5th Grade Works on Growth Mindset

The 5th graders worked on Growth Mindset, Systems Thinking, and Design Thinking this week.  To practice Growth Mindset and Systems Thinking, they did a challenging puzzle on the interactive white board called, “Blocky Christmas.”  As they reached higher levels, the students encountered more obstacles and really had to persevere.  They also had to think about what mistakes they were consistently making so they could break out of frustrating cycles of incorrect answers.  In a different activity, “Holiday Hink Pinks,” the students again applied these skills to help them solve the riddles.

In addition, the 5th graders also worked on Design Thinking with the Bloxels kits.  We hit many obstacles because the app has been updated and only part of it will work with our district filters.  But we powered through and got the beginnings of some games completed.

3rd Grade Creates Robot Choreography

For their Hour of Code activity in GT this week, the 3rd graders worked on programming the Dash Robots in our class – Dash Potato and Dasharoni.  They enjoyed trying to get the timing to work for the robot dance moves, and it looks like they did a pretty good job.  Thanks to Daniel for his great videography of the final project!

3rd Grade Learns More About Systems and the Great Barrier Reef

Since the 3rd graders chose the Great Barrier Reef for their Genius Hour project, it seems like I am constantly finding it in the news!  There is lots of information about the Reef on the web, and we found a fabulous interactive simulation that really helped the students to see how different activities of humans impact a diverse group of animals directly and indirectly.

The 3rd graders also learned about to set up Algebra problems that include subtraction in the original equation, and “profiled” some of the characters in Fish in a Tree this week.

Click here to go to the Reef Simulator.

Click here to go to the Reef Simulator.

3rd Grade Thinks More About Thinking

Having finished Billibonk and a Class Dojo series about Growth Mindset, the students worked on polishing up their “Thinking about Thinking” slideshows this week.  They added some more lessons they’ve learned about thinking and peer edited to give suggestions for improvements.  I’ve included some of the slides from their presentations below.  As soon as they are finished, I will publish all of them on our blog!

3rdaditi 3rdhaasini 3rdharrison 3rdmax 3rdolivia


3rd Grade Continues Work on Fast Eating Solutions

Unfortunately, we did not get any usable pics this week:(  However, the 3rd graders were able to get some pretty decent Tinkercad designs finished this week for their 3d printed food bowls.  Hopefully we will be able to share some of those with you next week.  They also began a new book, Billibonk and the Big Itch, and completed Level 1 of Hands-On-Equations.

Aditi Some people might feel different about the word ‘’but’’ because you can use it for fixed and growth mindset ex. but I want to fixed that would work but i think so and so= growth.
Max One way hands on equations changed over time is that it changed from one strategy to 3 strategies.
Dylan If I could sum up today’s learning in 6 words, I would say.We did algebra and did tinkercad
Olivia If I had to sum up the day in 6 words I would say we did math,products and 3D printing.
Harrison One pattern I noticed today was Billion when he scratched his back on the tree and the others did it too.


3rd Grade Thinks About Thinking

The 3rd graders learned how to use Google Slides so they can make a portfolio that contains the things they have learned about thinking this year.  They also got an introduction to Hands-On-Equations, brainstormed problems that they want to solve, and read some more about Billibonk and systems thinking.  Here are some thoughts from the students:


Aditi Today’s lesson about Billibonk made me wonder what would happen if Billibonk did not tell all of the elephants the seeds were important.
Max I think thinking about your problems is good because if you don’t, then you may come across them again.
Dylan Learning about Billibonk reminded me of when my brothers tricked me. Be careful about trusting everyone.
Olivia Some changes I would recommend for people would be to not have too many people working if there isn’t enough pay.

3rd Grade Begins to Learn Hands-On-Equations

The 3rd graders were so busy this week!  They reflected on their 1st semester for their report cards, learned a new thinking tool (CAF – Consider All Factors), read more about Billibonk and systems thinking, and were introduced to Algebra with our Hands-On-Equations program.  Here are their thoughts about the day using some special sentence stems I provided:


Aditi I think the semester report was important because we need to have grades and we need to think about what we truly need instead of putting all 3’s to get good grades.
Max Learning about algebra reminded me about when you have to figure out a problem in your life that has missing things.
Dylan Something I would recommend for Billibonk is that he shouldn’t think everything is bad luck because people will stop believing you.
Olivia Today’s lesson about Billibonk makes me wonder what would happen if the elephants cleared out the thorn patches.
Harrison From what I learned today about PMI, I can infer that Billibonk needs to think before he does the things he is going to do.

3rd Grade Reviews Systems Thinking

Here is this week’s 3rd grade GT blog post.  Cristian is the student author, and Cassidy is our class photographer.

Today in class we played a game called Osmo that reviewed what we learned about escalation. We also answered  questions on a worksheet about what happened in the story Billibonk And The Thorn Patch. We even changed the background, font of our letters, and  added pictures to our Leonardo da Vinci slideshow. Then we watched ants to see their system and what they do.

3rd Grade Learns about Escalation for Systems Thinking

Here is our first student-written blog post for 3rd grade this year!  Cristian is our student author and Cassidy is our photographer.

Today in class we learned about the reinforcing loop.We also did a google slide show about Leanardo Da Vinci.We even did a math worksheet about Hands-On-Equations (subtraction in set up).We also read a book called Billybonk And The Thorn Patch.Last but certainly not least we learned about escalation.

3rd Grade Tries to Untangle Some Problems

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.