Friday, March 30, 2012

The Roman Matrix: WSG Live!

Welcome to the Water for Sixth Grade Matrix. Be focused. Be prepared. This is our first ever "in school" WSG Live! so for you first timers, buckle up because its a wild ride. For today's computer lab day, we will be using what I call the Roman Matrix, which is a website I created to allow us a variety of activities and tasks today. Here's how it works:
1. I will give you a command or tell you to do something, which will be your task.

2. You will complete that task in a comment box on THIS BLOG POST. (The Matrix Post)

3. You will then wait for my next command, and so on.

Good Luck.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Caesar: Great Reformer or Cruel Dictator?

One of the most famous Roman leaders is Julius Caesar. He had many military conquests, which earned him respect, honor, and wealth in Rome. He became the ruler of Rome and made a lot of changes. Some people think the things Caesar did were good, others think he was out for ultimate power and fame.

The Caesar Debate Website
So, the question is: Was Caesar a Great Reformer or Cruel Dictator?
Read each side of the argument and post a comment with your OPINION. Tell me whether you think he is a reformer or dictator and support your opinion with facts.

In 6th grade, we need to start developing opinions and learning how to support them. Use your brain and think! There is no right or wrong answer. Just tell me what you think of Caesar.

DUE: Friday, March 30th. Midnight.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Day Pompeii Died

What happened in Pompeii was a tradgedy like never before seen at that time. This mountain had always been looming in the shadows as a silent member of the community. However, in 79 AD, this "mountain" turned out to be a volcano, catching all the citizens of Pompeii by surprise. When Mt. Vesuvius erupted, it was unlike anything imaginable by the people. It rained down terror and destruction without mercy for almost two days. The result was a city completely buried, and only few remaining survivors. Now, we learn about Pompeii and remember the tradgedy that it was. Pompeii is important for us because the not only did the ash destroy everything, it also sealed the city like a time capsule. It preserved everything like it was the day Pompeii died.
Listen to the story, told by a little girl who witnessed the last day and describes the tradgedy as it unfolds. Sad, yes, but that is okay. It is okay to listen to sad things once in a while, it helps us appreciate what we have in life. Remember Pompeii. Be thankful for what you have.

PS: Mt. Vesuvius erupts every 2,000 years. It erupted last in 79 AD. Add 2,000 years to that and you have 2,079. So technically, Mt. Vesuvius could erupt at any moment.......

Gladiator Showcase

The gladiators were the superstars of ancient Rome. Well, those were good. The bad gladiators didn't last very long. These gladiators would fight all sorts of different fights. Sometimes against animals, sometimes against other gladiators. A person became a gladiator 4 ways: volunteer, criminal, prisoner of war, and slave. Here is a slideshow of a some gladiators we created in class.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The tomb of the unknown soldier is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In other words, it is never left unattended. It has been guarded by the US Military for every single second since 1930. That, students, is remarkable. Here is some information about the men who guard the tomb: As the guard walks across the platform of the Tomb, he takes 21 steps, which symbolizes the 21 gun salute, which is the highest honor given to anyone. Before he starts his walk back across the tomb, he pauses for 21 seconds exactly, again symbolizing the 21 gun salute. The soldiers gloves are wet, to give them better grip on their rifle. Guards change every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (yeah, that means during the night too). For a person to be qualified to guard the tomb, they must be between 5'10" and 6'2" for height. His waist size cannot exceed 30 inches. He must commit 2 years of his life to the guard and live in barracks under the tomb. They cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives. They cannot disgrace the uniform in anyway. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin signifying they served in the Guard. There are only 400 people with the wreath pin in the US. Their shoes are specially designed with thick soles to prevent their feet from getting cold or hot. The first six months of guard duty, the men can not talk to anyone or watch TV. All their time off duty is spent studying the 175 notable people buried in Arlington National Cemetery. They must memorize who they are and where they are buried. Each day, a guard spends 5 hours getting their uniform ready. Even in 2003 when Hurricane Isabelle was approaching, the Guards refused to leave the tomb unguarded. Despite the drenching rain and high wind, they held their ground and continued to march. These truly are remarkable men.

