Marvelous Monday by Kaylee H.

Hello visitors.  My name is Kaylee.  Today, GT 2nd Grade is learning about biomimicry.  What is biomimicry, you ask?  Well, biomimcry is where you scrutinize animals to make an invention to make the world better.  For example, people looked at butterfly wings to make paint and geckos for tape that feels not sticky, but is very sticky.  I researched an orca for my invention.  Did you know an orcas tooth is 3 inches  long? Crazy, right?

                                                                                          Your friend,


                                                                                           2nd Grade GTer

Biomimicry by Molly D.

I am thrilled to begin having the students take an active part in our GT blog.  Each week a different student will have the opportunity to write about our day. Today Molly D.  earned the 2nd Grade Student Blogger spot. She earned the chance through effort, participation, and dedication to her learning this week. I look forward to seeing who our next Blogger will be.

Our Marvelous Monday

By Molly D.

Today we continued to learn about biomimicry.  We were studying giraffes and pondering how we could make life better, more efficient or make life run smoother using parts from the giraffe.  And now that you ask biomimcry is when you imitate nature and using your GT brain to do it!  Now let me tell you a little bit about giraffes.  They have sharp hooves, they can have tongues up to 21 inches long, and their hooves are so powerful they can knock the wind out of a lion.  Crazy, right? Mrs. Germadnik told us next week we were going to pick an animal to use biomimicry and write inventions that we come up with from that animal.

We are also starting to study math word problems.  Today we had a problem I like to call The Magic Plant.  On this problem we had to count the centimeters while doubling!

1st-2nd Grade Parent Meeting

I am thrilled that so many parents were able to make the First-Second Parent Meeting.  I know that this is an incredibly busy time of year, so appreciate that so many were able to make it.  If you were unable to attend you can find the presentation below.  Please email me if you have any questions or concerns.  I love meeting the parents, so stop in to say hello any time you are at the school.

Face Time…School to School

Last week the second graders researched Tunnel Basics by thinking about Details, Rules, and Change Over Time.  Each group created a poster to share their learning and were responsible for teaching their classmates.  However, they weren’t just in charge of teaching their classmates, but also 2nd Grade GT students at Northern Hills Elementary.  We used the iPad and Facetime to connect with the kids at Northern Hills.  It was an awesome experience.  My students worked hard to prepare for their presentation and did a fabulous job!  We look forward to sharing with our Northern Hills Buddies again soon.

Magnificent Monday…

Monday was a great day with my enthusiastic first and second graders.  Below is a quick look into my time with each group.

First Grade:

In first grade we are going to focus on Discoveries.  On Monday we started by brainstorming anything that comes to mind when we think about the word Discoveries.  The kids started brainstorming independently as a pre-assessment.  This allowed me to see each student’s starting point.  We then shared our thinking and I added their ideas to a large chart.  I was quite impressed with their thinking.  I think the kids were surprised with all of the different ideas that were shared.  After we discussed their understanding of Discoveries.  We talked about how we can discover new things about ourselves all the time.  The kids drew a picture of themselves and shared different discoveries they have made over their last six or seven years.  Enjoy their work below.

Discoveries on PhotoPeach

**Coming Next Week: The kids started writing Discovery Poems.  We will finish them and share Monday.

Second Grade:

In second grade we have been building our understanding of the word STRUCTURE.  This week the kids began to research their first structure: Tunnels.  They were broken into groups and each group was to research one section on tunnels, using a wonderful website called Building Big.  The kids will share their learning next week and we will dive a little deeper into the world of tunnels.  This will lead to our study on Biomimicry as we think about where humans looked to learn about tunnel building: nature.   Below are some pictures of the kids doing their research and creating their posters.

Polygon Riddles

For the last couple of weeks that kids have been spending time getting to know and understand polygons.  They have had the chance to build polygons like squares, pentagons, hexagons, and decagons. They have examined structures searching for examples of polygons, created polygon art, and explained the rules and details related to polygons.  One of their favorite activities was using an app called Sock Puppets to create polygon riddles. They had a good time writing their riddle and acting it out.  Enjoy their videos below.  This was their first attempt at using Sock Puppets.  We will definitely work on voice level and speed for upcoming projects.

