GREAT THINKING THURSDAY
For Klein ISD Educators of Gifted
January 10, 2019
Benfer Elementary: Gifted Learners Creating, Collaborating, Embracing Challenges!
by Andrea Jenkins
GT Advocate, Benfer Elementary
January 6, 2019
As you walk through classrooms at Benfer, you will see many gifted students creating, collaborating and embracing challenges as they work on their research pathways. It is exciting to see students’ passions unfold as they catch you up on their latest research, or show you what they have been building and designing. To support each other on this journey, our 5th graders created a Google Team Drive specifically to house their projects. There you can find encouraging comments on students’ work as they help each other pursue excellence and overcome obstacles.
Outside of the research pathways, students in 3rd grade have been utilizing technology as they challenge their learning in both reading and math. A variety of Google tools have been used to extend lessons with activities like SCAMPER for math and Depth and Complexity for reading units. In addition to Google apps, students are also creating digital inspiration boards in conjunction with Thrively, focusing on both academic and personal goals.
This spring, Benfer has plans to continue our partnership with Strack as our GT students collaborate with each other as makers, innovators and creators in monthly challenges.
Professional Learning: GT Update Courses Spring 2019
By Carrie Raiyawa
Advanced Academics Program Coordinator
Since January 2017, the GT Guiding Coalition has been working to improve the educational experience for gifted learners in Klein ISD. We have accomplished many goals with the help of dedicated educators, counselors, and administrators who participate as coalition members. One goal is to improve professional learning for gifted teachers, most importantly, offering more hours locally in Klein. Historically, teachers have attended gifted training in other districts, so the GT Coalition made it a mission to design a plan to offer more professional learning in Klein, lead by Klein staff. In the summer of 2018, we offered the full 30 hours of foundation training at the KMPC, twice! Once in the 5 day face to face format, and the other as a blended course. In an effort to create a more personalized professional learning experience, we designated one of our update trainings for elementary and one for secondary. Over 500 Klein ISD educators attended multiple sessions that were lead by our own amazing gifted educators!
As we continue our work with the coalition, the members have voiced the need for the six hour required GT update course offerings in Klein as well. This spring we will be offering multiple opportunities for teachers to acquire their six hours of gifted update training. There are two options from which teachers can choose. The Advanced Academics Department has planned five face to face trainings over the course of the next five months. Each blended professional learning session includes a short online assignment to be completed before attending a two hour session in person. When a teacher completes this course they will earn three hours of update credit for completing the online portion and attending the learning session. Teachers can choose two different courses (three credit hours each) to obtain their required six hour update. The other choice our teachers have is to attending a traditional one day six hour learning session on a Saturday.
As we continue to move towards personalized learning in our classrooms and our professional learning, the GT Coalition recommended providing different professional learning formats for Klein teachers. We understand the busy lives of teachers and their families, and wanted to create a plan that will work for everyone.
All of these options open for registration in Eduphoria on Jan 9, 2018! To see a full listing of the courses including descriptions, dates, times, and locations please visit this link. We look forward to seeing you at these learning sessions and growing with you as educators!If you have further questions, please feel free to contact Carrie Raiyawa, Program Coordinator for Advanced Academics at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PSAT Score Review
Special Community Information Session! January 17, 2019
Student Voice: SAT/ACT Club: Klein Forest High School
By Vivian Nguyen
Class of 2019
Klein Forest High School
Here at Klein Forest, we believe that every student has the potential to achieve their SAT and ACT goal scores. All the students need is the time and resources to ignite their potential. Inspired by other OSP Ambassadors in Klein ISD, three of Klein Forest’s Senior OSP Ambassadors began the SAT/ACT Club: Justin Tran, Ezinne Iwuanyanwu, and Vivian Nguyen.
The SAT/ACT Club is meant to provide an environment and the resources to assist students of all grade levels in their SAT and ACT studying. We utilize the knowledge and skill of our top-scoring senior students to facilitate tutoring sessions. Not only are senior students able to display their mastery of varying subjects to underclassmen, but they are able to pass down unique test-taking tips. We believe that using a student-to-student relationship will create a familiar educational environment for younger students to feel comfortable when learning.
All teaching materials are from SAT and ACT practice tests. Each OSP Ambassador takes turns selecting unique subject questions for our senior students to teach. They are given the questions multiple weeks in advance for planning purposes. Teaching other students improve senior students’ ability to communicate and organize lesson plans while improving on their own SAT and ACT comprehension.
In addition to practice tests, the SAT/ACT Club promotes the use of Khan Academy. We believe that daily practice questions, outside of school, will improve the students’ scores exceedingly. From essay practice, to sample questions, to videos, we encourage students to utilize this resource to fit their own learning style.
Our club is only able to function under the leadership of Michelle Schiotis, Sharri McGlauthing, and Imee Villarreal! Without their help, we would not have the resources to help students every day. In addition, our co-sponsors, Jason Stewart, Timothy Chun, and Anne Watson, are all huge supporters in our actions.
Using PSAT Score Sheets for AP Potential
AP Potential identifies students who are likely to succeed in AP courses and on AP Exams. The only tool of its kind, it is free to all schools that offer the redesigned SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or PSAT 8/9.
AP Potential uses scores from the redesigned SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10 to provide predictions for 23 AP Exams. Scores from the PSAT 8/9 are used to identify ninth-graders with potential to succeed in AP World History and AP European History, the two AP courses most often offered to 10th-graders.
How AP Potential Works
AP Potential helps schools ensure that no student is overlooked. Schools can use it to:
- Identify students likely to succeed on AP Exams
- Determine which AP courses to offer
Schools can generate a roster of students likely to score a 3 or higher on a given AP Exam by selecting specific criteria, such as grade level and AP subject area.