Gifted School Chicago

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Science & Arts Academy 1825 Miner Street Des Plaines, Illinois 60016 (847) 827-7880 http://www.scienceandartsacademy.org Science & Arts Academy is an independent, non-denominational, co-educational, not-for-profit day school for gifted students in Junior Kindergarten through eighth grade.

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Do Schools for Gifted Children value Critical Thinking We tend to associate the terminology “critical thinking” with some form of skepticism or a question of validity. The question “Is this the truth” is oftentimes perceived as some sort of challenge. Yet in reality we should spend our time evaluating or judging a belief idea solution or statement. The term “critical” is derived from the Greek “krinein” and means to evaluate or judge. Therefore when you combine this with the term “thinking” the use of reasoning becomes part of the evaluation process. Hence the question “Do schools for gifted children value critical thinking” Teachers provide students with the opportunity for critical thinking as a part of a gifted school program in Chicago and in the regular classroom as well. Furthermore critical thinking skills are associated with the analysis comparison evaluation or synthesis of information that is available in books and lectures. Basically this boils down to creating and developing strategies that nurture critical thinking abilities in gifted learners. These strategies are broken down in the following content.  In-depth classroom discussions – teachers encourage these skills so that they can be developed via in-depth classroom discussions within the gifted school programsin Chicago. Students are allowed to ask their own questions while teachers can pose questions that require more than simply quoting text and recalling facts. After analyzing information that is presented in the classroom students are encouraged to share their opinions with one another.  Real-life problem solving – one of the areas where teachers can play a significant role in helping gifted students develop their critical thinking skills is in solving the problems of everyday life. For instance the use of paper in the classroom is oftentimes excessive and even wasteful. Students may use an entire sheet of notebook paper just to solve four or five math problems. In some cases students may exhaust an entire supply of math scratch paper just by solving one problem at time and then throwing that paper into the classroom recycling bin.  Self-evaluation – students enrolled in gifted school programs inChicago can improve their critical thinking abilities through the process of self-evaluation not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. It takes a considerable amount of insight for the student to identify their strengths and weaknesses. For example you can ask them to evaluate their performance after giving a class presentation. As a result they would highlight the strong points of their performance and the areas that need the most improvement. As a portion of the classroom curriculum teachers target gifted students by challenging them to develop their critical thinking abilities and skills. However all students in gifted school programs in Chicago can better themselves while improving their critical thinking skills through the utilization of these three strategies.

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Why don’t some Students sign up for Gifted School Programs when they are Qualified One of the sad truths about the US education system is that very few school districts place enough importance on gifted school programs. A prime example of this is the Moline-Coal Valley school district located in Moline near the Illinois-Iowa border and across the state from Chicago. Plans are in place to alter its current format from classes that are comprised exclusively of gifted students to classes containing a mix of high performing children with those displaying varying levels of classroom performance. According to the assistant superintendent for assessment and accountability you will now have a mixture of students that play off one another. So in other words here is yet another example of how a school district is cutting out gifted education classes without actually eliminating them altogether. Differentiating between them is difficult and if a teacher is too busy to do so it usually doesn’t happen. Imagine how this would impact gifted school programs inChicago suburbs. The Under-utilization of Gifted Education Programs In most cases today we find that gifted education programs are being under-utilized especially in the scenario above. Interestingly enough over 60 of kindergarten aged children who were eligible to enroll in the gifted program failed to do so. Why you ask There are several reasons why families often choose not to enroll their children in gifted school programs in Chicago suburbs. For instant some districts have centralized these programs at only one school. In other cases the parents want to enroll their children in those schools within their neighborhood because they know the area they live in. Furthermore for those parents that work at home or near their child’s school this makes it more convenient for them to attend events there. On the other hand these factors are not as important to those parents who are committed to their children’s education and support the curriculum provided by gifted school programs.

