1st Grade - Around the World
Brain Stations have been a hit with the 1st grade TARGET students! This has been a fun way to introduce some of the different convergent thinking skills we utilize in TARGET. This week's Brain Stations focused on visual-spatial reasoning: Noodlers, pattern blocks, tangrams, Q-bitz, and pentominoes!
We've enjoyed "traveling" to different countries for this unit! We had a guest speaker from my 5th grade TARGET class come and share about her travels and adventures in Northern Ireland! What an exciting treat this was for students to hear from another student! 1st graders were a captive audience too!
After leaving Ireland, we ventured on towards Paris, France. We've visited several remarkable buildings and studied the history and architecture of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Arc de Triumph, Champs Elysees, and of course no trip to Paris would be complete without "visiting" some of the cafes, chocolateries, and patisseries! Students are building a 3-D paper Parisian city that we'll finish before traveling to the outback of Australia after Spring Break! Au revoir!
2nd Grade - Cubism
Second graders are studying the life and work of famous Cubist painter, Pablo Picasso. We began working on another masterpiece using Picasso's Bouquet of Peace as inspiration! Students studied and drew their hands to hold the bouquet and we'll use watercolor paints to create flowers after the break! Students found it fascinating that Picasso could paint better than he could write! Most children learned to draw with a pencil, but he actually learned to "draw" with a paintbrush in his hands.
Our unit also incorporates lots of other activities with cubes, so we spent some time studying and creating optical illusion cubes. The cubes appear to be moving different directions based on where the shading is located. Students also assembled Sudoku cubes from nets containing different patterns. This tricky puzzle to arrange the cubes in a 2x2 square so that no pattern repeated on the top, sides, or bottom layers was challenging! Those who were able to solve the puzzle and find a solution should feel very proud of what they accomplished and the perseverance they demonstrated by not giving up!
3rd Grade - Mini-Society
The citizens of Logictopia are hard at work creating products to sell for Market Day! Students have shopped for supplies at our community store and are learning to use their resources and materials wisely to cut down on production cost. There are various methods of production taking place from mass assembly of parts to quality control and inspection at every step. It's been enlightening to watch students divide and conquer this multi-step assignment!
Students are also working at their jobs of paymaster, treasurer, and money cutters to ensure currency is circulating within the economy. There have been bonuses awarded for jobs well done, and unfortunately, some lost wages due to errors of employees. Citizens with dependable and above-average workmanship have also been awarded raises! Keep up the good work, 3rd graders!
4th Grade - National Parks
Our "Create Your Own National Park" project is underway! Fourth graders are completing several steps to think critically, logically, and creatively about the national park they wish to create. So far, students have created maps of their national parks and written a brief history about the early inhabitants of their park and how it came to be a national park. Students are in the process of writing about the flora fauna and wildlife in their parks.
In addition to creating their parks, we've been practicing our survival skills! Students completed a cooperative learning challenge on outdoor safety and survival. We've discussed common dilemmas and potential challenges when hiking or camping in the woods and also discussed and debated the essential items students would pack to ensure survival. Our novel to accompany this unit is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Although students are certainly not required to do so, if they would like to bring in a personal copy or one borrowed from the library to follow along as we read each week, they are welcome to do so.
5th Grade - Shakespeare
As we immerse ourselves weekly in Elizabethan culture found at the time of Shakespeare, students are beginning to see just what a lyrical genius he was! We completed a Pop Sonnet Mystery Lesson where students were given lyrics to modern day music rewritten in Shakespearean English to decipher, decode, and identify the songs. This was a lot of fun! Taylor Swift sounds much different when written in old English! We also spent time discovering the correlation between Shakespearean Sonnets and hip hop music. Iambic pentameter is the driving beat behind both works and the students found the similarities fascinating!
The performance aspect of our Shakespeare unit involves Reader's Theater "plays" of two of Shakespeare's works that students decided upon: Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet. Students are working in small groups to read and recite the scripts and also create minor props and costume accessories to enhance their performance. As Shakespeare would say, "All the world's a stage!"
Gifted Specialist Teacher at Teasley Elementary