About

Welcome students, parents, and colleagues to our class blog!

Our class blog provides a safe forum for students to practice digital citizenship while integrating content-based reading, writing, research, historical thinking, and 21st century skills.  Compelling opportunities to create, communicate and collaborate enhance learning and deepen understanding.  Additionally, our blog showcases exceptional student work for a global audience.

We invite you to read, comment, and contribute to our class discussions, videos, pictures, and other media.   Enjoy your visit!

WHAT GOES ON IN CLASS?

Students in grades three through eight explore two Units of Study: STEM and Humanities and a self-selected Passion Project also know as 20% Time.  Learning is organic and lessons are tailored to meet the needs and interests of the students.

In the elementary program, students attend a supplemental pull-out class, Project Based Learning, one day a week for one hour.

In the middle school program, students attend a supplemental pull-out class, Project Based Learning, one day a week in lieu of independent study.

Our Units of Study

Project Based Learning provides meaningful and authentic challenges for student enrichment in STEM and Humanities.  The Humanities Units are:

3rd Grade: Trial Court: Should Animals Get To Own Their Own Photos?

4th Grade: TBD

5th Grade: It’s Debatable

6th Grade: Crime Scene Investigation

7th Grade: Advertising Lab

8th Grade: Mock Trial

The STEM Units are:

3rd Grade: Hop To It: Safe Removal of Invasive Species

  • Mechanical Engineering

4th Grade: To The Rescue: Engineering Aid Drop Packages

  • Package Engineering

5th Grade: Food For Thought: Engineering Ice Cream

  • Process Engineering

6th Grade: It’s In the Bag: Bioinspired Gear

  • Materials Engineer

7th Grade: Go Fish:Prosthetic Tails

  • Biomechanical Engineering

8th Grade: Put A Lid On It: Safety Helmets/Concussions

  • Biomechanical Engineers

WHY IS THIS BLOG TITLED, THE CONCH?

One of my favorite novels is William Golding’s classic, Lord of the Flies. Multiple concepts (i.e., state of nature, conscience, dictatorship, civic virtue, human reason, rights and responsibilities of citizens, democracy, etc.) provide relevant material for understanding our world today.

Piggy and Simon’s wisdom, Ralph’s leadership, Jack’s dictatorial power, and Roger’s lack of conscience…These lessons set the stage for further study of history and current events.

Piggy is one of my favorite characters and he is in one of the most important scenes. In the scene, the conch passes from boy to boy to elicit discussion. However, Jack breaks one of the most important rules and snatches the conch from Piggy. Ralph defends the rules and shouts, “Piggy’s got the conch!” This turning point sets the stage for the study of government, rules, rights and the responsibilities of citizens.

Who is Your Favorite LOTF character? Take our poll.

25 Comments

on “About
25 Comments on “About
  1. Homework: 1/10/13
    I have learned many things about government it is very cool to learn about the 3 different branches they really caught my attention i love to see there roles as a group i also loved the project we had to do, it helped me understand the whole concept of government more. That is some of the things i have learned!

  2. Hi Ms. D,

    I am a teacher at Kwalikum Secondary and am getting some great ideas from your class blog. May I use your Writer’s checklist?

    Thanks

    Brad Wilson

  3. I made a connection to a Verizon commercial as well that relates to the propaganda lesson from social studies class. It was for the HTC rhyme and it was saying that you can so many things with just one phone. This commercial was an example of a transfer propaganda, because of the fact that she talks calm and grows an arm for all the features you can do at once representing multitasking.

  4. I made a connection to are propaganda leeson in class today. I was watching T.V. and I saw the flash mob commercial for at&t, and it is a bandwagon example for propaganda. It was a bandwagon example because it showed everyone else around the man had at&t with 4G and getting the F.Y.I before he did.

  5. Dear Ms D and class,
    @ Alyssa
    In New Zealand we have seasons aswell and the same ones. The exact part in New Zealand where I live it doesn’t snow but further south it does. Terms is what we use at school term1 is the fist term of school. We have two week holidays between terms. I think in America you call them semesters.
    @ Jillian,
    I used to go to a school with no uniform it took me ages in the morning to pick what to wear so i figured it out the night before!!
    Your Blogging friend
    Teegan 😛

  6. Dear Teegan,

    I’m a student in Ms D’s class and over here, we don’t call it terms, we call it seasons. They are known as Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. During the winter, we get a lot of snow and we get to go sledding and sometimes off from school. Do you get snow where you are? My favorite season is summer because it is warm, we don’t have school and i like to go to the beach a lot. We don’t have to wear hats though when it’s hot out

  7. Dear Teegan,
    I am a student from Mrs. D’s class and in our school we are not required to wear uniforms. We can wear whatever we want as long as it is appropriate and not against the dress code. You make a really good point about why you like uniforms! They would also save a lot more time in the morning when trying to decide what you can wear. Time is something that many students don’t have in the morning, including me. Although, I think wearing the clothes you choose, expresses you whether it’s just for comfort or a style you like. In my opinion, there are both pro’s and con’s to wearing uniforms or wearing whatever you like as long as it’s appropriate. In that case, I personally don’t have a favorite or one that I would prefer.

