Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Vocabulary Games

So have you ever thought about putting vocabulary words into a game? Well, we did. Mrs. Ramsay said we could create any kind of game or activity that would help us practice and teach each other word strategies. We could do anything from a board game to a acting game to a computer game. 

Every person chose a different kind of a game to create. Our even teacher  made up a whole page of links that showed us some different ways to do our vocabulary games...in case we weren't sure where to begin. The other language arts class did it too; they said it was a great idea and they had  fun doing it too.

My group made different types of board games, a card game, an my game. I had a acting game kind of like charades. We also practiced our informational writing by composing the directions and rules that went with our game. 

Once we were all done, we got to play our games with everyone else in the class. It was so interesting to see how different every game was. Of course, the games were fun to play and we were able to build our vocubualry.

Jayden & Highland

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

All Hallows Read...Suspense

October 29th was All Hallows Read. The week before All Hallows Read, we saw this riddle on the board:
Beware the time is drawing nigh
      for All Hallows Read.
 A tool to illuminate your way,
 you'll most certainly need. 

After a lot of contemplating, we figured out that we needed to bring a flashlight to class, but we had not idea why.

On All Hallows Read day, our class lined up like it was a normal day, but when we entered the classroom....it was very, very different.  All the lights were off, and the only light we had were tea lights that we all over the room. On the board it said that this was All Hallows Read. We found out that for this All Hallows Read we were going learn about and practice with suspense.

First, we completed a brain drain about suspense. A brain drain is when we all right down everything we know about a topic. Once we had finished the brain drain, we discussed our ideas. Some of the things we said made things suspenseful were music, lighting, slowing things down, pauses, repetition,  foreshadowing, and imagery.

Next, we had gone over this we watched a clip from The Birds  by Alfred Hitchcock. It was the final bird attack scene, and it was VERY suspenseful. After we had finished watching it, we talked more about what made it so suspenseful. It turns out, we knew a lot about suspense.

We then read Jumanji  (in the dark by flashlight) and  talked about what made it suspenseful. It was a lot of the same elements that made The Birds suspenseful. Finally we wrote suspenseful short stories, and by short we mean 140 characters. We tweeted those out with the hashtag #allhallowsread.

This was a really fun, spooky and exciting day and we learned a lot about suspense! We really hope we can have another awesome day like this one soon!

~Allison & Emily

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Immigration Day

  Immigration Day was a blast. We all had so much fun. Immigration Day was a reinactment of how immigrants would get through Ellis Island and into America. There were six stations to represent this. They were customs, physical exam, mental exam, health exam, eye exam, and legal exam. Once we finished these, we were welcomed  into  America,. It might sound easy, but the exams weren't to easy to get through.

Right when we started the day, we were all on a "ship." We had to have our passports and visas prepared to show as we boarded the ship. The ship was very tight for everyone, except for the first class, of course. They weren't tightly packed on the ship, and they didn't have to go through the stations. They ate cookies Most people had to wait a long time to get off the ship just like the immigrants a hundred years ago.

    Now let us tell you about each station. As soon as you got off the ship, we had to go to the customs station. Here parents asked us general questions about their immigrant's life, such as age, name, place of birth, height, weight, etc. If you got one of these questions wrong you were deported back to the ship. This may not sound difficult, but these parents were all speaking different languages, not English. It was frustrating, just like it was for immigrants who came and didn't speak any English.

 If we passed through customs, then next you went to the physical exam where they tested you to see if you were physically able to work. They found this out by making you do a series of exercises. If you kept up, you were fine and able to move to the next station. If you didn't, you went to the hospital.

The next station was the mental exam. As soon as you got in there, you had to take a test with five questions. They did this to see if you could get creative answers. After that, you had to build an object out of different shape blocks. If the professor didn't see what you built, you were sent to the hospital. The hospital was a room where you would lay down for a few minutes to try and recover and try an exam again. Then the nurse would ask you questions similar to the customs station to make sure you were well. If you got them wrong you either got a lucky chance to lay back down, or you were deported.

The next station was sort of like a double station because it had two stations in the same room. The first one was the eye exam where you look at a letter chart and read out the letters. After that it was eye health. They asked you how you were feeling and made you look through this little tool. They asked you if it was blurry or clear to test how your eyes felt.

The next and final station was the legal exam. In this station, they showed you what it would be like in the shoes of real immigrants (Not speaking the same language). We were asked questions about our immigrant in Spanish. Don't worry; we had it translated to us. After that, we had at last finished the rotations for Ellis Island, and were in America.

Overall this was a great learning experience for all of the kids in the 6th grade. It really helped us to understand what it was like for an immigrant coming to our country a hundred years ago in search of a better life for them and their families.

   ~Reece & Graden

Mystery Skype

Have you ever talked to someone even though you don't know where they were or who they were? Three weeks ago we had our first Mystery Skype. We have to say it is a lot like twenty questions with another class. We were in a competition to see who would guess where each other class is located.

Two students volunteered to go up on the board and write down the "yes" and "no" answers to the questions. Every two people had a Chromebook with Google Maps to help us narrow down location options.

Each table group got to go up to the computer and ask the other team/class where they lived. For example, ''Do you live in the Central time zone?'' The other team/class would answer and we would put the answer on either the "yes" or "no" column. Then, the other team/class asked us a question, and they would record the data. This pattern went on until we finally guessed the location of the class we were Skyping.

After that, we started talking about the book Fish which was the book that was read for the Global Read Aloud. We made note cards with five different questions about Fish. Then, we went up as table groups again and asked the other class questions about how they liked the book Fish. We also asked some questions like, "what is your favorite chapter and why?"

Mystery Skype is super fun and a great way to socialize and learn about things that you normally wouldn't. We loved meeting people and getting to discuss how great the book was!

~Gretchen, Lakin, & Jackie

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ramsay's Class Chalk Talk

Thinking about a quote can seem boring, but at the Ramsay Chalk Talk, we started to comprehend the real meaning of them. A Chalk Talk is an activity where everyone in the room actively participates in a conversation without actually talking. Each person gets a dry erase marker and we respond to a quote and to one another's ideas. For our first Chalk Talk, we used this quote from Malala.
"Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality. " - Malala. 

After reading the quote to ourselves, we would take a dry erase marker and draw a line from a word in the quote and write what it meant to us. What made it a challenge was we couldn't talk. We would comment off of other peoples' ideas on a word and that started a conversation without even talking! This activity took up the ENTIRE wall (and most of the class time)! There was so much writing that some people had to stand on chairs to write something more. 

Everybody in our class really, really enjoyed it and would love to do it again! It took time, patience, and not a lot of talking to complete this task. After we were done we stood back and took a look at what we accomplished. We pointed out some interesting comments that we found and talked about them. When we looked back at what we did, we were astonished by how much thought we had put into this activity and how much we learned from everyone's perspectives. We would love to this again, and we would recommend it for other classes.  

PS: Yes, we write on the wall! It's painted with Idea Paint which turns the entire back classroom wall into a dry erase board. How cool is that?

~Maddie & Sophia