Cold Spring's HapPENings

A Peak Inside our PEN Classroom

December 2015

It is hard to believe winter break is upon us and 2015 is coming to a close. We have been working hard and growing during our PEN time, and this newsletter offers a sneak peak into the projects we have been focused on. We hope that you enjoy seeing our class in action. We also hope that you and your family have a wonderful and relaxing break!

2nd Grade

Our second graders have been having fun putting on their detective hats and using their problem solving skills to solve several different mysteries. So far they have analyzed finger prints, lip prints, hair samples, liquids, and ink samples to determine the culprit! They have also honed their skills in cracking codes to determine a hidden message. We are looking forward to our Detective Science Day on January 22nd at Pine Run Elementary.

Permission forms went home on Friday, Dec. 18th and are due back by Friday, Jan. 8th.

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3rd Grade

Our third graders have been working hard to create their PEN Facilities for their Architecture Unit. They have learned about various structural features that add support and provide form/shape to a building. They have experimented with how to make columns stronger, how posts and lintels can support a load, and how triangulation in geodesic domes provide strength for a structure. They have applied their learning to construct the form of their PEN facilities. After the break, they will be focusing on the function of their buildings by designing a logical and functional floor plan for inside. They are enjoying the process of designing their own PEN facility -- If only we could actually have them built!

Save the Date - Invention Convention

Wednesday, May 25th 2016 at 10am

Cold Spring Elementary School

4th graders will be participating in Invention Convention - a district-wide PEN event where they will showcase their inventions that they will begin working on in the second half of the school year. More details regarding specific times will be communicated as the event gets closer, but if you are a parent of a 4th grader, please mark your calendar now!

4th Grade

Our 4th graders have been continuing to study the elements of creativity. We are currently learning about the final component of creativity - elaboration! They are using their original ideas to create a unique marble maze. They are testing their ideas and elaborating on them to make them work effectively. We will build and run our marble mazes after the break!

5th and 6th Grade

Our 5th and 6th grade students are continuing to prepare for the LEGO Robotics competition on January 20th at Bridge Valley Elementary. They have been vigorously working to program their robots to complete missions, while also preparing to present a project to help reduce the amount of trash that humans produce. This unit has definitely forced students to show grit, but the reward that comes with successfully completing a mission makes it worth it!