Mr. Ackerman's Blog

Entries Tagged as 'social studies'

The British Are Coming!

June 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

Grade 5 students welcomed some British visitors today to Lane.  This 2 hour long visit demonstrated the power of learning in an interactive way, and not just from the textbook.  The kids loved it so we plan to bring these soldiers back again next year.



Tags: social studies

Ms Ellien’s class migrates across the Atlantic

November 17th, 2010 · No Comments

Last Friday, Ms Ellien’s class performed a fantastic,  short Immigration play for parents and staff.  It was a great example of what we lose when we are too focused on test scores and standardized tests.  While watching the play I was reminded of my very short and unsuccessful role as an elderly man riding a bike in my grade 5 play.  Although my acting career was short-lived, it still taught me a lot.  Collaboration, presentation skills, and creativity (she let us write our own lines) were all emphasized.  Standardized tests can’t test these skills, but that doesn’t mean we should leave them out.

They're coming to America!!!

Tags: social studies

Croatia to Bedford

May 7th, 2010 · No Comments

Mrs Dick’s grade 5 class Skyped today with a class from Croatia.  What a thrill for our students (and theirs, I hope) to connect with kids across the Globe.  Our students asked lots of questions, and I think, found out that kids are very similar whether in Croatia or Bedford, MA.

some students talk with their peers in Croatia

some students talk with their peers in Croatia

Tags: 21st Century Learning · social studies · technology

A Town Meeting in Social Studies

February 3rd, 2010 · No Comments

Being true to her New England roots, Mrs Lerra had her gr 5 students acting out a town meeting. Mrs Lerra presented the students with a problem.  There was a parcel of land available in Bedford.  The debate was to see which group should be awarded the land: land developers, long time owners, or Park Dept.  This type of assignment focuses our students on many key skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.  These skills were important in the past, and now are even more important as we look to the future.  Plus, the kids loved it!

Kids plan their debate

Kids plan their debate

Tags: 21st Century Learning · math · social studies

Lets Skype!

February 2nd, 2010 · 1 Comment

Its a 10 on the “Cool Factor,” but also a 10 for student learning.  I’m talking about teachers using Skype to connect our students with their peers.  Today, Mrs Smith’s class “Skyped” with a class from Alabama to learn about each others states.  If you don’t know Skype, it is a great example of how technology can enhance student learning.  Students get to see and hear each other with the use of microphones and cameras.

Skyping with Alabama

Skyping with Alabama

Tags: 21st Century Learning · social studies

Interview with Mr Ackerman

November 20th, 2009 · 1 Comment


I was interviewed by two grade 5 students yesterday. Thankfully, they didn’t ask me any tough questions :)

Tags: Uncategorized · education · safety · social studies

Lane Visits Plymouth Plantation

November 10th, 2009 · 1 Comment

With temperatures topping 60 degrees, the Lane third graders spent today at Plimoth Plantation. This annual trip fits in nicely with our grade 3 social studies curriculum.  In preparation for the trip, we had a visit from Randy Joseph, a Native American, who gave a wonderful hands on presentation to our students.


Tags: social studies

Big Questions for Lane Kids

October 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

One of the areas Lane staff is looking to strengthen, is getting the students to think of units in terms of “big” or “essential” questions.  This helps students to be inquisitive toward the subject matter, as well as provide a chance for deeper learning. Below is a question that Mrs Lerra posted for her students’ study of New England history.  Does this make you think?


Tags: education · social studies