Williamsburg Extended Learning Program
Interesting list about the needs of gifted students
October 12th, 2020
My apologies for the lapse in posts, this year has taken some adjustments! We started out the year this year with a different format; all students K-3rd grade had whole grade enrichment, as has taken place in the past 5 years and beyond. This year, though, students are chosen from these lessons for a 6 week enrichment that focuses on lessons developed from Bertie Kingore. These lessons include advanced language, flexible thinking, and humor as well as other skills. After that, there will be a reading group and math & science group.
4th-6th graders are all starting off the year with a "Who Are You" unit. We begin each class with some sort of mini game or brain teaser, and then have some time to work independently. I have always done interest and learning style inventories at the start of the year, but this unit is a good extension of that and helps kids to identify their different personalities, learning styles, and creative talents, as well as discover their favorite things about themselves and their names. As we finish up these units, 4th grade will begin their growth mindset units, 5th graders will start their "Trip to Europe" unit, and 6th graders are finishing up the last half of that unit that they missed out on during the spring.
7th & 8th ELP students who are not in an exploratory during seminar have begun a "Lateral Thinking & Logic" seminar. This is a fun seminar that explores different types of puzzles, riddles, codes, and games that involve a different way of thinking. We just learned about cryptorithms and played the game "Giotto."
I look forward to speaking to many of you at conferences. I have posted online playlists for remote learners K-6th grade. As a remote learner, if there are any resources that you need, please don't hesitate to reach out! I look forward to a continued safe and productive school year!
August 12th, 2020
As the school year is about to start, please check out this year's identification letter. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and I will do my best to address them. Looking forward to seeing the kids soon!
Upcoming Events 2020
Thursday, February 27th Science Center Visit (6th)
Wednesday, March 4th “Call of the Wild” (10th)
Friday, March 13th Escape Room (5th)
Tuesday, April 7th, Pella (5th grade)
Thursday April 9th AA Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl 7th/8th
Tuesday, April 14th 4th Grade Noetic
Wednesday, April 15th 6th Grade Noetic Math Competition
Thursday April 16th April AA Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl 5th/6th
Friday, April 17th 5th Noetic Math Competition
Tuesday, April 21st “Magic in Motion” at UNI (4th-6th)
Thursday, April 23rd 7th/8th Noetic
Friday, May 8th 4-6th Grout Museum Waterloo
Paper Roller Coasters 7th/8th Grade Seminar January 2020
Rock Climbing @ University of Iowa Rec Center December 19th, 2019
January 24th, 2020
2nd semester has been a great semester as we wrap up many of our projects that we have been working on for the first part of the year.
Kindergarten and first grade have just finished their Kingore lessons, where students investigate higher level thinking skills like advanced vocabulary, flexible thinking, humor, and abstract thought through a variety of different lessons. Some of my favorites are a character chart where students have to think of an item that fits both adjectives like "hard and fluffy" which is a difficult one, or "cold and soft". Another one I like is from the book "Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothing!' where we try to think of different animals and what they definitely should NOT do!
2nd grade reading group is just finishing up their novel unit study of "Sarah Plain & Tall." This book is a great connection to 2nd grade's study of the prairie and helps to get an immersive look into what life on the prairie was like. 3rd graders will continue to finish up reading their novel "Because of Winn Dixie", and both grades will then start on a math group.
4th graders continued their growth mindset study by learning about the areas of the brain, participated in the Noetic Math Competition, and did an art lesson by a painter that focused on grit. The favorite activities of the past semester were definitely the “Wilderness Survival Day” at Kent Park where students had to build a shelter, allocate resources, and start a fire. Another favorite was our culminating activity of rock climbing the rock wall at the University of Iowa Rec Center. We focused on progress, not perfection, and all students made a great effort! As our wrap up project, we created “Growth Mindset Posters” that we hung in the teachers lounge. We are now beginning our study of Greek (and a little Norse) mythology that will continue for the rest of the year.
5th graders are continuing on their “Trip to Europe”. They are now working on finding flights and budgeting the cost of supplies. I think they are coming to appreciate how much these things can be! They are also researching flight restrictions, time zones, and their countries landmarks and tourist attractions. The kids have really enjoyed this, and many of them are using a budget spreadsheet for the first time. I am looking forward to seeing how they finish their project, and am working on a field trip that connects with this unit
6th graders finished up with their FLL project. The competition took place in December, and our team, “The Flyin’ Burritos” did a good job on competition day cheering for other teams and had a great couple of runs with their robots. We have now moved on to our novel study of “Ender’s Game”, and with a group completely consisting of boys, they are really digging it. We have already had some great discussions about some of the more complex themes behind the story, like individual freedoms vs. the greater good, violence as a means for peace, and individual contributions to a larger society.
7th and 8th graders have still been coming to me during seminar Tuesdays-Fridays, and we have been working on our final projects, paper roller coasters, for some time now. I look forward to seeing the finished product. The kids have had a fun time designing and engineering these paper roller coasters.
Some FLL pictures from this year's team, The Flyin' Burritos!
November 18th, 2019
I went to upload some pictures to this page and could not believe it had not been updated yet! I guess that goes to show just what a busy year we have been having . I hope to update more often as things start to slow down mid December.
Kindergarten and first grade have been working in a pull out group with a grandparent volunteer working through the "Magic Tree House Series" books, with kindergarten reading books 1-9 and 1st grade reading 10-18. These books come with an accompanying research guide and allow for a lot of inquiry. Students also do activities that go with the book that include character analysis, predicting, and sequencing. It is so wonderful that Mrs. Carr (not the librarian, her mother in law) is able to work with these students. 1st grade also has a math pull out enrichment group that meets Wed-Fri with myself or Mr. Jepson. We generally work on extending the skills that are already being taught in the classroom, either adding on to complexity or moving forward to the next skills. Students also apply these skills at a higher level as they often times think abstractly or are asked to create something using the skill they have been practicing.
2nd grade is well into their book study of "Sarah Plain and Tall", and we have been discussing what life on the prairie would be like. We have also been working on extending our vocabulary, and used the computer lab to type our own letter to Sarah telling her a bit about ourselves and asking her some questions.
3rd grade is continuing their novel study of "Because of Winn Dixie." This unit is always a favorite because of it's interesting characters and unique plot. Students are currently working on a special gift they will be bringing home for the holidays that connects with our reading!
4th grade just tried their hand at baking at the high school as we continue our "Growth Mindset" challenges. They then tried an above level math test for the Noetic Math Competition. We will continue to learn how to develop perseverance and a growth mindset as we finish up this unit next month. Our culminating activity of rock climbing will take place on Tuesday, December 17th. After the New Year, we will begin our "Greek Mythology" unit. The 4th grade reading group is also doing a novel unit on the novel "Esperanza Rising". This is a really interesting book that looks at the lives of migrant workers during the Great Depression. Students really seem to enjoy reading this and the activities we do with it.
5th graders are trying a new unit I developed this year called "Plan a Trip to Europe." This project based learning unit has students plan and budget a trip for 4 to three different European countries. Students research countries, budget for supplies, plan flight and travel routes, motel stays, and activities in each country. So far they are really loving it! 5th graders are also reading a book called "Counting by 7s," which looks into the life of Willow, a highly gifted girl who has some weird quirks and is recently orphaned. This has led to some really engaging and thought provoking discussion, as we talk about mental illness, giftedness, and grief.
6th grade and the FLL Team "The Flyin' Burritos" are working hard on our "City Shapers" challenge. This years challenge, to improve our cities or communities, is exciting and we brainstormed a lot of ideas of ways to help our community. Ultimately, the students decided that they thought composting would make the biggest impact on the community of Williamsburg and the broader community of the world. Students built a composter that is automated to collect humidity readings and spin controlled from an app! Our team will head to regionals on Dec 14th where we will present our project as well as run our "Robot Game", where we program a robot to complete tasks on a game board. If you would like to attend a presentation of our project, please join us in my room on Monday, December 9th for our demonstration!
4th graders also had a field trip to Kent Park for a beautiful Wilderness Survival Day. 4th-6th graders attended "Dias de los Muertos" at UNI. 5th and 6th graders participated in the "Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl" and received 8th out of 38 teams. All students 4th-8th grade also participated in the Noetic Math competition this fall.
7th and 8th graders have also had a lot of opportunities this fall. Students participated in the Noetic Math Competition and Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl. We also had 9 students attend the "Investigation Series" at Iowa State, which is specifically for talented and gifted students across Iowa. All 7th and 8th ELP students have also been learning about and exploring the design process through a STEM seminar, where we design and build structures from different materials and test them out to see which designs are most successful.
