Excel Extravaganza

November 2015

First Grade Detectives give up Badge to become INVENTORS

In order to use INVENTIVE THINKING, we first need a good pair of BRAINFOCALS.

Second Grade Explorers Focus on One Endangered Animal

These enthusiastic explorers chose one animal, mammal, fish which is endangered, discovering answers to Who, What, When, Where, How, & Why in their research. Now, they're learning to use PREZI, as they create individual presentations on their selected species.

What's this...no Wikipedia? No typing questions in the search bar? No using copyrighted images? It's not too early to learn best practices in research!

If your child would like to share his/her presentation with you, it can be viewed at prezi.com using my school email address as the user name, plus gtrocks as the password. Some of my students have asked to continue research at home, which is fine. However, hopefully I don't need to create another sign saying No Parent Help. They're doing a great job on their own! Once Prezi presentations are finished, we'll use the dongle to connect the iPad to the projector, and watch 'em all in class. I'm so proud of their engagement in the research and preparation of presentation process (don't say that three times quickly)!

Third Grade Adventurers Continue Preparation to Visit Land of Ancestors

Now that the luggage is decorated, clothes are packed, it's time to get serious about planning this journey.


Future travelers used technology to select and research tourist attractions in their destination city. Once the itinerary is complete, numerous financial vocabulary words were sorted and matched with definitions, before heading to the bank.


Money is always needed, so paychecks were cashed by the teller, with proper ID of course (student name tags). Each customer received a personalized wallet (envelope) to hold cash and a balance sheet to keep track of expenditures.


Before booking the trip, each traveler needed to pay for expenses, including pet-sitters, utilities, and more. Every expense is paid to the bank officer who made a house call, and balance sheets are updated.


It's important to get a health check before journeying to a foreign country. Even more important is understanding what immunizations might be needed. Research at the cdc cite gives students information on recommended vaccines, and travelers must decide if they wish to pay their hard-earned money for any pre-travel shots. A medical questionnaire is completed, along with an eye exam. (I'm not sharing this yet, as not all students have visited their doctor's office.

Coming soon...


Passport photos have been taken, in preparation for completion of an official Passport.


Options for lodging and transportation will be shared. When students book flight and hotel, travel insurance will be an option.

Fourth Grade Engineers Test Construction Materials

Check out this historical video clip of Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFzu6CNtqec. Future bridge engineers researched not only the various types of bridges, they selected one bridge to pursue. What amazing quick presentations were created by each student, in a variety of formats, to share research with the class!

This week, groups of 4th grade engineers tested the ability of four different types of materials to withstand three forces - tension, compression, torsion. Since bridges are generally not made from straws, plastic blocks, popsicle sticks or aluminum foil, more testing is being done online at the PBS Building Big website. Here students are able to test a variety of materials, how the forces affect each one, and more. Next stop - bridge challenge (at the same site) where they must select the best type of bridge for various locations. Learning is FUN!

Coming soon....

Wait - I'm not telling. You might accidentally tell your child, and I don't want to give them any information yet about the exciting, brain-challenging project.

Coming soon...HOUR OF CODE

I am thankful for the opportunity to challenge your amazing child in Excel classes. My heart is full!

Gayle Barron | GT Specialist

Keller ISD Advanced Academics

Keller-Harvel Elementary School

P: 817-744-5100| F: 817-744-5138

Woodland Springs Elementary School

P: 817-744-5900 | F: 817-744-5938