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February 2011

Northampton County Schools

AIG NEWS 4th/5th Grade Talent Search Information regarding DUKE TIP is being sent home to fourth and fifth grade students. The Duke TIP 4th/5th Grade Talent Search provides academically talented students in the 4th or 5th grade an opportunity to enhance their academic abilities. Participants and their families are offered resources and encouragement to supplement their educational experience. Eligibility for enrollment is an honor and indicates outstanding intellectual ability. Students must score 95% or higher on a grade-level standardized achievement test, aptitude test, mental-ability test, approved state criterion-referenced test, or 125 or above on an IQ test. The registration deadline is March 25, 2012. Enrolling students must be in either the 4th or 5th grade. If you enrolled as a 4th grader, you do not need to enroll again as a 5th grader. Benefits of participation continue through the participant’s 6th grade school year.

Roller Coaster Fun Students at WHES were delighted to have the opportunity to create a roller coaster with K’NEX. Upon completion of the attraction, students are learning various physics and math concepts using the ride. Students will explore components of speed, distance, and time as they investigate which elements of the coaster are fastest. Students will explore how mass impacts the speed of the car when it is released. Students will also examine what happens to the speed of the car when the angle of elevation is reduced and mass is added.

CES Students Create Wikis Students at CES are beginning to use PBWorks to create interactive Wikis based upon math objectives currently being taught in the regular classroom. The simplest explanation for a Wiki is to say it is a website combined with a Word document. The files can be

viewed just like a normal web site, but its effectiveness is best demonstrated when groups work collaboratively on the content of the site. One useful element of the Wiki is its ability to keep track of the history of a document as it is revised. Students will learn how to

create/upload videos to the website. In the videos, students are “teaching” math concepts and providing examples. The goal is for other students to be able to use these webpages as a remediation/review.

Multimedia Fun Students at GES are creating a multimedia project using a computer program called Photo Story. Photo Story involves using pictures to create a story. The students’ assignment is to create a country and include the following:  History- Explain the discovery and formation of your country.  Geography-Where is your country located? Create a political and physical map that shows some detail to your country. Include longitude and latitude and the name of the region/continent that

your country is located on.  C i v i c s / G ov e rn me n tCreate a form of government in your country. Compare your country to another country with that form of government.  Science/Math-Explain the weather in your country. Factual information needs to be used; the weather you mention must match the region you are in. Make a chart or graph that explains your weather.  Language Arts/MusicCreate a national anthem.

Brainteasers Students challenge their brains by solving “brain teasers” online. These brainteasers were designed to test the students’ logic and the ability to think laterally. Brainteasers teach students to think about problems or riddles from many different angles, to evaluate all of the given information, and to devise informed hypotheses in order to find solutions. By using this higher order thinking, or critical thinking, students apply those lessons to other subjects.

Jacob’s Ladder Students continue to complete activities from the Jacob’s Ladder series. The Gifted Education Department at William and Mary University created these instructional units for high ability learners. The units engage students in exploring carefully selected, challenging works of literature from various times, cultures, and genres, and they encourage students to reflect on their readings through writing and discussion. The series is a learning adventure for students, which begins with targeted readings from fables, myths and nonfiction sources. The students progress through an inquiry process from basic understanding to critical analyses of the texts read. Ladder rungs are organized to increase complexity in intellectual demand with relative questions and activities. The skill ladders in Jacob's Ladder correspond with higher level, critical thinking skills. Students have enjoyed being able to record their responses to these activities using Voicthread.

MathCaching A number of AIG students are experimenting with “MathCaching.” “MathCaching” is an online “geocaching” experience. Students solve mathematical problems to find hidden caches on the Internet. The correct answer to the math problems on the cache reveals the location (URL) of the next cache. Students have ten caches to locate and are awarded a certificate at the end. Students are also learning how to create their own “MathCaching” experience. EOG test item bank questions are being used to devise webpages. These webpages become a part of the “MathCaching” project. Students have to create 10 webpages based upon the concept that the URL has to be the correct answer from the previous URL. It is quite a challenging activity! Students are looking forward to the “geocaching” sessions in April!

AIG Second Quarter News