3rd Graders Become Literary Luminaries

The 3rd graders used depth and complexity to examine Fish in a Tree today.  They responded to the questions on the frames as “Literary Luminaries,” meaning that their job was to shed light on what we just read.  You can see their work below (click on each image to magnify it).

They also learned a “legal move” in Hands-On-Equations.  It was a short day due to our Early Dismissal schedule!

1st Grade Works on GT Frames

1st grade students learned a lot about table manners in different parts of the world this week by playing a game called, “Don’t Gross Out the World.”  Ask them how they can give compliments to the cook if they are visiting the Inuit people in Canada!

They also worked on depth and complexity this week by filling out “frames,” where they addressed the Big Idea, Multiple Perspectives, Unanswered Questions, and Rules.  For our practice, they did frames about their classroom teachers, and you can see the results below.

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.

1st Grade Frames Their Dads

The first graders continued their “frames” project from last week, and applied some deep thinking to being a dad.

They also seemed to enjoy a bit of fun by trying to solve some riddles, and then using the iPads to scan QR codes to find the answers. I think I might have to come up with some QR code challenges for them now that they are experts!

1st Grade “Frames” Their Moms

In addition to their country research today, the first graders did a little deep thinking about mothers in honor of Mother’s Day.  I borrowed an idea from the GT teacher who writes the blog,  “Not Just Child’s Play“, and asked the kids to draw their mothers in the middle of a frame.  Then, in each of four sections around the picture, the students had to think about their moms in a different way.  First, they came up with the “Big Idea” of moms – what is being a mom all about?  Then they came up with “Rules” for being a mom.  After that, they thought about the “Language of the Discipline” – what is something moms usually say?  And lastly, they had to use “Multiple Perspectives”, and put themselves in their mom’s shoes.  Here are some of them.  And, don’t worry, dads come next!

4th Grade Starts Masterpiece Research Projects

The 4th graders began gathering information for presentations on masterpieces from all kinds of fields. They first chose one of the multiple intelligences, then a career, and then a famous “product” that is related to that career. Some examples are: Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, The Discovery of King Tut’s Tomb, and motorcycles.

They are researching using Kaplan’s icons of Depth and Complexity, such as multiple perspectives. Next week, I will introduce them to some presentation options to make their final products “pop”!

We had some great answers to the bonus question from a few weeks ago that asked the students to connect the question, “What can I do that will have meaning in the future?” to a couple of videos I posted. Here are a couple of examples:

Paige – One thing that I could do right now that would have an effect on the future is seeing things differently. You can try to see the hidden potential in everything. The people in these videos did that. They took what we thing of as trash, and made it into amazing things that people can afford. Someday, people everywhere might use things like that for a lot more stuff.

Connor – Carrying on tradition and preserving the past is important. I collect things like baseball cards and coins that have been around for years and sometimes many generations. The people in these videos are recycling and reusing old items to make new things. I take old things and preserve them. We both are taking things from the past and making them more meaningful and useful for the future.

2nd Grade Researches Bridges

After reviewing what we learned about the Brooklyn Bridge, I showed the students how we could apply more depth to our learning using icons from Dr. Sandra Kaplan. We talked about the unique “Details” of the bridge, the “Trends” and “Patterns” in bridge building that we saw from looking at other suspension bridges, and how the bridge “Changed Over Time”.  Then the students each chose their own bridge from the Building Big website, and looked for similar information for their own bridges.

We also worked on a tough logic problem, and I was proud how hard everyone tried!  Great thinking, 2nd grade!

5th Grade Examines Influential People

Before the winter break, 5th grade finished watching the A&E videos that listed the top 100 most influential people of the last millennium.  This week, they used the Depth and Complexity icons from Sandra Kaplan to think a little deeper about the people on the list.  They spoke about the trends they saw, (such as war about religion), the ethical controversies over time (such as slavery), and other topics.

In addition, they continued to work on Genius Hour projects.  I was particularly impressed with two groups who had hit some tough obstacles with their projects, but they persevered – and their persistence has paid off.  We almost have a working wind-up car, and an interesting tetrahedra circle was created – despite many stops and starts!