Enriched Curriculum for Gifted and Talented Elementary Students
To provide a stimulating and challenging language arts curriculum, Connections Academy has formed an exclusive online partnership with The Great Books Foundation®. Our gifted and talented elementary students excel using the foundation’s highly regarded Junior Great Books® program.
A Respected Curriculum
The Junior Great Books curriculum is based on the idea that everyone can read and understand excellent literature—and that literature has the power to engage the imagination as well as the intellect. Students read great literary works and use them as a launching point for deepening their comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills. They complete a variety of learning activities, both online and offline, and may participate in individual and group projects.
Central to this gifted and talented language arts program is Shared Inquiry™, a method of actively interpreting a text with others in a group. During LiveLesson® sessions, teachers serve as Shared Inquiry discussion leaders, posing thought-provoking questions and guiding students to reach their own interpretations of the text. These real-time discussions give students the opportunity to develop social and communication skills as they interact with their peers. Elementary gifted and talented students gain experience in:
- Presenting ideas logically and persuasively
- Supporting their opinions
- Listening actively and carefully to others
- Agreeing and disagreeing constructively
- Responding to other students’ ideas, questions, and comments
- Revising ideas and evidence based on Shared Inquiry discussion
- Writing description, narrative, expository essays, and persuasive essays
Teachers may also offer these advanced learners opportunities to express themselves creatively, to explore topics of special interests, and to integrate cross-curriculum subject matter into their language arts projects.
For students who are gifted in math, Connections Academy aspires to deepen the understanding of and interest in mathematical concepts in order to ignite creative and critical thinking skills, and fuel a lifelong passion for the power of math.
Connections Academy’s superb, credentialed teachers understand that to keep exceptional kids appropriately challenged and motivated, they need an online gifted and talented mathematics program that accelerates them through the basics. They also recognize—and accept—that gifted students think differently and may make intuitive leaps or employ unusual approaches and strategies to solve mathematical problems.
The gifted and talented elementary math program empowers students to work above their grade level, progressing to advanced content that is rich in mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Teachers also have the flexibility to customize lessons so students can explore concepts in greater depth and with higher levels of complexity. Gifted and talented mathematics students engage in learning activities that include:
- Solving multifaceted, open-ended problems with real-world applications
- Interpreting, predicting, and analyzing mathematical situations
- Thinking analytically and creatively
- Participating in high-level thinking and good mathematical discourse
- Exploring interesting problems with others of like interests and abilities
Teachers may also offer these advanced learners opportunities to explore topics of special interest and to integrate cross-curriculum subject matter into the study of math.
At Connections Academy, elementary gifted and talented students who have a passion for science benefit from an advanced curriculum that emphasizes gaining an understanding of important scientific concepts rather than the memorization of facts. Connections Academy teachers engage these high-ability students as active investigators, encouraging inquiry as well as firsthand exploration and experimentation.
Using open-ended problems and high-level questioning, teachers lead their classes in discussions to examine issues and encourage creative, critical thinking, as well as scientific objectivity, skepticism, and curiosity.
As students study scientific ideas and concepts in depth, the gifted and talented elementary science program introduces real-world applications. As students progress, they have the opportunity to examine more abstract subjects and problems of greater complexity. Students are also instructed in experimental design and the scientific process, equipping them to conduct their own original research. Gifted and talented science students gain experience in:
- Discussing scientific problems
- Analyzing information and data
- Developing a theory or hypothesis
- Designing and planning experiments using the scientific process
- Conducting research
- Interpreting and judging results
Teachers may also offer enrichment activities for gifted elementary students to explore topics of special interest and to integrate cross-curriculum subject matter into the study of science.