In May, first graders explored visualization and reviewed critical thinking with a variety of thinking skill activities. Students caught on to SCAMPER, a thinking skill exercise the forces one to imagine looking at something in different ways: large, small, whole, part. This activity stretches the mind and memory of individuals. It is a great activity promoting creative problem solving. Students also reinforced their ability to make connections or analogies through another critical thinking skill activity. By making analogies, students strengthen their skills as both a critical and creative problem solver. Lastly students were detectives, solving logic matrix problems independently. Prior to this, students in the small groups were encouraged to work together. As a final activity, independent work was required. Students' independent reading levels have advanced and thus more are able to understand longer, complex sentences. These activities examined the different strengths of student thinking, that being creative, critical. Groups have an assortment of students with different thinking strengths.
Second graders concluded Logic Links, Level A. Used as an independent warm up thinking activity, Logic Links promote application of reading comprehension in problem solving. Second graders put together their tan gram stories , with some groups sharing the same with their classmates. They were introduced to origami. This paper folding technique originated with the Chinese culture and was later passed onto the Japanese. Many objects can be made through paper folding, one of which is a wheel. Students made an assortment of animals and a pinwheel.
Third graders also concluded Logic Link activities. They delved into a final building problem, designing playground equipment for Top Towne Development, a real estate developer new in the township of Constitution. Students needed to work with group members to design equipment that would accentuate a type of structure: directing, transporting, sheltered, etc. Final model budget costs were not to exceed a virtual $50. PARCC testing altered groups' meeting times. All group models will be completed independently and due in June, when each group has one more final meeting time. Final meeting times will follow district program testing for 2018-2019. Program certificates will be issued at that time as well. End-of-year program evaluations will be included with their classroom report cards.