Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Writing Our Own Rules

Like everywhere else on campus our Gifted Laboratory has rules and here the students worked to help develop them. Before we put our heads together to establish a set of rules we first explored the reasons why rules exist. 
We spent some time with the Cougar Expectations:

 We explored the P.A.W.S. expectations by using the following graphic organizer and exploring what each would look like, sound like and feel like in our laboratory.
 We then participated in a thinking routine entitled Chalk Talk.  During a Chalk Talk there is a piece of chart paper with an open ended questions in the center of the group and students are asked to respond to that prompt in written form only. They may respond directly the question or they can respond to another person's thoughts. 

On our Chalk Talk questions were: 
-Why should rules be followed?
 -What would happen if there were no rules? 
-Why do we need rules? 


Finally, we spent time writing a set of rules for our time in gifted and signed them in agreement. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Spaghetti Towers

            This week we had a blast building spaghetti and marshmallow towers. Students were placed in teams and given the challenge to build the highest tower they could using a set number of dried spaghetti and marshmallows. Several tips to aid them in the challenge were shared and teams were given time to plan their strategy. Some were successful and everyone learned a great deal. 
Please enjoy some pictures of our fun!


After each trial,  I asked students to spend some time reflecting in their Interactive Gifted Notebooks (I.G.N.) and here are few of my favorite quotes:

"There are a lot of things I learned like even if you are smartest person on Earth you are still going to face challenges and things that our tough. Today was tough!"
                                                             -4th grader

"United we stand, divided we fall. If everyone only wants to do their own thing and won't listen nothing is going to work." 
                                                                             -5th grader

What is in the Bag?

         During the first week of gifted, we engaged in an activity entitled What's in the Bag?.  This idea came to me via some friends from The Discovery Educator's Network (The DEN).  The idea was simple fill a bag with a variety of art supplies. Give each students a bag with the following directions: Inside this bag you will find a variety of items. Please create something using as many of these items as you can. You may only use the items in your bag scissors, a stapler and glue.  I also asked my students to tell personal narrative or a few things about themselves with their finish product. 

Take a look at the fun we had!