Saturday, February 24, 2018

Clueless in 2018: First Graders Try Using a Rotary Phone

This rotary phone was the center of attraction in our classroom one morning. What fun we had trying to figure it out. Most of them don't have a landline phone, only a couple of them know their mom's cell phone number,  and no one knows their home addresses. Just dial 0 for help, right? Times have changed!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Inventions: Learning the Timeline of the Automobile

Tacoma is home to the LeMay, America's Car Museum. 
It is a perfect place to see up close and personal, 
the evolution of the car. 

From the horse drawn carriage... the horseless carriage... the Model T... this "downoutlowlife."

The building is beautifully unique.

There is a beautiful view of Tacoma and Browns Point in the background, a Ferrari and very interested kids in the foreground.

There are levels and levels and rows and rows of cars. 
This is only a fraction of what Harold LeMay collected.

1924 Lincoln 124A Touring Car
We all like this car, the first car to drive over the original "Galloping Gertie" and also the first to  drive over the newest Tacoma Narrows bridge. It also carried Queen Elizabeth and Franklin D. Roosevelt when they came to Tacoma.

Some of us (or maybe one of us) remember when gas was $.30 a gallon. 

It's fun to hang out with our Chinese foreign exchange student.

No car seats for us, just a bunch of kids thrown in and someone riding on the running board. 
And no one can say, "He's looking out my window!"

The Family Fun Zone


Turning the crank

Building our own cars

A "Pandagini"

On your mark, get set...


Did I win?

Thank you, LeMay Car Museum. 
We learned a lot about cars 
and how they have changed over time. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Importance of Friendship for Gifted Students

According to Dr. Linda Silverman (noted author, researcher, and speaker on all things gifted), "When gifted children are asked what they most desire, the answer is often 'a friend'. The children's experience of school is completely colored by the presence or absence of friends."

Here's how one Seabury first grader put it:

I have been searching for a friend but I have never found one. 
But when I got to Seabury I have got so many friends.

They are so nice. I play with my friends. 
I love to play with my friends. 

At last year's Seabury Speaker Series, Austina de Bonte, president of Northwest Gifted Child Association, shared the importance of gifted children finding like-minded friends.

She stressed that a child's social development requires practice, i.e. spending quantity time playing, learning, and working with fellow bright, passionate, engaged, and often asynchronistic classmates.  

That's what we do at Seabury. 
Our students have found their tribe! 

Here we are hanging out together:

Painting a heart mural 

Sharing a project--a hand-made book

Sharing passions
This boy loves tornadoes and wants to be a storm chaser.

Yes, she was born to sparkle at many things, including playing the violin.

 Learning advanced topics together
Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian First Graders

Losing teeth together!

As our motto says, "Seabury challenges gifted children in a community that cherishes each individual and fosters a love of learning, discovery, and creativity."

We're so glad we can do this together.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Valentine's Day Quest

A sweet group of kids went on a quest to find a bunch of 
red Valentine hearts hidden in plain sight. 

It's a secret message! What does it say?

Dear Navigators,
I hope you are having a fun party. 
Will you be my Valentine?
Mrs. Towne

Valentine crafts

Valentine cards and Valentine food

Even Valentine balloons!

Thank you, Navigator families, for contributing to our Valentine's Day Party.
It was a great day of celebrating our friendships!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tinkertopia Part 2: Innovative Toys

The Navigators were inspired by a boy from Malawi who made his own toy from pieces of wire and other items found around his village. His toy was so cool! Would it be possible for us to make a moving toy like he did?

Instead of going around the neighborhood or to a junk yard, we went on a trip to Tinkertopia, Tacoma's alternative art supply and creative reuse center, to find just the right objects for our own toys. We were challenged to make a toy that incorporated some kind of simple machine.

See Tinkertopia Part 1 to see us shopping at the store. 

Galimoto, a Malawi word for car

Trying out a real galimoto 

The galimoto is steered from behind by the child.
The long wire is attached to the front axle. 

Here are our toys:

"The Grappler"
This toy has a winch and working wheels and axels.

"Cool Umbrella Thing"
This toy went through a lot of changes as the student kept thinking of new ways to use his Tinkertopia items. It has a pulley type mechanism with an attached basket.

This student went to Tinkertopia with a plan and used almost every single item he bought at the store, including several piano parts, a license plate, cool miniature boxes, big bolts, a champagne bottle top and more. It took him a while to make the wheels and axles work, but eventually, with the help of a drill, they did! Every day he worked on this was "the best day ever!"

When you turn the knob, the cage goes down into the water. You just need to drive over a bridge or along a lake and fish while you drive. 

He added a trailer for a place to sleep. The corks on top of the camper are his sleeping bags.

"Wedding Carriage"
There was a bin of horses at Tinkertopia.
Teacher's thought: A horse? How will she incorporate small machines into her toy?

Student's thought: I'll make a beautiful wedding carriage with a wedding cake 
and a swing for the babies. 

She had to make several adjustments to the canopy, as she added more and more things to the top. Attached to a chassis, the wheels and axles really work.

"Horse Pulling Sleigh"
This student's horse is pulling a rocking chair made into a sleigh. She is still working on her design and is wondering how to incorporate the rest of her cool things into her toy. 

We discovered that it's just as much fun to make the toy as it is to play with it. 

Kudos to the Navigators for their imaginative, innovative, original, new, novel, fresh, unusual, unprecedented, experimental, inventive, ingenious, creative  toy designs. 

Did I mention that these kids go to a school for gifted kids?

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tinkertopia Part 1: Shopping for Treasures

As part of our study of inventions/inventors, 
the Navigators and the Dragons went 
to our favorite store in Tacoma, Tinkertopia
"a destination where teachers, students, artists, crafters, inventors, makers, hackers, and tinkerers (of any age)" 
search for unusual materials.

That's us!

We each were given a bag to fill with items that will be used for our projects back at school.

Can't you see the kids' wheels turning? The possibilities are endless!

Stay tuned for Tinkertopia Part 2: Creating Innovative Things!

Thank you "Tinkerutopians." We'll be back!

Raven and the Box of Daylight at the Museum of Glass

What's inside that strange looking building in Tacoma? The Museum of Glass's hot shop and lots of cool glass art!! ...