The end of the first two weeks means the end of our introductory unit, "Thinking Like A Historian". Students were introduced to basic historical concepts including types of sources and historical tools, types and uses of maps, the way historians use data, and ideas of perspective and bias. Students used their own lives as a jumping off point, finding sources that helped to express their own history, and then used their dreams for the future to create maps of their goals. We even got to have a treasure hunt around the middle school cottage. (Congrats to the winners, and sorry to the teachers who had to deal with sugared-up kids afterward!)
Now that I've met my students, I can say with certainty that this group of kids is going to do some incredible things as we go into historical content next week. 8th graders are going to look at the beginnings of American history, beginning with the continent before European colonization, and 7th graders will reach back to the beginnings of recorded history to decide for themselves when civilization actually began. I have really enjoyed the getting-to-know-you phase, but I really can't wait for next week.