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Social Studies 6
Ancient Civilizations
Mrs. Nicole Kraake
Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year in room   504!    I am eager for a great new year in Social Studies filled with exploration, challenge, discovery, and reflection!  First of all, please take a deep breath.  Seriously do it.   You are in a school where we truly care about you!  You will have a great week and year.   Parents: This is a school filled with educators that care about kids and it truly is a happy place.  Throughout the week the teachers and staff will be here to help your children.  This week we are standing in the halls and guiding the students to class.  For the first few days we do not mind if they are a little late to class or if they get lost ..... we are looking out for them as if they are our own (because they truly are).   click to edit
Ancient World History...
We study the ancient, Middle East and in that exploration, an in-depth look at many of the religions and philosophies of our world.   We learn about geography, vocabulary, and customs.   We explore ideas that shaped our world and we find connections in our lives today.  We discover what it was like to live in the time of Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, Julius Caesar, and many more.  
Government + Economics
Social Studies 6 is all about learning how people lived and interacted with each other in ancient, world history.  We study the time period from the earliest Hunter-Gatherers to Ancient Greece and Rome.  We will examine, analyze, explore and  reflect.  We will nurture critical and creative thinking! We will create and support our opinions with evidence and share our understanding in a variety of assessments.  We will do lots of writing projects, and presentations! Also, while we will study the actions and events of people from the past, you will have a chance to shape the actions and events of our classroom. Your respect, participation, and positivity are essential for us to build a successful learning community within our classroom.
CLASS MATERIALS...required daily
Two Compostion Books minimum 100 pages each
JUST FOR SOCIAL STUDIES is preferred but you may also use a section in your main binder if you prefer.  YOU MUST HAVE  at least two inside pockets. Inside the three-ring notebook you should have lined paper and at least 20-30 sheets of white computer paper.  
Colored pencils, highlighter, fine tip colored pens, black pen, blue pen, red pen, pencils, ruler, tape, post its, and glue sticks.
A three ring notebook
optional but your students will use and LOVE for sketch notes get papermate flair pens! My favorite!
Sketch notes are a fun way to take notes the way your brain stores information.  The brain is not linear and neither do your notes need to be.  Although Cornell notes, outlines, and other note styles are welcome I will be modeling and teaching sketch notes as another tool for taking notes and synthesizing information in this class. 
A large majority of students enjoy sketch notes and really enjoy having a set of paper mate (or other brand) pens for note taking.  I normally tell the students a few weeks after school starts and this year I decided to tell parents sooner the value of these pens for your students creative reflections and notes in this class.  I can assure you, if you purchase these pens your child WILL use them.

For a quick introduction to sketch notes google them....or check out this youtube channel with lots of videos on the process and a great introduction to visual note taking.
• White paper 11 X 17( optional donation for classroom use )
•"Mexican, falsa, beach blankets"  for students to sit on classroom floor or outside  during group work ($10 on amazon) 
 • scotch tape (kids LOVE to tape things in their composition books) • baby wipes • papermate flair pens (any color)
• Clorox or cleaning wipes • Extra Post its for class activities
A parent volunteer to tie Community flags to twine ...  You will be taking the project home. (approx time 1-2 hours) email me if you are  interested )
Donations Welcome
I will also need magazines for this weeks community collage creation activity...
Please send in as many as you can find! students will earn RIS tix for helping our community.
Grades will be available on the Aeries portal.  Please check Aeries regularly and feel free to ask me any questions that you might have about a particular grade. I make mistakes, so this is your opportunity to make sure I’ve got everything correct! This can be done before or after class or via e-mail. Also, please make sure a grade is "FINAL" before you get upset that an assignment is missing.  If I start entering grades and will show on your Aeries screen...but unless it says "FINAL" grade it does not count against your total grade until it is "SUBMITTED".  Also, Download the Grades App to seamlessly check grades from your phone!
What you should know..
It is vital that you do your work and SUBMIT your work in this class.  It is all about the points so an incomplete assignment is still worth much more than a missing assignment or zero.
Teacher Rules beyond agreements above:
- Tardies are counted if you are not in your seat when the bell rings
- If you are absent it is STUDENTS responsibility to check on planbook, with a student, and then with Mrs. Kraake if more clarification or handouts needed.  If you miss a test STUDENT must arrange a makeup date.
- YOU CAN ONLY WORK ON SS WORK IN SS...that includes outside reading books and phones of course !
Community Agreements

