Differentiated Learning Experiences for Gifted and Talented Students
Aptakisic-Tripp is committed to the belief that education is a means by which each individual has the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential. We believe that all students have a right to educational experiences that challenge their individual development whether it is below, at, or beyond the level of their age peers. In accordance with this philosophy, District 102 schools provide educational experiences that recognize and make provisions for the special needs of gifted and talented learners.
Over the past year, Aptakisic-Tripp School District has made a number of new and exciting improvements throughout our K-8 gifted and talented programs. We are especially excited about the recent revision of the English Language Arts (ELA) gifted and talented program which seeks to identify high ability readers and writers in grades 3-8. Each of our gifted resource teachers serves students in District 102 through the below four roles:
Students in grades K-2 receive weekly push-in support through our English Language Arts targets while the goal of the GTE program for students in grades 3-8 is to work with our children in an attempt to further develop and extend their reading and writing abilities through the newly developed English language arts curricular goals. Students in grades 3-8 who qualify for support in roles 1 and 2 are formally identified through a combination of reading scores through Measures of Academic Progress and teacher feedback.
Our District is fortunate to have a full-time gifted resource teacher at Pritchett, Tripp, and Meridian while students in grades 7-8 will benefit from a Humanities rotation that correlates to the new ELA learning goals. Our grades 7-8 Humanities teachers have collaborated with language arts and social studies classroom teachers in order to meet our gifted and talented ELA students' unique reading and writing needs. GTE students in grades 7-8 are clustered together for ELA instruction.
Pritchett and Tripp Elementary Schools (K-4)
In the elementary buildings all students participate in lessons that have been differentiated by product, process, or content to students’ individual talents. This is an ongoing, daily, practice for classroom teachers. There are a variety of enrichment opportunities that are co-facilitated with a Gifted & Talented Education (GTE) Specialist.
PES and TES meet the needs of their students through a variety of enrichment opportunities and differentiation of instruction in classrooms to capitalize on the skills of all learners. Enrichment opportunities are built into the schedule and may include:
- Flexible grouping during Math units where students are grouped on the basis of achievement and interest in the classroom
- Expanded Humanities classes in Library, Art, Music, and Technology
- Collaborative teaching models where direct instruction is provided by the regular classroom teacher and/or co-planned with a gifted education specialist
- Book Clubs which are independent reading challenges that culminate in noncompetitive question/answer meets
- Other Enrichment Activities: After School Programs
Meridian Middle School (5-6)
Gifted education experiences continue at Meridian Middle School. Students experience lessons that are differentiated for “just right” instruction and activities that meet the individualized needs of gifted learners. A GTE Specialist works with classroom teachers to co-plan, co-teach, and offer enrichment projects.
MMS meets the needs of its students through a variety of enrichment opportunities and differentiation of instruction in classrooms to capitalize on the skills of all learners. Enrichment opportunities are built into the schedule and may include:
- Flexible groupings and collaborative teaching models in Language Arts where the classroom teacher and gifted education specialist provide differentiated opportunities through process, product, and/or content for small groups of identified strong readers/writer
- Advanced content classes in Math where students are grouped on the basis of achievement and interest.
- Opportunities to take the SAT through the Lake County Regional Office of Education
- Expanded Humanities classes in Public Speaking, Art, Music, Technology, Orchestra, Chorus, and Band
- Other Enrichment Activities include: Rebecca Caudill Club Weekly Challenges, Broadcasting Club, Parent/Child Book Club, Talent Show, SAT/Talent Search, Spelling Bee, ICTM Math Contest, After School Programs, Student Council, Newspaper Club, Intramural Sports
Aptakisic Junior High School (7-8)
Aptakisic Junior High School meets the needs of students by offering a variety of enrichment opportunities. We host differentiated math levels and differentiate classes within language arts through content, process, and product. Gifted education experiences aim to meet the needs of students who thrive on complexity, absorb information, and have desire a challenge themselves.
AJHS meets the needs of its students through a variety of enrichment opportunities and differentiation of instruction in classrooms to capitalize on the skills of all learners. Offerings include:
- Cluster grouping in Language Arts where small groups of identified strong readers/writers are placed as a group within the regular classroom. Students are offered differentiated opportunities through process, product, and/or content
- Advanced content classes in Math where students are grouped on the basis of achievement and interest
- Expanded Humanities classes in Art, Music, Orchestra, Chorus, and Band
- Introductory and Accelerated World Language classes in Spanish
- Enrichment activities: Rebecca Caudill Reading Club, Cross Country, Scholastic Bowl, Cheerleading, Science Fair, Coed Soccer, Math Counts, Girls Basketball, Spelling Bee, Boys Basketball, National Junior Honor Society, Wrestling, Student Leadership Council, Pom Pon, Aptakisic Business Club, Girls Volleyball, Newspaper Club, Boys Volleyball, Science Olympiad, Track and Field, Broadcasting Club, Ballroom Dancing, AJHS School Play, and PALS
Resources for Parents
- Extension Programs: The Northwestern University Center for Talent Development offers Saturday Enrichment classes for academically talented students in grades PreK through 9.
- When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social and Emotional Needs (James Delisle)
- The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? (Maureen Neihart)
- The Gifted Kids Survival Guide for Ages 10 and Under (Judy Galbraith)
- Guiding the Gifted Child: A Practical Source for Parents and Teachers (James T. Webb)
- Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children (James Delisle)
- Uniquely Gifted: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of the Twice Exceptional Student (Kay Kiesa)
- Once Upon a Mind: Stories and Scholars of Gifted Child Education (James Delisle)
- Helping Gifted Kids Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers (Carol Ann Strip)
- Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Children (Sally Yahnke, Ph.D.)