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Brain Awareness Week Activities

This year the gifted specialists are teaching a unit on the brain.  It has been so much fun!  Students have learned about different types of intelligence, basic brain biology, neurtransmission, and how emotions, diet, sleep, and exercise affect learning and memory. To kick off National Brain Awareness Week which is March 11-17th, 2013, the gifted students will be sponsoring a huge Brain QUEST at a local mall on the Saturday, March 9th.  Each gifted classroom will have a different interactive exhibit.  Some of the exhibits include making models of neurons, playing memory games, doing the stroop test experiment, making optical illusions,  identifying smells,  and making brain hats.  One of the gifted specialists showed me the game Operation Brain Surgery by Milton Bradley which she got at a yard sale for $2.00.  It was missing some of the parts, but all we were interested in was the head.  We're going to use it at the exhibit on touch.  You see the head has an opening at the top which you put your hand through to feel objects which are placed inside.  So, to teach about the sense of touch at our Brain QUEST exhibit, we are going to place various objects into the head and students will have to use the sense of touch to identify them.  One head won't be enough for our exhibit, so I starting researching the game online and of course I discovered it is no longer being made.  So, my next step was Ebay!  There I found one of the games also missing some parts, for under $10.00, so I snatched it up!  I'm hoping to find one more at a great deal so we will have three for our exhibit.

I think there are all sorts of ways you could use this head in your classroom.  One idea is to have a center called What's on You Mind? and inside you could have journal prompts such as Wondering questionsWhat if? questions, or Would You Rather? questions.   Students could stick their hand into the head and pull out a prompt and complete it in their journals.  A great idea for those early finishers. Well, that is all for today!  Always remember....

My Journey Into Blogging

I have decided to bite the bullet and create a blog.  All of my teacher friends have been encouraging me to do it.  Years ago I had a website called Mrs. Seagraves' QUEST class on Geocities (I've since married and my name is now Susan Morrow), but when Geocities closed, I didn't have the time to transfer the my site to a new host, so I basically just let it go.  A site called Oocities cloned most of that site and some of my old stuff is still floating out there in Cyberspace, but the site hasn't been touched in ten years.  I tried to decide whether to create a blog or a website, and after combing various teacher blogs and websites on the Internet, I finally settled on venturing into the world of blogging.  Back in the old days, I used Microsoft Front Page to create my website and it was sooooo easy - just like creating a document in Word, but this blogging is a little more difficult.  Hopefully I'll master it soon and my blog will be as beautiful as some of the others I see out there.  Just be patient with me, I don't catch on to new technology as quickly as I used to.

I have decided to call my site Keep 'em Thinking because from my years of experience as a teacher of the gifted and now as a gifted coordinator, I believe that we must not only teach children content, but how to think.  I've been a proponent of infusing creativity and critical thinking into instruction, and so I will try to offer some ideas and freebies to help you do just that in your own classrooms.  Hopefully I will have some freebies posted by next week.  Anyhoo, please check back often and see what freebies, tidbits and ideas I have to offer!  Hope to see you back soon!  Remember to always . . .

Keep 'em Thinking!