3rd Grade Practices Genius Hour Presentation

This week, the 3rd graders practiced introducing their Genius Hour video about Coral Reefs and the accompanying Scratch video game they created so they can present it to their homeroom classes.

3rd Grade Learns about Stores with Sustainable Seafood

The 3rd graders want to save the coral reefs, and learned from their Skype with a science reporter that buying sustainable seafood can help.  They researched which grocery stores in our area sell sustainable seafood (seafood caught or raised responsibly), and found that Greenpeace has given the following scores to our local stores.  Then they input the data into a Google Sheet and created a chart.  This will be used in their Genius Hour presentation.

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)!

3rd Grade Works on Saving the Coral Reefs

With their Genius Hour research completed, the 3rd graders have begun working on their presentation with the hope of persuading more kids to help save the coral reefs.  They decided to make a video game using Scratch programming that will teach kids facts about the coral reef and the things that damage it.  So far, the game has been a great collaborative effort from the students, and they are branching out this week to add some more details from home.

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.


3rd Grade Designs Coral

The 3rd graders worked on creating coral using the 3d modeling program Tinkercad this week.  They learned that many coral have symmetry and we talked about different types of symmetry, such as radial symmetry.  Then they worked on a Project Ignite tutorial that walked them through designing coral with linear and radial symmetries.  There were a lot of new design skills to learn, but they persevered!

The students also reviewed “systems thinking,” and we began to read a great book that teaches how to apply systems thinking in the real world called, Billibonk and the Thorn Patch.

3rd Grade Makes Character Valentines

The 3rd graders practiced using Multiple Perspectives (one of Kaplan’s Depth & Complexity icons) by making character Valentines this week.  First we brainstormed traits for each of the characters in Fish in a Tree.  Then the students each chose a sender and a recipient from the characters.  They had to design their Valentines so that we could tell which character made it and which character would receive it – without using any names 🙂  The students had a lot of fun, and did such a great job that we guessed them all correctly. (Click on image to enlarge.)

They also worked on some very challenging Valentine Sudoku puzzles, most of them showing extreme tenacity when they had to start over multiple times!

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

3rd Grade Works on Their Convergent Thinking

This week was a bit chaotic for 3rd grade GT due to group pictures.  We didn’t get as much work accomplished as usual, but the students did do some problem-solving.

In the book, Fish in a Tree, the teacher poses a river crossing riddle to his students which our students also endeavored to solve.  After making some manipulative pieces (and removing some of the more unrealistic answers) , they were able to determine the solution.

The students also tackled some more verbal Hands-On-Equations problems this week. Lesson 3 stymied them for a bit, so it was definitely a bigger challenge than the first couple of lessons we did.  The students persevered, though, and should be ready to try Lesson 4 next week!

image from: Wikimedia

3rd Grade Learns Tinkercad

This week, the 3rd grade GT students started to learn how to design 3d objects using an online program called Tinkercad.  The students spent most of their time exploring the different tools and doing a couple of tutorials.  Our goal is to have the students begin designing different types of coral to print out, and possibly inventions that might help the coral reef by the end of this year.

The 3rd graders also got introduced to word problems where they need to apply what they have learned about algebra so far.  They caught on very quickly, so they actually flew through Lessons 1 & 2!

Tinkercad image from Kevin Hodgson on Flickr