One More Day!

I can’t believe we only have one more day of school – and that my daughter is graduating from elementary school tomorrow!  Those of you who are 5th grade parents are surely feeling the same way!

I’m going to try to do my weekly summer posts on Wednesdays.  I just want to keep in touch with everyone, and let you know if I find any awesome resources for keeping the kids occupied this summer.

On my professional blog, I am doing a week-long series of resources for parents over the summer.  You can check out today’s article here.

Also, one of my favorite go-to sites for GT kids is Mensa for Kids.  It has great puzzles and games that really get the students thinking.

One of my colleagues, who teaches GT at Bulverde Creek, is hosting a Tech Camp this summer.  The tuition is $100.  You can visit this link to find out more information.

And, one more resource you might like:  Fabulous and Free

You can subscribe to “Fabulous and Free”, and receive a free flyer every day with apps and e-books that are being offered for free.

Stay tuned for more ideas next week!

4th Grade’s Last Day for the Year

4th grade was busy today: finishing up projects, reflecting on the year, and participating in a virtual scavenger hunt.  I made sure I fit in a class photo in the morning before everyone went their separate ways.  I have a few projects to share with you that are embedded below. I hope that everyone has an awesome summer and comes back energized for 5th grade GT!

4th Grade Starts Presenting

Several of the 4th graders completed their masterpiece presentations today, and began to present. They had two options for presenting, both using the iPad – Puppet Pals or Haiku Deck. Unfortunately, my videos of the students presenting their Haiku Decks did not come out very good (sound-wise), so I need to find a different way to post them on the blog. I do have one Puppet Pals presentation to share, though, and have embedded it below.

Free Summer Courses for 3rd-5th

Any students currently in 3rd-5th NEISD GT are eligible to register for ONE summer online course at this link:

Decide which course you would like, and (with a parent) click on the link to the registration form at the bottom of the course description page.

Some courses are limited to certain grade levels, and some have a limited number of spaces, so please read the descriptions carefully.

The deadline for registration is May 24th, 2013.

4th Grade Begins Presentations

Most of the 4th graders are finished with their masterpiece research, and are beginning to work on their presentations. They are using either Haiku Deck or Puppet Pals on the iPads to present. Once they finished their research, they planned their “shows” using a storyboard template. Hopefully we will have a few to post on the blog next week!

The students also worked on creating silhouettes of themselves with traits that describe them. They used Tracing Paper and Type Drawing to complete these works of art.

4th Grade Finishes Billibonk

The 4th graders finished the book, Billibonk and the Big Itch, which is a sequel to the book some of them read in GT last year, Billibonk and the Thorn Patch.  Both books give lessons about systems thinking.  In the latest book, there was a lot of emphasis placed on the importance of trying to find out what the real problem is instead of just treating the symptom.  We talked about some real-life examples, such as the deer in Hollywood Park and the Boston Bombing.  Then I asked the students to write about a problem they encounter directly in their own lives, and to explain how asking, “Why?” several times can help them to get to the root of it as well as a possible solution.  You might want to ask your child what he or she wrote about!

The students also did Hands-On-Equations, and witnessed a sheep eyeball dissection (I had one left over from 3rd grade).  At the end of the day, I gave them a summer SCAMPER packet they could work on, and here are some of their creations:

4th Grade Connects Billibonk to Earth Day

We had 4th grade GT this morning since 2nd grade was on a field trip.  The students finished up a Hands-On-Equations lesson from last week, and then worked some more on their masterpiece research projects.  I showed the students some alternative ways to present other than Powerpoint, and I think they are anxious to get started on the “creating” part of their research.

Since today is Earth Day, I showed the students a short video that summarizes what has happened regarding the environment in the last 40 years since Earth Day began.  Then we talked about how this relates to our current book, Billibonk and the Big Itch.  I have embedded the video below; it’s kind of a whirlwind, so I’m sure your child wouldn’t mind watching it again, and maybe discussing some of the events that are mentioned which happened long before they were born.

4th Grade Starts Masterpiece Research Projects

The 4th graders began gathering information for presentations on masterpieces from all kinds of fields. They first chose one of the multiple intelligences, then a career, and then a famous “product” that is related to that career. Some examples are: Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, The Discovery of King Tut’s Tomb, and motorcycles.

They are researching using Kaplan’s icons of Depth and Complexity, such as multiple perspectives. Next week, I will introduce them to some presentation options to make their final products “pop”!

We had some great answers to the bonus question from a few weeks ago that asked the students to connect the question, “What can I do that will have meaning in the future?” to a couple of videos I posted. Here are a couple of examples:

Paige – One thing that I could do right now that would have an effect on the future is seeing things differently. You can try to see the hidden potential in everything. The people in these videos did that. They took what we thing of as trash, and made it into amazing things that people can afford. Someday, people everywhere might use things like that for a lot more stuff.

Connor – Carrying on tradition and preserving the past is important. I collect things like baseball cards and coins that have been around for years and sometimes many generations. The people in these videos are recycling and reusing old items to make new things. I take old things and preserve them. We both are taking things from the past and making them more meaningful and useful for the future.

4th Graders Reveal Their Faberge Surprises!

I was happy to see that, despite evidence to the contrary earlier this week, everyone remembered to bring their partners’ gifts for today! And, even though I do this project with my 4th grade every year, I was still amazed by the uniqueness and quality of most of the gifts. I tried to take some pictures of the presentations with the iPad, but we also gathered all of the gifts together at the end to get a closer view.

The students also began work on their last research project of the year, which will be on a masterpiece that they have selected from one of the multiple intelligences. In addition, we talked more about systems thinking, and the importance of trying to find the true cause of complicated problems so the solutions will not just be temporary.

4th Grade Bonus Challenge

Okay, 4th grade, are you ready to earn some Class Dojo points? Since you were not able to come to GT this week, I am bringing GT to you!

Our Essential Question for this year is, “What can I do that will have meaning in the future?” Watch the two videos below. Try to think about what they have in common. Write a paragraph that answers the Essential Question and explain how the videos connect to this answer. Bring it to class next week to earn extra points. Remember, there is not one particular right answer.

The links for the two videos are:

Landfill Harmonic- The world sends us garbage… We send back music. from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.