Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Enrichment: Narrative Prompt, January 2016

Please add your narrative below so that we can enjoy your creativity and great writing skills!  We can't wait to see your imagination on the blog.  See you at the edge!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Social Studies: Goods and Services

Almost everyone needs goods and services. People use money and trade for goods and services that they want or need.

Goods are things that are made or grown. Some goods are made, such as clothes, computers, and cars. Other goods are grown such as fruits and vegetables. All goods are made from natural resources. This does not mean that the good is a natural resource. For example, a table may be made from the wood of a tree. While the tree is a natural resource, the table would not be a natural resource.
Some of the goods that are made in the United States are sent to other countries. Those goods are called exports. Some goods are made in other countries and are shipped to the United States. These goods are called imports.

A service is work that someone does for someone else. A doctor and police are people who provide services. Some services are paid for by taxes, or money paid to the government. Taxes pay people like public school teachers and police officers for their services. Other services are not paid for with taxes. These services include lawn care, hair salons, and taxi drivers.

People that make goods are called producers, because they make or produce goods. People that purchase goods and services are called consumers. Many people are both producers and consumers. Producers depend on consumers to purchase their products. This allows them to make a profit. Consumers depend on producers to make the goods that they want and need. This is called interdependence.

After reading the text and looking at the 2 world maps, answer the following prompt.  Goods and Services are sent from the United States all over the world.  Do you think that the United States is dependent on imports from other continents?  Why or why not?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Enrichment: Rocks and Fossils

Visit  Take some time to enjoy the different items on this page THEN

While you are on the website, click on 'geological maps' like you see in the picture below

Enjoy exploring this page but make sure you find the map that looks like this and spend time hovering over the map.

 Then find the picture that looks like this and click on the word 'rock'.

After you have explored the page, take time to take the quiz about rocks and minerals to see what you have learned!

The prompt for this assignment is post a list of at least 5 things you learned while exploring rocks and fossils through your stations as well as the selected website.  Yes, this should be in complete sentences.  I can't wait to see what you have learned.  See you at the edge!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Social Studies Writing: Why Do We Need the Panama Canal?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I had to go around my elbow to get to my mouth?”  Many people use this phrase to describe having to go out of the way to get somewhere.  Instead of a straight shot to where they wanted to go, they had many detours before they finally made it to where they wanted to go.  For many years, whenever a boat needed to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, the sailors would have to go “around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  There was not an easy way or a short cut.  The sailors would have to navigate their boat around the Cape Horn, the area between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica. 

Why was this a problem?  For one reason, it was a long journey.  Going around the horn would add close to 1,000 miles to each trip a sailor would make from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  While that is an inconvenience, the problem was the type of weather a sailor would have to encounter when coming into the cape.  Winds gusting at a range from 50-80 mph would meet a ship as they tried to steer through the cape.  With these winds came waves that might reach up to 90 feet high.  A crew would only have a window of about 100 days a year where they would not encounter these conditions.

As explorers studied maps, they were convinced there had to be another way to get from one ocean to the other.  Everyone came back to one place on the map – the Isthmus of Panama.  This isthmus joins Central America to South America. To the east, the Caribbean Sea would eventually meet the Atlantic Ocean while the Gulf of Panama would merge into the Pacific Ocean on the west side.  The isthmus at one place was only 30 miles wide!  How close the two oceans were while being so far away.  Would there be a way to cut right through Panama?

There were many problems that kept the canal from being built.  France had begun building a canal, but due to diseases, flooding and, eventual bankruptcy, they had to stop.  They wanted America to pick up where they had left off, but other problems stood in the way.  Panama had to win its independence from Colombia, and eventually did in 1903.  Since America had helped them gain their freedom, the following year, a treaty was made between the USA and Panama to allow the USA to finish building the canal. 

When finally finished in October 1913, the canal came in at 48 miles long and 200 feet wide.   The Panama Canal helped launch the United States into a world trading empire as well as allowed other countries to expand their trading.  The US Navy was able to protect America during times of war thanks to the Panama Canal.  Ultimately, the east could finally get to the west without “having to go around their elbow to get to their mouth.”  

After reading the text and examining the map, answering the following question:  
Why do we need the Panama Canal?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Social Studies: What Kind of Government Would You Want Ruling You?

What Kind of Government Would You Want Ruling You?

