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!