GT: Exciting Excel Classroom Update

Feb 13, 2015

A few of you were unable to access the eCard for my students included in the email I sent yesterday, so I will just put all the email info into this SMORE. I hope this helps you sort through all the GT and EXCEL news!
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Texas Association for Gifted and Talented SUMMER SCHOLARSHIP application

Don’t forget about the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented summer scholarships. I’m happy to write recommendations for any of my exceptional kiddos!

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Camp Invention

This year it is at Florence Elementary, July 13th through July 16th. Here is the link if you would like to learn more about what Camp Invention is all about.

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The office of ORCO – Official Research Conference Office – is open for business. It’s official – with a sign! I consult with each student individually about his or her independent research project. Students bring official ORCO Meeting Notes pages to the conference, where I write suggestions about research, sources, topic expansion or narrowing, etc. I also keep a record of the meetings on my laptop, just in case. It’s been amusing watching my third graders who are used to having questions answered immediately to be told I’m in conference. “But Mrs. Barron, I just want you to read what I wrote.” “But Mrs. Barron, it will only take a minute.” “But Mrs. Barron, this is so cool.” J I ask them to write down their questions and wait until I’m out of conference, so I can devote a quality few minutes with each student. They’re getting the hang of it now, but what a shock at first. Good preparation for higher grades, when they must practice waiting their turn in every class, but oh so hard!
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This is National Random Acts of Kindness week, which ties in with building Intellectual Traits. Since the acronym RAK didn’t appeal to me, I changed it to HARK – Heartfelt Acts of Random Kindness. We discussed the word “random” when associated with kind acts. (No, cleaning your room doesn’t count as a random act of kindness if it is already an expectation or chore.) I created a poster for each campus, and provided post-it notes for students to write their individual random acts of kindness. No names on the notes. I will be taking a picture of each campus poster, and sending them to the Random Acts of Kindness website to show how Keller ISD gifted students are demonstrating kindness this week. I told the students they can add more sticky notes next week, as long as the acts of kindness were done this week. I suggest you discuss this with your child, and help him/her remember each act of kindness for their next GT class. Several of my classes viewed a video from the Random Acts of Kindness week, which you can see at

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I generally give the students an opportunity to solve Stories with Holes during the last few minutes of each class. This week, I have challenged them with Hink Pink’s – answers that rhyme, with a Valentine’s them. Each riddle answer must be single syllable, rhyming words. For example, “Road made of candy” would be “Sweet Street”. If they solve all the Hink Pink’s, we move on to Hinky Pinky, two syllable rhyming words, and even Hinkity Pinkity riddles, with solutions of three syllables. Ask your child how he or she enjoyed this end of class activity.

Not GT news....

Not GT related, but in one of our rectangular circle class meetings, I told most classes about an exciting event I’m participating in – Destination Imagination, creative problem solving program. I’m the Mid-Cities Region Improv Challenge Master, and Head Appraiser for Dallas Region. This weekend I will be at Bishop Lynch High School with Dallas DI, but the following Saturday, Feb 21st, is our regional competition (including teams from Keller, Grapevine, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Irving, etc.). If you think you and your child might like to see students perform in different challenges (theatrical, technical, structural, Improv – which is mine) this is a free event at Richland High School, 15201 Holiday Lane, North Richland Hills. Teams of students, K-College, perform in different areas across this campus. Several KISD teachers are appraisers, earning their 6 hour GT update, and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Not familiar with this?

Gayle Barron, GT Specialist

Freedom Elementary

Independence Elementary

Keller-Harvel Elementary

Woodland Springs Elementary