GT 1st-5th This Week

Wow – can you believe it’s February?  This school year is certainly flying by, and this week has been one of the fastest!

Since I’m a bit behind on daily blogging, here is the rundown on what the classes have been doing this week:

1st grade finished their continent stations.  Next class, they will be meeting their mystery Valentine partners, and they will begin studying the countries they chose to research.

2nd grade worked more on empathy and multiple perspectives by pretending they were the fictional clients for whom they are designing structures.  Then they did second drafts of their designs.

3rd grade finished Fish in a Tree, and worked more on their Tinkercad tutorials for 3d design.

4th and 5th grade both analyzed song playlists for their respective novels to choose the songs that best represented the books.  They gave supporting evidence using the song lyrics and passages from the books. (Tuck Everlasting and The Giver)

There will be no GT classes February 7th-9th as I will be attending a technology conference in Austin.

One of the 1st graders shows the model she made of the Eiffel Tower during our stations

Games, Games, Games

I want to thank the PTA for providing the funding for Mrs. Dillard and me to attend the ISTE conference downtown this week.  This is an annual, international conference for technology in education, and I always get great ideas when I get the chance to attend.  I can’t wait to try everything out this upcoming school year!

One of the themes that was very prominent in many of the presentations was the “gamification” of learning.  This does not mean that kids need to sit down and do all of their learning by playing Minecraft, but it does mean that there are some valuable lessons that children learn from playing games that we can use in our classroom.  If you’re interested in reading more about this, you can visit my professional blog here.

With that in mind, I have two resources to share with you for the students this summer.  One is GameUp, which is produced by Brainpop.  Our school just got a subscription to Brainpop near the end of the school year, and I highly recommend the animated educational videos.  (If your child needs the username and password, feel free to e-mail me.)  The game section is free, though, and requires no log-in.  There are many games for the upper grades, and then you can also access the somewhat fewer games on the Brainpop Jr. site. (BTW, there is a free app for Brainpop, and you can use our school log-in to access all of the videos on your mobile device, too.)

And, if you would like your child to stay away from the computer, I highly recommend a site called GameKit, which has a really cool assignment to modify an old game that you have around the house to make something new.  You can learn more about GameKit here.

Lastly, I have started “tweeting.”  If you are interested in following me, my address is @terrieichholz.