Light Bulbs

We made a light bulb! A small group of students assembled a light bulb this week. Despite the repeated failures of my model, the students were able to get theirs to work for over a minute. After their initial success, they began experimenting with the amount of filament (graphite) to determine whether or not that would prolong the glow. Next week, they will teach the rest of the class.

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Genius Hour

“What might happen if schools made room for students to build at least part of their programs of study around their own interests or questions–every year they are in school starting in first grade, create a steady connection between their curiosity and what goes on in school?”

This week, we dedicated an hour towards independent student projects. Each student selected a skill that they were passionate about and wanted to develop. Some chose to work individually while others took a more collaborative approach. They couldn’t wait to begin building model planes, designing imaginary buildings or new games, making jewelry from recycled materials, knitting a scarf or baking.

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Out of Eden – Following Our Ancestors Out of Africa

Paul Salopek is a journalist for National Geographic who has embarked on a 7-year trek around the world where he will trace our ancestors journey out of Africa. He will be completing much of this journey on foot as he encourages readers to slow down and notice the hidden connections between local and global stories. Our class has joined a “walking party” where we will be learning more about Paul’s journey and sharing our ideas with other classrooms across the country and globe. Not only will we be learning through Paul’s travels, but we will be asked to think about the connections we can make between local and global stories, as well as the past and its effect on the present.

Part of this exploration has involved examining some of the various milestones of our species both before and after they embarked on their journey out of Africa, including mastery of fire, the introduction of agriculture and cave paintings in Lascaux. We are working on stop-motion animation videos highlighting some of these milestones. These will be incorporated into an interactive map that will hang outside of our classroom using the Aurasma app.