KCS GT Update

October 2021

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Fifth Graders are learning about ADVOCACY, whether for themselves, speaking out for someone else, or on behalf of a cause they believe in. We will be threading this learning throughout the school year. Recently, we finished a review of the concept of creative thinking, using our pareidolia and other strategies to think creatively. Currently, we are working our way through the meaning of Olympic symbols. Students completed an advanced acrostic related to the Olympic torch, investigated the concept of “Olympism,” studied the meaning behind the Olympic rings, and analyzed an Olympic athlete, all while relating this back to self-advocacy. Definitely a full month of learning!

Fourth Graders have reviewed the concepts of creative and abstract thinking, concepts they studied last year in third grade. We are impressed that so many of our students have remembered these concepts from last year and are now transferring that knowledge to their everyday experiences...exactly what we were looking for! After Fall Break, we turned to character analysis with Drew; the main character in a story called “The Spookiest Attic”, using books Drew might have on his bookshelf and comparing Drew to other characters in the same situation.

New this Month: Third Grade GT began this month! Our first lesson is designed to help students understand what inspires and motivates them. Students learned that the word inspiration comes from the Latin word, inspiratus, which means "to breathe into or inspire". We used various forms of "text" to analyze what they found to be inspirational. In this lesson, we also practiced our critical thinking skills to categorize inspirational quotes, pieces of artwork, and images. Students were also given the opportunity to select a quote, image, or piece of artwork that they found most inspiring and then make connections between it and their own life experiences.

New this Month: Second Grade GT also began this month! This is a new initiative and the GT coaches are especially enthusiastic to begin this new venture! We began with a welcome lesson that introduced what GT is all about, followed by a discussion around the amazing picture book, What Do You Do with a Chance? Great discussions on taking smart chances and seizing opportunities were had. This lesson was followed by an activity centered around the book Hey Little Ant in conjunction with the second-grade competency, “I can look beyond my own point of view so that I can consider how someone else may think or feel about something.” One goal of 2nd grade GT is to provide opportunities for our students to step into the shoes of someone else in order to better understand their perspective. This competency will be threaded throughout our lessons during the school year.

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Mr. Dougan's Thank You


I wanted to take an opportunity to thank you, once again, for your and Brandy’s help in PLC last week. The support that you all have given us over the years is remarkable. A few of us were talking after PLC last week, as is traditionally the case when the two of you lead our meetings, and we were discussing not only the countless resources you all have provided for us, but, more genuinely, we were talking about the quality of help and support you both provide. This year is a bit different because it seems you all have “stepped up your game” by providing resources for all students and teachers to access. We were listing some of the resources that you all have created for and shared with us, and we were shocked at just how many of them are now a part of our daily/weekly routines: Error Analysis, Glow and Grow, Open Middle (especially for math), Advancing questions, Multiple Perspectives (as a great intro to a new concept or unit), just to name the most commonly mentioned.

After the strange year most everyone had last year, starting this year off positively and confidently seemed not only necessary but healthy as well. You and Brandy, and others in the GT department, have truly helped many of us attain that goal. Thank you so much! A buddy of mine just yesterday posted something on Facebook saying that teachers deserve so much praise and admiration because of what they have to deal with on a daily basis. He encouraged those who read his post to find a way to thank a teacher. I didn’t have to think too hard about who I needed/wanted to thank. Your help and support are invaluable to so many.

Blake Dougan

5th Grade Teacher

Brickey McCloud Elementary School

Check out the Halloween fun below!