Thursday, August 03, 2006

MISD Gifted Education Grades 4th - 6th

As any parent will tell you each child is completely different from their siblings. Each child has their own interests, personalities, and aptitudes. When a child is very intelligent or gifted, as it is referred to in an academic setting, this child presents new challenges to parents as well as educators.

MISD students in grades kindergarten through third that are identified as gifted have 2 options. These options are Quest and Project Think. Quest is for students identified in the top 5% of their class. Project Think is for students that are in the top 20% of their class.

When a child is in 3rd grade they can apply to be in Gifted Education Midland, commonly referred to as GEM. GEM is for students in grades 4th through 6th that are in the top 5% of their class.

Midland Independent School District offers enhanced classes for gifted students, but they do not offer any enhanced classes for a student that ranks in the top 6% to 20% of their class in grades 4th through 6th.

I find this particularly disheartening, because I have a daughter that is in the top 9% of the country academically, but MISD does not offer any enhanced academics for her for the next three years. A recent study conducted on students in grades 4th through 8th concluded that many girls lose interest in math and science in 5th grade.

I have spent the summer examining the many options that are available for my daughter and the other children that are in grades 4th -6th that need additional challenges to keep their curiosity peeked. With this in mind I have found that I can offer my daughter math and science challenges at home and so can you. Here is a list of things that you can do with your child at home.

Make learning an adventure
Let the child ask questions that will lead to the answer
Allow time to think and explore

Make math a part of daily life
Balance a checkbook
Plot mileage on a map
Calculate the tip at a restaurant
Tax Free weekend is the perfect opportunity to look at savings

Introduce Science experiments at home
Go on a rock search and then identify all of the different rocks
Find the different stars, planets and constellations
Skateboarding is the perfect way to teach the laws of physics (remember your helmet)

With new technology popping up everyday; Allowing your child to create a web site or to look up homework answers on the internet is a good way to introduce this technology to them. Internet usage is likely to be as common as the telephone and television for our children's generation.

Additional Challenges
Creative School House and Barnes and Noble also carry "bridge books". These books are great for a student that needs a little more academically than their grade has to offer.

The Enhanced Academic Services through MISD get back on track in 7th grade and once again includes children in the top 20%. The children in grades 7th -12th have two options. If you are in the top 5% you can apply for GT-classes and if you are in the top 20% you can apply for Pre-AP classes (formerly referred to as honors classes.)

"The support you offer your child at home far outweighs any educational setting"


Blogger Jeff said...

Cricket, you might also consider applying to one of the district's magnet campuses, which are open to all students, K-6. My boys (just completed 4th and 6th grades) attended the math/science magnet, and were not only challenged in those areas, but in writing and history, as well ... all to good results.

6:35 AM  

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