We're settling into a new routine and working our way through our first units of study! All classes are strengthening their verbal reasoning skills as we complete Logic Link Puzzles and Perplexors as our Brainteasers in TARGET. Students have found the Brainteasers to be both challenging and equally rewarding as they make personal growth each week.
Students in 1st grade TARGET are being introduced to our TARGET PETS (Primary Education Thinking Skills). So far, they've gotten to know Dudley the Detective and Sybil the Scientist as they learn the skill of deductive reasoning and analytical thinking using Logic Elimination Grids. 1st graders are also working on their non-verbal reasoning skills by learning the game of Qwirkle. This game by Mindware requires students to identify and match attributes to earn points while encouraging strategy as they work to make a Qwirkle. If you're interested in some family fun, check out Qwirkle at www.mindware.com for your next Family Game Night!
Second grade students are answering Research Based Questions each week in our Kitchen Chemistry Unit. They're learning about the digestive process and chemical and physical changes in the kitchen through experiments. We've SCAMPERed the Mouth to foster creativity through brainstorming, solved the "Kitchen Mystery" to figure out what this item is and does (an electric air popcorn popper) through inductive reasoning, and practiced our advanced research skills to discover what makes popcorn pop and learn why some kernels never pop.
Fourth graders created a Six Word Memoir to respond to the prompt "Everyone has a story. What's yours?" Students thought creatively to tell their story using the parameter of only six words. We're reading Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and using clues to help the main characters, Petra and Calder, solve the ongoing mystery. Next week we'll begin working with pentominoes to strengthen students non-verbal reasoning skills so they can solve the mystery along with Calder.
Fifth graders are working as epidemiologists to learn more about viruses and bacteria. This week they solved a mystery called "How Lou Got the Flu" and discovered the science behind the flu shot. We're reading Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson in class and students are conducting ongoing research on the transmission, symptoms, and prevention of Yellow Fever as they realize the deadly impact this epidemic had on the city of Philadelphia in the 1700s. Next week we'll begin working to solve a fictitious "Mystery Disease" through problem-based learning.