Saturday, September 1, 2007

My second week at school by Benjamin

In the Max Team, we are now learning about neurons. Neurons are nerve cells. They basically look like your arm. Your palm is the cell body, or soma. Your fingers are the dendrites, which receive chemical signals, or neurotransmitters, from the other end of the nerves. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are released out of the terminal bud, which is like your elbow. What happens is the dendrites recieve the chemical signals and make an electric charge which goes down the axon, which is like your arm, and goes down to the terminal bud, which then releases more neurotransmitters. That whole process is called nerve impulses. Nerve impulses can do anything, from moving muscles to sensing heat. As you can see here, Mr. Miller is a very good teacher.
We also started literature circles. Literature circles are taught by Mrs. Cady, who specializes in English and Reading. You get into groups of four and then choose a book to read. The one I am reading is called Dragon Keeper. When you are done reading for the day, then Ms. Cady gives you four different papers to divide amongst yourselves. One is the summarizer. The Summarizer writes one or two paragraphs on your reading today. Then he writes down four key points. Another one is word wizard. That is where the person chooses three paragraphs, writes the page number, and then writes down why he pikcd them. There is also the illustrator, who makes a comic or an illustration of what happened. The last one is the discussion director. The discussion director writes down four questions or topics to discuss. All four of these also have to do a connection, which basically connects what happens in the story to your life. For example, if someone in the story is afraid of spiders, you could say "I'm afraid of spiders, too." Or you could relate it to deaths in the story, good things in the story, or anything else.
Also in Mrs. Cady's class, we are studying the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail is the route that the pioneers used to get to Oregon. In that day it was owned by England. To get it back, they needed to have more people settle it. Since they didn't have cars in the day, they had to travel in covered wagons made out of wood and canvas. They put as much stuff as they could in their wagon that was able to be carried by oxen, mules, or horses. People generally used oxen because they could pull heavier loads than mules or horses. Sometimes many families traveled together. This was called a wagon train. At the end of the day, they would let the mules, horses and oxen rest and put their wagons in a circle. Then they would let the children play in the circle before dinner, after dinner, and anytime they were resting until it got dark out.
End of story for today - a thunderstorm just started and we need to log off the computer.


Anonymous said...

So what is the animal on your shoulder? It looks like a rat. Is it?
Love, Grandma and Grandpa

Karen and Chris said...

That is a gerbil. Matt Kiser (in Allentown) has one and Benjamin enjoyed playing with it all evening!