October 2015 Newsletter

for Archer & Allen Jay Elementary

Explaining the Unexplainable

Our current lessons are focusing around the myth Daedalus and Icarus. We are working on how to do a close read of a document. We are using the Cabinet app on the iPads to practice annotating the document we are reading. Students will be highlighting proof of main idea, character traits and more! We will have a Socratic Seminar that focuses around the myth Daedalus and Icarus where students will share their thoughts on the myth.
Learn about Ancient Greece

Find out more about Ancient Greece at www.wingedsandals.com

Greek Myths

Read a variety of myths here: http://greece.mrdonn.org/myths.html

Do you know your Human Rights?

Students are working on figuring out what human rights are violated in different areas and how we can be an advocate for human rights. They are reading many different articles about workers' rights and the right to an education. We will be having a Socratic Seminar where the students will discuss the human rights and their importance.

What are your Human Rights?

You can view videos about human rights here: http://www.youthforhumanrights.org/what-are-human-rights.html

Math Quest (4th and 5th Grade Math)

The students continue to travel through an imaginary land where they are learning how to work cooperatively to solve math problems using different strategies. We are working on being able to clearly explain our thinking when problem solving. So we are incorporating a written explanation to accompany our answers.



We are going to be working on these Problem Solving Strategies this month:


  • Make and Table or Chart
  • Look for a Pattern
  • Work Backwards
  • Act It Out

3rd Grade Whole Class Services

The CogAT test will be on October 6th-8th. The students and I have been working on a variety of thinking skills. These thinking skills will help them understand how to solve problems that they will see on the CogAT.


We are practicing analogies, equation building, classifying (putting into groups), paper folding, and figure matrices. Some of these skills can be reviewed at http://www.gcsnc.com/pages/gcsnc/Departments/Academically_Gifted/Elementary_Curriculum/3rd_Grade_Thinking_Skills

2nd Grade Talent Development

Each 2nd grade classroom will receive 7 lessons on a variety of thinking skills to help identify students who may benefit from Talent Development services for this year only.


We are working on patterning, sorting by attributes (color, size, shape, thickness, etc), classifying, analogies, and equation building.


Students who show great analyzing skills for these different lessons may have the opportunity to continue to build those skills during enrichment lessons later in the year. Parents of these students will be notified once we complete the whole class lessons. At Archer pullout classes will begin in a few weeks.

Social/Emotional Corner from the AG Department

Simple Solutions for Collaboration between Home and School

When gifted children struggle in school, they often have no other advocate than their parents. Parents attending workshops often ask, “What do I do if my child is unhappy in school?” The answer may seem obvious to some, but to some parents discussing their child’s difficulties in school can be uncomfortable.

Preparing to Meet with the School

Involve your child. What are his/her concerns and what might be some potential solutions? Gather background information that could support your conversation. Know and understand the district’s policies and expectations. Consider ways in which your own involvement can help support your child’s learning experience.

Communicating with the Teacher

Always begin with the teacher. Developing a working relationship with the teacher and understanding his/her attitude toward gifted education will facilitate communication. Plan in advance what you will say. Write down your own observations or thoughts on your child’s abilities. Keep the discussion focused on the specifics of your child’s characteristics and needs. Recognize up front that the teacher faces extraordinary challenges in trying to meet the varied needs of every student and that he/she does have your child’s best interest at heart. Work for a consensus. Since your goal is to find a solution for your child, try to find some common ground.

Gauging Success

Criteria for a successful conference:

• Your child was the main focus, not the opinions or agenda of you or the teacher.

• Both you and the teacher listened to each other and considered each other’s point of view.

• You negotiated for solutions that will meet your child’s needs without disregarding the teacher’s responsibilities or your knowledge of your child.

• You came to an understanding even if you had different opinions.

• You both agreed to work on a solution that will help your child and to continue working together.

• You both made commitments and scheduled actions and have a timeline for follow-up steps.

Follow Up

Continue to keep the dialog open. Talk regularly with your child and with the teacher to see how your child is doing. Be consistent in supporting whatever learning option you, the teacher, and your child agree to pursue. Don’t let the burden of the extra work fall entirely on the teacher. Show that you and your child are willing to do your part to support your child’s success.

Adapted from Communicating Effectively with Your Gifted Child’s School by Dr. Joan Franklin Smutny

Guilford County PAGE Information

Click here to find out more about Guilford County PAGE and how to become a member.

CogAT Testing for 3rd Graders

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 8am to Thursday, Oct. 8th, 11am

All Guilford County Schools

CogAT testing will occur on Oct. 6th, 7th, and 8th. The test is broken into 3 sections, Verbal, Nonverbal, and Quantitative. Each section is tested on a separate day. There are 3 parts to each section and every section takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Students must work quickly and accurately to complete this ability test. The results of this test will allow us to see which students may qualify for AG services. It also helps teachers see the strengths that students have. For example a student with a high verbal score may have a vast vocabulary. While a student who scores high in quantitative is able to solve problems with numbers more quickly. To help with some of the types of problems students may see there are some practice activities that can be found at: http://www.gcsnc.com/pages/gcsnc/Departments/Academically_Gifted/Elementary_Curriculum/3rd_Grade_Thinking_Skills
AG Schedule

Click here to view the full schedule

Contact Information and Websites

I enjoy working with your children to help them reach their potential. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.


My email is deprezb@gcsnc.com

Allen Jay (AJE) phone # 336-434-8490 (voicemails left from this number come to my email)

Archer phone #336-294-7335

My Class Website: http://ajes.gcsnc.com/pages/Allen_Jay_Elementary/Classes/deprezb

or http://archer.gcsnc.com/pages/Archer_Elementary/Classes/deprezb

GCS AG Website: http://www.gcsnc.com/pages/gcsnc/Departments/Academically_Gifted

On the GCS AG website be sure to check out the tab called Elementary Resources for a variety of different sites dealing with the units we are currently teaching.