GT Update News: Edition 15

for Mrs. Anderson's Crew

Hope everyone enjoyed time with your kids, family, and/or friends during Spring break. Not sure about you, but I don't know how it is already the middle of March!

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Well, as many of you saw, not all of them were able to finish their research papers before Open House, but they are still working hard. Some keep asking what research has to do with planning for a mini-golf course. My answer is, "If I asked you to build a course right now, would you be able to do that?" To which they replied, "NO". So...here we are:) The research process itself hasn't been their most favorite of what we've done during the last few years, but those who have finished, have done a really great job. And those who are still working to finish have put forth a lot of effort as well. Next week, they will hopefully be able to move closer to finishing them. Due to fourth grade writing camp, I will only have them during the afternoon Tuesday. Needless to say, once they are all complete, I will post QR codes for each so you can read them. Those who are finished will take part in an engineering challenge next week instead.
With your help and feedback, we do have the winning pinball machine. Most of you voted for machine #7 (picture below). Thanks for taking the time to play and complete a survey. A lot of time, thought, and collaboration went into designing and building the machines. Next week, I will announce the winner and we'll talk about the science behind their ideas. This week they almost completed Phase 7 of 8 in the World of Ancient Podium. They started planning and writing informative speeches this week. Next week, they will revise and edit, then say their speeches to the class. Their classmates will score both, the speeches and the delivery. I will post as soon as they are finished.
Now that they finished their coding stories and you all were able to look at them during Open House, they are moving on to complete our coding unit. We spent last week discussing our digital footprint and how everything we do through the internet leaves traces of what we have done there. We also talked about how to gauge whether a website is appropriate for them and how to respond when it is not. This week, they will finish up the last session in the unit: Nested Loops. This particular session is proving to be very difficult for them because they have to apply EVERYTHING they have learned about coding to complete several puzzles. They are using problem solving to troubleshoot what could be wrong with their coding that is keeping them from solving the puzzles (we call this divergent/convergent thinking). This week, they will finish Nested Loops and begin coding their apps. Once the apps are finished, I'll post them in a newsletter or in our class website. I'll let you know.