Tewksbury Township Board of Education

Project Aspire is an instructional programming opportunity offered to students in grades 1-8 meeting specific identification criteria. The Project Aspire program provides an on-going creative and cognitively challenging learning environment which meets the specialized needs of gifted learners.

 

Project Aspire Student Identification

 

Students in Grades 1-8 qualify for Project Aspire through specific and rigorous criteria designed to identify learners in need of cognitively responsive learning opportunities. Identification criteria was researched and developed by a committee with representation from parents, administrators, middle school and elementary school teachers.

 

Identification is a multi-step process.

  1. First, all students in grades 1, 2, and 5 are screened using the CoGat, Cognitive Ability Test.

  2. Students meeting top performance levels as determined by national performance criteria advance to the next round of evaluation

    1. Torrance Creativity Testing: Torrance Creativity Testing. The highly reliable Torrance® Tests of Creative Thinking are the most widely used tests of their kind since testing only requires the examinee to reflect upon their life experiences. These tests invite examinees to draw and give a title to their drawings (pictures) or to write questions, reasons, consequences and different uses for objects (words). These instruments have been used for identification of the creatively gifted and as a part of gifted matrices in states and districts in the USA, especially in multicultural settings, and for special populations around the world.

    2. Scaled for the Identification of Gifted Learners: Observational Data of Classroom Performance related to Creativity and Cognitive Processing

  3. Students meeting specific criteria points on either the Torrance or the SIG, in addition to the CoGat, qualify for Project Aspire Programming. In summary, students must meet 2 out of 3 national, normalized criteria points on

    1. CoGat and Torrance or

    2. CoGat and SIG.

 

Project Aspire Programming

 

Tewksbury Elementary School

Project Aspire students meet with Mrs. Russell two times per week in a small group, pull out setting. The Project Aspire Instructional program utilizes the Problem Based Learning design. For more information on Problem Based Learning please visit: http://www.tewksburyschools.org/Page/995 .

 

For specific programming information, including current units of study please visit: http://www.tewksburyschools.org/Page/1312 .

 

Old Turnpike Middle School

Project Aspire students meet with Mr. Sipos in place of the Project Based Learning (PBL) special cycle class, in a small group, pull out setting.  Additionally, Mr. Sipos meets with students one time per week in place of art, technology and music, and during E & R. The Project Aspire Instructional program utilizes the Problem Based Learning design. For more information on Problem Based Learning please visit: http://www.tewksburyschools.org/Page/995 .

 

For specific programming information, including current units of study please visit: http://www.tewksburyschools.org//site/Default.aspx?PageID=439 .

 

Program Goals and Assessment

Assessment of PBL is an ongoing process. Students are asked to keep portfolios and reflections logs to promote thinking (metacognition) and evidence learning through each phase of the project. This process based assessment is a key shift from a more traditional product based assessment model.

 

Sample PBL Rubric


 

PROJECT RUBRIC for PBL

Phases of a Project

Approaching Standard

At Standard

Above Standard

Planning the Project

Defining the problem and group members’ roles

  • I may just “follow directions” without understanding why something needs to be researched and /or created
  • I still need to learn how to think about what people might need or like when they use or see what is created
  • I am unclear of my role in the group
  • I know that something needs to be researched and/or created but cannot give detailed reasons why
  • I have a basic idea of what people might need or like when they use or see what is created
  • I have an idea of my role in the group
  • I understand the reasons why something needs to be researched and/or created
  • I understand the needs and interests of the people who will use or see what is created
  • I understand my role in the group and how it contributes to the group’s success

Planning the Project

Formulation of Research Questions

  • I created basic research questions that did not require in-depth investigation
  • Some of my questions may not relate specifically to my topic
  • I created some research questions that required in-depth investigation
  • Most of my questions are relevant to my topic
  • I created several questions that required in-depth investigation
  • All my research questions are relevant to my topic of exploration

Effective Research Identify Sources of Information

  • I use only simple web searches (e.g. Google search) without considering the possibility of more appropriate sources
  • I did not evaluate my web sources for credibility.
  • In addition to search engines, I also used databases, such as EBSCOHost, to gather information.       
  • I evaluated my web sources for credibility
  • In addition to search engines and databases, I used a variety of sources to gather information (e.g. expert, community member, business or organization, social media)
  • I evaluated my web sources for credibility

Effective Research

Note-taking, Organization and Works Cited

  • I have little to no evidence of an organized manner of note-taking
  • I did not cite my sources or my citations were not in MLA format
  • I have some evidence of an attempt to keep organized notes
  • I cited all of my sources
  • I made a few mistakes in MLA format of citations
  • I have complete evidence that my notes are carefully organized and aligned to my outcome
  • I cited all of my sources
  • All citations follow MLA format

Making Sense of Data Collected

So What?

  • I did not refer to my findings to create my product/solution
  • I still need to learn how to use feedback from peers and teachers to improve my outcome
  • I need to consider more evidence before drawing a conclusion
  • I need to reflect more on evidence and conclusions to make recommendations
  • I refer somewhat to my findings to decide which idea is best
  • I use some feedback from my peers and teachers to make small changes to improve my outcome
  • I draw conclusions supported by my evidence
  • I make recommendations based on my conclusions
  • I ask new questions and think about how to improve on the idea
  • I carefully use feedback from peers and teachers to improve my outcome
  • I draw conclusions based on the preponderance of evidence
  • I offer new insights and recommendations based on conclusions

Presenting Project and Answers to Driving Question

Present Work to Users/Target Audience

  • I did not evaluate other alternative for sharing
  • I did not research or utilize effective strategies for my sharing platform
  • I selected a platform for sharing that meets my purpose and helps reaches my intended audience
  • I incorporated strategies and techniques that enhance my platform
  • I selected a platform for sharing that best suits my project purpose and audience
  • I utilized the most effective strategies and techniques for my platform


 


Additional Resources

 

Identification of Gifted Learners:

http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/sem/semart04.html

 

General Resources:

This schools has extensive resources for gifted education that are largely inline with our vision:

http://www.misd.net/gifted/renzullimodel.htm

 

"Truly Gifted, or just Well-Prepared?" - something to think about...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/18/nyregion/new-york-city-schools-struggle-to-separate-the-gifted-from-the-just-well-prepared.html?pagewanted=all

 

Associations

 

http://www.njagc.org/

 

http://www.nsgt.org/educational-resources/

 

http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=659

 
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