Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dudley Elementary's GATE Academy

Dudley Elementary has ended its first year implementation of a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Academy. The GATE Academy is a program designed to challenge fourth through sixth grade GATE and high achieving students in the classroom on a daily basis. The classes challenge students to obtain a deeper, more complex understanding of all material presented in class, and specifically to prepare them to be ready for algebra in seventh grade. Teachers use GATE strategies such as compacting, differentiation, depth and complexity, and Blooms Taxonomy questioning in order to provide students with a deeper understanding of the material. 
Fourth grade students loop with the same teacher over two years, so remain with the teacher for fifth grade as well. In sixth grade, when students rotate teachers, the GATE and high achieving students are grouped in a way that allows them to continue their progress. 

This year, students in the fourth/fifth grade class, completed in-depth artist reports and permanent tile painting, had a visit from Mad Science, made a solar system unit including paper mache models and had students present science lessons throughout the year, created a picket fence representing the growth of California, participated in a webquest on mountain climbing with a field trip to IMAX to see the Climbing Everest movie, had field trips to Coloma and the Gold Bug Mine in Placerville and participated in many more engaging activies.