Advanced Learning Opportunities
Elementary SAIL (Students Accelerated In Learning)
The SAIL program is designed for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students who are advanced learners and can benefit from accelerated learning. Students are identified for SAIL through FAST scores and a cognitive abilities test, the CogAt, taken at the end of 2nd grade and beginning of 4th grade. There are three units throughout the year:
Inventions Unit -Fall Trimester
As part of the Inventions Unit students use creative and critical thinking skills to tackle a variety of complex challenges. The unit utilizes a process that focuses on hands-on inventive thinking, tapping into creative skills. Each student will go through a process to choose a problem and create an invention to solve that problem. The students have an inventions log that guides them through the process.
Research Unit -Winter Trimester
In the Research Unit students will learn researching skills. The students will choose a topic and go through the process of researching that topic. Each student will have a final project based on her/his research.
Hands-On Equations -Spring Trimester
In this unit, students learn basic algebra. They will transform a given abstract equation into a physical model and then proceed to solve the equation through use of “legal moves,” which are the physical counterparts of the mathematical principals involved. Each year, students build on knowledge and principles learned in the previous year.
First and Second Grade Enrichment
The advanced academic program in District 622 offers enrichment classes for 1st and 2nd graders. Classroom teachers nominate students. These are rotating groups. Three different groups are offered during the year. A child might be included in one or all three depending on her/his learning strengths and needs. Groups run for approximately four sessions. Participating in these groups is not formal identification for the SAIL program.
Creativity Enrichment -Fall Trimester
Students use interesting materials and their imaginations to create a project based on a story/book that we read together. 1st graders go on a trip to space after reading Regards to the Man on the Moon and then make a pet after reading Pet Show. 2nd graders create a pulgar, a creature that is only awake for one day, after brainstorming criteria and adaptations that would benefit the creature.
Reading Enrichment -Winter Trimester
We use Junior Great Books in this unit to help students develop higher level reading and thinking skills as well as basic comprehension in listening to and thinking about works of literature.
Math Enrichment -Spring Trimester
In this unit, students in 1st grade complete math activities that provide a connection with a different picture book each week. Second grade students learn about different numbering systems and practice using the Egyptian numbering system to further their understanding of place value.
The Young Scholars program is for students Kindergarten through 5th Grade. It offers advanced learning opportunities to students who are underserved in traditional high potential programs. First grade through fifth grade students are identified through observation in problem solving lessons in the classroom, evaluation of work done for those lessons and meetings with school staff. Once identified, those students receive enrichment lessons from the Young Scholars teacher. The lessons are based on teaching and reinforcing the following thinking skills:
Students learn brainstorming techniques to develop a variety of possible solutions to given problems. Students practice and use fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration, the characteristics of divergent thinking.
Students learn deducting and analytic thinking skills to solve problems. They use comparing and contrasting, and classifying techniques. They will use graphic organizers to sort and classifying information.
Students learn to manipulate shapes to solve problems. They learn eventually that they can manipulate shapes mentally without concrete devices. They will identify patterns and analyze shapes in detail.
Students learn to develop criteria for evaluating possible solutions in a given problem. They will learn to base their decisions on factual criteria not just on opinion.
If you have any questions about these programs, please feel free to contact me.
SAIL and Young Scholars Teacher