Peek at the Week
This week in . . . .O. W. L. s
Morning Affective Activity:
Our affective activities relate to ourselves and the world around us. Gifted students have unique social and emotional needs. We address these needs each morning to start off our day. It is important that your child is in a homogeneous environment so that these needs may be effectively dealt with by empathetic peers. Five gifted strands of competencies required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education include the following:
- Develop an understanding of self in relationship to their and others’ perceptions of giftedness
- Identify with others’ situation, feelings, or motives (empathy).
- Demonstrate task commitment to projects and activities (persistence)
- Become masters of their own learning (intrinsic motivation)
- Develop communication, self-control, and interpersonal skills to enhance relationships with their peers and adults (social competency)
STEM EDUCATION: STEM education is infused in our learning. The students use design thinking as the process for critical thinking and creative problem solving. Design Thinking is use to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for the user. A design mindset is not problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be—and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user. We use the LAUNCH cycle as the framework for this process.
PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING: problem-based learning is student-centered. PBL makes a fundamental shift–from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. The process is aimed at using the power of authentic problem solving to engage students and enhance their learning and motivation. Complex real-world problems are used as the vehicle to promote student learning of concepts and principles as opposed to direct presentation of facts and concepts. In addition to course content, PBL can promote the development of critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills. It can also provide opportunities for working in groups, finding and evaluating research materials, and life-long learning.
The students work on projects of focused disciplines.
Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects (universe, galaxies, solar systems, planets) and phenomena that originate outside of Earth’s atmosphere. It is concerned with the evolution, formation, and development of the universe. Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. It is also the process by which we seek to understand the physical laws and origins of our universe. In our studies, we discover the work of astronomers, the tools astronomers use to observe and gather data, and the future of the space age. .
Earth Science is the study of the Earth and its neighbors in space. It is an exciting science with many interesting and practical applications. Some Earth scientists use their knowledge of the Earth to locate and develop energy and mineral resources. Others study the impact of human activity on Earth’s environment and design methods to protect the planet. Some use their knowledge about Earth processes such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes to plan communities that will not expose people to these dangerous events. Many different sciences are used to learn about the earth, however, the four basic areas of Earth science study are: geology, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy.
Life science is the study of living organisms, like microorganisms, plants, animals, and human beings. Life sciences is helpful in improving the quality and standard of Life. It has applications in health, agriculture, medicine, pharmaceutical industry, and food science industry.
Physics – 4th
Chemistry – 5th
Physics/Chemistry: Physics along with Mathematics and Chemistry is one of the “fundamental sciences” because the other natural sciences deal with systems that seem to obey the laws of physics.
Students will explore topics for their quarterly projects. This may be a new topic or to extend a topic from previous years. Each student will create a plan of action for independent study. Progress reports are the means of summative evaluations. The students are guided by rubrics and scoring guides.
Students will receive a rubric for content and effort. The rubric states specific guidelines for projects and expectations for effort. At the end of the project, the students will receive a quarterly progress report reflecting their scores.
Technology: creating, coding, filming/editing, publishing, designing, managing our website
Fine Arts: learning a new skill
Fine Arts challenge is a chance for the students to learn a new skill. The students will get to pick from a list of interests. Planned time in class will be used to rehearse and practice these skills. They will devise a plan of action to conquer their own learning and master the skill. The performance will be peer reviewed with feedback from the audience.
Communication Arts/Social Studies
Communication Arts: Graphic novels/plays/journals, foreign languages
Social Studies: American Revolution, Westward Expansion, inventions, U.S. Wars, cultures
Students will explore historical events. The American Revolution will be analyzed and evaluated for discussion and debate. Key historical figures of this time period will be researched and the contributions of these key figures will be examined. This will culminate in the recreation of the events leading up to The Revolutionary War as well as post-recovery and impact. Students will examine primary sources of important documents from this time period. Westward expansion of the United States will be discovered in an authentic way with role playing. Conquering the wild frontier and gaining new territories will be experienced through the trails, journals, and bravery of the pioneers. Critical thinking skills will be used to compare and contrast statistics of the major American Wars since the start of our great nation. Independent investigations into the history of products students will choose based on interest. The students will learn what sparked the idea of their favorite product, how it has been modified and/or replaced throughout time, produce a historical timeline featuring his/her product, and will aid in improving this product for future use.
Leadership and service will begin at home with service projects in our homes, our neighborhoods, our school, and our community. We plan how we can be of service to our country and to our world, as well.
Individual Projects: Explorations
Individual projects of interest are carried out throughout the year. These are projects that do not necessarily have to commit to the focused discipline. These can be in the form of investigative studies, creative writing/drama, inventions/designs, compositions, etc… These projects are specific to each child with study plans of actions as a mean of guided progress.
What’s the Big Idea????
The big idea refers to our learning targets, or objectives, for each week. The learning targets are gifted strands of competency from the State Department of Elementary Education in the Gifted Section. There is a link on this home page for you to click and refer to these strands in the following categories: critical thinking, problem solving, communication, research, creativity, affective, responsibility, and technology.
Each grade level has their very own web page on this website. Click on the link at the left to check out your child’s daily activity in O.W.L.s. The web page is ever changing so visit often. The students love updating it and communicating their interests, thoughts, and advice on the web page.