I need your input!

I’m working on the TAG curriculum for junior high students, and the key with working with gifted (probably any!) students is giving them choice.  I definitely don’t want to give them a canned curriculum, for the perhaps selfish reason that I don’t want to read the same project over and over again.  So for seventh graders, I’ve created a “Think-Tac-Toe,” where students choose 3 projects from a 3 x 3 grid.  These range from computer programming, creating a video newsletter, and learning a foreign language, among others.

For the eighth graders, I want to do something different, as the previous TAG teacher did a TTT with them last year.  So I’m creating a “differentiation menu” which gives the students choice, as well.  They all will do the “appetizers” (nibbling on a bit of everything), then will do one of three “entrées,” two of five “side dishes,” and they can choose to do or not do the “dessert.”  It will be a hodge podge of activities, but the meat of it will be the entrée, in which students will identify a problem at the school district, city, or county level, and create a plan to solve the problem.  (I got this idea from an ISTE session by Cynthia Coones of White Oak ISD in East Texas.)

I don’t want to limit the students with my ideas, but I do want to present them with some more suggestions.  What sort of problems could the students help solve?  Here is what I have so far, and remember, problems can be bad or good:

  • What if the state stopped granting any allowable growth to school districts?
  • What if there was a sudden influx of ESL students, equaling 20% of the student population?

Well, that’s really all I have.  I know I should come up with problems related to agriculture and the environment, but it’s definitely not my area of expertise.

After creating a scenario and possible solutions, students will create a presentation that they will share with stakeholders (principal, superintendent, mayor, state representative), and with the whole wide world on a blog.

Do you have any ideas?  Either reply here or on Twitter.  Thank you!



3 thoughts on “I need your input!

    • What grade level do you do that for? That’d be cool with a book like The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane where he goes all over the world, but of course, that’s really for younger students.

      Thanks for the comment! One of the parts on the Think Tac Toe for seventh graders is on literature, but I hadn’t thought of that. That’s a great idea!

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