Middle School GT

                 
The big question - What happens in GT in Middle School?

The Gifted and Talented programs at the Middle Schools transform from what students and parents have become accustomed to in Elementary Schools.  


CLASSROOM SUPPORT:  The Middle Schools structure their programs in a manner to maximize the knowledge of content experts in Language Arts, Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Exploratory Classes.  As a result, GT students are not pulled out of class on a regular basis as they have been in Elementary School. Gifted Resource Coordinators focus on providing extended learning experiences through instructional support to classroom teachers to enrich curriculum inside the classroom.


ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES: The Coordinators work to provide enhanced learning experiences such as Middle School Law Day, Oklahoma Writing Project, JCPenney Leadership, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, GLAMS, OU One Store, academic competitions, guest speakers/artists, enrichment clubs, and other opportunities that may come available.


ADVANCED CURRICULUM:  Middle Schools also offer a wide variety of courses with advanced curriculum, such as High School Algebra, Geometry, Physical Science, and World Languages. In addition, students have the opportunity to take courses that focus on Advanced Academics, Gateway to Technology, and Fine Arts. See your child's grade level counselor if you have questions about Advanced Curriculum.


AFFECTIVE SUPPORT:  Finally, the Middle School coordinators are available to provide support and communication to GT students and parents. At any time, please do not hesitate to contact your Middle School GRC.


For students who have been in GT through elementary, many parents want to know how we serve Gifted and Talented students in Middle School. In Norman, we use strategies that include:
  •  Appropriate Pacing in the classroom 
  •  Accelerated Classwork such as advancing one or more grade levels in math, high school credit courses in Biology, Spanish, and Math, and our Advanced Academic classes offered at each grade level. 
  • Affective Support - provided by classroom teachers, counselors and GRC's to monitor student progress and work with students on individual needs
  • Individual Type 3 Projects- For students who have shown mastery in particular curriculum, students can propose a project that meets the goals of the class and create a contract with the teacher to complete a task of high interest.
  • GT teacher collaboration with classroom teachers to meet goals of Gifted Curriculum for 6th, 7th and 8th grade, and provide training and resources in the methods used in NPS Gifted plan
  • Art Programs serve many of our students in Orchestra, Band, Art, Choir, and Speech and Drama
  • Pull out groups - Do occur, but occur less frequently due to multiple class placements
  • Student Academic Clubs - for expanding knowledge and competition in academic settings
  • School-Wide Enrichment- to provide all students opportunities to explore learning outside the textbooks by developing interests, exploring career opportunities, hearing from primary sources, or experiencing arts or professional opportunities outside of the building.
The NPS Gifted Education Plan can be accessed by the following link. NPS Gifted Education Plan

The National Association of Gifted Children produces materials related to the latest in research and information about gifted education.  They publish a wide array of materials for parents, teachers, and administrators interested in learning more about gifted education and in promoting best practices for teaching and learning. Much of this material is available for free at their website.  

 

www.nagc.org

 

Memberships in the NAGC are also available, with parent memberships starting at just $30. 

 

The Oklahoma Association of Gifted, Creative, and Talented is our state affiliate.  Their information is available online at http://oagct.org


Below is the link to the Oklahoma State Department of Education website.

WMS Gifted and Talented 2018-2019


Middle School GT is composed of 3 main areas: Affective Support, Appropriate Pacing, and Enrichment. The list below explains some of this year’s offerings. Remember that GT students are not pulled on a regular basis like elementary school students. Instead, students are offered a “buffet” of enrichment opportunities to select from in addition to differentiated lessons in their classrooms.


Affective Suppor

Communication:

I will send emails to the email addresses listed in Parent Portal and to all GT . Please feel free to email cynthiac@norman.k12.ok.us or call 366-5956 if you ever need anything.


District GT information:

Check out the new District GT Calendar https://www.normanpublicschools.org/domain/1962


Resource/Point of Contact:

I can be you and your student’s resource at WMS. I will reply to any emails or questions within 48 hours, but usually before. Please feel to ask me any question, even if it does not relate to GT. I will point you in the right direction if I can’t answer your questions.


Advocating to meet the needs of GT students:

I am your student’s advocate. I want to make sure we are meeting their needs. I meet with the teachers to check-in on the GT students. I look at Eligibility and other pieces of data as well.


Appropriate Pacing

Wide-variety of course offerings:

 Middle school provides a great opportunity for your student to take Exploratory classes (Speech and Drama, computers, Gateway to Technology, etc.) and to engage in Advanced Math classes. WMS also offers the following classes for high school credit: Algebra 1, Geometry, Spanish 1, and Biology. In addition, many of our students bus over to the high school as they are ready for classes not offered here on our campus.


Differentiation:

Differentiation is a teacher’s response to the wide-variety of student needs. I work with the teachers and students to ensure these different needs are being met.


Professional Development:

Along with differentiation, I also work with the teachers on other areas. These areas might include Guided Inquiry or Gifted Student Needs. I am also a lifelong learner, so I am constantly learning new strategies and working with other teachers, especially my Middle School GRC team.


Enrichment

Interest & Career Opportunities (ICO)

I believe that a student needs the opportunity to discover and explore his or her passions. Each student will get to rank the following categories: History, Writing/Art/Music, Debate/World Issues, Law, Journalism, Weather, Medicine, Leadership/Philanthropy, STEAM Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), and Environmental Sciences. Rankings for these will happen through an August email or during the first few weeks of September. Each GT student will invited to attend at least ONE ICO Learning Opportunities allowing them to communicate or work with experts in a particular area.

In addition to the ICO anchor learning opportunities, students will get to sign-up or sometimes be teacher-nominated to attend a variety of other experiences. Sign-ups are done either by application or on a first come, first served basis. Opportunities will go out in the weekly email and be posted on the Whittier GT website. These experiences may include, but are not limited to: Women in Science, Oklahoma Writing Project Fall Conference, Fred Jones Writing Conference, JC Penney Leadership, OU One University, etc. I try to also schedule things that students tell me they are interested in. One year, a students shadowed a dentist because she requested it.


*Students attending off-campus events will need permission slips each time. Most of my communication is done electronically through email and Google forms. Money should NEVER prevent a student from attending. Donations are accepted to help cover costs, but are NOT required for students to attend.


Clubs and Competitions

At WMS we offer the following academic clubs. Currently, we are offering Academic Team, Math Counts and Science Olympiad. Information regarding these and any additional club opportunities will go out in the newsletter. Students should also listen for announcements during Overtime.


We also offer a variety of competitions in which students can choose to participate. We offer a Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, and History Bee. I will also send out other competitions as they become available.I also keep them documented on our GT website on this page:


https://sites.google.com/a/norman.k12.ok.us/wms-gifted-andtalented/home/writing-contests-2015-16.  


I encourage every student to enter at least one competition.  


School-wide Enrichment

We also offer school-wide enrichment for all students. These include things like attending the NNHS musical, guest speakers, and visiting authors/artists.


I am looking forward to serving you and your student this school-year. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any ideas, concerns, or questions.


Cynthia Charboneau, WMS Gifted Resource Coordinator (GRC)

405.366.5956