Last Friday was the first meeting of our 2nd and 3rd grade enrichment clusters. We have fifteen different clusters meeting that involve a variety of topics based on our 2nd and 3rd graders' interests. Please read below to find out what exciting and engaging activities took place during this first meeting.
The "Take One" enrichment cluster jumped right into things by getting all the students on the Chromebooks and showing them how to join the LME WeVideo group account. The students added a link to WeVideo on their Chrome favorites bar with the assistance of our awesome 5th grade helpers. We also spent some time exploring flip cameras learning how to record and delete video. Next week we will learn how to upload videos into WeVideo, so that we can begin to explore all the editing options available in WeVideo. We will also talk about our goals for the cluster and form groups based on project interests.
Wonderful World of Watercolors
Today in our first meeting of the “Wonderful World of Watercolors” we learned that water coloring started many thousands of years ago. Ancient people used water colors on cave walls to tell a story. We also learned that the German Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), who painted several fine botanical, wildlife, and landscape watercolors, is generally considered among the earliest water colorists. Lastly, we watched a video on how to use our water colors and painted flowers using the blending technique from the video.
Today during the first session of “Games Galore”, we all played a name game called Slap Pass. Students passed energy around a circle by slapping their hands together and saying the name of another student in the cluster. After our name game, students told the rest of the cluster what their favorite game was and explained why they were excited to join Games Galore. Finally, we learned how to play the card games Uno and Old Maid and practiced playing them with a small group. Overall, it was a fun and successful first meeting!
Flying Lion Travel Agency
We had a GREAT time learning to be junior travel agents during the first meeting of the “Flying Lion Travel Agency” cluster. First, we learned about what a travel agent does and brainstormed ideas for exciting travel destinations throughout the United States. Once we selected our destination, students started exploring! They looked at books on their state, visited the Culturegrams website on our iPads, and more! Finally, our cluster members came up with a name for their agency, picked partners, and started to work on their travel plans. Lions love to travel! Welcome aboard!
We arrived excited to start learning magic tricks in our Hocus Pocus cluster with Ms. Rumpf and Mrs. Hwang. First, Ms. Rumpf showed us a trick. She guessed the number we were thinking. It was maaagic! Then we watched a few videos on different magicians including Houdini and David Copperfield. One video was a 4 year old boy performing tricks on China's Got Talent. He was very good! After that, we learned the floating cup trick and performed it. At the end, Ms. Rumpf told us the secret of guess the number trick. Finally, we will be learning card and dice tricks. We might even learn how to pull a rabbit out of a hat!
“Clay Creators” began with two Reading Rainbow videos about the ceramic process the Naranjo family, in New Mexico, used in making their amazing pots. Then we watched an artist from Hawaii, inspired by the volcanoes on the Big Island, demonstrate processes of using the potter's wheel, glazing and raku firing. One student worked on the potter's wheel while other students learned the pinch pot techniques to make a variety of works. We used math to figure out how to divide the clay evenly. Nice work Clay Creators! Every student will have a turn to use the potter's wheel.
The “Mindbenders” enrichment cluster had a fabulous first meeting. We brainstormed a list of different types of ways we like to challenge our brain using puzzles and logical thinking. Crossword puzzles, mazes, logic elimination grids, mind benders, sudoku, and ken kens were just a few named. Next, we spent time exploring apps that had to do with logic games. We were able to help each other to solve the different levels. We cannot wait to explore on the logic apps again next week!
Delicious smells filled the room and hallway as we kicked out off our first enrichment cluster of “Culinary Creations” by making an Indian dish called Churumuri. Mrs. Priya led us in a fabulous power point presentation about types of rice and the history of this dish. Students enjoyed cutting herbs, tomatoes, and cooked potatoes. Lots of measuring, stirring, and adding spices made this a super tasty dish served in a cone. Our chefs understand the importance of washing dishes and keeping our kitchen clean. Students voted for next weeks "travels" to take us to the country of Italy to create customized pizzas. Students are thinking about "passport" style cookbooks as our final product!
