Olaf finished his travels!

Olaf traveled across the USA during January. We posted of his visit to the Statue of Liberty and then down to the Everglades. Once he left Florida he traveled north and then west to visit the man made landmark that features four former Presidents! Yes, Mount Rushmore! We learned that Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota and that it took 14 years to complete. The four Presidents featured were: George Washington to represent the birth our our country, Jefferson for the growth of our nation, Roosevelt for the development of our nation and Lincoln for the preservation of our nation. Olaf thinks his face looks good on the mountain too!

Famous Landmark and Mountain Sculpture –


From South Dakota, Olaf traveled south and west

again to another natural landmark. This landmark

was made by the erosion of the wind and the

Colorado River. Yes, you guessed it … the Grand

Canyon in Arizona. We learned that the Grand Canyon

is 277 miles in length and at it’s widest point it is 18 miles wide. It is 6000 feet deep. It has all three types of rocks there: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. The Native American Pueblo tribe and nine other tribes call it home.  Be careful Olaf, don’t fall! We are glad Olaf enjoyed his travels and that he headed East back to GPS and is now hiding around the learning commons on the shelves just waiting for hugs!!

Olaf’s Travels

Olaf has been to two different sites so far in his travels. He first went to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor! Did you know there is a miniature statue in France and they are facing each other? She was a gift from France and came over in pieces on ships!

Olaf left New York and traveled south to the Florida Everglades! It is a good thing that Olaf has his own snow cloud. We were worried the alligator may think he was a snow cone! The Everglades are home to lots of animals and some of them endangered!

Where is Olaf?

With our small dusting of snow, our scouts have gotten excited about snow and are hoping to see more. Of course they love everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. So… the Learning Commons team decided we would work on a little geography and national landmarks at the same time along with our friend, Olaf.

We first had our news show hosts read the new the book, Hide and Hug Olaf on the news show. In the story, Olaf wants to play hide and seek. Since we saw him on the show we know he was in Gilbert, SC. He is leaving us clues each day for us to try to guess where he may be hiding. His first destination is North and East of SC. On Tuesday, the news show showed us a video of what Olaf’ is seeing from the top of where he is hiding. There was a big city in the background with lots of water and ships. Wonder what landmark that could be?

Each day the news show will share a clue from Olaf during the month on January. His hiding place will be revealed on Friday mornings during the show. Get out your maps and map apps and follow him with us! Be sure to ask your scout each day what the clue was for the day and talk about possible locations and landmarks. Have fun!

Close your eyes and count to 10…..

November Voting at GPS!

In Social Studies during November, students will be studying about government. Since this was an election year, teachers and staff wanted the students to have an opportunity to go through the voting process.

To make it a little more fun for our young students, teachers and staff worked in 12 teams to use pumpkins to make book characters. We used carvable craft pumpkins so that they can be kept and used in the Learning Commons for years to come.

They were placed on display in the school lobby so that students can browse them on Monday before they vote. Books the characters are in are also on display beside the characters. Students will vote using a google doc that has been uploaded to their class SeeSaw accounts.

Check out these awesome creations! img_3389 img_3387 img_3385 img_3384 img_3383 img_3382 img_3381 img_3380 img_3379 img_3378 img_3377 img_3376

October maker fun for Kindergarten

Kindergarten students came in to here a story about Spookly the Square Pumpkin, and then we had fun making our own pumpkin with beads and pipe cleaners. Using our math skills we had to count to 30 to get enough orange beads. Then we had to use our fine motor skills to thread the beads onto the pipe cleaners. While we were working, we listened to some fun songs like 5 Little Pumpkins. We love our maker time in the LC!img_3349 img_3352 img_3351 img_3350

LEGO Story Starter

We have been hard at work in the Learning Commons. Most of our posts have been to Facebook each week so please check out and follow our Facebook page. Kindergarten has been using our new LEGO Story starter kits to build stories. We have talked about story elements such as characters and setting. We also have talked about beginning, middle and end which is the sequence of a story. Once the children have their story built, they take pictures of their creation and then use various story apps to tell their stories which works on their communication skills. Our scouts have had a great time using the LEGO pieces and building wonderful stories! IMG_1875 IMG_1876 IMG_1877 IMG_1878 IMG_1775 IMG_1779 IMG_1778

