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     Elementary Gifted and Talented Program

     

    AIM
    (Activating Inquisitive Minds) 
     
     

    We believe education for gifted students must constantly challenge students in order to develop their potential to become exceptional contributors to society.

     
     

    A-Activating

    I-Inquisitive

    M-Minds

     

    ALLEN ISD

    Gifted and Talented

    Mission Statement

    To implement a program that meets the unique social, emotional and intellectual needs of gifted and talented students through the collaboration of students, educators, parents and community members to ensure opportunities for maximum growth and development for life-long success.

     

    *Challenging *Creating *Collaborating *Contributing… Today and Tomorrow

    Allen Independent School District

    Barbara Hinton

    Gifted and Talented Coordinator

    612 Bethany Drive

    Allen TX  75002

    972-727-0332

    Fax: 972-727-0434

     
     
    Beliefs:

     

    *       We believe the gifted have unique educational needs that demand the nurture and advocacy of a special academic program.

    *       We believe that children’s current educational needs as well as their potential growth should guide our practice.

    *       We believe that balanced programs for gifted students provide for both cognitive and affective development.

    *       We believe it is essential for gifted students to interact with their intellectual peers, as well as all student peers.

    *      We believe that effective gifted programs prepare students to become self-directed, life-long learners.

     

     

    What does our AIM curriculum look like in each grade?

     

    Kindergarten: We begin service for kindergarten students during the spring.  A variety of higher level thinking skills, logic, and critical/creative thinking skills are introduced.  First Grade and Second Grade: 

    Build present understanding by analyzing the past

    The William & Mary social studies units emphasize concept development,

    critical thinking, and primary source analysis within the context of high level

    content and reflect the focus of national standards in social studies on

    historical thinking and research and on the integration of major concepts across

    disciplines.

    William & Mary social studies units provide:

    • Advanced content through the use of primary source documents
    • Strategies that build critical thinking, conceptual thinking, and content learning skills
    • Ways to analyze events and situations from a variety of viewpoints

     

    1st & 2nd Grade: Ancient Egypt & "What a Find" PBL

    Explore ancient Egypt to demonstrate the interdependent systems that develop and sustain a civilization. The unit explores systems of agriculture, language, leadership, and trade in ancient Egypt, using models for reasoning and document analysis to support student understanding. 

     

    Use problem-based learning to build scientific inquiry and reasoning skills.

     

    The William & Mary science curriculum features ambiguous, problem-based

    learning scenarios. As active investigators, students must take on the role of scientists to solve problems through scientific inquiry. Advanced, in-depth content and a connection to an overarching concept, such as systems, are also emphasized.

    William & Mary science units provide:

    • Understand the concept of systems or change
    • Apply the basic principles of experimental design and investigation
    • Develop reasoning skills with real-world applications to science

    Where’s the Beach? 
    Plans for building a children’s camp at the beach are on hold because the town council is worried about beach erosion. Since the camp received a large donation to develop nature-themed experiences, designed to teach children how to protect the environment, the camp manager wants to cooperate with the council.  The problem is that she must begin construction quickly to be ready for the summer season. Acting as members of the town council, the students must develop scientifically-based regulations that will satisfy the long-term needs of the town and the plans for the new camp.

     

    Third Grade: Ancient Greece  & "Electricity City" PBL

    Build present understanding by analyzing the past

    The William & Mary social studies units emphasize concept development,

    critical thinking, and primary source analysis within the context of high level

    content and reflect the focus of national standards in social studies on

    historical thinking and research and on the integration of major concepts across

    disciplines.

    William & Mary social studies units provide:

    • Advanced content through the use of primary source documents
    • Strategies that build critical thinking, conceptual thinking, and content learning skills
    • Ways to analyze events and situations from a variety of viewpoints

     

    Ancient Greece

    This unit is designed around the idea that human civilizations develop and sustain themselves as a collection of interdependent systems. The civilization of ancient Greece forms the central content of the unit, with exploration of systems of agriculture, economics, language, and leadership in this ancient culture. The unit also provides opportunities for students to broaden their understanding by comparing the ancient civilization with aspects of their own lives and communities.

     

    Use problem-based learning to build scientific inquiry and reasoning skills

     

    The William & Mary science curriculum features ambiguous, problem-based

    learning scenarios. As active investigators, students must take on the role of scientists to solve problems through scientific inquiry. Advanced, in-depth content and a connection to an overarching concept, such as systems, are also emphasized.

