Saturday, 19 November 2016

How to Change Your Image

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


Last week the Penticton Primary group's class fell on the Curriculum Implementation day, so we did a bit of catching up this week.  We learned about ancient roman architecture, as described in this post.  We also did the amazing egg activity (eggtivity?!)

Changing our Images

The rest of the classes learned how to remove the background from a photo using Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Each student chose a building that interested them, located a photo of it online and downloaded it.  Then they followed these instructions on how to remove the background and save the image as a PNG file.  From there they imported the image into Scratch.  See some samples below (link)


All of the classes continued to work on their programing skills in Scratch.  This week we focused on how to animate our sprites.  Oscar did a great animation that involved two crabs climbing up the twin towers.  Also with the crab sprite, Finn animated it to appear that it was eating a large watermelon.  All of the students are adding complexity to their programs.  Our goal right now is to build our skills with lots of smaller programming activities.  In the second half of the year we will tackle a  B I G programming project!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Musical Chairs

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

4 Chairs Design Challenge

This week the Summerland AIM/ASPIRE class and the Penticton Wednesday morning class were given a design challenge.  They each had to design a chair for a specific client with specific needs.  Students has to choose two client needs to focus on and then design the chair to meet those needs while also incorporating their (the designer's) own sense of style.  Once students had identified their client's needs, they made drawings of their design and then they created models of their design using cardboard, then pipe cleaners, and finally toothpicks.  We discussed the benefits of making different iterations of their designs and related it to the process architects and other designers use.  Below are photos of some of the designs (link).  This activity was adapted from this lesson created by folks at the Institute of Design at Stanford.


Students continued to build up their programming skills using Scratch.  We are learning how to;
  • reset our programs so they always start with the correct background and sprites (characters) in the correct location
  • use the 'broadcast message' and 'when I receive message' blocks
  • animate our sprites

Architecture and Remembrance

The Wednesday morning class viewed the slides below (link) and discussed the link between architecture and Remembrance Day / war memorials.  

Thank you for dropping by and checking out what we've been up to this week!

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Some Concrete Examples

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

Once Upon A Time

During Circle this week we played a storytelling game called Once Upon A Time.  Each person wrote a noun on a piece of paper.  One person started the story by randomly drawing a piece of paper and including that noun in their sentence which began, "Once upon a time...".  The next person drew another slip of paper and added to the story by adding another sentence including the new noun.  The final story was often very strange!


The Pantheon--a giant egg?
Most of the classes continued their exploration of the influence of geology on ancient architecture.  We learned about the advances of the ancient romans due to their access to volcanic ash and volcanic rocks.  They were able to make mortar using ash and lime and later they invented concrete by adding rock fragments to the mortar.  Concrete had many advantages as a building material.  We also looked at the the benefits of the arch and the dome, which the Romans used extensively and usually built using concrete.  In particular we learned about the amazing Pantheon!  It's dome has a diameter of 43 meters and for 1000 years was the largest dome of its kind.  It was built using a variety of volcanic rocks of varying density in the concrete: basalt for the bottom parts of the structure, tuff a bit higher up and extremely lightweight pumice in the concrete of the dome itself.

To further reinforce the idea that domes are very strong we did an activity with a raw egg.  The students were challenged to hold the egg in their palm, wrap their fingers around the egg and squeeze really really hard.  No one was able to break the egg!  Although the Penticton primary group hasn't tried this activity yet, so who knows, perhaps one of them has the strength to do it!

Scratch Programming

Part of the Penticton primary class coding away.
All of the classes continued learning more about computer programming using Scratch.  Some of the students did the activity Debug It! where they were asked to debug 5 scratch programs that weren't working as they should.  Other classes learned how to create code to reset their programs (e.g. if they create a character who walks across the screen, the next time the program runs they need to make sure the character starts from the correct starting point again).  They also learned how to make one sprite (character) respond to another by using the 'broadcast message' and 'when I receive message' blocks.  Some of the students used these skills to program conversations between characters.  Below are a couple of examples of student programs involving conversations between sprites.

By Finn.

By Ellen.

  All of the students are creating interesting programs and they are very enthusiastic about using Scratch!

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