Creativity Corner

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Save the Date!


Our second annual ELANCO Elementary Gifted Expo will be held Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at Brecknock Elementary.  We will gather from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.  Students will share their projects/findings from the independent research.  Don’t miss it!


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Phenomenal Learning


My students have phenomenal ideas!  During our first classes in the past two weeks, they’ve shared what they would like to learn about this year.  Here is a list of some of their learning topics:

  • Stonehenge
  • Machu Picchu
  • Altitude Sickness/Reactions
  • Albert Einstein
  • The making of Robots
  • The Ancient Pyramids
  • Famous Chefs
  • Human Growth
  • Germany’s involvement in World Wars I & II
  • History of the piano
  • The development of Apple Inc.
  • The Holocaust
  • Giant Caterpillars
  • Computer “languages”
  • Solar Eclipses
  • Bioluminescence

Wow! We’ve got a LOT to learn!  I love the enthusiasm behind these ideas.  Our students will become investigators, researchers, explorers, scientists, inventors, and more…there’s lots of learning ahead.

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Chasing Fireflies?


photo taken from:

Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by living organisms.  If you spent any time chasing fireflies at dusk this summer, you were chasing a bioluminescent organism!

As I was reading “Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World” by Leigh Ann Henion this summer, I had the opportunity to reminisce back to one of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve ever had.  One of the phenomenal natural occurences that the author wrote about was the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.  During my college years, I spent some time teaching in Puerto Rico and studying the biology of islands.  While there, I went kayaking at night on the bioluminescent bay.  The little creatures that produce the bioluminescence in the bay are dinoflagellates.  While they are invisible to the human eye during the day, at night they light up the water as it moves.  So, as our kayaks moved through the bay, the water glowed.  Even better, when my friends and I abandoned our boats for a swim, the glowing water swirled around us.  What a phenomenal experience!  I was filled with wonder and awe.  That made me want to learn even more.  I hope our experiences in learning this year fill you with that same motivation to learn!

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World Record Basketball Shot


For my basketball players, and everyone else… this is pretty phenomenal!

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A Message for You!


Click here for a message and press play.

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Lake Maracaibo, in the Catatumbo River Valley of northern Venezuela, boasts the world record label for lightning frequency.  In this area, lightning storms occur almost daily; making it a reliable maritime navigational tool.  This natural phenomena uniquely displays its power at the same location night after night.  Wow!

Although the following video is not lightning from Catatumbo, it’s pretty cool to watch in slow motion.  How does it do that?

Slow Motion Lightning

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We conquered the curl!


My family’s vacation this summer was to Williamsburg, Virginia.  One of our days was spent having fun, getting wet at Water Country, USA.  A favorite of my three boys was the newest ride in the park, the Colossal Curl.  This slide hurtles you high above the park after swishing and swirling you in a funnel shaped feature.  My three boys agreed, it was phenomenal!

Colossal Curl

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Tree with 40 Fruits


Watch this video about this tree that, after grafting, can produce up to 40 different types of fruits.  When it blooms, it is beautiful… different colors, different varieties.  I like to think of this fruit producing tree as our classroom — lots of different shapes and flavors, and together we are phenomenal!

Phenomenal Tree!

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Phenomenal Things!


This summer I enjoyed reading several books.  One of them was a memoir of a young mother who traveled the world in search of natural phenomena.  The author wanted to actually experience them, not just observe from a computer far away.  Over the course of several years, she observed things like the phosphorescent lagoons in Puerto Rico, the migration of the butterflies in Mexico,  incredible lightning storms in Venzuela, and animal migrations in Tanzania, just to name a few. Throughout her travels, the author discovered the wonder in seeing and learning and experiencing new things.

My next several posts will share some phenomenal things I learned or experienced this summer.  I’m looking forward to exploring all sorts of phenomenal things this school year with you!  When we have opportunity to wonder and ask questions and be amazed at possibilities true learning can take place.  What phenomenal things did you experience this summer?

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Gifted Five Leaf Clovers


The following is a link to an article on a blog that I like to follow called, “Crushing Tall Poppies”.  This is a great article, with an accurate description of what it may mean to be “gifted”.  Enjoy!

Gifted Children – Our Five Leaf Clovers

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