I am about to begin my maternity leave, so I wanted to give you one final update for this school year. One of the most recent activities that students across all grade levels participated in with me was called the “Snowflake Activity,” although at the start, the students did not exactly know that the task had anything to do with a snowflake! Students were given a number of VAGUE instructions on how to fold and cut a piece of paper. They were not allowed to ask clarifying questions, so students were forced to interpret the instructions in their own way. Consequently, the result was a wide variety of different variations of the final outcome (the “snowflake”). As we reflected on this activity together, we discussed that not only is careful listening necessary when completing a directed task, but also clear and specific communication on the part of the speaker. When given a leadership role, it is vital that we be aware of our own communication if we want the group we are leading to be successful. The students enjoyed the interesting products that were created through this activity, and they served as a tangible example of why being clear and specific is so vital.
The months of March and April have been unlike previous months in that I did not meet with students as frequently. This is because of other responsibilities involved in my role as a Gifted Consultative Teacher. At this time of year, we work on identifying newly qualified students into the gifted program, specifically those who had passed the 2nd grade screener and subsequent evaluations this year. For each newly qualified student across the county, there is a series of paperwork that must be completed and a meeting that must be hosted with parents in order to begin gifted services. On top of this, we are also currently working on getting our 5th grade gifted students prepared to transition their services over to middle school, and similarly, our 8th grade students to high school. As you can imagine, a great deal of time and attention is required to ensure that all of this is completed properly and that all of these students have their new or continuing services set in place for next school year. While I do miss the regular interaction with the students during this time, it is also fulfilling to have the opportunity to focus on the progress of these individual students and to communicate that information to the parents. If you have participated in an EP meeting with us recently, thank you for your time. It was much appreciated.
As the year winds down and comes to a close for students on May 24, you can expect to see a progress report addressing the goals on your child’s gifted Educational Plan. This report will likely be sent home with the final report card of the year, although certain schools sent theirs home at the midpoint of the year instead. Please remember that these goals are broad, long-term goals. While they represent an overarching focus of your child’s gifted education, they certainly do not reflect every single way in which your child’s gifted needs were met throughout this school year. If you have any questions about specific projects, assignments, tasks, etc. please be sure to communicate directly with your child’s teacher.
Thank you for a wonderful year! It has been my pleasure to work with your children. I look forward to communicating with you again in the fall.