Articles by: Garry Pfaffmann

Genius Hour

Genius Hour

Google and Apple are famous for their corporate policy of “20% time” in which employees are encouraged to pursue their passions several hours each work, on company time. Such an atmosphere has led to increased employee satisfaction, as well as the development of some amazing products. This corporate culture has trickled into a 21st Century teaching practice known as “Genius Hour” or “20% Time.” Every Friday, all 7th and 8th grade students will have time…

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Debate Season

Students have been reading and responding to a variety of non-fiction texts relating to their thematic units. Now that they’ve been immersed in the content, are practiced in identifying main ideas, supporting details, and meaningful quotes, and are looking at web-based resources with a critical eye, it is time to present their skills in a public forum. 7th grade students will present an Internet Safety and Productivity Fair next Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 10:00. Parents are welcome…

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Second Semester Thematic Units

A new semester, marks the beginning of a new thematic unit for 7th and 8th grade classes. Eighth graders will study the issue of homelessness in preparation for their trip to San Francisco, and the seventh graders will study the First Amendment as it applies to social media, as a means of becoming safe and sensible digital citizens. UNIT OUTLINE The content of each of these units has been outlined on class websites. Parents are encouraged…

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L.A. Skills Boot Camp

Each semester, the Language Arts program is based on a targeted theme. This semester has been based around Curiosity, and students have read and studied non-fiction and fiction texts, written summaries, narratives, and expository analyses and comparisons, and have presented their work in the form of a journal project, and a spoken presentation in front of a live audience. Next semester the 7th grade theme will be based around Social Media, while the 8th graders study…

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Curiosity Killed The Cat

Curiosity Killed The Cat

Curiosity can lead to great innovation and knowledge, but it can also pave a pathway towards risky behavior. Some people are more naturally drawn to investigate danger, and adolescents often want to understand those subjects that we ask them to avoid. Part of the Colorado teaching standards includes that middle school students learn the “facts” about drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and internet safety, and to empower them to make healthy choices. During the next few weeks of Language…

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