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The Marshmallow Challenge

One of the ways teachers encourage SAS students to work as a team is through a fun activity called the “Marshmallow Challenge.” Students are divided into groups, given 18 minutes, 20 pieces of spaghetti, a yard of masking tape, and a yard of string and instructed to build a free-standing tower topped by a marshmallow. The team that builds the tallest tower is declared the winner.  Students quickly learn to work together to build their structures, at the same time building rapport and innovation skills. 2015-08-19 14.16.21.jpg2015-08-19 10.33.00.jpg
 

SAS Honors English

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Hour of Code!

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Next week Ms. Minkin and Mrs. Schipert's students will be participating in a global project, the Hour of Code! During Dec. 7th to Dec. 13th students from over 180 countries will be participating in learning how to code using tablets, computers, or smartphones. Anyone can participate, at any age. "The measure of success of this campaign is not in how much CS students learn". The success of this program will be the number of people who enjoy the event and subsequently enroll in computer science classes or become more computer literate.  For more information about the Hour of Code, see https://hourofcode.com/us.zuckerberg_poster-2013.png

Writer's Workshop

 

     The South District of Los Angeles Unified has adopted the Lucy Calkins Units of Study, Writing Workshop.  All English classes at Edison are participating in this program.  During Writing Workshop, the teacher introduces a concept or writing skill to students through modeling with her writing.  She will also share “mentor texts,” other informational books that demonstrate the skills she wants the students to learn. After this “mini-lesson” students practice skills in partners and then work independently or confer with the teacher. The information unit allows students to explore a topic of their choosing.  Every student has a Writer’s Notebook, where, like real writers, they develop ideas and draft. During the first quarter of the semester, the goal is for all students to proficiently create an informational chapter book complete with a table of contents, glossary, diagrams, and an index. Students self-selected a topic and most wrote about a topic they knew quite a bit about. In Ms. Tinoco's class, the most common topics included: sports, key figures, steps-in-a-process, and favorite singers and bands. In Mrs. Schippert's class, the students' favorite topics were caring for animals and strategies for video games. girl writing 3 col a - TRF.png

 

     Ms. Tinoco and Ms. Manligas' students shared their information books with each other during a publication party.  They celebrated their writing by reading the books and writing notes to each student author.

 

     Ms. Tinoco said, "I am enjoying reading my students’ work and look forward to seeing them grow as thinkers and writers." Ms. Manligas shared that her students showed substantial growth in writing. Ms. Tinoco, Ms. Manligas, and Mrs. Schippert's students shared their intriguing information books to an appreciative audience at the November Parent/Community Meeting. 

 

     The second quarter, students are studying narrative literature and writing short autobiographical and realistic fiction stories.  In seventh-grade they will read Sandra Cisneros' novella The House on Mango Street and other short stories as mentor texts, or models of excellent narrative writing.  Students will be writing their own narrative nonfiction and realistic fiction short stories. When the  short stories are complete, the students will celebrate with more publication parties! 

 
 


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Importance of Daily Reading 

 

All students in Edison's School for Advanced Studies are required to read independently twenty to twenty-five pages a night. Students may choose to read from any genre. However, they should read at or above their reading levels as determined by the Accelerated Reader STAR test. Students who read daily increase their knowledge of vocabulary, sentence complexity, and build reading stamina. They learn to read like writers, becoming more able to analyze and discuss why writers make choices in text structures and literary elements.  Just as importantly, students explore other worlds, cultures, and ideas enabling them to become more informed about the world and tolerant and appreciative of difference in others. 

Manligas, Fraulein Teacher
Minkin, Melissa Teacher
Schippert, Leslie Language Arts Teacher, GATE/SAS Coordinator
Tinoco-Enciso, Elsa Teacher