Sunday, September 13, 2020

What makes a school great?

Hello to all my former students who have posted on this blog and have dropped by to see what is happening here since I have retired. Also, welcome to new visitors who have found us; my fourth graders spent a great deal of time posting on here. Hopefully, you have found something that you have enjoyed and we gave you something to think about from time to time. 

After I retired, I found an article whose title was, "What makes a great school?" I have my thoughts, but I also wonder what the students think. I know that I do not have a class any longer, but I hope that anyone who stops by here will post his or her ideas in the comments section. I would love to get a cross section of ideas from across the United States and even the world. As you can see on our visitors map, a large number of people from around the world have stopped by here. 

So, visitors, the question is simple: What makes a school great? Please post your ideas in the comments. Come back and see if anyone has responded to your ideas. I always respond to posts. If you see someone's idea that you would like to comment on, please do so. I sure hope we get some ideas going as I am truly interested in the students' perspective of what makes a great school. 

Thank you for your time-

Michael La Marr

Retired elementary school teacher

Sacramento, California


Thursday, March 19, 2020

School is closed? What????

Well, it looks like we may be shut down for a while. So, what do you think about all the strangeness of the world right now? These are odd times-we need to stay home, we can't go to do the fun things we are used to doing, we can't go to school, and there is no toilet paper on the shelves in grocery stores! Crazy!!!

So . . .  if you'd like to tell us your opinions of all this, use this space to do so. If you've written anything at all that you think we'd like to read while you are being schooled at home, post it here. It would be great to get some conversation going and see what people are thinking.

This gets no grade; just write your best ideas as well as you can! See you in the Zoom room!

Monday, February 24, 2020

What do you think about the internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s?

The fourth graders have been studying the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. We began by reading Number the Stars which told of how the Jews of Denmark were moved to safety to escape the Nazis. At the same time, the United States gathered approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast and relocated them in camps throughout the country. The fourth graders listened to two books, Journey to Topaz and  Journey Home. They also attended the Time of Remembrance program at the California Museum where they received a presentation about internment and were able to see artifacts about the topic. They were lead through the artifacts by people whose families had been interned.

The students were then given the task of telling what they thought about internment. They were also told that they could explain those thoughts in any way they wanted to. Some of the work that the students created is posted here. Some of it cannot be posted in this format, but for those who can, their ideas are in this post. We hope that our readers learn from the ideas the fourth graders have about the internment of the Japanese Americans in the 1940s. It was a dark episode in our nation's history, and hopefully, something like this won't happen again. By reading our thoughts, we hope to help prevent that from happening in our country in the future.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Sacramento's History

After your tours of Old Sacramento, both above and below ground, what do you think of our state capital's history? You had the opportunity to hear many stories, some of which were crazy! Think of all the stories you heard, and then, state your big idea of what you think about Sacramento's history. Once you have stated your big idea, supply several ideas from the tours along with your own thinking to fully explain what you think of our city's history. You can create any big idea you would like; the key is to support that idea with a variety of reasons and your thoughts. Be sure to have a strong conclusion at the end that will restate your big idea, but don't use the same wording.

Be sure you check your document for good spelling and conventions. Be creative in your wording so that your reader wants to keep reading. Make the ideas exciting and really strive to bring the history of Sacramento to life for the readers of the blog. Not many people know what you now know about Sacramento's history, so teach our readers from all over the world about the beginning years of California's capital city!