Second Grade Weather Unit

Second grade has been studying weather. Mrs. Stepp and Mrs. Taylor, STEM teacher, have been collaborating with the second grade teachers to  do some wind activities in the STEM lab. We have made parachutes and launched them  outside. This showed us how wind resistance slows down objects that are falling to the earth due to gravity. Then we used bubbles to see how wind affects objects. Inside the bubbles fall to the floor. Outside they flew over the school! Our next activity was to learn about the tools Meteorologists   use to measure wind speed and wind direction. We made models of a wind sock, pinwheel, and an anemometer. Our last exploration was using a wind tube to see how different wind speeds affect objects using a wind tube. The hands on building activities with the tools and wind tube will now be housed in the learning commons for students to continue experimenting with in the Maker Space. Students reflected each session in a journal about their understanding of each concept.IMG_1574 IMG_1585 IMG_1594IMG_1139 IMG_1140 IMG_1142 IMG_1145 IMG_1146 IMG_1147 IMG_1152

Global Read Aloud begins next week

What is the Global Read Aloud? It is a wonderful program that connects children across the globe through reading the same book or books by the same author! This year Ms. Davidson and her class will be connecting with another Spanish Immersion class in Brooklyn, New York. We are excited to be sharing about our lives and community here in Gilbert with other first graders learning Spanish and in such a different community!

We are connecting with a private school in Park Slope, in Brooklyn, NY. Their school is a K-12 school named Berkeley Carroll. You can see their school website here to learn more about their very urban community.

We will be sharing our journey as we connect and share the books of Amy Rosenthal. You can learn more about the Global Read Aloud and Amy Rosenthal by clicking on the links below.

Global Read Aloud 2015                                                                                                                                                                            Amy Krouse Rosenthal      Amy_Krouse_Rosenthalgra_512

Dot Day Fun

GPS has been celebrating Dot Day all week! Our kindergarten students used the ColAr app. We colored a dot and the app made our dots come to life!

First graders sewed dots together to make dot balls. We had two parent volunteers come in to help. Thanks Ms. Chester and Ms. Juergens! We enjoyed sewing!

Second graders made cards for the soldiers by making a scribble machine that drew a design on the paper. The scribble machine was made with yogurt cups and plastic drink cups, a battery, a toy motor, markers and lots of tape!

We also held several Skype sessions with other students mostly on the East coast. Several classes in Vermont, a class in Massachusetts, a class in Maryland and the furtherest in Oregon! One of our first grade classes did an art project with their Skype class. We decorated a dot then cut it in half and sent them one half and they sent us one half. Then we put them together to make a friendship dot! IMG_0009 IMG_0013 IMG_0016 IMG_0017 IMG_1431 IMG_1436 IMG_1437 IMG_1414 IMG_1441 IMG_1428

One Book One School

GPS Scouts have started the year strong with our first reading incentive program of the year. We are participating in the One Book, One School program by reading The World According to Humphrey by Betty Birney as a whole school. We had our kick off on Tuesday, September 8th. Humphrey was on campus to welcome scouts to school and came to visit in the Cafe’ while scouts ate lunch. Every child took home a copy of the book. We are reading a chapter a night during the school week and one chapter on the weekend. Each school day, Ms. Stepp poses a different question for each grade. We have two daily winners in first and second grade and a daily winner in each K class. Even the staff gets a question to answer!

Teachers were given a plush toy hamster and many are sending it home daily with a scout who then keeps a journal of all their Humphrey adventures. We even have a live hamster visiting with us in the learning commons!

We are having such fun! Thanks to all the families who are taking time to read and discuss the book with your children! We are uniting our scouts and creating a love of reading! IMG_1346 IMG_1349 IMG_1342 IMG_1322 IMG_1319