Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 23 - January 27

Needless to say, the camping retreat was the buzz this week.  Our time at camp was amazing and the staff at Timberlee did a great job.  There was even snow on the ground so that we were able to toboggan, tube, and cross-country ski!  We learned a great deal about keeping a lake healthy, leather work, and blacksmithing.  The kids represented USM well – as a place where we value community, respect, and generosity.  I know that I really enjoyed the retreat myself and can't wait to do it again next year.  Enjoy a few of our pre-camping photos.

Camp Timberlee

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 16 - January 20

After much hard work, a few glue sticks, and about 140 sheets of poster board, the sixth grade Investigations projects are complete. They provide a critical glimpse into the social environment of the 1930s - the setting of Mildred Taylor's novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. To this end, the sixth graders have spent considerable time critically analyzing how various groups marginalized people of color. Jim Crow laws, racial etiquette, sharecropping, and separate but equal all enforced a type of 'legalized slavery' in the South well into the 20th Century. Much of this is quite offensive, and it is with that in mind that the students worked to develop a deeper understanding of the victims of this hate. Sometimes, particularly in the case of children, those victims are on both sides.   

Click here for more amazing examples.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 9 - January 13

Happy New Year!  We are very close to finishing Mildred Taylor's novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  It has been an amazing journey following the Logan's as they struggle to keep their land in the face of injustice.  Additionally, the students have been researching sharecropping, Jim Crow laws, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Great Depression in order to complete their Investigations reports.  It will be exciting to see the final projects on January 17th.

We are also getting ready for our Sixth Grade Retreat, January 26th and 27th.  It looks to be an exciting couple of days filled with tons of great activities.  What an amazing opportunity for us to build community and relationships.