2nd Grade: Platonic Solids and Crystals

This week we worked on finishing up our work with Polygons and Platonic Solids.  The kids worked on finishing up some of their polygon centers.  We then created our own hexahedron, a 3-D shape with 6 faces.  It is a special type of polyhedron and is one of the 5 Platonic Solids.  The kids recorded rules of a Platonic solid, their favorite polyhedron, what one of the polyhedrons reminded them of, the names of the 5 Platonic solids, and their own name on each of the 6 faces of their hexahedron.  Below you will see a video of the kids with their hexahedrons.  They did a terrific job making them.

At the end of the day, I had the kids put on their scientist caps and their observations skills to examine three different substances.  They used pictures and words to record what they observed. This will lead us into the world of crystals and hopefully the kids will see how crystals connect to polygons, polyhedrons, and structures.  Here are some images of the little scientists at work.

2nd Grade: Polygons and Poly-WHATS?

In 2nd grade we continued to work on finishing our Polygon centers.  Many kids are nearly finished and ready to showcase all that they have learned next week in their final assessment.  The centers have been fun and their new knowledge will positively impact their understanding of man-made and natural structures. Enjoy some of their finished centers below.

Polygon Riddle by Nate

Another Polygon Riddle by Michael and Dasom

Polygon Riddle by Jonas and John

Polygons by Abby

This week the kids were also introduced to another new word: Polyhedrons. The second graders knew right off that it probably had something to do with shapes because it started with POLY like polygons.  One even guessed that maybe they were 3-D shapes. We watched a BrainPop and learned some new vocabulary related to polyhedrons.  In the video the kids were introduced to a special type of polyhedron called the Platonic Solids.  The 2nd graders had the chance to touch each solid and count the edges, faces, and vertices.  Next week they will make the hexahedron.  They are very excited.

2nd Grade: Polygons, Polygons, Polygons!

For the past two weeks the 2nd graders have been exploring polygons and learning more about types of polygons and where they can be found in our world.  They are visiting a variety of centers that are all centered around polygons.  By the end of this upcoming Monday the 2nd graders should be able to recite the rules for polygons, have some basic understanding of regular and irregular polygons, and where they can be found in the world.  

Riddles About Polygons:


Polygon Lessons:


Kids working and playing with Polygons:

Polygon Centers on PhotoPeach

Next week we will finish up our Polygon centers and explore Platonic Solids. The kids will see the connection and patterns between the two.  This will lay the foundation for our year discovering and learning about natural and man made structures.

2nd Grade: Six Hats, Polygons, X-Tiles and More

A Ferris Wheel on our playground?  That was the proposal that I gave the 2nd graders.  After they closed their mouths from the shock, they promptly peppered me with questions about the validity of the proposal.  I haven’t confirmed their suspicion that most certainly we will not be adding a Ferris Wheel to the playground.  I first want to give them the opportunity to explore the idea and see if they can come to an educated conclusion on their own.  We are using the Six Hats to hopefully make a more informed decision.  I put one hat at each table and the kids rotated around all of the tables, putting on their different thinking hat to consider the idea of having a Ferris Wheel on the playground.  This week we are going to discuss which Hats were easier to wear and which were more difficult.  Below is a picture of our thinking so far.

X-Tiles has been another big part of our learning this year.  X-Tiles gives 4 clues that help us uncover our mystery number.  The clues can be quite tricky, so we are having to use logic, math, and our reading skills to understand the clues.  The kids are getting better and better at these every year.  In the next week or so, we will be posting some tutorials on how to solve these problems.

Polygons: The second graders took a pre-test on polygons.  Only one child mentioned anything related to shapes, so I think we are safe in assuming that this is a new term.  We watched a brainpop on Polygons and recorded details and rules about polygons.  Next week we will be looking at the connection between polygons and structures.

2nd Grade Fun!

Well, we hit the ground running our first week in GT and this week was no different.  This year we are diving into the world of Structures, both man-made and natural, and even the more abstract concepts of structure(s).

I started by giving each table a bag of cards to sort.  I didn’t give them any parameters, just told them to look at the cards and think about how they should be sorted.  They were unaware that all of these cards held examples of structure(s).  After they sorted they took a picture of their sort and we shared the various categories whole class.  I then told the kids that I wanted them to sort the cards again, but that they could only use two categories.  Again they took a picture of their completed sort and we discussed the categories.  The kids noticed that our categories were more closely aligned when I put the 2 category rule in place. Below are the Educreations the kids created to share their sorts.

This week I introduced the word Structures.  I had the kids brainstorm everything they thought they knew about structures.  I had some kids with one thing on their paper and others with a 10-15 things written down.  It really helped me to see where all of my student were coming from. I gave the kids the same bag of cards. This time I told them that ALL of the items fit the definition of structure.  I once again had them sort into two categories.  This time all of the tables realized that they could sort them into man-made and natural structures.  Below you will find a Padlet. Please help us by double clicking on the wall and adding examples of man-made and natural structures.  We want help from parents, grandparents. etc.

