Young children grow and develop at different rates cognitively, physically, and socially. Some children enter school ready for tasks which require concentration and academic skill, while others enter school at a much lower readiness level. It is sometimes difficult to determine in the early years of school those students who are truly gifted.
However, it is possible to recognize at a young age, those children who consistently reach the academic benchmarks sooner than their peers, and who, at this time in their cognitive and academic development, need educational experiences which go beyond those normally offered in primary classrooms.
Though the students are not formally identified gifted, the Discovery Program recognizes and nurtures young children who demonstrate the potential for exceptional academic performance in kindergarten, first and second grades.
To recognize and nurture the academic gifts of young students K-2 from all cultural groups and across all economic strata who have the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.
To provide challenging instructional activities in math, reading, writing, problem-solving, and critical/creative thinking to students in K-2 grades who demonstrate gifted potential.
The Discovery Program nurtures young students through the following:
- Independent study on topics of interest to the student
- Creative problem-solving exercises
- Accelerated math assignments
Accelerated reading, writing assignment
Critical/creative thinking skill-building activities
The regular classroom teacher and the school’s AIG Discovery Teacher work cooperatively to provide activities designed to challenge young scholars and to recognize potential academic strengths.
In searching for potentially gifted students, the AIG Discovery Teacher becomes familiar with the students in the primary classrooms through K-2 data analysis, discussions with the teachers, and instructional activities with the students. The classroom teacher shares with the AIG Discovery teacher the students’ progress in the general curriculum and performance on various K-2 assessments.
After reviewing both qualitative and quantitative student information, the AIG Discovery teacher will choose some students with whom to work in a small group for enrichment activities. At other times, the AIG Discovery Teacher may provide whole class instruction or give students independent study projects.
The AIG Discovery teacher constantly examines and re-examines the students, watching carefully for the manifestation of gifted behaviors and the students’ need for differentiated instruction. The Discovery Teacher takes care to include minority, ESL, economically disadvantaged, and culturally different students in all the Discovery activities.