Sunday, 13 January 2013

Term 2 Starts!

After a month's hiatus from Gifted Program classes, we started back up this week.  As the school year has progressed the activities each of the classes are doing have diverged.  This is due in large part to the interests and ages of the students in each class.  What follows are some of the things students did this week in gifted!

Catching Up

Many of the students haven't seen each other for over a month so a little catching up was in order.  To facilitate this we played a modified version of 'Some Truths and a Lie'.  Students got into small groups of 3 or 4 and had a chance to talk about some of the things that they did over the break.  Then each person chose one true thing that they did over the break.  The group then came up with one statement that was a lie.  Each group read out their statements to the class (one true statement per person and the lie) and the class voted on which one they thought was the lie.  All of the groups did a great job of choosing their statements!

Inventor Projects (Tues and Thurs Morning Classes)

The Tuesday and Thursday morning classes continued to work on their inventor projects.  Some students in the Tuesday class have completed theirs and will be presenting them starting next week.  I continue to be impressed with the creativity students are demonstrating in their projects and I hope to start sharing their work here over the next few weeks.

Balloon Blasters (Wednesday Afternoon Class)

The Wednesday afternoon class built balloon blasters.  In partners students threaded a straw onto a string and tied the string between two chairs.  They then blew up a balloon and kept it pinched closed while they taped it onto the straw.  Once everything was secure they let go and watched the balloon blaster zoom along the string!  We discussed what made the blasters go and how to make them go faster.

Inventors' Workshop 

In December I was able to get 4 very  l o n g  boxes.  The Tuesday morning class had the great idea of combining two boxes to make a tunnel as an entry into the workshop.  Some students from the Tuesday morning and afternoon, as well as the Thursday afternoon class taped the boxes together and created an entry at one end.  All of the classes had great ideas on what else to add; it will be interesting to see things take shape over the next few weeks!

MaKey MaKey Invention Kits

This week small groups of students from the Tuesday classes as well as Thursday afternoon got a start on trying out our 5 new MaKey MaKey Invention Kits.  The video below explains how these kits can be used.  The kits can be a bit challenging to use and I was impressed with the patience and enthusiasm that students showed.


Pivot Stick Figure Animations

Small groups of students in the Tuesday and Thursday classes started creating animations with Pivot Stick Figure.  Students who attended Gifted Program classes 2 years ago were already familiar with this program and helped others get going.  We will be using Pivot Stick Figure in all of the classes as the term progresses.  One nice thing about Pivot Stick Figure is that is free to download and use on Windows computers.  You can download it here.  At school we are using version 2.2.7.

Term Reports

Just a note that term 1 reports were distributed to schools just before winter break with copies to be sent home.  If you have not received your child's report yet, please let me know.

Wrapping Up

It was a great start to the second term!  Many of the things that we started to work on this week we will continue with as the term progresses.

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