GTi Update for Educators
Animal Allies: Tues. 1:40-6:00/Thurs. 10:45-Noon; 3:00-6:00
The members of this team are working together to prepare for a robotics competition in December. This year's theme, Animal Allies, is centered around exploring and finding ways to improve the interactions that occur between humans and animals all around the world.
The competition has three major components including robotics games, project, and core values. For more information about each of these components, please see the information below.
1. Robot Games
Once again, these learners are building a robot that can solve missions on the Animal Allies robotics table. These missions require the robot to push, pull, lift, drop, drag, and otherwise manipulate a variety of objects around the table. Want to see how it's done? Feel free to stop by one of our practice sessions and see the team in action!
Interactions between humans and animals are numerous and varied, and often have a profound impact on both. Seeing eye dogs, honey bees, rescue animals, therapy dogs...the list goes on and on. These learners have been exploring the use of prosthetics as a method of supporting dolphins injured by fishing nets and other environmental dangers. Their task is to identify a problem, research the current solutions that are in place, and either find a way to improve what is already being done or develop a new solution to the problem. They have spent time communicating with dolphin experts, including the scientists who developed the prosthetic tail for Winter, the star of the hit movie, Dolphin Tail. However, their work does not stop there! These learners will be required to implement whatever solution they come up with and share it with an appropriate authentic audience...all before December 10th! I can't wait to see where they take it!
3. Core Values
Core values basically says, "We are a team, and we will work, act, and speak as a team at all times!" It is one of my favorite parts of the FLL competition because it is through this component that the kids develop future ready skills such as as collaboration, perseverance, communication, personal responsibility, and so much more. FIRST LEGO League emphasizes eight core values, and expects everyone involved with FLL to live out these values at all times.
- We are a team!
- We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.
- We know our coaches and mentors do not have all the answers. We learn together!
- We honor the spirit of friendly competition.
- What we discover is more important than what we win.
- We share our experiences with others.
- We display Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition in everything we do.
- We have fun!
Global Leadership Thru Kid Knits: Tuesday 9:00 - 9:45
How can we as leaders in a global society make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty on the other side of the world?
Explore what it means to be a global leader while making a difference in the lives of women living in Rwanda, Chile, and Kenya?
- understand that everyone makes a mark on the world
- explore a variety of cultures around the world
- understand and make an impact on the issue of global poverty
- identify character traits of an effective global leader and explore the role of empathy in global leadership
Where in the World: Wednesday 10:00- 10:45
How can we as young explorers/historians, use geocaching to teach others about Texas or the United States?
Create geocaches that represent Texas and/or the United States
- Understand how geocaching is like a treasure hunt.
- Identify the various kinds of caches (treasures).
- Apply measurement skills to real world problems
- Apply map skills to real world problems
- Understand how coordinates are used to mark a location on the globe
Strength Based Learning Groups
Hands On Equations: Tuesday (8:15 - 9:00) - 2nd/3rd Grade
Math Olympiad: Tuesday (11:00 - 12:00) - 4th/5th Grade
REMINDER: Strength Based learning groups are designed to provide alternate learning experiences for learners who have already mastered (or who master very quickly) the curriculum being addressed in the regular classroom. These experiences should be in place of (not in addition to) regular classroom assignments that are not appropriate for these learners because they have already demonstrated mastery of a particular standard. In other words, these learners should not be doing MORE work. They should be doing DIFFERENT work.
It is vital that these learners receive 90 minutes class time/week to work on these alternate assignments. If you need help identifying a time for this to happen or if you are concerned that this may not be appropriate for some of your learners, please let me know so that we can problem solve together.
Looking for Alternate Learning Experiences? Keep Reading!
Inquiry based lessons at your finger tips. Perfect for stations, blended lessons, enrichment, independent study, and more.
Connect your learners with new friends in Japan! This project provides an opportunity for your learners to develop pen pal relationships with their peers across the world. Click on the link to find out more.
Learners have the opportunity to explore their own concept of what caring looks like through art and written expression. Learners will share their ideas with peers around the world!