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Helping Your Child succeed If your child is gifted you’ve probably realized that they aren’t benefiting educationally from the regular classroom environment. Therefore if you’re focused on improving their educational experience and want to prevent them succumbing to boredom while they’re in class you should enroll them in a gifted school program inChicago suburbs. This is your best option for ensuring that they are able to enjoy the best possible educational experience and are challenged to exceed their abilities.

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Why are Gifted Education Programs Successful Most of a child’s education today focuses on data and statistics sometimes excessively. Education reformers want to transform the system into a world wherein schools and teachers are responsible for helping the student to achieve better scores on tests as if that were the true measure of success. However this raises a valid question. What defines a successful gifted education program in Chicago Is there a formula or specific metric that enables you to measure this The National Bureau of Economic Research recently published the results of a research study that focused on the way in which children perform in these types of educational programs. It focused on the outcome of placing children in exclusively gifted classroom settings once they met all eligibility criteria including the following:  being an English language learner with an IQ of 116 or higher  being classified as a “non-disadvantaged” student with an IQ of 130 or higher and receiving subsidized lunches  missing the IQ cut-offs but scoring extremely high on achievement tests At the end of the school year the researchers who were involved in the study examined all test scores and found out two things. The two groups that were selected on the basis of IQ saw no improvement in their test scores. Despite the fact that the third group experienced noticeable improvement most of it was found among Black and Hispanic students. The conclusion of the study showed that putting children in a classroom environment devoted exclusively to gifted education students in Chicago was more effective for those individuals who were chosen because of their past academic achievements. It’s true that achievement test performance could be one of the eligibility criteria for enrolling in a gifted education program. Granted one can appreciate the fact that there are programs targeting the highest of achievers regardless of how they have been selected. Unfortunately there are still far too many schools that fail to create a class environment where children can be challenged academically and where they are able to learn side by side with their equally high-achieving peers. Additionally it’s wonderful that there are classroom environments where disadvantaged students are succeeding and raised their scores when being tested. However we still have schools where teachers have sufficient time to focus on students who need help passing but not enough time to challenge gifted students so they are also able to improve. Fortunately this is not the accepted norm nationwide so students from all walks of life can qualify for gifted education programs in Chicago.

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How Schools can help Gifted Learners There has been a great deal broken down regarding the education system and schools in the US especially where challenging the more advanced student or gifted learner programs in Chicagois concerned. It’s sad to say but we really don’t in most cases. In fact many educators are reluctant to use the “G” word gifted. Common sense tells us that children develop and perform at different performance level rates academically. We also know that every classroom has its mean and children who deviate from it are going to be a challenge for most teachers. Consequently today’s teachers have much to think about. It’s easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed when you’re attempting to address the issues and problems that exist in gifted learner programs in Chicago. However there are a handful of very practical ways that schools can help these students. One idea is to require all teachers to learn about meeting the needs of the gifted student. This would apply to those who are candidates for a teaching position as part of a preparation program. They should also be required to develop strategies for challenging the gifted student as well. It goes without saying that the supporters of gifted learner programs in Chicagowould love to see more classroom environments that are self-contained and taught by teachers who specialize in these types of curriculum. Unfortunately most gifted children spend the largest percentage of their time in classroom environments where teachers know little about these higher achievers and do little if anything to challenge them academically. Sadly there are only 6 states where this is required of teachers. It has often been recommended that the “Knowledge and Skills Standards in Gifted and Talented Education” be used by those teachers who were developed by CEC-TAG and the NAGC. Ironically when you look at the teacher preparation programs in existence today you have to wonder if labeling a curriculum as a part of a gifted learner program in Chicago is going to be problematic. Another issue is the political element that is found in many of these programs. This is definitely not an element that embraces or favors the concept of gifted education. This is about meeting a child’s academic needs and having their best educational interests in mind. While some programs are trying focus on a more practical teaching approach some states are being pushed to require the design and development of instructional strategies that are geared to the advanced learner as well as those who are struggling.

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