I attended the 4th grade gifted program informational meeting last week for M. I was glad they had that, so we could know what the kids will be learning. The girls go to a public school, mostly because we can’t afford private.
It a self-contained gifted class and the entire focus is on higher order thinking skills and interdisciplinary approach to teaching. If they are studying constellations, they will study myths and legends, research a constellation and write an essay, present a play about constellations, and teach other students about constellations using a digital planetarium.
They will compact a lot of the basics in order for them to get to the good stuff.
Their reading revolves around novels and they will get a chance to do some comparative analysis (for instance, comparing and contrasting two books from the same genre). They will have writing projects and speaking projects.
They will be focusing on vocabulary and learning Greek and Latin prefixes. They’ll participate in a national analogy-based vocabulary contest.
They will have a fifth grade math book, and they will use a game called Hands-On Equations to teach algebra skills.
For science, they will be doing a science project, and if they get their act together, a design project too. They will also be changing the diet of twin mice babies and monitoring their growth rates.
I was really pleased to hear that they monitor the children’s progress, so that if they see that one or a couple of students needs more challenge in math, they’ll allow those students to accelerate and if any child is struggling with the challenges, they’d give them some extra assistance.
They don’t load up on the homework and a lot of times, they have less than the regular classes.
I am excited and nervous, but one nice thing about the informational meeting is that there are a few other parents with concerns for their child. Like one mom said, “but my child keeps saying I only BARELY got in” and they reassured her that it would be all right and that in the 20 years they had the program, only about 5 didn’t make it through successfully.
This made me wonder…what is your child’s gifted program like? Are you happy with it? What are its strengths and weaknesses?