What can you do in your life that is remarkable?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ancient Quest: "I Conquer the Colosseum"

Johnny is two coins away from saving the Tiger. He is so close, he can almost taste it. Johnny must stay focused, however, because his last two coins will be his toughest. Johnny is now in ancient Rome, the place where he killed the Tiger six years ago. He was only in sixth grade then, and had no other choice than to kill the Tiger or he would have surely been killed himself. Johnny knows that his task must be waiting for him where this all began: the Colosseum. He will enter a gladiator tournament and face off against the most brutal gladiators in all of Italy. Johnny is going into the tournament with a lot more on the line than his life. Will he succeed? Read to find out.

Read: "I Conquer the Colosseum"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rome: Guess that Picture!

Make your own drawings at SketchfuMore from this artist at SketchfuShare this drawing from Sketchfu
Learn how to draw cartoons, comics, and anime at Sketchfu!

Can you figure out what these pictures are? They all relate to Rome. This might be challenging because my drawing skills are quite poor. Nonetheless, good luck. I hope you are up to the challenge. Answers will be revealed in the future......

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roman Numeral Battle Preparation

Roman Numerals are used in many places in today's world. The picture attached to this blog post shows one example. Each year, the Super Bowl logo uses roman numerals to show what number of Super Bowl it is. This is a logo from Super Bowl 42. Roman numerals are also used on watches, clocks, chapter numbers, are in movie credits. Can you think of other examples of how roman numerals are used in our world? In social studies, we are going to attempt to learn how to write and read roman numerals. On Friday, we will have a Roman Numeral battle for our Social Studies league. You will work as a team to try to get the highest percent correct. Your job is simple: do your part to help your team by learning how to translate roman numerals. The more students in your class that answer roman numeral questions correctly, the better your classes chances are. Below, I have attached some practice for you. Go through them and then check your answers with the answer key. I have also attached a website that will help you figure out the translations. For the battle, you will have no translation help, just what you know in your brain. So, put in the practice time. Get prepared. Do your part to help your team. They are counting on you.
1. 56
2. 32
3. 98
4. 411
5. 609

Assignment: Gladiator Trading Cards

Welcome to the Arena. Lebron James? No. Kobe Bryant? No. Joe Mauer? No. In ancient Rome, these people are nobody. These people are nothing special. For the Roman world, the Gladiator reigned supreme as the "top-dog" in the athletic arena. The gladiator was the super star. What happens to star athletes when they lose? The answer: NOTHING. If a gladiator lost, what would happen to them? The answer: death. The stakes were much higher for the gladiator than the sports stars of today. The gladiator of the Colosseum in Rome fought for freedom and for their life. A popular hobby is to collect trading cards of sports super stars. What if there were gladiator trading cards? Wouldn't that be interesting? Well, there haven't been any gladiator trading cards dug up by archaeologists, so it appears it is up to us to make some. So, let us begin and make Gladiator trading cards.

*Read the instructions on the details of this assignment.

*Website to help you research: Gladiator Index

*Examples from last year: Click Here

DUE: Friday, March 23rd, 2012.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Charity Winner is....

The Make-A-Wish foundation has been selected as the charity for the 2012 Wax Museum donation. This is the third year in a row the Make A Wish foundation has been selected. This is a very worthy foundation that grants kids their ultimate wish. The 6th grade of Brandon Valley is proud to partnered with Make A Wish again this year. Though raising money for this charity is NOT the main reason we do the Wax Museum, it is part of what makes this project so dynamic and gives us a chance to make a difference in someone's life. Through hard work, we will make a positive impact, something we can feel good about, not just getting a letter grade, but something truly meaningful. Once again, congratulations to the Make A Wish foundation for being selected as the 2012 Wax Museum charity.

Top 3 Charities:
1. Make A Wish
2. Humane Society
3. Special Olympics

Thank you for voting!