A few upcoming events:
December 2nd: FLL team presentation to school staff
December 9th: FLL team presentation to friends and family
December 14th: FLL Regionals @ Ottumwa
December 17th: 4th grade field trip to UIRC
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Students using Google Expedition virtual reality kits September
Investigations at Iowa State University
5th and 6th Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl
Friday, November 8th
August 23rd, 2019
Hello and welcome to a new school year! I am looking forward to working with all my ELP students this year! I hope that you all had a restorative summer and are coming back to school ready to learn! At the beginning of the year, I begin with whole class enrichment for kindergarten-3rd grade. 4th-6th graders will be doing some self exploration using personality tests and multiple intelligence tests, as well as interest surveys. 4th graders will move on to their "Growth Mindset" unit, while 5th grade will be starting the year with a project based learning curriculum. 6th grade will work on our First Lego League team challenge, which this year is called "City Builder." Applications to be on the FLL team are below, and also be sure to check out our FLL website at https://sites.google.com/williamsburg.k12.ia.us/marywelshfll/home. I will begin my STEM seminar with 7th and 8th graders beginning in October. Please browse my website and connect with any of the resources, and "like" me on facebook @WilliamsburgELP for updates and events, or check back regularly to our webpage.
Thanks! Mrs. Klein
ELP 2018-2019 Video
Echo and Narcissus
Clark & Josey
Ava & John
King Midas and the Golden Touch
Adam & Brooklyn
Orpheus and Eurydice
Valerie & Emily
Taylor & Kaylin
May 15th, 2019
The end of the year always comes in with a fury! Students have been busy the past few months! We had the Spelling Bee, STEM goes Red, the Medical Research Education trip, 1876 Schoolhouse "Be A Guest of The Past", the Putnam Museum, and the University of Iowa's Comic Book exhibit. This are all extensions of the work we are doing in the classroom as well, which has been challenging and engaging.
-Kindergarteners are working with Bluebots and using the app "Tynker" to lay the foundational skills of coding. These logic based activities also help to think in programming logic, and there are a lot of great games and activities to enstill the love of coding in your child. Here are a few games/toys that you can use to help your child think like a programmer:
-1st Grade is researching weather, and have made observations, learned about the water cycle, and experimented with thermometers. We will be also using a solar balloon (if it's ever sunny) and learning about other instruments that are used to measure weather before the end of the year.
-2nd grade is working on a project based learning project, in which students are designing a zoo, purchasing animals, creating a feeding schedule, and working with money.
-3rd grade is doing a similar project using PBL, in which they have to design a candy store, think about the potential problems, purchase candy, and create a budget.
-4th grade is finishing up their "Greek mythology unit" by creating an iMovie representing a greek moral story. They are having a great time working with iMovie and editing the movie to go along with their stories.
-5th graders are finishing their final projects of their "Tiny House Design." Students who finish their final draft will use Tinkercad to create a 3D print design.
-6th graders are working through a "Zombie Outbreak" unit, in which they take data from zombie outbreaks to graph and make predictions, as well as work with maps. They are currently working on a budget, purchasing supplies they would need for an outbreak that fit within a $1,000 budget. They will be creating a "Zombie Survival Guide" to show at our Open House.
-Along with the Medical Education trip, the STEM goes Red, and a critical thinking board game seminar, ELP JH students will be attending the "Gifted Students Conference" in Solon on Thursday, May 23rd. Keynote speaker Trevor Ragan from "Train Ugly" , along with breakout sessions will make for a great learning opportunity.
-AP testing started last week for many high schoolers, and will continue until the end of the month due to late testing. Scores will be available online at www.apscores.org in Mid-July.
-Don't forget to check out summer opportunities under my "Summer Camps and Extensions" tab!
Please join us for our ELP Open House on Wednesday, May 29th from 4-5. Check out details here.
STEM Goes Red at Mt. Mercy
University of Iowa Medical Education Center (JH)
Putnam Museum (4th-6th)
1876 School House (5th/6th grade) "Be A Guest of the Past"
Spelling Bee Winners: 5th grade Brody Hawk, 6th Grade Taryn Walsh, and 7th/8th and Overall Champion Amelia Reed
Tuesday, March 12th JH Trip to U of I Hospital
Thursday, March 28th 5th/6th grade "Guest of the Past" Coralville Schoolhouse
Friday, March 29th 6th-8th grade Spelling Bee
Friday, April 5th 7th/8th Thinking Cap America Answers
Wednesday, April 10th 6th grade Noetic Math Competition
March 5, 2019
It has been a crazy year this year with the early dismissals and weather days, but we are pushing ever onward as we look forward to some sunshine! With the semester ending, many groups are wrapping up and new ones begin. K-1 enrichment groups have wrapped up, and kindergarten has begun a new group with a unit on coding, and 1st grade has begun a study of weather. Both of these units use materials funded through a STEM scale up program through the Science Center, and I am excited to use a lot of hands on materials in this math and science unit with the kids.
2nd graders finished their novel "Sarah Plain and Tall", and the new math group will be working with a project designing a zoo. This project incorporates budgeting, area and perimeter, money, and design elements. The kids really enjoy using math in a hands on and engaging way. 3rd graders enjoyed their "Because of Winn Dixie" party as a wrap up to our novel study, and we have begun on our project "Design a Candy Store". This project includes graphing, point plotting, area and perimeter, budgeting, and money.
4th graders are loving their study of Greek Mythology. So far we have discussed creation stories, plotted a Greek god family tree, and discussed the Titans. We will be moving on to Olympians and heroes next. The reading group has begun "A Wrinkle in Time", and we are finding it an excellent read. 5th graders are wrapping up our "Genius Hour" projects, where are researching an area of interest to us. We have learned a lot about research and note taking, and will be presenting our final presentations at Open House in May. 6th graders are reading "Ender's Game", which has led to some interesting discussion about the good of all vs. the good of some and violence vs. peace. This book also sparks imagination and helps us to create game levels and pictures about the "battle room" from Orson Scott Card's descriptions. We visited the Science Center, where we imagined being in zero gravity when we were in the planetarium.
7th and 8th graders will be attending the University of Iowa's Medical Educational facility where we will be discussing hyperbaric chambers, blood donation, and a "mock OR". High school students have been having a mini-course in banned books which will continue into next week, and then switch to sign language after Easter break.
6th graders attend the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines.
Junior High Students listen to Brady Plunger as he talks about comic books.
5th graders experiment with Cubelets.
4th Grade went to the University of Iowa Recreation Center to rock climb as their final growth mindset challenge! Great job everyone!
7th and 8th graders attended Iowa State's Investigation Series for gifted students on Thursday, November 29th.
7th/8th graders participated in Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl on Wednesday, November 14th!
Congrats the the 5th/6th Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl team for being awarded first place!
4th-6th graders attended "Arc Attack" at UNI on Tues, Nov 6th, and Chris Anderson from Lake Iowa came to talk to us about natural beekeeping and trapping.
The FLL team visited Dr. Hospodarsky at the University of Iowa, and the 4th graders participated in a yoga class with Kim Arjes.
Happy fall! I hope that your students are all enjoying the start of the school year and are deeply immersed in engaging learning! A few updates:
K-1 Are now working in pull out groups once a week using Bertie Kingore's lessons. These are fun lessons that focus on a different advancement/enrichment area weekly.
2nd Graders have begun their novel study of "Sarah Plain and Tall", which includes reflection, games, and vocabulary enrichment.
3rd graders have begun their novel reading of "Because of Winn Dixie," where they will focus on different types of connections, as well as connecting to the big ideas throughout the book.
4th graders are deep within their "Growth Mindset" unit, and area learning about how the brain is like a muscle to be developed, and learning from failure. So far we have had a local artist and a yoga instructor help us step outside of our comfort zones.
5th graders are preparing for their presentation to the school board on November 14th to purpose setting up bee hives on the edge of the Mary Welsh prairie. They have been enthusiastic and motivated when researching and preparing their powerpoint.
6th graders and the FLL team are working on developing a scale model for a habitation on Mars. We visited the University of Iowa and talked with Dr. Hospodarsky in the astronomy lab about his satellite missions working with NASA, and have developed some great ideas for creating habitiation on Mars. Our programmers have just decided on the runs they would like to complete and are now working in teams to begin programming.
7th and 8th graders have been meeting for seminar, rotating "Future Problem Solving" and "Lateral Thinking". Students are enjoying the lateral thinking seminar, which includes a variety of puzzles and word games. This seminar will continue until Christmas break.
