Friday, February 26, 2016

Emmanuel's Gift: HOPE

We are getting towards the denouement of our remarkable documentary Emmanuel's Gift. In watching, we are preparing for our SYNTHESIS ESSAY for the upcoming week, as we combine the theme of Emmanuel's Gift with the theme from The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis to create a BRAND NEW IDEAS about what matters most in life.

Here is the link to our synthesis essay assignment.

Our word of the day from Wednesday was NEFARIOUS which means having a desire to hurt; wicked; evil. And our word of the day for today is RUMINATE which means to think deeply.

Today in class, we also crafted some possible thematic statements fro Emmanuel's Gift, and you came up with great examples such as: The theme in Emmanuel's Gift is that one must always keep pushing forward even when it seems or feels impossible. 

Another example from class is: The theme in Emmanuel's Gift is that because society calls one 'disabled' does not make a verdict that one is unable.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness and excitement today.

Have an awesome weekend!


Mr. Reynolds

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Synthesis Essay!

We're digging deeper into SYNTHESIS today! Yesterday, we created fascinating, powerful, and sometimes silly tales about how two random objects could be synthesized to create a new narrative.

Today, we took the leap from our objects into the realm of ideas. Here is the SYNTHESIS ESSAY assignment which we explored in class today. 

After reviewing the new project, we then began screening our documentary entitled Emmannuel's Gift

Our word of the day for today is ASTUTE, which means wise; having the ability to make good choices.

Have an awesome day!


Mr. R

Monday, February 22, 2016

It's All About Synthesis!

Today in class we are jumping in to the realm of SYNTHESIS! This is an awesome skill that involves combining two or more ideas to make a brand new idea! Instead of comparing and contrasting, synthesis uses both ideas (or objects, or events, or...anything!) to create something new that did exist before.

One great way to think about synthesis is the following:

A + B = C

Instead of comparing A and B, we are combining them together to make something brand new: C! 

Today you each received two strange objects from the mystery bag and had to combine the objects together to create a story that is dependent on both of them--a new C! I loved hearing your stories!

For tonight, be sure to share in the comments below an example of SYNTHESIS in the natural world or in your daily life.


Mr. R

Friday, February 12, 2016

Socratic Seminar: Fear or Love?

Today we had our second Socratic Seminar of the year, and you all did an amazing job of sharing powerful and insightful ideas to our four questions based around the themes from our novel The Breadwinner.

Here is a snapshot of the four questions we explored:

I loved listening to your opinions, evidence-based claims, and your personal experiences. And even though it was hard for me to bite my tongue and remain silent, you all taught me a lot and I am glad for this chance!

Our word of the day yesterday was EMBARK, which means to begin a project or journey.

Have an awesome break!


Mr. R

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fear as a Form of Power?

Today, we are exploring how people can wield fear to gain or maintain power, as The Taliban does in our novel The  Breadwinner. First, we did a Quick Write to explore the question: Is fear always bad, or does it serve a good purpose as well?

We then had a discussion / debate regarding the uses of and interpretation of fear. You all shared powerful ideas and experiences of how fear can be a helpful, cautionary, or even inspiring thing--yet also how it can condemn and destroy.

We then connected to our text and the Taliban's use of fear as a form of control.

Our word of the day today is TACITURN, which means silent by habit. It is a synonym for another of our words, laconic.

For homework tonight, be sure to read Chapter 10 in The Breadwinner (only four pages!) and review for our vocab quiz tomorrow on the following five words: THEME, FALLACY, VOCIFEROUS, VOCATION, LUGUBRIOUS.

Have an awesome rest of your day, and peace!

Mr. R

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rhythm & Retention

Today we are venturing out from school and into the field to make music. Using a diverse mix of percussion instruments, we are translating the work we did yesterday on thematic statements into actual musical movements that correlate to The Breadwinner.

I am loving hearing your musical creativity and seeing how you tie in Deborah Ellis's message in the novel to the musical themes you create to match it.

Here is the project overview of the Rhythm & Retention musical mission that we've worked on yesterday and are continuing today. 

This past Monday, we did a prediction-oriented writing activity where you each tried to write Chapter 4 from The Breadwinner from the point of view of a character in the story--inferring what may happen next. Here is the link to that creative writing mission. 

Our word of the day from yesterday was THEME, which refers to both the subject / big idea of a novel, song, or film AND the author's message in any of these (the thematic statement is often how the author's message is characterized). 

And our word of the day from Tuesday was FALLACY, which means a mistake in thinking or logic as in this sentence: when I thought that people who drove mini-vans were criminals, that was a fallacy from my five-year old days.

Have an awesome day!


Mr. R

Monday, February 1, 2016

Empathy and Imagination

Today in class, we explored the courage and boldness in Parvana's mother as she storms into the Taliban-ruled jail shouting vociferously, "Give me my husband!" This kind of courage is beautiful for us to behold--and it inspires us deeply.

We also read a section aloud from the book Kids of Kabul, detailing the pursuit of 14 year old Faranoz to learn to read.

Then, we jumped into a creative writing activity whereby you each began to create your own narrative for what will occur in Chapter 4. Here is the creative writing mission if you were absent or you need it again. 

For tonight, be sure to read Chapter 4 in The Breadwinner (pp. 44-62). Our word of the day today is VOCIFEROUS, which means loud and shouting or crying out.


Mr. R