5th Grade: Color Poetry

Reflecting on life in a colorless world as we read The Giver, the kids realized the power in a color.  We thought about the personality of color, personified it.  The 5th graders each chose a color and wrote a poem.  The bext part of this assignment is that we collaborated with other GT 5th graders from our district.  We read each other’s poems and gave honest, constructive feedback to help make our poems stronger.  It was an awesome experience.

Closing out 2nd Grade

It has been great fun seeing my previous K-2 GT students as I test them for the 3-5 program.  It is wonderful to witness their strong work ethic in action.  As I have been seeing them in action it reminded me that I never shared one of the very last activities we did together.  I pulled my second graders the last week of school to do one last project…create a bridge using pastels and inspiration from Monet.  This went a long with an I Am poem the kids created.  They researched a bridge of their choice and using that information, wrote a poem.  Below you will see a slide show of the kids art and poetry.  Enjoy! 

2nd Grade: Snowflake Crystals

In 2nd grade we had a chance to observe our finished borax crystals.  The second graders recorded their observations after looking at their crystals with their jewler’s loupes. They were pretty impressed at the changes.

After exploring their crystals, the children used an app called Haiku Deck to write a haiku about snowflakes.  We started by brainstorming verbs, nouns, and adjectives related to snowflake crystals.  The kids then learned that a haiku is made of 17 syllables, with a 5-7-5 pattern.  Here are their finished projects.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Dreaming with Fifth Grade

Hold fast to dreams 

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly

-Langston Hughes

The fifth graders were asked to unscramble the words to this poem and consider what they thought the big idea of the poem was prior to our first class. The students share presented their ideas to the class and participated in a Socratic Dialogue about Hughes’ poem.  Following our discussion, the students paired up and rewrote Langston Hughes’ poem from two different perspective.  They used two apps to create their finished products, PicCollage and Educreations.  Below you can enjoy their finish projects.

By Tanner and Liam

By Alondra and Sofia

By Josie

By Miguel, Adrian, and Sydney

By Nic and Christian

By Spencer and Nick H.

By Preston and Luke

Here is an image of Tanner’s Interactive Journal in response to his work on the Hughes’ rewrite above.  Before the kids dove into the rewrite they did research on the mind behind this great poem.

 This week we continued to dig into the idea of dreams and how it connects to our essential question, What is My Responsibility to the World Around Me?  We read and participated in a Socratic Dialogue on another of Hughes’ poems, What Happens to a Dream Deferred?  We compared and contrasted the poem to Hughes’ other poem.  Following our Socratic Dialogue, students created an origami dream star to hold all of their dreams.  When they were done with their star they created a PicCollage to share their star.  They also created two similes about dreams living and dying.  Enjoy the work below.

If Dreams… on PhotoPeach

Below are pictures from Liam and Preston’s Interactive Journal.

Fingerprint Fun

In 4th grade we have been learning about Mysteries and what better mystery is there, than the mystery of who we are.  We jumped into this discussion through our study of fingerprints.  We learned that every fingerprint is unique, with different twists and turns, just as each one of us is unique.  We bring different gifts and talents to the world.  The students explored their fingerprints and then created an abstract piece of art based on one of their prints.  The 4th graders then wrote a poem showcasing how they are a fingerprint.  Enjoy their work below.

Bridges: Part 1

In 3rd grade we have entered the exciting and fascinating world of bridges. 2 weeks ago the kids took a pre-test to showcase their current knowledge and we have been filling the gaps ever since.

Last week the kids were introduced to the three main types of bridges: Beam, Arch, and Suspension.  Through some video clips and the Building Big website they were able to get some rudimentary information on each main category of bridge.  The kids then set off to use K’Nex to build bridges.  Each group was given a different type of bridge to focus on.  Over the next few weeks we will learn more about each type of bridge and why one is chosen over another.  They will learn about forces and how that impacts bridge building as well.  Below you can enjoy pictures of the kids in action.

Building Bridges on PhotoPeach

Punished:  We just finished our novel, Punished last week.  The kids and I have had a terrific time playing with words.  Puns, oxymorons, anagrams, and palindromes have been great fun.  This week I had the kids create a poem, story, rap, or song using at least 5 palindromes.  They all did a great job.  Here is a small taste of what they created:

Palindrome Poem

By Rylee Davis

I was walking outside in the dark, stormy sun.

I said to my mom, “Is supper almost done?”

Then mama said to me, “Yes, Hannah, darling dear.”

Then I heard a quick step right down at our pier.

I peep open the door in a subtle, quiet way.

Then I look who’s out there, it’s my dad, John Ray.

Then I gave him a big hug and mama did too.

THen we lived happily after with my brand new shoes.

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. 


Getting to Know the Kindergartners

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!

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.