Target class did not meet today

Unfortunately, I was needed to help administer standardized testing today to some students in the morning and in the afternoon. I did not have any available time today to see my Target students. Bummer! My students and I are understandably upset. My schedule may be similar next Tuesday, but I hope I can see the Target students for part of the day in the afternoon.

News is long overdue in Target!

I apologize for the lack of posts! I have started “tweeting” about our class activities, and I have neglected the blog posts! If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, my handle is @mrs__salter . (That is two underscores between “mrs” and “salter”).

What have we been doing?

  • Ozobot Ice Skating Olympics
  • Patterns in Math
  • Two-variable algebraic equations
  • more Balance Benders and logic grids
  • Habits 4 & 5: Think Win-Win and Seek First to Understand
  • Role-Playing Win-Win and Win-Lose Scenarios
  • Acting out emotions and learning to listen with our eyes and our heart
  • heart transformation art
  • building with KEVA planks and MagnaBlocks
  • free play with Ozobots
  • Squiggle drawings and stories
  • SCAMPER It! project (descriptive paragraph for homework this week)
  • playing Obstacles for Evaluative Thinking

Follow me on Twitter, and you’re likely to see some familiar faces!

A Terrific Tuesday!

In Math Skills this week we tried a new Algebraic Thinking exercise: Balance Benders. It is a really different way of looking at algebraic equations, with only variables, no numbers, shown on a balance scale. The students did great!

In Thinking Skills we shared our Squiggle stories from last week. There were a few VERY creative drawings and essays that we shared! Next, we used the Obstacles game and practiced Evaluative Thinking. I just love seeing the progress as the students chose tools, presented, defended, and reflected on how they would overcome an obstacle such as a big green ogre or hot lava on the way home from school.

For Learning Centers we dove into the Ozobot coding, creating very complicated obstacle courses and traffic jams for several Ozzies to navigate at the same time. The students really enjoy the Ozobots!

There is no HW assignment this week.

January Fun in Target!

We have kicked off 2018 with a busy start in second grade Target! Thank goodness the inclement weather days did not keep us from school on a Tuesday!

In Math Skills, we have finished up our unit on Patterns, which are a lot harder than they souns, and we took an assessment of our understanding of patterns. The students did very well!

In Thinking Skills, we’ve continued to practice more Convergent Thinking, solving more and more difficult brain teasers. We also worked on our Divergent Thinking when we used a Squiggle to create an original design and write a story about the Squiggle. Some students did not finish the Squiggle story, and I asked them to finish the Squiggle illustration and story at home before Tuesday.

In Learning Skills we finally finished our SCAMPER project, making something useful out of recyclables. (For an explanation of SCAMPER, see previous posts). The students were so proud to bring home their creations. The students shared their creations with the class, and we commented on the flexible thinking, originality, and elaboration of the project designs. For example, we saw a very realistic TV, an intricate floorplan of a media center, a board game, an oven with brownies baking on a pan, and a car with doors and realistic windshields (using laminating film). The students LOVED sharing their projects!

Now is a great time to collect some recyclables for me! Most specifically, we could use boxes from cereal, granola bars, waffles, tissues, soap, toothpaste, etc. You can collect for a week or two and then stop for a while. 🙂 Thank you!

Welcome Back to Target!

I missed your little ones over the break, and they seemed to miss Target! We had fun today!

First, we practiced Convergent Thinking with logic matrix grids and input/output charts involving multiplication. We took an informal assessment on deductive reasoning using a logic puzzle.

Later, we continued our investigation of linear repeating and growing patterns. Next week we’ll learn to extrapolate a pattern and determine, for instance, the 83rd term in a repeating patter of six terms. Great Algebraic Thinking!

Next, we picked by up on our Divergent Thinking projects we started in December. We used the SCAMPER process (described in an earlier post) as a way to think more creatively, and we created something new out of a recycled waffle box or cereal box. A few students have shared their completed projects, and their final SCAMPER projects went home with them today.

Target progress reports (which are the same thing as semester report cards) are ready and have been given to the homeroom teachers. You should receive those from your children today or tomorrow. If you have any questions, please let me know! 🙂

News from Target

Another great day in Target!

In Math Skills we reviewed linear repeating patterns, which is first introduced in kindergarten. We made our own patterns using shapes, letters, and numbers using addition and subtraction in the patterns. Next week we’ll investigate growing patterns.

In Thinking Skills we used Evaluative Thinking on a few kid-sized problems, and we worked with a group to brainstorm possible solutions and determine the best-fit solution. We presented our problem-solution to the class in a skit format. (Acting lessons needed!)

