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IAG High Ability Conference

Whew! What a couple of days it has been! I have been spending the final week before break at the IAG (Indiana Association for the Gifted) Conference in Indianapolis.
Cassondra, one of our awesome 5th grade teachers(Shelby), and I went to several different sessions to learn more about teaching to gifted students. There were a few sessions that stood out that I wanted to share with you! 
Session 1, Mulit Media Projects with a Purpose, told us all about two sixth grade teachers who got a grant for studio recording equipment. Before they realized that their green screen could have been green construction paper and their recording device could have been an iPhone, both of which I have;). They had their students start with one main topic and a concept, like the Romans and their power, and guide their own learning ending with a movie about their topic. 
When I heard about this, I could only think of the story, Officer Buckle and Gloria. Students could create their own safety tip and act it out! They would love it, remember it, and it would create a meaningful learning experience about safety for the kids!

In Session 2, Shelagh Gallagher told us how standards and PBL were like peanut butter and jelly! She  gave us an example with relocating black footed ferrets and we had to create the questions remaining. It was so simple to come up with questions that we needed to find out about relocating the ferrets such as what type of environment they need or what food do they eat. This was the beginning of the project research. It does not have to be difficult! Students become the stakeholder and the teacher becomes the metacognative coach. Basically, students are the driver and we are the GPS. 
By beginning with the problem, we can then find out what we want the students to learn. From there, we can go to the good old standards and pick out the several that we will cover from our project. This is a great way to learn, and I would love to do more of this in my room. 
Session 3 that I want to share was about CSI in the Classroom. The presenter gave the example of having a chocolate party(which I am doing when we finish Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). When the students are out of the room, create a crime scene! Spill some hot cocoa mix, take a bite out of some chocolate bar, leave foot prints in the mix, leave finger prints everywhere! When the students come back, tell them something has happened. Make sure the "criminal" is someone available in the building. Students can use the evidence left, interviews, suspect lists, and fingerprint/shoe print comparison to discover who was the one who did it! 
I cannot wait to do this with my class. I believe we will be doing it for the Valentine's Day party. Hopefully I will have Charlie done by then. We will be using laffy taffy to compare teeth prints and she gave us a lesson in finger printing(I will save that for later). I cannot wait!!

Then there was lunch provided. When you sat down, dessert was served! 
Red velvet cake! YUM!
Then they brought a salad one day and this chicken stuff today. I was not touching that stuff! GROSS! So we walked to the Mall to eat at the food court. 
We took in sooo much information in the past couple of days. I think I need an extra day off to process it! ha! Hope you are having a great last week before break!

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