Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Have you heard of a lion named Christian? If not, please feel free to view what we saw today in our cluster at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sju3kSTAzdI. Who would have thought a lion could be a pet? We had a wonderful discussion about the difference between domestic and exotic pets and how different animals relate to us in our world. Mrs. Frederickson came to speak to us about her pet sugar glider, Blossom, and shared her story of living with an animal that requires special attention as an exotic pet. We’ll continue to explore the world of exotic pets over the next 4 Fridays. We can hardly wait!
Pooch-A-Palooza had a great first meeting! We started off by getting to know each other's names, and the students chose a picture of the dog breed they would be if they were a dog. We talked all about the pups we have and love at home. We also discussed what we are hoping to learn in this cluster. Finally, Alicia Steen, our campus LSSP, brought her therapy dog, Darby, to meet the students. She read a book and explained Darby's important job to the students. We loved getting to learn about Darby...and pet her! It was a PAWesome first meeting!
Barton Creek Ninja Warriors
We had a great first day of the Barton Creek Ninja Warrior cluster! We warmed up with a getting to know you game and some stretches, which helped us get in the mood to begin pushing our bodies to be stronger and faster! We then moved back to the classroom to watch some real American Ninja Warriors tackle the obstacle course, and get some ideas for our own! Everyone did a great job participating and brainstorming awesome plans for future Fridays!
The Force Awakens
Our first Force Awakens cluster meeting was super galactic! We spent some time getting to know each other and sharing our wealth of knowledge about Star Wars! We took some time to study pictures and video clips of The Galaxy from Episode IV: A New Hope. We used cornstarch and water to make Galaxy Oobleck complete with a dark sky and sparkly stars! We were excited to play with our oobleck and were fascinated with the transformation from solid to liquid, in an instant! Next week, we will explore the planet of Mustafar and make some Mustafar lava to recreate a scene from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
The Jewelry Factory
The Jewelry Factory is open for business! Our cluster had a wonderful time getting to know so much about one another. We made a bead glyph necklace that told us all about each student. We did some research on types of DIY jewelry, looked at some examples, and as a group decided to create a different style of handmade jewelry each week.
We began our Nature Lovers cluster by creating a nature stick to show what we love about nature, what we're interested in and what we'd like to explore during our cluster time together. The children then showed their stick to the group. We had lots of similarities! We then took a walk through our courtyards and noticed the sounds and sights of nature around BCE. We ended our time together sharing our noticings and brainstorming what people who love nature do. The common thread from week one was wanting to take care of the birds by providing homes and feeders. Our next step is to identify the birds that live around our school by learning to be "birdwatchers" with some volunteers from Travis Audubon!
“What do you know and what do you wonder?” We began our cluster by sharing our knowledge and wonderings about app-smashing. The students had some great information and we all learned that app-smashing is the use of multiple apps to create one final project or presentation. We watched some clips of movies that other children had created by smashing apps and noticed interesting features that we might want to learn how to do. We downloaded our first app called “ChatterPix Kids” which gives us the ability to make any photo or drawing “talk”. After exploring the app, we ended our time together with some ideas to ponder for our next class. "How can we use app-smashing projects to teach or entertain others? What do we want to teach?" We can't wait until our next class to share our "smashing" ideas!
Games, Games, Games
We started our first session by getting to know each other with a couple of group games including the Shoe game and the Line Up game. We then broke into groups and played Uno, Zingo, and Jenga. We ended with a brief discussion of our favorite games.
Our first day in our Krafting Kindness Cluster was a success! The kids did a great job deciding on a craft to make to spread kindness around BCE. We also all decided who we would give our craft to. After we had all made a decision we each got to make a bracelet! Some children finished their first one quickly and made two bracelets. Everyone was so sweet, respectful and absolutely adorable! I cannot wait for Fridays now.
Create and Illustrate
Our first day was full of laughter and creativity as we began exploring the world of illustrations. We started with Drew Daywalt’s hilarious book, The Day the Crayons Quit. We brainstormed and giggled our way to a list of colorful things to draw. Then we began our illustrations by selecting our favorite color from the crayon box and letting our imaginations run free across the page. We had purple dragons, green tree houses, pink bunnies and blue warriors! Now we are going to explore watercolors in Oliver Jeffers, How to Catch a Star, and begin to explore the possibilities for our final project!
Abracadabra: Let us Wow Ya!
Our first magic cluster was truly a magical experience full of ooos and ahhhs! First we discussed what we all thought magic was and what it meant to each one of us. Then we talked about things we want to learn about magic during our enrichment time. The students brought up some great discussion points, such as what a magician does if they mess up the trick or if they get stage fright. Of course we had to try our hand at some magic tricks too. We taught a ketchup packet to obey our commands and how to make a quarter disappear. We also learned a neat magic card trick that I am still trying to figure out. We all had a blast and I can’t wait to see what happens during the rest of our cluster!
Our first meeting of Caring Crafter was so much fun! The children brainstormed a list of community members they’d like to help out and then we talked about crafts they’d like to try. The children are most interested in doing a craft for shelter animals, orphan children, and their teachers! After we finished our brainstorming, they watched a video about how to make a card and envelope with Origami and we tried our hand at making them! In the next session we’ll write notes in those cards to give to the orphans along with the craft we make!
Back to the Future
In our first meeting of the Back to the Future cluster students created pictures of their thoughts about the future. We then spent time getting to know each other and sharing our pictures. We took ideas and put them on sticky notes for our idea board. We discussed ideas of future inventions, transportation modes, architecture, homes, and space travel. Students were also interested in how the future would handle our modern problems of waste and global warming. We then watched Corning’s videos of A Day Made in Glass to gain ideas of how current companies are enhancing technology and visualizing the future in our everyday lives. In our next
session we will continue talking about Futurists’ ideas of what our near and far future holds, and narrow down our ideas on what we’d like to research and create.