In Learning Centers we performed an experiment with our Ozobots: what happens when we don’t give any codes to the Ozobot? What kind of decisions does Ozobot make when he is not TOLD what to do? Ozzie had the choice between Door No. 1 and Door No. 2; one had $500 fake dollars, and the other had stinky socks. We learned that all the robots favor turning to the left side! When given 2 lines intersecting, the Ozobot will turn left most of the time. Our data showed that the probability was 93:1 in choosing Door No. 1-the door hiding the money!

Next, we coded Ozzie so that he performed his duty at an Amazon warehouse and made it successfully to Aisle 3 to pick up a package.

Full of Learning in Target

Drawing the Ozobot’s path with directions.

What a wonderful day in Target! Went spent the start of our morning waking up our brain with some puzzles and teasers, then we dove in to the Ozobots. This time, I gave the students large sheets of white butcher paper, and they were able to draw their own pathways and experiment with different codes on their own. The students loved making their robot pause, go “turbo” speed, make u-turns, turn around and go another way, follow their name in cursive, and on and on… We are certainly using our Convergent and Divergent Thinking Skills! We also connected our Ozobot coding to Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.

Planning Ozzie’s actions.

Putting the Ozobot on its path!

For Learning Skills, we built candy corn towers with candy corn and toothpicks. You can tell by the mess in my room that is was great fun! How was this a Learning Skill? We were learning to deal with frustration! The tricky part was the candy corn breaking if it were pierced from the side. We practiced perseverance and flexible thinking. About half of the students were able to transition their thinking and try using BROKEN pieces of candy corn to build. The broken pieces actually worked better, but some students could not get over the idea of using WHOLE candy corns for all the joints. The tallest tower was a monstrous 7″. This activity was much more challenging than than the students thought it would be.

In Learning Centers we used recyclables to make something useful. Students received a Mystery Bag with a set of materials: an empty waffle box, a couple of toilet paper and paper towel rolls, a sheet of laminating film, 2 pieces of string, a strip of crepe paper, 4 straws, and some rubber bands and paperclips. The odd assortment turned into many useful products: a shoe, a double decker bag, a mop, a fishing pole, binoculars, an oven, a bowl of spaghetti, and a kid’s game. It was a lot of fun!

Festive Fall Fun in Target

What fun we had today! First, we programmed our Ozobots to travel from their home along a defined pathway, but then through a river without a path. The Ozobot was trying to get to a store which may have been distributing candy! The students cracked the code and most were successful in programming their Ozobot to get from his home to the store safely and efficiently.

For a STEM experience, we built pumpkin catapults using popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, and rubber bands. We needed to launch tiny mellowcreme pumpkin candies. The goal was to build a free-standing catapult with a lever that would launch the tiny candy pumpkin into the air. After building and testing our catapults, we held the first-ever Pumpkin Catapult Olympics! We used our catapult creations to participate in events that measured distance, hit a target, landed in a bucket, knocked down a tower, flew through a hoop, and pole-vaulted over a stack of books. The students made some great catapults!

As a surprise, I shared a special snack with the students, and we read a story, Spookley the Square Pumpkin. The story is about being different, and learning to accept our uniqueness, even using it to an advantage.

This Week in Target

Thank goodness we are back to a regular schedule!

Today students had to be super great self-directed learners so that I could introduce them to OZOBOTS in small groups! OZOBOTS are little programmable robots that our class was awarded by the NES Foundation’s Teacher Grant Program. The students absolutely loved planning moves for our little robots!!!!


Coding an OZOBOT

An OZOBOT at work!

While I was teaching about OZOBOTS to one group, the rest of the class completed an assessment on writing equations with variables, solved a logic matrix grid, and drew pictures from squiggles.

We read about Habit 2: Have a Plan, and we set a short-term goal for this week.

Finally, we learned to play Mancala, and I PROMISED the students I would post the link for the online Mancala game. See if you can beat the computer!

Last Week in Target

Even in a shortened day, we can pack in a lot of fun and learning! We continued to work on writing equations with variables, and we practiced EVALUATIVE THINKING with our new Obstacles games (thank you, Foundation!!!) The students had a blast planning their survival strategies using odd tools they are dealt.

OBSTACLES game cards

Our Mystery Bag held blocks and popsicle sticks, and the student partners were directed to build a tower as tall as they could. There was only one rule: the base of the tower could only be one block! I was proud to see the towers exceed three feet! Below are some photos from our Mystery Bag activity.

A sturdy tower

Mystery Bag group work

A creative tower!