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CHALLENGE PROGRAM Stretching Strengths  Website:

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1 CHALLENGE PROGRAM Stretching Strengths  Website:

2 Philosophy The Cecil County Public School system acknowledges that some students have exceptional creative and/or intellectual abilities, promise and potential. The success of these students as creative producers and collaborative problem solvers depends upon the development and nurturing of their talents. The Challenge Program facilitates appropriate adjustments to content, processes, products and/or pacing, encouraging students to stretch their strengths and develop their talents. A continuum of services is provided, and all staff members work to match the needs of the learners with appropriate educational services.

3 If we were TV sets, some of us would only get five channels. Others are wired for cable (the general population) and some of us (the gifted) are hooked up to a satellite dish. That makes these gifted children capable of making connections that others don't even know exist! Teaching those types of voracious minds in a regular classroom without enhancement is like feeding an elephant one blade of grass at a time. You'll starve them. -- Elizabeth Meckstroth

4 Mission Statement The Challenge Program will nurture the uniqueness of gifted and talented students, enabling them to become creative producers and collaborative problem solvers.

5 Federal Definition of Giftedness The U. S. Department of Education in 1993 defined gifted learners as “children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkable high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. “These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. They require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools. “Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.” (U.S. Department of Education, 1993, p.3)

6 State Definition of Giftedness The official State of Maryland definition of GT, effective , and found in the Annotated Code [state law] Section 13A : “Gifted and talented student” defined. In this subtitle, “gifted and talented student” means an elementary or secondary student who is identified by professionally qualified individuals as: (1)Having outstanding talent and performing, or showing the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students of a similar age, experience, or environment; (2)Exhibiting high performance capability in intellectual, creative, or artistic areas; (3)Possessing an unusual leadership capacity; or (4)Excelling in specific academic fields. [Annotated Code 2003, ch. 418] Statement of policy. (1) A gifted and talented student needs different services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to develop the student’s potential; and (2) Gifted and talented students are to be found in youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. [Annotated Code 2003, ch. 418]

7 CCPS Definition of Giftedness The Philosophy, Vision, and Mission Statements of the Challenge Program of Cecil County Public Schools support the U.S. State Department of Education and the State of Maryland definitions of gifted and talented students.

8 Traditional vs. Non-Traditional Gifted Students Historically, students were considered gifted if they were in the top 1-3% of their classes, based on IQ scores. This definition tended to favor those students from middle- to upper-income families who could afford to provide a multitude of experiences for their children. According to the 1972 Marland Report to Congress, approximately 5-7% of students needed specialized services. Today, however, it is thought that approximately 12-15% of students may need gifted education services. In CCPS, we look for those students in a school who are performing, or showing the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with their peers. A special effort is made to identify talents in minority students, English Language Learners (ELL), twice exceptional students, and students from poverty.

9 Twice-Exceptional Students While it may seem paradoxical, sometimes gifted students also have learning or attention difficulties. These may take the form of learning disabilities (GT/LD), Asperger’s Syndrome, or AD/HD, to name just a few. Twice exceptional students’ strengths must be must be addressed, even while appropriate accommodations are made for their disabilities.Twice exceptional

10 Underachieving Gifted Students Students whose achievement test scores indicate a high level of ability, yet who fail to produce “up to their potential,” are sometimes referred to as underachievers. This discrepancy may manifest itself in behaviors such as failure to complete class or home assignments, poor work habits, or a negative attitude toward school.underachievers Susan Winebrenner has remarked, "I've never met a student who wouldn't do his work. I've met plenty, however, who won't do [the teacher’s.]” Behavior modification strategies may be helpful to teachers working with such students.

11 Bright Learners vs. Gifted Learners* Knows the answersAsks the questions Is interestedIs highly curious Is attentiveIs mentally and physically involved Has good ideasPlays with divergent ideas Works hardPlays around, yet tests well Answers the questionsDiscusses in detail, elaborates Top groupBeyond the group Listens with interestShows strong feelings and opinions Learns with easeAlready knows 6-8 repetitions1-2 repetitions for mastery Understands ideasConstructs abstractions Enjoys peersPrefers intellectual peers Grasps the meaningDraws inferences Completes assignmentsInitiates projects Is receptiveIs intense Copies accuratelyCreates a new design Enjoys schoolEnjoys learning Absorbs informationManipulates information TechnicianInventor Good memorizerGood guesser Enjoys straightforward, sequential presentationThrives on complexity Is alertIs keenly observant Is pleased with own learningIs highly self-critical *Typical characteristics, but not found in all gifted learners.Adapted from work by Janice Szabos

12 Gathering Student Data Identifying Students' Strengths Form Identifying Students' Strengths Form completed for total class groups by: classroom teachers special area teachers Additional Data Additional Data compiled by Challenge Teacher: standardized test scores report card grades portfolio original product ESOL handicapping conditions long-term problem solving (DI, etc.) JHU Talent Search Nomination made by: parent or student guidance counselor community member other person knowledgeable about the student

13 Identifying Students Needing Challenge Services Identify services to be provided. Identifying Students' Strengths Identifying Students' Strengths Form completed for total class groups by: classroom teachers special area teachers Additional Data Additional Data compiled by Challenge Teacher: standardized test scores report card grades portfolio original product ELL handicapping conditions long-term problem solving (DI, etc.) JHU Talent Search Nomination made by: parent or student guidance counselor community member other person knowledgeable about the student Meeting of the Challenge Placement Team to recommend appropriate services for students Does the student need services beyond the differentiated classroom? Continue flexible grouping in differentiated classroom(s). No Yes Cluster Grouping Mentorship: within school outside school Independent Study Identify the area(s) of strength to be addressed. Small Group Activity Extra- curricular Activity Guidance Counseling Subject Area: Math Science L.A. Soc. St. Fine Arts: Music Drama Art Dance

14 Role of the Challenge Teacher Challenge teachers act as consultants and collaborators, helping classroom teachers plan and teach lessons that will challenge all students appropriately through differentiation of the curricula. Particular attention is paid to extending the depth and complexity of the learning outcomes in developing and adapting units and lessons. As an advocate for meeting the academic and affective needs of gifted and talented students, the Challenge teacher coordinates and monitors the services provided for each student in the Challenge Program by meeting and communicating with students, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators and parents.

15 Role of the Classroom Teacher Classroom teachers collaborate with the Challenge teacher to plan and teach lessons that will challenge all students appropriately through differentiation of the curricula. Particular attention is paid to developing and adapting units and lessons so that the work assigned to gifted and talented and highly able students is not more work, but different work.

16 Good Instruction for Gifted Learners Carol Ann Tomlinson provides several tips on what is and what is not good instruction for gifted learners. While some instructional strategies are appropriate for all students, gifted students need to be presented with learning opportunities that not all students would, could, or should do.good instruction for gifted learners

17 Continuum of Services  Differentiation within the classroom  Small group and independent work  Contests  Extra-curricular activities: l Band/Chorus/Clubs l After School/Summer/Saturday programs l Johns Hopkins Talent Search l Destination ImagiNation® l Media/Technology Festival »Etc.


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