Yesterday, the 3rd grade students presented their proposals for ways to help with noise and messiness in the cafeteria. They based their ideas on research they had done, including interviews with principals from other schools (Mr. Gustafson and Mr. Gilpin). Mrs. Jessop and our “Principal for the Day,” James Allen were the audience for the presentations.
Anna presented a board game that she made that could be played to reinforce cafeteria behavior. She made one game set for each grade level that includes the directions and game cards. Classes on the grade level could pass the game to each other when they are finished.
Roman created a video game using Gamestar Mechanic. It also reinforces cafeteria behavior with questions about appropriate ways to act when in the lunch room. His vision is for the link to be available on the student shares drive, and students who have teacher permission can play the game when they come to the library.
Timothy and Katie were very motivated to use movies as an incentive for good behavior in the cafeteria. They used an app called Touchcast, which allowed them to use a green screen and add some special effects – including a live, intereactive poll – into their video trying to persuade administrators to use this idea. (We had a few issues with the app, as you can see from Timothy’s floating head in the photo below, but it finally worked out!) They were careful to look at the idea from many perspectives, and included these in their video.
As a class, the students also liked the idea of engaging student leaders to help out in the cafeteria. Since we are a Leader in Me school, this seemed like it would fit in well with our school goals. The class worked together to come up with a vision for how this would happen, and Timothy and Katie put the ideas together into an Adobe Voice presentation.
Mrs. Jessop said that she would share these ideas with the other administrators, and we will hopefully be able to implement some of them next year.
The 3rd graders are getting ready to present their suggested solutions for cafeteria issues to Mrs. Jessop and Mrs. Bailey next week. Two students worked on creating a video using a special app called Touchcast. This app allows us to use our green screen and add some other special effects. The other students are making games – one a video game and one a board game – to teach cafeteria rules. We still aren’t finished so hopefully we will make good progress next Tuesday morning!
The third graders spent a big portion of their time in GT getting their projects about the cafeteria ready to present to Mrs. Jessop. One student is creating a video game, another is making board games for every grade level, and 2 students are making a “newscast.” What was really interesting was listening to the students help each other out when they hit stumbling blocks on their projects – even if they weren’t technically working together. They also seemed eager to try to get some of their projects completed at home so they would be able to get done in time. We only have 2 more GT classes for this year!
We were so busy that I forgot to take pictures today. So, I included a Creative Commons image above. What clues do you have that this is not a photo of our cafeteria (besides the image credit)?
The 3rd graders spent a good portion of their time Tuesday working on their proposals for solving the cafeteria problems. They finished up looking at their solutions from different perspectives, then did a PMI by highlighting positives and negatives. After that, they helped each other think of ways to overcome some of the negatives. All of that planning will hopefully pave the way for their awesome suggestions to give to Mrs. Jessop.
In addition to that hard work, they then worked on a collaborative math activity called “Tanglers” in which they had to practice their communication skills just as much as their math skills. Tanglers are puzzles in which each student is given some of the clues to the answer, but they can’t show each other their clues. They can talk about them, though – which requires good listening and analysis. Some of the clues are irrelevant, which makes the activity even more challenging. When first given the clues, they don’t even know the problem that they are trying to solve! They did a great job synergizing, however, and solved three puzzles fairly quickly.
The last activity of the day was to try out designing video games with the new PixelPress Floors app. This requires planning and meticulous drawing, and the students were a little frustrated when their first drawings scanned differently than they expected on the iPads. However, most of them are used to the Growth Mindset by now, and knew that it would just take practice to get better.
Now that the 3rd graders have gotten information from many sources about possible solutions for the problems with noise and trash in the cafeteria, they are narrowing down their suggestions. Because they learned from their Systems Thinking lessons that it’s important to see the ideas from other perspectives, they did an activity called, “Framing” this Tuesday to consider how other people might be effected by each idea. These perspectives included: the school principal, the custodians, teachers, other students, parents, and staff who work in the cafeteria. They showed surprising insight on some of the issues that might come up!
The 3rd graders also worked on another collaborative math problem, but we mixed it up this time and did mixed-gender teams. One team did great, while the other had a difficult time communicating with each other. However, they both were able to solve the challenge through perseverance.
Another activity 3rd grade did was to add their creative products to the “Squiggle Challenge” all of my GT students are participating in. The challenge comes from a school in Minnesota, and it will be interesting to see all of the different ways students can find to transform the same squiggle!
Due to STAAR testing on Tuesday, 3rd grade had a shortened GT period, but got quite a bit done. They worked on questions to ask administrators at other schools about how they handle cafeteria behavior. The questions were placed on something called Flipgrid, where they will hopefully get answers from administrators all over the world. They are also planning to do a Skype interview with an administrator next week to get more ideas on how to limit noise and mess in the cafeteria as part of their Genius Hour/Systems Thinking projects.
The 3rd graders also got to try to new beta version of the Hopscotch app, which is an iPad app for programming. Hopscotch is already available for free downloads, but the company is working on updating the app, and they want feedback from as many people as possible. Considering the 3rd graders hadn’t used Hopscotch before, they did pretty well in the small amount of time they had!
We also want to thank the Castleberry family for their recent donation of some new Cubelets and Lego Adapters from our class wish list. We hope to get started using them next week!
In our new book, Billibonk and the Big Itch, the main character learns that it is important to keep asking, “Why?” to get to the root of a problem. Often, we try to fix the symptom instead of the real problem, and we end up continuing to have trouble. This is part of the systems thinking that the students are going to apply to their Genius Hour projects.
Based on the survey that we did of the school a couple of weeks ago, the biggest problem that we have at our school is noise in the cafeteria. The two girls have decided to try to tackle that problem. By asking 5 “Why’s”, the determined that people are talking loudly because they want attention. It will be interesting to see what solution they come up with for this problem!
The boys are also working on a cafeteria problem – the trash that is often left on the floor. In an unusual twist, the boys diverged in their answers to the “Why” questions. One boy feels that the ultimate issue is that students don’t respect the adults in the room, and another one feels that they don’t respect themselves enough (they leave trash on the floor because they want to be first in line to get recognition for being the “best”). They are both going to work on separate solutions, but help each other. (Win/Win!)
We also did some Contrasting Facts math today, and had a bit of time for the Maker Studio. One student figured out a way to use light to make the Cubelets go faster or slower, and I’ve embedded the video beneath the pictures from today.
One of the reasons you should not leave food on the floor…
Roman presents his video game created as a possible solution to the cafeteria problem.