November 14, 2014

A Quick Note

It was wonderful to meet with you all during conferences. I truly enjoy working with your kids each and every day. Please feel free to reach out at any time that you have questions or concerns. I am really proud of all the hard work the kids are putting forth during PEAK.

Our PEAK Day

Theme Study

Students are in full swing with the research process. Most are close to completing their notes on the land and climate of their countries and will be moving on to the other five self-selected heading from there. They have used online encyclopedias, an online database, and at least two non-fiction books for their research. Our focus is on using our note-taking format to pull the important, accurate, and complete information for each heading. The kids cite each of their sources as well. They are off to a great start!

Enrichment Centers

Math: Students continue to work hard as they push through difficult math problem solving. We continue to emphasize perseverance! Here is a sample problem from Set 4: Problem-Solving Strategy~Make a Table or Organized List~Susan has just had her ninth birthday. She and her parents have decided that as long as she does her chores, Susan will get an allowance. Susan's parents have decided she may choose how she gets her allowance. They will either pay her $1.00 a week or they will pay her $.01 on Monday, $.02 on Tuesday, $.04 on Wednesday, and so on continuing to double for 21 days. Which choice should Susan make? Explain your answer. Don't let you kids fool you with this one at home. It is a lot of money! :)

Topic Study: Students continue to work through their independently chosen topic studies. We have kiddos video taping magic tricks to analyze their performances, learning about volcanoes, Jack Prelutsky's poetry, hermit crabs, cartooning effects, ocean mammals, and following written directions to create puppet and pop-ups. Our hope is to take many of these pieces to a final product to share with you later this year.

Science: Most recently, the kids have been experimenting with series and parallel circuits. We continue to emphasize scientific diagrams and written explanations that share observations with scientific terminology. Our central focus is always working through the scientific method.

Personal Growth and Development/Creativity

We focused on group dynamics and effective team work as we worked in groups to complete a "Team Challenge". Each group was given some mini marshmallows and spaghetti to create the tallest structure which would stay standing holding a cup for at least a minute.

We also worked on our creative thinking skills in recent weeks as we learned about deductive and divergent thinking. In deductive thinking, we are using clues to find one and only one answer...often putting more than one clue together in order to find the needed information to solve the problem. In divergent thinking, there are many correct responses and it is important to be able to see ordinary things in new and unusual ways. The kids enjoyed activities practicing these critical thinking skills.

Team Challenge