Polygon Fun

This week the second graders were given a bag with various shapes it.  They were told to examine the shapes and sort them into at least 2 groups.  The kids were in charge of determining the categories after evaluating the various shapes.  There were many debates on the “right” way to sort the cards and many kids asking me to referee.  They are used to parameters…sort by biggest and smallest, curved lines and straight, etc.  It took compromise, patience, and risk-taking for the kids to create their own groups.  They did a fantastic job.  Below you will see pictures of the kids categories.  Once the tables were done we took a gallery walk to appreciate the many perspectives.  We came back together and discussed patterns we noticed: sides, vertices, open, closed, etc.  I then introduced them to the term POLYGONS.  We watched a Brainpop video on polygons.  The students brainstormed the rules for Polygons based on the video.  They then reorganized their shape cards into two categories: Polygons and NOT Polygons.  Next week the children will use polygons to create an art piece.  They will also use Depth and Complexity to reflect on the details and rules of polygons.

 Getting to Know Polygons on PhotoPeach

Perplexing Puzzle

This year I am going to work with the kids on learning how to take academic risks, how to push passed those uncomfortable feelings when solving a challenging issue.  Many of my students have spent their first few years without having to struggle and it can be difficult for them to deal with challenge. 

During our first class, the children were given a puzzle to solve.  Before taking it out of their bag we brainstormed RULES for solving puzzles.  The students discussed sorting the pieces, looking for corners and edges, not forcing pieces together, etc.  Once we were done discussing the RULES, the students began solving the puzzle using many of the rules they had come up with.  They all started with such an air of confidence and pleasure.  After awhile the frustration and confusion started to set in.  The kids were encouraged to take a Gallery Walk to study their classmates’ puzzles.  We then shared PATTERNS that were evident in the puzzles. 

This week, the kids came back to the puzzles and solved them successfully…after we discussed the PATTERNS we saw and shared last week.  Below is a video of the kids working on their puzzles. 


BIG IDEA: The children agreed that the BIG IDEA (or purpose) of this activity was to “learn to  look at things differently, stretch our brains, and to learn not to quit.”

What A Monday!

I had quite the Monday with my first and second graders.  I started my morning by traveling to Africa with my first graders, but by 11:00 was in Australia with my second graders.  You can imagine my exhaustion after traversing two such amazing continents.

As I said, I started my morning with a trip to Africa with first grade.  We read a terrific folktale called The King of the Frogs.  It was the story of how peace came to the frogs.  You may not realize, but frogs were quite the rambunxious group before gaining a new king, Mamba the Crocodile.   The unruly frogs had asked their God Mmumi for a King, but I am not sure this is what they had in mind.  The kids and I had a wonderful discussion on being careful what you ask for and having the ability to govern ourselves. It was neat to hear their perspectives.  Following our discussion the kids created their own origami jumping frogs using an index card.  They had a wonderful time allowing their frogs to jump about “doing as they please” just like the frogs did in the story…before grumpy King Mamba entered the picture. 

After our frogs settled down long enough to sit in their habitat, the first graders created poems about their frog.  Enjoy the example above.

Once we arrived back to Bulverde Creek it was time to head off to Australia.  The second graders spent time learning about the Aborignies (natives to Australia).  We studied their cave drawings, their technique, languages, music, etc.  It was great fun.  After studying the beautiful art attributed to the Aboriginal people the kids were influenced to create their own pieces.  They attempted to use many of the techniques we saw in the paintings we studied.  The kids wrote poems to go with their wonderful art work.  Below is a book with a preview of some of the art and poetry.  To see the completed book, please click on the link below the book.

Click HERE to see the completed book. When you See CLICK HERE TO READ, please click on it so that you can see the book in Full Screen.