Setting up NEW pull-out GT program! Help! - ProTeacher Community





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Setting up NEW pull-out GT program! Help!
Old 01-09-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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I work in a small school district that has never had a GT program before at the elementary level, and have been charged with setting one up and getting it started.

HELP!!!

I'm looking for any ideas/suggestions on how to begin. I have a ton of ideas, but figuring out a starting point is a challenge. My students will be pulled 2 or 3 times a week, but I don't yet know how long I will have them each time.

What has worked for you - partidularly if you have done pullout. Big In depth group projects? Small independent projects?

Any and all ideas are welcome. I have a matter of weeks to get this up and running - and I'm currently at ground zero (and just the slightest bit panicked)!

TIA!


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I know that feeling...
Old 01-09-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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What grade levels are you working with. I just started doing our pullout program a few years ago, and it was all totally revamped when I took over... are you at one school, do you travel, how many students.. are they one grade level or multi-leveled classes...

I have my students for a whole day each week so I do both big group and small independent.. and projects that go from year to year.. since I have them from first through fourth grade.

Give me some ideas of time, ages, etc. and I'll be glad to try to help..
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Details...
Old 01-10-2009, 07:15 AM
 
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I will have students in grades 1-4. Students have already been identified, and (theoretically) instruction in the classroom has been differentiated to meet their needs within the classroom up until now. That really hasn't been the case, so far, though - hence the need for having someone focused just on the GT kids. We have identified students every year as academically GT using Naglieri and then another test to narrow the pool - I don't know what test was used, but will find out next week. Despite identifying them, we have never done any sort of pull-out or extracurricular program intended to address the needs of the GT students.

I will have them 3 times a week, but I don't know how long - my best guess at this point is an hour or so each time. So, I'm thinking 3 hours a week, approximately.

There is no budget. Period. (Thankfully, this is not the first time I've faced this problem, so finding resources isn't my biggest challenge.)

More importantly, as Jean asked, there is no coordinator in charge of this. I report directly to my principal, and have been given very little direction in regards to what they want/expect/envision.

Because this is a completely new program, and because differentiation for GT kids really hasn't been taking place in the classrooms, one of my goals for this year is to give the students the skills they need to be able to independently (or with minimal assistance) complete a variety of projects. Using the GT class as a means to teach them how to develop a project idea, research a topic, and create a final product/presentation related to a set theme/unit will (hopefully) mean that mainstream teachers will be able/willing to create a Choice Board in order to facilitate differentiation within the classroom for the GT students.

Part of my reasoning behind this is that I've been told that the we will not having the funding next year to have a GT-only specialist. I have no idea what that means for my own job (which is currently GT as well as a pull-out reading intervention, which will also not be available next year), or what that means for the GT students next year. If I can give them some skills to foster independent research and learning, and teach the teachers that this is the case, then maybe (just maybe), these kids will be challenged in a manner more suited to their abilities in the future, whether or not there is a GT pull-out program. And if I am doing GT next year, then I will adjust it and tweak it then.


Hopefully this all makes sense. (I'm trying to type as my own two children (a 4 yo and a 10 month old) are exploring the volume/sound functions on every toy they received for Christmas - it makes it hard to concentrate! )

Thanks so much for all your help - the posts have been very informative so far, and I really appreciate it!

~Heather
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What I do...
Old 01-10-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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Just a little background about what I do, and where they go... I teach pullout 1-4 from four (soon to be five) different campuses. These students then feed into our intermediate school in fifth grade, where from that point on they are in self-contained honors classes (all day, every day type thing.) Our biggest complaint from the upper grades has been that the elementary students are not ready for advanced level work when they get to the intermediate school, and they can't work independently. SO... my job, one day a week, is to try to get the ready!

Our schedule consists of an hour of advanced math (at least one grade level above), an hour of computer - I cover technology standards using EasyTech.com online, and they learn to use Office (word, PowerPoint, Publisher and Excel) - they get a 30min break after computer for "games" (chess, Apples to Apples, SET, etc.) before we go to lunch. After lunch we have two hours where they work on projects - both group and independent, and one week each month we practice for academic competitions in the spring.

For their projects I've started using the Performance Standards Projects developed by our state (www.texaspsp.org). At the end of the year we have a family night where parents, teachers, and community are invited to view and discuss their work.

If you are looking for project ideas, that site might help. They have everything from Kinder through high school.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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That was all really helpful, yesteach. Thanks so much!

I had bookmarked TexasPSP as a site to look at more, but hadn't yet had a chance to - thanks for the reminder and recommendation.


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Workshops
Old 01-28-2009, 08:21 AM
 
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Hi CityGal,

You have a huge job in front of you! Although our district had a pull-out program when i started two years ago, I was hired with the expectation that i would revamp it. It is an exciting and time-consuming job! Can't imagine starting from scratch.

Just briefly, GT kids all have such different needs. In the past, we had all students working on topics that touched upon all the needs, but it seemed like many students weren't having their needs really honed in upon. So what I did was create workshops that are high interest topics that focus on different areas of need. For example, a workshop about ancient number systems focuses on extending and deepening math understanding for exceptional math students. Open Research enables students to learn long-term planning skills and how to find answers to all their questions about a topic that is interesting to them. Another workshop, Project: Serve! has students creating a service project, which teaches teamwork, leadership, communication skills, and planning. There are about 4 workshops going on at a time at each school, and students take 2 workshops at a time. (I just meet with students for two hours about once a week, due to being spread thin over 6 schools.) Students have some input into which ones, by ranking them for me. Then i make sure they are appropriate to meet their needs.

This is new for me this year, but so far so good! I'm working out the glitches, but I think it will be a good model for meeting individuals' needs.

Don't know if this helps, but thought i'd try!
Best of luck!!
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