Are you worried that your child isn’t performing to his or her full potential? Plan to attend an interactive workshop to discuss motivation and share strategies to maintain and improve motivation in students, including those who are underachieving. Presented by the Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development, the session is set for Wednesday, May 1, 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Virginia Beach Middle School, located at 600 25th Street. Bring your own laptop, iPad or wireless device as you will be introduced to an online tool designed to help you understand, influence and motivate bright and gifted children. Teachers of bright and gifted students and school counselors are also invited to this workshop. For more information, contact the Office of Gifted Education and Curriculum Development at 263-1405. To register for the motivational workshop, call 263-1949 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our students are blooming into wonderful mathematicians, language analyzers, and so much more.
Students in Mrs. Alexander’s class have been working very hard to become language analyzers. Through the William and Mary unit “Beyond Words” the kids have explored our language and how it changes. As we read the story, Baloney (Henry, P.), we learned that using context clues we were to understand language from all around the world, including some language that doesn’t even exist. We have also learned how the figurative language of metaphors and similes helps us paint a clearer picture in the minds of the readers. As second grade scientists, we explored the much loved candy Peeps. We posed the scientific question-“What will dissolve Peeps the fastest?” Through a very fun, yet smelly investigation we tested our Peeps in water, orange juice, vinegar, Sprite, and oil over the period of a week. We learned many interesting things about Peeps. Want to learn what we concluded? Try it out for yourself!
Mrs. Miralles’ third grade class has probing into their own literary interest. Through an interest inventory of the genres of literature, students were partnered together to begin an author study. With their partners, the students participated in a library scavenger hunt investigating many beloved children’s authors. After scouring the library students then choose author’s they would like to learn more about. During this author study, students learned how to write biographies of their authors, how to write persuasive arguments trying to encourage others to read works from their author, as well how to use non-fiction texts features to present their author to others. As third grade scientists, we also went to court-Science Court! During Science Court we had to learn what work means, scientifically speaking, and how simple machines help multiply the force we use in order to do work. We helped Mary Murray avoid “the pit” because she was not the laziest worker; she just used simple machines to help her.
Fourth graders in Mrs. Hemmrich’s and Mrs. Shultz’s class have been developing their analytical and interpretive skills in literature. Through the William and Mary unit “Literary Reflections,” the students participated in interest base literature circles and read a variety of historical fiction novels. As the class read through their interest based novels, we discussed the concept of change as well as the persuasive elements in their perspective stories. Students then participated in shared inquiry through the web-based forum of Edmodo. Their mathematical minds have been working hard as well. The students have been challenging their minds with Hands-On Equations. In these hands-on activities students stimulate their mathematical thinking in a very visual and kinesthetic approach to learning algebra.
Mrs. Richard’s Fifth graders have really pushed the complexity of their mathematical thinking. Through Math Exemplars students engaged in an in depth look at area and perimeter. We read the book Spaghetti and Meatballs for All and investigated how the family would have enough room to sit at the tables Mrs. Comfort, the hostess, provided for a dinner party. Students were then separated into differentiated groups to further explore how Mrs. Comfort could have designed her seating arrangement for her dinner party. Continuing to push their mathematical minds, they have taken a deep look into variables, expressions, and equations using the M3-Algebra at the Mall. The students explored the multiple meanings of the term variable and found the similarities and differences between the terms expression and equation.
Interested in learning a new way to not only help your child succeed, but also yourself? If you are, there is still time to join our book club. Please contact me at 648-268 or email me at email@example.com. We are exploring the ground-breaking work of Carol Dweck. Through our book club, we will shed light on the simple, yet mighty concept of mindset. Come join us today!
All 1st graders were screened in January to ensure consideration for gifted services. If your child scored in the 90th percentile or above on the screening instrument please consider referring your child for additional testing. Parent Information packets have already been sent home, but if you need an another one please contact, Heather Brooks, the Gifted Resource Teacher. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 757-648-2680 Ext: 51753. You can also click on the following link for more information: http://www.vbschools.com/curriculum/app_pdfs/GradeOneReferralPacket.pdf
What an amazing start to a new year!! We kicked of the year with Reading Month! The theme of our month was “Oh the Places You Will Go!” from Dr. Seuss, and oh the places we have gone to in our minds so far in this new year have been wonderful!
Second grader’s in Mrs. Alexander’s class, continued thought provoking reading from the Junior Great Book series. They started the year with the story “The Blue Moose.” The students soon found out that the moose was actually blue, and not experiencing a blue mood as they had first predicted. Through Shared Inquiry students discussed the relationship between the characters and what it means to be cold. Also, as our future meteorologists delved into their own interest based storm research, they had a special visitor to help them along their journey. WAVY TV 10 meteorologist, Jeremy Wheeler, came and in spoke to the kids about being a meteorologist and the different types of storms.
