Aspire Higher


Volume 7, May 2019

All Abloom!

Springtime in the schools is always my favorite time. All of the incredible efforts have come into fruition and students are thriving and all abloom. One of my favorite novels to pair with the season is Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. So many of the lessons we try to reinforce with our students are exemplified through this rich story, and I love witnessing all of these elements when I am out in the schools. Here are a few of my favorite quotes that correspond with what I am seeing:

Lifelong learning and opportunity: “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

Growth Mindset: “She made herself stronger by fighting with the wind.”

Positive thinking: “Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world," he said wisely one day, "but people don't know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.”

What are you tending? “One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts—just mere thoughts—are as powerful as electric batteries—as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live... surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place… Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”

Believing and achieving: “At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done--then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”

Keep blooming and aspiring higher: “And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”

Thank you for tending our beautiful Hoosier garden; I am in awe of all the magic I witness!

You are so "aMAYzing": Finish Strong!

Big picture

Final Reporting Will Help Guide Where to Start YOur Engines NExt year

This year, as we extend our reporting to get in alignment with the fiscal calendar, you have until December 15 to liquidate funds, and December 20 to file the final report. If you have finished your cycle, however, you may file your report now. Please download the pdf version to plan, accordingly, because once you activate the live Jotform, you will need to finish in one sitting:

2018-2019 Final Report

More information can be found on the high ability website:

New Heights in High Ability: Algebra in Architecture

Big picture

Alison Strole, Fishers Junior High Teacher, Shares How She Brings New Heights to Honors Algebra

My honors algebra kids complete a year long project that gets divided into three phases that asks them to use their knowledge of various functions, transformations, and domain and range restrictions. We start off this project in groups after the completion of the graphing linear functions unit. Students have just begun to dive into what makes something a function as well as what domain and range is. During phase on of this project kids are placed into groups and work in the maker space section of the library on big screen televisions to bring a piece of linear art to life. They have to use equations in slope intercept form and domain or range restrictions to create this artwork. It is also the first time that they have worked with a graphing calculator. Their artwork amazes me every year.

During phase two of the project the kids build off of the first project. However, the students are now working on their own. In the second phase of the project students get to pick a piece of architecture as their inspiration and then they have to write systems of equations to recreate that artwork. They work with the three forms of linear functions and must decide which form is the most beneficial for what their task is. It is a great way for the kids to apply their knowledge of point - slope form, standard form, and slope intercept form. Kids by now have a full grasp of domain and range restrictions and when and where they are needed.

The final phase of the project comes during the second semester. By now kids have studied not only linear functions but also non-linear functions, including exponential, radical, and quadratic functions. In this final phase they get to design a level of angry birds using their knowledge of all of the various function types. Some kids will extend this and utilize their understanding of vertex form of a quadratic function and then create circles. I have even had kids figure out ways to incorporate sliders to make their birds fly. Each year I feel like the kids can't do anything else to amaze me and then my jaw hits the ground again.

The best part is when I conference with the kids and explain that I feel like their design might be a bit more challenging than they realize. However, they get so into it and say how much they love it that some kids will literally write over 100 functions to create their project.

Learn More Ways to Bring Math to Life for Your High Ability Students Here!

Big picture

Acquaintances and Friendships for our High Ability Students

Districts all across the state are embracing the social-emotional learning available through SENG SMPG Facilitator Training. This training allows for families to come together with two certified trainers to guide and broaden their understanding of high ability children. Through a 6-8 week book study of A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, parents come to discussion groups to collaborate and glean new insight to help nurture their children’s unique needs. There are many topics covered in this training. Learn about acquaintances and friendships by clicking on the link below. More videos on Balancing Family Dynamics and Self-Management, as well as the following social-emotional topics coming to the next edition of Aspire Higher

Social Emotional Lesson PLans

Amazing Social Emotional Lesson Plans are available with excellent ideas for managing stress and building a growth mindset. Check them out!

Social Emotional Lesson Plans

Is your Grant headed in a new direction?

Big picture

Amendments due by JUNE 1!

Grant amendments are easy, but time is running out!

All amendments must be submitted by June 1.

You only need to submit an amendment if you significantly want to change the scope of the grant or desire to make a change greater than percent.

1. Fill out the Jotform: Amendment Form, 2018-2019

2. Provide a rationale for the change in the designated box

3. Enter your new revised budget

4. Wait for approval via email from Cindy Schuler

5. Re-submit your cash request form, if needed: High Ability Cash Request Form

Big picture

Race in and ORDER TODAY: May 31 Deadline!


Advanced Placement Curriculum and Resources

New, rich and robust comprehensive curriculum is available!

Teachers, be sure to place your order today. They will be available at the end of May!