Please keep up to date with the FLL schedule and any upcoming events.
October 24th and 25th: Parent Teacher conferences. If you have not signed up yet please check the sign up sheet below.
Thursday, Nov 1st: 4th graders to high school for baking challenge
Saturday, Nov 3rd: FLL first Saturday Practice 9:30-12:30
Tuesday, Nov 6th: ArcAttack @ UNI (4th-6th grade)
Friday, Nov 9th: 5th/6th Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl
Tuesday, Nov 13th: Wilderness Survival Day (4th)
Wednesday, Nov 14th: 5th grade presentation to school board
Thursday Nov 15th-Friday Nov 16th Mrs. Klein gone to NAGC conference
Tuesday, Nov 20th 7th/8th grade Noetic Math Competition
Saturday, Nov 24th FLL practice 9:30-12:30
Congrats to Devin Busch for excelling in the iExcel test taken last year, and for participating in the recognition ceremony at the Belin Blank Center! It was cool to see an article in the local paper celebrating his accomplishments.
On Friday, September 28th, 7th and 8th grade ELP students visited "Outfox Escape Room" in Coralville. "The Magician's Attic" group were a
We are off to a great start this school year, and I am so excited for all of the different areas that we are exploring! For K-3, I am currently going into each classroom and doing whole group lessons based on Bertie Kingore's curriculum, and challenging all students to be flexible, creative thinkers! I am just wrapping up these lessons and then will begin on pull out groups for enrichment.
4th-6th graders have been beginning the school year with self exploration, taking learning inventory tests and enneagrams. We are finishing by presenting what we learned to our classmates and taking an interest survey to help guide my curriculum this year. 4th graders will begin their growth mindset unit this week, 5th graders will begin their bee study, and 6th graders have already begun their lego league build.
Lego League is going great, with our build completed and some great ideas begun about our project. After identifying a problem, we will be brainstorming a solution and beginning our build and programming. Registration is opening soon for regionals, and I am going to try to register for December 8th in Marion. Please let me know if there are any scheduling issues for this date.
I am so excited to be able to spend more time at the junior high and high school this year. There is a new scheduling system we are using for our seminar sessions, which makes communication to my students as well as planning a lot easier, so I am excited to be there most Tuesdays-Fridays to lead a seminar! This quarter I am working with 7th and 8th graders, rotating a lateral thinking seminar with a competition called Future Problem Solving. This is the first year for trying this program, and I am excited to see how the kids like it! If we have students that are interested in going to competition, we will be continuing this all year.
A few highlights/announcements:
-Students took a trip to see the honey collection from Monsanto on Thursday, August 30th. This was a great opportunity to engage students for our bee study!
-Junior high students will attend "Outfox Escape Room" this Friday. We had so much interest we had to add a second room!
-There will be a weekly "Lunch Bunch", where students can come and eat lunch in my room. The lunch bunch will be monthly as follows:
2nd Monday: 4th grade
3rd Monday: 5th grade
4th Monday: 6th grade
-ELP 4th-6th grade will take their first field trip on Tuesday, November 6th to UNI. Be on the lookout for updates on this trip!
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! I am excited to start off the school year running, and have so many enriching, engaging activities planned for this year! One development is that there is now a separate FLL page for updates, sign ups, and this year's challenge materials. This year's challenge is "Into Orbit", exploring how humans could live in space. Check out the new website here!
Here is the schedule for 4th-6th grade pull out enrichment:
4th grade: Tuesdays and Thursday 10:50-11:25
5th grade: Mondays and Wednesdays 2:30-3:10 until September 23rd, then M/W/TH
6th grade: Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30-9:10
April 26th, 2018
The past few weeks have been especially busy at the high school, with AP testing starting May 7th. 5th-8th students participated in both the Noetic Math Competition and the Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl. 7th and 8th graders received fourth place while 5th/6th got 18th in Iowa. Tomorrow 7th and 8th grade ELP students will be attending "Kite Runner" at UNI. 4th-6th graders will be attending "Kite Runner" at UNI.
4th graders are working on their stop motion movies for their Greek moral story. 5th graders are currently printing their 3-D tiny house designs, along with doing a mini-unit on time travel. 6th graders are doing an excellent job at being book club leaders for the "Ender's Game" novel study.
The 4th-6th graders will be attending an all day field trip to Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium on Tuesday, May 8th. This is an all day field trip with a late return. Students should pack a lunch. The ELP open house will be held on Thursday, May 17th from 4:00-5:30. I hope you can make it!
Time flies when you're having fun! We've had a busy start to the year, with lots of different groups doing a lot of different things. At the end of January, 4th-6th grade ELP students took a trip to UNI to see the Kaleidoscope production of "Freedom Riders." Some fourth graders have been participating in a book study using the book "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry", so this performance tied in nicely with our discussion of civil rights. The music and complex issue of racism engaged other students, and we had some great discussions comparing and contrasting racism during the civil rights movement and that of today. In February, we had some students take the iExcel test through the Belin Blank Center. This above level testing can help see what a student's potential is when they are not limited by testing format, as well as helps to provide an engaging challenge for higher levels of thinking. I was sad to have missed the spelling bee, but we had great participation, and I'm sure the kids did a great job! Last Friday, 6th graders had the opportunity to visit the Science Center of Iowa as an introduction to our reading the novel "Ender's Game." Students loved the IMAX and hands on activities, and it helped us get engaged with what it is like to be in outer space, which is the environment in which Ender's Game takes place.
Kindergarten has just begun a cross curricular project called "Maps, Matey's and Mischief. " This project includes learning how to use a compass and cardinal directions, how to read a map, as well as some math concepts sprinkled throughout as well. 1st graders have begun a "Weather is Wild!" unit, in which we will study various aspects of weather alongside some higher level math skills. 2nd grade is just finishing up the novel "Sarah Plain and Tall", and there is a math group studying place value through a project of "Place Value Detective." A new group will be starting that incorporates higher math concepts using the "Making a Zoo" project. 3rd graders are nearing the end of their novel, "Because of Winn Dixie," so keep an eye out for information about the Because of Winn Dixie party! Fourth grade are working their way through Greek mythology, and have begun work on a stop-motion animation about a Greek myth and it's moral. 5th grade has finished paper models of a tiny home, and they are evaluating each other's work and using Tinkercad to 3-D print their models. 6th grade just finished "The Million Dollar Project", where they had a million dollars they had to spend, figuring in income tax, sales tax, property tax, and budgeting.
I am busy at the high school working on Cognitive Abilities testing and getting ready for AP testing at the beginning of May. A few dates to remember:
Friday, March 23rd: 4th-6th grade field trip to University of Iowa "Plasticity" Art Installment
March 27th & 28: Conferences- Sign up for a spot below if you have not already done so.
On Friday, February 16th, Williamsburg held it's Annual Spelling Bee! We had 37 students participate, and had an excellent time! A huge thank you to Mr. Rodemeyer and Mrs. Wells-Adamson for judging, and to Mr. Shaw for being our excellent reader! The 7th/8th grade winner and Overall Champion was awarded to Ben Soukup, with the 6th grade winner and Runner-Up Macey Kent. 5th Grade winner was Kadie Reed. Congratulations and thanks to all who participated!
Where, oh where has the year gone? We continue our growth and learning in the Extended Learning Program, with many units wrapping up and new units beginning. K & 1 continue to do pull out lessons based on Bertie Kingore's materials using reasoning, logic, and advanced language. 2nd grade has been reading "Sarah, Plain and Tall" using an online program called "Actively Learn", in which students respond to higher level thinking questions as they read. A class favorite for 3rd graders is reading and analyzing "Because of Winn Dixie," and students especially loved creating their "Top 10" lists as gifts for a loved one.
4th graders are finishing up their Growth Mindset/GRIT unit, and we were excited to have Jessica Pleyel from the University of Iowa do an acting and sculpture workshop with us. We then finished off the unit with an amazing culminating activity of rock climbing at the University of Iowa. We had 2 students make it to the very top, but I am proud of all of my students for pushing outside their comfort zones and trying their best. Some fourth graders are also in a reading group that is discussing social justice, with the vehicle of the book "Roar of Thunder, Hear My Cry." This is an important group, in which we are discussing equality, discrimination, and current issues with society. It is a heavy subject matter, but the kids are doing a wonderful job discussing it and learning from the reading.
