Saturday, 28 November 2015


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

Creating Avatars

This week all of the classes got to sign on to BitStrips For Schools.  This site allows students to create comic strips.  This week we started by creating our avatars.  Though it was tempting for many students to sport mohawks, pink hair or monocles their job was to make their avatar look as much like themselves as possible.  Here's our class pic (the blank characters are students who were away and haven't had a chance to log in yet.)

A pretty good looking group!  After creating their avatars students experimented with making other characters; some were outlandish and some were pretty good representations of family members or friends.  We will be using this site in the weeks to come to create stories related to our theme, Operation Identification.


Todd Manuel, SD 67 Director of Instruction for Student Services, dropped by the Penticton grade 5 class this week.  He chatted with students, joined us for circle, and generally got a sense of what happens in class.  The Gifted Program is one of the programs under the big umbrella of Student Services.  We look forward to welcoming Mr. Manuel again later in the year.

Mystery Prints

This week it was the Penticton 4s and 5s turn to solve the water bottle mystery!  One latent print from the scene of the crime and 28 suspect prints in our data bank.  They made quick work of identifying the culprit!  Some students then took their own prints and determined which prints in our suspect data base belonged to them.  We also watched the following video (link) on comparing prints.

Classes Wrapping up for Winter Break

Classes will soon be winding down for the winter break.  Here are the dates for the last classes--due to our staggered start, not all classes are ending on the same week.
December 2nd -- Last class for the Wednesday morning Penticton grade 5 group
December 3rd -- Last class for the Thursday afternoon Penticton grade 2/3 group
December 8th -- Last class for the Tuesday afternoon Summerland AIM/ASPIRE group
December 9th -- Last class for the Wednesday afternoon Penticton grade 4 group

Thanks for checking out what we've up to! 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Dusting But Not Vacuuming

Here are a few of the things we've been up to... This Week (and last!) In Gifted.

Ballooning Prints

The students are now experts at taking their own fingerprints, both using ink and using graphite.  A couple of classes also got to put their prints on barely inflated balloons, which when fully inflated really magnified the prints!

Dusting for Latents

The next step was to be able to dust for latent prints.  We tried two different techniques; dusting a dark surface with talcum powder and dusting a light surface with cocoa powder.  We learned a number of things in the process:
- dusting and lifting good prints is challenging and takes persistence
- it was easier dusting with talcum powder (though perhaps it was the surface we were using?)
And some students (the ones who did not heed their teacher) discovered that cocoa powder, though it smells really good, doesn't taste great.

Mystery Prints

The Summerland AIM/ASPIRE class as well as the Penticton grade 2/3 class pulled out their magnifying glasses and got to work trying to figure out who the culprit was in the water bottle caper.  A latent print was compared to prints from our databanks and students were able to make a match pretty quickly.  It was an open and shut case!  

Five Card Photo Stories

The Penticton 5s came up with stories involving the images in the slides below (link).  

Students were partnered up and shared ideas to come up with their stories.  The stories were told / performed in front of the class.  Students did a fantastic job collaborating on their stories.  We saw a variety of formats--some students used props and acted out their stories, one pair's story was a race that was told in play-by-play format, and a couple of pairs summarized their stories in song!  The audience did a wonderful job of giving 'appreciations' at the end of each story; highlighting what each group did well.

Thanks for stopping by to see what we've been doing!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Mugshots, Spaceman Spiff, & Fingerprinting

The first few weeks of classes are in the bag and here are some of the things we've been up to.

Getting To Know You

The first week of classes for students involved meeting new people and getting reacquainted with friends from last year.  During social time students connected and played games or built structures.  We also played a few name games.
Great structure!


With our theme being Operation Identification we started out with 'mug shots' of each of the kids.  The 'smiley' mug shots are now posted in the classrooms.  The serious ones will become a part of their TWIG Police Department file.
Part of the 'Most Wanted' wall in the Penticton classroom.

Spaceman Spiff and the Specimens from Planet Zorg

During our first class we imagined that intrepid Spaceman Spiff had returned from Planet Zorg with intriguing specimens for us to identify!  Students named the specimens and wrote out descriptions.  These were compiled into a Field Guide to Planet Zorg.  This week the challenge was to see if students could correctly identify the specimens.  We discovered that whether a specimen was easy to identify or not was often due to how unique it was and how much detail there was in the description. 


Fingerprint done with graphite and tape.
We watched two short videos on fingerprints and then we got to work making our own fingerprints.  All of the students got the opportunity to take their fingerprints using graphite and clear tape--these turned out really well!  The Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon classes also took their fingerprints using ink pads (the other classes will get a chance to do this too.)  In future classes we'll be analyzing our own prints and learning how to take latents. 

Thanks for dropping by to find out what we did... This Week In Gifted!