Sunday, 30 April 2017

Visitor & Field Trip Info

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


The Wednesday morning class was treated to a visit by Gifted Program parent Paul Adolph.  Paul has a background in drafting and home design and his company, Deckworks Contracting, designs and builds decks.  Paul showed the students blueprints and technical drawings for homes that he has designed.  Students were able to compare hand drafted drawings with those made using AutoCAD.  They were impressed by the level of detail required when designing a home!  After his presentation, students showed Paul the projects they were working on.  A big thank you to Paul for sharing his expertise with the students! 

Field Trip Info

Every year Gifted Program students in grades 3 - 5 do a year end trip that links to the year's theme.  This year the theme is ArKIDtechture and for our trip we are visiting 3 sites:

The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at Okanagan College in Penticton.  We have been learning about sustainable building techniques and at the Centre we'll see them in action!  The building uses many sustainable building technologies including solar panels, geothermal heating and sola tube lighting (yes sola, not solar).  We will get a tour of the Centre and hopefully also see one of the tiny homes that the students at Okanagan College built.

Our next stop is the Structurlam Manufacturing Facility in Okanagan Falls.  The above video (link) shows some of the mass timber products Structurlam makes.  In class we have been learning about Tall Wood Buildings.  The tallest contemporary tall wood building in the world is Brock Commons at UBC in Vancouver.  It is 18 stories tall and Structurlam made the wood floor panels and posts.  This video (link) shows a time lapse of Brock Commons being built.  Structurlam has also built the wood components in the 6 story addition to the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

After a picnic lunch at Kenyon Park in Okanagan Falls, we will head to the architecturally stunning Outma Squilx'W Cultural School (pictured above).  We will learn about how the design of the building reflects the culture of the Okanagan People as well as the landscape and the building's function.

The field trip will take place on Monday May 8th.  An information package was sent home with all grade 3 - 5 students.  Permission slips need to be signed and returned by Thursday May 4th.  Parent chaperones will be needed; if you are able to chaperone, please let Ms. Thompson know.  It promises to be an interesting and fun trip!


Students continued working on their projects, with a few more students finishing theirs.  We look forward to presentations of finished work in the next two weeks!

Classes Winding Down

It is hard to believe, but there are only a few weeks of classes left!  Here is the schedule for the rest of the year:
Week of May 1st: regular classes
Week of May 8th: Field trip on May 8th for grades 3 - 5.  No regular classes this week.
Week of May 15th: Last week of classes
Week of May 30th: Parent Meetings to review the year and plan for next year

Thank you for stopping by to see what we've been up to.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Zip Line Zaniness

Due to a busy few days and video editing challenges, this is coming out a bit late, so thanks for your patience.  Here are some of the things we did... This (Last) Week In Gifted!

Zip Line Zaniness

The Tuesday afternoon Summerland group and the Wednesday morning Penticton group were given the following challenge: transport one ping pong ball along a slanted 4 foot length of fishing line using only the following materials:
  • small paper cups (3oz)
  • metal washers
  • plastic straws
  • masking tape
  • wooden skewers
Were they able to do it?????

Yes!  (link)

The variety was great!  Iain's only used 2 different materials--a paper cup and a washer!  While others used all of the materials.  Oscar hung his carrier over the fishing line with masking tape--he put it on so the smooth side was next to the fishing line making is really fast.

After a successful run with one ping pong ball, the best thing happened.  Almost without exception, each student or pair of students said "Can I try it with more ping pong balls?"  They all either refined their designs -- made them faster or run more smoothly -- or they increased the number of ping pong balls they could transport.

Check out the craziness in the following video (link).

Incredible work!  So many different designs and such persistence!  I didn't show the fails, and there were many, but students were not deterred.  They know that an unsuccessful attempt is part of the process.  We've been talking a lot about the design process, illustrated in the following image.

If your first prototype doesn't work, no worries.  It has taught you something and you will use it to improve when you make your next iteration and your next one.  That loop at the bottom of the diagram can get pretty addictive too.  I think had we had more time and more ping pong balls, the record might have climbed even higher than the amazing number it got to (you have to watch the video to find out what that amazing number was!)

Project Time

All of the classes are very busy working on their projects.  Ellen presented hers on Wednesday and we're looking forward to seeing more projects in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for checking out what we've been up to!

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Short Week

Due to the short week, only the Tuesday and Wednesday classes met.  Here's what they got up to... This Week In Gifted!

Name Grid

For a change of pace this week, the students played a word game called Name Grid.  Names of 4 students were arranged on a grid, then students were given three minutes to write down as many words (three letters or more) that they could make only using the letters in their names.  Letters must adjoin each other in the grid, but do not have to be in a straight link.  This game comes from 40 Icebreakers for Small Groups (page 13) and is very similar to Boggle.

5 Card Photo Story

The Wednesday morning class has really gotten into 5 Card Photo Stories, with some of the students submitting their own images for the stories.  The idea is that you have five minutes to come up with a story involving all five of the images you have been given.  Below are the images that Ryan A selected for the Wednesday morning class, they generated some great stories! (link)

Project Time

All of the classes worked on their projects.  We're hitting the final stretch and looking forward to students starting to present their work.  Many of the students are making scale models of the buildings they have designed while others are making Scratch animations, drawings, and slideshows. A lot of them of using the photo editing skills we learned earlier in the year.

Construction zone, Wednesday morning class.
Thanks for checking in to see what we've been up to!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

To Scale

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

Some photos from the Wednesday classes (link).

Two Truths and a Lie

To get caught up with what everyone had been up to since Spring Break we played 'Two Truths and a Lie'.  Each person comes up with 2 true statements and one that is false.  They tell their statements to the group who then vote on which statement they think is the lie.  It's a test of how well the group knows you and the challenge is to try and trick the group into voting for one of the true statements.

Design Questions

Every few weeks we discuss a design question.  This week the Tuesday and Wednesday classes discussed the following question:
The kitchen in a new home is in a shady spot.  It is north facing and sheltered by tall trees.  How could you make the room seem brighter without adding a lot of extra electric lights?
Students came up with a number of great suggestions!


This week the Tuesday and Wednesday classes learned about earthships.  The motivation behind building this type of home is to reduce the amount of energy and resources required to build and maintain it.  Here are links to two short videos we watched on Earthships; Garbage Homes - EarthShips,  and Ontario Couple Build Earth Ship.

Project Time

Students are deep into their projects with a view to having them completed near the end of April.  Examples of the different projects students are working on:

  • Oscar and Anya are both researching famous architects.  Oscar is sharing what he's learned in a animated interview in Scratch.  Anya is designing a home that she thinks her architect would like.
  • Rhett, Ezra, Ryan(s), Katie, Kyle, Jayda, Alexis, Dija, Charlotte(s), Kailey, Gerry, Finn, Hannah, Sophie, Logan, and Rowyn are all designing buildings such as homes, apartment buildings, ski chalets, and castles.  All of the students have drawn up plans, either with paper and pen or on the computer.  Some of the students are making 3D models of their buildings.
  • Ellen, Iain, Damon, Ellis and Omar are researching famous buildings and presenting their findings in a Scratch animation or Slideshow.  They are all using their great photoshop skills too!
Thanks for stopping by to see what we've been up to!