5th graders are putting their Bee Research on hold until the spring, and have begun work on their "Design a Tiny House" project. With this project, they will design a tiny house that meets certain specifications. We will do multiple drafts of our tiny house, and eventually create 3-D models using the 3-D printer in the Riot Room! Some 5th graders are also involved with our reading of "Journey to the Center of the Earth", also using the "Actively Learn" program. This book is challenging for the type of writing style and the amount of vocabulary, but I know the kids will like it once they get into it!
6th graders finished up their great season of FLL, and have chosen to work on the Million Dollar Project. In this project, students are "given" a million dollars, and have to document how they spend it. They also have to calculate and account for income tax, sales tax, and living expenses. There are other guidelines as well, such as only 25% of their income can be used on living expenses, and a one time gift to a family member of $14,000 can be made (per real tax law). This is a great introduction to using google sheets and having experience with spreadsheet and working with percentages!
In high school, I have been working with four students for the Science Bowl for the past couple of months. Unfortunately, with lots of scheduling conflicts, we are not going to be able to go to the state competition. I have enjoyed working with this students, and I hope that scheduling works out better next year! On Friday, December 15th, I took 7 9-12th grade students to "Outfox Escape Room". We cracked the code and escaped! Check out our pictures as proof.
Some upcoming events for ELP:
Friday, January 12th 5th & 6th Grade Trip to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Wednesday, January 24th 7-9th Grade Trip to University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics
Tuesday, January 30th 4th-6th Grade trip to UNI to see "Freedom Riders" performance
Friday, February 9th iExcel above level test for 5th/6th graders
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to chat about anything in the program.
In K-3, I have begun meeting with individual groups in K/1st for lessons in Birdie Kingore, which include advanced language, analytical thinking, and perspective. Activities for this group change weekly but always focus on an area of enrichment. 2nd graders have been reading "Sarah Plain and Tall", and doing activities and discussions that involve making connections, predicting, getting to the main idea, and inferring. 3rd graders are reading "Because of Winn Dixie", and are learning new vocabulary and using different types of connections to connect to the text.
We have been crazy busy this month with Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl, Noetic Math Competition, and FLL Regionals! Our FLL team this year did a great job, and was awarded first place in project! We were a bit disappointed our robot didn't perform as we thought it would, but we are going to continue to program and work on our project, and hopefully learn a lot for next year. Mary Welsh's team got 15th place in the Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl this year, and 7th/8th grade will be participating tomorrow. Our 4th graders have been continuing their study of growth mindset, and just finished their "Famous Failure" paper. We also had a "Wilderness Survival Day" at Kent Park, and all 4th-6th graders went to UNI for an AWESOME performance of "Dr. Kaboom!" High school science bowl has begun practicing, with the state championship being January 27th. The 4th graders will be finishing their growth mindset unit by visiting the rock climbing wall at University of Iowa on December 14th, and the high school will be visiting the "Outfox Escape Room" on Friday, 12/15. I look forward to finishing 2017 strong!
What a month! 7th and 8th graders attended Outfox Escape room and did the "Last Will" challenge. They were so close to cracking the code, with 3/4 numbers, and unable to solve the final clue because we were locked out of the safe! We all had a great time anyway. FLL is working on their "Hydro Dynamics" season, working with Monsanto to plan a "planting party" to plant a prairie strip to help with water mitigation and water filtration. Our regionals will be Saturday, November 11th at Prairie Point Middle School in Cedar Rapids. This year's team has chosen the name "The Flyin' Narwhals." The high school science bowl will begin practicing Nov 1st. Participants are: Samara Harvey, Jill Holub, Abby Whitehill, Sam Lane, and Hannah Allen. Regional Science Bowl competition will be Saturday, January 27th.
Conferences are coming up next week, please check the schedule for your time, and let me know if you'd like a conference but neither day works for you. Below is a summer opportunity for JH/HS students as well. Above are pictures of the Escape Room, the 4th grade growth mindset activity with local artist Ryan Bentzinger, and the 5th grade trip to Indian Creek Nature Center to speak with and learn from apiarist Kelli Kennon-Lane. She taught us about how to set up your beehive and how to check it, as well as maintaining hives.
I have begun working with K-3 students as well, with K & 1 working on Kingore lessons of advanced language, humor, perspective, and meaning motivation. 2nd grade has begun reading "Sarah Plain and Tall", and 3rd grade has begun reading "Because of Winn Dixie".
It is hard to believe the end of the semester is fast approaching! I wanted to send out a quick update of the happenings of ELP thus far.
K and 1st grade will begin with our pull out groups as soon as next week. This is a group for advanced learning, creativity, critical thinking, and analytical thinking. 2nd Grade, we will be reading "Sarah Plain and Tall" again this year, and 3rd grade we will be reading "Because of Winn Dixie". Groups will be meeting twice a week and working on higher level thinking skills as well as advanced language and reading comprehension.
4th grade is continuing their study of growth mindset and grit through discussions, videos, activities, and reflections. So far we have had a baking challenge at the high school, done yoga, had an artist come in and do gesture and blind drawings, and we have begun our "Famous Failure" papers today. Our next trip will be Nov 9th for "Wilderness Survival Day" at Kent Park.
5th graders have begun researching bees and beekeeping in hopes to get a hive on our property, out past our prairie. We visited Monsanto and watched their honey collection, which was really exciting. We are now discussing graphic organizers and how to research, with the final product to be a presentation to the board.
6th graders have been working on this years FLL challenge, which is how humans interact with water. Our team has decided to do a project that creates prairie strips around farm land around Monsanto. We are currently in communications with them about having a "Planting Party" day, with prairie plants donated from local parks.
A few upcoming events and reminders: next Thursday 4th and 5th grade ELP students will be going to Indian Creek Nature Center to learn more about bees and beekeeping. They will be eating lunch in my room and we will leave after. Conferences take place Wednesday 10/25 and Thursday 10/26. Please sign up for a conference time All 4th-6th grade ELP students will have the opportunity to go see Dr. Kaboom! at UNI on Monday, November 6th, and the Thinking Cap Quiz bowl for 5th and 6th graders will be first thing in the morning on Friday, November 10th.
At the junior high, I have been meeting with 7th and 8th grade ELP students on Monday and Wednesday seminars to work on Lateral Thinking Skills. This includes rebus puzzles, perplexors, a game called "Giatta" and brainteasers. We will continue this seminar until the end of the semester, when I will begin working with Science Bowl students to prepare for state competition. Junior and senior high students will have the opportunity to participate in a few different upcoming activities, including the "Taking the Road Less Traveled" seminar for 9th and 10th grade women (11/2) , Escape Room for 7th/8th grade students (10/13), 7th/8th grade Noetic Math Competition (11/13) and 7th/ 8th grade Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl (11/17).
September 11th, 2017
4th and 5th graders had an amazing time at Monsanto today! We were so lucky to be in contact with Monsanto just as they are beginning a beekeeping project! We learned that honey is only harvested once a year, so it serendipitous for students to be able to see the honey collection firsthand. Students loved seeing the hot knife cut off the wax caps over the frame combs. 5th graders will begin their study of honey bees this year, in hopes to give a presentation to the school board to have a hive installed by our prairie. I had a few students comment "This is the best field trip ever!"
FLL Team 2017-2018
Practices will be Monday and Thursdays after school-4:30.
1. Kadie Reed-programmer
2. Max Murray-Robot Designer/Robot Game Expert/Project
3. Rayce Heitman- Robot Designer/Robot Expert/Project
4. Haley Koenighain- Handbook Expert/Project
5. Maelyn Parsons-Handbook Expert/Project
6. Cooper Daugherty- Programmer
7. Laura Carrico-Programmer
8. Ben Marshall- Programmer
9. Andrew Hawk-Programmer
10. *Jackie Mcghghy (alternate)-Programmer
6th, 7th, and 8th graders are invited to attend Iowa States' Investigation Series conference on Thursday, November 30th. Last year we went and it was a very engaging and well planned conference, with a few break out sessions like:
Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and More - Exploring Meteorology
Workshop 1: Discover with Chemistry (Chemistry)
Book Archaeology - Exploring the World of Rare Books
How Does Your Brain Work?!
Sensory Overload - A Lesson in Food Ingredient Interactions
Students interested should sign up before next Friday, September 8th. Here is a link for more information.
August 9, 2017
Welcome back! I'm so excited to start another amazing school year! A few things right off the bat: the program has changed it's name to "Extended Learning Program" (ELP) this year instead of SOAR (which stood for Seeking Opportunities for Advanced Readers). We feel that Extended Learning Program embodies the purpose of the program, which is to provide extensions and opportunities for students who are in need of these services. Another change that was made when I began was the annual identification instead of every three years. This is state mandated and anonymous, with the decision made on a variety of factors. If your child is not participating this year, that does not mean they did not do a good job or that they are not smart. This program is just not what they need right now, and services are being offered to those who showed a greater need for enrichment.
