1st graders have been working on Divergent Thinking Skills (or Inventor Thinking) and brought their plans to completion as they built a Spi-cycle for Yolanda the Spider. Students also practiced another Brainstorming technique called "SCAMPER" where they took a typical bicycle and made changes and improvements to make it suitable for a spider.
Next week students will help some of our TARGET PETS, as they build something to help Sybil the Scientist get across the pond and build a Great Acorn Collection and Storage Machine for Isabel the Inventor. We've also been working on a new brainteaser, Wordoku, which is similar to Sudoku but uses words instead of numbers.
Tuesday was certainly not a low-carb day in TARGET but the students loved learning about bread! Our Research Based Question for the week was "What is yeast and how does it make bread rise?" We did an experiment to capture the CO2 gas that yeast "burps up" when it's fed (sugar) and happy (nice and warm).
Students also learned about the history of this dietary staple and how bread's made in factories. Of course the highlight of their day was examining and sampling a different varieties of bread. Thanks for your support of this lesson by sending in all the samples of bread! One student said "It smells like Panera in here!" :)
We're attacking algebra as we progress through Hands on Equations lessons and these 4th graders should really be proud of their determination and perseverance. Another focus these past few weeks in TARGET is direct academic vocabulary instruction through analogies. 4th graders have been working on two new Brainteasers: Link Winks (rhyming vocabulary) and Analogy Challenges to strengthen their vocabulary.
Students were presented with a real-world problem-solving challenge. The cotton ball factory ships out hundreds of boxes of cotton balls every day. They buy their shipping boxes from a company called “Pentomino Packaging Company.” The problem is that when the cotton balls get shipped, a whole lot of them fall out of the boxes since the boxes are missing one side. The factory owner asked that the class design nets that can be folded into boxes with all six sides so students started designing as many possibilities as they could. We'll make more hexomino nets next week!
For our novel work with Chasing Vermeer, students deciphered a secret code written by one of the character's friends. The plot continues to twist and turn as more details surrounding the disappearance of the Vermeer painting are revealed.
5th graders are also improving their algebraic reasoning skills and building their vocabulary through Hands on Equations lessons and a new Brainteaser: Crossword Analogies. These challenging analogy puzzles are encouraging students to identify the meaning of unknown words, and as a result, students are getting better at using dictionaries and discovering the value of this classic resource.
Although Thursday was a shortened day due to Early Release, students worked diligently on researching a variety of state and county fair maps and then designing a new plan with additions and changes to prevent cross-contamination at the Barrow County Fair. I'm looking forward to next week's lesson as we pause our Mystery Disease simulation to learn about Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman in America. Was she a villain or a victim? Surely the class will have strong opinions on this matter following our time together next week.