Monday, August 28, 2017

Newsletter August, 2017


Dear Parents,
      Hello, my name is Frances (Francie) Snyder and I would like to welcome you to

the 2017-18 school year. I have been teaching in Manatee County for over twenty years, with the last ten years working with the Gifted Population. This year, I will be working at Abel Elementary on Mondays, Oneco Elementary on Tuesdays, Prine Elementary on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Bayshore Elementary on Fridays.
     I heard a speaker say once, “Your school should have an academic focus not a project focus.” This is a statement I whole-heartedly agree with, however, the presence of projects does not mean that academics take a backseat. On the contrary, academics are as front and center as ever, which is why we began using the Gifted Program's motto - WE are a Laboratory and NOT a Factory. Let me explain, laboratories are places of exploration, questioning, discovery and the focus is on the learning process. In factories the focus is usually about the outcome or products. Those in factories are taught to do something one way and never expected to ask why or to try to find a better way of completing the task. With those principles in mind, we do what we can to construct projects in such a way that a multitude of cross curriculum skills are covered. These skills include: Grade Level State Standards, The State of Florida’s Framework for the K-12 Gifted Learners, and National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students.
      Finally, I try my best to ask for very little supplies throughout the year and only ask for things that we use a great deal. I want to personally thank you in advance for sending in the items I am requesting and please know the extra help goes a long way.

Supply List:
-2 reams of white copy paper
-4 sharpened pencils
-wide tip washable markers (Crayola are best)

This is going to be an EXCITING year! If you need to reach me, the best way is through email snyderf@manateeschools.net.

Thank you,
Frances M. Snyder (Francie) Educator of the Gifted 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Current Events -8/24/17- Student Post

The process we followed for this activity can be found here.


Today we heard about the eclipse and how it effects Depoe,Oregon.  This was the Great American Eclipse that has not happened in 99 years. This was a once in a lifetime event. We heard that in Depoe they had to open three fire stations so they could give out solar eclipse glasses for free so people can look at the solar eclipse without damaging your retinas.Finally, the eclipse directly went through fourteen different states in the United States of America. We feel this eclipse was important because it had a big effect in the Depoe,Oregon and the United States of America.




By: Razil, Ameer, Richard, and Natalie

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October Newsletter 2016

October  2016

Dear Parents-

We have had such fun this quarter getting to know each other! We spent a huge chunk of our time not just discussing things like teamwork and critical thinking through games and projects but each student has had a chance to begin to explore coding with robotics using our Ozobot and simple circuits with our Makey-Makey Kits. The older students are creating a how to video for one of these fun items. In the Gifted Laboratory, we focus on the process and not the final product and the students learned a great deal from this activity.

Also, this quarter our older students have  jumped into Virtual Literacy Circles with the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio with several schools from around the globe. We have been reading and discussing the book through the use of Edmodo and video conferencing software. This book has truly led to some wonderful conversations and we looking for more experience with Virtual Literacy Circles throughout the rest of the year.

Next quarter we will be exploring geography just a bit and we have some fun activities planned. Students will be participating in different projects to explore the world around them and hopefully broaden their horizons.

 Finally, I try my best to ask for very little supplies throughout the year and only ask for things that we use a great deal. I want to personally thank those families who have sent in the items I requested and please know the extra help goes a long way. If you have not already done so we could still use your help.

Supply List:
-2 reams of white copy paper
-4 sharpened pencils

Thank you,
Frances M. Snyder (Francie)
Educator of the Gifted
Abel, Oneco and Prine Elementary Schools

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our First Break Out

Today our fourth and fifth graders had a great time participating in their Breakout Edu Game.
Here is what a few of them had to say about the experience. 






Friday, August 19, 2016

Newsletter August 2016

Dear Parents-

I would like to welcome you and your child to our Gifted Laboratory for the 2016-17 school year. Our focus continues to be on the student outcomes from The Florida Framework for K-12 Gifted Learners, which I have attached for your review. It is our true belief that learning should be a lifelong pursuit and that the process is equal to if not more important than the final product. There will be a wide range of critical thinking -2 reams of white copy paper
-4 sharpened pencils

Thank you,
Frances M. Snyder (Francie)activities where at each step along the way there will be lessons to learn. Students will be learning strategies, frameworks, and other skills needed to improve their problem solving skills.

Thanks to the use of technology, we will also continue to participate in many global collaboration projects. We will be reading and talking about books through Virtual Literacy Circles, exploring geography with Mystery Skypes, and of course participating in Virtual Field Trips.

Also, this year we will be exploring Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and how we can incorporate these principles into our life. These are timeless and proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity. The Seven Habits are as follows:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

I try my best to ask for very little supplies throughout the year and only ask for things that we use a great deal. I want to personally thank the four or five families who have sent in the items I requested and please know the extra help goes a long way. If you have not already done so we could still use your help.

