Eruption of Learning in 7th Grade Geography Class
Mrs. Bauer’s classroom has had a crazy-busy year thus far. With the students having access to their own computers and the new educational resource Chalkup implemented, it has taken the classroom walls down. Chalkup has become a major resource for the students to obtain their classroom materials (Power Point notes, extra course handouts, etc.), know what is currently due for that day (assignments, projects, vocabulary flashcards), and to find out what will be discussed in the coming days (assignments, Power Point notes, quizzes, tests, etc.) for all of the classes she teaches.
Besides Chalkup, the students have also enjoyed watching the Student News for the day in all of her history classes. This is a kid-friendly news report done by CNN that recaps current events around the world. This has not only heightened their awareness of events happening within the world but it also has taught them about the different cultures and people that make it up too.
With their computers as their guides, they have been able to break down the walls of the classroom and visit far off places or visit places not yet charted. The 6th graders were able to tour the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt in present-day time, and were able to move outside and inside the pyramid. The 8th graders will be exploring the world wars using on-line resources that allow them to go beyond the classroom to explain the depth of differences
that caused war to commence. The 7th
graders in science have been allowed to explore the Earth but the computers don’t always guide them in a way they would like. Instead, they have used food to explore the depths of the Earth all the way to the layers of the plates that we live on. They were told to “play” with their food to get the full understanding of how different Earth Science aspects work and in the end, they get the bonus of eating their discovery (no matter how messy they are). The 7th graders explored the earth a little more last week; they built volcanoes. They had learned about the 3 different types of volcanoes and their eruptions, the information led to the building and further understanding of the volcano. They got to pick which one of the three that they wanted to build and research it. When the projects were finished each student presented their volcano to the class.
These are just a few of the beginnings of our wall-less classroom explorations. The future is bright and filled with wonder of where we will next explore.