Friday KEEC pixPosted by Nancy Wollum on 5/17/2019
A little wet, a little cold, A LOT of great memories. Your kids were recognized as some of the best this week...THANKS! See you Monday! NW
MORE KEEC...Posted by Nancy Wollum on 5/16/2019
YOUR KIDS ARE having a great time while learning a lot about the interdependence of our environment AND each other!
KEECPosted by Nancy Wollum on 5/14/2019
5/13 class picture at the lake BEFORE the rain!
5/13 study groups investigating 'COMMUNITIES'
5/14 After a very cold night, snow on the mountain and a morning built for hikes!
WEEK SIX - Who We ArePosted by Nancy Wollum on 4/20/2019
HAPPY Spring Break everyone!
Week 6 concluded our unit of WHO WE ARE. We looked deeply into what causes conflict and how we could take action to prevent it. We explored how listening to others, and to ourselves (how we respond), and how remaining open-minded and curious might be the key to reducing conflict globally and personally. We used our understanding of why there is conflict to review the events that led up to the Revolutionary War. Your students finished their reflection journals with an essay connecting their new learning from the last 6 weeks with our central idea and the inquiry questions of this unit.
After break, we will be involved with SBAC testing every morning most of the week. Some testing will continue into the afternoon; many of our regular weekly activities will be interrupted. Afternoons will be an opportunity for 6th graders to partner with 5th graders for research into a historic or current conflict of interest using our WHO WE ARE knowledge. Students will present their research that will include history of and POVs of their 'conflict' and their recommendations of where and how this particular conflict could be (or have been) reduced or eliminated. They are really looking forward to this and ready for the challenge!
IMPORTANT CALENDAR DATES:
*6th grade KEEC - May 13-17
*5th NGSS state test - May 14-16
*SITA - May 29 OR May 30
*6th parent orientation to MUMS - May 29 at MUMS
*June 4 - 6th Move Up Day to MUMS
*June 6 - grades 3-6 Dead Creek
*June 13 - 6th commencement - time to be determined but likely 1pm
*June 14 - last day for students
WEEK 5 - Who We ArePosted by Nancy Wollum on 4/13/2019
"Whose Land Is It Anyway?" Debate between the English colonists and the Powhatan.
We continue to have our discussions on how we are products of historic and environmental influences and how these influences can include deeply ingrained biases and assumptions and prejudices surrounding any differences including race, gender, culture, and beliefs. Students are really beginning to enter all discussions with this new perspective and there are some that are even demonstrating more openminded perspectives in their daily interactions! This week we read about and discussed "race" as not a biological or genetic reality but as a man-made construct that CREATED laws to remove rights from African Americans who had been ilving in the colonies (and doing well in their communities) for decades. This was a real eye-opener for the kids and they did some great reflections on the subject. 6th graders did some additional reading on Crevecouer's NEW MAN/NEW WOMAN theory of the people who chose to immigrate to the colonies and how their decisions (and genetics) influence what America is thought of today. We began our 'Who We Are' study of the ROAD TO REVOLUTION from the point of view of CONFLICT - how conflict starts (lack of open-mindedness) and maybe how conflict could be avoided (listening to the 'other' and recognizing how all stories are valid). This coming week will conclude this unit - finishing the key events leading up to the American Revolution and then exploring conflicts in the world today that could be solved with greater patience, understanding, and appreciation of differences.
THE MIDDLEBURY RECYCLING CENTER NOW HAS A ACCOUNT FOR SHOREHAM SCHOOL; WE GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR RECYCLING DONATIONS TO BENEFIT OUR SCHOOL.
NEAT REPEATS ALSO CONTINUES AN ACCOUNT FOR SHOREHAM SCHOOL; DONATING GENTLY USED AND CLEAN CLOTHING TO ACCOUNT #2 WILL BENEFIT OUR SCHOOL. (We have recieved as much as $500 in a year from these generous folks!)
The H.O.P.E. / SHOREHAM connection is strong! If you are able, please donate a juice or food item -our April donation pick up is the 19th!
5th Grade reminder: study those science notes daily! We have covered everything needed for your state NGSS assessment in May...you just need to spend 5-10 minutes a day reviewing, remembering, and thinking about your year of learning.
