❏ Enrichment education is an integral part of the Allendale School District’s curricular program, including services for students identified as “gifted and talented” and for all students as an extension of the core curriculum standards, grades K-8.
❏ Enrichment education is an opportunity for students to expand their intellectual and creative capacities at an appropriate level commensurate with students’ educational and social development and their specific abilities, talents, and interests.
❏ Enrichment education should be developed according to a spiraling set of themes in grade level clusters:
Exposure (Grades K-2): At a young age, all students should have opportunities to learn, expand, and experience education in each academic area, piquing intellectual curiosity and educational interests. A specialist should work closely with classroom teachers to provide enrichment opportunities within the general education classroom.
Exploration (Grades 3-4): Students in the intermediate elementary grades develop intellectual abilities and interests at varying degrees. Students identified as “gifted and talented” should experience enrichment education from a specialist outside of the general education classroom thus cultivating important intellectual habits of inquiry, problem solving, and independent thinking.
Divergence and Convergence (Grades 5-6): Building on Exploration, students identified as “gifted and talented” should be guided by an enrichment specialist outside of the general education classroom. Instructional experiences should first foster divergent thinking in each academic area and then move toward convergence, involving peer dialogue and collaboration around a multitude of explored ideas.
Independence (Grades 7-8): Students identified as “gifted and talented” should engage in independent inquiries with support from an enrichment specialist. Accessing important habits of mind acquired earlier, these students can pursue, develop, and receive feedback on their work through inquiries taking place in pullout classroom settings and/or credible online venues.
Here are some of the Enrichment activities at Brookside School:
LEGO Robotics – The LEGO Robotics Program is designed to help children learn cooperation skills and problem-solving techniques through the construction and programming of a LEGO Robot. Fourth grade students learn to build the robot and do basic programming, and then have to program their robot to navigate through one of four obstacle courses. Fifth grade children expand upon this by adding sensors to their robot and learning the applications of sound sensors and motion sensors. They then need to apply this knowledge base to program their robot to clean up Mr. Winkelstein's office after it was messed up by an overactive squirrel. All fourth and fifth grade students get an opportunity to participate in this program.
Battle of the Books- Battle of the Books is a national competition. Children who are interested read a minimum of three books out of a list of eight prescribed books. Children then form teams of four to six children, and compete by identifying the appropriate book from a clue. Fourth graders compete internally only, and fifth and sixth graders compete to go to the Regional Battle of the Books Competition.
Paxton Lab/Career Education – The Paxton Lab is a STEM based program to help children develop independence, problem-solving strategies, and thinking skills related to science and engineering. There are currently ten modules students can work with: Alternative Energy, Audio Communications, CAD, Digital Music, Electricity, Environment and Ecology, Flight Technology, Forensic Science, Structural Engineering, Video Productions and Virtual Architecture. Each module has two parts: core knowledge and application# In the core knowledge phase, students embark in an interactive, virtual learning experience on the computer. Small activities and quizzes allow the student and the teacher to assure mastery of the content. Throughout this, however, students apply the knowledge they are gaining to a project. Projects range from building a rocket in flight technology to designing a house in virtual architecture. These projects are then assessed and shared with the teacher. All students in grades six through eight take part in this program, and through the three years, students experience up to six of the ten modules.
Creative Café – This program is open to 8th grade students who have shown exceptional talent in the area of art. Students work on murals throughout the building under the direction of Mrs. Turdo, the art teacher. This program requires the student have artistic ability and strong character, as they are given independence to work on these murals during the recess period.
Passion Projects (8th Grade Project)- Students identified as meeting the quad district's gifted and talented criteria OR students willing to participate in a rigorous, self-driven investigation may enroll in the 8th Grade Project Cycle. In this course, students identify personal strengths, areas of interest, and design a research method that allows them to understand the topic from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Students will be coached through this experiences by the enrichment specialist. The goal is to develop critical consumers and inspire creative producers for an authentic audience in our world.
Mock Trials – Fourth and fifth grade students identified as meeting the quad district's gifted and talented criteria are eligible to take part in the Mock Trial Program. In this program, students work with a teacher to learn about the law and then simulate a trial based on a pre-determined set of events. This trial is judged by a jury of students, and a verdict is rendered.
Artifact Box Exchange Network Project - Sixth grade students identified as meeting the quad district's gifted and talented criteria are eligible to participate in the Artifact Box Exchange Network Project. Students work together to collect, tag, reference and exchange a set of artifacts that are representative of their locale. The box is exchanged with a "mystery" partner classroom in a distant locale, the identity of which is known only to each group's teacher. The students are challenged to find out the identity of the local using the artifacts in the box.
eCYBERMISSION - Seventh grade students identified as meeting the quad district's gifted and talented criteria are eligible to participate in the web-based competition, eCYBERMISSION, which blends science, technology, engineering and math in a team-based activity. Students propose a solution to a real problem, while being able to compete for regional and national awards. Students work together as a team to solve a problem for the benefit of their local community using a variety of strategies and skills.
The Stock Market Game Program - Eighth grade students identified as meeting the quad district's gifted and talented criteria are eligible to participate in the Stock Market Game which aligns national and state standards in Math, Business Education, Economics, Technology, and Language Arts along with critical-thinking, research, and decision making skills in a game format. Students will learn about economic trends and investing as well as core academic concepts and skills that will help them succeed in the classroom and in the future.