KCS GT Update

February 2021 Volume 9


We hope this next newsletter finds you well. We hope you find some tidbits in this volume that make you smile, ponder, reflect, and think. As a GT Department, we strive to do the same things with your children. Please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's GT coach with any questions or just to say 'hi'. Enjoy!

What's Happening in GT?

We have been super busy in GT. Our third graders have been working on multi-step word problems that involve multiple operations. We have been impressed with our students' ability to persevere in these relatively long tasks. They have most enjoyed using their critical thinking to analyze errors in solved problems! Fun to watch them be the teacher! The culminating activity will be for students to create their own multi-step word problems.

Fourth grade is doing a unit on delayed gratification. The kids are learning about the theory that delaying gratification should be taught. This had led to excellent discussions with our students. They have participated in a Socratic Seminar where they discuss if, based on the information we have provided for them, they feel children should be taught to delay gratification or if this will naturally happen as they mature. They have really learned about working that willpower muscle.

Fifth grade read and analyzed an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter From The Birmingham Jail" and his "I Have a Dream" speeches. This produced rich conversation around whether students feel that we have or have not fulfilled MLK Jr's dream. From the letter, students created concept capsules using unknown vocabulary words. They did this by further researching the word and then illustrating it in abstract and creative ways. Some students have shared their created concept capsules as a teaching tool for their peers. Students, then, did a personality frame on Dr. King. We asked the students to use their critical thinking skills to make deeper connections between his letter and his speech.

Parenting is Hard

We are not given a manual or an instruction guide when we become parents. We learn on the job. Here is a heartwarming video on how to be a great parent. Parenting is a tough job, but it is so rewarding. You are doing hard things and it is making a difference. The most significant thing you do may not be something you do. It may be someone you raise.

Teaching Empathy

We all know that empathy is a vital skill to have and should be taught. Parent's Magazine has compiled a list of books that help teach children empathy. The books are organized according to age appropriateness. Click here to learn more.

Reading Challenge

Knox County Library and Mayor Jacobs have challenged Knoxville children to read one million hours in 2021. The program is called Tails and Tales. There are even prizes. Are you up for the challenge? Click here to learn about this program and sign up.

Life Hacks

I could always use a good life hack to make life easier. What about you? Click here to find 35 life hacks for kids that make parenting easier and more fun. The first few are for those in the early stages of childhood. I wish I had known about some of these. The last ones on the list can be used for elementary age kids. I hope you can find one that makes your life easier.

KCS GT Department

The KCS Gifted and Talented department strives to create a SAFE environment for each other, our teachers, students, schools and parents where we value Support, Advocacy, Flexibility, and Empathy.

As instructional coaches, we will meet each teacher where they are as we seek to create a SHIFT in service delivery and instructional practice in order for every teacher to feel confident in providing challenging and engaging instruction requiring students to persevere through complex tasks.

As gifted practitioners, we will meet each student where they are as we seek to create a SHIFT in student efficacy in order for every student to feel confident in participating in complex tasks, advocating for themselves, and utilizing a growth mindset.

https://www.knoxschools.org/Domain/143 KCS GT website