Sunday, 19 February 2017

The B I G Project

The  B I G  Project

Every year we do a major project related to our theme.  This year's theme is ArKIDtecture.  Students have the choice of designing a building or doing a research project on a famous architect or building. Each project is unique; students and teacher work together to decide what needs to be included in the project as well as what the final products will be.  This week was about exploring potential topics and brainstorming ideas.  Below are a few photos of what the Wednesday morning class was working on (link):



More updates on the projects all of the students are working on will follow in the weeks to come!

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Architect Visit

Here are a few of the things we got up to... This Week in Gifted!

Architect Visit

The Penticton Thursday afternoon class was visited by Penticton architect Calvin Meiklejohn.  Mr. Meikeljohn spoke to the students about the work of an architect and answered their many excellent questions!  Students were able to look at blueprints and other architectural drawings.  Mr. Meiklejohn also brought samples of different building materials such tiles, wood veneers, and cutaways of windows as well as a cutaway of the flooring system of a gymnasium hardwood floor.  A highlight of the visit was when Mr. Meiklejohn drew a scale drawing of the front of our students' dream house.  He explained how scale drawings work and, as he drew, he took in suggestions from the students as to window placement, roof style, siding, colours etc.  Below are some photos from the visit (link).




Paper Table Challenge Continued

The Tuesday afternoon Summerland class and the Wednesday morning Penticton class continued to work on their paper tables.  Check out last week's post for some background on this design challenge.   It is amazing how strong some of these tables were considering they were made from no more than 8 sheets of newsprint, masking tape and a 8" x 11" piece of cardboard!  Students did a lot of testing and refining.  I was really impressed with the persistence of many of the students; getting their table to support one heavy text book wasn't enough--they wanted to alter their design and see if could hold more--a lot more!  Check out the photos below (link).



Travels with Stick People

The Wednesday classes continued to work on their photo editing skills--sending their stick people off to visit more architectural sites.  Here are more photos from this week (link).



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

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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Design Challenges

Design Challenges

This week we switched gears and all of the classes were given a design challenge to work on.  Before starting we talked about the design process.

The Design Process from the Design Squad Activity Guide (link

The Paper Table Design Challenge

The Summerland class and the Wednesday morning Penticton class were asked to build a table at least 20 cm tall that can support a heavy textbook.  The challenge?  The students were only allowed to use the following materials:
  • 8 sheets of newspaper
  • masking tape
  • one 8" x 10" piece of cardboard 
Below are some photos of the building process (link):


Students will continue to work on this challenge next week.

Straw Bridge Challenge

The Penticton Wednesday and Thursday afternoon classes were given the straw bridge challenge.  Check out the pics below to see what the challenge was and how they approached it (link).



More Guests

This week we had two visitors form the School Board Office.  Mrs. Thomson (she visited the Summerland group last week) visited the Thursday afternoon class.  Mr. Manuel visited the Summerland group as they worked on the Paper Table Challenge.  Thank you for checking out what the students are learning about!


Saturday, 28 January 2017

Journey Under the School

Journey Under the School

This week the Wednesday morning Penticton class got a rare tour under Wiltse School!  (I've been at Wiltse School as a teacher or parent since 2007 and I'd never been in the basement).  Vice Principal Mr. Holowaty was our tour guide and he showed us all the amazing nooks and crannies in the depths of the Wiltse basement.  We got a glimpse of the electrical system, geothermal heating system, heating ducts, hot water tank, water pipes and other mysterious mechanical systems.  Check out photos from our tour below (link).




Guest at Trout Creek

The Summerland gifted class hosted Mrs. Susan Thomson, SD 67 Director of Instruction for Student Services.  The Gifted Program is one of the programs she over sees.  Students did a great job of showing her some of the things we've been working on; programming the Sphero SPRK robot, Scratch Programming, and photo editing.

More Travels with Stick People

Students continued to hone their photo editing skills this week, sending their stick selves off to interesting architectural sites around the world.  Below are some photos from this week (link).  Check  past photos here and here.




Thank you for stopping by to see what we've been up to... This Week In Gifted!

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Saturday, 21 January 2017

World Travels

Here are a few of the things students were working on... This Week In Gifted!

These Stick People Have Itchy Feet

Students are becoming very adept at photo editing.  They are able to get rid of backgrounds in photos, combine photos and add text to an image.  They've created stick people with their own heads attached and now these stick people are traveling the world!  Some of their adventures were presented last week here and here.  Things really got cooking this week!  Have a look (link):




Sphero SPRK

Students in the Tuesday afternoon Summerland class are getting the opportunity to work with the Sphero SPRK robot.  Trout Creek principal, Mr Redden, has provided the robot and students are learning how to program it.  Students are taking turns and completing coding challenges with this engaging little robot. 
Sphero SPRK

Thanks for checking in!

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Friday, 13 January 2017

Head Transplants

Head Transplants

You knew it was going to happen some day--head transplants!  This week many students were very successful in transplanting their own heads onto a stick person body.  So far none of the stick bodies have rejected their new heads, which is a relief.  In fact, some of the transplant recipients are doing so well they have begun to travel the world.  Check them out below (link).

5 Card Photo Story

Students worked on their creativity this week with the 5 Card Photo Story activity.  Students were shown 5 images and then asked to come up with a short story involving all 5 images.  After each student told their story, their peers gave appreciations--commenting on what the storyteller did well in their story.  The stories the students came up with were diverse, interesting and often very funny!  The feedback they received from their peers was really positive and specific.  Below are the images the students had to work with (link).



Thanks for stopping by to see what we've been up to... This Week In Gifted!



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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Shaking it up in the New Year

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

Two Truths and a Lie

After a month off from classes we were back at it this week.  We started out by playing 'Two Truths and a Lie'.  Each person says three statements about what they did in the past month.  Two of the statements are true, but one is not.  Everyone else tries to guess which one is the lie so your goal is to try and trick people into picking the wrong one!  As the saying goes "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Designing Buildings to Survive Earthquakes

We watched this video which described some of the ways that buildings can be designed to resist earthquakes.  We also watched part of this video which demonstrated a base isolation system using a model and then showed the real thing in action.
The Tuned Mass Damper in Taipei 101.  See source of photo here.

Photo Editing

Students learned how to combine two images in Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Students are already adept at removing the backgrounds from photos.  This week they modified a photo of themselves so that they were just left with a floating head.  The next step is to add the head to stickman body and then make their stickman visit some of their favorite buildings and structures.  I look forward to sharing their creations here in the upcoming weeks!  



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