AG News

February 2016

AG Reading: Mrs. Pugh

3rd Grade

I am excited to begin working with our newly identified 3rd graders. The first few class sessions will focus on discovering students’ learning styles and habits as readers. We will also complete several spontaneous problem-solving challenges requiring students to work together to creatively solve various problems. Next, we will delve into our unit on immigration.

4th Grade & 5th Grade: Caesar‘s English

AG scholars will uncover the roots of the English language through the study of Latin stems and vocabulary. Students will also learn about the history and achievements of the Romans. Fourth grade students will conquer lessons 1-10 and fifth graders will continue to expand their “empire” of knowledge through lessons 11-20. Quizzes will occur weekly and will build upon previously covered material. At the end of our journey, students will be familiar with 25 stems and 25 vocabulary words which originated from Latin.

AG Math: Ms. Matkins

3rd Grade: Math Quest

This quarter, 3rd graders are competing in an adventure game called "Math Quest." Student teams have been commissioned by the "Society for Problem-Solving Strategies" to explore a time-displaced world. In that world, students will meet various friends and foes on their way to collect a treasure chest that is said to contain 50,000 pieces of gold. However, the only way to get to the treasure chest is by demonstrating understanding of problem-solving strategies by accurately solving word problems. Students must also write their own authentic word problems throughout their journey. Be sure to check back next month to see where we are in our Quest for Treasure!

4th Grade: Rates, Ratios, and Proportions

In this unit, 4th graders will become proficient in using rates, ratios, and proportions to solve problems routinely faced in daily life. While working in teams, students will apply their knowledge of equivalent fractions to solve problems involving ratios. Students will be asked to show their understanding through explanations with pictures and words. Groups will be rewarded with points for correct answers and thorough explanations. Each point will move the team ship closer to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. But, students beware - there are many dangers along the NC coast!

5th Grade: Think Like a Scientist

During this unit, students will complete activities to engage, explore, and extend knowledge of data analysis. Students will understand the four purposes for data investigations, as well as the types of data gathered and methods for gathering data. Students will have opportunities to gather data, create graphs, and analyze the information using range, mean, median, and mode. At the end of the unit, students will work in teams to develop a question to help adults better understand kids. Teams will work to collect data and organize it in a graph for analysis.


Lucy Nida placed 2nd in the GCS Spelling Bee held on January 11, 2016 at Penn-Griffin School of the Arts.

Megan Mascia participated in the GCS Science Fair held on January 20, 2016 at Guilford College. Her project, Preserving Perfect Pumpkins, placed first and will advance on to regional competition.

Upcoming Dates

02/01 EBOB

02/03 Honor Roll Event

02/05 HH #1

02/08 5th Grade to Opera

02/08 3rd grade AG Parent Meeting

02/10 AG Forum at Page High School

02/17 Early Release

02/19 HH #2

02/18 Author Visit

2/22 Fourth Grade Performance of Pirates!

02/29 Rising 6th grade AG Parent Meeting

03/04 HH #3

03/04 Book Fair Family Night

03/09 EBOB Competition at UNCG

03/09 Doughnuts for Dads

03/10 Domino's Night

03/16 Blood Drive

03/17 Early Release

03/18 HH #4

03/22-03/24 5th grade to Washington, D.C.

03/25-04/03 Spring Break

04/08 Fun Run

05/02-05/04 4th Grade to Camp Don Lee

05/25 EOG ELA

05/26 EOG Math

05/31-06/03 EOG 5th Science

06/09 Last Day

Help Needed!

End of Grade Tests are May 25 & 26 and we need your help proctoring. Mark your calendar and be on the lookout for a link to sign up next month. Thank you!

PTA AG Advocate

GCS is revising the plan governing the Academically Gifted program. This plan will be effective for the next 3 years and requires parent input.

Here are 2 ways to participate:

  • Attend the Public Input Forum wearing your NES Spirit Wear!! It will be held Wednesday, Feb 10th from 6:00-7:30 @ Page High School. Invite a friend or neighbor to join you as this impacts every student in grades K-12!!!

  • Complete the GCS AG Parent Survey for 2015-16. You should have received an email link for this survey. If you would like a paper copy, please contact Mrs. Pugh or Ms. Matkins.

Lisa Stanioch

From the AG Department

Cultivating creativity in mathematics

Have you ever wondered how to cultivate the same sort of creative expression that children have in their artwork and storytelling in their mathematical work? Have you even wondered if that was possible? Harvard professor, Heather Hill, believes kids can be just as creative in their approach to solving math problems as they are in the creation of their own stories and songs (Kris, 2015). In fact, this creativity can lend confidence to children’s study of mathematics and connect to their study and understanding of more advanced and complex mathematical ideas.

In her article about creativity and mathematical thinking, Deborah Farmer Kris shares several suggestions for ways to encourage students’ use of creative thinking to work and solve mathematical problems.

  1. Encourage children to question and observe: Ask what they think about the concepts that are introduced in school and allow time to mull over, ask questions and make observations about what they already know about and what they wonder about.

  2. Pose open-ended questions: Challenge children with questions that require them to grapple with the solution. Arm them with the tools that they need to solve the problem, but allow them the opportunity to make choices about which tool that they may want to use.

  3. Apply skills to new contexts: One way to see if children really understand the concepts that are being taught is to require them to use those same concepts within different contexts. Children can create stories or visual images to apply the new skills and ideas that they have learned.

  4. Look for patterns and sequences: Challenge children to see patterns that are around them in the world that they live in. What things go together? What things don’t? Taking walks, shopping, and picking up toys can all provide children with the opportunity to sharpen their observational skills and notice order and patterns.

  5. Leave math notes: Challenge your children’s thinking by leaving them mathematical notes. “Did you eat more fruit snacks or potato chips today? How many hours did you watch television? Was it more than the amount of time that you read today?”

  6. Have math chats: Engage your children in conversations around math skills. Have them count the number of items that you put into the shopping cart or pick up in a store. Challenge them to add and subtract numbers or even multiply and divide if their skills are ready to be stretched. Ask them to explain how they solved the problem.

    For the Full Article, see:

Kris, D. F. (2015, November 25). Mind/Shift. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from

AG Schedule

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AG Friends Around the World!

Carmen Wallace

Luc Dale