  8. Dear Ms D,
    Thanks again for the comment.
    I have two dogs they are both girls their names are Ruby and Jess. Ruby is a rottweiler and is 5 years old, we bought her from a dog breeder. Jess is a border collie+ Black Lab and we aren’t quite sure how old she is because she was getting given away for free but we think she is about 3or 4 years old.
    Do you have any other pets or not if you do what are they.
    Your Blogging Friend
    Teegan 😛

  9. Dear Ms D,
    Thank you for the instuctions the glog embed worked except I changed the height to 630 because 600 cut off some of my glog. It is on my blog now.
    It’s kind of funny that you said your 2 dogs were going crazy because I have 2 dogs aswell. What are their names and how old are they?
    Your Blogging friend
    Teegan ♥

  10. Dear Mrs D,
    I tried to put my glog on my blog but it was way to big so I adjust the height and width but it cut off some of my poster. Do you know the solution? I saw your students glogs were fitting properly. Here in New Zealand about half of the schools have uniforms and about half don’t. In New Zealand there is two islands one is called the northisland and the other the south island. I have lived in both but I found where I used to live in the south island more schools had uniforms than where I live now in the North Island, most schools are muffti in the area I live. Yes we have to wear our sunhats in the summer terms- term 1 and term 4 and if we don’t have a hat we have to play in the shade. At your school do have terms or do you call it something else?
    Your Blogging friend
    Teegan 😛

  11. Dear Mrs D,
    Thank you again for your lovely comment. I have been blogging for for months. What about you and your students how long have they been blogging? My favourite part of blogging is when you work out how to put something new on your blog like a youtube video, a game or even a slideshow because i think it haelps improve your blog and make it more interesting for your readers. In New Zealand students that are 13-14 years old are at highschool. At my age we don’t study history only if we are researching on a country or something like that we would learn a little about the history of that country. At my school we have an uniform a dress for winter and one for summer. This term we have to wear sun hats because we are in the summer. Do students at your school need to wear hats in the summer? The year 7 and8s at my school have to wear skirts instead of dresses, they wear them all year round and the boys wear shorts and a top. Does your school have both boys and girls? I quite like wearing an uniform at school because at a previous school I went to some people got teased for having ugly clothes. 🙁
    Your Blogging friend
    Teegan 😛

  12. Hi Mrs D
    My name is Teegan and I am ten years old from New Zealand.
    Thank you for the encouraging comment on my blog. How old are the students in your class? In New Zealand we don’t have grades we have things called ‘ Years’ I’m in year 6 at my school.
    Are you a teacher that teaches everything or do you only teach one subject like maths or history? My teacher teaches everything but when I go to high school I have teachers that only teach one subject. Does your school have an uniform or are student allowed to wear whatever they want?
    Your Blogging Friend
    Teegan 😛

  13. Pingback: We’ve heard back from students at The Conch | Leawood Middle School blogs

  14. Hi Mrs. Ratzel’s classes!

    Thank you for your kind comments. We love blogging and receiving comments.
    It is disappointing that many of the digital tools are blocked at your school. They are invaluable and offer compelling opportunities to communicate. What browser do you use? Some browsers limit what you can see on a page. We’ve found that Firefox and Chrome are the most effective browsers to use with edublogs and additional digital tools.

    I download free fonts online. I’ve used this site to download The Simpsons font: typenow.net. I would be cautious with downloads on a PC. The Edublogger may have recommendations for sites to download fonts. The font we used in WHY HISTORY MATTERS is called 28 Days Later.

    I prefer the ease of use, multimedia upgrades, and safety of a Mac. Macs are also impervious to viruses which makes me very happy. I use my personal Mac and ppt 2008 to create our slideshows instead of the school PCs which I’ve found to be limiting in usage for multimedia and publishing capabilities. What type of computers do you use? Macs or PCs?

    One of our favorite tools that we recommend (if it isn’t blocked at your school) is wallwisher.com. It will allow the educator the option to moderate comments and is very safe to embed on your blog. Our students use these post it parking lots to share historical connections to Pop Culture or respond to questions or prompts.

    Thank you for visiting and please stop by again!

  15. Hello students from the Conch,

    We are a 6th grade class participating in the Challenge, so we came to look at your class blog. It’s amazing and you’ve got tons of cool stuff…our problem is that our school must block lots of it because we can’t see much.

    We thought the picture might talk to us, but it doesn’t work in our school. A bunch of us are going to see if we can get it to work at home, though.

    We have one question if you wouldn’t mind answering. We looked at your slideshow about history. It was full of info and fun to look at….how did you make the slides in those fonts? and what program did you use to put it together (we don’t mean Slideshare).

    Thanks.

    Mrs. Ratzel’s classes 5th hour

  16. G’day Ms Di Gangi and students,
    Welcome to the student blogging challenge. I hope you enjoy the activities and complete as many as you wish. Your teacher can adapt the activities to fit your subject area if she wishes.

  17. Hi Kathleen,

    Our students were impressed to see we had a visitor from Australia! Thank you for stopping by our blog!

    Take care, Lisa

  18. Hi everyone in 8th Grade,

    Your blog is looking terrific. It sounds like you are learning some fantastic things!

    I’m glad you told me about then name “The Conch” because I was not sure where that had come from! I have not read Lord of the Flies but maybe I should!

    Keep up your great work,
    Kathleen McGeady

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