McMains Crew News: March 26, 2012

Expedition Essential Question of The Week:

How did the social structure of Ancient Egypt affect daily life?

Crew began the week by creating their own rubric for scoring their Interactive Student Notebooks (ISN). Now that we know about the accomplishments of 4 key Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt (Khufu, Senusret, Hatshepsut, and Ramses II), we are using our ISNs to reconstruct the social pyramid of ancient Egypt. Crew will be taking on the roles of Egyptian people at varying levels of society in a dramatic performance later this week. Expert groups continued work on their long-term Egypt projects, focusing on high-quality products by matching their work to the rubrics. In one dramatic leap on the rubric, an expert group abandoned their simulated cardboard Egyptian tool and built a real stone, stick and rope hammer – that works!

We will leave ancient Egypt before spring break and enter ancient India when we return.


We set personal goals for mastering the learning targets for decimal operations before spring break. For some crew, that meant some extra weekend homework practice and for others, it meant extending learning on the new learning targets. In addition to decimal work, crew practiced real-world application of area, perimeter, and angle measurement while building their Marble Runs. In order to compete, each design team was required to submit a scale drawing of their marble run. We began this week's  Inquiry Friday with a mini-lesson on ratios and proportions so we could make the scale drawings – it was a practical sneak peek into the next math unit…

Book Clubs:

Discussions were lively this week as some clubs began new books. One club recorded their book review podcast while another enjoyed sharing their visual, picture summaries. Currently, clubs are reading the Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, the Life as We Knew It series, Death Mountain, and the trilogy that begins with Poison Study. Two sets of fascinating fantasy and two sets of realistic fiction!

In Other News...

* We had another beautiful day of adventure-education at Tahoe Donner cross country skiing and snowshoeing – blue skies, fresh air and sparkly snow!

*Congratulations to Camila for her academic adventure this weekend – she participated in the Sacramento Regional Science and Engineering Fair! Way to represent SELS!

Important Dates:

March 26 Geology of California documentary sneak peek for the crew, sponsors and experts. Showtime is 6:30 at the Martis Camp Theater. This showing is for the makers of the film to approve it prior to public distribution. A full community showing in April will be announced soon!

March 28 -29 Student Goal Conferences

April 1-8 Spring Break

April 18 Fieldwork: “King Tut ‘Wonderful Things’ from Pharaoh’s Tomb” at the Wilbur D. May Museum in Reno – drivers needed!

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