Thursday, August 30, 2012

The 174 Project

I would like to introduce you to a project that is brand new this year. It is called The 174 Project. I have not done this before so I am looking forward to having this new venture to work on. What is the 174 Project exactly? It is a year long effort to document my social studies class through pictures/captions. On the 174 Project page above, you will find the slide show of the pictures of the days of school we have had so far. Only school days are included in the 174 Project. Now that I have an iPhone, this project will be much easier to work on! 
Perhaps you would like to do your own 174 Project? That would be awesome and I highly encourage it. I think doing this will help us to see and remember some of the important things going on in Social Studies. To view the 174 Project, click the Page at the top called "The 174 Project." 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go

"Oh, the Places You'll Go" isn't just a famous Dr. Seuss book. It's also the name of your first REAL post that you will get points for. Week #2: Time for the real thing. We are going to brush up on our geography skills this week, with a focus on different types of maps, map elements, and physical features. We need these skills as we move throughout the Ancient world because we will be looking at maps, looking at physical features, and looking at borders quite often. So, for our mini-geography unit, we are going to talk about "geography" in  your own life. So, the moment is here. Your first real task. See below.
1. Where were you born?
2. Tell me about one cool places you have visited in your life. 
3. Tell me about one cool place that you WANT to visit but havn't yet. 
4. Tell me where you want to live when you grow up. 

DUE DATE: Friday, August 31st at midnight.

That is it. Simple task, huh? Yes, it is but you have to remember to do it!!! The number one reason why kids don't do blog assignments is that they forget! So write it down and get it taken care of. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Major Milestone: 200,000 All-Time hits

Earlier this week, Water for Sixth Grade hit a major milestone in its 4 year history: 200,000 hits. This is a lot of hits and the point of posting this on WSG is to show you what you are a part of. For 4 years, students have been blogging, learning, creating, reviewing, and collaborating on Water for Sixth Grade. WSG didn't reach 200,000 hits just by my efforts alone. Much of the credit goes to the students that have passed through my room in the last four years. It is the effort of the students that continues to make this blog a powerful tool. Students have been using it to help them in social studies. Students have been posting interesting, poignant, insightful comments that are read and shared by others. I put a lot of work into this website but so do you! And for that, I thank my former students. To this year's 6th graders, it is your responsibility to continue blogging and putting forth your best efforts with this website. Ask those who have passed through my class and they should tell you that this website does help. It provides anything and everything that you would need for my class, and more. So, as we commemorate the 200,000 hits milestone, think about your responsibility as you are now a part of this website. I so look forward to working with you on Water for Sixth Grade.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lino It!

iPad day #2 is going to put the iPads back into your (clean) hands and allow you to do more creating. We practiced using Socrative yesterday and found much success in using that app. Today, we shall attempt Lino, which is an app that allows you, the student, to do more creating. I think its awesome when my students create stuff, and I think Lino will be one of the many great tech tools that will allow us to do that. Here's the deal with Lino: Imagine a giant cork board. It is blank. Your task is to fill it up and create a Lino board representing the ancient world.  For your tools, you  have virtual sticky notes and any pictures that you need.
Your Task:
1. After reading/skimming the Ancient World article, post a comment telling me what 2 ancient worlds sound the most interesting to you, and WHY.
2. Create a Lino board with the Lino app. Instructions to be delivered in class.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

WSG Meets the iPad

Today we will be working with iPads. This is the first year we have had the opportunity to use iPads, so I thought we should get right to it. We are going to attempt 2 or 3 activities on the iPads today so we can get used to using them, practice some of the things we will be doing "for real" once we get into our ancient worlds. I hope you are excited. I think iPads are cool but we need to make sure we figure out the best/most effecient/most beneficial way to use them. So today we are going to try "Socrative" and "Lino" (along with WSG, of course.) 
Today's iPad Tasks: 
1. Socrative activity to review FIRST WEEK Material 
2. Use Lino to organize some "interests" of the Ancient World. 
3. Post a comment on WSG: 
 "On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you working with iPads? Do you have one at home? What types of specific things do you usually do on them?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ancient World Highlights Prezi

Learn how to use WSG through YouTube

Welcome to Water for Sixth Grade

Water for Sixth Grade is a Three Headed Monster: Thinking, Reading, Writing. Water for Sixth Grade is your most important site for 6th grade social studies. Not facebook, not youtube, not poptropica and not google. It is Water for Sixth Grade (WSG). I created this site four years ago and it has continued to grow and improve since. It has become a very powerful and helpful website for my social studies students. This website will help you to create, share, review, learn, interact and improve your computer skills. This site will contain everything we do in class such as assignments, activities, and review tools. Miss something becuase you were gone from school? Find it on WSG. Went to fast in class? Use WSG to get caught up. You will all become Water for Sixth Grade experts soon, but before that can happen, we need to learn all about it. 
**Click HERE for some WSG Statistics
**Click HERE for your Task List 
**Click HERE for examples of WSG activities
**Click HERE for the Ancient World Highlights Prezi 
**Click HERE for YouTube video on how to use WSG
**Click HERE for Prezi on how to use WSG

