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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Geo Journals Doherty Middle School

We are doing a special project called Geo Journals in Social Studies. In this project, we each have a journal in which we write a letter about our lives, and where we live, and paste some pictures. Then we find the addresses of 2 people outside of Massachusetts, and send it to them. Once someone receives the journal, they would send an email to our teacher, Mr. Keane, saying that they have a journal. If it's your journal, you get to pinpoint the location of the journal on a map. At the end of the year, the journals will be sent back to the school, and us. We will get to read them, and learn about the places the journals have been.

Our goal for the project is to learn about how geography impacts our lives everywhere. We want to learn about other people and their lives! This project will help us understand geography from someone’s point of view. We get to learn about a place from the people who know it best-the people who live there! Also, we will learn what schooling is like, and what people wear and do in their daily lives.
Our project relates to the 5 themes of geography (location, place, human-environment-interaction, movement, and region) in many ways. It relates to location because we learn where the journal is. It relates to place because we learn about what people do, wear, and eat in their environment. It relates to human environment interaction because we get to learn what people have done to their environment to make it suitable to live in. it relates to movement because we get to see what people eat and wear, and how they live. We get to learn about region, like were the place is.  

This project is going great! So far, after only 2 months, we've received more than a hundred replies, about 84 in the U.S.A, and 43 world-wide. Over the rest of the school year we are hoping to get many more replies!

Sophie Jeffrey and Rachel HsuDoherty Middle School

Social Studies at Doherty

Mr. Keane, our social studies teacher, has many active ways for us study geography. One of them was to send a journal around the world. In class, we received a sheet describing the process. Then, we had an organizer to fill out for homework. It included space for information about us: interests, hobbies, sports, and pets, about Doherty: number of students, grades, and classes, info about Andover: population, location, distance from Boston, and what Andover is like, and info about Massachusetts. In class, we turned that information into a letter. Then, we copied that letter into a composition note book. When that was done we started the next. To make the journals more interesting, we brought in receipts, photos, and other things from home. We glued them in and labeled them. If we wanted to make our letters personal, though, we had to place sticky notes in the notebooks.

We brought two addresses of family or friends outside Massachusetts. We wrote these on the big envelopes in which the journals went.. Our ELA teacher checked the letters and the journals were brought to the post office and sent off. Now people receive the journals, write in them, email Mr. Keane, and send them off again. In the month of May we will be receiving full journals. In the journals, there will be so much info about what the weather or land is like in different places. We hope to reach our goal; learning as much as possible about geography. When people write their activities or careers, they are telling us what their geography allows them to do. They also give us examples of place, location, human environment interaction, region, and movement in their letters. We all love doing this project!

Laura Mahaniah, Doherty Middle School

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


The Programming Club at West Elementary School engages its students in an 8 week introduction class into programming. The students learn about technology by working on a new project each week that encompasses various technical programming components. They can even make their own video games! Students can then access SCRATCH software at home to share their projects making what they learning in programming club a fun and educational experience for the whole family! Lisa and Glen Stump are the parents who started this club two years ago because of their background in and passion for programming.   

West Elementary School
Programming Club 
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