7th and 8th graders will begin this year's seminar with me, and I will get in touch with all of you about that as the school year begins. I will be working with whole groups in K-3 at the beginning of the year, and then work with smaller groups in the winter and spring. The FLL challenge this year is "Hydro Dynamics", and we will be starting off the year with team tryouts.
Hope you all had a great summer, and we'll see you soon!
The end of the year comes screeching in as we prepare for our descent into summer. Students 7th-9th grade visited the "Outfoxed" Escape room, and we had a blast trying to figure out the code to the "missing will." This awesome experience utilized problem solving, critical thinking, and code cracking. We were very close to cracking the code, and I think if we had a little more time we could've beat it!
7th-12th graders are currently reading "Hamlet" in our seminar. Next Thursday, April 27th, we will be going to Gallagher Bluedorn Theater to see it performed. If you have not yet turned in your permission form, please fill it out and return it to Deb.
AP Exams Run May 1-15th. Click here to see exam dates.
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl is tomorrow from 8:30-9:30 in Mrs. Klein's room for 5th/6th graders, and during seminar for 7th/8th graders in the ICN room. Please don't forget to bring a snack to share!
4th graders continue to work on their Greek mythology unit, while 5th and 6th graders finish their novel units. 6th grade will begin watching "Ender's Game" next week, while 5th graders work on a cumulative project. Students 4th-6th grade will be taking a field trip on Tuesday, 5/16 to Des Moines. We will be visiting the art museum and sculpture garden. This will be an all day field trip. The elementary SOAR open house night will be Thursday, May 18th. Please join us for some refreshments, a powerpoint, and awards for the year from 3:30-5:00 in my room.
College 4 Kids transportation letters have gone out. If you have any questions, please let me know.
A really thought provoking article for parents and educators about overexcitabilities.
Summer Opportunities: Hello all! Below are some summer opportunities that I am aware of. If you are looking for something specific, please let me know.
Willowwind School (prek-6th Grade)
Classes include: music, art, baking, fitness, engineering, space, makers space, paleontology, outdoor adventures, gooey science, coding, creative performance, trails and creeks, electricity, drum, 3-D design, Lego Creations, flight, Dr. Seuss, web design, film, and much more!
Taproot Nature Experience: Outdoor, hands on nature education and play for kids ages 3-17.
Walking Stick Adventures: Outdoor nature education for kids 7-11, with some camps specifically geared towards boys or girls
Kirkwood Interactive Camps for Kids Ages 8-15: Classes offered in female leadership, algebra, American Girl history, cardio fit, photography, book binding, poetry, crime solvers, drama, physics, pinterest crafts, stained glass, robotics, computer design, app building, blogging, coding, minecraft, animation, fashion, mock trial, culinary (a ton!), welding, and many more!
Outdoor Adventures Ages 6-12: Classes offered are "Birds, Beasts, and Bugs," " Fossils, Fields, and Forests", and "Wind, Waves, and Water"
Performing Arts Center Ages 3-5: "Oh A Camping We Will Go", "On the Farm", and "Music is All Around Us"
U of I Rec Camps Ages prek-11th Grade: Classes include bird camps, kite camp, stand up paddleboarding, eagles, rock climbing, geology, hawk camp, survival skills, orienteering, pontooning, field trips, hiking and exploration, and much more!
Usher's Ferry Dangerous Day Camp Ages 8-12
Country Camp Ages 5-13 Viking Camp, film camp and more
Belin Blank Center Ages 2nd-11th grade: Classes offered in coding, chemistry, fan fiction, computer science, mathematics of games, engineering, invention, 3-D printing, creative writing, wonder woman, fine arts, leadership, revolutions, psychics, and more!
College4Kids Ages entering 6th-8th grades: Classes on practically anything you'd like to learn about!
Iowa State Summer Programs Grades 3-11: Biotechnology, microbiology, library sciences, history, anthropology, business, neuroscience, genetics, coding, pet training, engineering, physics, mixed media and much more!
Laketrails Base Camp Ages entering 7th grade-12th grade: Wilderness survival camp in Northern Minnesota
4-H Camps Ages 5th-12th Grades: Shooting camp, young women in business, Spanish immersion, and more!
4-H Youth conference for students who have finished 8th-12th Grade: "Start your future here" camp with animal science round-up, entertainment, recreation, camera corps, and community service.
Melinda's Dance Studio Ages prek-4th grade: Dance classes offered in town
Young Women's Fire Academy: Available for girls ages 15-19
NewBo Summer Camps 2nd-8th grade: In Cedar Rapids, running in June and July, with classes offered in coding, engineering, video games, girls with ideas, and more!
Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship: entering 5th and 6th interested in business
Summit Camps: Cedar Rapids
Discover Summer Camp: Cedar Rapids Grades 3-5 For students who score over 85% on Iowa Assessments
UNI Summer Camps: Youth-High School
If you have any more for me to add to this page, please let me know!
March 10, 2017
If you would like to sign up for a conference on either Wednesday, March 22nd or Thursday, March 23rd, please fill in your child's name on the google sheet attached. Thanks!
February 24th, 2017
As always, things have been busy with SOAR. 6th graders took a trip to the Science Center of Iowa in correspondence with our reading of "Ender's Game." One of our favorite parts was watching the iMax "Beautiful Planet", and getting to connect with the experience of weightlessness and the confusion of directions when in space that Ender experienced in the book.
A few weeks ago, Susie and Ryan Veatch came to present their gift of a new EV3 to SOAR kids. Laura Carrico, a member of the FLL team for the past two years, took the initiative to write a request for sponsorship to the Veatch's. Impressed with her initiative as well as her pamphlet of information, the Veatch's generously donated a new robot for our FLL program. We really appreciate their gift and it will be in use for year's to come! Thank you very much for your generosity!
And lastly, last Friday was the Annual Williamsburg Spelling Bee at Messer Auditorium for students in 5th-8th grade. A big thanks to Mr. Shaw, Mrs. Adamson, and Mr. Rodemeyer for helping read and judge the competition. All the participants did an excellent job! The following students were participants in this year's competition:
The winner's of this year spelling bee were:
8th Grade and Runner Up: Susan Shelton
7th Grade: Kendra Eichhorn
6th Grade and Overall Champion: Gavin Doehrmann
5th Grade: Max Murray
Winner received gift certificates from the Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce to support local businesses. I hope to see all who are eligible back again next year! Great work!
Laura Carrico is presented with the EV3
6th Grade Champion and Overall Winner Gavin Doehrmann, 7th Grade Champion Kendra Eichhorn, 8th Grade Champion and Runner Up Susie Shelton, and 5th Grade Champion Max Murray
Hello SOAR families:
Things have been quite busy since the start of the year, a whirlwind of activity, with the high point really being the Flyin' Geckoz' competition at state! We did an excellent job presenting and running our programs, earning us the 1st place trophy in "Project Innovation". There was a mixup over the trophies, but it is being corrected. Only those winning "Overall Champion" awards are invited to the championship, so our season is finished for this year. I am so proud of the work that students have done!
January was also filled with a lot of activities, with 2nd and 3rd grade finishing up their reading units of "Sarah Plain and Tall" and "Because of Winn Dixie." Our Because of Winn Dixie party will take place next week on Monday and Tuesday morning! After these units, we are beginning a math unit, with 2nd grade doing a project based math curriculum called "Build Your Own Zoo", and 3rd grade doing "Place Value Detectives." Letters will be sent home to families updating you on these units.
High school science bowl team did a great job first against the science department at WHS, and then at the state competition last week. A big thanks to Ms. O'Connor who stepped in and took the kids when I was hit with the stomach flu and unable to go. Today the middle school students will be having a scrimmage with the WHS science department, and that will be the end of the MS Science Bowl, as we were 5th on the waiting list and unlikely to compete. I hope that we are able to get registered next year in time.
Thursday, January 26th, engineers game to Mary Welsh to conduct the K'nex bridge building challenge. Students were given 15 minutes to construct a bridge, which would be judged on length and weight held. Laura, Addie, Elizbaeth, and Marielle had the winning structure as it was the only one that held all the weight, despite being quite short.