Mrs. Miralles’ third graders have traveled to the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome this month. Using primary sources, they gained a greater understanding of the Roman contribution of the aqueduct system. They then became ancient architects and created their very own aqueducts, learning their significance to the Romans and to us today. Through the study of Rome, we looked at the various forms of art. The students had an interactive online scavenger hunt using our iPads and then they created their own mosaics. Additionally, students continued to boost their mathematical thinking abilities using the authentic performance based task of exemplars. The third graders, not only challenge themselves to develop several solutions to the problems put in front of them, but they also articulated the steps they have taken in their thinking, showing their creative problem solving skills as well as their communication skills.
Fourth graders in Mrs. Hemmrich’s homeroom have immersed themselves in the profession of a photojournalist. Using a river system selected from an interest inventory, the students have been challenging themselves with such topics as interdependence, sustainability, and the globalization. As a photojournalist, they will use pictures of their chosen river to model their understanding of the relationships that exist between the social, economic, and environmental systems. Additionally, students continued to boost their mathematical thinking abilities using the authentic performance based task of exemplars. Using the tools in their mathematical toolbox, students had use inductive and deductive reasoning to develop plausible answers to the tasks set before them. They also articulated the steps they have taken in their thinking, showing their creative problem solving skills as well as their communication skills.
Mrs. Richard’s fifth gradershave continued on their journey to becoming the writers of tomorrow. Through the autobiographical works of Firoozeh Dumas and Phyllis Naylor, students have explored how authors have become who they are today, what motivates them, and the struggles they may have encountered along the way. Listening to an excerpt of an interview on NPR, we learned that Firoozeh Dumas became a writer later in life and it was her own children that inspired her to write in order to share the family history. The students have also continued in their efforts to awaken their mathematical minds using the authentic performance based tasks of exemplars.
Students in Mrs. Richards 5th grade cluster class have been taking a deep look at themselves. Through the use of the William and Mary Autobiographies unit, students have been reading various autobiographical works and comparing it to the works from that author. Students have come to realize how the culture & heritage, personal experiences, and families of the authors are expressed in how and what they have written. Students have used this as a motivation to explore themselves and are currently undertaking their own autobiographical writing.
The January 2013 edition of the Gifted and Talented Bulletin is now posted on vbschools.com. Please take a moment and check it out. This publication includes great resources for parents, the 2012 VAG Region 2 Outstanding Teacher of the Year, and so much more!
What a busy month we have been having!! Our cluster classrooms have been filled with fun and learning.
Second graders in Mrs. Alexander’s class have been reading through stories from the Junior Great Book series. This month we read “How the Camel Got Its Hump.” Students deeply explored this story by using the Kaplan Icons to observe the patterns, the language, and the multiple perspectives of the characters in the story. They then come together in small groups to participate in Shared Inquiry, where the students drive the discussion by prompting each other with thoughtful questions they had written down through our readings. They have also been learning about the Native Americans. As students studied each of the tribes they looked at how Powhatan, Pueblo, and Lakota are systems. As a class, we then looked at how all of the Native American tribes are just smaller systems within the bigger system of Native Americans. In addition, the 2nd graders have been exploring math concepts through use of many exemplars. Students are given authentic problems in order to illustrate their understanding of the math concepts they have been learning in class.
Third graders in Mrs. Miralles’ class have been steadily working hard on a problem base learning unit. Students were presented an email from the fictional Chuck Larson, a park ranger at False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach, asking them to help figure out what to do with some red wolf pups that he found. Through their research, the 3rd graders have used this representative topic to learn about habitats, instinctual and learned behaviors, communities and populations, adaptations, and so much more. Students have been actively engaged with technology using iPads to access websites to gather information and laptops to research online databases. Also, the students have been pushing their understanding of their math concepts by using math exemplars, such as “Holiday Cookies.” Students were present with an authentic problem of sharing 20 cookies among 8 friends. They utilized their mathematical capabilities in division and multiplication to help them find solutions.
If you are interested in learning more about the 1st grade gifted referral & screening process, please join me on Wednesday, January 9th from 5:00-6:00. Will will be discussing what are the aspects of the process as well as how to complete the application.
If you are the parent of a 5th grader and would like to know more about middle school options, please join Ms. Aladj and Mrs. Brooks for an informative workshop on January 3rd from 6pm to 7pm at Indian Lakes Elementary. We will be discussing class selections, such as which Math option will be the best for your child, as well as a closer look into electives.
In addition, we will be discussing the application process for Plaza’s IB program and Kemps Landing Magnet.
Please join us!