Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Eclipse Festival 2024

After a month of hard work, the students wrapped up the eclipse unit by inviting the primary class to attend their Eclipse Festival. Since the actual eclipse isn't until 2024, this is meant to be a simulation of what the real thing will be. To prepare for the event, the intermediate students used resources in the classroom or at home to create booths for their businesses as well as items for purchase.


The primary students were given $100 of Monopoly money to spend at the festival and a form to fill out as they go from booth to booth deciding where to spend their money. 

Of course, the students had to first pay for their event ticket.

Next, students paid for parking and then decided on lodging. 
For the outdoorsy visitors, tents were available to rent or patrons could rent space and use their own tent.

For those looking for luxury, The Play Palooza Plaza offered visitors all-inclusive packages featuring nice rooms and unique activities. As an added incentive, price cuts and free pizza were offered to the first students to book a room with them. In addition, students could win a diorama of a room as well as a free 2nd class room by purchasing raffle tickets. 

For animal-lovers, the Paw-za Hotel catered to patrons with pets by having pet-friendly rooms and a cafe that offered human and animal fare. They even offered pet-sitting services for people that wanted a little break from looking after their pets during the festival!

The Eclipse Festival featured a variety of food booths. Logan's Pub had many different pub foods available for purchase such as chicken pasta, salad, and lemonade. 
As vendors made sales, they kept a log of each item and the money earned. 

For a sweet ice cream treat, festival-goers visited Liliana's Creamery. She offered many delicious flavors and even created a special flavor to celebrate the eclipse!

As with every festival, the safety of the patrons is very important. The First-Aid tent was run by a passionate, qualified student. Since you never know when heat exhaustion or a scraped knee will happen, Mrs. Martin would randomly select students to report to the first-aid tent for treatment. Even pets could receive treatment!

When planning for the Eclipse Festival, a few students pointed out the popularity of souvenirs to remember an occasion. These students opened Chavi's Palace selling a variety of items, many of which featured their logo. They sold bracelets, keychains, t-shirts, and stickers. They also offered raffle tickets for a chance to win a solar system puzzle.

Towards the end of the Eclipse Festival, some students had money left over so the intermediate students decided to take up a collection for hurricane relief using the now-empty band-aid box from the first aid tent!

The primary students had such a great time going from booth to booth spending their "money"!

After the booths closed, it came time to choose the raffle winners!

Finally, the main event: the total solar eclipse! Each student received a pair of eclipse glasses and watched as intermediate students simulated the total solar eclipse that will be seen in Dayton in 2024.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Eclipse Unit 2017

Just like the rest of the country, Hillel students (and teachers) went a little bananas over the eclipse in August! 

It's important, when we begin a new unit of study, to determine what it is we already know about a topic. Or rather what do we think we know. Then, what we hope to learn throughout our unit. As the unit progresses, additional questions and wonderings emerge as the students begin thinking critically about their learning and enthusiasm toward the topic grows but having a list of a few questions is a great way to get started. 

In preparation for the eclipse, the students set up their science notebooks so they could document and record data during and after the eclipse.

Each student was given a pair of eclipse glasses and homemade viewing boxes were also created and used during the eclipse.

We learned the differences between a solar eclipse, lunar eclipse and annular eclipse. The students created models of the earth, sun, and moon to help them construct what is actually happening during each type of eclipse.

All of this eclipse talk sparked quite a debate among the students regarding the frequency of eclipses.  Eventually, after some discussion and research, the students discovered that total solar eclipses actually are not that rare. A total solar eclipse is visible from some place on the Earth's surface about every 1-2 years. However, they often happen in less populated areas of the world.

We learned that throughout history, before scientists discovered what was actually happening during an eclipse, different cultures developed their own stories and myths to explain the phenomenon. The students read an article explaining what some cultures used to think eclipses were.
As their assessment, students wrote out everything they learned about a total solar eclipse and included an eclipse story from another culture.

Students also practiced map-reading skills to determine which US cities were in the path of totality for the August 2017 eclipse.

Not only did the students focus on the science behind eclipses during this unit, but they also addressed the event from a social studies perspective: How would cities in the path of totality prepare and plan for the influx of people that would be coming to view the eclipse?
The students thought about how the city of Dayton should prepare to be in the path of totality in 2024. How could residents of Dayton make the most of all those people coming to town?
The students decided they should hold an Eclipse Festival!

Each student took on the role of a leader (such as a business owner or event coordinator) and imagined how they could make the most out of having that many visitors in town. Would they sell goods or provide services? What would they advertise? How would they encourage people to come to their business? 

Students worked independently, in pairs, or even separately but with some overlapping parts of their businesses. 
After a lot of planning, students created brochures to outline general information, what their business has to offer, a story or reason why they started their business, and what specials will be run in celebration of the eclipse. 

Each student or pair of students presented their brochures to the class.

This student owns an ice cream shop that will have specialty flavors for the eclipse!

One student chose to own a pet-friendly hotel called the Paw-za while the other student owned and operated the Paw-za Cafe located inside the hotel. 

These students are Manager and Junior Manager at an impressive resort with lots to offer!

Since people often like to purchase little souvenirs to by which to remember an event, these students created Chavi's Palace souvenir shop that will feature many eclipse-themed items for purchase. 

These students chose to open a restaurant called Logan's Pub that offers a variety of delicious food.

These students were in charge of advertising the festival by creating a poster and brochure listing the businesses and services that would be participating in the festival!

This student chose to be in charge of the First Aid tent at the Eclipse Festival to provide medical assistance should any Festival-goers need it.

Stay tuned for a post about the culminating project for this unit in which the Intermediate students held an Eclipse Festival for the Primary to visit!

Field Day 2018!

As is tradition for the last day of school at Hillel, we spent a beautiful morning at the park for Field Day! We began the day with morni...