Reasons for orphans' migration

    A lot of negative conditions led the orphan train riders to migrate west, from places like the Lower East Side to the country. For instance, the Lower East Side was overpopulated in the 1800s. This led to poverty and disease. Furthermore, most of the orphan train riders' parents had died, or couldn't take care of them.

This just IS possible to get smarter!

    A new study conducted by neurobiologist Dr. Lawrence Katz suggests that, just as physical exercise builds muscle and athletic skill, MENTAL exercise--such as reading and writing--can "build up various areas of your brain by puting them to work."  According to Dr. Katz, by regularly thinking in new ways, we can actually improve the functioning of our brains!

    This coincides perfectly with the goals of our RAMP UP class.  This year, we will aim to get smarter by developing our reading, thinking, and learning skills.   These improvements will be measured in various ways, including our readers' log entries, class projects, blog posts, classroom conversations, and standardized assessment data.

    Our progress has already's to a productive year!


Current mood: Big-Smiley

9/17 - Sample Reader's Response

Classroom Blogging by David Warlick is a guide for teachers who wish to incorporate digital tools into their classrooms. In the book's first chapter, Warlick discusses the importance of instructional technology, and how it can help students learn. He discusses blogs specifically, describing what they are, and how they evolved into the influential presence that they have. Questions still remain in my mind, however, about the practicalities of classroom blogging. I am hopeful that these questions will be answered in later chapters.


If I am going to ask students to create engaging, thoughtful blogs, I must first pose the critical question to myself: What does an effective Ramp Up blog LOOK LIKE?

For one, it should contain well-written, complete discussions of daily reading. Each entry should reflect proper paragraph format, including a topic sentence followed by supporting details. Responses should be categorized by book, and dated in the title box. Blog categories are not limited to readers' responses, however. A rich blog also contains entries for word study, class assignments, and personal musings.

If our blogs are truly going to showcase our work as a classroom community, they must also reflect who we are as learners and as thinkers! A truly engaging blog is unique, containing pictures, personal thoughts, and links to websites of particular interest. It might also contain MP3 files or playlists.

Of course, as a blogging community, we must help each other by sharing ideas, discoveries, and advice to one another as we create innovative products online. Students must be sure to examine each other's blogs, and comment on them regularly. If we commit to the idea of building a digtial learning community, there's no limit to what we can accomplish together!


Current mood: Cool

About me
This blog will serve as a model for students' online work.
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