Exceedingly Excel

March/April 2017

Exciting things are happening in the Excel classroom!

Kindergarten GT

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Kindergarten Excel classroom...

From learning to organize a binder, to solving plexar (word puzzle) instructions for the day on the board, these enthusiastic students bring smiles and new perspectives to the classroom. Last week, they learned to log onto their Google drive, save photos I shared with them, create a GT file on their drive, and drag their GT photos to the file. I wish I could show everyone the video of them accomplishing these tasks, jumping up and cheering "I did it. I did it." Such joy!

1st Grade GT...

Patterns, patterns, and more patterns. After the complicated folding of paper hats (Success!) patterns were drawn and colored, creating a new geometric pattern hat - the latest in gifted fashion!

As we say farewell to Max the Magician, and meet Yolanda the Yarnspinner, we move from visual perception to creative expression. Pick up the pencil, utilize the right brain, and let's weave some unique perspectives through words.

2nd Grade GT...

One of my classes decided to create a video for HARK - Heartfelt Acts of Random Kindness.

My other second grade group has recently created scripts for morning announcements, plus organized the sorting and counting of markers.

Both worked on Cyphers, creating their own code and secret message - more challenging than they thought possible, wrapping up our logical deduction and flexibility of perspective unit. Creativity and brainstorming skills will be honed next, using new writing techniques in a most unique way.

Of course, the Super 7 GT Expectations are integrated in each lesson or activity, as each student must identify which expectation is being used (and how). brainstorming students will weave their own creative, original stories.

Dried Up Marker Collection a Success!

3rd and 4th Grade GT...

As we continue our Constitution unit, students raced to get the lowest score on the Bill of Rights matching game. (Think golf, not bowling.)


Next, this interactive site gave them a glimpse of life without our Bill of Rights:


At the end of each class, I've been taking a few minutes to share some crazy laws still on the books today. Most were obtained from Legal Zoom. I'm sure your child has informed you of several, at this point. One law reinforced my strict editing (punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc.) of their work all year:

In Belvedere, California - dogs must not appear in public without their masters on a leash!

Just 3rd Grade...

Third graders are gaining a better understanding of rules and laws by researching and creating their own rules for a new city park. First step - park planning. It's their choice how to present their park rules and sign to City of Excel Parks and Recreation.

Just 4th...

First Amendment rights are being utilized. Each student is creating some type of presentation (poster, Google doc, Google slide show, etc.) identifying and defending his or her personal favorite amendment, then sharing with the class.

Opinions count!

We're also looking at different situations, determining which amendment applies to each, and if the situations are legal. I love their passion for defending the rights of others using the amendments.

Google Drive Bonanza

All of my GT students (Kinder-4th) are savvy Google drive users. I continue to update each GT class google folder with their Excel class photos, videos, presentations, scanned images of projects, etc. In addition to providing parents the link to their child's Excel class folder, I shared the folder with each student, giving them View Only status. After logging on with their KISD google email addresses, my amazing students learned how to save selected items from the "Shared with Me" file to their drive, create a new folder (GT) on their drive, and move items saved in their drive to the GT folder. Ask your child to show you how this works!


Your child's Google email address is first initial + middle initial + last name + 01 (or 02, 03, 04 in a few cases) @kellerisd.com.

Example: if the student is named Ima Brilliant Child, the email address would be ibchild01@kellerisd.com. The password is always keller.

* I hope you have requested access for your child's Excel class folder on my Google drive, but if not, there's still time to do so. I try to update it weekly.

The Weather Game?

On Monday, before STAAR testing with nervous fourth graders, and again Wednesday after a night of severe weather, I challenged many of my classes to The Weather Game. Three teams - Team 1, Team A, Team Mrs. Barron. When I ask a weather question, teams discuss it, then the team spokesperson gives an answer. Whoever says the correct answer first gets the point. Yes, my team has an advantage (former weathercaster), but I always answer last. Questions range from cloud types, air masses, and weather symbols to which direction the cows face when the cold wind is blowing from the NW at 14 mph with gusts of 36 mph. If your child's class played the weather game, ask what he or she learned!

COGSS (Community of Gifted Student Supporters) Meeting

Thursday, April 13th, 7-8pm

350 Keller Parkway

Keller, TX

This month's meeting topic is Mindfulness and Test Anxiety.

Join other GT parents in the Texas Rooms at the KISD Ed Center on April 13th!

KISD School Survey

You're invited to complete the KISD School Survey through April 12th. If you have children at multiple campuses, you can complete surveys for each campus. The link is: http://www.k12insight.com/KellerISD/schoolsurvey

or use this QR code.

Your GT Specialist...

In addition to challenging your child in our gifted pull-out, I have been working with classroom teachers at both campuses, providing multiple gifted education workshops during the day and after school, offering suggestions on curriculum, or addressing the social/emotional issues of our unique gifted students.

I am also the editor of the Advanced Academics blog. You can subscribe at: http://kellerisdgt.blogspot.com/ Don't worry, you won't be bombarded with blogs - maybe one per week?

In your child's Excel class Google folder, I've added my updated list of Summer Camp Opportunities for Gifted Youth. I'll email the official list another day. But as it is 7:25 pm on a Friday night, and I would like to get home to my family, I'm going to send this to you now, with a THANK YOU for sharing your amazing gifted child with me.

Gayle Barron, GT Specialist

Keller ISD Advanced Academics

Woodland Springs and Keller-Harvel Elementary Schools