At our first meeting, our “Pet Palooza” enrichment cluster group discussed which pets we would be interested in learning about and why. Each student drew pictures of the pets they chose and then explained to the group their reasons for their choices. We got to know one another through sharing pet stories and playing a fun game of pet charades. The students are very passionate about pet ownership and look forward to gaining more understanding about the roles and responsibilities. We can’t wait to get started!
Creating from “Scratch”
We discussed what computer programmers do and what they make. We talked about how knowing how to "boss" computers around is a Super Power. Students created Scratch accounts and began to explore all the possibilities Scratch allows.
The Art of App Smashing
Our first day we learned that app smashing is done when you use two or more apps together to create a final product. We explored a few student examples of final products created by app smashing and discussed how the apps were combined to create each product. As a group we started a list of apps we already use and love, as well as apps we are interested in using during the cluster. The group also learned how to use a new app called Tellagami and then import their creation into iMovie.
The Just Dance cluster spent our first minutes together getting to know each other and talking about the experience we had as dancers. We learned that some of us have a lot of experience and some didn’t have any trained experience. We discussed why we chose this cluster and what we feel could be an end product of our time together. We brainstormed many different services and products and look forward to narrowing down to our final selection soon. We watched a video on the evolution of dance and how much it has changed. We also watched a history of dance video that explained how dance was used for entertainment for the wealthy back in the day. We got to explore the rhythm of music and how dancers stay on the same beat. We practiced staying on the same beat with some across the floor work with a short routine. We took some time to explore our own dance moves and dance out what is in our hearts. The students truly enjoyed getting to explore movement and the beats of the music!
Explore Your World
On our first day of the “Explore Your World” cluster, we learned about different types of travel. We explored facts from around the world and even learned what a travel agent does. The best part was getting to share personal travel stories of our own. As we continue on our journey through the world over the next few weeks, we will discover cultures, music, and crafts that will inspire where in the world we want go next!
The Death-Defying Defenses started with a howl as each child imitated their favorite wild animal! We used this (and lots of movement and repetition) as part of a name game that helped us to learn each others' names while simultaneously becoming more relaxed and comfortable. We then created a giant K-W-L chart and spent the rest of our time together discussing (and writing/posting sticky notes about) what we already KNOW, what we WANT to know, and then at the end – what we LEARNED (from each other!) in just that short amount of time. We’ll continue adding to the W (want to know) and L (learned) charts throughout our cluster. For the 2nd meeting, we’ll talk about what service or product our cluster may want to create and then buddy up to dive into a jungle of books about interesting and unusual animals. Can’t wait!
To the Rescue
To The Rescue cluster is off to a great start. Students began research on local and worldwide rescue organizations. They looked at wish lists and made lists of things for a possible donation drive. Students also researched homemade items that shelters are in need of as a possible product to make and donate. During our first meeting, students shared their own rescue stories and talked about which animal they would be if they were an animal. We are so excited to see how their creativity around animal rescue unfolds in this cluster.
Cool Careers In Chemistry
Cool Careers in Chemistry started week one by exploring ‘what is chemistry?’. We encounter chemistry in cooking, baking, cleaning products, beauty products, medicine, and many other parts of our daily lives. Chemicals can be useful in products like medicine, and can also be hurtful in the form of pollution. In week two, we met Dr. Hollenbeck who went into detail describing the jobs of environmental chemists and food chemists. We did an experiment where
we cleaned up an oil spill and hypothesized what would be the best method. It turned out cotton balls were the best method for our oil spill. We also explored food chemistry and how a chemical reaction changes a product. We had marshmallows that had been “cooked” in liquid nitrogen. The marshmallows became crunchy and cold!
Lights! Camera! Action!
The children were so excited to hear from Erik Eff, a professional movie-maker, during their enrichment cluster last week. Mr. Eff asked the children, “Do You Want to Make a Movie?” Everyone shouted “yes”! He shared with the students that movies always tell a story through the use of pictures, action, emotions, and music. He mentioned that all you really need is a camera and an idea. He then worked with students on acting and filming a scene while using different shots such as wide, close up, side angles, and tracking shots. During the process of filming he taught them the proper protocol of the director and assistant director. The children learned the meaning of “quiet on the set”, “actor ready?”, “camera man ready?”, “action!”, and “cut”. Later the children used the statements as part of their procedure in filming each other. They took turns being the cameraman, the actor, and the director. In this cluster, children will also have the opportunity to design scenery, costumes, and work with props. The script that will be used is from “The Sneetches”, by Dr. Seuss. As Mr. Eff said in his parting remarks: “This is just the beginning for you”! Coming Soon!”
Bump, Set, Spike it!
Our first day in volleyball was a “hit!” After getting to know each other, we discussed what we wanted to accomplish with our cluster: learning skills/rules, playing the game, practicing to get better, watching videos, learning from professionals, and more. We got into groups and practiced, using larger volleyballs, not letting the balls hit the floor. We also discussed a few basic rules such as, how many touches before going over the net, how to hit the ball, not touching the net, and calling “mine” for safety reasons. After that, we got into two teams to play using the net. Coach got out an ENORMOUS hot pink volleyball, named Pinky, to play with. So much fun! This group of 2nd and 3rdgraders (along with some 4th and 5thgrade helpers), is focused, energetic, and excited to play volleyball in the Bump, Set, Spike It cluster!