Inspire Elementary School welcomes you and your student to our Gifted and Talented Programming. These services address the needs of cognitively and academically gifted students in kindergarten through fifth grades. Specific criteria for this programming must follow the State of Ohio’s guidelines for gifted identification, which involves specific score ranges on approved assessments throughout the school year. Our Gifted Program is designed to provide challenging experiences that will enable students to make the most of their abilities and encourage them to expand their own interests.
Gifted students who qualify for services are grouped together for instruction in a regular classroom setting. The classroom teacher works closely with the Gifted Intervention Specialist (GIS) to enrich the entire grade level curriculum. Special attention is given to the preparation for increased rigor and advanced problem solving skills that will begin a foundation for future academic challenges.
In addition to the GIS collaborating with the classroom teacher, gifted students will also receive direct services from the Gifted Specialist within the GIS’s classroom. Here, they will spend time in small group settings where the GIS will expand the depth and complexity of the core content areas in which the students are identified (math, reading, etc.). This setting allows for students to develop deeper understanding through the use of higher level questioning and differentiation strategies that are designed specifically for use with highly abled students.
Students with a gifted identification in the Superior Cognitive area are eligible for services in all content areas. These students will spend more time with the gifted specialist due to the nature of their needs reaching into multiple areas of the curriculum.
In addition to expanding the curriculum, materials used in the K, 1, and 2 Service will support such National Gifted Programming Standards as Self-Understanding, Awareness of Needs, Cognitive and Affective Growth, and Personal, Social, Cultural and Communication Competence Leadership
For detailed information about the National Association for Gifted Children and the Gifted National Standards, please go to: NAGC.org and search for “National Standards.”
Mathematically gifted students and Superior Cognitively gifted students in all grades will advance their understanding of concepts through the implementation of the Mᶾ (“M cubed” Mentoring Mathematical Minds Program) specifically developed for gifted elementary students who can master more than one level of curriculum each year. Students in gifted service for mathematics will be assessed for further opportunities for advancement through the curriculum. This may include accelerating learning over time, skipping mastered content, and the ability to connect concepts to personal interests and talents through in-depth studies, all in the gifted classroom with the instruction of a Gifted Intervention Specialist (GIS).
Students who are identified in Reading and/or in the Superior Cognitive Abilities are eligible for service in the gifted classroom for advanced reading/writing. This means your student’s Gifted Intervention Specialist will work with all gifted reading students grouped together to advance their literacy skills. These students will be taught using a balanced approach to literacy that includes direct instructional support and a variety of daily reading and writing experiences to develop independent readers and writers. Sophisticated resources and high level reading materials will be the basis for differentiated instruction.
In addition to the core curriculum being advanced for these learners, additional “above level” resources will provide challenging work in word study through a program called Caesar’s English. They will also use primary sources of information for research and literature units from the William and Mary Center for Gifted Education.
Going Beyond the Curriculum…
We believe that developing the potential of young gifted children involves more than just adjusting the curriculum or the pacing of instruction. When a child is in Gifted Programming at Inspire Elementary School, he/she will learn how to be a durable person and what it means to persevere during challenges. They will be involved in learning that reaches beyond the academic curriculum and into their social and emotional development through literature and communication skills.
An equally important element of gifted programming for young gifted children is the study of their brains, how they work, and what they can do to maximize their potential. Learning what it means to be “gifted” and having a sense of how they fit in the world will enable them to tap into their strengths and recognize the areas needing more development. This program puts young gifted children in a safe environment where they can explore their wonderings about themselves and try new challenges among their gifted peers without fear of feeling “different.”
The Challenge of Gifted Programming
Gifted students need appropriate challenge in the regular classroom and in the gifted classroom.
Your child’s GIS will work hard to provide the most appropriate and rigorous experience as possible at each grade level. We will be pushing our gifted students beyond what they may be used to. We recognize this can be stressful for some students who have not been faced with these challenges, but our program is designed to ease into this daily rigor in a safe, welcoming environment.
Young students may protest or even believe the work is beyond their capabilities. It is all of our jobs to encourage them to accept challenge and to give their work that extra attention it will need in order to develop their potential. We like to say that we pay our students the compliment of expecting more out of them. If they know we believe they are capable, they will rise to the challenge and have an improved sense of “self” for having done so.
There are times when gifted intervention may not match a student’s current needs. This can happen for various reasons including social/emotional difficulties, medical concerns, or even due to a lack of readiness. If a parent decides the program does not meet their student’s needs, they may opt out of services at any time while keeping future years of service open as an option.
Major Themes of the Program
Instilling a “Growth Mindset” from an early age will create motivated learners who embrace challenge, learn from setbacks and know that they can “grow” their intelligence. This program will nurture intrinsic motivation, as well as the skills of collaboration while promoting high levels of achievement.
In addition, we believe in providing experiences throughout all levels of gifted programming that enable gifted students to be empowered to make an impact on their world. Our youngsters will be learning about young activists from many cultures who have made a difference for others despite their young ages. We will facilitate projects inspiring these young minds to give back to their community in even the smallest ways.
Gifted students often worry about global issues and feel helpless to do anything for the people affected by them. This is one way we can begin instilling in them a feeling of empowerment; letting them know even small actions make a difference, thus providing opportunities for social awareness and an outlet for their fears and concerns for others.
Layers of Inspire’s Elementary Gifted Services
21st Century Learning
- Trans-Disciplinary Project-Based Learning
- Field trips and guest speakers
- Use of online learning platforms and blended learning
- Virtual field trips and WebQuests
- Collaboration with peers using Google Chrome
- Use of a variety of technologies and multimedia formats
- Student presentations to authentic audiences
- Collaborative endeavors in local contests and possible national competitions
- Problem-based learning and STEM education
Social and Emotional Development
- Use of cooperative learning techniques
- Development of student’s metacognition (thinking about their own thinking) through reflection and goal-setting
- Educators engage students with gifts and talents in identifying areas of interests, work with their strengths, and help build confidence through a growth mindset
The Gifted specialist helps to develop activities that match each student’s developmental level and culture-based learning needs. They also help teachers enable students to identify their preferred approaches to learning, accommodate these preferences, and expand them.
Written Education Plans
A Written Education Plan (WEP) guides all gifted education services provided to a student. The WEP is based upon the student’s area(s) of gifted identification and individual needs.
The Written Education Plan includes goals in each area of service, methods for evaluating the progress towards the specified goals, a schedule for reporting this progress to parents and students, and a date by which the WEP will be reviewed for possible revision. The plan also details who will be responsible for providing the gifted service.