PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

This Week in Media Literacy…

Fourth graders have begun learning through MinecraftEDU. We’re currently in our tutorial world. Students have learned the basics and were required to recreate geometric shapes to demonstrate their building ability. Now they are exploring the campgrounds where they are able to build houses with classmates and be as creative as they want to be. This week they’ll be going on a scavenger hunt to find hidden objects. Students that find the hidden objects will become group leaders for our upcoming Minecraft Explorers: Shipbuilding project which coincides with the work they’ll be doing in Humanities. More to come soon.

Fifth graders have completed their Oregon Trail unit. All students made it to Minecraft Oregon where they began their new lives. Students worked in groups to build houses, farms, and businesses that could support their new lives out west. We’ve now moved on to a STEM unit using the EverFi platform. Students have all received EverFi accounts using their BSI logins. Here’s a little bit about the course:

Hockey Scholar brings science, math & engineering concepts to life using the exciting, fast-paced game of hockey. Through immersive hockey simulations, each online module enables students to explore real-life applications of fundamental STEM concepts. This online course combines cutting-edge instructional design and game-based simulations to build students’ confidence, mastery, and excitement around critical STEM topics.

Egypt World Painter.pngSixth graders have started learning about Ancient River Valley Civilizations in Humanities. Applying concepts and content learned from their Humanities inquiry, students were asked to design and recreate an ancient civilization in Minecraft. Students began with a topographic map of their ancient civilization to get an idea of the elevation and natural resources. The group in this example studied Egypt.

Students then used the application World Painter to recreate their topographic map. World Painter allows students to export their maps into Minecraft worlds. Students have been assigned a civilization and one of the five forever factors to focus on and construction of the civilization will begin next week. The final project for this unit will be announced soon.

Seventh graders are almost finished with their final America in the Media project. Each seventh grade class is working on a class website that will tell the story of how America has been represented in the media from 1900 to present day. The websites are looking fantastic and I can’t wait to share the final websites with you. 703 is done, while 701 and 702 will be finished this Friday.

Finally, to coincide with the work that eighth graders are doing in Humanities, we are watching Baz Luhrmann’s film version of The Great Gatsby. The students really enjoyed working with Luhrmann’s version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet last year, so this is sort of a continuation of that. Students have been analyzing the film through video reflection via Flipgrid. You can see some of their responses below…

In addition, students have taken to Twitter as characters from The Great Gatsby. I’m really enjoying seeing the characters interact with current events. Here are some highlights:

Students will begin working in Media Literacy this week to design an alternative book cover to The Great Gatsby using symbolism from the novel. We will return to our Craft Your Future unit once they finish The Great Gatsby in Humanities.