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Gifted & Talented/Young Scholars

Teacher: Mrs. Madson
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Gifted and Talented (SOAR) Program

The primary purpose of the Gifted and Talented Program is to serve the academically gifted and talented students of our school district. ISD 196 has selected the Cognitive Abilities Test, CogAT, to measure the cognitive ability of students in December of their third and fifth grade year. In December of first grade students are given a nonverbal intelligence test called the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, NNAT. After Southview receives the results, students are identified for Gifted and Talented services by using the data from the standardized cognitive tests, achievement tests, in combination with teacher recommendation scores and a portfolio of work from both home and school. Identified elementary students receive pull out services in a resource room provided by the Gifted and Talented teacher. If a child qualifies for gifted and talented services, a letter of notification and permission to participate is sent home to the child's parents.

The GT curriculum includes units in creative thinking, critical thinking, problem solving, invention, research, and selected special topics. The GT curriculum may include some enrichment activities that relate to the classroom curriculum, but it is not designed to accelerate any academic areas taught in the classroom. Core curriculum enrichment is handled within the regular classroom and may include ability grouping for certain subject areas. Gifted and talented students meet with the GT teacher twice a week.  

Young Scholars

The Young Scholars Program (YS) is an academic program that embraces research-based practices for identifying and nurturing potential in students who have historically been overlooked by gifted services.  Young Scholars promotes the notion of access, affirmation, and advocacy for continuous academic growth beginning in kindergarten.  Early identification, coupled with early intervention, allows Southview to provide learning experiences that strengthen basic skills and require students to apply knowledge at a more complex level.  The GT/YS teacher, in collaboration with classroom teachers, observes and instructs students, collects anecdotal records, and reviews standardized data to identify students who have gifted potential.  Once identified, Young Scholar students receive regular instruction that allows students to question, explore, and investigate content and ideas.  Young Scholars are held to high standards and performance expectations. Additionally, a week-long summer camp and field trips provide Young Scholars with challenging learning opportunities that further nurture and support their school experience.  The long-term goal of the Young Scholars Program is to encourage the pursuit of advanced coursework in participating students in the secondary level and in higher education.  

Enrichment Opportunities

Students in grades K-5 may be selected to participate in enrichment groups with other students of high ability (those performing above regular expectations).  Teachers may select student for these groups based on test scores and/or classroom observation.  Content covered in these groups may be subject-specific (i.e. math or reading), or in areas such as research and problem solving.  These groups are flexible so the some students may be part of one or two sessions during the year, while other students may be included in groups throughout the entire year.  Enrichment groups usually meet once per week for 30-50 minutes. 

Additional Opportunities

The Creativity Festival, Young Authors Conference and STEM link programs are all run by an organization called Success Beyond the Classroom.  Students are selected for these opportunities by both the classroom teacher and the gifted and talented specialist.  

The Young Authors Conference (YAC) promotes student enthusiasm and competence in written communication for our teacher-nominated fourth and fifth grade writers.  It focuses on the concept that students must be encouraged early in their academic lives if they are to become effective communicators.  Through interaction with established authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers, illustrators, journalists, and teachers or writing, over 4,700 students who attend Young Author Conference each year, discover and explore their writing talents and potential. 

The Creativity Festival celebrates intelligences by introducing students to a variety of creative professionals.  The students will be able to attends three hands-on, brains-on sessions led by scientists, inventors, explorers and visual artists.  Fourth grade GT students attend this event at the Ted Mann Concert Hall on the U of M campus in January.

Then STEMlink conference brings STEM careers to life as fifth grade students participate in three interactive sessions with professionals from fields like biology, chemistry, physics, geology, engineering, math, technology, nursing, dietetic technology, exercise science, and dental hygiene.

Other enrichment experiences include Junior Achievement's Biz Town for our fifth graders, an architecture tour through the Twin Cities for 4th graders, a Geography Fair held at the Science Museum for 3rd graders and Stages Theatre for first and second graders.  

All students are welcome to be involved in the monthly Book Club that meets on the last Friday of the month from 12:00-1:00.  Book selections are shared with all students in grades 2-5 and books can be ordered through the GT teacher prior to the beginning of the month.