GATES Tribune

GATES Family Newsletter

Spring Is In The Air

I love Spring, it's my favorite season. The sun is out, the flowers are in bloom, and all of nature's vibrant colors are resurfacing.

This is a beautiful yet crazy time of year. Here are some brief highlights of these past few weeks. :-)


Meet our new kindergarteners! I look forward to spending time with them and getting to know their unique gifts. They are a joy to work with and add a touch of sunshine to my day. Welcome to the family little ones!

Let's get to know them...

Instrument Challenge

Our South America Unit ended with students learning about parts of Paraguay. We learned about a teacher who led an orchestra using instruments made of only recyclable materials found in a landfill. He took trash and created something beautiful. (Click on 1st Grade to view the video clip.)

It was fascinating to watch these students play their instruments and even more interesting to see how they were constructed! So I issued the same challenge...create an instrument using only recyclable materials.

Here are the 1st graders playing their instruments. Enjoy!

Luke - Eye of the Tiger

Cooper & Leah - Boom Clap

Tyler & Owen - What Does the Fox Say?

Sterling - I'm So Fancy

Leah - Boom Clap (take 2)

2nd Grade

Written Adventure

I decided to challenge students by introducing a written challenge. Each student was given a type of engineer (biomedical engineer, electrical engineer, etc.) and a mystery location (inside a volcano, desert, etc). They had to research the two and combine their facts by writing an adventure story.

Here we are typing our final copies. It's taking us a while because 2nd graders prefer to type using the single finger method. ;-)

3rd Grade

Famous Structures

Third graders researched an architectural structure of their choice. They created a digital corkboard of facts and presented their structure to the class.

The challenge was to create a textured representation of their structure. At least one portion of their product had to "pop out of the page" for a three dimensional effect.

Here we are in the Create stage...

4th Grade

Ancient Artifacts

After creating electronic presentations of their chosen ancient civilization students had to create an artifact using only household supplies. The only criteria was that it had to represent their civilization and it had to look authentic!

Here are our final products...

5th Grade

Filtration Systems

After reading A River Ran Wild I challenged students to design and develop a filtration system to clean a tub full of polluted river water. They could use any materials from home or the classroom. After many trials and lots of improvement to our initial designs I think we're on to something.

Here we are in the Create and Improve stages of the Engineering Design Process...

Have a great day everyone. Happy Spring!

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