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To subscribe to the KGA Team 5th Grade Remind group, download the Remind app and use class code @mrbuist.

You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. - Steve Jobs

Maker Faire Expenditure
It's not all fun and games in 5th grade. It's hard work. It's real work. It's connected. Students are learning how to calculate taxes, tips, discounts, and percents as they work on their Maker Faire projects. Each day, teams receive a per dime based on a set of criteria. Throughout the day, teams must subtract from that per diem if they require labor help from teachers, mediation by teachers, advice from teachers, or tool rental. These items are taxed and may require a gratuity of 10%, 15%, or 20%. Below are conversations with three KGA 5th graders as they complete a formative assessment based on these math principles.
The 2015 Flame Challenge - What is Sleep?
In 2012 Alan Alda (yes, that Alan Alda) challenged scientists around the world to explain to 5th graders what a flame is. The competition he started with Stony Brook University and the Center for Communicating Sciences began with a question Alda had as a young student. He asked his science teacher "What is a flame?" and was given an unsatisfactory answer. So to encourage scientific communication, The Flame Challenge was born. In 2013 our 5th graders participated in the Worldwide Assembly. Ten schools from around the world got a chance to evaluate the finalists and share their thoughts with Mr. Alda. Who knows if we'll get the same chance this year, but we plan on learning more about sleep and scientific writing. Ask your children about this process and stay tuned for more details about the winning entries.

flickr photo shared by buistbunch under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license
Maker Faire Update
So that students can perfect their craft, write about the process, and calculate the amount of their per diem they've spent on materials, labor, advice, and mediation, we've changed the date of the 2nd Annual KGA 5th Grade Maker Faire to Thursday, April 30. In the meantime, here are some pictures and video of the students' progress.
Can I do it? Can it be done? Apparently it can.
Based on the work and ideas of makers around the world, KGA 5th grade will be hosting the 2nd Annual Maker Faire on Friday, April 24 from 1:00-3:30. These ideas and projects will be on display the following day at the Catalyst for Change Conference at Basha High School from 10 am-2 pm. Below are some resources the learners in BPod should be using to help generate ideas. 
KGA 5th Celebrate Read Across America
In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday and Read Across America, we are celebrating reading through Seuss trivia, poetry readings on the morning announcements, and spoken word performances in the cafeteria at lunch time. Right before lunch each day we are out on the quad rockin' and readin'.
5th Graders Design and Print Puzzles
Jonah and Donnie love puzzles. They also love challenges. So when Jonah built a prototype of a puzzle built with wooden cubes glued together, the two of them decided to recreate their design on a much smaller scale, but one that could be more easily be reproduced. They are still working on the final two pieces of the puzzle ,but when it's done, we'll be sure to update this page with more videos and pictures. 
Combining Geometry and Algebra (Geogebra), the KGA 5th graders are designing and building 21-hole miniature golf course. Students, working in teams of three of four, are using the engineering design process to brainstorm ideas base on our Pearls of Wisdom, build a golf hole that is no more than 150 cm by 75 cm out of a variety of materials, test the designs with their peers and redesign if necessary, and share their creations to the community at the Science and Engineering Night on February 19 from 5:30-8:00 PM. 
In 2013 several Chandler Unified teachers had an idea. Could they build, launch, and recover a high altitude balloon. The answer? Yes. An while it took nine days to recover SallySkyRider, the data she brought back from 90,000 feet above the Earth's surface sparked a movement in 5th grade. After the recovery, the students analyzed the data and video footage, determining that SallySkyRider experienced temperatures as low as -66 degrees Fahrenheit. The following year the 5th graders continued on this journey, programming Arduino computers, experimenting with GPS devices and GoPro cameras, building a payload for Sally's precious cargo, and learning about latitude and longitude and the properties of helium and hydrogen. This year's legendary 5th graders will carry her torch as they design questions and payloads and program Arduino to research the Earth's first two atmospheric layers. Stay tuned to SallySkyRider on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Tumblr. You can also watch her 2013 and 2014 launches on YouTube. The proposed launch date has been moved from late February to mid- to late-March.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by sallyskyrider

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by sallyskyrider
Circles of Evaluation
As part of the Hour of Code celebration, we explored a variety of online tools designed to help introduce young learners to computer science and coding. One of the sites connected order of operations to writing lines of mathematical expressions as code. Students who had experience with order of operations were challenged to think about this mathematical principle in a unique way with a unique representation. Students with limited experience with order of operations were able to make sense of how mathematical expressions work with a variety of operations.
