I was out of town last Friday so here's two weeks worth of our time in TARGET! Take a look to see what each grade's learning and studying.
We're practicing Inventor Thinking each week as we strengthen our Divergent Thinking Skills! Students are stretched to see things differently, and then improve their ideas by brainstorming, being flexible thinkers, being more original, and elaborating upon their work. Students have designed inventions to collect acorns for Isabel the Inventor and created flotation devices to help Sybil the Scientist, two of our TARGET PETS.
First graders are continuing to "Do the Cube" each week as we practice using the solution guide to solve the Rubik's Cube. We've mastered the white cross and white corners and will soon be solving the different colored faces! We're also doing some "word work" each week to strengthen students verbal reasoning skills through Logic Elimination Grids, Wordoku, Perplexors, and Word Ladders.
I missed my 2nd graders on Election Day, but we sure did enjoy spending Halloween together learning about Polymers... an unpoppable balloon, JELLO, gummy bears, bubble gum, and water beads make for an exciting TARGET day! As we wrapped up our Kitchen Chemistry Unit, we discussed the different properties of food and how some of these odd semi-solid foods don't always play by the States of Matter rules!
We answered the following Research Based Questions: Why does JELLO jiggle? How is bubble gum made and how does it work? How are gummy bears made? What are water beads and how do they work? If we were to view these items at a microscopic level, these long strands of molecules are called polymers, and the elasticity of these polymer chains causes rubber to stretch, JELLO to jiggle, gummy bears to wiggle, bubble gum to stretch, and water beads to bounce.
Students did some Divergent Thinking by SCAMPERing bubble gum to invent a new, special flavor and design a wrapper and advertisement for their new gum! This has been a fun (and tasty) unit! I can't wait to see where our next TARGET Unit takes us!
We're still Chasing Vermeer in 4th grade TARGET! Students are strengthening their spatial reasoning skills each week as we solve problems for Pentomino Packaging Company by designing nets for boxes (cubes) to hold shipments of cotton balls! We're also finding relationships and connections between mathematics and art as we explore the work of artist M.C. Escher and specifically, his ability to tessellate objects. Students learned some geometrical vocabulary words as we explored M.C. Escher's artwork: tessellation, polygon, angle, plane, vertex, and adjacent.
Students analyzed Escher's work to identify how geometric shapes and patterns were used in his art then 4th graders created their own masterpiece by manipulating shapes into other objects that will tessellate. Students created a translation tessellation and a rotation tessellation. I was very impressed with how well students persevered and problem solved as they determined how to create a shape that would tessellate and how to manipulate it into a work of art! We also went on a shape search to find tessellations around the school. They're everywhere, all you have to do is look for them... just like the hidden pentominoes in Chasing Vermeer!
Our Epidemic Unit is still going strong in 5th grade! Each week, students are identifying the source of contamination at the Barrow County Fair by analyzing Contagious Disease Reports, interviewing patients, and working with local health officials to prevent an E. coli outbreak in the future. We're also enjoying our novel, Fever 1793, as students learn more about this American epidemic in the late 1700s. Of course, the highlight of our unit so far was this week's field trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Students participated in a guided tour where they learned about the Ebola epidemic and the CDC's critical work in caring for, treating, preventing, and educating the public to prevent another Ebola epidemic in the future. 5th graders also explored a portion of the museum to learn about the history of the CDC over the years. It was so fascinating to see the epidemic topics we've been discussing come to life! There were exhibits on food-borne illnesses like E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. We viewed exhibits on Typhoid Fever and other disease spread by poor sanitation and hygiene practices. There was even an iron lung for students to view as they learned about Polio and the CDC's role in vaccinating children around the world to eradicate this crippling disease. Most students would agree that the best part of this field trip was trying on the Level 4 Biosafety Suit. It was fun to try on, but students agreed that it would be quite cumbersome to work in on a daily basis!
It was an awesome experience and I hope students will remember this trip for years to come. You made us proud as ambassadors of Teasley, 5th graders! Well done!