Saturday, 22 October 2016

Scratching the Surface

First Class for Wednesday Morning Group

Our Wednesday morning group had their first class this week.  (Last week was the Naramata Run, so we waited a week until everyone could be there).  The students did the Me in 3D activity I described last week--I've added photos of their creations to the slideshow (link).  They created a cute cat, the Stanley Cup, emojis, aliens, a pie, as well as a plate of pancakes and bacon--yum!

Architecture Introduction

All of the classes discussed what architecture is, then we looked through some great books to find examples of interesting buildings or other structures.  Students were asked to either share three facts about a building that interested them, or share three buildings that they liked and explain why they liked them.  Through this activity we learned about an amazing variety of buildings and other structures!

Scratch Surprise

We did our first activity using Scratch.  Created by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a programming language especially designed for kids.  Scratch has a low bar for entry (you can quickly create something without a lot of background knowledge) and a high ceiling (you can program pretty complicated stuff).  This week the students' were given the task of making the Scratch cat do something surprising.  Some students made it change color, meow, glide about a stage, zoom around the screen and much more!  Over the year we will be learning more about computer programming--I'm excited to see where the students will take this!
The Scratch Cat

Thanks for checking in to see what we did... This Week In Gifted!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

First Week

This past week was the first one for the afternoon classes in Penticton and Summerland.  Wow, it was great to finally get together!  We welcomed old friends and met newcomers too.  We discussed our theme, architecture (or arKIDtecture!), and got a bit of an overview of what we'll be learning and doing this year.  We spent the rest of our time together getting to know each other by playing 'Two Truths and a Lie' and doing an activity called 'Me in 3D'.

For this last activity students made a creation in 3D that represented something they were interested in.  Students used a variety of materials and once their creations were complete they presented them to the rest of the class.  It was a great opportunity for students to chit chat and get to know each other while being creative and sharing ideas.  Check out the slides below (link) of some of the creations.  We have students who like dirt biking, music, math, gymnastics, Greek mythology, food, building structures, cats, Lego, family, snowmen, and dinosaurs to name just a few.

Note: not all structures built are pictured.

Next week we'll dive deeper into our theme and the Wednesday morning group will have their first class.

Thanks for stopping by to find out a little of what we did... This Week In Gifted!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Friday, 23 September 2016

Welcome Back!

The school year is well underway and hopefully students are settled into their new classes and routines.  E-mails have been sent out to families with their child's gifted class time. Below is the overall schedule for Gifted Program classes this school year. In addition, if you click on the 'Calendar' tab at the top of this page you will be taken to a calendar showing all of the class times for the year including school holidays and professional development days. Afternoon classes will start up the week of October 11th, while the Wednesday morning class will start October 19th (due to the Naramata Run occurring in the morning on October 12th). More information will be posted here and e-mailed home closer to the start of classes. 

I'm looking forward to working with the students.  The theme for this year (to be revealed in a future post!) is going to be a lot of fun!  

 8:45 - 11:40am     Penticton 5s @ Wiltse Elementary    
12:30 - 2:30pm   Summerland AIM/ASPIRE
@ Trout Creek Elementary
Penticton 4s @ Wiltse Elementary Penticton Primary @ Wiltse Elementary  

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Last Class

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

Open House

Moms, dads, grandparents, and younger siblings of our grade 1 - 3 students joined us this week and got a look at what we've been up to!  Students shared their 'Police' files which contained their mug shots, fingerprints, shoe prints, hair samples, writing samples and more.  They fingerprinted family members and showed them how to view hair samples under the microscopes.  They also demonstrated how to do ink chromatography and how to match torn paper samples.  Students showed family their own projects on identification as well as some favorites that their peers had done.  

Thank you to all of the family members that were able to make it to the Open House!

All Mysteries Soved!

The Penticton grade 5 class was the final class to solve their 'Sabotage on the Spaceship Forensic' mystery.  They worked hard and were pretty much unanimous in their indictment of the perpetrator of the crime!  Here are each of the 'accused' from the different classes.  
Summerland AIM/ASPIRE: Niamh
Penticton Grade 5s: Graham
Penticton Grade 4s: Dija
Penticton Grade 2/3s: Charlotte
Many of the accused claim that they were framed, but I'm not buying it!