Blog Book #1: Roads

Roads? Aren't roads kinda boring? Don't they just sit there on top of the earth and do nothing but provide a path for people to travel? Yes, that's basically what a road does. However, in Rome, that seemingly simple task was extremely important. Because of the vastness of the Roman Empire, roads were extremely important because the military, emperor, and others needed to be able to travel throughout the empire easily. With roads, the entire Roman empire was connected. The Romans built a lot of roads. Not only did they build a lot, but they also built GOOD roads. They revolutionized the way roads were built, taking it from a dirt path, to an actual road. For this blog book activity, you are going to learn about how the Romans made their roads. Simply click the link to see what the layers of the Roman road were, then label the activity in your blog book.
The picture you see is an image of the Appian Way, the most famous Roman road ever made.

In your Blog Book, you will complete two tasks for the "Roads" section.
1. *Click Here to see the different layers of the Roman Road. Use the picture to label the layers of the Road in your blog book.
2. Somewhere else on the Roads page, write down the following information:
*Appian Way: most famous Roman Road
*Roads important because they connected the huge Roman Empire.
*Romans needed a lot of roads so their military could travel quickly.
*Roman roads had a modern look: gutters and road signs.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wax Museum Program Cover Contest

In 2010, when the Wax Museum made its debut in Brandon Valley, I designed the cover to the official Wax Museum program myself. In 2011, I decided to open it up to the students and had a contest to see who could design the best cover for our big night. The Wax Museum programs are very important and are used by everybody at our show. In the program, it tells our visitors how the process works, who everybody is and where they can be found. It also gives me a chance to thank some very special people that helped along the way. These programs are professionally printed. The cover is the first thing people see when they pick up the program, so it must be eye catching. We must do our best to design the best cover possible. Last year, Kate Forster won the contest and along with it, world wide fame. Who will it be this year? Maybe you.....

Cover Design Entry DUE: March 30th

Winner Announced: April 2nd

websites to help with Designs:

I can't wait to see all the creativity...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ancient Rome Detective

Your time in Ancient Rome is not over yet. Before you leave ancient Rome, you will become a detective and try to figure out what the ancient Rome item is based on the clues given to you. In the above slide show, read the clues and try to figure out what they are talking about. Luckily, you caught a break in this case because you found the one website that contains all of the "suspects." The website is RIGHT HERE. Use the clues and search the website to find the answers.
IMPORTANT: You may post a comment with your answers OR just write them on a piece of paper.
DUE: Friday, March 16th.
Points: 20 points.
Good Luck, detective.

Ancient Rome: "You Are There"

Vini. Vedi. Vici. Translated, that means "I came, I saw, I conquered." Hopefully, that is what you will be saying after you complete the Ancient Rome adventure: "You Are There." You traveled back to the Stone Age with one goal: to survive. You faced many challenges and obstacles throughout your time there. You faced many decisions that shaped your adventure. Now, you must use what you learned from that experience because you are going back to the ancient world. This time, though, it will not be neanderthals and sabre tooth cats to deal with, but the Roman Empire. Can you survive? Can you make good decisions that allow you to be successful? You have two objectives: 1. complete the game with positive points. 2. Reach the maximum amount of points which is: 110 points
This WSG Entertainment production will test your decision making abilities and push you to the limit. Johnny Rawten gets to time warp to every civilization. But he can not help you with this one. You are on your own, with only your wits as your weapon. Good Luck!

HERE to play the game: Ancient Rome: You Are There

Want to be a "You Are There" expert? Then answer the bonus questions below with a comment.
Bonus Questions
#1. What type of food do patricians eat?
#2. What is a Eques gladiator?
#3. Where do charioteers race their chariots?
#4. What is the Forum?
#5. What is the Pantheon used for?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Welcome to Ancient Rome

We have entered Ancient Rome. This video will give you a glimpse into this wild and exciting ancient world. Greece may have Zeus, but Rome has GLADIATORS! We will be covering many different and interesting topics as we move our way through the Rome unit. Watch the video above and experience Rome!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Water for Sixth Grade is Resting, for now....

