Learning Experiences for Academic Discoveries

Problem Solving to Its Fullest

Our Tigers have learned to "DO SCHOOL" in a whole new way this year! Whether it be at home or in person, students want to connect, learn and interact with their peers. Teachers have had to rework how we "DO SCHOOL" from the ground up. The students and I often have conversations about brainstorming and evaluating our ideas and questions in elementary school and how adults are doing the same thing in their jobs and communities. I am proud of our Tigers, and thank you ,parents, for all you are doing at home.

Helpful Hints for Remote Learners:

  • Have your children set timers on their iPads for beginnings and endings of classes.
  • Make sure they are working from a structured area in the home, a desk or a kitchen table.
  • Remind them of the Webex rules below.
  • Please let your children know that if I do not see them in a Webex 2 days in a row, that I will email and follow up with parents to make sure all is okay.
  • Give your child big hugs each day, as he/she may feel isolated, and reassure him/her of doing a great job and persevering through this time of change!
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Each lesson in every grade level is embedded with Kaplan's Depth & Complexity Icons below.

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5th Grade - CHANGE

The universal theme for 5th is CHANGE, which is woven into big lessons throughout the year. We started reflecting on THE POWER OF YET, and students watched motivational videos on setting and reaching goals. They interacted through a Padlet forum and gave their own reflections and commented on each others.

Students are also working on public speaking and presentations. They completed Mind-Maps on themselves and their goals, as well as one YET. We practiced looking ahead at middle school, high school, college, and possible future careers. (Details, Big Idea, Over Time)

Then they recorded their presentations of their mind-maps in Flipgrid. They were able to do a digital gallery walk, view others' presentations, and give compliments to each other. They completed self evaluations using a rubric focusing on volume/inflection, content/product, body movement, and eye contact.

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The universal theme for 4th is EXPLORATIONS. Students have been EXPLORING the symbolism in statues/monuments and the ideals represented. They looked at the Statue of Liberty, The Lincoln Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to find patterns between the three.

Then, they began EXPLORING and evaluating their own identities by participating in the Creative Problem Solving process (brainstorming, ranking, evaluating, accepting, planning). Each student came up with 5-7 traits that reflected one's identity. Lastly, each student created a "Monument of Me", with 5-7 symbols that reflected individual traits. They wrote inscriptions, describing each symbol, what it reflects, and an example proving it. (Details, Big Idea)

Next week, students will create a digital presentation in Flipgrid regarding their monuments of themselves, and they will do a digital gallery walk looking at others' monuments. Right now you can see evidence of their work in their Google Drive GT Lead folders.

Sketching a Plan

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Building the Monument

The Inscription

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3rd Grade - POWER

POWER is the universal theme for 3rd Grade, and students have been studying the power of flight! They started with learning vocabulary, such as lift, drag, thrust, and gravity (language of the discipline). They did a brief study of progress in aviation over the last 100 years. They also learned about Bernoulli's Principle as they began experimenting with making paper airplanes and testing which ones flew better based on the shape of wings.We branched out to studying parachutes and testing those as well.

Students have been conducting a mini research on an aircraft of choice: helicopter, jet pack, seaplane, blimp, hot air balloon, space shuttle, or rocket. Next, they will make a product and presentation with their research.

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Some of us continued our paper airplane building at home!

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Selecting our topics and researching

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2nd Grade - SYSTEMS

The 2nd Grade universal theme is SYSTEMS. Students went on a scavenger hunt at school and at home identifying and taking pictures of systems. We discussed the 4 Generalizations of Systems:

  • Systems have parts that work together.
  • Systems interact.
  • Parts of a system depend on each other.
  • Systems follow rules.

Students also label parts of a system they found, and then as a culminating project, they either created a how to book for a system, made suggestions to improve a system, or made a commercial about a system. Ask your child to show you his/her systems project in Seesaw.

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Improving a System in School - The Lunch Line

Started her presentation with rhetorical questions:

  • Do you have a problem with the lunch line?
  • Are you tired of waiting in line for a long time?


Their universal theme is CONTRIBUTION. We started by looking at helpers in school, as well as those in our community. We studied hurricanes through the lens of who might help after a storm, and then lastly looking at themselves and how they can contribute at school and at home. (details, big idea)

We have also studied characters in books to look at gifted characteristics and traits. This is focusing on students' social and emotional well being by helping them begin to understand their own strengths and areas that need improvement. We really discuss PERSPECTIVE in each book, exploring what the parent thinks about the character, what the teacher thinks, and what the character thinks about himself or herself. The books we looked at are Michael, Eggbert, Olivia, Elmer, and The Art Lesson.

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