Monday, September 19, 2011


( Do you really want to hear the music??? Click here and it will play in the background while you read!)

A great investigator or spy needs keen observation skills and the ability to think outside the box. This is JUST what your child will develop over the next few weeks in Think Tank!

PreSchool-Kindergarten and  will be reading "Not a Box" by Antoinette Portis in library with Ms. Sweeney and then applying their creative thinking in Learning Lab over the next two weeks. You can then thank me for saving you money on toys, as your child will hopefully start looking at everyday inanimate objects in new and exciting ways!

In Think Tank, students in all grades will be tackling the awesome fingerprint. From what I've heard, Ms. Hunt did an incredible job engaging students last year in investigations surrounding these amazingly intricate, and often overlooked, part of ourselves. For that reason, I made sure that students were not completing the same investigation but were building on any prior knowledge. Every grade level will be doing something a bit different. Pre-K- 2nd graders will be using magnifying glasses to examine their fingerprints and compare them to a peer. They will then be making fingerprint creations that answer the question: What can a fingerprint become??

3rd-5th graders will be taking the investigations even further. We will be "lifting" latent fingerprints from everyday objects and using a guide to determine who each fingerprint belongs too. Each student will also create their own fingerprint card by lifting their OWN prints! This is actually a quite straightforward process and I encourage you to try it at home!

Many classes will also be classifying the prints of their classmates in a fingerprint chart. From there, students in a Learning Lab will derive all kinds of data. Stay tuned for what our investigative scholars can figure out!

As always, all Think Tank challenges connect to content, Multiple Intelligences and Habits of Mind. Check out the connections below, please feel free to come by the lab to learn more... but be careful, we may use your fingerprints!


What academic content does it address?
Magnification, Scale, Classification, Compare and Contrast, lines

What intelligences are used in this challenge?
Visual-Spatial, Naturalist, Math-Logic, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal

What cognitive skills will this support?
Brainstorm, investigate, identify, perceive patterns synthesize ideas, draw, analyze and evaluate
What Habits of Mind are strengthened by this activity?

Wonder, Explore, and Ask Questions
Support Ideas with Reasons Why
Look Carefully
Be Adventurous and Open-Minded

What types of questions will you be asking?

How are fingerprints similar to animal tracks? How are they different?
Compare and contrast these prints. How are they alike?
What other characteristics to humans have that make them truly unique?
What images can you make from a fingerprint? You will have to brainstorm. Are there other times in your life when you need to generate a lot of ideas?
What kinds of lines can you find in your fingerprint?
What do ridges on our fingers help us do? Why d we need them?

Until next time...


Having your child's fingerprints on file in the event of an emergency only takes a short time and is FREE. You can request free kits or go to a free event. I will place the information here, as well as on the link bar on the left. This is a real life application, and potentially, a real life- SAVING one....

-Mrs. Ford

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