REACH/E2: Warren Township s Enrichment and Gifted and Talented Program

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1 REACH/E2: Warren Township s Enrichment and Gifted and Talented Program Reach/E2 Staff Dr. Susan Cooper, Warren Middle School PJ Jones, Woodland School Dr. Susan Kline, Angelo L. Tomaso School Wendy Piller, Mount Horeb School Jill Zimmer, Central School

2 MISSION STATEMENTS Mission Statement of the Warren Township School District The mission of the Warren Township School District, in partnership with family and community, is to create an environment where each child is valued and experiences the challenge and excitement of learning. Mission Statement of the Reach and E2 Programs The Reach and E2 programs, through a variety of methods and modalities, strive to enhance and develop higher level thinking skills in all children by offering appropriate and challenging activities inside and outside the classroom. In addition, teachers dedicated to gifted education identify those students demonstrating superior academic abilities. Enrichment activities at all levels are established to assist students in developing and enhancing their unique interests and talents. Philosophy of the Reach and E2 Programs Giftedness is an elusive entity with many shades and definitions. While theorists recognize the existence of giftedness, leaders in the field do not agree on the definition. To complicate matters, giftedness is defined by cultural and societal norms and has changed through the years. It is important to clarify that as individuals we each have gifts and assets. Children are in the process of developing their strengths. Through the Reach and E2 programs we strive to encourage all children to maximize their full potential. PURPOSE OF THE REACH AND E2 PROGRAMS The aim of the Reach and E2 Programs is to improve academic performance by engaging all students in meaningful, challenging, and enjoyable learning activities that develop higher-order thinking skills. Our goals, emanating from this aim, directly evolve from the Common Core Sate Standards. The Reach and E2 programs have five major goals: 1. Students will use critical thinking, decision-making, and creative problem solving skills. 2. Students will be exposed to ideas, concepts, and topics not traditionally introduced in the grade level curriculum. 3. Students will be encouraged to develop in academic, social, and emotional domains. 4. Students will be encouraged to develop inquiry and discovery techniques. 5. Students will be oriented toward being producers of knowledge rather than consumers of knowledge.

3 From these goals, the Reach and E2 programs pursue the following objectives supporting the Common Core State Standards, including the 21 st Century skills related to critical thinking and collaboration: 1. Students will be able to recognize and define a problem, or clarify decisions that need to be made. 2. Students will be able to use models, relationships, observations and patterns to clarify problems and potential solutions. 3. Students will be able to formulate questions and hypotheses. 4. Students will be able to identify and access resources, sources of information, and services in the school and the community. 5. Students will be able to use technology and the library media center as critical resources for projectbased inquiry. 6. Students will be able to apply collaborative skills and problem-solving to original and creative design projects. 7. Students will be able to conduct systematic observations, collect data, and apply findings to real life problems. 8. Students will be able to organize, synthesize, and evaluate information. 9. Students will be able to monitor and validate their own thinking. 10. Students will be able to identify and evaluate the validity of alternative solutions. REACH (Grades 1 and 2) ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES The purpose of the Reach program, an infusion model, is to provide enrichment activities for all students in grades 1 and 2 that build self-esteem and stimulate all students to think more critically and creatively. This is achieved through stressing process over content; the delivery of interdisciplinary units; the presentation of activities that employ many of the eight intelligences as defined by Dr. Howard Gardner, noted Harvard University professor; the conscious posing of questions that require higher-order thinking skills; and the direct training in metacognition. While the Reach teachers are intent on developing units of study that deal with educationally pertinent and academically challenging topics of study, the emphasis is on the process rather than the content. As such, each teacher is free to deliver strands of study that are unique to his/her school s children. Reach teachers are able to respond readily to the interests and needs of the students, the classroom teachers, and their own individual strengths and talents.

