News from Ms. Sullivan

January 2016

Happy New Year!

Welcome Back! I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable winter break. We hit the ground running with the start of several new units in 4th and 5th grade. Thank you so much to all the parents that reached out regarding donations for the 5th grade ESG and CSG unit on Bridges. I am all set with supplies now and so appreciate your support.

North Carolina Gifted Conference

Each year in Winstem-Salem, the NCAGT Conference is held. This is an opportunity to meet with gifted educators across the state, to hear key-note speakers in the field of gifted, to attend sessions based on need and interest, and to learn what is happening at the state level for gifted education. I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen as a presenter at this year's conference. Mary Nichols (Asheville Middle AIG Specialist) and I will be sharing a session on student engagement that includes learning through the conceptual lens, utilizing concept development strategies and incorporating the Icons of Depth and Complexity into curriculum to increase rigor. I am very excited for this opportunity.

What's Happening in 4th Grade?

Reading: State Projects! Students will be researching, organizing, reading, writing, and speaking throughout this project as they develop their critical and creative thinking. Each student will be selecting a state for which they will become an expert. The project includes three parts: state booklet, float, and presentation. Students have been given a hard copy of the guidelines and expectations. They are also located in Google Classroom. Most work will be completed in class, but students are expected to do the float at home.

Math: Students are finishing creating mini-golf courses that incorporate the geometric concepts we studied in the Mentoring Mathematical Minds Shapes unit. We are hoping to wrap this up by the end of January. Our next unit will be an algebra unit using Hands-On-Equations.

ESG: Students are starting the advertising unit. They will be learning the key concepts, history, and various persuasion tactics involved in the advertising business. This information will later be used to create an advertising campaign.

CSG: Students are continuing a unit on the brain in which they are learning the various parts of the brain and each part's function, differences between left and right brain, and how nerves and senses work with the brain.

What's Happening in 5th Grade?

Reading: Students are continuing work on the Create a Country project. This requires both critical and creative thinking as well as research skills, reading, writing, and speaking. Most of the work for this project will be done via Google Classroom during class. Requirements for the project may be viewed there.

Math: Students are starting a problem-based learning unit in which they must design a park that meets the needs of the community. This unit involves math application in a variety of ways as well as providing opportunities to develop research and collaboration skills. Requirements are posted in Google Classroom.

ESG & CSG: Students are starting a unit on bridges in which they will learn the defining characteristics of the main types of man-made bridges as well as the engineering and architecture that is required in building them. They will eventually apply their knowledge to the design and construction of popsicle stick bridges.

Third Grade Identification Update

We are in the final phase of collecting data for use in the identification process. Once all data is collected, the AIG Committee will meet to discuss matching AIG services to demonstrated student need. We use the CogAT, Gifted Rating Scale, and Iowa Assessment data for this purpose. Students will begin services as soon as paper work is complete and permission slips are received from parents. Students that do not enter the AIG program this year may enter at a later time. I often have students that are not quite developmentally ready in third grade but then join the program in 4th or 5th grade. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this process.

No School January 18-19, 2016