GT Update News: Edition 11

for Mrs. Anderson's Crew

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Last week, I met with each of them to discuss their STEM notes. We focus on the Engineering Design Process when they are presented with a building challenge. The idea is that they connect to other learning, so that what they discover in our time together is not isolated. Making connections is most important. Most finalized their final projects showing the design process in designing and building their straw towers. It's been interesting watching them revise their thinking. This week, they will share their STEM notes with one another and develop a thinking map with their conclusion. This week, they will build their own Flappy game by using event handlers to detect mouse clicks and object collisions (think about the action when, in a game or website, you click a "button" and a specific action takes place). It is a cause/effect relationship.
Last week, fourth graders worked diligently to complete their parts of the grant. They also continued to explore the research process by visiting an interactive website that allows students to navigate through each step and learn what each step encompasses. They will find this learning extremely useful in preparing to organize fundraising opportunities for their mini golf course. This week, they will continue to finalize these processes. They will also look at their STEM papers as it relates to the paper airplanes they designed.
Last week, fifth graders continued to read the book, Ungifted. They listed four more details about the character from the second half of the book. This week, they will determine the main idea from the details already listed from both the beginning and the end of the book. Then they will determine the change over time. These are all depth and complexity practices. They also worked on completing their character costumes and their pinball machines. I have enjoyed seeing them revise their machines as they, or someone else, tests them. Some have decided to join their efforts and build one machine, while others have focused mostly on the artistic aspect of the machine. When they are complete, the third and fourth graders will test them out and leave feedback. They can make changes once they receive feedback. This week, they will begin the day by giving their introduction speeches, which will lead them into The Inn from the Speaker's House. Once in The Inn, they will prepare an informative speech. The idea is that they will put all the aspects of communication they've practiced together to make a well--written and delivered speech in order to leave The Inn and begin to bring their journey to a close.