Clarke County Gifted News

Encourage, Inspire, Empower

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Starting with Shakespeare

Students began September with a field trip to the American Shakespeare Theater and the opportunity to participate in an Actors TalkBack. Before leaving, students read through A MidSummer Night's Dream through a Reader's Theater classroom strategy with students taking on multiple parts in true Shakespearean style. While at the Theater, three of our students were able to ask such questions as "What inspired you to be an actor when you were younger?" or "Where do you get your inspiration from?" and "What was your favorite character to play and why?" The actors shared their own love of Shakespeare came from visiting a Shakespeare play at about their age!
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What's Happening at CATS

Students are able to gather in a variety of ways when I meet up with them on either Monday and Wednesday at Cooley or Tuesday and Thursday at Boyce. One way is what students call the large group enrichment time and the other may be a short pull-out time during their Math and/or Reading Power Up. During the large group we tend to focus on project-based learning and the shorter Power Up sessions we specifically work on skills or strategies related to your student's area of strength.


The large group enrichment time involves those project based skills like researching, writing, planning, collaborating with others and managing time to meet a deadline. All the projects focus on the design process where students ask, imagine, plan, create and improve. Some of the projects your student may be working on this quarter are: Pumpkin Characters and Character Analysis, Global Cardboard Challenge or Jason Project Poster and Video Contest. Students may be working on at least one or two projects depending on their interests.



The shorter Power UP lessons focuses on math or reading skills/strategies in your student's area of strength like supporting character traits with text-based evidence through using post-it notes or a graphic organizer to gather examples of a character's thoughts, sayings and actions. Students will then learn to take these individual pieces of information and create an analysis of the character in a persuasive argument writing sample. Through teaching models, students are exposed to eight teaching models to stimulate discussion such as the Taba Model of Concept Development to discuss change, Literature Web Model, Vocabulary Web Model and the Hamburger Model for Persuasive/Opinion writing. In math students, will learn mathematical thinking and the language of mathematics to support their conjectures coherently and clearly to their peers and audience.


All lessons are reflective of best practices for gifted learners and are supported with newly added curriculum from Mentoring Mathematical Minds and Kendall Hunt. We continue to use the framework from the William and Mary Units to support our content in environmental issues.

Unraveling the Mystery of the Moli Stone

Students have been called to work as mathematicians on a team of archeologists who are working in a rural part of China. The third and fourth graders want to find out about the numbers used by people who lived long ago and have been investigating the mysterious numbers on an ancient stone. This research allows students to explore a number system in depth. Often, this number system that we use everyday has become so commonplace that they never pay attention to the underlying structure.

Students begin looking at patterns in our system and then work with other systems to help discover what constitutes a place value system and a base system. by analyzing the structure of each system and comparing and contrasting different numeration systems, they will gain a deeper understanding of place value and bases and to be able to justify why our system is both a place value and base system. They will come to understand the importance of groupings and symbols and gain a much deeper understanding of our numeration system. We are currently working with the Treblian number system and will move to the Egyptian number system next.

Pumpkin Character and Character Analysis

To encourage reading each and every day for 20 minutes a night, some students have selected a book of their own choosing to analyze the things a character says or does to determine how a character may change through the beginning, middle and end of a story. This type of study requires students to gather text-based evidence to support their thoughts. Students are learning to use post-it notes or a text-based evidence graphic organizer to record their findings with happenings from the book. This practice sets students up for success when they will research and cite evidence on their own research project later in the year.
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Factors, Multiples and Leftovers

With this unit, fifth graders analyzed the relationships between factors and multiples, prime and composite numbers and even and odd numbers using Venn diagrams. Along with learning content and conceptual understanding, the process of mathematical thinking was encouraged to nurture mathematical talent. Students were engaged in problem solving, reasoning and proof, organizing and consolidating their mathematical thinking through communication and finally connections to not only mathematical ideas but also application of mathematics to the real world.
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Collaboration and Communication: 2 of the Big C's

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Collaboration and Cooperation: Two of the Big C's

Collaboration and cooperation are not always easy, especially when everyone has a great idea. These are 21st century skills which sometimes must be explicitly taught. Using Talk Moves (sentence starters) during Chocolate Fix to politely express our viewpoint and idea was a way for students to practice collaborating with a partner. The Cup Challenge allowed students to work in a larger group while attempting task completion providing students the opportunity to examine how groups can work together. Crossing the River was plain outdoor fun while learning that everyone must work together in order to win!

Upcoming Events

October 25tth: Pumpkin Characters on Display

October 31st: Cardboard Challenge Presentations begin

November 5th: STEM Fair at CCHS

November 6th: GRIPS STEM Luncheon at SBO Multi-purpose Room for 5th Graders

December 20th: JASON Project Poster and Video Submissions due

May: Date TBD for GRIPS Showcase at J-WMS for 5th Graders