Friday, December 19, 2014

A Hint of Presentations to Come

Our CSG for fourth grade have been working on personal presentation with Google. Although not everyone has completed recording, I thought I'd float one for you to check out! Look for the others early in 2015! Thanks!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Set Champion

After completing and presenting her story about being lost on the moon (more to come!), Tess was able to solve the daily Set puzzle in 3 minutes 27 seconds. Wow!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AIG Update

Here's a copy of the AIG Update for December:

Dear Parents and Supporters:
We wrap up the year on high notes noted below. Thanks so much for all your support in 2014! I’m fortunate to work with such great students, teachers, and families. Here’s a snapshot of what our AIG groups have been up to. Happy Holidays!

Advanced Subject Group in Reading
4:  Fourth grade completed our work with the Junior Great Books (JGB) introduction to shared inquiry or seminar learning by kicking off a ‘book club.’ This group read Coraline by Neil Gaiman. We are still in the process of wrapping up this work as we complete Letters about Literature – a national contest sponsored by the Library of Congress. Students have begun writing letters to the authors of books that changed their lives. We’ll wrap those up in January as the deadline for entry is 1/14. Look out for permission slips, if you’ve not already seen them.
5:  Fifth grade readers continued with fluency activities including a reader’s theatre about Benjamin Franklin. We’ll wrap this up in the New Year  - as well as the same letter writing contest as fourth grade. Fifth are further along in the process. It has led to very interesting discussions about our favorite books.
A list of books chosen by 4/5 ASGR students has been included on the blog.

Advance Subject Group in Math
Both fourth and fifth grade math groups have focused on perseverance in attending challenging math work. To this end, both groups have worked on a variety of math puzzles including
Magic Squares (where rows, columns, and diagonals have the same sums)
Problems with Operations (incomplete equations where the operations (+,-,/,x) must be added)
24 (manipulating random numbers to solve for a specified sum)
In addition, fifth grade also worked with Gang of 15 – where they had to track a mysterious organization all over the world – discovering and converting international currencies all the while! Fifth grade is also currently working with the Fibonacci sequence – one of the most famous mathematical concepts.
Fourth grade wrapped up the year with an introduction to expressions and equations which will inform our work with Hands On Equations (more later but think algebra!) in January.

Comprehensive Study Group
4:  Fourth graders reflected on multiple intelligences and what their prominent intelligence might be. They then completed an online survey to determine which they may most reflect. This work is based on research by Harvard’s Howard Gardner. Students then integrated this knowledge into personal profile Google presentations which we will record for inclusion on the blog. Only a couple are complete at this point, so look forward to seeing more in the New Year!
5:  Fifth grade CSG students took part in a brief simulation where they ranked the value of items to be used in a crash landing on the moon. Their individual and group responses were compared to NASA’s ranking – which led to great conversations. Students then wrote short stories about their journey. These are still in the works, and we’re looking to publish in January!

Enrichment Study Group
4:  Our simulation work with The Great Solar System Rescue continues. As of this, these students have located and saved the first of four lost space probes. To do this, they have had to understand a specific science through reading, process a ton of information from video transmissions and more reading, and, most importantly, share and work with each other to form consensus decisions. There are three teams overall, so we’ll see how they rate at the end of our work in the New Year!
5:  These students completed an interest inventory to help drive independent projects. Everyone is engaged in this work which varies from computer and sports research to original works of fiction. Although drafts are certainly in the process, we won’t be sharing out until the spring. 

Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Hospice Trees

An alumnus shared this photo of a tree from Claxton in its good, new home. I am so proud of our Student Government for taking part in this endeavor! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Books That Changed Our Lives

Fourth and fifth grade ASG Reading students have begun writing letters to authors of books that changed their lives.  This work is part of a contest sponsored by the Library of Congress and the Center for the Book.

Students have been brainstorming which books about which to write. Here's a list of their choices:

Walk Two Moons  Sharon Creech
Hope for the Flowers      Trina Paulus
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone     J.K. Rowling
Pie     Sarah Weeks
Where the Wild Things Are   Maurice Sendak
Popular   Maya Van Wagenen
Wonderstruck   David Selznik
Will Grayson, Will Grayson    John Green / David Levithan
The Blood of Olympus    Rick Riordan
Walk Two Moons   Sharon Creech
Hope for the Flowers      Trina Paulus
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone     J.K. Rowling
Pie          Sarah Weeks
Where the Wild Things Are  Maurice Sendak
Popular         Maya Van Wagenen
Wonderstruck   David Selznik
Will Grayson, Will Grayson     John Green / David Levithan
The Blood of Olympus    Rick Riordan
Deep and Dark and Dangerous  Mary Downing Hahn
Never Say Die    Will Hobbs
Red River Stallion    Troon Harrison
Captain Underpants    Dav Pilkey
My Life as a Book     Janet Tashjian
Doll Bones  Holly Black
The Maze Runner   James Dashner

Dork Diaries     Rachel Renee Russell

I think it's interesting to think about these choices. I've only read a few of them, so it also gives me ideas for my own reading.