6TH GRADE reminder: get those KEEC medical forms in as soon as you can!
SCHOOL BREAK IS April 20-28 AND WHEN WE RETURN...IT'S SBACS!
WEEK FOUR - Who We ArePosted by Nancy Wollum on 4/8/2019
Alyssa and the other 5th graders, helped their kindergarten book buddies with their animal research projects.
A very busy week in exploring Who We Are in our perspectives and assumptions! Students spend two days preparing for the Jamestown debate: Whose Land Is It Anyway? They worked very hard and presented professionally with lots of supporting historical details for their argument. The class voted to do more debating in the future so we tried an extemporaneous debate on Friday: Yes or No to School Uniforms? Again, a lively and well planned debate!
We finished our brief colony research and once again, discovered how historical and environmental influences impact Who We Are (this is our Central Idea for this unit!)
We discussed current immigration issues and how similar and different immigration issues are now to when our ancestors first colonized this country. The students even came up with some original suggestions to fix today's immigration problems.
Finally, the students are now in independent reading groups for a variety of historical fiction novels on the Revolutionary War. They are doing a great job summarizing, finding author's craft tools, and managing their time to complete their books by April break.
THANK YOU all who were able to attend conferences! If you have further questions or want to meet for information beyond your student's presentation, please just email or call and we can get together at your convenience!
FOR 6TH GRADE families: KEEC and Middle School information coming home soon!
Week THREE: Who We ArePosted by Nancy Wollum on 3/29/2019
Miss Abby's Guided reading group enjoyed interviewing Mr. Stuart Lilie from Fort Ticonderoga as part of a unit on reading historical documents and interviewing technique.
We began Week Three of Who We Are with a class definition of the word 'savage'. Native Americans were considered 'savages' by the invading English colonists and we wondered what that meant and if it was true. We did some reading about Native American life before the Europeans, and students concluded with a persuasive paragraph (complete with rebuttal sentences!) about whether the originial Americans were savage or civilized. Surprise! By our definition, the Native Americans were quite civilized and several students actually considered, by our definition, if the Europeans were not actually the savages by their behaviors, assumptions, and biases toward a culture with different norms. We are really learning to expand our thinking and open our minds to new perspectives! Our week ended in preparations for a debate between 'the English' and 'the Powhatan': Whose Land Is It Anyway? Students are preparing as any debate team would prepare: opening arguments, rebuttals and closings with points given (or removed) for listening, relevant responses, and respectful tone. Students are really involved in researching for the best preparation - debate Monday! Ask your student for the results!
Sixth graders are doing more extensive research on Native American history that is ripe with bias and prejudice with sadly, much cruelty and cultural misunderstanding that, they are discovering, influences even us today.
This week we have a full week of school and continue with conferences on April 3. I have really enjoyed the the conferences this week - most students have been well prepared, very organized and professional in their presentations which is very impressive as they have chosen and prepared their materials for you ENTIRELY INDEPENDENTLY! If you have not confirmed a conference date for your student, please call me...I will do what I can to accommodate your schedule!
HAPPY APRIL! Please call or email me with ANY comments or concerns AT ANY TIME. I welcome your thoughts!
Week TWO Who We ArePosted by Nancy Wollum on 3/24/2019
WHO WE ARE - WEEK 2
This week we dove into several documents that helped us explore how we respond to differences and the notion of 'The Other'. We spent time in pairs and in whole group exploring what our choices are when responding to people who seem different from that in which we see in ourselves. I shared several stories from my past - an experience in my youth accidently taking the wrong train in NYC and ending up in Harlem and the mind-opening experience I had there, and my Speical Olympics coaching experiences with people who have different physical and mental abilities and the impact they have had on so many of us when we open our minds and hearts to differences.
After we created our culture map early in the week, it took several days, but we finally decided- as a class - on the title:
UNIVERSAL OBLIGATIONS: ONE SMALL PLANET, ONE BIG FAMILY
We learned so much from our discussions just trying to come up with a title for this poster!
We did a short review of the Dark Ages and the Renaissance to lead us into the Age of Exploration and the challenges of being open-minded in new world encounters with "The Other". We realized WE are also 'The Other' to those inexperienced with us!!!
