The Gifted Gazette

Simkins Elementary: Issue 1 Vol. 7

Calendar of Events

April 12th-Report Cards

April 27th-Early Release

Spotlight On Curriculium

3rd Grade ELA

This month 3rd grade students will begin working on a service learning project centered around our work with immigration. Students will generate a list of ideas about how we can meet the needs of immigrants in our schools or communities. Students will narrow down their list of ideas to one and beginning carrying out their plans. I am very excited to see what the class comes up with. Students will also gain first hand knowledge of what it is like to become a citizen in the United States as they take part in a citizenship test. Students will also learn about The Doris Henderson Newcomers School in Guilford County.

3rd Grade Math

This month we will begin our final math unit entitled Algebra: Into the Unknown. This algebra unit introduces students to 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.

Big Ideas for Algebra Into the Unknown

Logical patterns exist and are a regular occurrence in mathematics. They can be recognized, extended, and generalized with both words and symbols. The same pattern can be found in many different forms. Patterns are found in physical and geometric situations as well as in numbers.

Symbolism, especially that involving equations and variables, is used to express generalizations of patterns and relationships.

Equations and inequalities are used to express relationships between two quantities.

Symbolism on either side of an equation or inequality represents a quantity. Thus, 3 + 8 and 5n + 2 are both expressions for numbers, not something “to do.”

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4th Grade ELA

This month 4th grade students will continue to work on our unit The Power of Literate People where we will continue to discuss the importance of literacy. As a class we have discussed how child labor, socioeconomic status, learning disabilities, and language barriers all effect the ability to learn how to read and write. This month students will complete a RAFT writing assignment that will require them to draft a persuasive essay from the viewpoint of one of the literacy activists that we have studied in class. Students will choose the literacy barrier that resonates the most with them and create a collage centered around the barrier.

4th Grade Math

This month 4th grade will be working on our last math unit "Geometry Challenge". Students will work in teams to complete many different geometry challenges. This unit will really help to reinforce the vocabulary and characteristics associated with geometric figures. 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. Students will also have the opportunity to turn each geometric figure they create into a piece of art and we will display them in the classroom.

Some of the big ideas will we will be covering in this unit include:

What makes shapes alike and different can be determined by an array of geometric properties.

Shapes can be moved in a plane or in space.

Shapes can be described in terms of their location in a plane or in space.

Shapes can be seen from different perspectives.

Below you will find pictures of some of the different geometry challenges students will have to complete.

5th Grade ELA

5th grade students have been having a lot of fun with the Arts unit. Students are currently working on a project where they chose a quote about art that was inspirational to them. Students were tasked with the job of presenting their quote to the class in a creative way. I have been really impressed with how creative the students have been. Some students have created plays, puppet shows, painting, and graffiti art. I can not wait to see their finished products. Students will also have the opportunity to research a famous artist of their choice and create a piece of art in the style of the arts. Students will also participate in a service learning project of their choice. Students goal will be to promote the importance of the arts in education and within our community.

5th Grade Math

Fifth graders will be using real-time stock prices to "buy" and "sell" shares of popular securities. Throughout the unit, students will learn or practice place value, operations with multi-digit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths, and develop flexibility in solving problems by selecting strategies and using mental computation, estimation, calculators or computers, and paper and pencil. If there is time, we will also explore spreadsheets through Microsoft Excel as a way to organize and compute information.

The AG department has compiled a list of summer camps for your convenience.
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Your Gifted Child: Help your gifted child reach his academic potential both at school and home

The word gifted has become so loaded. Does it mean "genius"? Does it mean "really bright" or "book smart"? Or is it an overused phrase that has no meaning at all? Isn't everyone's child a "gifted child" in some way or another?

There are different types of gifts, educators agree. Some have "schoolhouse giftedness" or "high achieving giftedness," measured by high scores on standard tests of intelligence or by their advanced knowledge and analytical skills. Others have "creative/productive giftedness" meaning they excel at the arts, in dance, in sport, or in music. In either case, your job as a parent is to help nurture those gifts both at school and at home.

At School

What your school does to help gifted children (and how it determines which kids are eligible) will depend on where you live. Some districts have established gifted and talented programs, while others handle such children on a case-by-case basis.

If you or your child's teacher requests an evaluation of your child, the process may include intelligence tests, a review of your child's past work and standardized-test scores, and an evaluation of his social and emotional development. After you all have a better understanding of his needs, the school may offer options such as:

  • Differentiated approaches to learning: Well-trained teachers will tailor lessons to kids based on their abilities, which in most classrooms will be varied.

  • Pull-out programs: Children attend special classes for math or reading or some other specific skill.

  • Push-in programs: A resource teacher comes to the classroom on a regular basis to provide enrichment in a particular subject area.

  • Acceleration: If your gifted child is in 4th grade but capable of 9th grade math, the district may arrange for him to take math at the middle or high school.

  • Curriculum compacting: Before beginning a new unit, a teacher offers a pre-test, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject.

  • Grade skipping: Though this practice has fallen out of favor, it is regaining momentum in some places. The trick is proper evaluation of a student to see that he is ready to move ahead both academically and socially.

    Your school district may also have programs for children whose gifts are more artistic in nature. Look for clubs, after-school activities, and special classes that honor the talents of artistically gifted students.

    At Home
    Having a gifted child who loves to learn doesn't mean you need to be running a little schoolhouse at home; far from it. Help your child to soar by creating an environment that honors the gifts you know about — and tickles the ones that are just below the surface.

  • Provide opportunities, resources, and encouragement: What interests your gifted child? Dinosaurs? Space? Art? Take him to museums, movies, plays, and other events that allow him to learn more about what he already loves.

  • Share her gifts: Showcase your child's talents in front of "relevant audiences." Don't make Susie perform in front of the family if doing so embarrasses her. But find a class where performance is key.

  • Allow for unscheduled time: It sounds silly, but giving your gifted child time to dream, reflect, sit alone, and ruminate is truly important if you want to inspire creativity.

  • Learn from others: Connect with other parents whose kids are like yours — find them via the National Association for Gifted Children.