Do my drawings show an imaginative progression from the original clay shoe?
When the self-assessment was completed it was followed by written teacher comments, encouragement and suggestions for improvement. The whole
community has enjoyed seeing these projects on display.
In the month of December, the sixth grade Spanish class practiced their grammar, writing, and oral skills with a fun theme in mind—the
holiday season. We began the month by comparing and contrasting the customs of various cultures for the holidays as we learned about
the differing traditions of Argentina, Mexico, and the United States. In studying the Navidad of Hispanic culture, the students were
able to use their musical sides throughout the month in learning and performing typical holiday songs such
as “Jingle Bells” (“Cascabel, Cascabel”), “Deck the Halls” (“Navidad, Navidad”), and the famous “Feliz Navidad”.
Besides this, the students were eager to learn new vocabulary words dealing with the holiday season, and they reinforced these new words
in a fun way through games like bingo, hangman, and charades. They also used the new vocabulary to design their own holiday crossword
puzzles. For their final assignment, the students practiced their written skills by writing a Spanish essay regarding their favorite
aspect of the joyous holidays and how they personally celebrate them at home with their families. The students also used their writing
to perfect their pronunciation skills as they read the essays aloud to the class. It was entertaining for them to see how the class
members differed from each other in their holiday traditions and preferences.
Grade 7 [top]
This just in…seventh graders at Fox River Country Day School have just finished an exciting lesson on 1920’s-era radio broadcasts.
During their study of American history, the seventh grade students have enjoyed following the development of technology
through history and its impact on turn of the century America. The radio unit culminated with writing and recording a unique radio show.
Students were given creative license to come up with a five-minute show that included many elements.
Characters and an engaging story line were essential as well as sound effects and catchy commercials that reflected the time
period. The students put a lot of effort into their radio projects, from writing their imaginative stories and commercials, to coming
up with their own unique sound effects. Recording day found the students nervous and excited. The Social Studies room was full of
great props including a “half door” (a prop used in real radio shows) as well as microphones and a lit “On The Air” sign!
Grade 8 [top]
Design your own experiment
The premise for this Grade 8 science lesson:
Substances react chemically with other substances in characteristic ways, to form new substances called compounds that have different
After using the scientific method throughout the lower and middle school grades, students in Grade 8 take part in projects meant to
show their competency with the scientific method. During this project, students design their own experiment and test the physical
properties of matter as an introduction to our chemistry unit.
Each pair of students chose three different brands of a product such as different brands of laundry detergent, diapers, and paper towels
and tested certain characteristic properties. From this information they decided which characteristic properties were the best to test
in order to determine which brand was the best product to use in our homes.
Next they developed and clarified questions and hypotheses that guided their scientific investigations. Then they designed and conducted
scientific investigations to test their hypotheses. Once they
completed the testing of these products, they organized, analyzed, validated
and displayed their data using mathematics and technology. Each pair of students wrote a scientific explanation and conclusion, using logic
and evidence and compiled and reported these findings to the class on a visual display.
Through this activity, the students used complex thinking and problem solving skills to decide which products and characteristic properties
to test, how to test them, and ways to communicate these findings in a meaningful way with the rest of the class.
Middle school students at Fox River are active and engaged in the study of literature. While reading Lord
of the Flies, students discover and appreciate the subtleties of figurative language: foreshadowing, negative imagery, extended metaphor, and
After familiarizing themselves with the novel and its nuances, they are ready to be contestants on . . . Lord of the Flies Survivor.
This activity allows students to show off their depth of knowledge about the novel. They are organized into groups and must complete many
challenges in order to avoid being voted off the island. Activities include: being able to draw an accurate map of the island, re-writing song
lyrics that incorporate literary devices (my favorite was a rendition of Britney Spears’ “Lucky,” in which the lyrics were changed from “why
do these tears come at night” to “why do these spears come at night”), a game of spear-ball (like dodgeball, but played with swimming pool
noodles), and more. Through these activities, students enrich their understanding of the text as well as their cooperation skills.