Friday, June 8, 2018

End of April and all of May (except for one very eventful week in May during which we took to the streets of Pittsburgh)

Yet again, I have belated weekly updates. Below, you'll find the end of April through all of May, minus the spring trip, which will get its own post in due time...

week of 4/30/18


Where did the week go? Between work on individual research projects, a trip to Detroit, and music rehearsals, it’s hard to believe that it’s already Friday afternoon. That being said, we usually feel like this on Fridays.


On Tuesday, we visited the house of Dr. Ossian Sweet, the physician about whose trial we’ve been studying for the last several weeks. The house is a private residence but it is a Michigan historic landmark and has a placard on the front lawn. It was powerful to stand in the space where the events of that fateful night in 1925 unfolded and to think about the world then and the world now.


After a few minutes there, we drove to the Artist Village in the Old Redford neighborhood to learn about neighborhood revitalization efforts there and to think about the idea of “revitalization” more broadly. Next week, we’ll continue this discussion with a focus on the work and writings of Grace Lee Boggs.


In their individual research, students are working on moving from notecards to outlines (or other graphic organizers). After they complete their outlines, they’ll be ready to begin writing their research papers. When you next see the 7-8s, ask them to tell you about their Detroit research paper. You’ll be dazzled


week of 5/7/18


It’s been a busy week of work on individual Detroit research projects. While we’ve missed Sam this week, we’ve been delighted (and fortunate) to welcome Ed Feng to do math with us every day. Ed and the students are working on data visualizations using data sets related to their Detroit research topics. Speaking of Detroit, we spent a rainy afternoon on a walking tour of downtown today. Highlights included a ride on the People Mover, a stroll through the Guardian Building, stops at various landmarks (Spirit of Detroit, Monument to Joe Louis, Labor Legacy Monument, Gateway to Freedom Monument), and a walk through Campus Martius (including a stop at Point Zero).


Students have been hard at work on their individual research projects and are ready to start writing their papers next week. All are welcome to join us for a sharing session next Friday, May 18, at 2:30pm.


week of 5/28/18


We spent last week in the thriving metropolis of Pittsburgh, the city to which Paul Proteus (protagonist from Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, which we read earlier this year) may have aspired to work (although, to be honest, despite the pressures of those around him, he never really “wanted” to get the job in Pittsburgh, but you’ll have to find a 7th or 8th grader to explain that tension to you).


I promise (again) to write a comprehensive overview of our trip in the next few days. In the meantime, we spent this short week finishing research papers, writing graduation speeches (8th graders), and working on a special surprise project (7th graders). All will be revealed in due time…

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