Wonderful World of Watercolors
Today in the enrichment cluster, “The Wonderful World of Watercolors”, we learned that the first water-colorists lived many years ago. Archaeologists discovered cave paintings in Europe and also discovered that ancient Egyptians used watercolors to illustrate their writings! We learned that watercolor paintings can be realistic or abstract. We discussed the different jobs that water-colorists can have such as illustrations for books, artists for greeting card companies, sign painters and much more! We began brainstorming ways in which we can use our talents for painting to provide a service or a project. We learned how to properly use the professional watercolors and painted our first piece of work.
We started our meeting by discussing why we this enrichment cluster was one of their choices. We found out that some students have never been on Scratch and others have already created projects. Then we watched a video by Mitch Resnick, the professor at MIT who created Scratch. He talked about Scratch being a platform for creativity. He showed different tools students can use while creating, like adding video using the camera of the computer or having the characters move by sound! Very cool! After the video, students explored the site. Students will create a Scratch account at home so they can save all the projects they do at school and home. In future meeting, students will create a game or story using Scratch. The coders are excited to get started and create!
Working with Whiskers
Our first meeting was purr-fect! This week's cluster was all about pet grooming. After watching a few short videos on how to groom a dog, we got a chance to give a real dog a bath! All the kids got an opportunity to check the water temperature, scrub, and then finally dry and brush Rocky, the Chihuahua. We also discussed proper nail trimming and basic pet care. Many great questions were asked and answered, and having a real dog helped to keep them captivated and focused. Rocky was a good sport and loved all of the extra attention.
Lost in Books
Twenty eager readers crowded around the screen to meet a real author...Nikki Loftin- author of Nightingale’s Nest, Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, and Wish Girl. Each student wrote questions to ask her during our Google Hangout. We learned that most of her books are based off of fairy tales and she sings opera to her goats. :) A piece of advice she gave our eager readers was to read everything they could get their hands on.
The “Global Cooking” enrichment cluster began with introductions from Mrs. Ferriola and Mr. Sparks. Our guest instructor this week was Mrs. Suchitra Chander, who provided the cluster students an opportunity to prepare an authentic Indian dish, Chana Chaat, which is an Indian chickpea salad. Students were given opportunities to peel and chop potatoes, green & red onions, and cucumbers, and were instructed on the idea of "mise en place", which means keeping your work station neatly organized with your chopped vegetables and other ingredients. After the paneer was sauteed and the other ingredients prepared, the students were provided an opportunity to eat and enjoy their Chana Chaat, along with various toppings.
Our first enrichment cluster was spent discussing different apps for movie making. We created a stop motion video together using Lego Movie Maker. The students then enjoyed using Lego as well as other action figures to create their own short stop motion movies. In the next few weeks we will introduce the students to different video strategies and iPad apps that will help them produce and edit their own videos.
Lions to the Rescue
“Lions to the Rescue” had a special guest come for our first meeting. Shayna Grassi from Texas Humane Heroes came and shared really good information about the shelter. Did you know that they were able to find homes for over 2,600 pets in 2016? We found out that they are a private non-profit organization, so they rely solely on donations to fund the shelter. Because of this, they are in constant need of supplies, volunteers and even though they do a big fundraiser, every little cash donation they get is greatly appreciated. We decided we are definitely going to help out in any way we can!
We had a GREAT time learning to be junior travel agents during the first meeting of the “Flying Lion Travel Agency” enrichment cluster. First, we brainstormed ideas for exciting travel destinations throughout the United States. Once we selected our destination, students started exploring and taking notes! We picked partners, walked through some planning considerations, and started working on our travel plans. Lions love to travel! Welcome aboard!
The “Play Yard Planners” began our first meeting with unstructured, exploratory play choices to get our creative juices flowing for different types of play opportunities we might create at Mikey's Play Yard. We are a service and problem solving cluster, so learned about the problem solving process and steps. We discussed how the problem solving process is used in various careers, particularly when it comes to design, technology, and service industry careers. Next, we physically walked the space we will be planning for improving, Mikey's Play Yard, and noticed any problematic issues or gifts of certain areas in the Play Yard. Mrs. Kelley was our guest speaker today, who spoke to the safety and supervision concerns we will keep in mind as we plan. We look forward to brainstorming, planning, and creating in our remaining 7 weeks, as we hope to provide a meaningful service to our school community.
Magic of your Pencil
We had a great first meeting of the “Magic of your Pencil” enrichment cluster! Ms. Meme and I shared portfolios of sketches and drawings we have completed in the past year or so as we both began learning to draw with graphite and charcoal. Each child received a drawing kit with 8 pencils of varying hardness, 4 charcoal pencils, 3 graphite sticks and 3 charcoal sticks, 2 different types of erasers, a sharpener and a sketch book. We discussed and explored other tools of the trade such as: special erasers for different tasks including shading, other shading tools such as chamois, tortillions and stumps. In addition, we discussed what types of careers are available to people with a passion and talent for drawing. The children then spent time trying out their tools and began sketching. We are looking forward to several more weeks of using our creativity and having the time to draw.
With technology being a huge part of our world today, our cluster did not stop to smell the roses. During our first meeting, the girls had the opportunity to explore a variety of technology devices. They were introduced to Makey Makey, Sphero 2.0, Ozobot, Scratch and various online coding programs. The exploration gave the girls a chance to trigger their interest and to choose a device that excites them. In the following weeks, they will learn more about their device, teach themselves how to program it and have fun. We are very excited to learn how to code and to be a part of this growing world of technology.
Crafting with a Purpose
This morning was our first meeting with the “Crafting with a Purpose” enrichment cluster. We began by introducing ourselves, then set the students loose to design and create using a variety of arts and crafts supplies. Some kids chose to make duct tape creations, while others designed 3D pop-up cards. We had paper crafts, designer telephones made from plastic cups, picture frames, and all sorts of beautiful products. Once we cleaned up, we discussed what our cluster's purpose might be. We decided we will create handmade products for people in our families and community, and that we might like to learn how to make some new things. It was a fun and productive cluster meeting! We can't wait to see what else these creative kids will design
We began our enrichment cluster with two short Reading Rainbow videos about the Naranjo family in New Mexico, demonstrating how to mix the clay and make coil pottery. The second video showed a Hawaiian potter using the potter's wheel and raku firing. Everyone learned the pinch pot technique and some students had an opportunity to use the potter's wheel. Students are very excited to use clay and develop their own creations using ceramic techniques!
Help Save the Animals!
Today in the “Help Save the Animals” enrichment cluster students were busy creating an animal out of clay that they wanted to protect. Many ideas were being shared about ways that a 2nd and 3rd grader could convince others to save their specific animal. Some students want to put up posters in the school and neighborhood, some want to pick up litter, and some want to go on KPAW to urge others to protect their animal. We realize that we need to convince others by using facts. So, for the next few weeks we will be creating presentations to convince our audience to help save the animals!
For our first meeting, students had the opportunity to hear from a real magician, watch him perform, and get inside tips on what makes the illusions seem so real. The sixteen boys were entranced by the magician's smooth moves and quick fingers as he performed amazing card tricks.
Students got into pairs and each had a box of LEGOs. We went over the possibilities of future classes. We talked about all kinds of challenges you can do with LEGOs. Then we just explored their big box of LEGOs. We took a group photo at the end with all their amazing creations. There were buildings, cars, flying things and more. Next week, we'll try our first challenge…cars that can withstand a crash and cars that can go the furthest.