We just spent our first week utilizing the new model described in the last post. Our first week was spent at Heights Elementary. We are asking teachers for feedback about how we can make our week at their school better and how we can impact learning for our gifted students.
From our perspective, we were still swamped with testing students and meeting with parents. We tested 4 students, which represents 4 hours of testing time in addition to the paperwork that comes after. We also have to schedule parent meetings after each testing session. Next year, we hope to have all the referrals from teachers in April and testing/paperwork/communication completed in May. That would allow us to focus on instruction and student portfolios in August and September.
We met with each GT student to complete an interest survey so that we can individualize learning according to talents and interests.
Amy had a chance to extend the information she learned about some of her 2nd/3rd graders and has designed independent and self-directed projects that go across schools.
We stepped into classrooms to co-teach, assist, or model in reading and math intervention groups.
We planned with individual teachers and teams to help differentiate instructions, provide resources, and provide strategies for our advanced learners.
It was a busy week.
Even so, many teachers voiced frustration about how small the time we get to spend onsite seems and that it is not enough. We welcome feedback and suggestions telling us how we can better facilitate teaching and learning for our gifted and talented students.
Purple Sage, you are next. Look for us and plan how you want us to work for you. Let us know NOW. That way we can plan in advance.
See you soon,
Jayna and Amy
Jayna Eichelberger has taught in Middleton for 24 years. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from BSU, M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University, and has a Gifted/Talented Endorsement. Currently she is a member of Idaho Core Teachers Cohort I.
Amy Brownlee has experience as a first grade teacher, earning Teacher of the Year in 2001. Last year, she taught the 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Enrichment Class at Mill Creek. She has a natural knack for gifted learners. Amy earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from BSU. She is pursuing her Gifted/Talented Master's degree while also training as an Idaho Core Teacher in Cohort II.
The Gifted and Talented (GT) team works to meet the needs of exceptional academically talented students and aim to deliver accelerated, rigorous, and specialized instruction, aligned to the Idaho Core Standards. We support, develop, and implement practices that encourage 21st century skills and respond to the diverse gifts and talents in learners from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. Middleton School District's Gifted and Talented team sustains and engages in research and professional development, community outreach, advocacy, communication, and collaboration with all stakeholders to improve the quality of education for all learners. By nurturing potential through challenging, meaningful and respectful learning experiences, we support creative producers, responsible problem solvers and autonomous learners in a global community.
1. Case Manage all G/T students K-5: Set goals, check progress, identify gifts and talents, report, observe, and communicate. Meet with 6-8 students to set goals and monitor growth.
2. Portfolios: A collection of student work to show growth over the year. Through PLC work we will help to identify the advanced products we hope to see in the portfolios. We will share these with teachers and parents.
3. Testing to identify academically gifted students.
4. Meet the complex needs of our Twice Exceptional learners.
5. Lunch clubs: The week we are in each school we will ask students to join us for lunch to participate in engineering, art, writing, book, math and other clubs to support advanced opportunities in school.
6. Three Talent Development Nights, each hosted at one of our elementary schools. Mill Creek will hold the Legos/Engineering Night, Heights will provide space for our Creativity Night, and Purple Sage will sponsor the Choose Your Own Adventure Night. Dates TBD.
1. PLC team thinking partners
2. Provide Professional Development opportunities K-8
3. Unit Design coaching that weaves in the Idaho Core, Core Knowledge, differentiation, instructional strategies, and formative/summative assessments
1. Communication and advocacy