ALPHA-BITS for Teachers

Spring Newsletter

4th and 5th Grade ALPHA ELAR in Review

Spring semester at ALPHA has been extremely busy!  Students have been studying the life and work of William Shakespeare, learning about the Globe Theater, reading a Midsummer Nights Dream, learning about elements of a play, and delving into the language of poetry.  Students completed DBQs related to their readings about life in ancient Greece (the setting for Midsummer Nights Dream), learning about ancient architecture, art history, geography, and influential people such as Hippocrates.  Students have had rigorous conversations related to the plays theme, specific character traits they observe throughout the play, and how traits impact action.  They discussed ethics related to parental and societal involvement in friend selection and even spouse selection; which is a common moré in some cultures.  Students have been using the Knowsys Vocabulary development program to extend their understanding of vocabulary and the etymologies related to specific words and their meanings.  The unit culminated with a student produced adaptation of Midsummer Nights Dream completed with sets, costumes, sound, lighting, film crew, and an audience full of happy parents.

4th and 5th ALPHA Math/Science in Review

During math, the historical perspective addressed in the ELAR classes was extended as the students focused on the lives and contributions of famous mathematicians such as Pascal, Diophantus, Archimedes, Al Khwarizmi, and others, as they learned about probability, logical thinking, and solving variable equations. (For example: 2(x+4)+x=x+16; 2(2x+3)=x+9; John is 6 years older than Kelly.  Together, their ages adds up to 24.  How old is each?; and finally, four times a number diminished by 6, yeilds the same result as twice the same number increased by 4.  Find the number.)     This spring, students competed in five Math Olympiad competitions and the Noetic Learning Math Contest.  Clarity, logic, depth, and accuracy in thinking have been paramount as we have spent an extraordinary amount of time working on problem solving and filling mathematical "gaps in understanding".  In science, students have become experts on a science topic and created and presented in depth projects to the class as a review for upcoming science assessments.  Presentations were made related to density and buoyancy, the rock cycle, changes on earth, the Earth, Moon, and Sun connection, the solar system, forms of energy, forces and motion, mixtures and solutions, and much more.  Students were excited and engaged to learn about hydrophobic and hydrophilic substances, alloys, colloids, mass to volume ratio, limification, buoyant forces, etc.  The presentations, 3-D models, movies, Prezis, websites, and game shows were all incredible.

Ending the Year: "Flying Colors and Speech Bubbles"

As we end the year students will be exploring circumference, surface area, volume, density, air pressure, structural design, measurement, geometry, technology, and the history of flight, as they solve problems during their final STEM investigation of the year.  Students will work in engineering teams to solve a problem that involves designing a working hot air balloon that will be launched at the end of May. Students will be writing proposals that will be submitted to a local science museum in hopes that their hot air balloon designs will become an interactive part of the museums childrens area.  In ELAR classes, the students will be increasing their visual literacy and exploring/ spiraling content using the media of graphic novels.  Using this engaging format, students will be stretching their ability to think beyond the page as they continue to develop their analytical and critical thinking about the intersection of text, life, and art.  Students will use technology to create their own comics and graphic novels related to specific content covered this year. Thank you for sharing your students with us.  We adore them and enjoy working with them each week.  Please continue to let us know how we can best support you and your students.

Got Math?

If your 4th and 5th grade GT students need a few more math challenges, have them try some of these problems:           Amy plays Zane in a game with twelve rounds. In each round, the winner scores 5 points and the loser scores 3 points. At the end of the game, Zane’s total score is 44 points. How many rounds did Amy win?              The area of a square is less than 200 sq cm. The length in centimeters of each side is a counting number.What is the greatest perimeter that the square can have, in cm?             In the square shown, the length of the diagonal is 6 cm. What is the area of the square, insquare centimeters?              What missing number makes the statement true? 44 × 32 = 64 ×N                Brionna walks exactly 5 blocks in 7 minutes and 30 seconds. At this rate, what is the total number of blocks that she walks in 12 minutes?                                                    (Source: Released Math Olympiad questions, 2008)

No ALPHA due to STAAR Testing

Monday, April 22nd 2013 at 8am to Friday, April 26th 2013 at 3:30pm

McKinney, TX

McKinney, TX

ALPHA classes are cancelled the week of STAAR testing.

Last Week of ALPHA

Monday, May 27th 2013 at 8am to Friday, May 31st 2013 at 3pm

810 East Louisiana Street

McKinney, TX

This week is the last week of ALPHA for 3rd-5th grade students.

Make Up GT Testing

Friday, June 7th 2013 at 8:15-11:30am

810 East Louisiana Street

McKinney, TX

By invitation only.  Make up GT testing for students who were ill during previous test administrations.

"30 Hours" of GT Training

Monday, June 10th 2013 at 8:30am to Friday, June 14th 2013 at 3:30pm

2706 Wolford Street

McKinney, TX

Register in Eduphoria to participate in these any of these modules.  I. Nature and Needs of Gifted and Talented Students, II. Law, Assessment, and Programs for the Gifted, III. Differentiation and Designing Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented Students, IV. Differenting Instruction for the Gifted and Talented, V. Social and Emotional Needs and Setting Standards for Gifted Students

"30 Hours" of GT Training

Monday, Aug. 5th 2013 at 8:30am to Friday, Aug. 9th 2013 at 3:30pm

2706 Wolford Street

McKinney, TX

Register in Eduphoria to participate in these any of these modules.  I. Nature and Needs of Gifted and Talented Students, II. Law, Assessment, and Programs for the Gifted, III. Differentiation and Designing Curriculum for the Gifted and Talented Students, IV. Differenting Instruction for the Gifted and Talented, V. Social and Emotional Needs and Setting Standards for Gifted Students