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

Abel’s Boats

In first grade we have been reading a wonderful book called Abel’s Island, which follows the adventures of a mouse called Abel as he attempts to make his way home after being marooned on an island. The first graders used materials available in the classroom to build a boat that might help Abel escape the island.  Enjoy a video showing the kids as they create, complete and test out their boats.

3rd Grade Has Been Busy

The 3rd graders have been very busy over the past few weeks.  Enjoy a look at a very FEW things that they have been up to.

Punished by David Lubar:

We have been reading this wonderful book about a boy named Logan who finds himself in quite an unusual predicament…he can only speak in PUNS!  While his sister and principal get quite a kick out of it, you can imagine that it is causing a lot of issues with other friends, teachers, and family members.  Logan was punished by a clever guy named Professor Wordsworth.  The kids had to decide whether or not it was ethical for the professor to punish Logan.  Once the kids had made their arguments, they were forced to take the opposing view point and write a letter to Professor Wordsworth.  It was a challenge to get the kids to argue the opposing view, but they did a great job. Click on the cover of the book below and you will see all of their great letters.

Big Ideas of Systems:  The 3rd graders have been working to learn and understand the big ideas related to systems.  After discovering the difference between and heap and a system through our electrical circuit, we looked deeper into what made a system a system.  The kids took those ideas and created a movie to help showcase their understanding.  We will dive into the world of bridges next and connect back to the BIG IDEAS of systems.  I hope you enjoy their Animoto Movies.

The Lobes of the Brain

In 3rd grade we have begun our study of the brain.  We started our investigation with a look at the large parts of the brain…the brain stem, cerebellum, and cerebrum. The students learned the function of each part and considered how their life would be altered if one of the parts failed to work properly.

This week we took a closer look at the cerebrum, the thinking part of the brain, by studying the four lobes of the brain. The children used a great website called Neuroscience For Kids to research the function of each lobe.  As they researched they created a circle book to keep all of their information, which they glued into their Interactive Notebook. The children created Haikus about one of the lobes of the brain. I hope you enjoy their poems.

The McNay

I was thrilled to be able to take the 4th graders on a field trip to the McNay Museum.  It was my first time taking my GT students on a field trip, but it certainly won’t be my last.  We went on the field trip with other 4th Grade GT students from Northern Hills, Redland, and Thousand Oaks.  It was great to meet other students that are investigating the same topics as we are.  All of the children were excited, engaged, and well-mannered.  Very few of the kids had been to the McNay before, so it was neat to see their faces as they realized they were seeing pieces created by the Picaso, Monet, Calder, etc.  They kept asking, “That is the real thing? Not a Copy?”

Enjoy a slide show of our day…


Some Comments on why they want to visit again with family…

One thing I want my friends and family to see is the Andy Warhol part with his pieces because they have life and death, sadness and happiness.  Arianna

I want my friends and family to see my favorite painting of a Fall Tree because all of my family’s birthdays are in the fall.  Kevin

I would take my family because almost everyone in my family loves art, so I am pretty sure they would love it.  Sydney

I’d like my friends and family to be there to admire the paintings. Mia

Why would I like to go again with others…I would like to see more art there.  Emily

One thing I want my friends and family to see is the Monet painting because it’as a really good piece of art.  Kaleb

To see the Monet painting because it made me feel like I was actually at the pond listening.  Madison

One thing I want my friends and family to see is the Andy Warhol exhibit.  Madelyn

One thing I want my friends and family to see is all the abstract, wonderful art that is in the museum.  And also the sculptures and 3-D stuff.  Surya


Mystery of Me

This week in 4th grade we continue to learn about Multiple Intelligences and the importance of understanding our strengths and weaknesses. That is the only way to grow and develop as learners, thinkers, and creators.

We also began looking into a fascinating number sequence discovered by a mathematician named Fibonacci. The children were fascinated to learn that the Fibonacci Numbers can be found throughout nature and even in the human body. We will continue to delve into this interesting mathematician and look at the mysteries he uncovered.

In exploring the mystery of who we are, the kids created Animoto movies with clues that help us better understand them. I hope you enjoy.

Becoming A Thinker

What can I use as a guide to fulfill my potential?  This is the essential question for our 3rd graders on their quest to become THINKERS…thoughtful, creative, critical thinkers.  As we strive to become a Systems Thinker, we need to understand the Big Ideas about Systems.  The 3rd graders grouped up and took pictures illustrating each of the Big Ideas.   This project has allowed the children to see that there is more to systems than just parts working together to perform a function.  It has led them to look at the world in a deeper, more critical way.  Enjoy the videos below.


After Thanksgiving we will begin studying a great example of a Systems Thinker.  Use the Answer Garden below to brainstorm eminent people that are examples of System Thinkers.

List examples of System Thinkers… at

Know It All or Wise Guy?

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.


The fifth graders participated in a quote quizzler, that when solved left them with Socrates words on wisdom.  The children discussed what they thought wisdom meant.  Many of the children immediately connected the idea of intelligence to being wise.  While other students felt that being intelligent did not neccessarily make one wise.  It was interesting to hear their perspectives.  Each student brainstormed what a Wise person looks and sounds versus a Know It All.  It was interesting to see the parallels between the kids lists.

Enjoy some responses on the idea of Wisdom.

Coming soon: Wisdom Rap by Lantz!

Perfect Worlds

Utopia is defined as: An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. 

Over the last few weeks the students have listened to the lyrics of World by Five for Fighting and thinking about Ghandi’s quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  This led the kids to think about what would make a perfect world.  The kids worked in groups to brainstorm what they think is neccessary to a Utopian Society.  After working as a group and discussing the similarities and differences between the groups, the children chose their top 10 and ranked them.  They then used Wordle to create a word cloud of the characteristics that would make their world a PERFECT place.  Enjoy the Animoto below with the 5th graders Wordles.