Examining fiber samples.

Comparing ink chromatography strips.

Matching shoe prints to the print left on the putty at the scene of the crime.

Comparing hair and fiber samples.

Matching finger prints.

More microscope work.

Shared Projects

This week and last, students got the opportunity to check out the identification projects created by students in the other Gifted Program classes.  Copies of almost all of the projects (a few still have to be converted and uploaded) are located here.  Students need to log in using their regular username and password (the one they use to log in to the school district computers).  

When on the site, click the green 'Projects' icon.

Projects are grouped by class.

Special Guest

On Wednesday afternoon Sue Thomson, District Principal for Student Support Services, visited the Penticton grade 4 class.  Students did a great job showing Ms. Thomson their projects and some of the other things on which we've been working.  The Gifted Program is one of many programs and services which Ms. Thomson oversees--we were happy to give her a first hand look at what we do!

End of Year Parent Meetings

Students brought home a schedule for the end of year parent meetings.  I will be e-mailing copies of the schedule early next week in case it didn't make it home.  My goal is to meet with every child's parent to review how the year went and to plan for next year.  If you are unable to meet at the time I've scheduled you, please contact me and we can make alternative arrangements. 

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


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Mustache Madness

A strange thing happened with the grade 5s this week.  They all sprouted mustaches, I'm not sure what's up with that...


This week the Wednesday classes performed ink chromatography on the ransom note and suspect pens as part of their sleuthing for the Sabotage on the Spaceship Forensic Mystery.  (See more on the mystery in this post.)  The Summerland AIM/ASPIRE class, as well as the Penticton 2-3 and 4 classes compiled all of the evidence and made their conclusions as to the identity of the persons responsible for stealing the computer chip that runs the life support systems on the Spaceship Forensic.  The culprits were quickly apprehended, the chip was restored and disaster was averted!  The Penticton grade 5s will solve their version of this mystery next week.

Last Week of Classes

Next week (the week of May 16th) is the last week of Gifted Program classes.  The Gifted Program covers grades 1 - 5, so it is time to wish the grade 5s well as they move on to grade 6 in the fall.

Open House

Parents of students in grades 1 - 3 are invited to drop in on our last class for open house.  For Summerland grade 1 - 3 students the class is on Tuesday May 17th from 12:30 - 2:30pm at Trout Creek Elementary room 32.  For Penticton grade 2/3 students the class is on Thursday May 19th from 12:30 - 2:30pm at Wiltse Elementary in room 32.  Parents are invited to drop in at any time during the class and stay for as long as they are able.  Our class starts with 25 minutes of social time, followed by circle and then we move into class activities.  Students will show you the different activities we have been doing including their identity projects.  We hope you can make it! 

Monday, 9 May 2016

Okanagan Science Centre Field Trip

Last week 27 grade 3 - 5 students along with 7 fabulous chaperones visited Okanagan Science Centre in Vernon.  We learned about DNA and how to extract it from strawberries!  We also got to explore the interactive galleries at the Science Centre.  When we were done at the Science Centre we walked over to beautiful Polson Park and enjoyed lunch on the grass and then the students played on the playground.  You can view photos of our trip here.  A big thank you to Tammy Drobe, Sarah Larsen, Jacq Carson, Jane Advent, Terry McCartan, Yanti Rowland, and Jill Wrigglesworth for chaperoning.  I am very proud of the students--their behavior on the trip was excellent!

Here are just a few of the photos from our day at the Centre.  Please check out this link for more pics.

This week we have our second to last class.  Next week (May 16th - 20th) is the last week of classes. Parents of grade 1 - 3 students are invited to our open house next week.  Drop in between 12:30 and 2:30pm on Tuesday May 17th for Summerland/Trout Creek students and Thursday May 19th for Penticton students.

Thanks for checking in to see what we've been up to!