FHMS Spectra

It's more than just a class.

Happy Pi Day!!!

This past Monday (3/14/16) all Spectra classes celebrated ROUNDED Pi Day! If you take 3.14159 and round up, you will get 3.1416, Monday's date!

We celebrated with our annual Pi Challenge where students write Pi to the farthest place value. This year's champion was 8th grader, Isabella R. from 6th hour. She was able to write 225 digits of Pi! She narrowly edged out 6th grader, Isabella L. from 5th hour who was able to write 220 digits of Pi.

So far, the all time Spectra record still stands with Kirk B. from 2015 who was able to write 264 digits of Pi.

Classroom winners were awarded a mini-pie of their choice. Isabella R. not only received a mini-pie for her classroom win, but also a whole, large pie of her choosing for having the highest score out of all the classes. Her choice? APPLE PIE!

Welcome to 4th Quarter!

There are a lot of great things going on in Spectra! This quarter, with the end-of-the-year push for high-stakes academic projects and testing in the core classes, I focus on:

  • developing and deepening creativity
  • team-building (lots of movement!)
  • stress management strategies
  • setting priorities (organizational strategies)
  • self-advocating for success

Quarter Projects:

6th Grade: Infomercials (team-based) - students will identify a problem, invent a product that will solve this problem, and then create a video commercial to market their product to the public.

7th Grade: Create-A-Country (individual or with a partner) - Students will look at the components of a country and develop an original country of their own! Components may include original currency, unique holidays and traditions, unique foods and costumes. We will also look at peaceful vs. warring countries and possibly have some alliances and invasions!

8th Grade: Mental Health (Individual) - Students will choose a mental disability and look at it through 3 perspectives, the patient, the medical professional, and the caregiver. They will create an educational teaching tool of their choice to share their information on their chosen mental disability. We will enrich this unit by visiting the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center, formerly known as the St. Louis Insane Asylum built in 1869!!!

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Good (short) Reads!!!

This month's article focuses on UNDERACHIEVEMENT IN GIFTED CHILDREN. Though this might not apply to all of my Spectra students, it may ring true for some of your children whether they are in my middle-school gifted class or in a gifted class at another level.

Sometimes just identifying the problem can lead to better solutions with our children. :)

Spectra is not just a class. It is a learning environment where gifted students and their families can receive support for the specialized needs that accompany being gifted or living with gifted people.

Advocacy is most important in gifted education and it usually falls to the Gifted Education Specialist and parents of gifted students. Through education, we can make a difference!

Blog: Who is the gifted underachiever? Four types of underachievement in gifted children

Article: What Gifted Education Is And The 5 Reasons It's Needed

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Anglia S. Wittmus, M.S. Ed., NBCT

Gifted Education Specialist

Electives/Encore Classes Department Chair

Robotics Coach and Sponsor