Exploring Early Innovations

During our unit of inquiry, Where We Are In Place And Time, we explored different innovations from early civilizations. Students explored a variety of technologies and ideas that originated in ancient China. We discussed how these innovations impacted future civilizations. Students have the challenge of creating their own civilizations for their summative assessment (end of the unit assessment). One of their tasks is to come up with a unique innovation that will allow their civilization to impact future people. Below is an example from SunChyna, who explained how the Chinese developed the compass.

Did you know that 6th grade has been using a “Self-Directed Learning Menu”?  Each morning when students arrive, they receive a schedule that is broken down into 20-minute time slots. Students use a learning menu, containing a variety of learning engagements, to schedule their day and learn at their own pace. Some of the feedback I have received from students included statements such as, “I feel like this prepares us for the real world” and “It makes the school day more fun.” Having the task of creating and sticking to a schedule will help students to practice self-management skills and better prepare them for middle school.


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