Kinder Rescues Royalty

One spatial reasoning favorite in our class is a game called, “Royal Rescue.”  The game comes with blocks, a prince and princess, and challenge cards.  Students must set up the blocks according to the challenge cards, and use the indicated remaining blocks to build a route for the prince and princess to travel to get to each other.  (Some view it as the prince rescuing the princess, and others see it the other way around!)  The challenges increase in difficulty, and our group just made it to the Expert level today.  Solving some of these puzzles literally requires that you “look at things from another perspective,” and the students are getting very good at asking themselves, “What haven’t I tried yet?”

Kinder Uses Magician Thinking

The Kinder students have been learning about visual/spatial reasoning, which we call, “Magician Thinking,” at this level.  To practice this, they have played a game called Q-bitz, where they have to reproduce patterns on a card with colored blocks.  They also did some tangram puzzles and played an app called, “Crossfingers,” on the iPads.  Today, they put together mirror dominoes as they tried to visualize how mirror images of shapes would look.

Kinder Loses a Leprechaun But Finds Robot Turtles

The Kinder students set their leprechaun traps right before Spring Break, but the leprechaun was too smart to get caught.  He did leave them surprises in our class treasure box, which was awfully nice!

The students had to use their detective thinking to find their prizes, which was a great introduction to this type of thinking.  While they were hunting the room for clues, they spotted the Robot Turtles game and asked to play it.  So, we spent Friday using the game to learn about programming and thinking ahead (another way to say, “strategizing”!)

This Week in GT

I am a bit behind in updating each class post, so I am going to do a summary of all of our GT classes this week today!

Kinder – They worked on Inventor Thinking by making Leprechaun Traps.  We’ve set the traps out to see if we can catch any during Spring Break.  The students also played the Osmo “Monster” game.

1st – The students began their new rotations for studying the individual countries they chose to research.  They are analyzing statistics, programming a robot to travel around a map, and looking at fascinating photos of the countries.  They also worked on a St. Patrick’s Day sudoku.

2nd – 2nd grade GT finished up their limericks from last week, shared them, and illustrated them.  They also did some more Math Analogies.

3rd – The 3rd graders learned how to do Scratch programming, which they hope to use to create their final projects for Genius Hour.  They also learned the Order of Operations, and applied it to an algebra activity.  We read Billibonk, and discussed the habits of systems thinkers.

4th – We celebrated Pi Day this week!  With a few videos, a story about Sir Cumference, and a Pi Day Breakout to solve, the students are fully prepared to make 3/14 a great day during Spring Break!

5th – The students began to work on their “manifestos” using what they have learned about themselves throughout the school year so far.  We had some great conversations and excellent brainstorms.