Princess Anne Middle School Gifted Resource Program2013-2014 Gifted Cluster Teacher Meeting “Information Dump” & Training Session on the Use of Essential Questions to Frame Student Understanding
Definition of Giftedness United States Department of Education definition of Gifted and Talented Students: “…those who have outstanding abilities, are capable of high performance and who require differentiated educational programs (beyond those normally provided by regular school programs) in order to realize their contribution to self and society."
Why Gifted Education? • Gifted students’ unique characteristics and needs are most effectively met through specialized curriculum, instruction, pacing, and grouping arrangements. Research indicates that in order for high-end learners to reach their full potential, the regular curriculum and traditional instructional processes must be differentiated. • Gifted students learn at a faster pace, at varying depths of understanding, and possess interest levels that are more complex than the average learner.
PAMS GIFTED POPULATION • PAMS has the highest identified gifted population of all VBPCS middle schools outside of Kemps Landing Magnet School. • As of August 2013, PAMS gifted population (intellectual and talented) is 252 identifications/ 241 individuals. • PAMS identifies ≈ 15 intellectually gifted students each year through gifted identification testing. • There is one full-time gifted resource teacher assigned to this school.
THE GIFTED LEARNER... • asks the questions • is highly curious • is mentally and physically involved • has wild, silly ideas • plays around, yet tests well • discusses in detail, elaborates • beyond the group • shows strong feelings and opinions • 1-2 repetitions for mastery • constructs abstractions • prefers adults • draws inferences • initiates projects • is intense • creates a new design • enjoys learning • manipulates information • good guesser • thrives on complexity • is keenly observant • is highly self-critical
WHY CLUSTER GIFTED STUDENTS TOGETHER? • Gifted students’ unique characteristics and needs are met most effectively through specialized curriculum, instruction, pacing, and grouping arrangements. • Gifted students learn at a faster pace, at varying depths of understanding, and possess interest levels that are more complex than the average learner. • Gifted students are placed with their intellectual and social peers—with more children who “think” like they do. Middle school is scary enough without being so different!
“CLUSTER” VS. “ADVANCED” • All core teams have advanced classes. The approach to the content and process is qualitatively different in the intellectual cluster classes. • Intellectual students should be placed on cluster teams in order to receive adequate gifted services. • We want to avoid isolates in the core content areas.
Cluster Groups 2013-2014 • 6th grade: • Cobb, DeWitt, Johnson, Walton • Anoia, Chasse, Hamby, Zell • 7th grade: • Abrams, Dean, Marx, Solheim • Cash, O’Malley, Parker, Thompson • 8th grade: • Agami, Dunlo,, Irish, George, Morgan, Perry, Reyes, Zajac Gifted art and ODC dance students are also on these cores.
THE GIFTED RESOURCE TEACHER’S ROLE IN STUDENT SUPPORT: • Collaborate with cluster teachers to introduce and use instructional strategies that work well with the gifted learner • Plan and implement differentiated curriculum, resources, and instruction • Offer enrichment activities • Meet with individuals or small groups • Advocate • Work with parents YOU! ME!
INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES AND MODELS • Kaplan’s Depth and Complexity and Content Imperatives • Creative Problem Solving • Habits of Mind • Concept-Based Instruction • Differentiated Instruction • Parallel Curriculum Model • Curriculum Compacting
HABITS OF MIND • Persisting • Managing Impulsivity • Listening with understanding and empathy • Thinking flexibly • Thinking about thinking • Striving for accuracy • Questioning and posing problems • Applying past knowledge to new situations • Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision • Gathering data through all senses • Creating, imagining, innovating • Responding with wonderment and awe • Taking responsible risks • Finding humor • Thinking interdependently • Remaining open to continuous learning Costa, Arthur & Kallick, Bena (2000)
Gifted Benchmarks • Worthy horizons for gifted learners, especially, but appropriate for all learners • Should be incorporated into unit planning for intellectual cluster groups
Wednesday is ODC Dance Day Please follow up with the ODC Dance students for their plans for getting and completing their work. Please help me and get the kids to be very specific! Active art students are full-time at VBMS. No art students leave PAMS for any gifted art instruction.
