Middle School Gifted Newsletter

January, 2016

Middle School Gifted Resource Specialists


Just as a reminder, we would like you to know that we are available to assist cluster teachers in meeting the needs of gifted students. Earlier in the year we met with some of you and/or provided gifted student lists and additional information regarding gifted services. Additionally, principals and counselors were provided with ID lists, professional development opportunities and resources to share with staff. We're enthusiastic about our role thus far and look forward to sharing resources and strategies for differentiation, lessons, and ideas for integrating enrichment opportunities into your various content areas. Please contact us at the emails listed below if you would like to meet during your planning time and/or team meeting.

Building Depth & Complexity Across the Content Area

Several schools have been implementing parts of Dr. Sandra Kaplan's Depth & Complexity model. This curricular model seeks to increase rigor into the general curriculum by asking students to develop scholarly behaviors, to consider knowledge through the perspective of career specialties, or disciplinarians, and to use a variety of critical thinking skills. More information can be found on the district gifted and talented website, through the links below, and through staff development during TBT and/or planning time.

Map Resources

As you're all well aware, the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) creates a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student’s learning level. It provides assessment data—and essential information about what each student knows and is ready to learn. Consider visiting the sites provided here or on the NWEA website to explore additional map resources with students' RIT scores in mind.




Middle School Debate Tournament

The District Middle School Debate Tournament at Capital University was held on December 11. Sixty students from 6 schools debated whether the United States Federal Government should significantly increase restrictions for genetically modified organisms. Participating schools were Columbus Gifted Academy, Columbus City Girls Preparatory, Devonshire, Dominion, Ecole Kenwood, Ridgeview.

There were 8 teams in Division 1 (5th and 6th grade) and 7 teams in Division 2 (6-8 grades). Each affirmative and negative team debated a different school three times. All the students did an outstanding job in bringing their arguments and evidence for the judges to hear. All the students were recognized for their hard work and effort with a medallion and T-shirt from the English Speaking Union and Capital University.

A big thank you to Dr. Koch, Capital Debate Coach, who started this event and who has partnered with Gifted and Talented for eight years to provide students in grades 5-8 the opportunity to engage in policy debate. Many of Dr. Koch's students assisted with judging as well as staff from Columbus City Schools who also participated by judging and timing the debates. Thank you to everyone for making this event a success.

*Spring debate is scheduled for March 24, 2016. We look forward to seeing the schools above as well as additional schools for the spring debate. The topic will be announced in January.

District Middle School Chess Competition

If you have experienced chess players who play at an intermediate or advanced level, please consider registering your top three players in grades 6-8 for the competition scheduled for March 3, 2016. Check with your school principals for registration information or feel free to contact Vonda or Michele for additional information.
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Math Showcase!

Formerly known as Math Challenge and Math Scramble (middle), and Math Works (elementary), the gifted department has combined these events to create something unique...Math Showcase. Students will be selected from both divisions by their math teachers to represent their schools and interact with mathematicians from other buildings to solve multi-step math problems and to share in the excitement of applying mathematical skills and knowledge. The event will include: Logical Reasoning, Problem-Solving, and a Design Challenge. Students also have the opportunity to work on a team Math Project. The event is scheduled for March 10, 2016. Please check with your school principal or contact Vonda or Michele for additional details and registration information.

Fantastic Friday Returns!

For those of you who may have been wondering about the fabulous Fantastic Friday program at Columbus State Community College, wonder no more! Recently, we received notification that interested schools may submit their preferences to attend the ever popular hands-on science activities this winter and spring. You'll want to register soon as dates are limited for this very in demand program. Please contact us if you need additional information or follow the link below if you did not already receive the welcome email. The activities are geared towards grades 6, 7, and 8.
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What Is It?

The Central Ohio BBB Laws of Life Essay Contest is a competition of the best Laws of Life or other character-related essays written by middle grade students in the 21 county Central Ohio area. The BBB Center for Character Ethics sponsors the regional contest to recognize the achievements of the exceptional youth who participate in their local school contests, and to encourage schools and communities to engage in this enriching and valuable experience. Nearly 20 CCS middle schools have competed in the last two years. As a result, several have attended the annual recognition banquet as finalists and been awarded certificates and cash prizes as well as gift cards for their schools and teachers!

Entries for the 2016 Essay contest are due:

MARCH 4, 2016

For information on registering your class or school, contact gifted resource specialist, Vonda Spencer-Keane, also the designated 2016 essay contest liason/coordinator. She will submit entry forms and essays for participating Columbus City middle schools and be available to provide materials, answer questions, and facilitate classroom or school informational sessions.

OWjL Camp Applications are due January 31, 2016!

Ohio Wesleyan University Junior League (OWjL) of Columbus is a one week residential summer camp program of challenge and enrichment for central Ohio’s gifted and talented middle school students currently in grades 6-8. It is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan University and founded by the Junior League of Columbus, with major support from corporations, foundations, community service groups and individual contributions. For more information about the registration process and important dates and deadlines as well as financial assistance, please follow the links below:




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FREE! ~~Online CEU Opportunity~~ FREE!

The district is providing you with 6 hours of access to the GT Ignite online library of courses for professional development. There are 1-hour, 3-hour, and 6-hour courses available, so please review the library before making any selections.

  • Select topics that you feel are most relevant for you
  • Courses can be taken online at your convenience
  • You’ll receive CEU credits for every course you take

To begin, you will need to acquire a username and password. To do this, click the link below and use the registration code to complete the form.

Registration Code: 3809ccsd16002023

Link: http://gtignite.responsivelearning.com/SelfRegistration/


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Invitation to Brag!

Please share your successes! It's easy. Simply write a paragraph or two sharing observations pertaining to extension activities, enrichment, or culminating activities that highlight student learning and special events. The classroom teacher, student, principal, or parent may provide a submission for our gifted blog. Once again, submit your blogs to any one of the middle school gifted resource specialists via email.