Saturday, 30 January 2016

Quick Update

Just a quick post this week. We have been spending a lot of time the Identification Project. Students are finding good resources, putting things together and learning a lot along the way on using their desired format. Students using BitStrips are learning how to create nifty effects and how to pose their characters, students using scratch are finding out new coding tricks, and our youngest students who are using Power Point for the first time are becoming adept at adding photos. As always--thanks for checking in!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Shoe Prints

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

Shoe Prints

Last week it was hair samples, this week it was shoe prints.  As you can see in the images below, there is quite a variety!  Why are we collecting all of these samples?  We're building up a dossier on identifying features of each student (fingerprints, handwriting, hair, shoe prints) in preparation for a mystery that we will be trying to solve in a few weeks.  Stay tuned!


Students continued to work on their projects.  They are collecting information and images and starting to put the information together in the form of; BitStrip comics, slide shows, radio interviews, games (created in Scratch or using the Smart Board or classic board games), stop motion videos...  It is going to be fun to see the final projects!

Drama and Storytelling Activities

Each of the classes participated in a drama or storytelling activity.

The Summerland AIM/ASPIRE class and the Penticton 4s played My Favourite Thing!  In this game a random item is selected and the students have to come up with a creative story explaining why it is their favourite thing.  Both classes cottoned on to this quite quickly and the quality of the stories was really good.  Students came up with wacky uses for a variety of things such as a small pink bucket, a stuffed martian, a Rubik's cube and more.

Great acting was on offer from the Penticton 2/3s.  They played Heads Up!, a charades style game.

There were hilarious skits from the Penticton 5s as they played Improv Bingo.  In 1s, 2s or 3s they had 5 - 10 minutes to prepare a short skit which had to include the following:
Person: a tightrope walker with hiccups
Place: in the kitchen
Object: a crown
Goal: climb to the clouds
Problem: there's a drought happening
The skits were fun and the audience was appreciative!

I'm looking forward to doing more of these activities with the students.  The activities foster creative thinking, allow students to work on their presentation skills, and, in the case of Improv Bingo, involve good collaborative skills.

Thanks for checking in to see what we did this week!

Friday, 15 January 2016

A Little Off The Top

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

Hair Samples

In preparation for a forensic mystery that we will be solving next month I collected hair samples.  Though many were reluctant to part with even a few strands of their luscious locks, samples were obtained from everyone.  When we do our forensic mystery we will compare strands found at the scene of crime against our database of suspects (aka the students!)

Project Time

Students spent a good chunk of time researching and working on their projects.  Many students are finding out more about Crime Scene Investigation techniques, some are learning how to identify different types of animals, and others are investigating secret identities of characters in real life and in fiction.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Project Time!

This week was the first week back after the winter break. After students had a chance to reconnect we got right down to business!

Project Time

Students are starting work on a research project.  They will choose a topic related to our theme; Operation Identification.

Online Research

To help us understand how to do effective online searches for our project we went through part of this lesson on choosing good search terms. We also watched the following video (link) on how search works.

We also defined terms like internet, web browser, and search engine.

Choosing Topics

This week students started exploring possible topics.  As long as the student can link the topic to our theme, it is fair game!  Some students are thinking about researching:
- fingerprint analysis
- DNA analysis
- Sherlock Holmes
- Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) techniques
- how to identify different groups of animals
- disguises
- identity theft
Students just had a short time in class to consider topics and so if they haven't decided upon a topic yet, that is fine.  We will have more time next week to explore.

Looking Ahead

Once students have chosen a topic they will decide on a format to present their research.  Again, students have a great deal of choice in the format.  Some have already started on Power Point presentations, others are going to write a whodunnit incorporating what they've learned in the story, and still others are creating computer games.

I will be working with students to define the questions they need to answer in their research.  Each project is going to be unique and I look forward to seeing what they produce!

Thanks for checking in to see what we've been up to and where we're going!