Each teacher must request his/her own. Here is the ordering link:

Fortville Elementary School is on a ROLL with authentic learning!

Big picture

Wonder how to engage in authentic learning opportunities? You "DO NUT" want to miss this!

Jessica Daugherty's 4th grade students took part in a bakery simulation project and partnered with the local SUNRISE donuts in town. The owner came and talked to the class about her journey (see Newspaper article below), and led the students in a baking event. Students then brainstormed a variety of new donut flavors for SUNRISE to try, and the school voted. The winning flavor was Snicker Doodle! As an extension of this unit, they hosted a donuts to donate event at SUNRISE Bakery. The owner had baked samples of the new Fortville Elementary School Snicker Doodle Donut for customers to try, and they LOVED it! Ethan Lear, pictured, had created the idea and was thrilled to see it come to life. SUNRISE plans to start selling this donut soon.
Big picture

A Few Seats Remain~ REserve YOurs TODAY!

Big picture

FREE Advanced Placement Opportunity

Calling All New AP Calculus AB and AP Language and Composition Teachers!

If you have been teaching these courses for under three years, you are eligible to attend the AP Summer Institute for free. Seats are very limited, so hurry and register today! Please click here for details.

Big picture

Deep dive into the new Advanced Placement Resources: FREE Summer Advanced Placement Professional Development Being Offered for all

New advanced placement (AP) resources are being released by College Board for the 2019-2020 school year, including AP question banks, customizable practice tests, progress dashboards, pacing and sequencing suggestions, strength and weakness guidance, and more! The Indiana Department of Education and College Board are excited to offer FREE professional development for Indiana Advanced Placement teachers this summer. Teachers will have an opportunity to investigate these rich and robust offerings in detail at seven professional development sites across the state this summer. More information and registration is HERE

Big picture

Pages to Paradise: High Ability Professional Development

Books on the Beach

Presenter: Cindy Schuler

Targeted Audience: K-6 Educators

Come have a ball tossing around great book ideas that will connect deeply with your readers. Books allow children to connect with relatable characters and provide them with opportunities to engage with characters which promote thinking differently and innovatively. This practical session will dive into books which foster creativity, critical thinking, social-emotional learning, and perseverance.

Surfing the Signposts

Presenter: Cindy Schuler

Targeted Audience: K-8 Educators

Surf’s up! Come surf the six signposts in literature that signal readers to pause, reflect, and uncover the significant moments in literature. This session will provide you with the strategies necessary to help your students cultivate the critical reading habits necessary for analyzing text complexity. Help your students uncover theme, conflict, and character development as they surf the pages as attentive, independent, and engaged readers.

Treasures of the C: ELA High Ability Curriculum Units

Presenter: Cindy Schuler

Targeted Audience: K-10 Educators

Come discover the rich and robust treasures of the High Ability ELA Curriculum units. This session will explore the instructional strategies and components of the K-10 rigorous units.

Click here to learn more and register:

Big picture

GERI Opportunities: High Ability Grant Funds CAN be used to sponsor students!

The Gifted Education Research & Resource Institute (GER2I) has been serving gifted, creative, and talented students since its founding in 1974 and hosting summer enrichment programs since 1977. Every summer, K-12 students with high-ability come to Purdue University and experience programs designed to stimulate their imaginations and expand their abilities.

Please inform your families of the opportunities, and you may want to consider using remaining high ability funds to sponsor students for a day camp or residential program.

Super Summer day camp for grades K – 4, two 1-week sessions:

June 10 – 14 and June 17 – 21.

Summer Residential camp for grades 5 – 12, two 1- or 2- week sessions:

June 30 – July 27.

For more information and registration, please visit Geri's website:

Big picture

AP Summer Institute at Ball State University

Summer Institute Available at Eastern Kentucky

There is a new AP Summer Institute offering at Eastern Kentucky. Please see the attached brochure. In addition, please notice the other AP offerings.
Big picture

Boot Camps Are Coming!

Attention: Registration is open for Fall High Ability Boot Camps. This two day "basic training" workshop is designed for teachers with minimal formal training in high ability education and will cover the following:

  • Indiana Requirements for High Ability Education
  • Identification and Grouping Practices
  • Characteristics & Social and Emotional Needs
  • Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction
  • Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies
  • Strategies for Problem Solving

For dates and the registration flyer, follow this link:


Keep Blooming and Aspiring Higher!

Meet Indiana's High Ability and Advanced Placement Coordinator: Cindy Schuler

Do you need help with identification, services, program evaluation, or have student learning experiences that you would love to share?

Please call or email me to schedule some time to meet. I am here for you and look forward to coming out and visiting with your district!

Keep Aspiring Higher~ Indiana is Going Places!

Big picture