How do you make a decision? This is one of the many reasons I love learning with middle school students every day. There is something in that prefrontal cortex! We brainstormed all of the decisions we make from sunrise to sunset. Next, I asked them to think about how a decision is made. Really break it down. What goes on in your head? Here are some of the highlights:
*I make decisions based on how I feel
*Decisions eventually come down to your moral compass
*I go with my gut
*I look at my choices, think of the outcome, what chance is it going to be a good outcome? set mind to the decision I choose
*I think of how it benefits me and others
*If I don’t study Spanish, my mom will kill me so that decision is made
*For tough decisions, I talk with other people and do pros and cons
Students get to decide what they read, where to work in the room, and what resources they need to engage in a task.
How do you make decisions in your life?
It’s so much more than 6th grade. It’s so much more than Language Arts. One can consume all the knowledge in the universe but what good is that if one cannot create? Read more about what we value at Durham Academy Middle School ~
This what you have to look forward to this year!
My Hero 6th Grade LA from Patti on Vimeo.
In our Language Arts class we drew our brain and wrote what we thought would be in it. Around that I put my Life List. My Life List has things that I want to do, places I want to go, and doing something for someone else. On my Life List I have some of the following things: go to New York, visit Hawaii, help someone in need, be on a school sports team, travel to all seven continents, own a beach house, and be someone’s hero. I choose to put those things on my Life List because if I had unlimited money and time, that is what I would try to do. Another thing that is on my brain is topics like school. I put school on my brain because school is an important part of your life, and sometimes it can determine your career. School teaches you things that you need to know in life. That is why I put my Life List and school on my brain.
This year in Language Arts class we made a Life List, and put what we wanted to do before we die. Everyone wrote one, mine had mainly things I want to do with my friends and places I wanted to travel. I really enjoyed writing mine. I would like to keep up with it and check it off later. I can’t wait to do some of the things on my Life list. I think it is a fun way to keep track of what you eventually want to do.
As we have progressed through the iPad experience, I have a new mindset about the iPads. I have realized that they are a privilege and we are lucky to have them. Although sometimes they have glitches, they have allowed us to discover new ways of learning. For example, the iPads have allowed us to access new apps and websites in a jiffy. Especially in Language Arts class. We have used so many apps and websites that have helped us through this experience a bunch. I think that the iPads have benefitted my sixth grade year way more than it didn’t and I’m so lucky to have had the chance to participate in this program.
In Language Arts class, we do Membean. Membean is a website that helps you learn new vocabulary words. I like Membean a lot because it gives me many different ways to learn the new words. I noticed that I learn best when I repeat the word and it comes back up every so often. Membean does that and the word keeps coming back up until I learn it.
We wrote the Membean developers letters. I wrote in my letter about where the “I’m done” button is and that it should be moved because it is right above the “Continue” button and sometime I hit the wrong button. The Membean team wrote back and said that they are going to move the button.
I really like Membean and I think it really helps me learn. I think other students should do it too. It is a great way to learn and it is fun too. It is fun because they have videos for when you get introduced to the word. The videos are my favorite part about Membean. Membean is a great way to learn new words and I love it.
Photo from FlickStorm
If I was in the position of the Giver in the book by Louis Lowry, I know what memory I would give up first. I would give the memory of a beach.
The beginning of the memory would start with the Receiver’s toes in the sand. Then, she would slowly, walk to the water because she would not be in any rush. Next, she would let the the tide roll over her feet. The scenery would be serene with no havoc being raised. For the rest of the memory, the Receiver would swim and relax in the ocean air.
I would choose this memory to give to the new Receiver because I would want them to experience serenity and happiness. P.S. I love the beach!!
In Language Arts class, we are reading a book called The Giver. In The Giver the receiver and The Giver take away all the bad memories from the people in the community and even some of the good memories.
If I were to give away a memory I would give away the memory of deaths in my family first. I would give away deaths in my family because watching family members pass away would be something that I wouldn’t want to keep seeing in my mind. I would rather remember the good things about them and not the memories of the being sick or in pain. When losing that memory, I would also gain the good memories of them and the good thoughts about them. I would also rather give away the bad memories before the happy ones.
If I were to give advice to a teacher this would be it: be the teacher that everyone hopes they get. For example, in my opinion, teachers should be firm, fun, and flattering.
For the firm part, teachers shouldn’t be so submissive that they would let someone get away with murder, but not so strict that a student would get in trouble for going to the bathroom without permission.
For the fun part, teachers should surprise their students once in a while. For example, my second grade teacher, every month or so after assembly, would have “the magic unicorn” visit our classroom. It would sprinkle glitter everywhere and leave a note. It would let us use our imaginations to become more creative people and allow us to have a great time in the midst of our school day.
For the flattering part, teachers should give credit to their students for doing something un-ordinarily good. That’s a reason why I like the ODA Service Awards given to students at DA Middle School that went up and beyond with their service to classmates and the community in general, nominated by teachers. In my opinion, the awards show the good side of people that you wouldn’t expect to help out.