In everyhistorical exploration, we are thinking: WHAT IF...? historically: What if we had been more open minded in this situation? What if we viewed 'The Other' as one of us with new ideas from which to learn? What if we had taken actions that would reflect respect for all people and living things? AND how to we apply this What If...? thinking to our lives and how we live today? With regular reflections, students are beginning to get the hang of thinking beyond the text and making connections to their new learning.
CONFERENCES BEGIN the evening of MARCH 28! If you have not scheduled a conference, please do so; your student has spent a lot of time designing the presentation of his/her conference JUST for you! You can email or call me for a time or Miss Irene- who is trying to arrange all schedules to make it easier for families.
NO SCHOOL March 29 for more teacher IB training!
WEEK ONE - WHO WE AREPosted by Nancy Wollum on 3/16/2019
HAVING FUN!!! 5/6ers celebrating the results of their hard work putting the dance together!
KUDOS to 5/6ers for planning and carrying out what many are saying was a successful and fun event. THANK YOU to all adults who helped in any way! Without your support, it might not have happened. I look at these pictures and wish even more that I could have been there. Special recognition to Ms. Burrows who led the students through the planning process and encouraged their ideas and creativity...thanks to her, it was really the students' event!
WEEK 1 (new unit) WHO WE ARE: What if...?
I introduced the unit this week; because of the sensitive nature of the content, we all agreed to a set of conversation norms that would allow all to contribute their thoughts without judgment or challenge. We learned words we hear in the world every day that may take on new meaning for us and that we have to be thoughtful about words - these and others - in how they may impact others. We will continue to discuss civil discourse through out this unit.
Students researched a culture of their choice and we combined their digital stories of cultural differences in a huge poster. We are still working on titling the poster - a more challenging prospect than we anticipated. Ask your student if they had any fresh ideas this weekend!
6th graders are reading a book review article written by local, Victor Nuovo called The Challenges of Slavery. It is an enlightening and complex piece that helps us learn about historic American/European slavery choices and how those choices still influence how we think today. The text challenges us to think more deeply about the origins of the ingrained biases held in our country and our selves.
I am so impressed with these students and how they are positively wrestling with ideas that may be uncomfortable and very new to them. They are showing energy with staying open-minded and engaged in some very interesting debates and discussions.
WEEK 2 - coming up: How we view and react to differences...STAY TUNED!
In Like a LION!Posted by Nancy Wollum on 3/8/2019
Wow! This winter is really testing a Vermonter's resolve to be a Vermonter! The good news is we are approaching the EQUINOX (ask your student ALL about this!) and that means SPRING!
Your students have just finished a TERRIFIC IB unit called SAVING THE PLANET. They learned a lot about our planet's natural support systems and worked on group research projects, chose a specific valued resource to support, and created some solutions and actions that might help "Save The Planet". Two groups chose local and personal actions to promote, one group is writing to Representative Peter Welch to encourage more oversight with the Clean Air Act and one group is connecting with a bee-saving innovator out west in hopes of securing a pilot project on saving bees right here in Vermont! I am so proud of how these kids have grown in their group dynamics, productivity, and dedication to excellence!
BEGINNING MARCH 11 we will begin our next IB unit: WHO WE ARE. We will be looking at ourselves and others culturally and diving into our innate assumptions and bias' that influence our behaviors and beliefs. All of this will be through the lens of colonial and early U.S. history and how assumptions then drove actions that impact us today. Finally, we will be looking at how assumptions and bias' are fueling conficts in the world (and in our little piece of it!) and what we can do to move toward a more open-minded approach to others. Please be aware that some of our conversations will challenge our beliefs and values and may involve difficult conversations. If you have questions about what your student is bringing home in conversation, PLEASE contact me right away. We can talk more about the context of our discussions and we can share our thoughts openly about this unit. This unit requires COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS and we will be setting guidelines and norms to help everyone feel brave at looking inside themselves without judgement and developing that open-mindedness that will lead our future world!
Sure wish I could figure out how to turn this picture! However, with alittle stretching, you can see how much Saphire and Bria are enjoying programming their Finchbot!