Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Attention 3rd Grade!

Some parents of third graders were able to attend my informational meeting earlier in the year. Others have touched base with me to keep up with how the qualification process proceeds. As of this date, no third grade students in ACS have qualified for AIG services. The Cognitive Ability Test will be administered to all ACS third graders in November - I believe the window to be from 11/7-11/15. This date has been pushed back for reasons having little to do with myself or Claxton. I've had the good fortune to be in third grade classrooms and assist in providing materials for our high-ability students. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

5th Grade Super Heroes

By my accounting only 4 more students have yet to present their work on creating a super hero. Students have really run with this project, making and presenting interesting and unique super heroes! Here is a link to a website called Vimeo to see the presentations. Students also filmed and uploaded these great stories, so know they're involved on both sides of the camera.

Watch (or fast forward through) the first video, and you should have access to others!

VC Hero C5 001 from John Pruett on Vimeo.

Student Government Officers!

Congratulations to President Beau, Vice President Lily, and Secretary Chloe! The election was VERY close this year. All candidates represented themselves and their classes with honor!

Student Government Elections

Here's a snap of students waiting to give their campaign speeches. Everyone was very professional. A great group of young ladies and gentlemen!

Snaps of Fifth Graders at Work

Here are students working to produce, present, and record SuperHero projects. Great stuff! We' complete work and assessments by months end and move on to work with weather and wind!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Astronomy Visit Two

"When you're looking at the sun, you're looking at the past." "If it's the night sky it could be hundreds of years in the past."

These are a couple of the insights heard today in our fourth grade AIG meeting with astronomy students from UNCA. 

Today was the second visit from students from Dr. Lyubov Nichols' students. Our students interacted with a presentation about today's topic, stellar evolution, the history of stars.

Friday, October 11, 2013

AIG Update

Happy Friday everyone! Here’s some short notes about what’s happening in our AIG groups.

4Th Grade
So we’re moving beyond our initial work with Junior Great Books. [Touchstones from this work have been sent home along with student work and a self-assessment of our work together.]
Our next assignment is to read our way through Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. Students have very manageable 30-40 page reading assignments per week. We’ll meet to discuss themes and greater questions from the novel. We will focus on the novel, not the movie! So if you haven’t seen the movie, hold off! Let’s finish the book first.
Here’s Gaiman on Coraline:

Our groups are evolving into math clubs, where the focus is on challenging material and how to solve it! We’ll be drawing from sources like “Math SuperStars” and “Challenge Math” to establish smaller ‘response groups’ that solve and present.

CSG (our aptitude / thinkers group)
We’ll be discussing Howard Gardners multiple intelligences and constructing PowerPoint presentations about our findings later this month. We’ve also taken time to discuss attributes and played the game “Set.”

5th Grade ESG
Between workdays and field trips our schedule for presenting SuperHero work has been pushed back some. We’re looking to wrap up this month, with early finishers taking a role in videotaping presentations.  There will be  some videos becoming available via my blog next week:

3rd Grade
Aptitude assessments are coming up later in the month. I’ll let you know an exact date when I have that information. Whole group enrichment has been interesting. I’m glad to get to know the students!

Thanks for your support of the AIG program!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

5th Grade Heroes

The board is growing as students complete and present their Super Hero work. Look for videos soon! Students are drafting their own assessment rubrics for this work as well as staging and filming their own presentations.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fourth Grade Advanced Subject Group Reading

Claxton’s fourth graders have worked with a program called Junior Great Books. The Great Books program is an educational movement whose mission is “to advance the critical, reflective thinking and social and civic engagement of readers of all ages through Shared Inquiry™ discussion of works and ideas of enduring value.

In Junior Great Books, students share meaningful literature and participate in discussions to improve reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Our group has read four stories chosen as an introduction to this work. We have practiced many reading skills and also how to positively participate in a seminar discussion. The social interaction skills are often as important as the content.

I am sending home thinking guides that helped direct our thoughts and discussion. Also included is a participation map from one of our discussions. This map shows student contributions to our conversation and will also reflect questions and interaction from the group. 

Our next project is to put our communication skills to use through a 'book club' focusing on Neil Gaiman's novel Coraline. Students have weekly reading assignments and we'll cover the first (pp.3-34) on October 15. 

Here's a blurb of Mr. Gaiman reading from his work:

Thanks so much for your continued support of the AIG program! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Duke 4th-6th Grade Talent Search

Qualification for the Duke 4th-6th Grade Talent search is based on a standardized test score of 95th percentile or greater. Applications have been mailed home to qualifying students.

Congratulations to these students!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

3rd Grade Assessments

In October, all third graders in Asheville City Schools will take the Cognitive Ability Test (COGAT). This assessment is used in different ways across the system - including as a screener for AIG services.

I will let you know when testing dates have been finalized.