probability and Mendel’s experiment. We have a project that we are working on called “Genie Baby”. This Genie Baby project is about two partners who work together and choose what the baby looks like and choose their gender by flipping a coin and name them whatever they want. We are going to have a quiz on Probability and Mendel’s experiment on Thursday. We finished our quiz on slinq and now we are moving on to interphase, mitosis, and cytokinesis. This is all of the Science update so far.
In Social Studies we just finish South America and now we are going on to Africa. We are studying the western region of Africa and we had a test on Friday the 13th. We just finish doing our poster for the Sahara desert and we are now presenting it to the class. About western Africa we are going to study 17 countries and capitals of them and we are going to need to know where to label them on the map. We just finished the Western Africa test and now we are moving on to the next region of Africa. The next region we are going to study is the south region.
In ELA we just finished our choice read book where you read a book of your choice and read it in about 2 weeks and then do a project about it. Next you present it to your class to try and to explain why it’s a good book and why you want other people to read it.
We are starting to read Afrika by Colleen Craig and we are reading 1-2 chapters a night. When we finish we are going to make a blog about it with a group. In the book Afrika a girl named Kim is living in Canada with her mom and then they go to South Africa because her mother has to go on a business trip for 3 months. Kim has to go to school there and Kim tires to find her father. We are still working on our grammar worksheets and grammar packets. This is all for the ELA update.
In science, 7 White went on a field trip to the to do an onion DNA extraction. Groups and (I) went on Tuesday, November 19th and groups (E) and (T) went on Wednesday, November 20th. Ms. Scibelli walked us to the UMASS Foundation where we met Mrs. Lebeau, the scientist there who taught us what to do. We learned, step-by-step what the procedure was. After mixing some chemicals, we used a method called spooling to take the DNA out of the test tube and put it into our sample containers. In spooling, we stirred the DNA with a glass rod to get the DNA to stick to the rod. The DNA was greenish, clear and appeared to be little strands, almost stringlike even. Several of those strands clumped together looked like a small cloud! Despite the smelliness and grossness of the trip, this was certainly an educational experience loved by almost everyone. Now, everyone is looking forward to the trip in April, back to the UMASS foundation!