Practice Post Writing Prompt:
1. Where did you go to Elementary school? 
2. Who was your favorite elementary teacher? Why? 
3. What is the thing you will remember MOST from elementary school? 
4. What was the #1 highlight of your summer?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Welcome to the Ancient Civilization Experience

August 20th, 2012: the first day of middle school. For 45 minutes each day, you will be with me, Mr. Klumper, in social studies. In 6th grade, we learn about the Ancient World. I am willing to bet that most of you do not know that much about the ancient world. Well, that shall change. I was never that interested in ancient civilizations. That is, until I started learning about them. I think it is so fascinating to learn about the ancient past. To see where this world came from, to discover new and exciting things about past cultures. So many crazy and unbelievable things happened in the ancient world and I can not wait to share them with you. So, for 45 minutes per day, for 174 days, we will be experienceing the ancient world together. Learning from one another, sharing with one another. Here are the 8 ancient worlds we will be learning about: (in this order) Stone Age, Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient China, ancient India, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and the Medieval Times. We will be learning about the ancient world in a variety of ways: Water for Sixth Grade, BlueMan, Johnny Rawten, Ancient Quest, projects, simulations, reading, writing, speaking, creating and a LOT of technology. 
To go along with our ancient civilization learning, we will also be doing the Wax Museum. This will be the fourth year in which the Wax Museum has taken place at BVMS and I am excited to see what we come up with. This will be the one lasting memory you will have of your time in middle school. You will never, ever forget the Wax Museum. 
Finally, I say Welcome! I am looking forward to getting to know you and helping you reach your full potential. 
-Mr. Klumper
Water for Sixth Grade President

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

What will you do with your last week?

August 13th. Monday morning. The start of your last week of summer vacation. How will you spend it? My suggestions: 

1. start thinking about school 
2. Do some reading 
3. Go to bed early and get up early
4. Go to school and check your locker 
5. Make sure you have your supplies ready 
6. Play outside and enjoy the nice weather 
7. Check your attitude about school and adjust it if necessary. 

 With the onset of another new school year, you have an opportunity to start fresh. If you have struggled in the best with your attitude and work ethic in school, this is your time to turn that around. School will take you anywhere you want to go. You want to be successful right? Yes, the answer is yes, of course. Nobody wants to be a loser. School will make you successful. If you try hard in school, do your work, keep and open mind, and have a good attitude, there is a 100% chance that you will be successful in life. It's cool to work hard at school. It's cool to take it seriously. It's cool to have a good attitude about school. Those that say otherwise are lying. Those that say otherwise are in for a rude awakening when they get older and realize I was right. So, with your last week of summer vacation, get focused. Get ready to have a productive and meaningful year. You are working towards your future.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Last Day of Shingling

Tomorrow (Friday) is my last day of shingling for the summer. After tomorrow, I will be in full school mode, getting ready for my 7th year of teaching. The last day of shingling, signaling the end of summer, is always very bitter-sweet. I am excited to meet a new batch of 6th graders. I am excited to do some new things with ancient civilization. I am excited to start the football season with my 8th graders, I am looking forward to working in air conditioning, and I am a little tired. However, I will miss my crew greatly. I will miss working outside. I will miss the physical nature of shingling. I will miss summer and the freedom/relaxation it brings. I think it is unfair how fast summer went this year. It's crazy to think that another year of school is only days away. Where does time go? Is there anything we can do to slow down time? I am not sure. But I do know that with how fast time goes, make sure you take advantage of your opportunities and get the most out of life as possible. Don't waste your time being mad or irritated. Don't spend your days "wishing" things, instead, make them happen. You, whoever you are, are in control of your life. You are in control of the decisions you make. So, when I wake up tomorrow and put on my shingling shorts and shoes, I will be thinking about summer, and looking forward to another school year that is upon us. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

No Excuses

His name is Oscar Pistorius. He is from South Africa. He was born without a fibular in both legs, resulting in double amputation at the knee. A few days ago, in the London Olympics, Oscar took second place in his 400 meter (one lap around the track) heat race with a time of 45.44.  He qualified for the semifinals, in which he will race against the best 400 meter runners in the world. He runs on two carbon fibre blades. His story is truely amazing. He has had to overcome not having legs from the knees down. Most would feel sorry for themselves for having their legs amputated. Most would use their amputation as an excuse for not reaching their goals, or doing what they want in life. Even those who have perfectly fine legs find excuses for not reaching their goals and doing what they want. Oscar is not like most people. We can learn a lot from watching him. Oscar didn't let his amputation stop him (or slow him down) from doing what he wants. He simply focused and overcame an immense obstacle. He didn't use his amputations as an excuse. So, look at Oscar. He is a role model for all of us. He shows us that if we want something bad enough, we can do it, no matter what stands in our way.  

Watch Oscar Pistorius Here

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Guest Post on FreeTech4Teachers

Last week I had the awesome opportunity to contribute a guest blog post to the site: FreeTech4Teachers. It's a blog maintained by Richard Byrne, who is on the cutting edge of technology in education. I am very excited and appreciative that he included my guest blog post. 

Read it here: Website on Steroids: Creating a Powerful Blog