The “Robotics Rock” enrichment cluster had a grand time today kicking off our robotics cluster. We welcomed the President of the Westwood High School Robotics Team, Govind Girish, who shared his interest in robotics with us, how he got started building robots, and showed videos of robots in competitions doing cool things, like shooting a large ball into a target zone. Then, we got to choose which Lego WeDo robot we wanted to build and got to work! In our cluster, we will explore and build using Lego WeDo, Lego MindStorm, Sphero and a special project that Govind is going to do with us when he comes back. We can’t wait until our next Friday meeting!!!
The “LEGO Lovers” showed their creativity during the first cluster meeting. After we discussed 11 little known facts about the history of LEGOs, the students divided up into teams of 3 and made their own creations. Everyone got to share their creation with the group and explain what it was and how it worked. The group decided that in future sessions everyone would work on parts on making a LEGO city. Some want to make skyscrapers; others want to make houses, cars, helicopters, museums or boats. For the showcase we will have a LEGO city to display.
Help Save the Animals
Today the students discussed the animals they are interested in and would like to save (e.g. snow leopard, cheetahs, dolphins, gorillas). Each student also reviewed an article in “Time for Kids” about an endangered species and discussed why these animals are endangered and how we can help them. They made clay models of animals they would like to save and presented the model to the cluster. We brainstormed about what kinds of presentations we could do to educate adults and kids alike about saving the animals. The children suggested having presentations on iPads, poster boards, building a website, flyers, doing presentations at different companies or to kindergarten/preschools and fundraising with a bake sale or lemonade stand. The students are very passionate about animals and protecting them.
Behind the Lens: Book Trailers
At our first meeting, our “Behind the Lens” enrichment cluster group discussed what a book trailer is and how it is used to persuade others to read a book. We learned that a book trailer is NOT a summary, but more of an advertisement designed to spark interest in a book. We watched several book trailers created by other students and we evaluated them in terms of how effective they were at persuading us to read the book. We noticed and shared the effect that the creator's choice of pictures, music and words had on us as we viewed each one. Finally, several of us chose our books and the rest of us will choose books in which to create a trailer and bring them to the cluster meeting next Friday. We can’t wait to get started!
Magic of your Pencil
We had a great first meeting of the “Magic of your Pencil” drawing enrichment cluster! I shared a portfolio of sketches and drawings I have completed in the past year as I began learning to draw with graphite and charcoal. We also looked at all of the supplies and tools we will use in during our eight weeks together. These include: pencils with various hardness from 2H-8B; special erasers for different tasks including shading, other shading tools such as chamois, tortillions and stumps and different paper types. Each child received their own sketch book and practiced a few of the shading techniques and began sketching. The cluster group decided they would like to give some of their drawings to the Dell Children's Hospital to brighten the day of sick children. We are looking forward to several more weeks of using our creativity and having the time to draw.
The “Minecraft Masters” had an exciting first meeting. We kicked things off by getting to know one another and talking about our past experiences playing Minecraft. Many of the students had experience playing Minecraft on a video game system but not on a computer, so our first mission was to practice using Minecraft on the computer. The students were split up into six groups with three of four students working together to design and build either a house, a skyscraper, or a castle. Over the next few weeks, we will continue working together to decide how we can use Minecraft to create a product or service to share with LME.
The “Ready, Set, Fun, Play” enrichment cluster was fun so the students decided to rename the enrichment cluster "FUN"! The premise of this cluster is to play activities that we do not regularly do in Physical Education classes, but also ones that could be played in their neighborhoods. First, the 17 students played a tag game called Asteroids and Ankle Biters as a warm up. The main attraction, however, was an old fashioned contest call "Steal the Bacon". "Steal the Bacon" challenged many of their abilities: quickness, fearlessness, and competitiveness. The students participated individually but their score counted collectively toward the team score. If a student actually stole the bacon and returned back to their side without being tagged by the opponent then they earned 1 point. If the opponent tagged the person who originally stole the bacon, then the opponent earned a half point for their team. It was very interesting and exciting to see the students start to understand and employ the strategies necessary for the game. Our 5th grade helpers helped the 2nd and 3rd grade friends identify different types of strategies. Fun was had by all in the “FUN” cluster!