Thanks to the Chandler Education Foundation
With support from the Chandler community and the CEF's 100% Awareness Campaign, teachers in CUSD are able to apply for grants to help fund projects in the classroom. This year we wrote a grant for a GoPro Hero4 Silver and tons of accessories to be used on a variety of projects, including a high altitude balloon launch in the spring. Here is the first video of students using the camera, including a helmet mount and chest mount.
'Tis the Season for Tax Credit!
One of the ways the KGA 5th grade team expands our learning environment beyond the four walls of our classrooms is by being a part of a Global Learning Community through technology and digital spaces. This year, the fifth grade team wants to expand the physical space we learn in by planning our first-annual Fifth Grade Science Camp. While the exact dates and location are currently being negotiated, this field trip will take place in the Spring, after the AZMerit assessment, and will be at a trusted large-group camping facility in Prescott or the surrounding area. In order to make this learning opportunity truly unforgettable, we need some help from parents.
In the coming weeks we will send home more specific information about the program including dates and location, as well as details for parent chaperones. In the meantime, the season of AZ Tax Credit is upon us. We anticipate the cost of this field trip will be more than $12,000.  Please consider donating all or part of your Arizona tax donation to KGA fifth grade. As a reminder, married couples filing jointly in the state of Arizona can donate up to $400, single adults or those filing separately can donate up to $200, and you will get your donation back dollar-for-dollar. The deadline to apply your donation to your 2014 taxes is December 31st. Beginning January 1st, you can donate and apply it to your 2015 taxes.
You can access the online Tax Credit Donation or the print version of the form here; remember to note that you want your donation to go to Knox Gifted Academy fifth grade. You may also split your donation between multiple grade levels and even multiple CUSD schools. If you have questions about the tax donation process, please don't hesitate to ask any of the three fifth grade teachers.
Dare Mighty Things! 
This year we are encouraging all 5th graders to explore the idea of parachutes for the science fair. By having teams choose a similar topic, the teachers can focus their attention and better assist with research, procedures, data analysis, and scientific writing. Be sure to check this spreadsheet for possible inquiry questions and potential teammates. These aren't necessarily the science fair teams; however, we do recommend you work with one or two partners. This way you can share the workload, cooperate with others, communicate with others, and cogitate with others.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-ND ) flickr photo shared by buistbunch
Building a Community of Learners Instead of Competition Among Homerooms
One of the things we take pride in is the community of learners we've created in 5th grade. And because we are 80 students strong, instead of three distinct homerooms, we chose to handle the class spelling bee a bit differently. This week we asked which students were serious about competing, held them to their commitment and determined our six top spellers in the grade level. In the past we would have equal representation from classrooms; however, based on the learning community we've helped create, we felt it important to break down the classroom barriers and send the best spellers in our grade level to the school competition this Monday at 9:30 am in the MPR. 
Congratulations to our grade level representatives: Anthony K., Katie S., Ben B., Ian M., Jackson S., and Dana S. We know that these six legendary learners will represent KGA Team 5th Grade with the utmost integrity and dignity.
2014 Giving Thanks Parade
What an amazing show of earth and space engineering marvels! Did you notice that the 5th grade floats were organized in a timeline, starting with da Vinci's ornithopter (1485) to Orion (December 4, 2014)? If you weren't able to make it to the parade here are several reflections and videos highlighting the process, product, and event.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream
Soyuz and the Seven C's 
The KGA 5th Grade celebrate and apply the "Seven C's" to each learning adventure we take together.
