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.
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. 🙂
And lastly, right before we finished our day we brainstormed many different things we love. I hope you will add to our Padlet below!
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!
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.
In kindergarten last week the kids started the day by making a pair of BRAINFOCALS. These special glasses encourage divergent thinking, the ability to look at the world with more than one lens.
After creating our new glasses we set them to the side to dry and spent some time thinking about how artists communicate with the world without saying a word. We looked at a series of famous paintings, everything from Picasso to Monet to Van Gogh. The kids considered how the different paintings made us feel and how a picture can speak to us through color, brush strokes, shape, etc. Each student then created 4 images that conveyed different feelings from joy to love to anger.
Once we were done discussing how art can be a way for one to communicate a story, a feeling, an event we were ready to try on our new BRAINFOCALS and see how they can help push us to look at things in unique ways. Each student was given a paper with 4 black scribbles on it. They had to look at the scribbles and think about what they could become. The kids were able to share their different ideas and see that no two people look at things in the exact same way. The kindergartners used crayons to add on to their black scribbles and create different pictures.
Next week we will continue to use our Brainfocals and explore what letters can be…besides the obvious. We will also look at how musicians are able to communicate through lyrics and instruments.
It has been far too long since I have posted, but rest assured that we have been hard at work in GT. Friday mornings, with my kindergartners, have been especially busy.
Two weeks ago we worked on learning how to amp up a simple sentence into a POWER sentence. After reading The Alphabet Tree the kids learned the strength that words can have when we connect them with other words to make sentences. We then learned how to take the simple subject-verb sentences and make them stronger through adjectives and using more vivid verbs. The kindergartners used a cool web tool called Google Story Builder and worked to move a sentence from the simple to the powerful. I hope you will enjoy the samples below. Just click on the links below to watch their sentences evolve.
After spending time thinking about how words play an important role in communication we did an activity called Which Face? This activity allowed the kids to realize that our facial expressions and body language can communicate just as clearly as our words…sometimes more clearly than words. The kids had 9 faces on a piece of paper. I would read a sentence and they had to match my sentence to the correct expression. After they were finished, they chose one of the faces to create a nonverbal story. Enjoy their interpretations below.
This past week we finished up facial expressions by having each kid choose 4 feeling words (from a list we brainstormed) and they used the iPads to take their pictures demonstrating each feeling. The kids labeled each of their feelings. As you can imagine I got a lot of HAPPY, SAD, MAD, etc. I wanted to encourage the kids to develop their vocabulary, to use stronger words. I introduced them to the term synonym and to a thesaurus. Each student had to find a synonym for each of their 4 original feelings words. It was a lot of fun. We ended up with words like MELANCHOLY SPIRITED, APPREHENSIVE, FEROCIOUS, GLUM. The kids inserted their 4 pictures into an app called PicCollage to create a poster of their four facial expressions. They then inserted their PicCollage into another fun app called Wordfoto. They typed their original feeling words along with their new synonyms. I think the finished products are awesome.
Which Face? on PhotoPeach
Continuing with our theme of nonverbal communication, I had the kids watch a beautiful silent movie called Monster Box. It was created by 4 french graduate students at Bellecour Ecoles D’Art. After watching the video the kindergartners used oil pastels and watercolors to create their own monsters. They wrote a cinquain poem about their monster and used an app called Videolicious to record themselves reading their poem as the audience enjoys their monster art.
Thank you for making the time to come join me this morning. I love getting to know the parents and it was awesome that we had 100% attendance. I just love matching my students with their awesome parents. I hope that you enjoyed the meeting. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns that pop up.
With Bike Rodeo taking place today, I wasn’t sure how much we would accomplish, but boy did the kids surprise me. They were here ready to work.
Convergent Thinking and Mystery Creatures
Last time we met I introduced the kindergartners to Convergent Thinking. We became detectives and put on our convergent thinking caps to examine some clues. The clues were about various mystery creatures. It was fun to use the clues to try and guess the animal. It was a challenge for the kids to not jump to conclusions, but rather to go through all of the clues before making their prediction. They did get better after we had gone through a few examples.
Next I had the kids choose a favorite animal and generate clues that would help us guess their mystery creature. They used a fun app called TypeDrawing to draw their creature. They saved it into the photo roll and used Educreations to create a video with their clues. I hope you enjoy their finished products.
Communicating through Powerful Sentences
We also read a wonderful story today called The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni. It is a wonderful story about a tree full of letters that learn to work together to make words, sentences, and then more powerful sentences. It demonstrates the power letters have when they combine together, which fits nicely with our unit on communication.
I introduced the kindergartners to some new language today: NOUNS, VERBS, and ADJECTIVES. We talked about how these words could help take a simple sentence and turn it into a powerful one. Below you will see a Google Story Builder that we did as a class that demonstrates how to transition from a simple to a power sentence. We did this one as a team, but next class they will create one together. Click on the simple sentence below to see how we changed it.
Today was my first day with my incredible kindergartners We really hit the ground running and these kids were more than ready! I will let them tell you about our day below.
A.M.: We rot on the tabl. We got to yoos the iPad and we got to hav fun.
Ethan: We rot on the tabl. We mad videows and thot of wrds in GT.
Jovanah: We wrote on the table. We made our feelings.
Juliana: We lrnd all ubowt communication.
Justin: We had fun. And we droo on the tabl. But we will be puding this on the blog.
E.S.: We rot on the tabl. We got to yooz the iPads.
Today we started by taking a pre-test to show what we know about COMMUNICATION. The kindergartners had to think about the BIG IDEA, the DETAILS, the RULES, and the LANGUAGE of the DISCIPLINE related to communication. This is a great way for me to see where every child is starting out. We then went and brainstormed ideas and words related to communication on one of our tables…yes, we wrote on the tables! Don’t worry, I explained that we could only do this in GT, with my special markers. 🙂
Following our brainstorm the kids thought about ways they communicate each day. Each child brainstormed 4 ways they communicate and drew a picture to go with their idea. I then put the iPads in their hands. I partnered the kids up and they had to take each others pictures as they acted out the 4 ways they communicate. We then used an app called SHOW ME to import their pictures and the kids recorded themselves talking about each of their pictures. While the quality is not perfect, I think they came out perfectly perfect for their first attempt. We will definitely work on voice level and expression as we do more projects. However, they each did all of the work themselves, so that is pretty impressive. I am excited just thinking of all that we can do this year. I hope you enjoy the movies.
A big thank you to all of the parents that were able to make it to the parent meeting. I know it is not easy with work and parenting responsibilities. I love meeting the parents of my wonderful students. I hope that you will be in contact on a regular basis.
I understand that some of you were unable to make it to the meeting. I am embedding the presentation that I gave. Please take a moment to look through it and let me know if you have any questions. I also sent home a packet with your child.
In our effort to know more about each other, the Kindergartners created a Cinquain poem about themselves. To write a cinquain, students need to know what verbs and adjectives are. We spent time brainstorming and discussing these new words. I was impressed with how quickly the Kindergartners caught on. Below is a video of the finished Cinquains. I hope you will enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed seeing the kids create them. It is also exciting to know a little more about the wonderful kids that make up this class. Enjoy!