Help Me...Help You...Help Them
I would love to collaborate with you to:
- be a design partner
- find/create extension/differentiation resources for your high ability learners
- help you find experts to work with your learners
- design/analyze pre-assessment tools
- problem solve/design interventions for underachieving high ability learners
My flexibility and availability is greatest on Monday and Thursday, but with notice, I can make other days work as well. I am also available before and after school. Please let me know when and how I can help.
Purpose of Green Folders: to document the ways you are differentiating for the GTi learners in your classroom.
- document dates and evidence (work samples, rubrics, etc) of GTi Interventions (i.e. What are you doing to consistently meet the individual needs of each GTi learner?)
- include a minimum of different 3 forms of documentation/nine weeks
- if a learner is not demonstrating a need for accommodations, that must be documented as well. (What is your evidence? What opportunities have you offered?)
- document parent contact - dates/issues/etc. (Please keep me in the loop as well.)
What Kinds of "Evidence" Can/Should I Include?
- lesson plans that show examples of accommodations such as tiered stations, PBL extensions, socratic questioning, or flexible grouping
- curriculum compacting artifacts
- learning contracts with products
- choice boards/menus created specifically for GTi learners with products
- literature circle artifacts that demonstrate differentiated design for GTi learners
- rubrics that demonstrate differentiation (product, process, content) for GTi learners
- ANYTHING ELSE that demonstrates how you are meeting the individual needs of your GTi learners
How Will This Information Be Used?
- to demonstrate how each child's unique needs are being met in your classroom.
- as evidence of need for a change in service
The "i" is for Intervention: FAQ's
How much documentation is required?
The documentation is a safeguard for:
the learner - to ensure that services are being provided
the educator - to prove that services are being provided
Therefore, the more documentation you provide, the greater the safeguard for you and for the learner.
Rule of Thumb: If it isn't documented, it didn't happen.
FYI... I am seeing lots of great examples of differentiation as I push in to classrooms...tiered lessons, tiered stations, interest based independent studies, small groups focused on extension for high ability learners. Be sure to DOCUMENT these amazing experiences you are providing for your learners in their green folders.
Can my high ability learners do the same activities as my GTi learners?
We know there is a difference between high ability learners and gifted learners. Therefore, the accommodations provided for each type of learner should be reflective of that difference. Could these two groups of learners ever be working on the same activity in the same way? Yes! Should their work always be identical? No! Because their learning needs are not identical.
If my GTi learners are working on a really cool project...maybe a TPSP...can I use it for all my learners?
If a project or learning experience is appropriate for all learners, then yes, by all means, use it for all learners. However, it is not considered "differentiation" for your GTi learners unless you tweak it in some way to meet their specific needs. By definition, "differentiation" is doing something different in response to their unique learning needs. For example, Part 1 of the TPSP projects are often appropriate for all learners. Part 2 of these same projects offers a simple way to extend them to meet the needs of your GTi learners.
Do all GTi learners need to receive the same accommodations?
No! Remember that part of the reason for the change in service design was to accommodate for the fact that the needs of GTi learners are just as diverse as any other group. Each learner has a unique set of strengths, interests, and areas of need. The accommodations each child receives should be reflective of their unique learning profile. In other words, there may be times when you provide an alternate activity for some of your GTi learners and not others...and that's okay! There may be times when the alternate activity you provide looks different for one GTi learner than it does for another...and that's okay too! In fact, that's exactly as it should be!
Need help? Just ask! Let's make it work TOGETHER!
3rd/5th Grade Universal Assessment
- All transfers, unidentified 3rd graders, and all 5th graders (unless they were assessed and identified last year) will be assessed.
- The CogAT will be used as one of a minimum of three data points used to determine the need (or lack of need) for GTi services for each learner. Other data points considered include input from the general education teacher, ability assessment scores, interviews, planned experiences, work samples, and any other data points that could aid us in developing an accurate picture of each learner's authentic learning needs.
- No one data point, including a CogAT score, will be used to determine whether or not a learner is demonstrating a need for GTi services.
- One question you might use to guide your own thinking and help parents understand the process is to ask yourself, "What need is this learner demonstrating that I am not able to meet in the regular classroom through appropriate differentiation strategies?"
