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Mrs. Beverly Brown

Email: 
bbrown@amherst.k12.va.us
Phone: 
434-528-6499 ext26804
Classes Taught: 
TAG

Welcome to the 2018 - 2019 school year!  I am excited to return for my fourth  year as an enrichment specialist.  My current schedule is:

Monday - Madison Heights Elementary 

Tuesday - Central Elementary

Wednesday - Temperance Elementary (morning); Elon Elementary (afternoon)

Thursday - Amelon Elementary

Friday - Amherst Elementary

I will update this page on Friday with a summary of the week's activities and important updates.  There is also a gifted calendar on the Amherst County Public Schools website.  

Please contact me at your child's school or bbrown@amherst.k12.va.us if you have questions or concerns. 

It's going to be a great year!

Beverly Brown

 

February 8, 2019

We usually begin each session with a brain warm-up.  I spoke to the children about the importance of warming up before physical activity, and the same is true for preparing for challenges.  One of the methods we use is guessing numbers.  For example, I will write a number between 1 - 500.  As each child guesses the number I will tell them if the guess is high or low.  We discuss the stratgey of beginning with a number that is in the middle and continue to narrow the range.  It also sharpens their listening skills!

Stanford testing has altered my schedule this week, but many classes participated in the "Connect" challenge.  Using a cooperative learning format, the children constructed structures to connect two bricks.  They needed to plan carefully to build as many structures as possible within the time frame.  The county record was 5!

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

February 15, 2019

Using reasoning and inferencing skills, the children began the sessions with riddles.  After a few examples were given, the children caught on quickly and enjoyed the word plays.  I encouraged them to make up their own riddles.

This week the children constructed a House of Cards.  I was pleased to observe that knowledge obtained in past challenges, such as a firm foundation, was  implented.  The older children continued their coding and programming activities by completing a Robot Task Force Challenge.  Their logical reasoning is  developing.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

February 1, 2019

"The Clock is Ticking" was the name of our STEM project this week.  The challenge was to create three structures in approximately 8 minutes.  Each structure had to stand independently.  One had to be 12 inches tall, the second structure had to support weight and be at least 6 inches tall, and the last one had to be at least 12 inches wide and stand 3 inches above the table.  At the end of the challenge the children had to evaluate what they would do to change their structures if they repeated the task in the future. We may try this one again in a few months.

The Science Fairs are quickly approaching.  I hope to be at all the fairs this year and I hope to see you there!

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

  

January 25, 2019

The students are embarking on new adventures in TAG and Enrichment classes!  Their creativity and innovative ideas were evident in a project entitled "Change the World in 20 Minutes".  The assignment involved creating a prototype of an invention that would change the world.   We began planning for this is December but weather delays caused it to be postponed.  Ideas included a funnel that would absorb tornados and convert the energy to electricity for homes and an underground water system that would detect heat and douse forest fires immediately.  I told them they are our future and maybe one of their ideas will be a reality one day!

The children have been learning to program our DASH robots to perform tasks.  They are learning to estimate the distance of a course and navigate obstacles.  The logic sequences are challenging but they are doing well!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

Week of December 3 - 7, 2018

Even though the weather interferes with our plans, the TAG/Enrichment classes are going strong!  This week we revisited the Proof game as a warm-up activity.  All students have improved on their ability to solve equations.  The Math 24 Tournament was held on Tuesday, December 4.  It was an intense competition, and I am proud of everyone who participated!  This event continues in middle school with the use of integers.  Math is alive in Amherst County Public Schools!

Next week many students will begin the construction of their prototypes for inventions that will improve the world.  As they discuss their ideas, it is exciting to know that they are thinking of ways to improve our lives in the future. 

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

Weeks of November 12 - 30, 2018

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It has been a busy month with second grade CogAT testing, square towers, and dolphin strandings!

My schedule has been altered because of testing, but I hope to be back to a regular schedule soon.  Many fifth grade students participated in a dolphin stranding simulation as a culiminating activity for the oceanography unit.  Dr. Arnold visited us during one of the labs and posted pictures on Facebook.  Thank you, Dr. Arnold, for visiting!

Children at some schools were challenged to build square towers this week using a limited amount of supplies.  The tallest design won the challenge.  Their finished products were unique.  The older students were asked to create an invention that would improve the world.  They should bring their "shopping lists" next week and the prototype construction wll begin the following week.  I'm excited to see the final results.

