5th Grade Gets Bigger and Better!

Our 5th grade GT class has 18 students this year, which is pretty big for a GT class.  I anticipated a huge mess when we started working on our Cardboard Challenge – and I was right – but I didn’t anticipate the fabulous synergy I encountered! Despite the large group of people, I heard no arguments and everyone seemed to be collaborating fantastically well.  I was really encouraged to hear their great ideas and see the amazing products starting to come together.

Like 3rd and 4th grades, the 5th graders also helped to narrow down what matters to them so we can figure out which charity will benefit from the proceeds of the Cardboard Challenge.  After getting feedback from all 3 grade levels, we have decided that the three most important topics are: families in need, animals that are abused, and pollution.  5th grade and the Hidden Forest Maker Club (who is also participating in the Cardboard Challenge) both voted for animals.  After I tally up 2nd-4th grade votes, we will see which one wins and research some charities related to that important concern.

Save the Date!

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!


Parenting Articles

1 of the 24 suggested books from the Huffington Post for your child to read this summer

1 of the 24 suggested books from the Huffington Post for your child to read this summer

I’ve been collecting a few links over the summer that I thought might interest parents:

10 Things Parents/Guardians Should Do Now – I particularly like #4 and #5!  (If you are interested in #5, I highly suggest you check out this post I did on a neat new product that uses stickers to make electrical circuits!)

How to Get Into Harvard – Bottom line?  “Make your children interesting!”

Brainteasers and College Readiness –  Here is a link to some brainteasers if you need a supply!

Check out this list of 24 Books That Will Captivate Your Kids This Summer from Huffington Post.  I have not read any of them, but I definitely want to try some out!

Are you a parent of a girl?  I encourage you to check out this post I did on my professional blog recently.

If you read anything that you think would be good for me to share with other parents, please e-mail me the link!

Kid President Has a Television Show!


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.

The Kid Should See This

The Kid Should See This

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!

Summer Learning Opportunities

campw-head-prereg1 (1)

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.”

I also want to give you some links to the projects from our first week of our online class, Make a Theme Park, for 3rd-5th graders.  This week, the students designed rides for their theme parks.  Here is the link for the Family entries. And, here is the link for the Individual entries.  I love the creativity!  As Joey Hudy, our celebrity guest judge for the week says, “Don’t be bored! Make something!”

5th Grade Character Floor Plans

Floor Plan

The 5th graders created Character Floor plans, and chose either Thinglink or a video creation tool on the iPads to explain their designs.  If the student created a video, I have linked it to Aurasma so that the floor plan can be scanned at home in order to see the video.  I have included links to their explanations below:

Anna (also linked in Aurasma)







Paige (also linked in Aurasma)

5th Grade Considers “The Big Idea” of GT

This blog post is brought to you by Aubrie.  We will have one more blog post (hopefully later this week) sharing the Thinglinks and videos students created for their Character Trait Floorplans.)

Today was our last day in G.T., and we were very busy doing an array of activities.

We created slideshows about the meaning of G.T. using quotes we found on Pinterest, and presented them to the class. We were also able to add music and pictures.

We connected to a new group on Edmodo that is just for 5th graders that are going to middle school. This way, we can still talk about G.T. and other related topics.

Mrs. Eichholz got a sphero with the great big check she got for being an *amazing* teacher, and we all got a packet of papers about how to use the sphero. We had to complete a challenging challenge with with the sphero: programming it to follow our instructions. If we correctly programmed it, we got to do Maker’s Studio.

We also did our report card self-assesments, where we rate ourselves on various things, like working well with others.

Lastly, we watched two videos, *(attached below)* one about Kid President and another one about kindness.

Have a great summer!


A Pep Talk from Kid President to You – YouTube

Life Vest Inside – Kindness Boomerang – “One Day” – YouTube



5th Grade Does an Aurasma Scavenger Hunt

This blog post is brought to you by Aubrie.  I didn’t really get a check for being a great teacher 😉 It’s a check for money to purchase more materials for our Maker Studio.  You can see this post for more information.

In G.T. today we were able to do Genius Hour, and Kris, Connor, Cooper, and Harrison presented their projects. Cooper and Harrison presented about rare or uncommon sea creatures. They made a scavenger hunt, but instead of using clues, they told everyone the general area where they were hidden, such as the playground or the library. We would scan them with Aurasma, and a video would pop up. The video contained facts about the fish and their names.

Kris and Connor made a pop quiz with random facts, like- What is the atomic weight  of uranium? or What note does a car horn beep on? They also used fun sound effects whenever someone was right or wrong. Alexia will present next time, and her presentation will be the last one.

We watched a video about an app called Floors, and got to play it as well.

Mrs. Eichholz bought an app called Tangible Play, or Osmo. Since we were one of the first people to test the game, we got a thank you card from the people who invented it, and a $50 discount, if we want to buy the game!

Mrs. Eichholz also got a check for $2,129.40, for being such a great teacher!!

 Only 1 more G.T. class left!! (Oh no!)

Come back next week!

 Photo May 22, 10 33 43 AM

5th Grade Learns About Grover Cleveland and Lego Stop Motion

This post is brought to you by Aubrie.  

In G.T. today we were able to do Genius Hour, and Aubrie (That’s me) presented a project about Grover Cleveland. I traced him back to 1540, and made it into a game. Alex and Kenneth also presented their project about Lego Stopmotion, which is where you take a lot of pictures of one thing moving, and you put it together to make a video. They made a scavenger hunt to look for pieces of paper with Lego facts on it and made a quiz about it. They also made a Lego Stopmotion video and presented it.

We watched 3 videos as well *(attached below!)*, and talked about the meanings. (Although, 2 aren’t on here).

Lastly, I bring you bad news: *Only 2 more G.T. classes left!!*


See you next week!

Careful canine reaches for ball – YouTube

Axtell Park Awesomeness

The Time You Have in Jellybeans