1st Grade Looks at Variable Viewpoints

The 1st graders used divergent thinking today to come up with unique ideas for different shapes.  I’ve shared them in the slide show below.  They are really coming along when it comes to originality and creativity!

The students also worked on making scripts for the videos they will be making about their country research.  They will start recording next week.

This Week in GT – April 13

Between a crashed computer, electricity outages, and short weeks, I’ve once again fallen behind on keeping you updated about GT happenings.  Here is what each grade level did this week:

Kinder practiced “Magician Thinking” (Visual/Spatial) by doing Tangram puzzles and matching rotated shapes.

1st did Divergent Thinking by imagining what surprise might hatch from a mother bird’s egg.  They also got to use the Dash robots, including the robot launcher, to review some of what they have learned during their country studies.

2nd finished and presented their bridges designed for fictional characters.  They also worked on more “Balance Bender” math puzzles.

3rd grade continued to work with Scratch and a movie editing app to get ready to present their Genius Hour project.  They also began a new Billibonk book, which will give them even more Systems Thinking Tools.

4th explored a small virtual gallery of paintings, learned about the theft of the Mona Lisa, and read more of Chasing Vermeer.

5th grade worked on their Genius Hour projects, their websites, and a really tough logic problem (so far only one student has solved it!).  We also got to watch a student demonstrate the robotic vending machine he designed at home (video embedded below)!

1st Grade Continues to Learn About New Countries

The 1st grade GT students continued to rotate around their learning stations this week as they learn details about their countries.  The students are using some library resources, such as CultureGrams to learn more about some of the statistics, interesting sights, and particular ways of greeting each other in formal and informal situations.  They are also programming a robot to travel the world on our floor map, comparing a day in the life of a child in their chosen country, and finding out more about the flags of different countries.

This Week in GT

I am a bit behind in updating each class post, so I am going to do a summary of all of our GT classes this week today!

Kinder – They worked on Inventor Thinking by making Leprechaun Traps.  We’ve set the traps out to see if we can catch any during Spring Break.  The students also played the Osmo “Monster” game.

1st – The students began their new rotations for studying the individual countries they chose to research.  They are analyzing statistics, programming a robot to travel around a map, and looking at fascinating photos of the countries.  They also worked on a St. Patrick’s Day sudoku.

2nd – 2nd grade GT finished up their limericks from last week, shared them, and illustrated them.  They also did some more Math Analogies.

3rd – The 3rd graders learned how to do Scratch programming, which they hope to use to create their final projects for Genius Hour.  They also learned the Order of Operations, and applied it to an algebra activity.  We read Billibonk, and discussed the habits of systems thinkers.

4th – We celebrated Pi Day this week!  With a few videos, a story about Sir Cumference, and a Pi Day Breakout to solve, the students are fully prepared to make 3/14 a great day during Spring Break!

5th – The students began to work on their “manifestos” using what they have learned about themselves throughout the school year so far.  We had some great conversations and excellent brainstorms.


1st Grade Learns to Program Geography

The 1st graders plotted the countries they have chosen to study on our floor map of the world this week.  Then they learned how to use Blockly programming to send our Dash robot to different locations.  Today was just a tutorial so that the students could be introduced to the coding basics.  We will be beginning stations next week, and each group of 3 students will have some geography coding challenges to complete when they get to that station.

1st Grade Creates Substitutes for Pot of Gold

With field trips, assemblies, and early dismissal schedules, first grade missed a little GT time during the last couple of weeks.  We got back on schedule Friday.  To practice their divergent thinking, the students used the “Substitute” part of the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. tool to imagine what else they might like to find at the end of a rainbow besides a pot of gold.  You can see some of their responses below.

1st Grade Makes Canadian Friends

As the first graders are studying continents and countries around the world, we thought it would be fun to connect with some other classes for Valentine’s Day by participating in the Virtual Valentines Project.

First we received this awesome Animoto video from Miss Reid’s class in Kingston, Ontario.  I love their “Love has no borders,” Valentines!

I put together a short video featuring Valentines from our 1st graders that explain some of the unique features of San Antonio.

Then we Skyped with Mrs. Scrimgeour’s class in Toronto, Ontario.  Our students learned that they have a lot in common with our Canadian friends (love of recess and macaroni and cheese are two similarities). They also learned about some differences. The Canadians were shocked to see some of our class dressed in shorts since it is snowing where they live right now!  Our students were shocked to find out that some schools don’t have cafeterias, and everyone has to bring their lunch 🙂


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