(Academic Challenge & Enrichment)
What is ACE?
ACE is a newly piloted Gifted and Talented program designed to offer project based, inquiry based and technology based enrichment to 3rd and 4th grade students that are in need of acceleration in their overall academic subjects.
How did ACE evolve?
The idea of ACE evolved through a discussion on how we can better serve our gifted and talented students at School 12. The MAP Program (Major Achievement Program) was in the process of being phased out due to the decline of students that were being recommended for the program throughout the RCSD. We were eager to figure out a way to continue to provide enrichment for our students so, we decided to research different academic models in which accelerated instruction could be delivered to our students.
What does ACE instruction entail?
● Students are exposed to project based, inquiry based, technology based learning that will be connected to English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science. Students are using advanced technology and hands on learning to enrich their learning in a fun and meaningful way. This type of learning provides students with a rich opportunity to deepen their knowledge of concepts that are being taught within the classroom.
● Students are learning about the “16 Habits of the Mind”. This curriculum provides students with multiple strategies on how to be effective problem solvers, risk takers and reflective thinkers when faced with challenging tasks.
● Students are working in small groups and meet with the ACE teacher 3 times a week for a total of 2.5 hours.
What else does the ACE program offer this school year?
● This year, the ACE Program had a First Lego League Team that competed in the World Wide FLL Competition. The team consisted of nine 5th and 6th grade students. The objective of this enrichment session was to introduce to students basic programming as well as problem solving strategies. Students worked hands-on in teams to design, build, and program robots.
● Introduction to robotics session for 5th grade students.
● 6th Grade Writing Enrichment and Technology.
How does a student qualify to be in the ACE Program?
Students are recommended for the program at the end of the school year by their classroom teacher. Student recommendations are based on NWEA and Aimsweb reading and math scores. In addition, teachers complete a gifted and talented rating scale to use in combination with test scores. There are also informal writing and math application assessments used to further assess the need for enrichment.
Where is ACE headed?
School 12 plans to expand the ACE Program to 3rd-5th grade students for the 2016-2017 school year.