4 REACH (Grades 3-8) ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES Innovation and Design The Warren Township School District Innovation and Design curriculum for all students in grades 3 through 8 is based on the belief that the ingenuity of children, when properly motivated, will lead to the next generation of technologists, innovators, designers, and engineers who are critical to our society. Coordinated in conjunction with the Technology Department, our goal is to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning; innovative thinking; and creative problem solving; along with 21 st Century Skills. Learning these 21 st Century innovation skills is what separates students who are prepared for an increasingly complex life and work environment in today s world from those students who are not. REACH, TOO! PROGRAM AND IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES The Reach, Too! program provides further enrichment for those students who are identified as academically gifted. This program begins in grade three and continues to the end of fifth grade. The Reach, Too! program is a pull-out framework that allows the gifted and talented/enrichment specialist to meet with a small cluster of identified students for two periods per week. This provides time for Reach, Too! students to meet with their intellectual peers, to be exposed to a differentiated curriculum at an appropriate pace, and to pursue more rigorous academic interests that are not always provided in the traditional classroom. A differentiated curriculum is composed of instructional techniques geared toward the learning styles of gifted children. Activities are developed that not only require that students absorb, explore, and exhibit a modicum of basic knowledge, comprehension, and application; but they provide the scaffolding necessary to elicit creative thinking, the analysis of problems, the synthesis of multiple concepts, and the evaluation of situations. Of primary importance is the development of collaborative learning skills and metacognitive abilities. Guiding students to think about their own thought processes, discussion of problem solving strategies, and use of creative and critical questioning techniques develops students into critical thinkers. The identification process is multi-step, beginning with a teacher recommendation. Next, the procedure includes the collection of data to create a portrait of the student s abilities. The data collection includes the following: 1. Scores from the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 2. Teacher s evaluation of the student s thinking skills 3. Teacher s assessment of the student s classroom performance 4. Scores from a district language arts and math critical thinking assessment

5 The Reach teacher gathers the aforementioned data and records the information on a matrix. Students who attain a targeted score or higher are invited to enter the Reach, Too! program. Children new to the district will be identified in the same manner, originating with a teacher recommendation. Grade three through five teachers are encouraged to further recommend qualified students as they develop academically. Thus, students can enter the Reach, Too! program after the initial identification process, as appropriate. A student may remain in the program as long as his/her participation is deemed beneficial and he/she meets classroom expectations. ENRICHMENT EDUCATION (E2) PROGRAM AND IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES FOR GRADES 6, 7, & 8 What is E2? E2 is a pull-out, gifted and talented program for grades 6, 7, & 8 where students miss academic and specials classes to attend. It is geared towards nurturing the academic, social, and emotional needs of identified gifted students.. E2 is an enrichment program filled with higher-level challenges usually in the form of projects, competitions, contests, workshops, and trips. Students choose their E2 activities in the form of electives. How can a child participate in E2? In 6 th grade, all students will undergo a pre-evaluation based on a myriad of criteria including class grades, teacher recommendation, parent input (when needed), test scores, and any other requested information (if needed). The criteria is assigned numbers and placed on a matrix evaluation. Sixth grade students who meet the initial criteria will be invited to complete an E2 application. After submission of the application, E2 candidates will be invited to participate in a small group interview of fellow candidates conducted by the E2 teacher and an administrator. If the 6 th grade child meets the criteria for acceptance, he/she will be invited to participate in the program. He/she may choose from a selection of projects and competitions. If a child does not meet the criteria to be invited into the program in 6 th grade, a follow-up evaluation may be completed during the following school year as per the request from the parent or child. In 7 th and 8 th grade, parents, teachers, or students may request for a child to be evaluated for the E2 program. The evaluation process for grades 7&8 includes a myriad of criteria including class grades, teacher recommendation, parent input (when needed), test scores, and any other requested information (if needed). The criteria is assigned numbers and placed on a matrix evaluation. If the child meets the criteria for acceptance, he/she may choose from a selection of enrichment electives. How often does E2 meet and when? A monthly E2 schedule is distributed to the students and posted on the E2 door (room 32). E2 meets from a minimum of once a week to 10+ times a week (depending on the level of commitment made by the student and the elective activities). E2 classes randomly run every class period throughout the day (academics, lunch, guide and specials) depending on the elective and the enrichment teacher s

6 schedule. Many E2 classes are flexible where they are offered several different times during the week to accommodate students needs. Regular communication with the enrichment teacher helps students maintain an understanding of their options. Many E2 activities and competitions are offered on weekends, evenings, and after school for ultimate enrichment. Is E2 graded? E2 is not graded. An evaluation is sent home during the year to assess student progress in the program. What is required of students to participate in E2? Students must exert effort and enthusiasm for learning during E2 activities! Otherwise, what is the point of participating? E2 is FUN and Enriching! It is a place to learn and to love learning!!! All school rules and policies are in effect during E2 events. Students who commit to the E2 Program are expected to maintain above average (A s & A+ s) in all academic and specials areas. If this becomes a difficulty, students will be considered for E2 probation. Students MUST make up all missed work and respect the rules and requests of all teachers and their class requirements. Students must attend E2 regularly and communicate with the enrichment teacher in order to maintain in the program. Lack of participation will result in removal from the attendance roster. If students wish to return to E2, they must speak with the enrichment teacher and make arrangements that are fair to both the student and the program. Students are expected to promote for their own learning experiences. Emphasis in E2 is placed on process not final product unless the final product is being showcased outside the school (i.e. contest, presentation, project etc ).

