Genius Hour Projects

Woowww!  It’s been awhile.  I know I have posted much this year, but I promise we’ve been learning this year! 😉

For the past month, students have been working so hard on their inquiry-based projects.  For one hour a week, students planned, researched, and created.

Below are the questions our little geniuses inquired and mastered:

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Check out this padlet below to view some of the presentations:

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I am beyond amazed on how well they all worked on these projects and how professional they presented themselves today.  This just goes to show what these little humans of capable of doing.  They may only be eight, but are capable of so much more than we think.

Keep inspiring!

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Wax Museum 2019

To celebrate Black History Month, second grade students hosted a living wax museum. The students spent a month researching about a famous historical African-American figure to create a poster with the information they learned.  On the day of the museum, students dressed up as their figure and pretended to be the real-life wax figure! Parents and classes were able to visit the the museum and interact with the “wax figure” by pressing a red button on the students’ hands.  When the red button was pressed, students had to a recite a short summary about the life and achievement of their historical African-American figures.

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This was truly an awe-inspiring event!  I am beyond proud of all the hard work they put into not only researching for their projects, but reciting what they learned in front of a live audience.  Everyone did such an amazing job!!

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Poetry Slam 2018

Last Friday, we held our poetry reading honoring Shel Silverstein.  Students had to memorize and recite a poem by the famous poet.  It was a huge success! Everyone did a wonderful job and I am so proud of all the hard work they put into their presentations.

'Shel'-ebrating Poetry Flyer

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A special thank you to the parents that came out and gave us an authentic audience for a memorable lesson.  We appreciated your presence.  If you were not able to make it, check out the video below.

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Great job, friends!  I’m so proud of you guys!

Wax Museum 2018

To celebrate Black History Month, second grade students hosted a living wax museum. The students spent a month researching about a famous historical African-American figure to create a poster with the information they learned.  On the day of the museum, students dressed up as their figure and pretended to be the real-life wax figure! Parents and classes were able to visit the the museum and interact with the “wax figure” by pressing a red button on the students’ hands.  When the red button was pressed, students had to a recite a short summary about the life and achievement of their historical African-American figures.

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Below is a small snapshot of how the event took place:

I am beyond proud of all of them!  They all did a wonderful job and truly earned those Popsicles after standing up for 2 hours!

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STEM Friday: Stacking Cups

This Week’s Challenge

Create a tool, using only the materials provided, that will allow your team to stack six cups in the shape of a pyramid.

Materials (per team)

  1. Six (6) plastics cup
  2. Five (5) pieces of string
  3. One (1) rubber band

Rules

  1. Design your tool using only the materials provided.
  2. Only the tool can touch the cups.
  3. Hands can only touch the string.
  4. Cups will be in a pile.  Stack the cups in a pyramid as fast as possible.

The main purpose of this activity was to learn how to cooperate within a group and use ALL members to complete the task.  Many students struggled working together and sharing their ideas with members of their group.  This challenge was difficult, indeed!  That being said, I would like to give a special shoutout to Aiden for being the first student to get close to solving the challenge by tying a string to the rubber band.  However, his team’s efforts were to no avail because his string was the only string attached and not everyone was involved.

Congratulations to Table 3 for being the first table to complete the challenge.  They worked diligently and kept making improvements on their failures until they finally got it!

Way to go friends!

Morning Huddle

Our classroom is more than just a community of students; we are a family.

Take a peak into room 109 and see how we begin our morning carpet time, or as we call it, our “morning huddle.” During our huddle, we express bucket fillers and give shout-outs or compliments to our friends.  Then, we recite our affirmations to build inner confidence and a positive mind.  Last, we finish off with a few minutes of mindful meditation to calm down and re-center before beginning the academics.

Affirmations:

Affirmations

STEM Friday: Saving Sam

Our traditional beginning-of-year STEM Friday activity: Saving Sam!  This activity not only promotes teamwork, but requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

This Week’s Challenge

Use the materials provided to put life jacket on Sam, the gummy worm, without him falling into the water.

Materials (per partner)

  1. One gummy worm
  2. One gummy lifesaver
  3. One clear, plastic cup
  4. Large paper clips (2-3)

Rules

  1. Students will be in pairs.
  2. Students may NOT touch “Sam,” the “life jacket,” or the “boat.”
  3. Students may only touch the paper clips.  They are allowed to bend them.
  4. Students are NOT to poke “Sam” with the paper clips.
  5. Set up: Place gummy lifesaver under cup (the cup is flipped over) and place gummy worm on top.
  6. The goal: Students want to get the “life jacket” from under the “boat” and onto him using only the paperclips.

For our very first cooperative learning activity, teams worked really well together sharing ideas and not giving up.  After many trials and errors and lots of “This is impossible!”s, this was the end result:

Congratulations to Team Elise, Ray, and Chris for solving the challenge the quickest!

Way to go, friends!