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September, 2022 RM 117 Newsletter

Posted Date: 09/15/2022

September, 2022 RM 117 Newsletter

Room 117 Social Studies

September 2022

We’re back! A new exciting year of learning challenges for our students! 

Gamification of Geography! Think Quick!!! 

Everyone probably has “fond” memories of frequent naps on desks, old VHS documentaries, and dusty textbooks from their former Social Studies classes in middle school. Fortunately, this is not an experience in Room 117, as we are classroom on the go! Every Wednesday, 7th graders take on a weekly challenge, so it's not uncommon to see kids running all over the classroom as they compete (and they get pretty competitive) to meet the game challenges using their geography skills. This month, the students competed in a (5) Themes Trash ball tournament, a Shark Tank business competition, solved an escape room challenge,  humans vs. zombies, and even a dance-off! 


Know your Rights! Engaged citizenship for students… 

8th grade has been working this month on their annual projects investigating the nation’s founding and the reasons why early Americans wanted a Bill of Rights added to their new Constitution. Students are given creative freedom to present their findings in any way they choose… This year, we have students creating posters, Newspapers, a News broadcast, an“Who Done it?” mystery, music videos, podcasts, Minecraft buildings, commercials, and even a computer-animated video! 


Creating a new country, applying core principles of Geography. 

Unlike “traditional” Geography classrooms, we assess our student's learning and growth through what they can demonstrate through project-based learning. Students in 7th grade are challenged with a group project in creating a country, with each group member having a role in their country, including a Geographer, a Political expert/Economist, a Historian, and a Cultural expert. Students are working on this project throughout the 9 weeks to apply to learning and engaging students to use resources and inspire them to go beyond their “comfort” zones, building teamwork, student agency, and critical thinking/problem-solving skills.  


Wednesday Challenges: Fabulous Prizes! 

Pictured above: The winners of the Fishing King and Mystery Prize Box Challenges! 

*Special Thanks to the Kansas Star Casino 

Game-Based Learning in Geography

7th grade used different board games to develop and practice needed mapping skills, such as absolute locations/ coordinates, Continents/Oceans, and those critical Themes of Geography (MR. HELP). Additionally, they worked on developing essential skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, sportsmanship, and communication through game play. 

Real World Connections- 

How does Law Enforcement conduct investigations of possible crimes?

A special thanks to our school’s new SRO Theresa Bateman for taking the time to come by Room 117 and talk with our 8th-grade students about how our police department investigates reported crimes. This was a great way for our students to connect the Historical Thinking model and their investigations of past events. The students had some great questions and learn a great deal about what law enforcement actually does when investigating a crime scene and we are proud to have Officer Bateman serving our school & community! 


Game & Chess Club returns! Remembering the 1980s…

I’m excited to announce that we are back until Track Season in the Spring. Game Club meets after school on Mondays and Wednesdays in Room 117, enrollment is open and free to all middle school students. I’m excited to announce the addition of some retro arcade game machines for the kiddos, including classics such as Galaga, Asteroids, Ms. Pacman, and Tempus. These games have proven, (as our students LOVE them), to be timeless classics and let our kids experience the fun that past generations have experienced at a video arcade. In addition to these fun classics, we have a large selection of classic board games, modern games, and our favorite: Chess.