Gifted and Talented

Last Updated: 9/22/2020 4:18 PM


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What Does Gifted and Talented Instruction Look Like? 


Mission Statement 
The mission of the Gifted and Talented Program of the Springfield Public Schools is to provide a meaningful and rigorous education that instills the value of lifelong learning and empowers all students to reach their full potential and become self-fulfilled, creative leaders, in accordance with the comprehensive standards of our state. We accomplish this by offering challenging, real world experiences in a student-centered environment. 

Early Childhood Center

Edward V. Walton 
School-wide Enrichment
Every student in first and second grade receive whole class push-in enrichment by the Gifted and Talented teacher on a rotating schedule. The purpose of these lessons is to encourage problem solving skills, develop critical thinking skills, expand curiosity and imagination, as well as foster creativity and communication skills in conjunction with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. Units of study covered in first and second grade include Creative Thinking, Inventive Thinking, Deductive Reasoning and Visual/Spatial Perception. 

Gifted and Talented Teacher as a Resource
In addition to push-in lessons, the Gifted and Talented teacher also serves as a resource to all teachers. Teachers that are seeking resources for their high ability learners will receive additional support from the Gifted and Talented teacher in various ways. This may include additional units of study, challenging resources, student projects, and additional in-class support of the Gifted and Talented teacher. 

Elementary Schools

Thelma L. Sandmeier & James Caldwell 
Cluster Grouping with Targeted Gifted and Talented Programing
Beginning in third grade students are clustered with other high ability peers and receive push-in support from the Gifted and Talented teacher 3-5 periods (120–200 minutes) per week. Push- in support varies between small group targeted instruction and whole group instruction based on the content being taught and the composition of the class. The goal of the Gifted and Talented Program is to give students a variety of advanced and challenging learning experiences across content areas to promote independent thinking skills, refine critical thinking and communication skills, cultivate joy in learning, and expand student interests through problem solving. The instruction that students receive incorporates 21st Century Skills and advanced content that is challenging, hands on and relevant to the real world. 

Strategies and Practices that Support Gifted and Talented Students 

  • Adjusted Pace of Lessons 
  • Inquiry-Based Instruction 
  • Higher-Order Thinking Activities 
  • Interest-Based Content 
  • Real World Problem Solving/Problem Based Learning 
  • Independent Study/Passion Projects 
  • Units of Student with Like-Minded Peers 

Gifted and Talented Teacher as a Resource
In addition to classroom support, the Gifted and Talented teacher also serves as a resource to all teachers in the building. Teachers that are seeking resources for their high ability learners will receive additional support from the Gifted and Talented teacher in various ways. This may include additional units of study, challenging resources, student projects, and additional in-class support of the Gifted and Talented teacher. 

Gifted and Talented Identification Criteria 
The Springfield Schools Gifted and Talented Program recognizes that there are students who require differentiated learning experiences beyond the core curriculum being taught because of their advanced abilities in one or more content area. These students may also have other cognitive qualities such as curiosity, creativity, motivation, leadership and passion that require modifications to their academic experience. Formal identification into the Gifted and Talented program begins in the spring of third grade. Each year students from third grade and beyond can be nominated by their classroom teacher. 

Multiple Measures of Eligibility
When students are recommended for the Gifted and Talented Program there are multiple measures that are considered to determine if services are necessary and appropriate. The assessments that are used are: 

  • Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) – Administered in the fall of grades 3 and 5 
  • PARCC/NJSLA Scores – Scores are ranked across grade levels to determine the top students 
  • iReady Diagnostic Scores - Scores are ranked across grade levels to determine the top students 
  • DRA2 Level – Administered in the Fall and Spring grades K-8 
  • Student Work Portfolio – Provided by classroom teacher upon recommendation 
  • Gifted Indicators Checklist – Completed by classroom teacher upon request 

Review Committee
The Review Committee are the evaluators for the Gifted and Talented identification process. The committee is made up of the school principal, the school guidance counselor, the Gifted and Talented teacher, and the classroom teachers of the Gifted and Talented students for each grade level. This committee reviews the data presented from the classroom teacher and makes the determination of eligibility into the program for the following academic year. Students that are eligible for Gifted Services will receive a letter upon the completion of the review process. The letter must be signed by the parent/guardian and returned before services begin. 

 

Supplemental Resources/Programming for Gifted Students 

Edward V. Walton 

  • PETS Program – Primary Education Thinking Skills 
  • Group Solutions/Group Solutions 2 – Cooperative Logic Activities 
  • Lollipop Logic 
  • Beginning Thinking Skills 
  • AIMS Education Programming

James Caldwell & Thelma L. Sandmeier 

      Math/ELA

  • Project M3: Mentoring Mathematical Minds 
  • Junior Great Books 
  • AIMS Education Programming
  • Borenson Hands on Equations 
  • BizWorld 
  • Perplexors 
  • Advanced Math Explorations grade 3-5 
  • Challenging Units for Gifted Learners (ELA and Math) 
  • Creative Curriculum Extenders 
  • Differentiated Lessons & Projects 
  • Challenge Math Grades 4+ 
  • Differentiating Instruction with Menus (All Content Areas) 
  • Jacob’s Ladder 
  • Genius Hour/Passion Project 
  • Spatial Reasoning 
  • Logic Puzzles, Brain Games, Analogies 
     

      STEM 

  • Engineering is Elementary 
  • Engineer Throughout the Year
  • PBS Design Squad
  • Defined Learning
Contact Us
Edward V. Walton Early Childhood Center
601 Mountain Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Phone:973-376-1025 x2556

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