This week in TAG, most classes had a flexible, shortened schedule due to IOWA testing, so we spent our TAG time working on Genius Hour projects!
Students in all grades have now committed to a Genius Hour topic and developed their Driving Question(s). All students have defined what they want to spend their allotted Genius Hour time learning about in TAG. Next week, students will continue with their Genius Hour projects by conducting research. I have asked all students to please bring in one print resource pertaining to their Driving Question or topic. This could be a book from the school or local library, a magazine article, something they've printed from the internet, an encyclopedia entry, etc. Students are also encouraged to bring in a device if they have one available to use next week for research.
All classes also watched an awesome, inspirational 10 minute video called "Caine's Arcade." Caine is a boy living in East LA who created his own arcade using recycled boxes from his dad's used auto parts store. We discussed Caine's "genius" and what character traits led him to be so successful with his project of constructing a cardboard arcade: determination, perseverance, and research and observation skills. Although Caine's Arcade was probably not an assigned Genius Hour project, he certainly demonstrated many of the IB attitudes and profiles I encourage students to use everyday: risk-taker, thinker, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, inquirer, and more! Please take a moment to check out the video, or watch it again with your child. It was certainly a favorite activity this week in TAG!
As always, thank you for your support!
IOWA Testing: Over the next two weeks, 3rd and 5th graders will be taking the IOWA Assessment. TAG classes will be held in the afternoons after testing is completed for the day.
Genius Hour: Next week (10/17 - 10/21) will be our 2nd GH session. Students will develop their Driving Question - "What do you want to learn about?" and beginning their research. Students may bring in a device to use for research or any other print resources (books, magazines, information printed off the internet, etc.).
2nd Grade is completing a Performance Task of establishing a settlement in the New World. Pilgrims constructed their houses in the New World using daub (chocolate icing), planks (pretzel rods), wattle (pretzel sticks), and thatch (Chow Mein noodles). Students are also planning how they would use their allotment of land, being sure to include an herb and vegetable garden, an animal pen, their house and tool shed, and a fence for security. Thank you, parents, for your help with supplies and hands-on assistance. The kids certainly enjoyed this tasty activity!
3rd Grade completed a Decision Making lesson for our Ancient Civilizations Unit evaluating which famous place deserves to be saved: The Parthenon, the Colosseum, the Great Pyramids of Giza, or the Great Wall of China. As students quickly realized, all of these places are famous for a reason so this was a tough decision! Next time in TAG, we will travel to Ancient Egypt to continue our study of mummies, pharaohs, and hieroglyphics.
4th Grade continued finished their Abraham Lincoln projects for our Qualities of Leadership Unit. Students chose between completing a caricature collage with an Abraham Lincoln quote or creating a political cartoon. I was very impressed with the dedication and commitment the students displayed in completing their choice projects. Next time in TAG, we'll study another Civil War leader: Robert E. Lee.
5th Grade is traveling back in time to save the city of Philadelphia in 1793 from the Yellow Fever epidemic by working as a team of historians, doctors, and entomologists. Students have completed their research and are preparing to present without the use of technology since they're traveling back to the late 1700s. The creative demonstrations and visuals created by these 5th graders are really impressive!
Gifted Specialist Teacher at Teasley Elementary