    William & Mary science units provide:

    • Understand the concept of systems or change
    • Apply the basic principles of experimental design and investigation
    • Develop reasoning skills with real-world applications to science

    Electricity City

    Electricity City provides a creative and interdisciplinary approach to introducing fourth through sixth grade students to electricity. In this simulated activity, a large recreational complex is being built in the middle of a city, and the students’ role is to plan the site’s electrical needs, as well as create additional backup plans. This “real world” problem requires students to analyze the situation, determine what type of research is needed, conduct experiments, and evaluate solutions.

     

    Fourth Grade: TPSP Project and Showcase 

    Students participate in an “independent study” project aligned with TEA (Texas Performance Standards Project or TPSP). This is an awesome opportunity for the students to really dive in to research. They begin in the fall and spend the rest of the school year on this endeavor. For more information about TPSP, please visit this site: http://www.texaspsp.org/  After exploring Enigmas, Innovations, The Gift of Age, and Math Around Town students will choose one of these projects to complete in class. 

     

    Fifth Grade: The Civil War & "Something's Fishy" PBL

    Build present understanding by analyzing the past

    The William & Mary social studies units emphasize concept development,

    critical thinking, and primary source analysis within the context of high level

    content and reflect the focus of national standards in social studies on

    historical thinking and research and on the integration of major concepts across

    disciplines.

    William & Mary social studies units provide:

    • Advanced content through the use of primary source documents
    • Strategies that build critical thinking, conceptual thinking, and content learning skills
    • Ways to analyze events and situations from a variety of viewpoints

     

    A House Divided: Civil War
    The concept of cause and effect serves as a central organizing theme of A House Divided? This unit explores the events and perspectives leading to the American Civil War and the chronology and context of the war itself. Using primary source documents, students investigate the social, political, and economic influences that were significant in this period of history.

     

    Use problem-based learning to build scientific inquiry and reasoning skills

     

    The William & Mary science curriculum features ambiguous, problem-based

    learning scenarios. As active investigators, students must take on the role of scientists to solve problems through scientific inquiry. Advanced, in-depth content and a connection to an overarching concept, such as systems, are also emphasized.

    William & Mary science units provide:

    • Understand the concept of systems or change
    • Apply the basic principles of experimental design and investigation
    • Develop reasoning skills with real-world applications to science

      Something Fishy
      This unit poses an ill-structured problem that will lead students into an interdisciplinary study about several individual systems and their interactions. The content of the unit focuses on the various systems involved in the pollution of a local body of water: the aquatic ecosystem, chemical reaction systems, government systems, and economic systems. Students are challenged to grapple with real world concerns and develop recommendations through simulation activities based on the scientific process.

     

    Sixth Grade: The 1920's Era & "No Quick Fix" PBL

    Build present understanding by analyzing the past

    The William & Mary social studies units emphasize concept development,

    critical thinking, and primary source analysis within the context of high level

    content and reflect the focus of national standards in social studies on

    historical thinking and research and on the integration of major concepts across

    disciplines.

    William & Mary social studies units provide:

    • Advanced content through the use of primary source documents
    • Strategies that build critical thinking, conceptual thinking, and content learning skills
    • Ways to analyze events and situations from a variety of viewpoints

     

    1920’s
    Centered on a variety of primary sources including music, advertisements, and traditional documents, the 1920s in America provides insight into the events, values, lifestyles, and experiences of the 1920s period. Students explore the concept of cause and effect and how it relates to the events of the time, and gain a level of appreciation and understanding as they look at the ways different aspects of the era interact with and influence one another.

     

    1930’s
    The 1930s in America explores Depression-era America from the perspective of many different groups of people, utilizing a variety of primary sources to illustrate events and the social-political context. The unit emphasizes the interplay of changes in geography, government, the economy, and the influence of particular individuals and groups.

     

    Use problem-based learning to build scientific inquiry and reasoning skills

     

    The William & Mary science curriculum features ambiguous, problem-based

    learning scenarios. As active investigators, students must take on the role of scientists to solve problems through scientific inquiry. Advanced, in-depth content and a connection to an overarching concept, such as systems, are also emphasized.

    William & Mary science units provide:

    • Understand the concept of systems or change
    • Apply the basic principles of experimental design and investigation
    • Develop reasoning skills with real-world applications to sciencelectricity City

    No Quick Fix
    No Quick Fix uses systems as the fundamental concept to help students understand cell and tuberculosis biology.  In a series of widening concentric circles, students learn that the cells are elements in larger systems, such as the immune system and the even larger system of the human body. Students also interact with the human social systems: health care and public education. Students take on the role of physician and begin to search for the cause and resolution of the problem. While unraveling the interactions among various systems, students can appreciate the complexities of staying healthy in the modern world.