Guided Discovery Update

Happy Holidays Edition!

Second Quarter Progress Reports

Gifted progress reports and grade cards will be available in ParentVue on December 19, 2014. The students and Mrs. Cross will collaborate to provide you with specific information on the progress of each student's individual goal work.

ccessing IEP Progress Reports via Parent Vue

Please follow these directions to access the most recent IEP progress report via ParentVue in Synergy:

1. Log in to ParentVue as you normally do.

2. Click on the Special Education link on the left side of the screen.

3. You can then click on the date that appears under the IEP progress report area in order to view the PDF document.

First Annual Guided Discovery Show and Share Night

Save the date and mark your calendars because Wednesday, February 25th from 6-8 PM in the PSMS library will be our first annual Guided Discovery Show and Share Night for grades 6-8. All Guided Discovery students are encouraged to participate and will have the opportunity to informally present one of their individual goal projects during this time. Stay tuned for more details about this event and opportunities for light snack donations later in January.

Individual Goal Work Samples

Guided Discovery students working on their individual or small group goal work.

Engineering Design - Construction Zone

As students worked through the various engineering design challenges, they had the opportunity to build their problem solving, teamwork, leadership, communication, and creative thinking skills.

Try them out as a family over the holidays!!

Bridge Building Challenge

Using the following materials, teams of 2-3 members have 3 minutes to brainstorm possible designs using the materials in a variety of different ways (Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C) and 15 minutes to build.


18 inch piece of string

12 inch piece of foil

1 paper plate

6 straws

2 pencils

6 inch piece of tape

2 chairs placed back/back two feet apart

  • —Your challenge is to build a bridge between the chairs that supports 3 golf balls for at least 10 seconds.

  • —When time is called, all 3 golf balls must be supported only by the structure you have built.

  • —The golf balls may not touch the floor or the chairs.

Marshmallow Tower Challenge

Using the following supplies, teams of 2-3 have 2 minutes to brainstorm (without manipulating the supplies) and 15 minutes to build the tallest free standing tower with the marshmallow on top.

•20 sticks of spaghetti

•1 yard of string

•1 yard of tape

•1 marshmallow

Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure: The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table top surface to the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling or chandelier.

The Entire Marshmallow Must be on Top: The entire marshmallow needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow disqualifies the team.

Use as Much or as Little of the Kit: The team can use as many or as few of the 20 spaghetti sticks, as much or as little of the string or tape.

Break up the Spaghetti, String or Tape: Teams are free to break the spaghetti, cut up the tape and string to create new structures.

The Challenge Lasts 15 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise will be disqualified.

Tower Challenge TEDX video:

TEDX Tallest Marshmallow Tower: 39"

Toybox Leadership - Presentations and Activities

Students were encouraged to use ANYTHING but PowerPoint for their presentation on a selected toy's leadership theme and plan a class activity that reflected the theme.

Toys and Themes:

Slinky Dog - Vision: Pull, Then Be Patient

Rubik's Cube - Ethics: Making the Right Turn

Little Green Army Men - Strategy: Success Is in the Setup

Weebles - Endurance: Staying Down Is Not an Option

Yo-Yo - Creativity: It Only Happens when You Let Go

Mr. Potato Head - Communication: The Right Face for the Right Place

Lego Bricks - Relationships: Building Begins with Connecting

Evan Taylor and Sam Fine - Mr. Potato Head

Theme: Communication - The Right Face for the Right Place

Gabby Lee, Jack Reeves, and Jack Litwin - Lego Bricks

Theme: Relationships - Building Begins with Connecting

Matthew Greer and Max Thursby - Yo-Yo

Theme: Creativity - It Only Happens when You Let Go

Aden Barash and Ian Liam - Weebles

Theme: Endurance - Staying down is not an option. These two combined green screen technology and movie making to present their toy's leadership information!!
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8th Grade High School Transition Information and Dates

Important High School Transition Dates:

· January 14th from 2:10-2-50 (end of 8th hour), BV Gifted Education teachers and students will speak to all 8th grade Gifted Students in the PSMS library and answer questions (AP classes, honor classes, extra-curricular opportunities, homework, ???)

· January 22nd (1:15-2:50), BVHS Counselors will be at PSMS to speak to all 8th grade students about high school enrollment and hand out course catalogs.

· February 10th (7:45-9:30), all 8th grade students will complete their online enrollment for high school with the BVHS/PSMS Counselors.

Notes from BVHS Gifted Education Teachers:

Please know that all 8th grade Gifted Education students and their parents are invited to attend either of the following Gifted Education Four-Year Planning Open Houses:

· Thursday, January 15th – 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM in the Blue Valley High School Library Media Center

· Tuesday, February 3rd – 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM in the Blue Valley High School Library Media Center

These open houses are designed to provide personalized assistance with developing an appropriate 4-year plan. Also, 8th grade Gifted Education students will get a chance to tour the building with high school Gifted Education students. Feel free to attend at any point during the open houses; tours will occur periodically throughout each event.

An email with updated 2015-16 Course Description Guide will be sent to you by the end of December in case you would like to begin the planning process.

Finally, they will email you this spring, before summer online enrollment begins, to provide you with instructions on how to enroll in a summer online course.

Guided Discovery Classroom Wish List

Donations for the following items would be greatly appreciated: masking tape, colored duct tape, poster board, paint brushes, paint, individually wrapped brainfood, white construction paper, large flip chart paper, and random brain toys and games.

Wishing you a season of laughter, peace, and love!

Lisa Cross
PSMS Gifted Education