Jumping with Success

This year’s Math Kangaroo results have arrived and, once again, TJ’s students have pocketed a number of top prizes. Third grader Gabriel Hjerstedt finished in an impressive 19th place in the nation. Our fourth grade performed beautifully, with eight students earning spots in the top 20 nationally.  Congratulations to Aslan Gadd (20th), Avery Hyra (18th), Nick…

My Oh My Oh Math Con

It’s hard to believe that just one week ago today, I was in Chicago with a pretty incredible group of fifth grade students.  The journey started when a parent suggested that TJ participate in the Math Con competition.  I quickly jumped on board, signed us up, and sent an email to fifth grade ACE parents…

Periodically, the Kids have Great Ideas!

A few months ago, the fifth graders started buzzing about the Periodic Table of Elements.  They started singing Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements”, dropped words like atomic number, electrons, and Mendeleev into conversation, and generally became obsessed.  For their amusement I started posting alternative periodic tables in my room.  “Ye Olde Periodic Table” consisting of only…

It All Starts with a Little Foil…

 Hoping to create your own claymation short a la TJ fifth grade ACE students?  Then you’ll need a script, a bit of background scenery, and an original character.  The first step in the creation of a character — gather some cheap aluminum foil, a few styrofoam balls, and some light gauge armature wire. You’ll be…

The Luck o’ the Irish was with TJ!

The Odyssey of the Mind regional competition wrapped up just a few short hours ago and it seems on this St. Patrick’s Day that we had the luck of the Irish with us.  That, and a whole bunch of created, talented students! Over 100 TJ students spent months crafting solutions to a series of problems. …

MathCon-gratulations!

A few months ago, the parents of fifth grade ACE students were invited to sign up their children to participate in something called MathCon.  Never having participated in MathCon before, I tried to communicate to the parents just how little I knew about what would be happening, yet lots of fifth grade parents took a…

Oh, My Word!

Another successful round of the Word Masters Challenge is now in the books.  Congratulations to our top scoring third graders, Charlotte Secrist and Xavier Smith who each earned 19 points.   Edan Thomton and John Steyn weren’t far behind with 18 points each.  And Pauline Bong, Gabriel Hjerstedt, and Mohan Parthasarathy each had strong showings with…

Summer Opportunity

Each summer the University of Virginia Curry School of Education hosts a highly successful Summer Enrichment Program for gifted and high-ability children rising into fifth through tenth grades. There are three twelve day sessions being planned for June and July.  Students live on-grounds at UVa while taking classes in such diverse topics as finance, inventions,…

Anatomy of a Breakout

Creating a breakout puzzle all starts with an idea.  In my case, I wanted a bit of vocabulary review.  Before the kids enter the room two things need to be created – a set of clues and a locked box hiding a prize inside.  If all goes well, the kids will be able to use…

The Best Things I’ve Heard All Week

Thing 1:  Apparently two ACE kids convinced the day care counselors to stop asking kids to “form a line”.  Now the students are asked to “form a line segment”.  Hooray for mathematical accuracy and those of all ages who advocate for it! Thing 2:  When the 5th graders learned the topic for this year’s claymation…

A Word on Flooding

Coming in to a flooded classroom this morning wasn’t my idea of fun, but classroom flooding is the only bad sort of flooding I’ve faced lately.  In fact, most of my flooding has fallen in the good to amazing range.  Read on, and you’ll understand what I mean. We had a flood of incredible scores…

A Tale of Six Hashtags

My desk.  On a good day it’s messy.  On a bad day…ugh.  The picture above captures my desk on a pretty good day, so I thought I’d snap a picture and give you a tour! 1. The National Geographic Geography Bee will be coming to a 4th or 5th grade classroom near you soon! In…