Excel Enthusiasm

February - March 2017

HARK!

Heartfelt Acts of Random Kindness

The posters are filling up with GT student's random acts of kindness.

In addition to anonymously posting kind actions, several of the Excel classes decided to do more, for a particular individual or group.

GMADT - MAD in GT

One of the ways our GT students are GMADT - MAD in GT - making a difference, is by running a school-wide campaign to solicit dried up markers, which we will send to Crayola for recycling. Some students create a script for morning announcements while others empty into a basket the red bags teachers use to save dried markers and place outside their classroom door on certain days, bringing the baskets back to our Excel classroom. (Sometime soon, we'll start counting and boxing them up.)

Of course, another way GT students are GMADT is by spreading kindness. In addition to writing down and posting their random acts of kindness, K-2nd graders brainstormed and voted for their HARK recipients again this year.

K - Smart Brainstormers - made and delivered Thank You cards to Nurse Rhonda.

1st - Brainiacs drew happy pictures for a local nursing home, and made cards and board games for my daughter having surgery Friday. (She visits my classes on occasion, getting to know the students as she participates in class activities with them.)

1st - Super Smart Poke Class - made both get well cards and video get well wishes for my daughter.

2nd - Smarter Than A Rock - created thank you notes and pictures for the cafeteria workers, delivering them in person.

2nd - Smart Cookies - made thank you notes and pictures for the local animal shelter. An animal shelter worker will visit the classroom in the future to collect the cards and meet the students.

So proud of all my GT students and their big hearts!

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And now, to each classroom...

Kindergarten GT - Smart Brainstormers

GT Binders! It isn't too early to practice organization skills, so Kinder students were given a binder to use in the Excel classroom, keeping track of paperwork and supplies.

Pezzettino was unique, different than the rest, and very special. After a discussion about why they are in the gifted program, it was time for them to write their positive characteristics - what makes them special.

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1st & 2nd Grade - Max the Magician

1st Grade - Geometric Patterns

To gain an understanding complex patterns, students arranged blocks to create colorful patterns. Some even manipulating the shapes to create patterns in 3D design. Using visual clues (and persistence), 1st graders folded paper hats. Next, each child creatively added geometric patterns to the hats.

2nd Grade Illusions, Perspectives, and Secret Messages

Optical Illusion - is it MAGIC? The students looked at a variety of optical illusions, discussing the mystery of eye-brain communication. For more visual perspectives , several students announced "This is so hard" as they filled different images with geometric tangram shapes. Another point of view, using logical deduction, students cracked the code to solve a secret message from me. They're in the process of creating their own cypher code and secret message to be solved.

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3rd & 4th ~ CONSTITUTION

We the People...

First stop - putting each line of the Preamble in correct order. Then the race to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution was on. The room was filled with energy as students lined up, ready to recite, or helping each other memorize it. I'm sure parents heard it repeated at home, many times. When everyone in each class was able to tell it to me correctly, we watched a clip from an old Andy Griffith show, where Barney Fife, confident in his memory, struggled to say it through. Loved watching the students prompt Barney!

Next, after researching the meaning of the words in the Preamble, each child re-wrote it, using a presentation tool of their choice.

Bill of Rights - fun and games?

After researching the Bill of Rights, 3rd and 4th grade students tested their knowledge through some online games. Who would think a competition would ensue for the best score on Bill of Rights matching?

https://www.quia.com/cc/67717.html

There was even competition between both of my campuses! They also enjoyed this interactive site - Life without the Bill of Rights:

http://billofrightsinstitute.org/engage/student-resources/play-games/life-without-the-bill-of-rights/

3rd Grade Park Rules...

Using the Bill of Rights as an example, 3rd graders have been asked to create park rules for a new city park. Of course, determining amenities for a city park (not their dream park) is the first step. Each student or group of students will determine how to creatively present their sign to the Parks and Recreation board - poster, commercial, press-release, most any format will work.

4th Grade - Favorite Amendment?

After reviewing the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, students choose their favorite bill. It's student choice how to share their understanding of the bill with the class, along with reasons why it's their favorite.

Next, we'll investigate a few imaginary court cases, determining which amendment would apply to each case. I see some future attorneys and politicians in the making...

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KELLER COGSS - Keller Community of Gifted Student Supporters

Keller COGSS would like to help parents set up a COGSS chapter at each campus.

If you are interested, please contact me by the end of Spring Break. I will forward your name, email and cell phone information to Elizabeth Marsh who will set up a meeting later this month for all interested parents.

You can also join the COGSS Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/558098407698778/

Next Keller COGSS district meeting is April 13th (don't worry - it's not a Friday). I plan on attending and would love to have you join me!

Thank you!

It is a joy and privilege to teach and challenge your child each week in the Excel classroom. Thank you for sharing your child with me.


I hope you have a safe and wonderful Spring Break!!


Gayle Barron

GT Specialist - KISD Advanced Academics

Woodland Springs and Keller-Harvel

gayle.barron@kellerisd.net