GREAT THINKING THURSDAY
For Klein ISD Educators of Gifted
February 14, 2019-Happy Valentine's Day!
GT Roth Multi-age & 6th Humanities Night Celebration!
By Carrie Raiyawa
Advanced Academics Program Coordinator
This year, the GT Guiding Coalition and the Advanced Academics department has supported the administrators and teachers at Roth Elementary, Doerre, Kleb, and Schindewolf to launch pilot programs at each campus designed for gifted and high achieving students. We celebrated the students and the learning they have accomplished this year at a special community night on January 30 at the KMPC.
We invited administrators, teachers, students, and their families to come together for a night of community and celebration. Families of enrolled students were able to share a meal together first, and get to know some other families who are involved in this class. After dinner, the CEO and founder of Thrively, Girish Venkat, spoke to families about the power of this strengths assessment tool, and how parents can use it to support their students at home. For the remainder of the evening, students shared presentations that showcased the research and analysis they learned in class.
The ballroom was filled with joyous noise as the students were able to share their learning, not only to their teacher and the students in their class, but to students from other campuses and other adults as well. The excitement was palpable! Their research topics ranged from Ancient Egypt to CoCo Chanel. Each one providing information about a historical figure or event, and then showing the depth and complexity of their learning by examining how it has affected modern culture or changes over time that were enacted by their subject matter. We experienced Google presentations, videos, songs, interviews, and informative posters. Some students even dressed the part! At the end of the night the smiles were abounding and our community experienced the reimagined learning that these pilot courses afford.
Students in the elementary and intermediate pilot programs benefit from gifted curriculum created by Michael Clay Thompson that features classic literature, in-depth grammar instruction, academic writing, and critical analysis. Students also participate in Socratic seminar and project-based learning. These pilot programs offer the rigor and challenge that will grow our gifted and advanced learners, so they will be prepared to tackle the advanced classes they will encounter in high school and fulfill their purpose!
Research Expo: March 5 and 6!
Shared by Jessica Jasper
Advanced Academics Program Coordinator
Jordan Casteel paints intimate portraits of people she meets walking around Harlem, where she lives. This lesson provides students and educators with an opportunity to discuss the themes of home, community, and identity. Students will experiment with collage techniques and explore how an activation of their five senses can inform the art-making process.
CommonLit: Passages Celebrating Valentine's Day!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re spending time with your significant other, family, or friends, we at CommonLit hope it’s a great one. To help you bring Valentine’s Day spirit into the classroom, we’ve compiled a list of 10 texts that address the highs and lows of love in all its forms. We hope that these texts facilitate engaging discussions among your students.
For all of the passages listed below, you will have to create an account and login to CommonLit.org. This is a 100% free resource to utilize with your students as they work on their own level! This amazing resource is also a great Socratic Seminar resource!
“Impossible to Train” by David Hill
In this cute short story, three children discuss how their pets’ personalities make them hard to train. In turn, as the story moves to its end, the pets describe how much they love their owners. This would be a great short story to share with young readers, to get them thinking about the close bond between people and their pets.
“Farmyard Wedding” by Joy Cowley
Joy Cowley is a New Zealand author best known for her children’s fiction. In this hilarious poem, farm animals celebrate the marriage of two ducks.
This is the perfect poem to have your 5–6th grade class read aloud, and then have them think about how being around loved ones, particularly on occasions like weddings, makes us all happy.
“What Love Isn’t” by Yrsa Daley-Ward
Yrsa Daley-Ward is a spoken word poet, author, and actress. In this poem, Ward uses figurative language to explore what love is and is not.
After reading about the challenges that one can face in love, have your students debate what they think it takes to succeed in love. As students pose arguments, encourage them to cite from this text, their own experience, and/or other literature, art, or history.
“Sonnet XVII” by Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet-diplomat and politician Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto. Neruda became famous worldwide for his intense and original poetry, especially his poems about love.This piece by Neruda is passionate and written directly to a loved one, detailing exactly how the speaker feels about them. As your students read, have them ponder about whether they think love feels the same for every person. Does all true love feel like the love the speaker describes?
“Should We Scoff at the Idea of Love at First Sight?” by James Kuzner
Is love at first sight real? That’s the question you’ll be left with after reading this informational text by James Kuzner. The passage discusses humans’ brain chemistry and stories of love and lust to explore the idea of love at first sight.
Is love at first sight real? In this informational text, James Kuzner discusses humans’ brain chemistry and stories of love and lust to explore the idea of love at first sight. Kuzner also refers to the tale of Romeo and Juliet, mentioning that Shakespeare highlights profound passion, intimacy, and commitment as characteristics of true love — and how it doesn’t matter that these feelings might develop quickly between people.
To provide students with more context, show students the related media clip from Romeo and Juliet (1996). Ask students to discuss how the clip from the video conveys the romantic connection between Romeo and Juliet discussed in the text.
“Love Letter” by Jack London
Jack London (1876–1916) was an American author and social activist whose first marriage emerged not of love, but rather of convenience and a mutual desire to raise healthy, upright children. Shortly thereafter, London’s close friendship with fellow writer Anna Strunsky, whose views on social issues were in line with his, developed into an extramarital affair.
Students’ reactions to this letter will likely differ greatly, considering the scandal surrounding London and Strunsky’s relationship. This would be a great opportunity to set up a class discussion. Ask your students what they believe London’s purpose was in writing this letter; if they received the letter, what would they have thought?
SAT Linked Lessons: Feb 11-15 : Reading, Writing and Math
February 11-February 15
Math Lesson 9- Feb 18
Math Lesson 10- Feb 19
Math Lesson 11- Feb 20
Math Lesson 12- Feb 21
Math Lesson 13- Feb 22 Khan Academy Practice
Reading Lesson 11- Feb 18
Reading Lesson 12- Feb 19
Reading Lesson 13- Feb 20
Reading Lesson 14 Feb 21
Essay Lesson 19: KhanAcademy Practice Day- Feb 22
Mental Logs Number Sticks-A Math Magic Trick
From the web: The Kid Should See This
Ask someone to mix these Mental Logs number sticks up in any combination. Can you figure out the total in your head more quickly than they can add the numbers on a calculator? Yes. In fact, you can probably tell them the total faster than it takes them to enter the first number. How does this math magic trick work?
Mathematician Dr. Katie Steckles demonstrates a simple mental math trick in this Numberphile video: Number Sticks. Buy the Mental Logs magic trickon Amazon, or make your own. How long can you confound your friends, family, and classroom before they figure out how it works?