By Betsy Singh, Coordinator of Gifted Programs, with special contributions from Gifted Intervention Specialists Cynthia Tisue, Brenda Kortekamp and Renita Jackson
Cincinnati Public Schools serves students of a wide spectrum of talents and abilities, including those who identify as gifted. We are highlighting the creative ways we engage our gifted students to help them achieve academic success across the district.
This gifted program spotlight features Covedale School, Dater Montessori, and North Avondale Montessori.
Cynthia Tisue, Gifted Intervention Specialist
Covedale offers weekly enrichment and gifted workshop groups for students in kindergarten through grade six. Students in kindergarten, first and second grades have been developing thinking and social-emotional skills through STEM activities. The curriculum complements many students’ curriculum of choice, Primary Education Thinking Skills (PETS), with hands-on projects. Students have different partners for different activities so they get to know all of their classmates and use a full range of thinking skills (deductive, analytical, inventive, creative, visual, evaluative).
Second-grade students are applying their STEM experiences to the 2018 Invent It Competition, in which they must invent something that solves a problem caused by a natural disaster. Third-grade students in the math enrichment group are designing and building models for the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati’s Design LAB program.
Dater Montessori Gifted Program
Brenda Kortekamp, Gifted Intervention Specialist
Dater Montessori students have been benefiting from a new 3D printer, which the PTO purchased for the gifted program. The new tool has helped third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students bring their designs and inventions to life, such as fifth-grade students designing Aztec artifacts for their LINK projects.
Students in the gifted program have also been actively engaged in challenging “break out” sessions relating to reading and math content. Students “break out” by completing tasks that determine a combination to a lock before the timer runs to zero. Other students have been researching plants and animals in the natural habitat around the school. They then design educational signs to be displayed in the area.
Lastly, 50 students from Dater Montessori competed in the semi-annual Noetic Learning Math Contest, a national mathematics contest for elementary and middle school students. The goal of the competition is to encourage students’ interest in math, develop their problem-solving skills, and inspire them to excel in math. Many of these same students participated in the Perennial Math Competition held at Mount Saint Joseph University on October 28, 2017.
Renita Jackson, Gifted Intervention Specialist
Throughout the 2017-18 school year, North Avondale Montessori students have been participating in the Zoo on the Move program, learning how animals survive and directly affect our world through the interconnection of all living things.