Excel Extra

Fall 2016

The latest happenings in Excel

But first...

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GT Parent Support Group

Keller COGGS (Community of Gifted Student Supporters) will be hosting the first Roundtable Discussion, with Advanced Academics Learning Coordinator, Rodney Jones. It is scheduled for tonight, November 10th, 7-8 pm, in the Texas Rooms at Keller ISD Education Center, 350 Keller Parkway in Keller.

From Elizabeth Marsh with COGGS:

Please join us for our FIRST Keller COGSS Roundtable Discussion. We will be meeting in the Texas Rooms and speaking with Rodney Jones in a more informal setting about the goals of COGSS, the goals of the improved district GT program, and setting up some guidelines for future meetings. This is one you don't want to miss!


And now...

1st Grade GT

Detectives with the Super Smart Poke Class and Brainiacs continue to solve mysteries, using deductive thinking. It is so exciting watching their faces light up when they realize what seems so challenging can be solved! From reading the board (instructions written with plexar - word puzzles) to navigating their personal KISD google drive, brains are engaged and exciting learning is taking place.

PLUS each class participated in the writing of a commercial announcement for the school, explaining GT's dead marker recycling program - our service project for the year. Check out the pictures on my google drive in your child's class folder!

So, what IS a detective?

2nd Grade GT

The SMART COOKIES and SMARTER THAN A ROCK (S.T.A.R.) classes questioned what exactly happened at the scene of the crime, er, nursery rhyme, asking questions through the eyes of a detective. Take Jack and Jill, for example. Did someone push Jack? Was he no longer a king if his crown was broken? (I love that one.) Did the pail have a leak causing the hill to be slippery? As detectives are often required, each chose one of the four nursery rhymes, writing a detailed detective's report, explaining findings and conclusions.

The next activity was hauntingly challenging, as we viewed pictures from Chris Van Allsburg's book "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick", observed peculiarities, then writing captions. each child wrote a creative story about one picture, then read them aloud while another student made a video recording on the iPad. We're in the process of uploading them to their school Google Drives and sharing them with me. Once I have them, I can place them in your child's GT class folder on my Google Drive.

Great job using creativity, critical thinking and communication skills (three of our Super 7 GT Expectations)!

3rd and 4th Grade GT

3rd Grade #smarterthanadults and Superior Mindful And Ridiculous Thirdgraders (S.M.A.R.T.) along with 4th Grade Geeky Narwhal Squad, Knowledgeable Pandas and VIP Squad (Very Important Peeps) are doing one of my favorite projects - building cardboard arcade games!

Cardboard Arcade Games

They would love to grab a box and supplies, then try to create a game, Instead they are learning to create plans with measurements and multiple views prior to being approved for construction. The planning process took weeks, but once each plan was approved, hard hats were issued and construction began.

In addition to following plans while building, they come up with creative names, often unique decorations to go along with the them.

Even more challenging is the process of writing How to Play and Game Rules. Once approved, they type them on a Google document, then share them with me and teammates. I view the docs, making comments (suggestions) on the side, to help them create a well-written professional product.

One more class period remaining to finish games and rules, then it's presentation time! Each group will create a video presentation of their game, explaining the planning process, construction challenges, theme decoration (if any), and how to play. Once the videos are completed, edited, and approved, they will upload to their personal KISD Google Drive, then share with me to add to their class folder on my Google Drive.

Oh, we can't forget the Arcade Game of Play day!

Keller-Harvel game designers will share games with all the 3rd and 4th grade GT cluster homerooms on Monday, November 28th, while Woodland Springs shares games on Wednesday, November 30th.


Watching a class of engaged students solve some pretty challenging tasks, while I facilitate, is the greatest job in the world. When they say "This is so hard!" followed by "I figured it out!!", I'm thrilled.

If you ever need to reach me, please send an email. I'll reply as quickly as possible.

Thank you for the opportunity to challenge your child in Excel classes!!!

Gayle Barron

GT Specialist

Woodland Springs Elementary

Keller-Harvel Elementary

Keller ISD Advanced Academics