Students Design 'Shoe-Houses' for Famous Clients
STRETCH students are getting lessons on problem-solving.
Teachers are utilizing used shoes, nursery rhymes, and cartoon characters to bring those lessons home. Students are playing the role of real-estate developers, commissioned by Old Mother Hubbard to re-hab her old "shoe-house." They then have to customize the updates to make the property appealing to one of four potential home buyers-- Humpty Dumpty, the Little Mermaid, Dave the Minion, and Olaf, the snowman from ‘Frozen.’
Teacher Amy DeGuire said the exercise teaches students problem and outcome identification, solution brainstorming, and how to develop, implement, and evaluate a plan.
“This teaches them to do a lot of creative problem-solving," said DeGuire. "It's thinking on their feet using limited resources, cooperation, and team work."
To see a video about the exercise, click here.
First and second grade STRETCH students in the Explorer class - Meet Me in St. Louis learned about City Garden. They are creating a STRETCH Garden by planting flowers and creating a sculpture. As inspiration, the students learned about Dale Chihuly and his infamous glass sculptures, one of which can be found hanging in the entrance to the Missouri Botanical Garden. The students reused clear plastic bottles, painted them with permanent markers, and then cut them into flower or spiral shapes. The bottles were then heated with a heat cut to resemble the twisted glass found in a real Chihuly sculpture. By the end of the project, even the older STRETCH students and Alternative Academy students were involved by creating their own "Chihuly". All of the bottles are being attached to an inverted cone frame at the STRETCH entrance to the Witzel Learning Center. Click here to view slideshow.
In the Mehlville School District, students in the gifted program, called STRETCH, recently competed in "robot wars!" STRETCH stands for "Supplemental Teaching Resources (for) Educationally Talented Children." Teams of up to four students had 2-3 hours to construct a syringe robotic arm demonstrating four degrees of movement. Click here to watch the competition unfold!
STRETCH City Builders
Fourth and fifth grade STRETCH students built and presented Box Cities as a culminating project of a semester-long City Planning and Architecture unit. The goals of this curricular unit included understanding the process of controlled growth and urban development and demonstrating basic architectural design and construction principles. Click here to view slideshow.
STRETCH fifth grade Explorer Classes dissected sheep brains on Thursday, Feb. 6, to learn similarities between the sheep brain and the human brain. Among their lesson they discovered differences between the left and right hemispheres and the many functions of the lobes. Click here to view slideshow.
Outdoor Leadership Lab
The fifth grade STRETCH students participated in the culminating activity for their leadership unit, the Outdoor Leadership Lab on Thursday, Nov. 13. Students were challenged with various problems to solve to encourage the development of their leadership skills. After facing the different challenges, the students who took a leadership role were identified by name and the skills they used to help guide the group. The day ended with a reflective letter writing project. The students were asked to write a letter to themselves that explained the things they learned during the day about leadership. They were also asked to think about how they would use those skills in the future and write about what they think they will be doing in the future and how the leadership skills they learned at the lab might be used. Click here to view slideshow.
STRETCH Caveman Project Slideshows
The 5th grade STRETCH students are studying a unit about Art & Ancient Civilizations. They learned about the Lascaux Cave in France and then made "primitive" artwork to adorn the walls. In activities pictured here they are incorporating modern "symbols" called Zentangle onto bats and spiders to help decorate the inside of the cave they built together. To see the slideshows, click here.
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