Kinder: Brainfocals

Word of the Week:


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Convergent Thinking: ONE RIGHT Answer

Today we did another Crayon Logic puzzle. The kids use clues to determine which crayon belongs in which spot in the crayon box.

I also introduced the kids to a new logic game called Ken Ken.  It has some similarities to Sudoku, but it has an added math element. This was definitely tricky for a few of the kids, but we will keep working on it.

Divergent Thinking: LOTS & LOTS of Answers

Today the kids met Isabel the inventor and learned that she uses a type of thinking called Divergent thinking, which is different than Dudley the Detective’s way of thinking.  While Dudley uses clues to find one right answer, Isabel is interested in brainstorming and discovering lots of possibilities.

The kids started by making Brainfocals, which will allow them to focus on an object or idea and see all the possibilities.  We then read a story about a friend of Isabel’s that discovered a whisk in her house.  When she found out the function of a whisk she knew that she wanted Isabel’s help thinking of alternative uses.  Yolanda is not much of a cook.

We put on our brainfocals and studied the whisk.  The kids brainstormed all the ways a whisk could be used.  Here are their results.

The kindergarteners were given a sheet filled with bubbles, but they had to think about what else the bubbles might be.  Here are a few of their ideas.

Photo Apr 17, 10 40 48 AM



1st Grade: Inventions

A few weeks ago the kids and I wondered what it meant to be an inventor.  We started by learning about a great inventor from history, Thomas Edison.  After learning what it takes to invent…being creative, showing perseverance and learning from our failures.

The first graders tried their hand at inventing.  They were each given a noun and a verb and had to force fit them to create an invention.  You can learn about their inventions below.

1st Grade: What Does It Mean to SCAMPER?

Wonder of the Week:

What does it mean to S.C.A.M.P.E.R.?

Last week the first graders were asked the question above.  Many of the students predicted that it meant to move fast, especially when talking about animals.  I was impressed that so many had a working knowledge of the word scamper.

I showed them that this S.C.A.M.P.E.R. looked a little different.  We discussed acronyms and brainstormed a few, like USA. 

The kids learned that S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is a great way to get us thinking divergently.  We went through the each letter of the acronym while reinventing a kite.  The kids then took their new knowledge to SCAMPER a snowman.  You can enjoy their work below.


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Kindergarten: Six Dots

Our last two weeks together we continued working on developing our divergent thinking skills.  I gave each child a blank sheet of paper and had them draw six dots spread out over their page.  We then tore our paper into six pieces and each piece had to have a dot on it.  The kindergartners had to scrutinize (new vocabulary word) their pieces and think about what they could become.  They used colored pencils to add details so that we could see what they visualized.  It was amazing to see what images were hiding in their torn pieces.

After creating six different images each child chose one to create a Cinquain poem about.  The kids learned parts of speech to create their new poem.  They had to learn the difference between nouns, verbs, and adjectives in order to write their poem.  After writing their poem, they used an app called Fotobabble to put their poem and their torn art together.

I hope you enjoy them.  I certainly had fun watching them create.

**Parents, I am so sorry. As I started adding the kids work, I realized that we were missing 5 due to some technical difficulties.  I am really bummed out, as all the kids did an amazing job.  I will check the iPads for the remaining 5 and see if I can fix the issues.

Kindergarten: Becoming Divergent Thinkers

The last couple of weeks with my kindergartners seemed to be wrapped around becoming divergent thinkers, which can be a little intimidating.  With divergent thinking there are NO wrong answers.  Even kindergartners have learned that teachers and parents find it pleasing when we share the ‘correct’ answer, so the idea that there is no correct answer seems daunting.  We started by discussing the word DIVERGE, to go in different directions.  The kids then looked at a series of circles on a page and we brainstormed things that are round.  The kids were then given the page and they created images out of the circles.  We did a gallery walk to see how our minds went in a variety of directions.  From there I gave all of the kids a paper with the same black squiggle on it.  They could turn their page in ANY direction and turn the squiggle into something by adding details.  Enjoy their work:

Kindergarten: Starting with Love

I was thrilled to finally have kinder testing complete so that we could start classes.  I will meet with my sweet kindergartners on Friday mornings.  Our first Friday was Valentine’s Day, so we wrapped some GT thinking skills around this special day of love and friendship.

We started with a logic puzzle, a Valentine Soduko.  One of my kindergartners knew the rules for Soduko and was able to teach the rest of his classmates.  The kids used the SmartBoard to drag the letters in LOVE to fill in our Soduko board.  They did a great job working together and explaining why certain letters worked in certain cells.

Photo Feb 14, 2 04 34 PM

After using our Convergent Thinking skills to solve our logic problem it was time to give our Divergent Thinking skills a work out. They started with a fluency activity, brainstorming all the ways we love.  They had some great ideas: HUGS, KISSES, LAUGHING, PLAYING, SHARING, etc.  Many of the kids discussed how hearts showed love, which led nicely into our next activity.  I showed them a cut out of a heart and we discussed what job the heart could have when it wasn’t busy at Valentine’s.  Each child glued a heart to a piece of paper and added details showing what other job it could have. They were quite creative.
Hearts at Work on PhotoPeach

We also read a wonderful poem called Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield.  The poem is a list of all the things that she loves, but in a twist at the end she shares something she DOES NOT love.  The kindergarteners made a list of the many things they do love and one thing they do not love.  I enjoyed reading their lists as it gave me some insight into their personalities.  I compiled their lists into a Wordle.  The bigger the word, the more it was used.  You can also see the sentences of the things they do NOT love.  Just like my kids, having to go to sleep is one of their not so favorite things. 🙂

kinder Wordle

And lastly, right before we finished our day we brainstormed many different things we love.  I hope you will add to our Padlet below!