• October 11th

    Posted by Aaron Blankenship on 10/11/2018

    8th Grade - The eighth graders began the last two days of their Human Migration unit. As we finish looking at the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, we take a look at how the colonial system in New Spain was set up, how it used de facto and de jure slavery as a tool to suppress native populations and how missionaries were used as agents of justifying the colonization. Students learned about how the encomienda system created massive hardship and death for the native populations of Central America. They also learned about the advantages Cortes had that allowed him to defeat the powerful Aztec Empire. Tomorrow, students will investigate the racial system of New Spain and how it led to the racial stratification that still affects the Americas to this day. 

    The 8th grade unit test is next Tuesday, study guides will come out tomorrow. 
    7th Grade - The 7th graders spent the day taking part in Memorization Stations, honing in their memory for their map quiz tomorrow. All students are expected to label 42 out of 50 U.S. states on a map in ten minutes. Students will be sent home with a practice map tonight to help them get to the 42 mark! 
    Current Events - The CE kids continued watching the documentary "Fed Up" and learned about the myth of reduced fat foods, which were a product of lobbying by the sugar industry in the 1980's. Students had discussions of the freedom of buying whatever they versus the need for consumers to be informed about the dangers of some foods. 
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  • October 10th

    Posted by Aaron Blankenship on 10/10/2018

    8th Grade - The eighth graders began their first investigation of a primary source collection. We took a look at three primary sources that described the meeting of Emperor Moctezuma of the Aztecs and Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador. Students investigated whether or not individual authors had bias and whether or not the different sources agreed with one another. Students were trying to answer the question "Did Moctezuma believe that Cortes was a living god or not?"

    7th Grade - The seventh graders completed their postcards and pen-pal letters and continued their work on memorizing the United States. This Friday will be the first map quiz for the seventh graders. They are all expected to be able to name 42 of the 50 states on a blank map. Students took a practice quiz today to see where they are in preparation for their quiz tomorrow!
    Current Events: The CE kids began their newest contemporary issue, taking a look at the documentary "Fed Up". The documentary looks at the myths and realities surrounding the childhood obesity crisis, one of the greatest health risks that will face this generation. Students looked at how marketing in food has shifted the discussion about obesity from the affects of harmful sugars to diet and exercise. 
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  • October 1st - Social Studies

    Posted by Aaron Blankenship on 10/1/2018

    8th Grade - The eighth graders focused their work on investigating how the technology of cartography shows what the colonists who came to the east coast of what would become Virginia were thinking. Students looked at two maps of the Virginian coast from roughly 20 years apart and examined why the way the maps were written reflected the changing perspectives of the colonists. Students completed a set of guiding questions to help further their understanding. Tomorrow through Thursday, students will be working and completing their paper based on the Oral History Interviews they should have completed. There are students who have not completed this project and may risk losing points on the project if they are not ready for the workday tomorrow! 

    7th Grade - The 7th graders are wrapping up their postcard projects in anticipation for their pen-pal letters! Students will be communicating with an eighth grade classroom in East Yancey Middle School in North Carolina. Students began drafting postcards for our postcard exchange where they explain the differences in their state and school from those of the state and school they researched in their project. Tomorrow, students will begin drafting letters to their pen-pal.
    Current Events - The CE kids began working on their counter-arguments for their debate. For a successful debate, students must analyze their opponent's argument and a have a prepared response to their opponent. Students will be debating this Thursday!
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  • September 27th - Social Studies

    Posted by Aaron Blankenship on 9/27/2018

    8th Grade - The eighth graders spent the day working on their Oral History Project. Students were expected to interview one person who is at 40 years older than them. Students interviewed teachers, grandparents and community elders! It's great to see students comparing their experiences to those of their elders. Students will have next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to craft a two to four page story using the notes they took during their interview. Some students are still trying to get their interviews completed, so check in with your student and see how they are doing! If you know an elder who would be interested in being interviewed, let me know and I'l see if a student would like to work with them! 

    7th Grade - The 7th Graders continued their work on preparing for their postcard exchange by completing the State Research Project. Students were asked to conduct research and turn their research into paragraphs over the week. Today, students are creating their final product, where they write the information they have collected onto a sheet that is highly detailed and colored for accompanying pictures. Students who are done tomorrow will begin writing their postcard to their sister school in the 48!
    Current Events: The Current Events kids spend their day focusing in on their debate topics! Students are debating topics like "Do Class Sizes Matter?", "Should schools be separated by Boys and Girls?" and "Should Video Games be considered a sport?". The CE kids located two articles to back up their research and are in the process of creating three solid arguments about why they are right on their debate! Ask your student what they are working on and what their arguments are going to be!
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  • September 26th - Social Studies

    Posted by Aaron Blankenship on 9/26/2018

    8th Grade: The eighth graders have been taking a look at this week, how there were empires and civilizations in the Americas prior to the arrival of Europeans. As we completed their investigation of the Maya, Aztecs and Inca, we moved on to what motivated the Europeans to explore westward. Students learned about how the Silk Road and its difficulties launched Columbus to the ocean, how Isabella's interest in Spain's power gave Columbus the support he needed, and the technology that was required to get Columbus across the ocean. Students made an astrolabe in class, which they have been invited to bring home and use at night to sight the North Star and determine their latitude. Today in class, students read and answered a question on Christopher Columbus in the Americas, and discussed whether or not Columbus Day should be a holiday! For many of the students, this was their first opportunity to do an online discussion! Reminder: Oral History Project Interviews are due tomorrow for all eighth graders! I have attached the expectations for the project!

    7th Grade: The 7th graders are taking the week to explore their home country! Building upon our understanding of democracy this week, students are looking at the cultural and regional differences of the United States. Students began the week practicing their memory of the 50 states with the Memorization Stations (we will be having a map quiz on the states in approximately two weeks, they need a score of 42/50, I have attached a practice quiz!). Yesterday and into today, students are researching a state of their choosing, and at the end of the week, they will be sending a postcard to a classroom in their chosen state! Students will be receiving postcards back from them as well! 
    Current Events: The CE kids have spent the week presenting their Current Events Presentations! With those complete, students are spending the remainder of the week developing arguments around a central debate question, which they will use in an academic debate! Ask your CE kid what they are researching and what arguments they plan on making!
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