Important Dates Coming Up
Thursday, February 2nd Rock Climbing trip to U of I Rec Center (4th grade)
Friday, February 3rd iExcel test (4th-6th, those registered)
Tuesday, February 7th University of Iowa Mini Medical Trip (4th-6th)
Wednesday, February 8th U of I Medical Trip High School (9th-12th)
Thursday, February 16th Science Center of Iowa (6th Grade)
Friday, February 17th Spelling Bee (5th-8th)
If you are looking for a classroom gift for the SOAR room, a few suggestions:
A couch or loveseat for the room
Pillows for reading nook
Hope you all are enjoying this festive time of year! I use this time to reflect on what a great group of kids I get to work with each day.
November 29th, 2016
Welcome to the new website! I really like the new format! Hope you all had a great break. The week before Thanksgiving break we participated in the "Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl", with the 5th/6th grade team getting 6th place in Iowa and the 7th/ 8th placing 14th. It was a fun time for everyone! We also attended the "Building the Future" experience at Iowa State, where we used hands on engineering skills to create a bridge, design a propeller fan that produced electricity for a generator, and discussed water systems in the soil. Reminder: if you would like to attend the Iowa State Capitol visit, permission forms are due TOMORROW. So far we don't have enough students interested to attend.
4th-6th graders have begun new reading units this week. 4th grade is reading "A Wrinkle In Time", 5th grade is reading "Surviving the Applewhites", and 6th grade is reading "Ender's Game." Students in 4th-6th grade SOAR will have the opportunity to attend the Natural History Museum for a tour on Thursday, December 15th. Also, if you are interested in having your child participate in the iExcel test from the Belin Blank Center, please let me know by the end of the week.
Wednesday, December 7th State Capitol Visit Des Moines 9th-12th
Thursday, December 15th Natural History Museum Iowa City 4th-6th
Saturday, January 14th FLL State Championship Ames FLL Team
Friday, January 20th HS John Deere Visit Ottumwa 7th-12th
Thursday, January 26th Elementary John Deere Visit Ottumwa 4th-6th
Saturday, January 28th High School Science Bowl Ames HS Science Team
November 14, 2016
FLL ON TO STATE!
What an exciting weekend! Our FLL team, "The Flyin' Geckoz" went to regionals at Prairie Point Middle School in Cedar Rapids to present their project "Top Dog Training Responsibility for Kids" as well as participate in the robot game. We got 5th in robot and were surprised when we received the "Overall Champion" trophy! We are excited to head to Ames for State Competition on January 14th. Check out the "Class Photos" for lots of pictures from this year's FLL season. Congrats Flyin' Geckoz, your hard work paid off!
Thursday 4th graders took a trip to Kent Park for a "Wilderness Survival Day". This was a great first opportunity for us to use our grit and growth mindset as we persevered through challenges that were frustrating and took some patience to work through. The kids did a great job using a compass and map, building shelters, and both groups started a fire from flint and steel! We are excited to try even more challenges in our growth mindset unit, including a dance, art, and baking project coming up soon.
Wednesday, November 16 Congrats to Mary Welsh 5th/6th grade team that participated in the "Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl", they placed 6th out of 52 teamsOctober 24, 2016
We had a great time at UNI Gallagher Bludorn Theater yesterday watching "The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh!" The actors were great, and this was an wonderful way to have students reflect on bullying, mental illness, divorce, and learning styles. It was a beautiful day and the kids loved the play. A few things coming up:
I will be in my room on Wednesday and Thursday for conferences. Please feel free to stop in any time. I have copies of their quarterly reports that we can review. If you do not attend a conference, reports will be sent out next week. I will be holding Lego League practices, so conferences will be out in the hallway.
Noetic Math Competition is coming up for 4th and 8th graders. 4th will compete Tuesday, November 8th and 8th graders will compete Monday, November 21st. This is an optional competition for those students that show interest.
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl is also coming up, with 5th/6th participating on Friday, November 11th and 7th and 8th participating on Wednesday November 16th.
4th graders will be experiencing a "Wilderness Survival Day" on Thursday, Nov 10th in correlation with our grit/growth mindset unit. We will be going to Kent park to be hiking, building a shelter and our own fire, and other activities that require perseverance
It has been a busy start to the school year as we have a lot going on right when we return to school. 4th graders began their study of grit and growth mindset by studying "famous failures", successful or famous people that overcame adversity to become successes. We also study how the brain grows and how the things we say to and about ourselves affects the outcome of our effort.
5th and 6th graders are hard at work on their FLL team "The Flyin' Geckoz." This year's challenge, "Animal Allies", challenges students to examine a challenge between animal and human interactions and create a solution. Our team is in the process of designing and creating an app that would help kids be more responsible with pet care by providing a checklist of chores, a calendar of pop-up dates, and a video library to help with dog training. Our robot programmers continue to work through programming, with our biggest challenge this year, working with light sensors. Next Wednesday the project team members will be taking a trip to the Iowa City Animal shelter to talk with the workers there about how best to use this app.
Please hand in your field trip forms for the trip to see "The Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh" by Wed, Oct 19th. All SOAR students 4th-6th are invited to join us at UNI Gallagher Bludorn Theater on Monday, Oct 24th from 10 am-3pm. Please let me know if you have any questions.
7th and 8th graders have met with me for the past 2 months to work on lateral thinking and problem solving skills. We used perplexor puzzles, rebus puzzles, cryptorithms, Lewis Carroll's logic puzzles, and "if/then" statements, along with some visual logic puzzles. It has been a fun unit to help us think outside of the box!
Four women joined me for "The Road Less Traveled" women's conference on the Iowa State campus on October 13th. A few sessions attended were "Earthquake City", "Got Flavor?" "Toxic Pasta", and "Statistics." This was a great day, and afterwards we got a beautiful tour of the campus.
We have registered for this year's high school and middle school science bowl. High school science bowl participants are Sarah Miller, Ted Cromwell, Thomas Huedopohl, and Joe Vogt. Their competition will take place Saturday, January 28th on the Iowa State Campus. Middle School Science bowl filled up quickly, and although I registered within the first half hour, we were still put on the waiting list. We will continue to practice in hopes someone drops out and we will be able to participate on February 25th. The members of the middle school science bowl team are: Nora Slevinski, Kendra Eichhorn, Jamison Parks, Savanna Busch, and Kaley Grimm.
September/Oct Important Dates
Friday, Sept 2
-FLL Applications Due
-8th/9th/10th Women's "Road Less Traveled" Interest Survey due
Tuesday, Sept 13
-5th/6th FLL Tryouts
Monday, Sept 19th
First FLL Practice
Thursday, Sept 29th
No 4th/5th Grade SOAR- Mrs. Klein at Grant Wood
Monday Oct 17th-Tuesday Oct 18th
No SOAR- Mrs. Klein presenting at iTag conference
Monday Oct 24
4th-6th Field Trip to Gallagher Bluedorn for "Incredible Speediness of Jamie Cavanaugh"
Wednesday Oct 26-Thursday Oct 27
August 18th, 2016
Hello and welcome back SOAR families! I am so excited to get back to the start of another school year. There have been some administrative changes, and students will be evaluated annually for inclusion in the program instead of every few years. This will allow new students to filter through the program, but may also mean that a student that was involved with the program last year may not be participating this year. All student data goes to a SOAR Committee in the spring, and letters were sent out over the summer. This is the best practice to support students who need acceleration and enrichment THIS year.
Students in 4th grade are all new to be identified this year, and we will begin the year with a "Growth Mindset/ GRIT" unit. I'm really looking forward to this unit as it challenges students to try new things and be accepting of failure, as well as provides a safe space for these high achievers to take risks and maybe try something they are not good at.
5th and 6th grade students will begin the year with lateral thinking and creativity, leading right up to the start of our FLL season. This year's theme is "Animal Allies", with the official release on August 30th. Letters and more online updates will be forthcoming.
Junior High and High School students, I will be emailing soon after the start of school to meet with each grade level to get an interest survey and discussing the format of SOAR this year. 7th and 8th grade will be meeting with me first, and this will be during seminar. A change from last year, for 7th and 8th grade students, this will be a closed seminar session unless you are requested for another seminar.
I hope to see you all at the Open House tonight! I will be at my office at Mary Welsh, the last door on the left down the 2nd/3rd classroom. Please come to introduce yourself, ask any questions you have about the program, and check the room out. I hope to see you there!
For our end of the year experience this year, students in 4th and 5th grade had a "Challenge Day", where they had to be persistent and determined to try the difficult physical challenge of walking a slackling and juggling. SOAR kids had a great attitude and showed great GRIT and growth mindset as they tried and tried again!
Living History Farms Visit Tuesday, May 10th
4th, 5th, and 6th Grade SOAR students visited Living History Farms on Tuesday. We had a great time touring the grounds and listening to characters from that time period compare technology then to technology today.
