Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Is it better to give or receive?

With the holiday season here many people will be giving and receiving gifts from family and friends. As we begin to think about what it means to give and receive gifts, write an opinion essay to explain your thoughts on whether giving or receiving is better.

Monday, November 18, 2013

What are you thankful for?

We have been working hard the past weeks on writing personal essays. These essays allow us to share our opinion while also providing some reasons and examples to support our claim. As we get close to Thanksgiving, why not use our writing skills to share about the things in our lives that we are thankful for.

There are a couple of guidelines:
1. Please write in the same format as you have been writing your personal essays.
2. Please select at least three things you are thankful for that are NOT material things (examples: video games, shoes, toys, iPads, or anything else you can buy.)
3. Write your response in Google Drive first and then post it here!

We look forward to hearing what you are thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Colorado Geography

The past weeks we have been working with maps and globes to help understand the geography of earth and our state. When you think about the geography of Colorado, what types of features come to mind. Colorado is known for its mountains but there are many other physical features that make the state unique. Please use your knowledge of Colorado's geography and places you have visited and write a short review about why people should come to Colorado. You can watch the video below to help you with some possible attractions! You can also click the link to look at the Colorado Vacation Guide!

You might start your post by writing: Colorado is a wonderful place to visit because...

Please use proper punctuation, capitalization and spelling. Write your post in Google Docs first and then paste it into the blog.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Should Beluga whales be put into aquariums?

With so many Earth Day articles about preserving the Earth, we came across the Debate article from Time For Kids about whether or not the Atlanta Aquarium should be allowed to purchase fourteen Beluga whales. Some folks say that whales should be kept in their natural environment because they have the space to roam freely. Other people believe that part of preserving a species is to educate people about them. Beluga whales live in the the cold water biomes found in the Artic Ocean. Alaska is the only U.S. state that has Beluga whales as part of its habitat. What do you think?

Do you think Beluga whales should be purchased for aquariums? Why or Why Not?

Use at least three supporting reasons to support your thinking. Check your capitalization and spelling as well.

Friday, March 1, 2013

BYOT Guidelines


As the year has progressed, I have noticed that many of you have brought your Kindles, Nooks, tablets, iPod Touches and many other personal devices to school. We have talked as a class about the responsibility that comes with being a digital citizen. We have also talked about the negative aspects of bringing a device to school, such as theft and damage to the device. Yet, you have not heard me (Mr. Watanabe) discourage or tell anyone to leave the devices at home. The reason why I have not discourage these devices is because they are an avenue to help you learn.

We have been using netbooks for much of our reading, writing, math, and science activities. The devices such as the Kindle Fire allow for you access the same websites and log-in to Khan Academy accounts and Google Drive. So, in the mind of the teacher, as long as you are continuing to learn with the resources that we have provided, then you can use whichever device you choose.

How can BYOT work for us?
Students who want to Bring Your Own Technology, (BYOT) can do so with some guidelines and structure.

The first guideline is that Mr. Watanabe has to approve the device you are bringing. This is because some devices do not have the same capabilities as the netbooks that are provided for every student. If your device does not support the website or application needed for the assignment, you will need to switch to a netbook to complete the assignment.

The second guideline is that the student is responsible for the care and condition of the device. Mr. Watanabe does allow for students to securely store devices along with the netbooks in a secured cart or teacher's desk. However, your device is ultimately your's and you are responsible for anything that happens to it.

The third guideline is that at any time if you are using your device for unintended or inappropriate purposes, such as non-educational games or video, your device will be confiscated and given to a parent.

This is quite amazing that you are willing to bring your own devices to school and understand that these devices can be a vital part of your learning. Remember that your first job in school is to learn and grow, please allow your devices to be a tool to help you with this job, not a distraction.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Is it time for a change?

We read about the possibility of the U.S. government taking the penny out of circulation. From our reading we learned that for every penny that is made by the U.S. Mint the cost is 2 cents. Take a few moments and share your opinion about whether the penny should be taken out of circulation. Be sure the include several reasons to support your opinion.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Should Kids Play Contact Sports?

Sports are a huge part of kids lives today in America. Many of you play multiple sports and often spend more time practicing for your sport than doing homework. In the recent article in Time For Kids, we read both sides of a debate over whether kids under 14 should play contact sports. We are also learning about how to share opinions in writing.

Take some time to think about the question: Should kids under 14 play contact sports?

You will then write a short explanation of your opinion, using at least three reasons to support your opinion. Please be sure use strong word choice, punctuation and capitalization. Also, be sure to revise and edit your writing prior to posting.

Other Links to Articles:
Kids Health on Concussions