• December 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.