• Summer Brains

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 5/10/2019

    It's truly crazy to think about how fast our year has flown! We've worked so hard, learned a lot, and challenged ourselves to get out of our comfort zones. Students, we are so proud of you! We ask that you keep your brain working over the summer. Read, do puzzles, practice math, build with Legos, build with reusable materials, go on a nature hike, go to a museum, spend quality time with family, spend quality time with just you. 

    Whatever you choose to do, we hope you keep that brilliant brain of your engaged! We'll miss you dearly! 

    Summer Loss Statistics

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  • Service Learning

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 4/24/2019

    Our GATE 3rd and 4th graders recently wrapped up their service learning projects. For the unit, our 3rd and 4th graders visited kindergarten classrooms to conduct a needs assessment. Students observed the kindergartners, questioned the teachers, and studied the classroom environment. We returned to our GATE classroom to analyze data and make decisions about how we could address kindergarten needs with our gifts and talents. Our students decided they could make academic activities for the kindergarten students. We immediately rolled up our sleeves and got to work! We researched primary-level activities, kindergarten learning standards, and kindergarten characteristics. We designed and created games with a focus on a certain skill, theme, and type of activity. We drafted, edited, and published our game directions. We played and practiced presenting with our peers.

    FINALLY, we delivered our academic games to the kindergarten students! The GATE students modeled the activities, played with the kindergartners, and presented them with the gift of keeping the games at the end of our session. We loved the joy and excitement the kinder students displayed as they played the games, and OH BOY, you should have seen their faces when they found out they got to keep the games! Pure joy!

    Sure, we made these games to help the kindergarten students learn necessary skills, but the lessons WE learned through this unit were priceless. This very challenging project helped us practice research skills, technology skills, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, persistence, presentation skills, and resilience. 

    We're so grateful to our kindergarten community for allowing us to work with them, and e're so very proud of our students!

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

    Gifted student works with kindergarten students.

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  • Big Idea Showcase

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 4/12/2019

    The AESD GATE Program recently held its annual Big Idea Event. Gifted students in grades 3 & 4 showcased their Service Learning projects and their Mandarin Chinese progress. Our 5th & 6th graders shared their architecture research, autoCAD, and model community, as well as their HTML computer programming skills. It was a night of celebration, and GATE teachers Melody Hodges and Suzanne Schmit reported that they are so proud of their students' hard work and growth. Check out these great shots from the night. 

    Gifted families enjoy our final project display.

    Gifted families enjoy our final project display.

    Gifted families enjoy our final project display.

    Gifted families enjoy our final project display.

    Mandarin Chinese Display

    Service Learning Game Display

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  • You're Invited

    Posted by Gift Web on 4/3/2019

    Big Idea Invitation

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  • Adventures in Architecture

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 2/27/2019
    Our GATE 5th and 6th grade students recently embarked on an adventure with architecture! Students are studying a variety of architectural styles. They will soon be planning a master community, deciding which styles best lend themselves to certain community structures. 
     
    In these photos you can see students developing technology skills by using Google SketchUp which is professional autoCAD software. Teams will use this software to create renderings, blueprints, and floor plans of their community structures. Of course, the teams will build model replicas of their designs, which will come together to create our master community. I don't know about you, but I think I might want to live there!
     
     
     
    Students use autoCAD software to create renderings.   Students use autoCAD software to create renderings.   Students use autoCAD software to create renderings.   Students use autoCAD software to create renderings.
     
     
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  • We're Learning Mandarin

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 2/6/2019
    Our GATE students love a challenge! 3rd and 4th grade gifted students are learning Mandarin Chinese. There are many reasons for students to learn Mandarin. First, those who master the language will have unique future opportunities. Additionally, learning the tonal language stimulates brain development. A third reason, and perhaps our favorite, is the challenge. The students are learning that struggle is good. They are learning that if they persist and practice a variety of strategies they can overcome the struggle. They are learning that success on the other side of struggle feels incredible! Hen hao, GATE students! Hen hao! 
     
