To reinforce the Growth Mindset, I asked the 4th graders to try to solve the following challenge: using only scissors, make a hole in a 3×5 index card that you could fit your head through. It was fortunate that we had many index cards because there were lots of failed efforts! No one quite solved it, but a few students got close. The best part of the activity was that no one gave up, and everyone had a positive attitude. If you are intrigued by this challenge, you will need to ask your child for the solution 🙂
When the students came back to our room from Specials, I had hung their mistakes from the ceiling. These “failures” make our room colorful and fun – and remind us that it’s okay to make mistakes. Sometimes, we can even turn our mistakes into something new and creative! I showed them the book, Beautiful Oops, to give some more examples of mistakes turned into art.
Speaking of creativity, the students also began work on their cardboard challenge creations. They were very excited, and made a beautiful mess of the classroom. I’ve stopped asking students what they are trying to make because it’s easier to just watch their visions take form. My main job is helping them to cut something out as they work.
Just like the 3rd graders, the 4th graders mind-mapped their passions and heartbreaks. They had quite a few in common with 3rd grade, and it looks like many will agree on the charity that we finally decide on to receive the proceeds from the Cardboard Challenge.
You may remember that the GT classes participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge last year. We will be doing it again this year – only bigger! This time, the students will be competing to have their cardboard creations chosen for a special evening we will be hosting at Main Event. Main Event is allowing us to use their party rooms to display the cardboard games, and we are going to be inviting the whole community to come play! We will be charging a dollar for admission to our cardboard arcade, and the students will be voting on a charity to which we will donate the funds. In addition, families will be able to buy Fun Passes to use in the rest of the facility for $20, and $5 from each Fun Pass will also go toward the charity (or a separate charity – depending on what the students decide).
So, be sure your GT student is brainstorming ideas for his or her cardboard game. We will begin making them in September. Also, you are welcome to e-mail suggestions for the charity to me. And, mark your calendars for the evening of Wednesday, October 15th, 2014!
Many of the students in my upper grades are familiar with Kid President, whose short, inspirational videos I’ve shown in the past. He now has a television show on the Hub network. If you are like me, and haven’t heard of Hub, you can go to this link to find out which local channel it is, based on your zip code and service provider. Or, you can view the episodes online. Here is a link to the full episodes, which are about 22 minutes long. So far, there are three episodes: Heroes, Families, and Dreams. These are great to watch with the family – funny and very motivational! In case you are new to Kid President, you can also visit his website, where there are links to the previously mentioned short productions. The favorite for the students seems to be his Pep Talk.
For this week’s blog update, I thought I would share with you an awesome website that is a collection of videos a mother has curated to “connect kids, parents, and teachers with smart, conversation-starting videos – about science, art, music, nature, and more – that probably weren’t made for kids, but are still perfect for them.” “The Kid Should See This” recently got updated, and I love the new look along with options for finding videos. If you are looking for an educational website for your curious child, this is definitely one to bookmark!
Also, I want to congratulate our two winners from last week’s “Make a Theme Park Ride” contest for our online Edmodo class: Anna for “The Sparking Spur”, and Athasi for “Kittyana Jones.” You can see the blog post I did about our winners here. Next week, I will announce the winners of our Theme Park Mascot contest!
I hope everyone is enjoying your summer so far! I have been happily sleeping late and devouring books in between doctor’s appointments and cleaning my closet:)
I plan to post to the blog once a week this summer. This week, I wanted to direct you to some of the posts I’ve been doing on my professional blog, as they are all about fun ideas for “avoiding the summer slide.”
One of the final projects in 4th grade was to create a mandala. Some of the students chose Thinglink to explain the symbolism of their mandalas, while others chose to write out their explanations. Here are the links to those that are available online (the others will come home with their GT folders):
This blog post is brought to you by Athasi. We had a slightly short GT day due to Battle of the Books.
Today in GT we worked some more on our mandalas. We used special color pencils to make our mandalas stand out. Each of the colors and symbols had a meaning to them that tied into the theme of our mandala. At the end of the day we continued to work on our genius hour project.
Today in GT we watched a math video about the Fibonacci sequence and spirals by a someone named Vi Hart. We learned that lots of things in nature use Fibonacci numbers. We also learned how to draw perfect spirals. Next we categorized different jobs into different MI. Then we did Genius Hour. Finally, we did Hands on Equations and Maker Studio.