This Week’s News

Last Friday, students finished reading their first class novel, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis.  Most students enjoyed the novel and looked forward to reading it both because of the author’s humorous voice and because of the fascinating period of our country’s history.  Among other things, students learned about the Birmingham church bombing of 1963 and the deaths of the four little girls in that bombing.  Students also watched two documentaries–The Children’s March and Four Little Girls–to learn more about his period of American history.

For many students, one of the best parts of the book for some students was Byron’s Fantastic Adventures, which always led to trouble.  One of the book’s themes was that despite all of the bad things that happen in the world, magic remains alive through love, caring, and supportive family relationships.  The novel also emphasizes the theme of the heroism of everyday people.  The author writes this:

“Many heroic people died in the struggle for civil rights…they did it in the name of the movement, in the quest
for freedom. These are the true American heroes…who have seen that things are wrong and have not been afraid
to ask ‘Why can’t we change this?’ They are the people who believe that as long as one person is being treated
unfairly, we all are. These are our heroes, and they still walk among us today. One of them may be sitting
next to you…or making your dinner…One of them may be you.”

To assess reading progress and comprehension, students will write an essay about the types of conflict present in this historical fiction novel.

CPM Tip of the Week for Parents

Week 21

In recent years, there has been significant research on how the brain is related to student learning.

Each brain is unique.
 Behaviorally and cognitively, emotions run the show.
 The brain is highly adaptable and can change.
The brain rarely gets it right the first time. Instead we make rough drafts of new learning.
 Humans are social/emotional learners.

As a result of this research, we need to look at how information is stored in the brain. Memories are stored in different parts of the brain and have different durations. Short term memory lasts approximately 30 seconds. Working memory lasts up to 20 minutes and long term memory can last much longer if we practice what we learned. Because we want memories to last long term, we need to know how to move content into long term memory. Content must be understood and have meaning. In order to retrieve information accurately and completely, we must look at how it is stored in the first place, not how we study it later. Sometimes we can improve our recall of information by doing a cross-lateral movement, such as tugging on the left ear with the right-hand. This research is significant because it connects to the teaching strategies used in a CPM classroom. Spiraled topics and mastery over time are both substantiated by what we have learned about how the brain stores and retrieves information. For more information about brain-based learning, go to Brain-based learning.

For Students:

Think First

Use a quick Think-Ink-Pair-Share in your team each day this week.  It will help you think about a problem individually first, before sharing as a whole team.  You’ll bring more ideas to the table.

Previous Next

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.