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    IMG_20190129_100035-1.jpg
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  • Adventures in Service Learning

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 1/30/2019

    What a grand adventure we had with our Service Learners! Our 3rd and 4th graders loaded their clipboards with scientific observation sheets and questions for the kindergarten teachers, and we headed out for our kindergarten needs assessment. Students took detailed notes about their observations of kinder activities and about information received from the kindergarten teachers.

    After our observations, we returned to our classroom to analyze our information. We used our notes to determine how we could use our gifts and talents to help the kindergarten students and teachers. Students concluded that we could make a variety of interactive educational activities to help the kindergarten students master academic and social skills. We're so excited to get going with our ideas!

    Check out these photos of students conducting primary source research by noting observations and questioning the teachers. 

    Students take notes during kindergarten observation.

    Students take notes during kindergarten observation.

    Students take notes during kindergarten observation.

    Students take notes during kindergarten observation.

    Students take notes during kindergarten observation.

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  • New Year, New Adventures

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 1/9/2019

    Say Yes to New Adventures image

    January signals a fresh start for many. At GATE we celebrated this fresh start in many ways: 

    New Students

    For our spring semester we welcomed many new students to our program. Our returning students became natural mentors, offering support, answering questions, giuding through procedures. We're so thrilled for the opportunity to help more students develop their gifts and talents! 

    New Big Idea Units

    Our 3rd and 4th graders started a fresh Big Idea Unit: Service Learning. We'll be partnering with our Barcelona Kindergarten for this unit. We'll be conducting a needs assessment, analyzing our observation information, and determining a way to use our skills to help the Kindergarten students and teachers. We're so excited about this new adventure, and we'll keep you posted on our process!

    Our 5th and 6th graders started their Architecture Big Idea Unit. We'll be researching a variety of architectural styles, planning a community, and designing structures for that community. Students are learning Google SketchUp, a professional autoCAD software program for creating renderings and floor plans. Ultimately, our groups will create a model community and displays of their autoCAD work and research. What a MASTER plan! 

    New Opportunities 

    Our 3rd and 4th grade students are new studying Mandarin Chinese. We've learned that learning this language can open new opportunities AND help us develop our brain function. As we learn new vocabulary and phrases, we'll also study the geography and culture of China. If you see one of our students, be sure to say, "Ni hao!"

    Our 5th and 6th graders are embarking on website development. We've been studying HTML through code.org, and we're eager to put our skills to the test! Stay tuned for fresh, innovative web resources from this GATE crew! 

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  • GATE STEM Roadshow

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 11/6/2018

    We're so proud of our 5th and 6th grade GATE students! They recently traveled to younger classrooms to host STEM activities. This project took a lot of interdependence, flexible thinking, and persistence! Students formed teams to select STEM activities, plan the sessions, organize materials, and create Google Slides presentations. Students took responsible risks and got out of their comfort zones to speak in front of an audience and lead their activities. 

    We're grateful to Madrid Elementary School for hosting our Thursday crew and to Barcelona Elementary School for hosting our Friday crew. We made some memories together! 

    GATE students present STEM activity.  GATE students present STEM activities.  GATE students present STEM activities.  GATE students present STEM activities.  GATE students present STEM activities.  GATE students present STEM activities.  GATE students present STEM activities.  GATE students present STEM activities.

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  • Airplane Algorithms

    Posted by Melody Hodges on 10/17/2018

    Who knew there was so much critical thinking with making paper airplanes? Our 3rd and 4th graders recenlty practiced creating and following algorithms. They created their own airplane algorithm by sequencing steps. They then exchanged papers with a classmate and followed that algorithm. Students practiced debugging algorithms that had bugs in them. Of course, the big fun came with testing our creations! 

    As an added challenge, students were encouraged to create an alorithm for a differenty style of paper airplane. We'll see what our brilliant minds develop!

     

    Student prepares steps for algorithm.   Students follow an algorithm to fold a paper airplane.  Students test their creations.

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