Rhodes Report

What's Going on in PEN Class?


As many of you know, leaving this little face each day is incredibly difficult. I want to thank you, and your incredible children, for making it SO much easier. I truly LOVE my job, and I feel so fortunate to work with families like yours. Thank you for all of your support, hugs and words of wisdom!

2nd Grade - Detective Science

What a fun unit!! The first few months of school our primary kiddos studied how to analyze finger prints and lip prints, how to deconstruct ink, analyze handwriting, and test acids and bases for pH level. In addition, they have worked to solve logic puzzles, make observations and solve mysteries with very little evidence. As you can see, we have been VERY busy!!

SAVE THE DATE: Who Borrowed Mr. Bear? Day - January 12 - Titus Elementary

Ask your child...

How do fingerprints and lip prints differ, and how do they help us identify suspects?

How do we use pH paper to measure acidity in liquids?

3rd Grade - Architecture

In third grade, we have been studying the 3 elements of architecture: beauty, function, and strength. During the beginning of the unit, we studied famous buildings, and the design elements that made them unique and beautiful.

Your child is now creating a DREAM PEN facility. First, they identified an architectural style they wanted to use for their building. (ex. Greek revival/modernistic) They are in the middle of adding structural features that will make their building strong. (columns/arch/buttress - their favorite!) Our next step is to create a scaled blueprint of the interior using a design program on the computer. They can't wait to share with you!

Ask your child:

What architectural style their building is, and what makes that style unique?

Which structural features they are adding to their building to make it strong?

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4th Grade - Creative Problem Solving

In fourth grade we have been studying the four elements of creativity: flexibility, fluency, elaboration, and originality. I continue to be impressed by the creativity your children exhibit through this unit. They have worked to create table top games from a random group of materials, and to design a maze that would slow down a marble. Our next step is to create a Rube Goldberg machine, as part of our elaboration study. Stay tuned for more details about this. We will be doing this activity on December 17th. You will be invited to join us.

We are also having a great time practicing our verbal spontaneous skills. This makes a fun dinner time activity. Come up with a category (ex. Things that fly), and take turns sharing what you come up with. The objective is to come up with creative answers. (ex. time flies) In late December, we will begin discussing the invention process. Your child will be completing surveys and brainstorming ideas in the first couple weeks of January. Thank you for all of your support at home!

SAVE THE DATE: Invention Convention-Wednesday, May 25th at Cold Spring Elementary

Ask your child:

To tell you about the 4 elements of creativity, and which of the elements are a strength based on the activities we did in class.

5th and 6th Grade - Robotics

The energy and intensity of these groups has helped to drive them through the trial and error process of this unit successfully. They are in the midst of programming their robots to navigate through Trash Trek's many challenges. I am impressed by the leadership and focus the kids are demonstrating. In addition to the programming, we are working to expand Gayman's TerraCycle program (fifth grade), and to start a community garden (sixth grade) .

If you want to learn more click the link below:


DAVE THE DATE: Robotics Day, January 21st at Gayman (Jan 28th - snow date)

Ask your child:

To tell you about the trial and error process they have gone through to teach their robot to navigate a maze. (ex. adding attachments/grouping missions)

To tell you about how their class project will make Gayman even better!