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

Weeks of October 29 - November 9, 2018

I am talking to the children about taking advantage of opportunities that are offered by various organizations.  The fifth grade students are participating in an essay contest about the 19th amendment.  They are working on this assignment in their classes, and I will provide support.  For the younger students, there is a contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  I will introduce it to the students next week, and hopefully we will have children willing to participate.

Students are creating an origianl design challenge this week.  The task is to create a prototype of an invention that will improve the world.  After discussing their ideas with me, they will make the prototypes. I am looking forward to the ideas generated by our future leaders.

I hope you have a good weekend.

Beverly

Weeks of October 15 - 26, 2018

Many classes have been challenged with a program called Synonym Strings.  I taught them how to complete the modified puzzle with synonyms of the target word.  We discussed how this program will improve their vocabulary and writing skills.  The children are allowed to bring them home and keep them in their writing folders.

The University of Virginia offers a Saturday Enrichment Program beginning in January.  Please let me know if you are interested and I can direct you to the website or send home a flyer.

The Math 24 Tournamnet is on December 4.  School teams are being formed and I am practicing with the children.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

Week of October 8 - 12, 2018

This week I attended a workshop in Richmond focusing on strategies to enhance student learning.  I was excited to realize that I already use many of the strategies they discussed.  I am looking forward to implementing question walks and escape room activities in the future.

The older children have started a program called Hands-On Equations.  During this multi-week activity, the students will learn to physically represent and solve algebraic linear equations.  They are doing well with the concepts.

I hope you enjoy the cooler weekend!

Beverly

Week of October 1 - 5, 2018

The older children have been practicing the Math 24 to prepare for the tournament in December.  Their speed and accuracy are improving.  Please let me know if you would like cards to practice with at home.

Snap Circuits were used this week for the children to observe the principles of  closed circuits and to realize the importance of following directions with many details.  They realized if they didn't follow the instructions, their devices would not work.  We had airplanes moving and disco balls twirling as they worked in cooperative groups to make their projects work.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Beverly

Week of September 22-26, 2018

I am appreciative of the unique perspectives of your children.  Listerning to their conversations as they work on challenges, I realize they are constantly analyzing solutions and showing respect for the opinions and ideas  of others.  

Please check the gifted calendar on the Amherst County Public Schools website.  As we become aware of opportunities for our children, we will post them on this calendar.

Your children participated in a STEM challenge this week to create a vehicle to transport ping pong balls down a ramp.  Solutions included vehicles resembling tacos, pizzas, and cones.  Some were more successful than others as they learned the many aspects of design.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

Week of September 18-21, 2018

Even with the unscheduled day off this week, we were busy!  

The Elementary Math 24 Tournament is scheduled for December 4 at Monelison Middle School.  I have been working with the older children to prepare for this competition.  Each school will send a team to the competition and I hope many will participate.

This week's STEM challenge was called "Splat.  The children build a tower that would remain upright after dropping it from approximately three feet.  Many towers were successful in ways that were surprising at times.  A few groups modeled their towers after actual buildings like the Eiffel Tower.  I constantly monitor their strategies on these challenges to assess growth.

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

Week of September 10 - 14, 2018

It was wonderful to see many of you at the Back to School Nights!  The enthusiastic atmospheres set positive tones for the school year. 

Students worked on a flying challenge this week.  To promote thinking and design skills, the children created devices that would fly and hit a target.  Various projectiles made by the students flew through the air to hit the target.  Many were successful.  During our debriefing sessions, I asked the children what other materials they would have liked to use, and one student answered, "a drone" which brought a smile to our faces.

Have a great weekend and stay dry!

Beverly

 

Week of September 3-7, 2018

What do bricks, paper, straws, pencils, paper clips, mailing labels and rubber bands have in common?  They were the materials the children used this week to build a bridge that would support a ping pong ball and a nerf ball.  Teamwork was important as they tried a variety of strategies to build the bridge.  Some were succesful and some were not, but during the debriefing sessions they generated many ideas on how they would do things differently.  

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

​Weeks of August 13 - 31, 2018

We had a great start to the year!  The children learned a new math strategy game called Proof and enjoyed the challenge of creating equations from a set of nine cards.  Many groups participated in an activity called "Thinking Inside the Box."  Their creativity and designs allowed me to begin initial observations.  

Please contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns.  I hope to see you at Back to School nights!

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

 

 

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