We are in a transition period. We have finished Greece but not yet started Rome. We have been focusing on our scrapbook the last few days, making good progress. Soon, we will begin ancient Rome. This is our 7th ancient civlization unit of the school year. We have eight total, which clearly shows us that we are rapidly approaching the end of our time together. However, don't search for the light at the end of the tunnel just yet because we have some big things still ahead of us. During this transition time, Water for Sixth Grade has been resting. It needs its rest because it will be relied upon heavily in the ancient Rome unit. WSG will be without a doubt your number one advantage in being successful in ancient Rome. So, this week, as the Blog gets some rest, you too need to get some rest and get rejuvenated for a big unit. Ancient Rome is a place like no other we have studied yet. Greece has mythology, but Rome has so much more. We will work our way through Gladiators, roman mythology, Pompeii, Colosseum, emperors, republic, Christianity, Punic Wars, and perhaps have an adventure or two. We will see the return of BlueMan, but also experience some new things as well. Ancient Rome: Buckle up. Boom.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spotlight: Cerberus

Meet the Cerberus. This ghastly looking animal is a three-headed dog. With vicious teeth and snakes for a tail, this creature would not be one you would want to meet in a dark alley. The Cerberus is the watch dog of the underworld, essentially making him Hades pet. The three heads of the Cerberus represents the past, present, and future. Some believe the three heads represent birth, youth, and old age.  However, one thing is certain about the Cerberus, each of the three heads crave only live meat. Cerberus would watch the entrance, not allowing any of Hades' subjects to leave. The wild Cerberus was captured by Hercules in the last of his 12 labors. Cerberus is also a character in Ancient Quest. In Chapter 7, Johnny fights the Cerberus, along with a Chimera and cyclops.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

If the World was 100 people...

Interesting look at our world. What if the world was 100 people? What would we have? This video breaks down the over 7 billion people on this earth and shows us what it would be like if there were only 100 people. The breakdown of what those 100 people would be like is quite interesting. Check out the video and give it some thought. Also, don't be afraid from time to time to think about the world outside the walls of Brandon. After all, there is more out there. A lot more.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Greece Test Aid: Wall Wisher

Good Luck on your Ancient Greece test today. I feel confident that you will all do great. Whether you get an A, or B or C, as long as you try your best, that is all I ask for. If your "best" is a C, then you have nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes we feel too much pressure by those letter grades. True, letter grades are not going anywhere, but I like to grade based on effort. I like to see students try as hard as they can. So, as you begin your Greece test, do the best you can and the letter grade will take care of itself. Also, keep in mind that doing the best you can also means studying and preparing for a test, so if you didn't put in any time studying, then can you really say you tried your best? I don't think so.
Be Confident and dominate this test. Good Luck.
Below are the Virtual Walls for each class period. Each wall will only be open for that class period. You may post ONE piece of information on the virtual wall for the class to use during the test. I will let you know when they are all approved and on the wall.

Period 3----Period 4----Period 6----Period 8----Period 9

Thank you for your continued effort and enthusiasm as we learn about the ancient world. BlueMan also thanks you.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

WSG Live! Ancient Greece

WSG Live! is back. This time, we will focus on ancient Greece as we study together in a live chat session. The goal is to have a half hour of discussion, question/answering, and sharing all for one purpose: to dominate the ancient Greece test. Please, join me for this very beneficial thirty minutes of time. I do not use my valuable time on things I do not feel will help you. So, for me to do this, it means I believe that this study session will in fact be very beneficial to you. As we study together tonight, you might also want to check out some of the Silent Review videos posted. There are no ediscio cards because the site is not working properly but the videos are even better. Instead of only 20 flashcards, we have 5 videos that have every question in them somewhere. Take advantage of what I provide for you! You do not want to miss out. I look forward to the very exciting and engaging LIVE chat session. Good luck and I will see you there.

WSG Live! Ancient Greece: 8:00-8:30 TONIGHT!

Be there.