August - September
Welcome to a New Year!
As much as we are all excited about the return to school, some gifted children may experience anxiety due to change and expectations. I am including an article that may be of help as you prepare your child to return to school: http://www.wafamilyengagement.org/articles/four-strategies-for-helping-gifted-kids-transition-back-to-school-159.html .
I will still post slide shows after major events to share with friends and family members. You can click on the Instagram icon on my main page or search for bartoncreekgt on Instagam. You will send a request to follow and I’ll approve.
October 1, 2015, 8:00 a.m. in the BCE Library
October 19, 2015, 8:00 a.m. in the BCE Library
Tuesday - Thursday, 7:50-8:35
Monday - Thursday, 12:00-12:45
Monday - Thursday 1:20-2:05
Monday – Thursday, 9:15-10:00
Monday-Thursday, 10:05-10:50 (They will meet as an entire group on Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesday and Thursday the class will be split due to class size. Kutchman’s class will come on Wednesday and Poole’s and Leach’s classes will come on Thursday.)
Fourth Grade Student Helpers Needed
Grade Level News
The first unit of study, Thinker’s Toolkit, is intended to provide a foundation of thinking skills for future units. Four core areas of thinking are highlighted: divergent thinking, convergent thinking, visual thinking, and evaluative thinking. Students experience a venue of hands-on activities and meta-cognitive discussions to begin to build an awareness of the four areas of thinking. Parents will be invited to a “Thinking Fair” at the end of the unit to provide an opportunity for the children to share what they have learned.
Robots! Robots! is the topic of our first unit of study. The children will explore the many uses of robots in today’s world and the potential uses in the future. Considering the pros and cons of robots and some ethical issues surrounding robotics is also part of their study.
The engineers will build robots again with the WeDo lego sets and then program the robots to perform predetermined functions. Building and programming will be differentiated based on what they are ready to tackle. This component of the unit focuses on coding. Coding is one of the big “Cs” of this century.
The “civil engineers” will begin the year with at study of bridges, The Span of Time, focusing on the challenge of how to build a balsa wood span with limited materials that will hold the greatest load. Luis Anaya and other UT student members of the ASCE will mentor as the engineers design and construct balsa wood spans for the UT Span Contest. In this project based learning unit the children will explore elements that impact building, such as forces, loads, shapes, and materials. They will also investigate different types of spans and how they have changed over time. The truss design will be the focus as teams of engineers prepare for the design and construction of their own balsa wood spans.
Team skills will definitely be emphasized during the many opportunities to solve problems together.
The fourth graders embark on a study of how culture influences architecture through the unit, Every Building Tells a Story. The purpose, style, and materials utilized in architecture throughout history have reflected the culture, especially the values of the culture. In a way, the buildings tell the stories of the people who built them. The cultural component of the unit culminates in a Tour of Austin’s architecture, scheduled for Monday, November 30th. You are welcome to join us for one or more of our stops as we visit such locations as One World Theatre, City Hall, the Bremond Block, and the Capitol.
In addition, the students will also participate in a project-based learning experience as they design an ideal school. We will not be able to work with AIA in schools this year, but we have the lessons from previous years. If you happen to know an architect who might be a guest speaker, please let me know. Mrs. Hollenbeck has already offered the name of a landscape architect for the landscape component of the project.
How can we use our creativity and problem solving skills to make a difference in the world? This essential question is the driving force behind the first project-based unit in fifth grade, Philing Good. The students will review the concept of creativity and deliberate ways to enhance creative thinking skills. Then, they will explore the concept of philanthropy and ways we can make a difference in our world. The students will work in teams on a project of their choosing and develop an action plan and presentation of their work.