TAG Newsletter


TAG - Where the Tough Get Going!

Welcome back to an exciting new year! I'm excited to be teaching this year at Forest North Elementary. Third Grade TAG L.A. have been busily reading Regarding the Fountain and enjoying exploring thinking about literature on a deeper level facilitated by Kaplan's depth and complexity icons. Students in 4th Grade L.A. are reading Inside Out & Back Again, a book written in free verse. They're learning how to analyze poetry by using the "SoapsTONE" method. Ask you son/daughter about this! And fifth grade is reading,

In order to get "tough", students are encourage to adopt a "growth mindset" - a term coined by Dr. Carol Dweck noting that:

"Children who believed that a person's intelligence was fixed tended to believe that truly smart people don't need effort in order to succeed. By contrast, those who believed that intelligence could be developed were much more likely to credit hard work as a key factor in achievement."

So, YES, gifted students NEED strong study habits, too! Thank you, parents, who have had your child access their Google Drive, take responsibility for their own learning, and complete the homework daily. Hats off to you for supporting your child's academic success!

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Team Building - Marshmallow Challenge

Students enjoyed the team building exercises this year. We decided to have both 4th grade and 5th grade work together on this. The objective was to build the tallest, free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one meter of tape, one meter of string, with a marshmallow on top in eighteen minutes. The challenge proved, well...challenging! But, it did allow for a wonderful discussion on the traits of successful students and employees. We then were able to discuss and review which "Habits of Mind" and their icons ( after Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series, Copyright © 2000) they used to complete the task successfully or which habits of mind would've been great to have utilized in order to be successful. You can find a copy of all of these habits in your son's/daughter's binder.

Team Building Photo Ops

3rd Grade - Pet Parade

3rd Graders are working diligently on "Pet Parade" where they are able to

4th Grade - Civic Mission

Forgive me if I go and gush about these four wonderful students in 4th Grade.

I admire that they chose to do the independent student project, "Civic Mission" which challenges students to help others in need in their community. It took a nano-second (ok, I exaggerate) for them to come up with the idea that they want to help shelter animals. Because I was acquainted with the director of the Crystal Falls Shelter in Leander, theTexas Humane Heroes, the students were all in favor of helping out the animals there. Lots of preparations are underway to help one dog in particular, Ryder, who has been at the shelter some time. The students are busy making posters, video, pledge stat ements, and donation statements to the school. They're just getting started, but they're very eager to help Ryder. If you can either adopt Ryder or help the students reach their goal of raising $100 for him, the 4th grade would be so grateful! Check out our donation page!

5th Grade - Travel Passport

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Rigorous AND Fun - Guaranteed

We also rolled in the year learning what it takes to be a successful academically and in one's chosen career. Using Costa's "Habits of Mind" students were able to explore why certain kids are more successful than others. Curious what those "habits" are? Scroll down and watch the video about it. Your son/daughter also has a copy of these habits in their binder. And you might think success all boils down to I.Q. - but, not so. Check out the TEDtalk at the bottom of this page to learn about how "GRIT" is more important than I.Q. in establishing success.

Tears at Home over Handwriting?! Insurance Might Cover This...

Tom Wujec: Build a tower, build a team