Gifted and Talented Program
Gifted & Talented Education
The Gifted and Talented program has a new teacher this year, Kalista Pendleton. Kalista administered an interest survey and is getting to know each student. She is helping them set short and long term goals and monitor progress towards meeting this goal. She is busy developing a class culture of learning, community and working together as a team.
The Gifted &Talented program will continue to screen 2nd grade students to identify possible candidates for the program. This change in practice began the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year and has been very beneficial at identifying students with special talents.
Gifted and Talented classes for 7th and 8th grade students began this Fall of 2020 at RSJH. The class (Gifted and Talented) is an elective class and will provide additional support and advanced learning opportunities for students in Sweetwater#1. The GATE I course is offered as an elective to identified gifted students. This course uses interdisciplinary units combining nature and the four other core education areas, along with creative and fine arts, technology, and engineering. Designed to help students develop learning skills in areas such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity through high interest, problem-based units.
Currently, the Gifted and Talented program in Sweetwater #1 is a pull out program. Services are provided to students in grades 3rd-8th. Students in grades 3rd-6th leave their regular classrooms for the day and are transported to Eastside Elementary to learn with students from other schools in the district. Students in 7th and 8th grade register for a class and are meeting throughout the week.
How are students referred to the Gifted & Talented program?
To identify possible candidates, results are used from the WY-TOPP summative assessment and other data sources are reviewed by school Achievement Monitoring Progress (AMP) teams. The AMP team determines if students are to be tested or not. The Gifted and Talented teacher then secures parent permission to test. The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is the assessment used to determine placement with in the Gifted and Talented program. The CogAT is administered on the computer and is intended to estimate students' learned reasoning and problem solving abilities through a battery of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal test items. Upon completion of the assessment, students/parents/teachers/principals are notified of results. Students who score 95 and higher on the composite are invited to attend the gifted and talented program. The program works with students in grades 3 through 6. All student testing results are reviewed by AMP teams and supports are identified and are put into place.
Practice CogAT tests can be found by googling CogAT Practice Test and Sample Questions.
"The mission of Sweetwater County School District #1, Gifted and Talented program is to identify and support the intellectually Gifted Pupils. This program will offer an advanced and challenging curriculum with qualitative differentiation and STEM integrative units to provide greater depth and complexity of learning. Holistically supporting students using cutting-edge methods and utilizing partnerships with parents, teacher, and stakeholders."
Students Solving Problems
Students are working together to solve STEM challenges, design balloon cars and making marble runs. Students are using KEVA planks and using engineering skills to solve design challenges. All grades are working on improving their writing skills. During the 1st quarter, the third grade students will be studying solar systems and creating planets and the fourth grade students will be learning about the 50 states. Fifth grade students will be learning about ocean ecosystems and sixth grade students will be learning about world cultures.
"Bristlebots is a simple to assemble robot where motion is caused by the transfer of kinetic energy from the motor, vibration, thru the robot to the ground. The bristles rapid motion, from the vibration, enables the robots locomotion." (North Dakota Space Consortium)
The Pringles Challenge
The Pringles challenge is an engineering in which students create a ring using only Pringles chips--- tape and glue are not allowed. Check out our students meeting the challenge.