Krebs' Class Blogs

Constructing, creating, communicating, collaborating, and thinking critically in grade 5.

February 9, 2012
by Denise Krebs

Skyping with Kenneth C. Davis

My students and I had a great time visiting with Kenneth C. Davis yesterday. He is the author of the Don’t Know Much About series of books and a passionate student/teacher of the stories of American history. Click on the students’ names to read their take on our conversation with Mr. Davis.

Chandler, Paris, Justin, Krayton, Vanessa, Grace, and Jaci include some of their unanswered questions in their posts.

  1. Paul
  2. Jaci
  3. Shiann
  4. Krayton
  5. Chandler
  6. Jason
  7. Grace
  8. Meghan
  9. Christina
  10. Becca
  11. Andrew
  12. Justin
  13. Tyler
  14. Paris
  15. Vanessa

December 22, 2011
by Denise Krebs

Our U.S. Presidents

Eighth graders are learning about presidents. Fifteen 8th graders and 44 presidents. Collectively we know much about our presidents–who was the first to do something unique, who graduated from college and served in the military, who died in office, and more. Together we are smarter.

The following videos are what we have called our presidential puppet show, featuring facts about each of the presidents. (We tried using a green screen for the first time. It’s not perfect, but we learned a lot, so please bear with us.)

Presidents George Washington through James Buchanan
edited and compiled by Justin

Presidents Abraham Lincoln through Calvin Coolidge
edited and compiled by Chandler

Coming soon – Presidents, Part III


December 18, 2011
by Denise Krebs

History Genius Hour

The end of a semester calls for our next genius hour. Eighth grade history students will pick any topic or time in history they would like to explore, research, or compare with another time. They can choose a topic about which they want to question, read, or present.

The rules are simple:

  1. Be a genius! That is, be creative and productive.
  2. Topic: Anything in United States history.
  3. Record your learning in a way that it can be shared digitally (video, photos, blog post, or something else)
  4. Check the rubric, for you will be asked to honestly evaluate your own work.
  5. Be ready the next day to present to the class what you have created and produced.

Since our high school is taking semester tests, we again have been given some longer time frames to work with. On Tuesday, students will have two hours for genius hour activities. On Wednesday, we will have one hour for presentations.

Students, as you prepare, consider these possibilities for Genius Hour:

  1. Ask a question you care about and find the answer.
  2. Check out what’s been happening in current affairs–maybe Occupy Wall Street since we made our wiki.
  3. Did you learn something about one of the presidents that sparked an interest?
  4. Keep your ideas small enough for a two-hour time slot. (For instance, don’t think of World War II for your topic, but perhaps you want to learn about the KA-BAR knife adopted by the Marines in November 1942.)
  5. Make something to show something you’ve learned or you are passionate about in history.

Resources – Check out Iowa AEA Online for great history sources.

Here are some websites that you may consider for presenting:

Good luck, everyone!

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