In our world, many people have different visions of how people should be governed.   In early civilizations, a monarchy was the way groups of people were ruled.  In a monarchy, a monarch, a king or queen, would rule over the people of a state or country.  This leader was born into this position and held the position for life or until the next of kin was ready to assume the throne.  The monarch would make the decisions he or she thought was best for the people or even primarily for the monarchy.  The king or queen would not listen to, and some didn’t care about the people they led.  Some countries do have groups of men and women who will help the monarch make laws and other decisions that will be in favor of the people.  Ultimately though, the monarch makes the absolute decisions.

There were some citizens who abided under the rule of a monarch, did not appreciate being told what to do and how to live.  Sometimes these citizens would rise up and revolt.  The fighting might result in a change in the government to a democracy.  Others would just up and leave their home country to find a new land to begin a democracy, a type of government where the people have an active role in voting for those taking part in the government.  Ancient Greece was one of the first countries to have a democracy.  Their form of democracy was called a direct democracy.  This meant that each person was able to have a voice as to what going to happen and the rules that would be put in place.  The majority of countries with a democracy now have a representative form of democracy.  This allows the citizens to vote for those they want representing, or speaking for, them.  The candidates, men and women wanting to run for a place in the government, tell the citizens the ideas they have for the state or country.  Then, the citizens are encouraged to vote for the candidate they feel would do the best job.  While they are some stipulations to holding an office in a democracy, most any citizen can hold some kind of office in the government unlike a monarchy.  Time limits called, terms, were also set so one person is not always in an office.

While some citizens fought the monarchy for a democracy, some citizens wanted to be in complete control or to dictate what happened in the government.  In this form of government, a dictator would come in with force and use their armies to wipe out the leaders that were presiding.  When the dictator would gain complete control, they would make all decisions without consulting the citizens of that country.  He or she would not listen to the citizens of the country when making decisions that would affect them.  What made a dictatorship different from a monarchy was the laws made by the dictator were usually very unfair to the citizens.  Plus, the dictator rarely followed the rules himself even though punishment was given to citizens who broke the laws.  A dictator was usually in office until another person or group of people were able to take back control.

Each of these kinds of governments is found all over the world.  While some of these are better than others, no type is perfect.  Which do you believe is best?

Prompt:  Which government would you want to live in?  Why would you choose this form of government for your life? 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Social Studies Writing: Global Water Scarcity

All information below is sourced directly from with no changes or adaptations.  

For many people, water has never been a big story in their lives. This is because they live in communities that have good water supply systems. They turn on the tap and clean water flows, everyday of the year. This makes it very difficult for people to appreciate how precious water is.

Water is life. Plants, animals and humans all depend on this invaluable natural resource for life. Besides this, water is used in moving waste, cleaning and sanitation, manufacturing, construction and farming. Almost every human activity you can think of involves some use of water.

Water covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface, so how can there ever be scarcity? 
Less than 3% of water on earth is fresh water, and the bulk of this is trapped in snowfields and glaciers and not easily accessible. The rest form the seas and oceans and cannot be used in the same way as fresh water. Only a tiny fraction (0.014%) is surface water in the form of rivers, lakes and swamps. 

Naturally, the 3% should be enough for all humans and animals on earth, but unfortunately, many factors have caused a major upset in the flow and use of fresh water and has caused massive crisis in many regions of the earth. 

water scarcity

But why should you care? 
We should care because a lot of the factors that cause water scarcity are broadening and becoming more complex and uncontrollable. This means if we do nothing in terms of preserving and using it wisely, it is only a matter of time that all regions shall begin to experience water crisis and all the repercussions that come with it.

Information that may be helpful to read:

After examining the map and the text compose a paragraph to answer the following:  What effects will water scarcity have on the area with the greatest scarcity?

Looking Back to Look Forward to Market Day 2016

Tonight, I enjoy looking back to 2015 in order to help our 3rd graders look forward to March 2016.  Sometime in March, we will have our first goods and services Market Day this school year.  The 3rd graders have enjoyed a Market Day full of Super Heroes and a Travel to Europe Market Day adventure.  This March, the 3rd graders will be able to sell their goods or services to their peers as well as spend their hard earned credits at their friends booths.

Market Day is an educational experience that introduces basic economic principles.  During the event, our classrooms and hallways at East Chester will transform into a 'shopping market'.  Every student, who chooses to participate, will make a product (goods) or provide a service to be sold at the market.  3rd graders will also create an advertisement (a poster) to promote their product!

Here are a few of the Goods and Services from last year's Market Day!


We can't wait to see what creative items are brought to sell this year!  It is going to be unforgettable!  See you at the edge!