October Update

October Update

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in Gifted Enrichment.  Most groups have finished their first mini project and have moved on to their first big unit of the year.  1st and 2nd graders have been using their problem solving and innovative thinking skills to create inventions and present their ideas to their peers.  First graders will be learning more about engineers and building bridges coming up.  Second graders will be thinking about how to improve conditions for Asha the elephant at the Natural Bridge Zoo. Some second graders are strengthening their critical thinking skills with a puzzle unit.  They have really gotten their brains moving! Third graders have begun an exploration of careers.  The first career we are studying is graphic design.  They will examine how a graphic designer must use creativity, but also keep in mind the needs of the client when making designs.  We studied various logos, have practiced creating some logos for the KooKoo Candy company and will be working in teams on a logo design project for the Richmond Metro Zoo.  An important part of our work is learning how to give and receive feedback.  We created a feedback anchor chart and practiced how to give specific, kind, and helpful feedback.  They did a great job!  Fourth graders may be designing a Cider Mill using their super strong math skills or are getting ready to complete a research project on endangered animals and conservation efforts.  Fifth graders are exploring how biomimicry can help create products that are more sustainable and meet our needs better.  I also have a 5th grade group exploring coding through a unit provided by CS First (Google.)  The month sure has flown by and I am looking forward to seeing how all of these next units progress.

 

Opportunities for Gifted Students

Opportunities for Gifted Students

There are two great opportunities for Gifted students you may want to take advantage of:

 

The University of Virginia sponsors a Saturday Enrichment Program for gifted or high ability and high interest students.  Classes are held on the grounds of UVA. Applications are being accepted now through December 1, 2018.  Classes are held on Saturdays in either an AM or PM session January 19th- February 16, 2019.  See the flier for more information and instructions on how to apply.

 

Duke University offers ongoing online classes and programs for highly qualified students beginning in the 4th grade.  Duke TIP has helped Gifted students discover and explore their academic talents since 1980. If you’d like more information please visit this site.

Opportunities for Students

Opportunities for Students

Many parents have asked for additional resources and opportunities for their children.  As I hear of new ones, I will be sure to share them. If you come across something other parents may want to know about, please share with me and I will be sure to pass it along.

 Here is a great list to get you started:

 

Johns Hopkins Online Courses

These courses are a great opportunity for your child to explore an interest from the comfort of your home. Be sure to check eligibility requirements and let me know if I can help!

William and Mary Fall Enrichment

William and Mary hosts a great Saturday program where students get to work on higher-level thinking skills. Check out the course listings. Applications are due October 17th.

UVA Saturday Enrichment

UVA offers a great Saturday program that gives students the opportunity to explore an area of interest with like-minded peers. Applications will be available October 15th.

MENSA Reading Program

Does your child love reading? This program is a fun opportunity to try at home. Students who read all the books on a selected list can submit paperwork and receive a free t-shirt!

Getting to Know You!

Getting to Know You!

I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet students–both returning and new to me.  In our first meeting, we took an interest inventory that would help me get to know my students and plan for them better.  I will use those inventories to help plan activities and projects that tap into student interest and readiness. Then, the students got to know each other a bit better.  Some played a game with Jenga blocks and others played a dice game.  I asked students to really focus on listening to each other and remembering what they learned about each other.  At the end of our game, students shared something they learned about someone at their table.  This was a bit more difficult than it sounds!

If you are like me, then your life is pretty busy and checking my blog for updates is one of those things that just may not happen.  You are welcome to enter your address into the subscribe box and an email will be sent when an update has been made.  I have it on my calendar to update every other Friday and I am going to try very hard to stick to it.

I’d also encourage you to check our our Gifted Parent News Blog—it’s a great place for resources and information specifically for parents in Henrico. You can also subscribe to this one and get updates in your email:  http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/giftedparents/ 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am so excited to begin a new year as Gifted Resource Teacher at Chamberlayne, Donahoe and Short Pump.  I am looking forward to begin meeting my students–new and old.

If you ever have any questions about what your child is doing in groups, Gifted services, or other related questions please send me an email: kewright@henrico.k12.va.us  I am always happy to help! Since I do travel to multiple schools, email is usually the quickest (and most reliable) way to reach me.

Chamberlayne: Monday

Donahoe: Wednesday PM and Thursday

Short Pump: Tuesday, Wed. AM, Friday

Mid Winters Update…

Mid Winters Update…

It sure has been a busy time since we returned from Winter Break.  Between snow days, students benchmark testing and K-1 CogAt testing I am ready to get back into a more “normal” routine.  I have been missing “my kids” the past couple of weeks while I tested out youngest students. But, I am excited about new faces joining our groups next week and then in the Spring when that window wraps up.

Here is a great opportunity to check out what the Gifted classes over at Moody have been up to:

Deep Run:

The 8th grade Gifted Enrichment classes at Moody Middle School are organizing a health event to raise awareness for Noah’s Children. If you want to support the patients, come to the “Health Day” at Deep Run Park in Shelters 1 and 2 on March 3rd from 10am to 2pm . We will be collecting much needed supplies for the families involved with Noah’s Children. Some of these supplies include personal sized toiletries and gift cards for daily living needs (gas, food, etc…). There will be an information table, yoga sessions, a health walk scavenger hunt, and food trucks! Be sure to come to event and support our fellow Raiders and patients at Noah’s Children!

 

Short Pump Park:

Do you like animals? Do you want to help benefit the Richmond SPCA? If you said yes to either of these questions, then consider going to the 2nd Annual Puppies in the Park event at Short Pump Park on March 10th from 10-2! There will be games, a Trivia Trail, a photo booth, and more for you and your dog to enjoy together! Moody Middle School 8th grade gifted classes are hosting their service learning project and hope to see you there!

 

For more information about these events and more, check out our website: https://sites.google.com/henrico.k12.va.us/mms-l2f

 

I look forward to seeing everyone next week!

Gifts for Gifted Kids

Gifts for Gifted Kids

Are you looking for some great gift ideas for the Gifted children in your life?  I know I struggle with getting my own children presents that are fun, but that will also stimulate their brains. Check out these links for some great ideas:

NAGC 2015 Toys and Games List

Mensa Select Games

Hoagies Gift Guide

If your house is anything like mine, you may also wish to limit the amount of “stuff” that comes in. Consider gifts of cooking, engineering or music lessons, memberships to The Science Museum or Lewis Ginter, or perhaps a day trip to Nauticus, Virginia Living Museum, DC museums or the Baltimore Aquarium (ride the metro in from NOVA–wow!)  Often these experiences are the best learning experiences, offer lots of conversation opportunities and create long lasting memories.

Inventions and Innovations

Inventions and Innovations

If you have a third grader you may have heard that we have begun an Inventions and Innovations unit.  First, we will be working to build some background on inventions, the invention process and the value of innovation.  We began this unit by exploring an everyday invention that we don’t give too much thought to…binder clips!  I wanted the students to understand that you don’t have to invent the phone or a flying car or the wheel to make a contribution to our daily life.  Students learned about the inventor of the binder clip and then took a turn trying to come up with their own use for a binder clip.  I can already tell that we have some great budding innovators on our hands.  I am so excited to see where this unit will take us!

Next, we independently brainstormed a list of all of the inventions that we could think of.  Students got into groups and came up with a Top 10 list of inventions.  It was very interesting to see how the students argued for their picks.  We discussed the value of certain inventions and what criteria would rank them higher.  We were looking for inventions that changed the course of history–the computer, the phone, the car etc… What would our lives be like without the invention of the cellular phone (gasp!)  It’s certainly eye opening to hear the students perspectives as digital natives.