Google Science Camp

The summer is flying by, and some of you may be at the point where you are looking for a new activity.  Well, you are in luck! Google started their online Science Camp this week, and it’s free!  “Ocean Week” is this week’s theme, followed by “Space Week,” “Nature Week,” and “Music Week.”  Don’t worry that you missed the first couple of days, because all of the videos and activities are available online.

Google Science Week


By the way – don’t forget to fill out this Padlet about what you have learned so far this summer!  I really want to hear from you!

Kinder Works on Yarnspinner Thinking

In Kinder GT the students are learning about “Yarnspinner Thinking,” which includes telling interesting stories.  They have been trying to “dress up” their sentences by using more colorful words.  After listening to a story about a young boy called, That’s Good, That’s Bad, they wrote their own stories based on that pattern. Then they used the First Thesaurus to come up with some descriptive words to add or replace some of their less exciting words.  Now the students are in the process of creating digital books out of their stories using the Scribble Press app.

Kinder Works on Magician Thinking

The GT Kinder class is currently working on Visual/Spatial Thinking, which they know as “Magician Thinking.”  This type of thinking is about trying to visualize mental pictures of patterns or parts of an object that you can’t see. To practice this, the students have been doing Tangram puzzles on our Osmo iPad game, working on logic puzzles with castle blocks, and playing a game called, “Look, Look.”  They also played a game on the iPad called, “Symmetry Shuffle.”

One thing we have been encouraging is trying to understand that difficult challenges are good for the brain.  While working on the tangrams, one of the students selected a puzzle that was not “easy” and announced, “Harder is funner!”  That’s the attitude I love to see in GT!

Kinder Practices Scientist Thinking

The Kinder students worked on Scientist Thinking earlier this week by studying the parts of things and trying to classify them.  We went outside on a ladybug hunt, and they used magnifying glasses to compare their ladybugs to the ones they had drawn.  After releasing the ladybugs, they also used the microscope to see some other creatures and objects up close.

On Friday, the students learned about Magician Thinking, which involves looking for patterns and visualizing things in your mind.  They practiced tangram puzzles using our Osmo, and I was really proud when they were excited to do the more challenging puzzles!

Kinder Is Introduced to Scientist Thinking

The Kinder students practiced their Inventor Thinking by drawing a surprise that might hatch out of a mother bird’s egg.  Then we reviewed Detective Thinking and how it is different from Inventor Thinking.  Scientist Thinking is very similar to Detective Thinking since both require careful analysis before coming to a conclusion.  The students practiced Scientist Thinking with a game called Logic Zoo (PBS) on the interactive board.  Then we talked about how real animals are grouped and discussed bugs.  I asked them if they could draw a ladybug and they each did their best.  Next class we are going to try to find some real ladybugs to compare them to the drawings.

Kinder Practices Detective Thinking

To get more practice on “Detective Thinking” this week, the Kinder students worked on some logic puzzles and games.  They played some challenging attribute games on the interactive board using Venn diagrams and atttribute trains.  Because they enjoyed the ZooLogic game from last week, the students got more time to advance in the levels of that game.  Then I introduced them to Sudoku and an activity called “GoGetter.” They also learned a very important phrase – not to “jump to conclusions.”

Kinder Finds a Pot of Gold

This week, the Kinder students discovered that their leprechaun traps did not quite catch a leprechaun.  However, the leprechaun teased them with a Rainbow treasure hunt, and they had to use “Detective Thinking” to find his pot of gold.  The pot included some coins and some erasers for each of them.

On Friday, the class continued to learn about Detective Thinking and tried to identify some animals described in 4 riddles.  Then, they played a logic game called ZooLogic.

Kinder Creates Leprechaun Traps

The Kinder class has been learning about Inventor Thinking, and they are very creative!  They brainstormed ideas for all of the different things circles could be, built interesting inventions using Goldiblox pieces, and then made traps for leprechauns.  The Leprechaun Traps have a few secret details that I will try to get them to explain when we come back from Spring Break.  I wonder if we will find any leprechauns in our traps when we return!