Author Visit in Iowa City
Prairie Lights is pleased to host Iowa City illustrator Jennifer Black Reinhardt on Saturday, 7 May at 3 pm. Jennifer will talk about her illustrative process for the newly released Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs. A signing will follow.
Illustrator Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs
Saturday, 7 May 2016
Prairie Lights Books
Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs, written by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt,offers a creative picture book introduction to homographs with a lively pairing of animal names and actions. Please pass the word to young wordsmiths, zoologists and artists. Jennifer Black Reinhardt has illustrated three other children’s books, Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons, The Adventures of a South Pole Pigand The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford.
Attached is a flier to share with others. For more information about Jennifer Black Reinhardt and her illustrations, investigate her website, http://www.jbreinhardt.com.
University of Iowa Engineering Trip
Student attended the University of Iowa's College of Engineering. We took a tour of the building, asked students questions about their experiences, and experimented with snap circuit sets.
April is a busy time! We had a great time with the 7th/8th grade Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl.
Students also attended the iTag Young Scholars Conference at Luther in Decorah, Iowa on April 14th.
Cian Bodeker, Annalissa Lane, Jenna Lindhart, Sidney Feckers, Hannah Haack, Katie Emmert
Noetic Math Competition April 7th, 2016
Students 5th-8th participated in the Noetic Mathematics Competition on Thursday, April 7th. Top scorers were Jamison Parks 5th/6th and Thomas
Huedepohl for 7th/8th. Congratulations!
George Sinclair, Jamison Parks, Madox Doehrmann, Will Trimpe, Zach Glandorf, Gavin Doehrmann, Analyn Seeman, Regan Grimm
Summer Opportunity for Junior High and High School writers with the Young Writer's Workshop!
March 7th, 2016
This semester has been going by so fast! 4th grade has been working hard on their GRIT/growth mindset curriculum. We have been trying new things like writing our own music, collaborating on an art piece, baking, and yoga. It is stretching us outside our comfort zone, which we then reflect on the feelings and attitudes we have while we are experiencing these challenges.
5th grade is challenged by our book study of "Call of the Wild", which is filled with a ton of new vocabulary words. The writing is also different than we are used to, as it was written in the early 1900s and the style is much different than what we're accustomed. We have also been keeping the "Staff Fitness Challenge" map up to date by converting steps to miles and tracking the miles using the map conversion.
6th graders have been reading "Ender's Game", and really enjoyed our visit to the Science Center of Iowa where we got to experience what it would be like to be in space through the IMAX and planetarium. Check out the pictures of our visit on the "class photos" page.
Both elementary and high school students took a visit to the Medical Research Education Center at the University of Iowa this semester. I have also had conferences with students 7th-10th grade to help discuss goals, passions, and ways that the SOAR program can help support students in their learning. The iTag conference is coming up in April, and I look forward to taking 8 Williamsburg students to Wartburg.
Congratulations to the Winners of the Spelling Bee!
5th Grade- Madox Doehrmann
6th Grade-Kendra Eckhorn
7th Grade- Colytn Phillips
8th Grade-Tonya Gammon
Overall Runner Up- Colytn Phillips
Spelling Bee Champion- Kendra Eckhorn
I will be out of the country during regularly scheduled conference time. Please click on the link below to access my conference schedule and sign up for a time that you would like to meet. If there are no times or dates available that work for you, please email me and we will set up something that works with your schedule. Thank you.
* Click here for a cool opportunity coming up for younger ones at the Englert in Iowa City called ZooZoo.
Imago’s shows have been described as Cirque Du Soleil-evoking acrobatics mixed with Mummenschanz-like mime, set in a unique, yet accessible, French-influenced, avant-garde playground.
ZooZoo is penguins playing musical chairs, a cat trapped in a giant paper bag, hippos with insomnia, anteaters as waiters, and a madcap revue of illusion, comedy and fun that has inspired audiences nationwide. Imago has performed in China, Europe and at some of North America’s most revered festivals
Check out pictures from our 4th Grade GRIT UNIT and our visit to the University of Iowa Medical Education Facility. Click this link or look at our "Class Photos" page. There are also some high school pictures and spelling bee pictures as well!
Looking for something to do this summer? Or this weekend? Check out the "Camps and STEM Extensions" page!
Click here for spelling bee information!
Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Or just improve and practice the one you're learning now? Check out the app or website duolingo.com. It's a fun, interactive way to practice and learn a new language!
January 22, 2016
Lots of activities coming up! 4th-6th grade students will have the opportunity to go visit the University of Iowa Medical Education and Research facility on Thursday, February 11th, while JH/HS students will go Friday, February 12th! There is still also a possibility for any women interested in attending "The Road Less Traveled" conference to attend, just let me know that you are interested. Spelling lists for the spelling bee are being sent out today, for the spelling bee on
Looking for something to do this weekend? Check it out!
Check out this free art and stem event for 4th-8th graders!
GIRLS IN SCIENCE FESTIVAL-- FREE!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2016
LOTS OF COOL STUFF AND BREAKOUT SESSIONS
CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS
December 23, 2015
As I am getting ready to head out on our winter break, I just want to say a huge "thank you" to the Williamsburg community. I have had a lot of crazy ideas coming in here, and each idea has been met with support and encouragement. I truly care about all of your children and want what's best for them. I hope that you have a peaceful and relaxing holiday season, spending time with loved ones and recharging your batteries for the new year. 4th-6th graders will need to bring notebooks after break, as 4th graders will begin a unit on Grit and Growth Mindset, 5th graders will be doing a book study on "Call of the Wild", and 6th graders will be reading Ender's Game. Thank you to all of you for your gifts, cards, and goodies! I am so lucky to work with such great kids, and feel like I have truly landed my dream job. I will see you all next year!
Be safe and happy,
December 16th, 2015
Yesterday was a great time with a few high school girls attending the "Women in STEM" conference at Kirkwood in Hiawatha. Students participated in breakout sessions that discussed lasers, civil engineering, algorithms and coding, and marketing. I have added some pictures to the "SOAR" class photos page, check them out!
December 8th, 2015
The FLL team did a great job at our regionals last weekend! We got 13th out of 25 on robot, but we learned a lot and are looking forward to a lot of great ideas for next year. This year was a lot of learning for all involved, and we are taking this as an opportunity to grow for next year. We should all be proud of all the hard work and dedication we put into this season. I am very proud of how we did, and I know that we can improve with all of our new ideas for next year! If you would like to check out our project, visit tinyurl.com/fllboardgames. There are new pictures on the "Class photos" wall of our competition and performances. We will be moving on to designing our own websites for eportfolios next!
Check out this yoga and mindfulness seminar in Davenport!
STEM Family Free Night (1-29-2016)
Event Start: Friday, 29 January 2016 :: 5:00 PM
Event End: Friday, 29 January 2016 :: 8:00 PM
Location: Iowa Children's Museum
Kids of all ages and parents are welcome to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math as they relate to health care and medicine at this free Friday night event! This event is open to the public.
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl is TOMORROW during seminar and fourth hour for those students in 7th and 8th students who have signed up. Don't forget your snack!
Mythbusters is coming to Iowa State! For more info click here.
Do you have a student in 5th through 8th grade? We have spots open up in our "middle school" program this week! Best part? Its FREE!! AND I am serving up a healthy dinner.
This Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Kirkwood Regional Building in partnership with Active Learners will be an ACTIVE, Hands-on FUN: Intro to some of todays best tech gear and STEM subjects. (Have you seen this building? Amazing!)
If your child has ever talked about Gaming, 3D Printing, Medical Field, Graphic Design, Welding, Wood Work or so much more than this night is for them! No passive learning allowed! This is ALL hands on interaction and fun. Plus, cool stuff to take home at the end of the night. Transportation can be arranged if need by me.
RSVP to me if your student would like to come socialize and have fun this Wednesday Nov. 18th 5:30 to 7:30 pm. FREE
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl will be next Wednesday, November 18th during seminar and running into 4th period. Please let me know if you plan to participate, as well as sign up here for treats. It's going to be a lot of fun!
Report cards were sent out yesterday, and I have included a quarterly report to accompany them for students 4-6th grade. I think next semester I will be sending them out before conferences, that way you have a way to be able to set up a conference time easily if you'd like to discuss your child's progress.
Some fourth grade students have also been coming to me during math for Khan Academy. This is a flexible group, including any student that pre-tests at competency for the upcoming unit. I will be doing these groups with 5th and 6th grade as well. Fourth graders are about halfway through their reports on a Greek god or goddess and are really enjoying it.