Supply List:
-2 reams of white copy paper
-4 sharpened pencils

Thank you,
Frances M. Snyder (Francie)








Monday, January 25, 2016

Newsletter- January 2016

Dear Parents-

       It is hard for me to believe that this school year is already half way over and we have been very busy with several activities. Again, this December we participated with eight million other students from around the world in the Hour of Code. This is a global movement in over 180 countries. The organizers feel that-Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving and creativity.
            During this quarter some of our older students continued their work on  Genius Hour, which is  based on a business practice that Google uses with their developers.  They are allowed to use 20% of their time, provided that work has the potential to advance the company.

Our guidelines/rules for Genius Hour are as follows:
-You must start with a real-world question or problem.
-You answer/solution must require research. It must require more than a Google Search.
-Your final project must be sharable.
I am really looking forward to seeing where these students take these projects.

Students have each crafted an Action Plan that clearly states what they hope to accomplish. This includes:  the goal, the procedures, a definition of what their completed  project looks like, and how it will be evaluated. We are really looking forward to sharing our work sometime after spring testing.
            Other groups are working on research projects and with all of these projects the process is our focus. There will be mini lesson on strategies such as: choosing an appropriate topic, note taking, developing a quality product and other items that may appear throughout. Our younger students are each working on Animal Projects and have been exploring an animal of their choice.
            Finally, Virtual Literacy Circles where we are using Edmodo and Google Hangout free technology programs to communicate with one another and other classes from around the world. In December we had two Virtual Literacy Circles up and running with several more this spring. These Virtual Literacy Circles do a wonderful job of honing literacy and technology skills and are a big hit with the students.
            As a reminder, I have an open door policy and if you have any questions and/or concerns please contact me through email snyderf@manateeschools.net.

                                                                                    Sincerely,

                                                                                    Miss Snyder

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Newsletter-October 2015

Dear Parents-


We are off to a great start this year! One of the things we have been striving for in our Gifted Laboratory is to keep the focus on our learning process and not the final products.  Many of the strategies we use in one inquiry will be needed in another and it is my hope that by focusing on the process of learning rather than final products, strategies will transfer. Don’t get me wrong, we are not sacrificing quality, we are attempting to stress if you plan and execute quality throughout you are more likely to produce a quality final product with less stress.  With that theme in mind, we spent some time both exploring and learning to use The Scientific Method. Students worked in small groups to design experiments using bubbles and other materials in the classroom. There were many discussions about the need for measurable data, it is okay for a hypothesis to be wrong, and other elements of the process. There are plans for a lot more Science Technology Art and Math (STEAM) this year in the program.

We have also begun to explore the topic of Genius Hour, which is  based on a business practice that Google uses with their developers.  They are allowed to use 20% of their time, provided that work has the potential to advance the company.  Like everything else we do in our program we will be focusing on the process. There will be mini lesson on strategies such as: choosing an appropriate topic, note taking, developing a quality product and other items that may appear throughout. Our guidelines/rules for Genius Hour are as follows:
-You must start with a real-world question or problem. 
-You answer/solution must require research. It must require more than a Google Search.
-Your final project must be sharable. 
I am really looking forward to seeing where these students take these projects. 

We have also begun to explore the idea of Grit, as a personal trait. Grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” The research on Grit has shown it contributes to long term success. The research propose that individuals who possess a drive to tirelessly work through challenges, failures, and adversity to achieve, set goals and are uniquely positioned to reach higher achievements than others who lack similar stamina, no matter their intelligence level. We have spent time defining, listening to experts, holding group discussions and writing reflections on the role Grit plays in our person success. These types of exploration throughout the year encourage students to own their own growth process.  One thing, as a parent, you can do to help encourage and/or develop this mindset in your child is focus your praise on process, learning, and effort (You really worked hard on this and have learned a lot. You did a great job of developing a plan and following it through. You’ve really developed as a musician.), as opposed to ability (You’re so clever. Look how smart you are; you did that so fast. You’re good at math. You’ve got a lot of talent.)

This quarter has brought us some good news as well. Thanks to Donors Choose and some friends of mine, we were able to purchase locks and other supplies for our Break Out Room. Our Breakout Room activities will teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve. These materials will be used several times throughout the year. Also, we received a three hundred dollar grant from the Manatee Education Foundation entitled “Creative Engineering”. These hands on materials will be utilized throughout the this year to provide inquiry based STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts and Math) Activities. I am looking forward to getting these materials into the students’ hands as soon as possible. If you know an organizations or any individuals who donate to the Manatee Education Foundation please be sure to thank them for what they are doing, not only our gifted laboratory, but so many other classrooms across the district. 

I try my best to ask for very little supplies throughout the year and only ask for things that we use a great deal of. I want to personally thank the four or five families who have sent in the items I requested and please know the extra help goes a long way. If you have not already done so we could still use your help. Thank you in advance
Supply List:
-2 reams of white copy paper
-4 sharpened pencils


Thank you, 
Frances M. Snyder (Francie)