Created together....
Frequently asked questions
As long as you have NO MISSING work and your original work was submitted ON TIME.  You must attach a re-do form (I will have these later) to your assignment.  You have one month from the date the original assignment was turned in to re-submit...and I will only take re-submission up to two weeks before the final grading period ends.  For tests I will let you know on a test by test basis.
If you are absent you have the same number of days you are absent to submit work.  That said if there are special circumstances please talk to me and I will work with you on a make-up plan that supports you best.
Go to my planbook page.  I post handouts and detailed summaries of what we do every day in class.  If you are home wait until after lunch to see updated directives.  You can get the link through RIS Edlio page or Aeries.  You can access planbook directly by logging in as a STUDENT.  you need to enter my email [email protected] and the password is learn.
Where do I find out what I missed?
What if I am absent?
Can I re-submit a grade or project?
Social Studies
Mrs. Kraake
How to pay attention
Please check out my blog
Take a breath to re-focus and re-route if-needed
We are all connected
aware of our emotions and how they affect our days...
We spend a lot of time developing our intelligence in school and strengthening our bodies through sports or exercise.  We know that paying attention is important to doing well in school and in life….  But truly no one really tells you how to pay attention.  We know what to do ..and time and time again we find yourself acting before we think…and not sure how to do what we need to do to communicate in a more controlled and thought out way.   Mindfulness is a powerful tool for our brains. It is a tool for training the mind to be less anxious, more focused, and to help us learn how to respond rather than to react to the countless amount of stimuli in our lives. It is a tool that benefits students, teacher and parents….all of humanity.  Based on decades of research in how the brain works, mindfulness lessons help us understand how neurological connections in the habitually follow ancient biological paths.  Mindfulness lessons and practice teach us how to re-train the brain for a pause between when we act, do, or talk Mindfulness is having both present-time awareness and mental calmness. These components help educators be more present and focused in the classroom. Mindfulness is a tool for students to learn how they think- like an owner’s manual for the mind.  Mindfulness is also a tool for building community and helping students feel connections within and with each other.

In this class I will be integrating mindfulness lessons formally on Wellness Wednesday's each week.  I had a very successful year last few years with mindfulness for my students and I am looking forward to sharing this tool for learning and life with students again this year.  I just finished up a Mindful Teacher Certification Program through Mindful Schools, and am now a proud Mindful Teacher Grad, Class of 2018! 
For more information on what I am doing with mindfulness feel free to check out my blog
Mindfulness in Education
This year we will work every Friday on a special, student-created, project of their choice.  Projects will be based on the unit or themes we are currently working with.  Students will learn how to further their personal inquiry, interests and passions within the context of  our social studies explorations. 

Projects will be something students have a lot of control over.  Some students will choose to stay with one topic for the tri-mester and others may choose to do a few many projects.  The criteria for grading will be be based on turning in a completed project by the end of each tri-mester.  When we turn in our projects students will present 1-2 minute shares about what they learned and what they enjoyed about the learning. So, there is both a project grade and a speech grade for this long term project.  If a child chooses to do more than one project he or she will need to turn in all of those projects and speak to all of their experiences.  Students will NOT be allowed to work in partners for the first tri-mester.  

Students will work with the teacher to write a proposal for their projects.  They will design the criteria and rubrics by which I will grade their final projects.  Students will be allowed to create their own learning and be the creators of their own explorations.  In addition to all of the above, students will also be asked to present their projects to their parents at home which is a great opportunity for parent-child to connect on this educational topic!

Don't worry there will be much more discussion and direction regarding this topic.  For now, look at your social studies book and start to think about what topics you may want to dig deeper in and through....  The first tri-mester is early humans and the world's first civilizations.  Your choices are early humans (NO NOT DINOSAURS) and Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Kush, and Ancient India.  The second trimester choices are Ancient China, and Ancient Greece.  The last tri-mester is Ancient Rome.  Students will work with the teacher to craft a specific topic within the studies.  Students must choose something more in depth than will be covered in the classroom objectives.  For example, a student may wish to look at women in Ancient Egypt, dig deeper into cuneiform cylinder seals and archaeological finds in modern day Iraq, etc...

Students will be encouraged to create a blog first tri-mester where they can blog post about their personal reflections through out the school year.  If students do not create blogs, they will be asked to keep a notebook of ongoing posts from September to June.  For each project students will be required to do a blog post or one page reflection for each month of the school year.  So, they will have a total of ten required blogs or reflections of their journey and discoveries.

Projects must be creative and show the personal views and voice of each child.  Cuting and pasting of information into a PPT is NOT ACCEPTED.  Students will create projects that reflect their learning.... much more information to come.  This is just a sneak peek!   We will start exploration projects after Back to School Night so you have time to think about this!