Seventh-grade social studies students at a Michigan middle school have created newscasts as projects to keep peers up-to-date on current events. The students worked in teams, chose topics to report on -- including the terrorist attacks in Paris and California -- for their newscasts, which were recorded and edited on iPads.
Seventh-graders at a Maine middle school are learning math while pedaling at bicycle desks in class. Teacher Josh Lambert added the bikes to help students keep their concentration as they sit for long periods. The students log the miles they pedal on a map, and they also use standing stations to help them focus on their studies.
A Nebraska middle school implemented "passion projects" for all seventh-graders to allow them to learn independently. Students took a half-day at the beginning of the year to choose a topic and spent an hour each week working on their project, which was not graded. The program culminated in a fair during which students presented their work.
A group of New Jersey seventh-graders studied the Ebola outbreak in Africa by videoconferencing with an airman under quarantine after returning from a hospital-building mission in Liberia. The interview was part of a social studies class discussion about the disease outbreak.
Seventh-graders at a Nebraska middle school are learning real-world applications by designing and constructing an outdoor classroom as part of a collaboration among two teachers. "The big thing is that when kids feel like they have an investment in the school, they take care of it," teacher Bill Saeger said.