Save the Date!

You may remember that the GT classes participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge last year.  We will be doing it again this year – only bigger!  This time, the students will be competing to have their cardboard creations chosen for a special evening we will be hosting at Main Event.  Main Event is allowing us to use their party rooms to display the cardboard games, and we are going to be inviting the whole community to come play!  We will be charging a dollar for admission to our cardboard arcade, and the students will be voting on a charity to which we will donate the funds.  In addition, families will be able to buy Fun Passes to use in the rest of the facility for $20, and $5 from each Fun Pass will also go toward the charity (or a separate charity – depending on what the students decide).

So, be sure your GT student is brainstorming ideas for his or her cardboard game.  We will begin making them in September.  Also, you are welcome to e-mail suggestions for the charity to me.  And, mark your calendars for the evening of Wednesday, October 15th, 2014!


Global Cardboard Challenge

First of all, I want to thank all of the parents who participated in last week’s “surprise” by creating videos for your kids to tell them how special they are.  I was blown away by the power of your messages, and I think it will be something the students will always remember.  They are keeping the pictures that “triggered” the videos in their GT folders, and will be able to refer to them throughout the year.  It helped me to get to know you better, too, and I feel like the project has really made our home/school bond greater.

I also want to thank everyone who was able to attend the Parent Orientation on Tuesday night.  Please don’t worry if you could not make it, however.  I will be sending out links to the information later this week, and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

Our cardboard challenge has been progressing wonderfully!  There is so much creativity and engagement going on that I can’t believe I have never tried this before.  We are definitely going to participate next year, and I have even bigger plans…

Speaking of building things, you might be interested in this great website, Built by Kids, that I just featured on my professional blog.  If you aspire to spend more time on projects with your children that involve your hands and old-fashioned hard work, then this site has plenty of ideas and how-to’s to get you started.

These are just some of the pics of finished projects, and a couple of pictures of tickets the kids made to invite classmates to play or view their creations during recess next week.  I will try to post a few more next Wednesday.  (You can click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of each pic.)

GT Starts Next Week for 2nd-5th!

Our classroom – waiting to be filled with students!

By this time next week, I will be knee-deep in classes, and I will be able to, hopefully, post some of our Global Cardboard Challenge Creations.  GT students should be visiting my classroom this week during recess to “Adopt a Box,” and should bring a sketch of their idea to the first GT class (2nd-5th) next week.  Please encourage your child to think of a brand new idea!  I had one student say he was going to make an airplane, and I asked him if he could think of something no one else could, and he said, “a hotdog machine!”  Now, that’s what I’m talking about!

Boxes – waiting to be “adopted”

Also – parents, don’t forget your “homework” that I e-mailed you.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, please e-mail me to find out.  I have gotten many submissions, but I don’t want any one to be left out.  Remember, the deadline is this Friday!

The GT Parent Orientation has been scheduled for Tues., Oct. 1st, at 5:30 in my classroom. You should receive a flyer about this next week.

This is an interesting article on, “3 Simple Ways You Can Inspire Your Kids Right Now,” from Gifted I Am.  And, if you feel like looking at a crazy optical illusion that will blow you away, this was on my professional blog last Friday.

I hope to see some of you tonight at Churchill for the “Transforming the Future” community meeting!


Creativity Abounds in Our Students!

The countdown is on!  Only one and a half more weeks until 2nd-5th grades GT classes will begin!  I am thrilled to find out, however, that some of my students are still using GT thinking even though we are not meeting right now!

Cooper, one of the 2nd grade GT students, turned in a completed summer packet that I sent home at the end of last school year!  Not only that, but he has been using his creative thinking to make his own cardboard box game!  Here are some of the pictures his mom has shared with me.

Cooper’s Hockey Table


Cooper’s Customized Hockey Pucks

And, then we have several students who opted to join in on the International Dot Day Fun that I mentioned in last week’s post.  After they turned in their colored dots, I took some pictures with the iPad of how they look when scanned with the ColAR app.

My room is starting to look much better with creative artwork to decorate it!

If your child still wants to participate in Dot Day by coloring one of the augmented reality dots, please see last week’s post for instructions.

Also, I want to thank those of you who have donated boxes for the Global Cardboard Challenge!  My plan is for the kids to dive right into this our first week of class.  Don’t worry; I will take lots of pictures of the chaos when we tackle this project!

If you have a 4th or 5th grader who is currently in GT, please ask your child to check his or her Edmodo account.  I just posted a new “request” for them to help me with a GT class mission statement through Edmodo.  The login and password should be the same as the school one.

You might be interested in this scientific post from my professional blog last week.  And, if you are as concerned as I am about the lack of geography knowledge many of our students have, here is a geography game website you might want to add to your bookmarks:

Have a great week!

My Classroom Makeover – What Do You Think?

Are you worried?  Are you wondering, “What has she been doing all of this time?  I know she’s testing right now, but where are the kids supposed to sit?”

Don’t panic.  This is not my classroom.  (“Whew!” – right?)  It’s the classroom next door.  I am collecting boxes for a project for the kids.  I sent out an e-mail to the staff asking for donations – and they have responded with lots of boxes!  It’s fortunate that I have a place to store them!

The project is, “Global Cardboard Challenge.”  I would like all of my GT students to be involved.  However, we do not start classes until the week of September 23rd (2nd-5th), and the Day of Play is scheduled for October 5th.

So, Parents, you can help me out by watching the video at this link with your child to learn more about the challenge.  Have your child take a look at the picture above, and help him or her to imagine something awesome that could be made out of one or more of those boxes.  If possible, even work on a rough sketch, or gather some recyclable trash to supplement your child’s idea.  I will give your child time in class (except for 1st grade who does not meet with me until November) – but we won’t have much.  So, the more pre-planning that can be done, the more your child can accomplish with me.  If 1st graders make a plan and show it to me, then I will let them take a box home to work on the project.

Remember to encourage creativity.  Caine’s Arcade is great, but we don’t want to copy what he did.  The whole point of this is to use a box to think outside the box:)