After a busy week in TAG, all units are successfully underway!
Second grade students answered the Essential Question "What would you do if you were living in England under the same conditions as the Pilgrims? Would you move to America or stay in England?" Students completed a Carousel Brainstorming activity where they reflected on what they already know about the 1st Thanksgiving, why we celebrate the holiday, and how they would feel if their family moved to another country. Students also worked on an Inductive Reasoning lesson where they defined and categorized unit vocabulary words with a group. Next time in TAG, students will finish a Compare Contrast lesson between the 1st Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving now and we will begin packing and loading our ships for an exciting voyage to the New World as Pilgrims.
Students in 3rd grade chose an Ancient Civilization they were interested in researching and began investigating as a group. Students researched either Ancient China, Rome, India, Egypt, or Greece - all civilizations we will study in depth throughout our unit. Students will work as a group to create products for each of the levels of Blooms' Taxonomy to share and present their findings with the class next week in TAG. Through their research, students solidified their answers to this week's Essential Question: "In what ways do the accomplishments of ancient civilizations contribute to our way of life today?"
Fourth grade students answered the Essential Question "How can we evaluate the choices leaders make?" and completed a fascinating Compare Contrast lesson analyzing two famous speeches of well-known leaders: Tecumseh and Patrick Henry. Students practiced analyzing the texts for rhetorical techniques and style. We discussed the qualities of leadership both of these men utilized to convey their message to the target audiences. Students also practiced their speech writing skills as they thought of an issue they are passionate about and wrote to persuade or convince others to take action. Next week students will finish their speeches and create pictograph symbols to communicate their message to their audiences.
On Thursday and Friday, 5th graders began the day answering the Essential Question "What are both the positive and negative impacts of viruses and bacteria on human lives?" Students also completed a Compare Contrast lesson on bacteria and viruses. Students then had an opportunity to create their own virus or bacteria and started a doctor's office pamphlet to inform others. Next time in TAG, students will complete their pamphlets and design and label a 3-D model of their virus or bacteria.
As a reminder, Mrs. Biggs and I will be holding our TAG Curriculum Night sessions at 5:00pm on Thursday, September 1 in the TAG classrooms before the homeroom sessions begin at 5:30pm. For parents that are unable to attend, all materials and presentations will be posted to my weebly page for review at your convenience following Curriculum Night.
Thank you for your support,
We have had an excellent first week of TAG! I’ve enjoyed catching up with former students and getting to know our new classmates! I’m looking forward to a wonderful year.
I am overwhelmed yet again by the kindness of Heards Ferry parents. Thank you so much for not only sending your children prepared for their first TAG day, but also for the generous donations of classroom supplies! We have a well-stocked classroom thanks to your support.
This week we’ve focused on setting expectations and procedures for our year together in TAG. All grades have practiced solving Mindware’s "Logic Links" for our daily Brainteaser. Students used colored chips and clues to find correct solutions and then presented their solutions on our interactive whiteboard. These puzzles are very challenging, but it’s always exciting to see the growth students make throughout the year!
Students also completed an Overexcitabilities Self-Evaluation, a self-test on giftedness this week. This has been enlightening to students as well as myself to learn about their strengths and potential struggles as gifted students. We identified and discussed common fictional characters from books, movies, and television that exhibit the five Overexcitabilities: Psychomotor, Sensual, Intellectual, Imaginational, and Emotional. If you would like more information on Overexcitabilities and gifted learners, please check out the links below. I am also attaching an Overexcitability Inventory for Parents. If you’d like to complete the inventory on your child and send it in to TAG, I’m happy to share the results as well as resources with you for how to best encourage your gifted learners.
Another exciting topic we discussed this week was Class Dojo and our new classroom economy. Students are working to earn positive Class Dojo points that will equate to Dojo Dollars which they can spend monthly at our Dojo Store. To encourage leadership and responsibility in our classroom, students have the chance to apply for classroom jobs to earn Dojo Dollars. Job descriptions and applications were sent home with all students this week and are due next week on their TAG day. This is an optional opportunity but one I hope students will be excited to pursue.
I also sent home a Bring Your Own Technology contract with all students in case they would like to bring a personal device to TAG. Parents, this is at your discretion, but many students find it beneficial to work on research or their Genius Hour projects with their own device. If your child would like to bring a personal device at any point this year to TAG, please discuss, sign, and return the form to TAG. We do not use personal devices every TAG day, so I will be sure to remind students of when they can bring and use a device in class should they care to do so.
Please mark your calendars for TAG Curriculum Night on Thursday, September 1 at 5:00pm. I will begin promptly at 5:00pm in my classroom, room #355, for a brief overview of our year in TAG. The first Curriculum Night session for homeroom teachers begins at 5:30pm. I hope you’ll be able to join us.
As always, thank you for your continued support.
It was great to see some familiar faces at Open House today! I know you all have enjoyed your summer, as did I, but it will be good to be back with students again soon! The first day of TAG will be with 3rd grade on Monday, August 15.
There are a few things I've been thinking about and working on this summer that I can't wait to share with students. One of the ideas I'm most excited about is a classroom store where students will be able to spend their hard earned Dojo Dollars which they'll earn by getting Class Dojo points and by completing classroom jobs - applications and job descriptions coming soon!
Another idea I will be incorporating into our Genius Hour work is a Resident Expert Wall. I know students have so many ideas and skills that they're proud of and I want them to share their skills with others who may need some assistance in a particular area. We are a collaborative classroom so it's important that we share our Genius (and our expertise) with the world!
We will also have a place in our classroom dedicated to wonder and random facts! I want students to be more curious about the world and become interested in exploring new topics they find exciting. Look for our "Did You Know?" door coming soon!
Students, I hope you have a fabulous last weekend of summer vacation and I can't wait to see you all bright and early Monday morning! We have some great things in store for our year ahead in TAG! :)
Gifted Specialist Teacher at Teasley Elementary