Gifted Identification Screenings for PAMS 2013-2014 Testing for Gifted Identification is scheduled for the following dates: November 26, 2013 February18, 2014 (KLMS testing only) June 3, 2014 (new students to VBCPS only) Paperwork is due two weeks prior to the testing date to Ms. Jennings (w/ a cc to me). All paperwork is to be submitted electronically. Don’t print until you get the “go-ahead” to do so.
Communication and Support • The gifted resource teacher designs newsletters, web site, program pamphlets, gifted listserv email notices, a blog, and other methods to communicate with parents and the community. • The GRT also attends parent-teacher conferences for gifted students. Please make sure you alert the GRT for any conference with the parent of a gifted student.
Gifted Resource Room • Room 331 • Numerous resources available for check-out • books • videos • journals • games • resource materials
Essential questions: Opening doors to student understanding TRAINING SESSION
Today’s Goals • Review Six Facets of Understanding and their relationship to high-quality essential questions. • Understand the difference between the implementation of essential questions from conventional instruction.
Six Facets of Understanding If you were to try to characterize or describe the concept of “understanding” (of a topic, a skill, etc.), what would you say? What would “ true understanding” look like? At your tables, brainstorm ideas on the chart paper about the different facets of understanding.
explanation self-knowledge interpretation Six Facets of Understanding application empathy perspective McTighe & Wiggins
Why use essential questions? • ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: • signal that inquiry is a key goal of education; • make it more likely that the unit will be intellectually engaging; • help to clarify and prioritize standards for teachers; • provide transparency for students; • encourage and model meta-cognition for students; • provide opportunities for intra- and inter-disciplinary connections; and • support meaningful differentiation.
How do I implement essential questions effectively? • Conventional instruction: A question is asked, discussed, and left behind as different content is covered. • Essential question: the exploration is designed to be spiral-like or flow back and forth between the question and new sources of information, experience, and/or perspective. • We need to repeatedly return to the question to probe further, think more deeply, and arrive at more insightful understandings. • How does this approach support gifted learners?
Phase 1: Introduce a question designed to cause inquiry • Goal: Ensure that the EQ is thought-provoking, relevant to both students and the content of the current unit, and “explorable” via text, a research project, a lab, a problem, an issue, or a simulation in which the question comes to life.
Phase 2: Elicit varied responses and question those responses • Goal: Use questioning techniques and protocols as necessary to elicit the widest possible array of different plausible, yet imperfect answers to the question. Also, probe the original question in light of the different takes on it that are implied the varied student answers and due to inherent ambiguity in the words of the question
Phase 3: Introduce and explore new perspectives • Bring new text, data, or phenomena to the inquiry, designed to deliberately extend inquiry or call into question tentative conclusions reached thus far. Elicit and compare new answers to previous answers, looking for possible connections and inconsistencies to probe.
Phase 4: Reach tentative closure • Ask students to generalize their findings, new insights, and remaining (or newly raised) questions into provisional understandings about both content and process.
So..... • Keep going back to the essential questions and have students “hang” their new knowledge on those pegs. • New questions will arise—write them down and keep them posted. Students will begin to answer their own questions...the constant revisiting of answers after milestones have been reached lead to alternative methods, new theories, richer understanding. • Essential questions are timeless and are not bound by content area. Really good conceptual essential questions can be asked across disciplines and throughout the course.
Ticket Out of the Room • Please complete the 3-2-1 sheet in your packet and return it to Cathy Peterson before you leave. These will be shared with Ms. Jennings, the AP in charge of the gifted program, so we can plan our next steps as we continue to grow the program here at PAMS.
3-2-1 Exit Ticket Name:_________________________________________________________________ Room #:________________________________________________________________ Please tell me what you consider to be the top three strengths of the PAMS gifted cluster program: • cluster teachers! Please tell me two things that you would like for us to work on together this year that we haven’t done before, that you want to tweak from last year, or that we can do better: Please tell me one thing about working with this year’s group of gifted students that you are most looking forward to and why: