Upper House Gifted Services
The purpose of the REACH program in grades 7 and 8 is to ensure that each child feels challenged and gains the skills necessary to be successful in his/her future pursuits. REACH programming consists of five components: cluster grouping, Integrated Science and Social Studies, independent learning projects, gifted guidance, and differentiated instruction.
Cluster Grouping: REACH students are placed together in small clusters of 5-8 students within heterogeneously grouped regular education classrooms. These clusters are spread across the seventh and eighth grade teams. This ensures that gifted students can work with their intellectual peers on a daily basis but also benefit from being an active part of a larger learning community.
Social Studies: REACH students, regardless of academic team, come together 3 out of 4 cycle days to attend Social Studies class with me in the gifted support classroom. This class covers the Social Studies regular education curriculum with a focus on project-based learning and critical thinking skills.
Independent Learning Projects: Time is set aside each week in Social Studies class for each REACH student to investigate a topic of his/her choosing. This is a structured project with the purpose of answering a question or solving a problem. Each marking period, students give a public presentations of their final projects.
Gifted Guidance: Gifted students have their own unique set of social and emotional needs and therefore Gifted Guidance lessons are embedded into the Social Studies class. These lessons help students develop and grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Discussion topics include organization, perfectionism, conflict resolution, and perseverance.
Differentiation and Collaboration: Individual students who demonstrate a need for modification of the regular education language arts, math, and/or science curriculum receive differentiated instruction in those classes. I collaborate with classroom teachers to develop differentiated curriculum. Differentiation focuses on a gifted student’s need for advanced content and pacing, choice in work products, problem solving, higher-level thinking, and a focus on overarching themes within a content area. Some examples of differentiation would include: alternate reading material, open-ended tasks, greater complexity of questions, alternate homework, and pre-testing out of material.
An annual GIEP team is held for each identified gifted child to determine individual student goals. If you have any questions about gifted services in the Upper House, I encourage you to contact me.