Mastery Club Newsletter

3rd Grade- I would like to welcome all of our new 3rd grade AG students.

Math- Into the Unknown

Algebra: Into The Unknown introduces basic algebraic concepts including equations, variables, and patterns and functions. Students learn algebraic language and practice basic math operations while investigating algebra in an ocean environment.

Reading: Explaining the Unexplainable

Myths were used to explain natural phenomena, and human nature. They usually involve stories about Gods and Goddesses. They explain how something in the world began. They have provided cultures with an explanation of the unknown. Their stories are still relevant today and are explained by using scientific facts. In this unit we will read a variety of informational text , and scientific texts/articles that refer to natural phenomena and texts/articles about Ancient Greece).

4th Grade

Reading: The Hero Within

As a part of a balanced literacy approach, this unit cultivates the skills of reading, writing,

speaking and listening. Instruction will address each component of balanced literacy. Students will read a variety of texts, both literary and informational, allowing students the chance to explore and appreciate the craft of reading and writing .Students will read and analyze different genres with a focus on: comparing and contrasting, identifying the main idea/details, citing the text, drawing inferences and conclusions. Students will engage in speaking and listening skills through cooperative groups and Socratic Seminars

Math: Geometry Challange

During this unit Students will describe, analyze, compare, and classify two-dimensional shapes. Through building, drawing, and analyzing two-dimensional shapes, students deepen their understanding of properties of two-dimensional objects and the use of them to solve problems.

5th Grade

Reading-Let Freedom Ring

As a part of a balanced literacy approach, this unit cultivates the skills of reading, writing,

speaking and listening. Instruction will address each component of balanced literacy. Students will read a variety of texts, both literary and informational, allowing students the chance to explore and appreciate the craft of reading and writing. Students will integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably. Students will determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

Math- Think Like a Scientist:

The goal of this unit it to help students develop critical thinking and sound judgment based on data. The instructional activities emphasize the collection and analysis of data and its connection to scientific inquiry. During this unit, students will:

1. Formulate a question to investigate

2. Collect data using observations, surveys, and/or experiments.

3. They will represent this data using tables and graphs

4. They will analyze, summarize, and describe data sets using range, mode, median, and mean

From the AG Department

Families and Schools: Partnership and Collaboration https://blogs.tip.duke.edu/giftedtoday/2006/07/02/families-and-schools-partnership-and-collaboration/

During the elementary years a close connection between home and school can result in positive interpersonal, emotional, and intellectual development for the child. Parents and school personnel are dedicated to the educational well-being of children, but they represent different perspectives. When working together, they will find it helpful to have a sense of each other’s roles and responsibilities.


Parents are a child’s first teachers, and they are most familiar with their child’s personal characteristics, especially with the development of interests that can be linked to special talents. Although parents do not always know how or when to ask for special services or evaluation for their child, they are generally good at identifying when a child is gifted. Yet they can learn a great deal from their child’s teachers.

“Your efforts could mean that other children get a better education, too.” —Joan Franklin Smutny A teacher has an understanding of a child’s talents and motivations in the classroom and has expertise in curriculum and instruction. My husband and I were recently surprised to hear from our second-grader’s teacher that our son was “obviously gifted in math.” Even though I had spent years studying gifted children, I did not appreciate the signs of giftedness in my own child. Fortunately, his teacher had the skills and experience to advise us and support our efforts.

School psychologists can be valuable partners in serving a gifted child, because sometimes teachers misread a gifted student’s boredom in class as a sign of attitude or attention difficulties. An expert in child behavior may be able to shed light on the child’s situation. Other school personnel, such as an enrichment specialist or the principal, can also play an effective role in creating optimal learning opportunities for gifted students, particularly when it comes to implementing new instructional methods.


While navigating their child’s educational course, parents are faced with various school-related challenges. Here are just a few:

* How best to support the gifted child’s need for challenging material. Do this child’s math skills far outweigh his or her verbal skills, and might he or she benefit from math enrichment? Teachers may have ideas about new teaching technologies, and the parents may have insights into whether the new content or process would be a good fit for their child’s interests and inclinations.

* When and how far to accelerate the child. There are no hard-and-fast rules; deciding on the timing and extent of acceleration requires the input of everyone involved in the child’s education. The parents are most familiar with the student’s unhappiness about his or her current placement; the teachers are most knowledgeable about teaching issues and the curricular characteristics of the next grade(s); and the school psychologist knows how well suited the child is socially and emotionally for such a move.

* Choosing activities to complement school programs. Weekend, summer, and other extracurricular school, community, computer-based, or study-abroad programs keep bright children engaged in learning during school breaks and can benefit a child’s personal growth and academic learning.

* Addressing the child’s peer relations. Sometimes gifted children find it difficult to relate to other children their age, particularly if they feel very different from them. The parents can report on how the child behaves and feels at home, teachers can discuss how the child interacts with peers at school, and the school counselor or psychologist can discern if these behaviors are having a negative effect.

* Coping with underachievement. Sometimes even the brightest students do not do as well as expected. This complicated issue involves individual, family, and school factors that require significant investigation and attention from parents, teachers, and the school psychologist.


Learn the local policies on serving gifted children. The state, district, school, and class that he or she resides in and attends will shape your child’s experience. School districts set policies and expectations that are interpreted and implemented by a principal and a teaching staff. Learn how students are selected for special programs, who is responsible for which parts of the process, and what role you, the parent, can play. The state gifted association and the school district’s administrative offices should be able to give you the information you need.

In addition, spend significant time at your child’s school. Become familiar with its hierarchy, find out who is responsible for curricular decisions, and set up class visits with your child’s teacher. Visiting the classroom provides an excellent opportunity to build rapport and form a mutually supportive relationship with the teacher. You may be able to help institute or support enrichment activities that will benefit not only your child but other students in the class.

—Vicki Stocking, Ph.D., Director of Research, Duke TIP, teaches child and adolescent psychology at Duke University.