It was great getting to meet with parents and kids this week to set goals for the academic year. The purpose of our yearly conference is to teach students how to take responsibility for their education and to understand that success in school requires a collaborative team – teachers, parents, and especially the students. Now that the goals are set, the work needs to continue by using class time well, practicing reading at school and home, and always pushing to do our best (that includes kids, parents, and teachers).
We added a new writing assignment this week: Should the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River be removed? Why or why not? One of the responsibilities that I feel is in helping our kids to become educated members of our society. That means looking at issues, gathering information, and then forming their own opinion. This week we read an article about the Condit Dam and the reasons behind its removal. The article did a great job of presenting both sides of the issue. It was inspiring to hear the questions that so many of the kids had about what would happen to the environment and to the people that were using the electricity that the dam generated.
Our class then watched the breaching of the Condit Dam LIVE (love technology)! The kids were so patient as they waiting for blast. We watched for almost 15 minutes as the water from the White Salmon River rushed through the giant hole in the dam. It gave us a small glimpse of what it might have been like when the Missoula Floods occurred so many years ago. Northwestern Lake was supposed to drain in about six hours. The actual time – one hour! That was a great lesson in how even though experts take lots of time to figure things out, there is nothing quite like watching the actual events.
Here is a link to the Condit Dam breaching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg_cWdItkqU