I cannot believe that we are getting close to the end of January. It seems like New Year's Day was yesterday. As always, we have many enrichment activities going on this week.
In third grade, I am starting a new round of Primary Education Thinking Skills (PETS) lessons. Over the past few months, the students learned about convergent thinking and the steps involved when using convergent thinking. We are ready to move on!
This week, we are learning more about divergent thinking. Isabel the Inventor and Yolanda the Yarn spinner are the divergent thinkers in Crystal Pond Woods. Here are the ways to divergent thinking: the more ideas the better (fluency), changing categories is great (flexibility), wild and zany ideas are welcome (originality), do not judge ideas and piggybacking on the ideas of others is cool. This week and next week we will play a brainstorming game that Yolanda created. We will practice including fluency, flexibility and originality in our brainstorming.
In second grade, I am continuing a lesson on divergent thinking. The students are given a noun and a verb and have to "force fit" them together to create a new invention. For example, if a child was given spaghetti and washer. he/she might invent a spaghetti washer for people to use who do not like marinara sauce on their pasta. The students have to be very creative, use their imagination, think of all of the possibilities and remember what Isabel the Inventor always says, "The nuttier the idea, the better." She is a divergent thinking squirrel after all. Personally for me, it has been really fun to see the second graders' imaginations run wild.
In first grade, I am introducing Sybil the Scientist and analytical thinking. Sybil's thinking is very close to Dudley, since it is very logical. However, Sybil loves to organize and classify according to attributes that items have in common. Also, in analytical thinking Sybil wants to find an answer or answers. She is not worried about finding one right answer, like Dudley. That is because there is always more than one way to classify items. In class, the students and I are working on classifying some mysterious creatures that Sybil found in the woods. She only has four cages in her laboratory, so the students need to come up with 4 different rules or attributes in order to classify the strange creatures. We do not want any of them escaping the lab.
This past Friday, we had another successful meeting of our 2nd and 3rd grade enrichment clusters. I also had the pleasure of touring a large group of parents around the enrichment clusters. This gave the parents (and grandmother) a chance to see them in action. It was very exciting to witness the parents' reaction and excitement to the learning and activities taking place during the enrichment clusters. We had a few requests for some adult enrichment clusters. There will be two more tours taking place, on February 3 and February 17. Please go to the "i-volunteer" site to sign up or look out for the E-news reminders from me.
In second grade math enrichment, we have been working on several double digit subtraction games and activities, like "500" and "Capture 5". Finally, in third grade math enrichment, we are working on analytical thinking. The students learned about sets, subsets, attributes and Venn Diagrams. Later this week, we are going to start on a Wizard Start Up Project on Renzulli that involves codes and ciphers.
Continuing to develop the whole child...