After our pre-test, sort, and discussion, the kids created a DETAILS flower to share the facts and features related to their understanding of STRUCTURE so far.  Here are some of their images.

In addition to structures, we have been doing an activity called X Tiles We use clues and math to figure our mystery number.  The kids are getting better at reading and understanding the clues every day.

The second graders were introduced to a new way of thinking called Six Hats thinking.  We will learn to use these hats as we encounter various problems in our learning.  Next week you should see our first finished project related to the hats.

This week the kids were given some new vocabulary words to add to their vernacular.  We talked about ways to use the word so that it became a part of our day to day conversations and writing.  The kids were encouraged to get their siblings and friends to use the words as well.  I hope you will help encourage their vocabulary development.  Each week they should have new words that are tied to our novel, Walls Within Walls.

THIS WEEKS WORDS: grumbled, anxious, deferential  modernize, chivalry

Wow, that was a long post.  That reminds me of why I like to do them each week.  🙂

Summer Tech Camp

If you are looking for a fun, enriching camp for your child this summer then take a  look at the flyer below.  Mrs. Davis and I are hosting a Tech Camp in late July for K-5 grade students.  We will meet with K-2 in the morning and 3-5 in the afternoon.  We can’t wait!  The kids do NOT need to be part of the Gifted and Talented class to participate.  We welcome all kids who love technology like we do!

The End of Another Great Year!

I want to thank the kids and the parents for making this another fantastic year!  I am the luckiest teacher in the world to work with such great kids, with such supportive parents.  Please remember that I check my email all summer long.  I love to hear from the kids and about the kids.  I enjoy seeing pictures of the vacations and hear about all the swimming medals the kids get and their other extra curricular activities.

Here is a link if you are looking for ways to continue to enrich your child this summer: https://www.smore.com/r23z-summer-enrichment


3rd Grade:

Memories by 3rd Grade on PhotoPeach

4th Grade:

Remembering 4th Grade on PhotoPeach

Australia and China

In second grade we have been learning about different walls around the world, understanding both the concrete and abstract purposes behind some of the great walls in our world.

Our study took us to Australia and the kids enjoyed researching animals native to that continent.  Each student researched two animals using a great site called australian-animals.net.  The students then considered what would happen if they created a new animal using characteristics from the two they researched.  You can click on the news flyer below to see the kids research.  Currently only 2 students are completely done.  I will update the smore as the kids finish up their books.  Most are nearly done.

We also had the chance to explore The Great Wall of China and learn a bit out the history of the wall.  The second graders used pastels to create an art piece on the wall and then they used the ipads to create a poster with their art piece and a 6 word summary for the wall.  Enjoy their work below.

The Great Wall of China on PhotoPeach

Tomato Plant versus Bean Plant

Today I had a math problem out for the kids to solve for their morning work. I thought they would have it finished and turned in within 30 minutes…boy was I wrong! They struggled, I mean really struggled. It was interesting to see and a real eye opener to me. I learned they needed more times to struggle, to be unsure, to have to sit with a problem. When the kids came back from lunch we went over what we knew about the problem and the math needed. I had the kids work as tables to try and find a solution. We ended up spending most of our day on this one problem. They wanted for me to bail them out, to feed them the information and I refused. They all had the tools they needed to conquer the problem, but they weren’t used to the uncertainty. They all eventually solved it and were quite proud of themselves. We discussed the value in making mistakes, in sticking with something that is challenging. I think we all learned from this moment and you better believe that next week they will have the opportunity to feel the struggle again. 🙂 Below is a video of one of the groups solutions.

Marvelous Monday by Carly

Today in GT kids made signs for friendship.  We also kept researching Australia.  We saw lots of places that are in Australia.  We did lots of cool things in GT.  We had so much fun with our wonderful GT teacher, Mrs. Germadnik.  We can’t wait until next week to do great things again.

By Carly

**And I didn’t even pay her to say such nice things. 🙂

To begin our unit on Talking Walls I introduced the kinds to two new terms: concrete and abstract.  I want the children to understand that some walls are more than just a physical structure, that they can stand for abstract ideas like freedom, power, friendship.  After our lesson on these two terms, we zoomed over to Tasmania and visited The International Wall of Friendship.  The kids discussed that Friendship is an abstract idea…not something we can easily see and touch.  Each student created a symbol that represented the idea of friendship.  They then created similes to help demonstrate what friendship means.   Please enjoy their symbols and similes below.

Super Day in Second Grade

In 2nd grade we have been studying Biomimicry, the new science of looking to nature for ideas on how to solve problems and invent new things for our world.  The kids chose an animal to research and thought about what they could learn from that animal that would allow them to create something new for our world.  Enjoy some of the finished videos below.

Today in GT we got to use the posters and iPads on Biomimicry to make a movie.  Mrs. Germadnik showed us a new app.  In the morning we did an excellent puzzle that we had to use our GT brains to solve. I got to see my sister because she came to use the computers.  

By Giana

By Emily

By Carly

By Grace

By Rebecca

By Casey

By Molly

By Giana

By Catt

By Kaylee

By Faith