We started today with 10 minutes of reading followed by a quick creative writing exercise.
We continued re-watching Spirited Away. I held a screening after school for those students who had missed the ending.
Today we reviewed the outline and the rubric for the Spirited Away essay.
We also reviewed the format of the essay. An example (using our Fever 1793 essay) is available here.
We started our day with 10-15 minutes of independent reading. We then began a writing exercise. Students were tasked with describing a place using a specific mood. Students shared their writing in partners and then with the class.
We began re-watching Spirited Away. Students had their notes out and were planning specific examples they could use to support their thesis statements.
We'll have time to work on our essays in class on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday next week. Our first draft is due Friday, February 9.
Reminder: we're just one week away from our Theatre Calgary field trip.
While students read their books, I met one-on-one with each student to make sure they have their thesis statement ready. About 2/3 of the class have a workable thesis statement that they can tweak and use for their essay. About 1/3 still need to generate their thesis statement.
We explored our writing territories. We generated a list of memories, people, places, and ideas that we can use as a go-to bank when we write in the future.
We discussed last night's homework: Portuguese ships were mentioned in The Closed Country Edict because many missionaries had come from Portugal. A whopping 3 students completed their homework last night. Thank you to Noah, Waylen, and Abdulaziz.
As a reference for your essay theme generation, I've attached photos of yesterday's brainstorming sessions from 8A and 8B.
Today we brainstormed major themes and symbolism from the film Spirited Away. Together we developed a couple thesis statements.
LA Homework: come tomorrow with 1-3 statements about the film Spirited Away.
We talked about the reasons Japan isolated itself in the 1600s. We read highlights from The Closed Country Edict.
SS Homework: why was Portugal singled out in the edict?
We finished watching Spirited Away today. Students are encouraged to think of themes they might want to explore in the essays we'll be starting next week. I'll have some topic suggestions for students who are struggling to generate their own.
We read a little and discussed a little about Japanese geography and how it may have impacted Japanese worldview. We'll continue this discussion next week.
Report cards went home today. Reminder to students: report cards are a snapshot of your achievement in a few class over the last 5 months. Report cards are not a value judgement of your worth as a person. My advice: use your report card as information you can use to plan out your next semester of learning by identifying areas where you can develop skills.
I hope everyone has a wonderful long week. Hope you have a chance to recharge those batteries. See you on Monday!
We were not able to watch Spirited Away today. Hopefully I'll be able to master this new age technology (playing a DVD) by tomorrow. =)
In preparation for our new Social Studies unit, we imagined what living on a small island would be like. We considered:
We started our week together by sharing about our weekends. We resumed our Daily 5 routine and many students used their time to study for the Renaissance final we had today. We also enjoyed some of our final student presentations of the semester.
This week, we will be starting a new unit in Social Studies: Edo Japan. We'll also be starting a film study. We will watch the Japanese animated film, Spirited Away, take notes, share ideas and opinions, and produce a written response.
Students had two more periods today to work on their poetry with the professional artists from GlobalFest. Tomorrow during periods 2 and 3, the school will gather in the gym for a celebration of learning.
Today is the last day that I can accept field trip forms. I'll have to contact Theatre Calgary and confirm our final numbers. We still need 4-5 parent volunteers to join us and enjoy a matinee performance of Twelfth Night on February 7th. If you are available to volunteer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder: Social Studies final has been moved to Monday, January 22.
Our guests from GlobalFest have increased our participation time this week which is why we had two periods with them rather than the planned one. The same will be true for Thursday: we will have two periods rather than one.
Sadly, this schedule change means we will not have time to write our Renaissance final on Thursday. Instead, we will write it on Monday, January 22.
We'll also have to finish up our presentations tomorrow and Monday. If you have not yet presented, please come prepared. =)
Also, I know some people missed today's deadline to submit their field trip forms. I talked with the folks at Theatre Calgary, and if you bring in your forms tomorrow or Thursday, I can confirm our numbers. It's going to be a fun day and I don't want anyone to miss out. Please let me know if there are any issues preventing you from getting your forms signed and returned.