Recently in 8th grade we played a couple of video games in class. First we went old school and played Oregon Trail. I found a streaming version online here. I thought I was going to hear complaint after complaint about how terrible the graphics were, but instead I was pleasantly surprised at their reactions. I can't believe how much the kiddos really enjoyed it, snakebites and all! They asked to play it again the next day. The other game we played recently was called Flight to Freedom and can be found here. In Flight to Freedom the students had to help Lucy escape slavery. Cyber learning at its best!
Seventh graders recently debated about the Elgin Marbles and whether or not they should be returned to Greece. If you don't know what the Elgin Marbles are: The Parthenon was a temple built in Ancient Greece to honor the Goddess Athena. The Marbles in question are sculptures that adorned the temple. Fast forward to the early 1800s when Greece was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Lord Elgin, the British Ambassador to Turkey, removed the marbles and brought them to England where to this day they are on display at the British Museum. The problem is Lord Elgin, may or may not have had permission to remove said marbles hence the debate, "Should the Elgin Marbles be Returned to Greece?" Both seventh grade classes had heated discussions and have written well structured arguments with evidence to support their side of the debate.
I still can't get over that the year is almost done. I have so much still to teach, so much to do. Ack! That's ok. I will manage, I always do. I work well under pressure. I am just looking forward to making the most of the time I have left with my 8th graders, before I ship them off to High School.