The crew of Soyuz Expedition #41 took an adventure together as they traveled from the International Space Station back to Earth on Monday, November 10th at approximately 03:58 GMT. The Soyuz capsule un-docked from the ISS over Argentina and landed in Kazakhstan. KGA 5th graders were surprised to learn that the descent takes just 3.5 hours, the capsule lands on land rather than in water, they travel through temperatures that near 2500-3000 degrees Fahrenheit, and that the final thrusters ignite just 70 centimeters before the capsule hits land.
Our Seven C's, as they have evolved, are: cogitatecollaborateconstructcalculatecraftcommunicate, and connect. See if you can identify each of the seven C's in a Soyuz return-to-Earth adventure. Also in November, we will watch and analyze the launch of Soyuz Expedition #42, commanded by American astronaut Barry Wilmore, of NASA.  
Students Have a Voice with Padlet
This morning students used Padlet to communicate a portion of last night's homework. The idea behind the question was to find ways to effectively communicate that a partner made errors in mathematics.
Chandler Education Foundation Prize Patrol Visits 5th Grade
Several weeks ago the 5th grade teachers wrote a grant for a second GoPro camera and various accessories to use for an upcoming high altitude balloon launch. Friday morning the Chandler Education Foundation Prize Patrol surprised the teachers and awarded them $720 to purchase these materials. This grant and others that were awarded around the district would not have been possible without your generous donations during CEF's 100% Awareness Campaign.
"Turn Him Loose, Bill" by Remington
Thanks to our amazing Art Masterpiece volunteers who shared with the 5th graders a new work of art and new techniques.
Cardboard Challenge 2014
Thank you for supporting the 2014 Knox Gifted Academy Cardboard Challenge. We appreciate all the supplies and time you spent in our class helping students design and build amazing works of engineering and art. We hope you noticed the time and effort that went into each project, the mathematics behind the scaling, and the engineering design process each team or individual employed to make an amazing product.
International Dot Day
We hope the 5th graders had a wonderful day of creativity and courage. Thanks to all the families who were able to donate items or donate time (or both).
Forest of Dots  
Design Squad Lunar Lander Testing
Teams of engineers tested their lunar landers and evaluated the performance of their spacecraft using a rubric that helps determine scores for accuracy, damage, and rate of descent.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream
Mystery State Hangout - NOTE THE DATE CHANGE!
Can a group of students located somewhere in the world find the location of another other group of students? Tune in to the live broadcast on Monday, August 25 Tuesday, August 26 at 11am PST.
Communicating Science To A Real Audience
Several teachers from Yuma stopped by the 5th grade classrooms last week interested in how we do things at KGA. Turns out a team of scientists/engineers/researchers were conducting their last water bottle rocket trials. This KGA 5th grader explains to teachers the science and design behind her team's experiment.
Google Apps for Education (GAFE)
This year your child will be using Google Apps for Education and Classroom by Google to create, connect, and collaborate on all types of classwork and homework. Each student has his or her own school account to create and store files. Students have access to Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Drawing, and Presentations. They can also use the Google Calendar. They do not have access to Gmail. Each student has 30GB of space to use for school-related work. They are not to store personal files in their school account. Please review their work on GAFE often as we will make comments and post grades on their files.
Students using GAFE  
Students will also use Edmodo as a collaborative workspace as teams are created and connections are built within our school and across the globe. The site is secure and is monitored by the teachers. Students may use Edmodo for educational purposes only and must pay close attention to the quality and type of content they share is this will represent their digital identities. We will work closely with the students as the continue to develop digital citizenship. Please make sure that your child has subscribed to the KGA Team 5th Grade Edmodo group (details are in the Homework/Other Assignments page.
Welcome, 2014-2015 KGA Team 5th Grade!
The KGA Team 5th Grade is looking forward to filling this virtual space with images, video, reflections, celebrations, and information with you this school year. One way to stay in touch with what is going on in rooms B1, B2, and B3 is to check the announcements scroll, the Homework/Other Assignments page and the Daily Reflection page regularly. For a glimpse of, "A Day in the Life" as a KGA 5th grade student and parent, enjoy this video!