2nd Grade Begins 3d Design for Lunchboxes

The 2nd graders have gone through several tutorials in Tinkercad, and they are finally getting the chance to try to re-create their biomimetic lunchboxes that they sketched a couple of months using Tinkercad’s 3d modeling.  It has been a learning experience for all of us, and we are discovering lots of different features in Tinkercad that can help us!

Speaking of 3d modeling, we hope to eventually print the lunchboxes using our 3d printer that was generously donated to our class through Donors Choose.  This week, the 2nd graders worked on making you thank-you cards for some of the donors – one of whom is the father of one of our GT 2nd graders!

The 2nd graders are also working on some tough math lessons that are actually an introduction to algebra.  They are called, “Balance Benders,” and show shapes on a balance beam to help students use algebraic concepts.  I think they will agree that the exercises started out fairly easy, but have definitely increased in difficulty!

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2nd Grade Turns Problems into Opportunities

Last week, the 2nd graders made beautiful watercolor pictures.  After they left, I deliberately sabotaged the pictures by splashing lemon juice on them.  The juice left strangely shaped blotches on the masterpieces – definitely not what the students intended.

I used this lesson to teach students how to make the best out of plans gone awry. They used their creativity to think about how the ugly blotches could be transformed into pictures.  I absolutely love the results!  You can see their new creations below.  After completing this activity, I read the book, Beautiful Oops, to the students.  We discussed the potential that we can find in disappointing results or mistakes.

We also worked more on their Cardboard Challenge projects.  Many are close to completion.  Next class will be the last opportunity the students have to work on their projects before we vote on which ones will go to Main Event on October 15th.  Speaking of voting, the students voted on which type of charity they would like for the money raised to go to, and the majority selected animals.  A couple of more classes still need to give their feedback before we make our final selection.

2nd Grade Begins the Cardboard Challenge!

Today was the first day of 2nd grade GT, and many of the students were already prepared with ideas for this year’s Cardboard Challenge!  For those of you new to the Cardboard Challenge, you may want to visit this site for more details.

The students will be making their own games, and the best ones will be chosen to take to Main Event on October 15th and put in the Party Room.  The community will be invited to donate $1 to a charity in order to play the cardboard games.  We will also be selling $20 wristbands for access to the other activities at Main Event, and $5 from each wristband will toward our charity.

The GT students (2nd-5th) will be deciding on the charity in the next week. Stay tuned for more news about this exciting event!

The students also made some watercolors today.  They will be doing a special activity with them next week…


2nd Grade Reflects on Their Year

It was very difficult to say farewell to the 2nd grade GT students today!  It’s hard to believe that this year has flown by so quickly.  We have lots of fond memories, and the students went through our class blog posts for the year to choose some of their favorites.  I’ve posted their collages below.

GT report cards should go home next week, along with the student’s GT folders.  Each folder will contain a picture from their final project – their Puppet Pals videos.  Directions will be included for scanning the pictures to view the videos or for accessing them directly online.

I have really enjoyed working with this class of exceptional students.  Thank you, parents, for all of your support!

2nd Grade Finishes Puppet Pals Presentations

Due to the field trip on Monday, 2nd grade GT was held today, Wednesday.  Our last class is next Monday since there is no school the last Monday of May (Memorial Day).

Last week, the students recorded presentations about their structures using the Puppet Pals app, but they realized they needed to revise them after we played them in class.  This week, they worked on improving them.  Unfortunately, we could not play them for everyone as our projector seems to have shorted out due to the big storm the other night!

The students also tried out a new iPad game called “Words.” It is similar to the Tangram game they have been playing during centers, but this time they used letters on the table to guess words that were on the screen. They seemed to agree that this game is their favorite!  It is currently being beta tested, but the company hopes to make a big announcement next week about when it will officially go on sale.

2nd Grade Works on Puppet Pals Creations

The 2nd graders recorded their Puppet Pals videos today – but most of them agreed that they would like to make some changes to make them even better. So, we won’t be sharing them just yet!  In the videos, the students are tour guides for the structure they are researching.  I’ve included some still shots from their videos below.

While each group recorded next door, the other students worked on some Perplexers and Do-Riddles.  Both of these activities were pretty challenging, but no one gave up! Even I decided to try one of the Perplexer puzzles myself, and had to erase and start all over.

So, I would say that our theme for today was to learn from our mistakes and move forward with a positive attitude 🙂

2nd Grade Writes Scripts

The 2nd graders will be creating short Puppet Pals videos about the structures they are researching. They used their notes this week to write out scripts.  Most groups have chosen backgrounds and characters, and will be ready to start “filming” next week with the Puppet Pals app on the iPads.

They also worked on centers.  Most of the students really wanted to create the Suspension Bridge with the K’nex kits, so that was what the majority of the class chose to spend their time on.  They definitely seem to enjoy building!

We are also participating in a “Squiggle Challenge” with a school in Minnesota, in which the students were asked to design anything they liked out of a squiggle (everyone had the same squiggle to start).  It was awesome to see that no two students came up with the same idea!

2nd Grade Continues to Research Structures

The 2nd graders are still using the Depth and Complexity icons to research their chosen structures.  Today they worked on “Perspective” and “Trends.”  They looked for information on who might have wanted their structure to be built, and who might have been against the construction.  In addition, they tried to find the initial reason for the structure, and why the particular materials that were used were chosen.

They also had some time to tear down their K’Nex Bridges, and to decide what they would like to build.  Some preferred to stick to the instruction booklet that came with the kit, while others wanted to make their own creations.  It was interesting to see the wide range of new K’Nex structures – from Olaf and cupcakes to robot bugs and fireworks!

2nd Grade Begins Depth and Complexity Research

The 2nd grade students chose different structures to work on for the rest of the year. They are going to find information about them using the Depth and Complexity icons from Kaplan. For example, we discussed the ethics of building some of the structures, as there were sacrifices made for many of them both financially and in lives lost. We looked at the details of the structures to find out what made them so notable and unique.

All of the groups have completed their K’nex bridges. Next week, we will take the bridges apart, and the students will have the opportunity to use the K’nex to build something using their own imaginations.

2nd Grade Makes ThingLinks

The 2nd graders chose different structures today to research using the Building Big website.  They took some notes, and shared them by creating interactive images called ThingLinks.

When you roll your mouse over an image in a ThingLink, you can access information on each “target” on the image.

ThinkLinks also allow you to share other media, such as videos, but the students are just beginning to learn how to create them.

The students also spent time in problem solving centers again, and some of them worked on finishing their K’nex bridges.