What a busy week! We had less time together due to Early Release for conferences, but we crammed as much as we could into those shortened days! Take a look at what each grade's working on in TARGET!
First graders practiced their Inventor Thinking (Divergent) by using some of Isabel the Inventor's "spare parts" to build a contraption to help Sybil the Scientist get across Crystal Pond. We also did some work on the Rubik's Cubes and solved for the white cross and white face. This has been an engaging challenge and I love watching the students work through the solution guides and make discoveries!
We took a unit break to have some seasonal fun on our short day in TARGET! Students learned some new logical reasoning skills as we worked through a Halloween Cryptogram decoding secret messages and solved a Halloween riddle using a grid Perplexor. Of course, I believe the class favorite was working on an Extreme Dot to Dot. I give these puzzles to students to solve sparingly because they're addicting and I can't get my little thinkers to stop connecting dots, but they're great for teaching patience, persistence, perseverance, point of view, and perspective, or "the 5 Ps of EDD" as I refer to them in TARGET. We also did some work with Divergent thinking on a Halloween choice board focusing on fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration through SCAMPERing. Pictures from Tuesday wouldn't upload correctly. Sorry about that! :-(
We're continuing our novel unit Chasing Vermeer and are enjoying searching for clues as we read by looking for pentominoes and frogs! Fourth graders are also getting faster at solving the cryptic messages between characters using a letter decoder. Students completed Part 1 of our real-world problem solving dilemma presented by Pentomino Packaging Company where students solved the problem of shipping containers with open boxes. They created hexomino nets for cubes and will use their spatial reasoning skills to rearrange and maximize space on a cardboard grid to efficiently ship out the hexomino nets. We'll also integrate some art as we study M.C. Escher's work and students try their skills at tessellations.
As we prepare to study the life of Typhoid Mary next week, we discussed Patient Zero and what it means to be a carrier, either healthy or with symptoms. We researched Patient Zero of the Ebola epidemic and discussed the work of epidemiologists in tracking down clues to discover Patient Zero in a timely manner. We did a fun contagious disease experiment where students "swapped germs" with other students (by using pipettes full of a mystery solution) and recording which students they interacted with during the simulation. After students had swapped and recorded four times, we used cabbage juice indicator to figure out which student was Patient Zero and which students had been infected with the contagious disease. Students with purple solution were negative, blue solution were positive for infection, and Patient Zero's solution turned emerald green when mixed with the cabbage juice indicator. Pretty cool!