Happy Holidays! We hope you are staying warm and enjoy some time with family over the coming break. Our ELP students have been very busy so far this quarter. The 4th graders started the quarter by writing narrative stories to submit to the Old Creamery Theatre Contest. They were quite creative! The 4th, 5th and 6th graders are now all working on projects for Odyssey of the Mind. Odyssey of the Mind is a problem-based competition in which teams of students work on one of six long-term problems. The 4th graders and a group of 6th graders chose to work on the balsa build project, for which they will build a structure made out of balsa sticks and see how much weight it can support. The other 5th and 6th graders are working on three of the other projects: creating a superhero themed skit, building a robot, and building vehicles. Each of these projects also has a performance requirement, as well. It should be exciting to see the end results! The 7th and 8th graders are finishing up their backpack group projects and their individual projects. They will also be doing Odyssey of the Mind starting in January.
The ELP website has been updated with writing contest information and resources. If your student would like help submitting entries to any of these writing contests, they may see either of us. Their deadlines are fast approaching in the middle and end of January. We will keep updating this as we find out about more contests.
The first semester is winding down and it has been exciting to see the new ELP plan come to fruition. We are looking forward to the second semester and possibilities it brings.
By: Julie Rice
The first quarter brought with it the new changes to the ELP program. We have already met with many parents to go over their child’s Personalized Education Plan (PEP) document, with a few more appointments left to complete. It has been such a pleasure to get to talk to so many of our ELP parents. We also had the opportunity to attend both the Iowa Technology and Education Connection (ITEC) and Iowa Talented and Gifted (ITAG) conferences. We both came back with wonderful new information, resources, and ideas.
Our ELP pull-out groups have been working on cross-curricular projects this quarter. At Strawberry Hill Elementary, our 4th grade group researched inventors, learned about the invention process, invented new board games, and created their own inventions! Our 5th/6th grade pull-out group also researched an inventor and created their own invention, in addition to reading a novel, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” about a boy-inventor. Both groups culminated this unit by holding an “Inventor’s Fair” to showcase their work.
The 7th/8th grade ELP pull-out groups have been researching, designing, and creating STEM projects both individually and in small groups. The high school program supports the ELP students in all grades levels, while holding weekly meetings with Freshmen to discuss the social-emotional aspects of being ELP and providing support and encouragement as they transition into the first year of high school.
It has been a wonderful start to the year and we can hardly believe we have already completed the first quarter. We are looking forward to the rest of an exciting first semester!
- Mrs. Zach and Mrs. Rice
The Connie Belin & Jacqueline Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa put out a general newsletter including resources for educators, parents and students. Please check out the newsletter here. This newsletter includes information on summer camps, iExcel testing and more.
The Iowa State Office of Pre-collegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted is open for registration of summer program camps as of March 1, 2016. Camps include camps for students grades 3-6, 7-8 and 9-11.
For more information and course offerings check out this website.