Excel Expedited

April 2016

Speeding through this newsletter before GT testing begins

No Excel Classes for a While...

GT Testing and Screening begins Monday, April 18th for nominated students in 1st - 11th grades. During that time, I won't see my students (I say with a sniffle and a tear). However, I continue to share ideas for challenging these gifted minds in the regular classroom with the homeroom teachers.

Way to Go - Kindergarten GT!

Binders and Plexars and iPads, oh MY!

Each day of Excel class, Kinders must read the board, which is quite challenging. All my other students are fluent now in Plexar (word puzzles - words, letters, numbers and commonly known symbols in a box), and now the K GT'ers are learning too, as I write the days' plans and instructions using as many Plexars as possible. One rule of mine - I NEVER give them the answer. I love watching their minds work and eyes light up when they figure it out.

Just like the other grade levels, Kindergarten GT students brainstormed class names. Drum roll please...

WSES - Masters of Words

KHES - Super Smarties

The remainder of this newsletter will be brief,

as I’m running out of Friday,

and want to send this before the weekend.

first grade

second grade...

Talk about your designer zoo...

Each zoo has its own unique habitats for some of the most unusual species ever created. Restrooms (one is named The Litter Box), cafes, gift shops, and more are included. Putting the zoos together took quite a bit of planning, collaboration, and creativity.


Students are creating some type of written presentation in their choice of format. The subject can be the zoo, their own new species, or anything else related to the zoo. Various formats using different tools are being utilized. Comic strips, press releases, creative fiction, and newspapers are some of their methods of communication. They are never ready to leave - wanting to keep working on this project which they say hurts their brains, but they LOVE it!

Big image
Big image

third grade

Following research on toy companies, students formed their own toy companies. A couple are sole proprietors, while most are partnerships. When asked, the kids tell me how they are using every single Super 7 GT Expectation - Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Autonomy, Ethics, Critical Thinking, and Growth Mindset.

And more games...

An even more challenging task, two students decided to create online Jeopardy Games - Minecraft and World War II. This involved research, writing questions and answers, reversing them, and entering them at jeopardylabs.com. When they are complete, I'll share my username and password.

There are actually several games/toys not pictured, but equally inventive. Most of their uniquely designed toys are still in the construction phase.

Once finished - LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

fourth grade

Profectionism - Purrfectionism - Perfectionism Workshop

Along with a test for each child to rate himself on being a perfectionist, the REAL test begins. Each group was given a puzzle with different glitches, as the race began to see who put the puzzle together the fastest.

* puzzle was missing a piece

* puzzle had two extra pieces

* puzzle must be solved with pieces face down, and no box with picture

* everyone wore oven mitts to put puzzle together

And then the discussion -

How did it make you feel to have your particular challenge?

How would you relate it to projects in school (maybe bridges in GT, project in regular classroom)

What could you do to be successful despite the challenges?

Which careers need perfectionists?

What is the difference between perfectionism and excellence?

Bridge Building is OVER

Next stop - Bridge Breaking Competition

Websites you might find beneficial

Keller ISD Advanced Academics



SENG - Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted


NAGC - National Association for Gifted Children


TAGT - Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented


Duke University TIP - Digest of Gifted Research


Davidson Institute for Talent Development


Hogies Gifted Education Page


And finally...my funny GT students

As I went from wire framed glasses to a bolder plastic frame this week:

"Mrs. Barron, when did you get glasses?"
"I've been wearing glasses for about 10 years."
"No you haven't. I never saw you wear them."
This opinion was consistent with almost all of my classes, grades K-4. I couldn't convince them I had been wearing glasses all year, as they apparently were invisible. Grin.

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Thank you for sharing your amazing child with me in Excel classes. I will be away from the computer much of the time during GT testing, bur if you need me, please send an email. I'll reply as quickly as possible.

Gayle Barron

GT Specialist, KISD Advanced Academics