• May 25th-May 29th

    I have posted the final choice board! The Problem Solving choice board is on both Google Classroom and this website. You can find it under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Problem Solving. Have a great summer!

    May 18th-May 22nd

    I have posted a Creativity choice board to both Google Classroom and this website. You can find it under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Creativity. Have fun!

    May 11th-May 15th

    I have posted a Communication choice board to both Google Classroom and this website. You can find it under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Communication. Have fun!

    May 4th-May 8th

    I have posted a Critical Thinking choice board to both Google Classroom and this website. You can find them under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Crtitcal Thinking and STEM. Have fun!

    April 27th-May 1st

    I have posted a Problem Solving choice board to both Google Classroom and this website. You can find them under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Problem Solving. Have fun and stretch your brain!

    April 20th-24th

    I have posted a Creativity choice board to both Google Classroom and this website. You can find them under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Creativity. Have fun!

    April 13th -17th

    I have posted a Communication choice board to both Google Classroom and this website. You can find them under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Communication. Have fun!

     

    April 6th -10th

    I have posted a Critical Thinking choice board to both Google Classroom and this website. You can find them under the tab Focus Choice Boards. This week the focus is on Crtitcal Thinking and STEM. Have fun!

     

    Remote Learning- 4th quarter 

    Although our physical school year ended in a unique way, class is not dismissed!  I will continue to provide critical and creative thinking opportunities to your child as I would in the classroom. These learning opportunities will be accessible through Google Classroom. I will continue to communicate with parents through CLassTag frequently with updates. Please feel free to reach out and ask questions. You may contact me at wahlkr@staffordschools.net, through ClassTag or Google Classroom.

    If you need assistance with technology in your home to access learning opportunities, please email internetaccess@staffordschools.net or call 540-658-6703 and leave a voicemail. Please leave the following information:

    1. Student’s full name
    2. School
    3. Grade
    4. Phone number and
    5. A brief summary of concerns related to internet access

     

    March News!

    1st graders: We have welcomed a few new members to our small group recently.  This month students will continue working on analogies. Students will will combine visual thinking skills with analogous thinking and create analogies using pictures. We will also working on number flexibility by adding and subtracting and decomposing sums and differences in a strategic math game: Knockout!

    2nd graders The "Interesting Person" research began last month. This month students will be busy compiling research into a digital presentation. Along with fun facts, students are: identifying powerful quotes and reflecting on importance, completing a character analysis and choosing one letter to identify traits reflective of their interesting person and finally, explaining why kids should also be interested in their chosen person. I am looking forward to final products at the end of the month.

    3rd -5th graders: Students will continue research, visual presentation and product for Independent Study topic. This ongoing project allows students to study a high-interest topic with depth and complexity.  

    4th graders: This month students will continue to analyze art through the following lenses: The act of creating art is sometimes more important than the art object itself. Artists often reframe ideas and experiences in order to generate new perspectives. Art is a reflection of the time period and the culture in which it was made. 

    5th graders:This month will be focused around the Lincoln Conspiracy. Students will demonstrate an understanding that different scholars may describe the same events or situations in different ways but must provide reasons for evidence for their views. Students will participate in a simulated trial  of the eight people accused of conspiring to murder President Lincoln and then decide on guilt or innocence. Students will also be reading and interacting with, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

     

    February News!

    1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders Visual thinking is a way to organize our thoughts and improve our ability to think and communicate. It’s a great way to convey complex or potentially confusing information. 

    *1st graders will be using their unique “Brainfocals” to SEE information in a new way!

    *2nd graders will be decoding and encoding unique and creative ciphers about a topic of interest

    *3rd graders will use higher level thinking skills to decode “NURTZ” language. They will also create coded messages by thinking critically about the secret language

    2nd graders Students just finished their Great American unit in Social Studies. We will be extending this unit through research of their favorite or most interesting Great American. Students will then create something to show all they have learned (a poem, a sculpture, collage, a game, etc.)

    3rd -5th graders: Students will continue research for Independent Study topic. This ongoing project allows students to study a high-interest topic with depth and complexity.  

    4th graders: This month students will be analyzing art through the following lenses: The act of creating art is sometimes more important than the art object itself. Artists often reframe ideas and experiences in order to generate new perspectives. Art is a reflection of the time period and the culture in which it was made. 

    5th graders:This month will be focused around the Lincoln Conspiracy. Students will demonstrate an understanding that different scholars may describe the same events or situations in different ways but must provide reasons for evidence for their views. Students will participate in a simulated trial  of the eight people accused of conspiring to murder President Lincoln and then decide on guilt or innocence. Students will also be reading and interacting with, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

    Tech Ed: Students in grades 1, 2 and 3 will continue working on convergent and deductive thinking skills. Students are learning to solve logic puzzles. 

    December/Jnuary News!

