Thursday, November 16, 2017

Saving Tom Turkey

I thought we would take a bit of time today to work on developing our creativity and have some fun in the process. I asked my students to come up with some advertisement to Save Tom Turkey. They enjoyed the work so much that had students begging to skip recess so that they could finish their project. I love days like these.  Here is a bit of their efforts.

Please note that we used PhotoBooth on my Mac to record these videos so all writing will be backward.






Friday, October 13, 2017

Newsletter-October 2017

Dear Parents-

Our Gifted Laboratory is off to a great start this year! One thing we have been striving for is
to keep a focus on our learning process rather than our final products. Since many of the strategies we use in one inquiry will be needed in another, it is my hope this focus will help strategies transfer. This quarter, we have spent a great deal of time exploring and discussing the idea of metacognition, or the awareness and understanding of your own thoughts. We are identifying and exploring these concepts in a variety of subjects from dealing with text to strategy games.

During the next quarter we will be exploring the ideas around Grit. Grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” The research on Grit has shown it contributes to long term success. It proposes 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. With this in mind, we will spend time defining, listening to experts, holding group discussions and writing reflections on the role Grit plays in our personal success. Throughout the year, these types of explorations will encourage students to own their individual growth process. As a parent, one thing you can do to encourage and/or develop this mindset in your child is to 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.)

We will also begin 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 lessons 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.
-Your answer/solution must require research. It must require more than a Google Search.
-Your final project must be shareable.
I am really looking forward to seeing where these students take these projects.

Again, 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
Abel, Bayshore, Oneco, and Prine Elementary Schools 

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)