We have had some challenges this past week with FLL, as an attachment that we were using was taken off and we are having trouble fixing it. We are also running into some issues with too many programmers and not enough time with the robot, so I will be dividing the practices into different missions to work on while others will work on the skit and other projects. Only 4 weeks left until regionals in Ottumwa, I hope we will be ready!
I will be taking 5 High School girls to attend the "Women in STEM" conference in Cedar Rapids on December 15th. I look forward to seeing what kind of activities they have planned and the opportunity to get to know these women a bit better.
Conferences are coming up next week and I will be available on Tuesday and Thursday to meet with you all to discuss your child's involvement in the SOAR program. Please come down to my room (the last one on the left down the 2nd/3rd grade hallway). I will be working with the FLL team, you can come check out our project, and then we can have our conference in the room across the hall. I will be at the high school Thursday from 6-8 pm in Mrs. Pallardy's (yearbook room). If I am currently with a parent, just hang out with the FLL team and I will be with you as soon as I can. I always look forward to meeting with my students' families and getting to know them better, so please feel free to stop by! Hope to see you all there.
October 13, 2015
Hello SOAR students and families,
We are well into the swing of things with the school year fully in gear now. I have been finishing up whole class enrichment with the K-3 classes and have begun doing pull out enrichment reading groups with 2nd and 3rd graders. 2nd graders are reading "Grace's Letter to Lincoln" and doing a webquest to find answers on a "Scavenger Hunt." We had an excellent discussion about slavery, segregation, and equal rights today during our class period.
Third graders have begun reading "Because of Winn Dixie", and have used their higher level thinking skills to make predictions and find vocabulary words within the text. This week, we discuss different connects like "text to self, text to text, and text to world" connections.
4th graders continue their unit on Greek mythology. Today we watched a short video on the greek creation myth, and we are beginning to research a greek god or goddess that we would like to write a report on.
4th, 5th, and 6th graders just completed the field set up for lego league, constructing all the parts and placing them correctly on the field. Elliot came in and showed us some basic web design setup and how to create a website for our project. We look forward to getting to work on the programming and web design tonight after school.
I meet with the 11th and 12th graders this week to finish taking interest surveys. Then we will begin meeting during seminars to work on different projects they are interested in.
10/1 Happy October!This week I met with the 9th/10th graders and updated the google doc with the interests that each student indicated. I am excited to see some students signing up for some new things like National History Day, Geography Bee, and study abroad. Next week I will be meeting with the 11th/12th graders on Wednesday seminar to get final interest surveys. After that I will begin meeting with groups based on projects during seminar.
FLL is excitedly waiting the arrival of our field kit, that is due to arrive today or tomorrow. We have designed a t-shirt and hats to wear to tournament, and I have been in touch with Kinze to sponsor the team again this year. The kids have thought of a great idea for the "Trash Trek" challenge, a website where people can trade and donate game piece items. Today we are having Elliot Mikesell, our school's technology guru, is coming to talk to us about web design. Ultimately, we'd like to create a website and a commercial for the website. We are looking at the possibility of having a news piece on our team as well. Also, just a reminder that there is a snack schedule for each week. Thanks to Jamison for bringing this week, Wesley has it next week. Check out the schedule here.
In fourth grade, we are full into swing in our intensive study of Greek mythology. We've listened to a great podcast by Rick Riodan, author of the Percy Jackson series. Today we began a fun webquest, investigating Greek mythology and writing a biography about a god of our choice. The kids are super excited to be researching this subject, and many of them already know a lot about the subject, so this is a great opportunity for them to dig a little deeper.
Belin Blank Study
If your child has ADHD, consider being a part of Belin Blank's study. Check out details below:
The Belin-Blank Center in conjunction with Pearson is pleased to invite parents of students who have a diagnosis ADHD to apply for participation in a study examining Cogmed Working Memory Training. Students should be within the ages of 7 to 15 and identified with a diagnosis of ADHD. We are also looking for students with an identified high ability in one or more talent domain (i.e., through scores on an ability and/or achievement test), but this is not required. The training protocol is 50 minutes per day, five days per week, for the duration of five weeks (25 50-minute sessions).
The purpose of this research study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Cogmed Working Memory Training program as an intervention for gifted and talented students who also have ADHD. Individuals will be compensated up to $30 for participation. Interested families are encouraged to contact Megan Foley Nicpon (319) 335-5575 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
9/24 7th and 8th Grade Students
After meeting with 7th and 8th grade students, I have registered interested students in the Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl.
7th/8th Contest dates are as follows:
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl: Wednesday, November 18th during seminar
January 11th: 3:30-4:30 National Geography Bee
Thinking Cap America Answers: Wednesday, April 13th during seminar
Mathcounts will be run by Ms. Manternach, and Battle of the Books is run by Mrs. Heitman. Mr. Rodemeyer is helping with National History Day and I'm looking for a sponsor for National Geography Bee this year. We will not be participating in the National Spelling Bee as there was not enough interest.
Click here for list of activities, dates and interested students.
FLL Team 2015-2016
Applications for fourth graders are in, and the FLL Team this year will be:
Baylie Von Ahsen
Please come to FLL practice on Tuesday, September 22nd from 3:30-4:30.
*Because we have less students involved in the 5th/6th SOAR program this year, we are opening up FLL applications to 4th Graders! Any interested students should fill out applications and have them to Mrs. Klein by Thursday, September 17th so that they can join us at practices next week! Applications can be found at the bottom of this page. Regional finals for FLL will be Saturday, December 5th in Ottumwa.
September 14, 2015
Hello SOAR families-
I have begun working with the students, and have really had fun beginning my time with them. Our FLL team is assembled and the following students will be on the team:
We have already begun by watching the FLL Challenge Video, and this year's theme is "Trash Trek." We are currently brainstorming some aspect of trash that we could address. I am looking forward to our first lego league practice tomorrow, Tuesday September 15th from 3:30-4:30.
4th graders had a fun time doing Rebus puzzles and playing a game of "traffic jam" as the group was split up because of testing. This week we begin our study of Greek mythology by listening to Rick Riodan's podcast about the Percy Jackson series. Feel free to check it out here. I am also currently working with K-3 students with whole class enrichment activities.
I also encourage families to get connected to the Belin Blank Center at the University of Iowa. I have pamphlets with information about their Challenge Saturdays program, as well as their WINGS Saturday program. I am teaching a few classes there this year, and it's a really great way to extend learning and be with other gifted students from across the state. Check out their website for upcoming events and to consider when planning for next summer. * These classes are not just for gifted children, but for all students who might want to "dig a little deeper."
7th and 8th graders will begin meeting with me next week during seminar to discuss sign ups for various activities throughout the school year.
Thanks! Mrs. Klein
Hello SOAR families-
Identification letters have been sent out today, and I am looking forward to a great school year! If your child is in 5th/6th grade, FLL applications were sent out as well. Please return them to me by Thursday, September 10th. Wednesday I will begin meeting with 4th-6th grade in the pull out program previously decided by each classroom teacher. Here are the schedules:
4th- T/Th 12:25-1:05
5th- M/Th 1:15-2:00
6th- T/Th 8:30-9:10
5th and 6th grade students will begin the year with FLL, while 4th graders will be completing an interest survey and then beginning a study on Greek mythology. Also coming up, the iTag Conference this year is October 18th-20th in Des Moines. Click here to see a flyer for the parents night. I look forward to getting to know all the students and begin this year in Lego League!
Hello SOAR families-
I am so eager to begin the new school year and get to know each and every one of your kiddos throughout the year. I look forward to this year with excitement and anticipation.I know that the SOAR program at Williamsburg is already a wonderful program, and I will strive to develop the areas that are successful while exploring alternatives for the areas that could some fine tuning. I believe that student interest and involvement is imperative for having an engaging and challenging SOAR program to meet the needs of these students. I look forward to getting to know each one of these students and learning what their specific needs are, and how I can best serve them. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions throughout the school year.
Thank you, and I look forward to a great year!
Click here for the FLL Team Info and Application
-Annual iTag conference October 18th-20th
-Thinking Cap Quiz bowl 7th/8th
Wednesday, November 18th
-FLL Regionals Saturday, December 5th
-National Geography Bee
Monday, January 11th
-Regional National History Day competition
Friday, March 18th
-Thinking Cap America Answers (7th/8th) Wednesday, April 13th
-State National History Day finals:
Monday, April 25th
Does your child love to write? Check out this great opportunity from Prairie Lights book store in Iowa City.