    1st graders Attributes are important and we will continue to investigate idea this month. New Critical Thinking Games: Balance Beans and Rush Hour JR.

    2nd graders SCAMPERations were a success last month. Students used the SCAMPER strategy to remarket Fruit Loops to the public; so many creative ideas.  This month, I will be introducing BreakOut EDU. Student will work together to analyze information for clues. I am excited for this unit.

    3rd graders: What Happened to King Tut? Fresh off the Archeology Field Experience, the third graders have been using their new skills to analyze evidence from King Tut’s tomb.  The students are working to develop a theory that will explain King Tut’s death. Through analysis of Primary Sources, students will use evidence to support the theory. 

    4th graders: Everything on a Waffle literature group. Students will prepare for each week’s meeting by reflecting on chapters, developing discussion questions and analyzing interesting words. By the end of the book, students will choose a independent project to complete. This book has so many unique characters, tough conflicts and interesting settings, the students will be inspired to explore these BIG ideas. 

    5th graders Break Out boxes. The students have participated in digital breakouts-and loved each one. This month they will experience a breakout box in the classroom. They are excited to move away from the computer and get their hands on actual locks. 

    Tech Ed: Student is 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades participate in Tech Ed as a special.  In preparation for the Hour of Code that takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15), students are beginning to understand the concept of coding through unplugged activities. Throughout the month, students will read code and write code for simple and complex designs. They will then apply those skills and begin coding on the computers. There is a lot of excitement around this unit!

    November News!

    1st graders Attributes are important. This month will focus on classification based on attributes. Students will use manipulatives like attribute blocks, cards, and pictures. This month I will introduce several new critical thinking games; so far Math Dice is a huge hit!

    2nd graders I completed the CogAT screener to all 2nd grade students. Focus students will continue working on developing detective skills through deductive and convergent thinking through classification. This month I will introduce the students to the SCAMPER process to improve upon existing things. Let the creativity flow!

    3rd graders Analogous thinking! Have you ever thought about how many analogy relationships exist? The students have investigated these relationships. They will create examples of different analogies for a class activity. In math the focus has been fractions! The fraction whole is important.  We will wrap our Archeology unit up by attending an Archaeological Field Experience at Ferry Farm with other third grade Focus students from the county. I can’t wait to see these kiddos BE archeologists!

    4th graders “CRO” has been the topic of discussion. What does it mean? Who wrote it there? Where did the people go? The Lost Colony of Roanoke remains a mystery, but these investigators have been gathering evidence to support their claims. The kiddos will show what they have learned by completing a digital breakout session. Later this month, we will begin our first book study. I can’t wait to talk books with these eager readers!

    5th graders The Salem witch trials were a unique time in our history. The students assumed a role of an accused witch. Each student kept their final outcome a secret until we investigated the WHY behind these trials. We will continue looking at this topic from different perspectives: the accused witches, the accusers, judges and townspeople. Later this month students will be working together on critical thinking skills for breakout boxes. The excitement is high!

    Tech Ed: Student is 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades participate in Tech Ed as a special. In the October and November, students participated in design challenges: build a paper basket to hold 5 lbs and design a back scratcher. Each of these design challenges helped build the foundation for a successful school wide design challenge on Halloween. This month students will build upon creative thinking, logical thinking and problem solving skills by engaging in puzzles and games like: Rush Hour Jr and Shape by Shape. Students will also focus on perspective as an important step in the design process. 

     

    October News!

    We have had a brain-stretching start to the year! All grade levels have had an opportunity to practice critical and creative thinking skills through games, activities, and discussions. 

    1st and 2nd graders will continue working on developing detective skills through deductive and convergent thinking. 

    3rd graders will be wrapping up their study of archeology. Through books and short video clips, the students have identified the important aspects of culture that archeologists focus on during a dig. The students have analyzed mysterious artifacts as well as created artifacts for made up civilizations in Ancient Greece and Africa. The students will finish the project by participating in a dig at school and attend an Archaeological Field Experience at Ferry Farm next month. 

    4th graders have been busy studying the forces of flight. Students have tested the forces (thrust, drag, lift and weight) using different objects and reflected on how the forces work together.  The unit was capped off with a design team creating a paper airplane model and testing. After reflection, students adjusted weight, type of paper and amount of thrust for the best flysing results. The next unit of study will be investigating what happened to the Lost Colony.

    5th graders will be wrapping up the engineering unit on bridges. In the past month, students have learned about the bridge structure and design. They have identified pros and cons of building each type of bridge. With all of the new knowledge acquired, students will work together to design and create a successful bridge for a given scenario. 

    Tech Ed: Student is 1st, 2nd and 3rc grades participate in Tech Ed as a special. In the first months of school, students participated in design challenges: block towers, paper towers and paper chains. The have also been using creative thinking skills while solving pattern block and pentomino puzzles.