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Elementary GATEWAY June 2024 Newsletter

  • Wow! What an amazing year we had! 

    Each week, Tier 3 GATEWAY groups completed challenges that exercised the below thinking skills:

    Convergent Thinking - One characteristic of students who excel at deductive, convergent thinking is the ability to intuitively see the correct answer. They tend to find the interrelationship between clues and defer judgment until all clues have been collected. Often they will display outside knowledge about a topic that will help them discover the correct solution. First graders were introduced to Convergent thinking by learning how to think like a detective and a scientist. 

    For some summer fun, families can continue convergent thinking at home with the following activities:

    • Sudoku puzzles, Crossword puzzles, Wordle, Word Searches
    • Mastermind, Clue Jr., Deduckto boardgames
    • Ask rising 4th graders to teach their family how to play “Ace, Jumble, Zilch”

    Divergent Thinking - Students who excel at divergent thinking are able to list many responses to questions or brainstorm many ideas. Not only are they fluent in their thinking but are also very flexible. They tend to be original, giving off-beat and sometimes humorous responses. These students can elaborate or expand upon an idea and because of this the flow of ideas may be interrupted. An advanced vocabulary is sometimes displayed during the divergent thinking activities. First graders practiced Divergent thinking by learning how to think like an inventor and a storyteller.

    For some summer fun, families can continue divergent thinking at home with the following activities:

    • Role-playing games such as charades, Guesstures & Cranium
    • Pictionary, Scattergories, and Taboo require brainstorming & creative thinking
    • Collaborative storytelling games such as Story Circle

    Visual Thinking - These students demonstrate a good memory for detail. They may not be as verbal as their classmates and therefore may not have as much opportunity to demonstrate their talents during traditional classroom activities. Visual thinkers often enjoy activities involving hands-on building of three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional drawings. During class work, these students often respond best to visual images such as graphic organizers and instructional computer programs. First graders were introduced to Max the Magician who taught them to look for patterns and use visual clues to find a solution.

    For some summer fun, families can continue visual thinking at home with the following activities:

    • Jigsaw puzzles & Tangrams
    • Rubix Cube
    • Learn about Rube Goldberg then design or create your own machine

    Evaluative Thinking - Students who are able to evaluate and offer a solution that is based on valid considerations have an opportunity to shine during these specially designed lessons. They are able to see more than one viewpoint, understand considerations, and support decisions and opinions.  First grade students practiced Evaluative thinking by learning how to think like a judge. 

    For some summer fun, families can continue evaluative thinking at home with the following activities:

    • Apples to Apples (both Divergent & Evaluative thinking game)
    • “Would you rather” questions & continue the conversation by asking children to explain their considerations for making that decision
    • Play a “rating game” - ask your child to rate something (books, movies, characters, colors, athletes, etc.) from favorite to least favorite and explain why

    Enjoy your summer and be curious!

    Mrs. Tabor & Mrs. Zontini