- Week of October 11th, 12th, 13th: Universal Screening
- Friday, December 9th: Online Interviews Completed
- Tuesday, December 13th: Standardized Assessment Scores Sent Home
- Friday, February 10th: Final Decisions Sent Home
Kindergarten/1st Grade Universal Assessment
- All kindergarten and 1st grade learners will be considered for GT intervention services using developmentally appropriate tools.
- Those learners who demonstrate a potential need for GTi services will be further evaluated using a variety of tools, including a standardized assessment. These tools will be selected based on the unique needs of each learner.
- Kindergarten an 1st grade educators participate in professional learning experiences designed to help each of them become familiar with the traits of gifted learners, appropriate interventions that can be used to meet their needs, and the tools/process that was used to assess their learners.
- September 26th - December 9th: Screening Window Open
- Wednesday, January 11th: Final List of Learners Requiring Standardized Assessment
- January 16th - 19th: Standardized Assessment Based on Demonstrated Need
- Friday, February 24th: Final Decisions Sent Home
- Learners in 2nd and 4th grade can be considered for GTi services at the request of a parent or educator.
- Not all learners who are being considered for GTi services will be assessed using the CogAT, as the data from this assessment tool is considered valid for two years.
- Friday, September 2nd: Parent Referral Deadline (Fall)
- Saturday, September 24th: Standardized Assessment for Eligible Learners (Fall)
- Friday, November 4th: Standardized Assessment Scores Sent Home (Fall)
- Friday, December 16th: Final Decisions Sent Home (Fall)
- Friday, January 6th: Parent Referral Deadline (Spring)
- Saturday, February 25th: Standardized Assessment for Eligible Learners (Spring)
- Friday, March 31st: Standardized Assessment Scores Sent Home (Spring)
- Friday, April 28th: Final Decisions Sent Home (Spring)
- Learners who are new to CISD and who have participated in gifted and talented services in their previous district will be served on probation for one semester.
- GTi services will be provided in the general education classroom with support from the GTi Specialist, unless there is evidence that more extensive services are required.
- This probationary period will be used to collect data including pre-assessment results, classroom performance, ability assessment scores, educator input, work samples, and any other information that will help us identify the most appropriate instructional placement for this learner.
- Final decisions regarding proper instructional placement will be made by the GTC committee after one semester of probationary services.
All decisions regarding GTi services are made by the GTC Committee.
FAQ's From Parents
- Coppell SD does not have a “GT Program” as such, but rather provides intervention services based on a demonstrated academic need. This service design is modeled after the RTI model and is similar to the way in which special education services are provided for those who need them. Both GTi and Special Education services are designed to provide individualized interventions for identified learners based on a demonstrated academic need.
- Learners can be considered for GTi services every year upon parent request. However, a standardized assessment will not be administered every year, as the data from this assessment tool is considered valid for two years. Learners who are not eligible for a standardized assessment will be evaluated using a variety of tools including, but not limited to, previous assessment scores, ability assessment data, classroom performance, and educator input.
- During the 2016-2017 school year, all unidentified 3rd grade learners and all 5th grade learners who did not take a standardized assessment in 4th grade will be assessed using a standardized assessment. Kindergarten and 1st grade learners will be assessed using other developmentally appropriate tools. Consideration will be given to all Kinder,1st, 3rd, and 5th grade learners. The assessment process requires the collection of a minimum of three data points, including, but not limited to, previous assessment scores, ability assessment data, classroom performance, and educator input.
- Because GTi services are based on demonstrated academic need, there are no preparation materials available for “practice.” GT is not a “program" to qualify for, a “club" to join, or a “goal" to strive for. Rather, it is an intervention service designed to support those learners who demonstrate a need for intervention outside the realm of what can be provided through the general education classroom educator.
- All educators at Austin Elementary, with the exception of those new to the campus, have a minimum of 30 hours of GT training. Educators new to the campus are in the process of completing this training at this time.Additionally, all educators are required to complete a minimum of 6 hours update training each year.
- This training provides continuous learning opportunities for educators to develop the skills and knowledge they need to provide appropriate differentiation for every learner.
For more information regarding GTi services in the Coppell ISD, please refer parents to the district website below.