7 MATH COMPACTING Grades 1 through 5 When a student has mastered math concepts before the concepts have been taught to the class, that student is eligible to participate in the math compacting program. The classroom teacher pre-tests students several times a year with assessments from the math series. Students who have achieved 95% mastery are identified. The Reach teacher meets with these students twice a week and prepares math enrichment activities to further challenge them. Independent math activities are also provided as enrichment in the classroom for when students return to their math class. CONTINENTAL MATH LEAGUE Grades 2 through 8 Students who choose to participate in this nation-wide math competition are excused from class to participate three to five times per year, depending upon the grade level. Reach/E2 teachers administer the tests, score them, and present certificates to recognize and encourage student achievement. INDEPENDENT STUDY If a child has an intense interest in a particular subject, he/she can enter into an agreement with the Reach teacher and/or classroom teacher on an independent basis. The Reach teacher will guide and direct the study and/or research; offering the student a personalized, in-depth educational opportunity. TEACHER RESOURCE The gifted and talented/enrichment specialist serves to assist or offer support in areas of acceleration or giftedness. Classroom teachers can ask for assistance with a particular child who might need an additional challenge so that the child s academic needs are met.

8 REACH SCHEDULING Reach Program GRADE REACH (Grades 1 and 2) Innovation and Design (Grades 3, 4 and 5) 1 12 weeks 1 X per week 50 minutes 2 12 weeks 1 X per week 50 minutes 3 12 weeks 1 X per week 50 minutes 4 24 weeks 1 X per week 50 minutes 5 24 weeks 1 X per week 50 minutes REACH, TOO! (Pull-out program for identified students) X X (1 X 50 minutes 1 X 25 minutes) 50 minutes each 50 minutes each MATH COMPACTING 25 minutes each 25 minutes each 25 minutes each 25 minutes each 25 minutes each

9 E2 Program GRADE E2 Enrichment E2 (Pull-out program for identified students) Math Compacting In the form of math Advancement (must meet criteria) 6 Selfselection activities 7 Selfselection activities Re-identify all students in December. Those who meet criteria start program in January Up to 10 academic/specials periods per week with guides, weekends & after school competitions & project-based activities Up to 10 academic/specials periods per week with guides, weekends & after school competitions & project-based activities X X 8 Selfselection activities Up to 10 academic/specials periods per week with guides, weekends & after school competitions & project-based activities X

10 Selection Criteria for Pull-Out Programs Reach, Too! (grades 3-5): Standardized assessments, district and state assessments, teacher recommendations E2 (grades 6-8): State assessments, math placement, academic grades, teacher endorsement, application, and parent questionnaire (if requested) Math Compacting (grades 1-5): Mastery of math unit pretest Math Advancement (grades 6 8): Rigorous criteria for testing mastery of advanced level math, academic math performance, and teacher endorsement REACH/E2 Staff Angelo L. Tomaso Elementary Dr. Susan Kline Central School Mrs. Jill Zimmer Mt. Horeb Elementary Mrs. Wendy Piller Woodland School Mr. PJ Jones Warren Middle School Dr. Susan Cooper REACH E2 Gifted and Talented/ Enrichment Programs Warren Township Schools

11 Reach/E2 is... Warren Township s gifted and talented/enrichment program. This program is designed to develop higher level thinking and problem solving skills for all students. Reach/E2 consists of several components including: Innovation & Design Enrichment for all students - grades 3 through 8* Reach Enrichment for all students - grades 1 and 2 Reach, Too!/E2 Pull out program in grades 3 through 8 for identified, academicallytalented students Math Compacting Pull out program in grades 1 5 based on mastery of individual math units of study Math Advancement Advanced level math in grades 6-8 based on rigorous criteria of testing mastery Consultation with classroom teachers to provide enrichment for individual students * Delivered by Tech. Dept. in grades 6-8 The Innovation & Design curriculum integrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) into engaging hands-on units of study. Coordinated with the Technology Department, students develop 21 st century skills of communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. STEM concepts come alive for students as they design, build, and problem solve together. The Innovation & Design curriculum is an example of Warren Township Schools commitment to 21 st Century learning for all students. Reach/E2 Programs by Grade Kindergarten: Resource for classroom teachers, Enrichment on a case by case basis Grade 1: Whole class enrichment lessons, Math Compacting Grade 2: Whole class enrichment lessons, Math Compacting Grade 3: Innovation & Design, Reach, Too!, Math Compacting Grade 4: Innovation & Design, Reach, Too!, Math Compacting Grade 5: Innovation & Design, Reach, Too!, Math Compacting Grade 6: E2, Math Advancement, Innovation & Design Grade 7: E2, Math Advancement, Innovation & Design Grade 8: E2, Math Advancement, Innovation & Design

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