Caleb – How are video games affecting our bodies today? (Genius Hour – 2014)

Caleb started out thinking about How are video games made and how do they function — the answers came right off the bat and the teacher had said that questions shouldn’t be answered quickly. So, he decided to find a deeper question. He always wondered how games make his eyes hurt and so he thought it would be a good topic to look at information about effects on the body.

How can video games have great uses?

  • may improve hand eye coordination
  • problem solving skills
  • mind’s ability to process information……..But games can also cause lack of exercise, obesity, problems with performance at school and friendships and can cause violent activity in real life. Games can be addictive.

Caleb shared information learned from a TEDx talk about engagement with games.
Wanting a game + Like the game = engagement
 There are all sorts of games available in different places — over 100 people could be buying games every day. Advertisements make us be interested in games and want them – but it doesn’t mean its a good game. Need to want it and like it in order to be engaged.

Neurogenesis: Games can help the brain develop

Lingering questions:
How DO games affect the eyes? (Caleb)
What should we base our purchases on so that we can avoid being tricked into buying a poor game that was advertised well? (Elise)

How does Neurogensis work?

Why would someone play soccer on a game when they can be outside playing the game for real? (Julia)










Day 34 – Oct. 21, 2014 – PhysEd, Music, Passion Projects, French, Indoor Recess!

We started our day in the gym with PHYS ED with Miss Rankin, and ended it with Mme Reid in FRENCH.


We’re learning a fun & silly Hallowe’en themed song that most parents will remember….Monster Mash! We’re going to perform the song with our younger 1L & 1/2K buddies, complete with masks we will create tomorrow during buddy time! Mrs. Stinson is teaching the “echo” singing part in 1L & 1/2K music classes. Tomorrow, Grade 6 students will join 1L for their music class with Mrs. Stinson, to help teach the song. We learned that sometimes singing the same note for several bars can actually be challenging when another part of the class is singing notes that change!


GENIUS HOUR  “Passion Projects”

We had several more presentations today! The never-ending connections and wonderings continued, as more students shared their interesting “Passion Projects”. We will keep a running list of links to this year’s inquiry projects that can be found on our new  GENIUS HOUR Page. This link can be accessed anytime by choosing “Genius Hour” from the list of pages at the top of our blog.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.20.45 PM


Here are today’s topics:


Isabel – What really goes on behind the scenes in musicals? (Genius Hour Oct. 2014)

Isabel shared so much about what is involved in making a musical, drawing on her experiences in the audience at professional musicals, her involvement in our school musicals and also community theatre. She also used some video and print sources that shed light on behind the scenes.

What happened behind the scenes of movies – Isabel discovered that she already knew most of the information and she hit a few brick walls. Instead, Isabel decided go into musicals instead because she felt that she could generate some deeper questions. Musicals are a whole lot of work! The behind the scenes people

Isabel created a diarama with props to help illustrate the elements of a creating a musical:

  • painting sets
  • lighting
  • fog
  • props
  • special effects
  • costumes
  • hair
  • make-up

Writers, composers, musicians, conductors, chorus singers…..choreographers, dancers……Makes the production truly COME ALIVE!

Sometimes elements are developed but then the director changes direction and everything has to be redone!!!

Special effects are usually a trick of the eye!

  • secret doors and compartments on the stage
  • special springy things and electric lifts that bring people out of the walls or sets
  • special hallways behind stage that allows people to do scene changes and movement more easily — can look magical but it’s just
  • lighting — can create a mood and develop a character (green light for scary witch)

Stage makeup  stays on better  than regular makeup, and you can be all covered in makeup, which makes you very hot under the bright lights. Wigs are fun, and also make actors hot. Sometimes actors will even dye their hair to match their wig! Costumes can also be very large and bulky — which again adds to the heat

Isabel connected to the acting we recently saw from Big Kid Entertainment — large movement is important so people can see from all parts of the audience.

A production is a BIG TEAM EFFORT


backbone — directors, stage crew, backstage (sets, costumes, hair, makeup, props, lighting)

Child actors: very stressful for them! Young to have such pressure because all actors can make or break a show!


I wonder how child actors can do all of this since they are so young? (Matt)



Greg – Who is Zlatan Abrahamovich? (Genius Hour – Oct. 2014)

Greg shared with us important information about Zlatan Abrahamovich:

  • background information – born in Sweden
  • important winning goals
  • famous goals (he scored 6 goals from the half way line on the field!)
  • position on the football field (European soccer)
  • 15 million Euros per year
  • current team: Paris St. German (PSG)
  • trick shots that he is famous for
  • hobbies – fishing

Greg shared a video with an amazing goal by Abrahamovich!

(Photos to follow!)

Additional wonderings:

  • What are some of the traditions for jersey numbers and why are there such traditions?
  • I wonder about ballet and pro soccer (Elise)


Ava – How do animals help people? (Genius Hour – Oct. 2014)

Ava shared that animals can be helpful to humans in many ways

  • entertainment
  • clothing (sheep wool)
  • help people during emergencies (e.g.  cat alerted family about odorless carbon monoxide, beluga whale saved a drowning woman, pot bellied pig ran into the road to alert someone that the owner had had a heart attack)
  • Service Animals: help people (e.g. push buttons for opening doors, gets objects for people who can’t walk, miniature horse or dogs helping people walk down steps, help blind people get around)
  • help with mental health (e.g. help us feel better – we can talk to them or pet them)

The students made all sorts of connections to this, our second animal themed Passion Project!

Lingering questions:

  • I wonder if there will be a step up and more people will be able to use a service animal? (Isabel)
  • I wonder if service animals are better to use (more reliable) than technology that can stop working? (Ava)
  • I wonder if certain species of animals or groups of animals (like mammals) are better suited to be service animals and why?
  • (Ms Fawcett)