Sunday, 7 December 2014

December 1st to 4th

Here are a few of the things that we did... This Week In Gifted!

Watercraft Building Challenge

The Summerland ASPIRE class were challenged to build a watercraft out of the following materials:
  • duct tape
  • paper cups
  • 25 cm strip of plastic wrap
  • 10 straws
  • paper towels
  • 15 steel washers (1" diameter)
The watercraft had to hold 15 steel washers and stay afloat for a minimum of 10 seconds.  Before building their watercraft we discussed buoyancy and the different types of designs we see in various watercraft.  Niamh and Benjamin quickly built a minimalist watercraft that did the job; sometimes the simplest designs work best!  See the slideshow below for the other student designs (link).

Balloon Rockets

The Summerland AIM group built balloon rockets.  They used balloons which they inflated and taped to straws.  The straws were threaded onto monofilament (fishing line).  They started out racing the balloons two at a time on two monofilament lines running horizontally and parallel to each other.  The group discovered that using a shorter straw (half the original length) worked best and that the size of the balloon didn't matter as much as the air pressure in the balloon; a fully inflated small balloon went faster than a larger balloon that was only partially inflated.  After the horizontal races we tied some monofilament line to a ceiling hook and tried launching the balloons vertically and on the diagonal.  You can check out the results below (link).

Improv Bingo and Funny Faces

The Penticton grade 1 - 3 group played the drama game Funny Faces.  It is very similar to charades and requires students to act out scenarios while the rest of the class tries to guess what they are / what they are doing.  The students did a wonderful job acting.  I look forward to seeing how they do with more challenging drama games.

The Penticton grade 5 group played a different drama game; Improv Bingo.  A character, place, goal, obstacle and object are chosen at random and small groups of students create skits incorporating all of these.  One of the challenges in this activity is working together with others to agree upon a skit.  This group excels at collaborating and as a result they can quickly come up with and act out creative scenarios.

Research Projects

All of the groups have been researching topics related to our theme X Marks The Spot; The Search For Treasure.  The grade 1- 3 groups continued to work on their World of Treasures Slideshows, the Summerland ASPIRE students shared what they had discovered during their research, and the Penticton grade 4s and 5s continued researching with some students starting to work on their presentations.

First Term Wraps Up

This week was our last week of classes for the winter term.  There are no classes for December 8 - 19th.  Classes will resume the week of January 12th.  I wish students and families well--have a great last two weeks of school and a wonderful holiday!

Monday, 1 December 2014

November 24th - 27th

Here are a few things we did last week in gifted classes.

Snap Circuits

Building a circuit.
Some of the classes have already used the Snap Circuits set, but this week it was the Summerland AIM class's first time working with it.  They made a circuit that required you to clap loudly to turn on a light, and they also learned that the orientation of an LED is important when setting up a circuit.  The students are keen to work with the electronic circuits again!

World of Treasure Slideshow

The Summerland and Penticton AIM groups (grades 1 - 3) continued to work on their World of Treasure slide shows.  Students are learning about gems, precious metals, pirates and many other treasure related topics.  I look forward to sharing their slideshows with you soon!

Visit From Shaw TV

Wayne demonstrating how to conduct an interview.
The Penticton grade 5 group got a visit from Shaw TV's Wayne McDougall.  Shaw is interested in the radio project that we did last year with Peach City Radio.  (If you haven't listened to the student radio shows, this post outlines what is on each episode and where to go to listen to or download it.)  Wayne shot video of students working with audio and he interviewed myself and some of the students.  The 30 minutes or so of video that he shot will be turned into a 3 minute spot that will run on Shaw TV in about 3 weeks.  I'll post dates and times here.  Once the spot airs, it will be archived on Shaw's YouTube channel.  After shooting video, Wayne spent time talking to the students about the process of filming, conducting interviews, and turning the 'wilds' (raw footage) into a finished product.  He shared tips on how to conduct a good interview and fielded questions from the students.  Students also got to see some of the footage that Wayne shot.  It will be interesting to see the final product!

5 Card Photo Story

The Summerland ASPIRE group (gr 4 & 5) came up with some amazing 5 Card Photo Stories.  They've done these in the past and are becoming real pros!  They are given 5 photographs and a limited amount of time to come up with a story incorporating the photos.  It's a opportunity to be creative, think outside the box, and to hone their presentation skills.  Below are the photos they had to work with.


All of the grade 4 and 5s continued to gather information on their 'X Marks the Spot!' research project.

And those are just a few of the things that we did last week in gifted classes.