Middle School Gifted and Talented Services

  • Identified GT learners in grades 6-8 are provided the opportunity to enroll in GT courses in mathematics, language arts, science, and social studies based on their area of identification.  Educators who are experts in their content, and have specialized training in gifted education, facilitate GT courses in each content area. Each GT course is developed around essential concepts.  Learners study macro concepts which as transdisciplinary as well as discipline-specific concepts from the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Each unit of study is framed around generalizations and guided by essential questions to engage learners in critical thinking and problem solving.  Throughout their course of study, learners create sophisticated products and/or performances.

    Concept-Based Curriculum

    • Important concepts are outlined from a macro perspective.
    • Instruction is organized according to established generalizations surrounding those concepts.
    • Instruction is focused around essential questions.
    • Learners must work together and independently to acquire grade-specific content.

    Service Design Alignment with the Needs of Gifted Learners:

    • Self-directed – learners regularly engage in independent research on grade-specific content.
    • Research – learners are taught to complete independent research, discern credible sources, and tailor their written communication to the intended audience.
    • Thinking-
      • Learners are taught critical thinking skills through concepts, generalizations, and essential questions.
      • Learners have voice and choice as they develop products to reflect creative thinking based on their research and connections they make to course content.L
      • Learners apply knowledge in new and novel situations and analyze information in light of principles and generalizations.
    • Communication-
      • Learners utilize a variety of media formats (including digital media) to communicate with multiple audiences.
      • Learners hone their written and oral communication skills by creating and making presentations to a variety of audiences.

    Service Design Benefits for Gifted Learners

    • The curriculum and instruction is open-ended.  Learner interests and passions can drive part of the instruction (beyond the grade level standards).
    • Authentic assessments utilizing products and performances are common.  Pencil/paper and traditional assessments are occasionally utilized.
    • Conceptual learning focuses on the big picture as well as the classical questions in each discipline.
    • Self-directed learning empowers learners, builds future-ready skills, and promotes self-awareness.
    • Well designed learning experiences provide learners the opportunity to develop broad foundations of knowledge while encouraging specializations and passions.

Resources

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