What is 'Levels of Service'?
Many experts in the field of education have called into question why we often provide enrichment opportunities only to our identified gifted students. Traditionally, gifted education programming has consisted of high-interest and dynamic options such as chess and robotics clubs, hands-on problem solving and creativity programs like Odyssey of the Mind and Inventor's Fair, and a differentiated curriculum that allows students to learn through interests and learning preferences. Leaders have asked, "Don't all children deserve this level of programming?" On the other hand, if all students deserve to learn in an enriched, differentiated curriculum and to develop unique talents, what do gifted or advanced learners need? How do we provide programming that shares with all students the best practices from gifted education while recognizing some students truly have advanced learning needs? How do we meet those needs while raising the levels of achievement for all students? Levels of Service is a progressive answer to these questions.
Levels of Service is :
- a school-wide model
- a commitment to deliberately developing talents in all students
- a system that evaluates and meets the needs of students with advanced learning needs, promotes and supports differentiated instruction for all students, and puts the focus on what students can do
- a process of organizing and harnessing community resources
- a challenge to incorporate creative thinking, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision making on a daily basis (Treffinger et al.,2004)
- proven to be effective across the country in large, multicultural, urban school districts
Levels of Service is not :
- just for advanced learners
- a model that promotes the belief that all children are gifted or advanced
- the end of "gifted education"
- a wild, new, untested model
- a pull-out program
Talent Development Plan for Hiawatha and Howe
Level I Services ( ALL students receive an assessment of and brief exposure to student interests through enrichment of core curriculum)
Kindergarten: Artist in Residence, Field Trips: Apple Orchard, Minnesota Zoo, Mother Earth Garden. Creative and critical higher thinking skills are taught in our Creative Learning Prep class, using leveled challenges involving rhyme, K’nex, creative drama, movement, brainstorming, Forced Association, and more.
First Grade: Field Trips: Works Museum and Fort Snelling. Creative Learning classes foster growth in creative/higher-thinking skills via leveled activities specially designed using district Talent Development standards.
Second Grade: Guest Speakers, Drama, Field Trips: Minnehaha Falls, Arboretum
Third Grade: Guest Speakers: Midwest Foods and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Visual Thinking Strategies, McDonald’s Service Project, Field Trips: State Capitol, Urban Agricultural Day, Minnehaha Falls, Garden Camp
Fourth Grade: Field Trips: Guest Speakers: Midwest Foods, Geologist, Big River Journey, Bakken Museum, Minnesota Orchestra, Junior Achievement, Poetry Program, Minnehaha Fall
Fifth Grade: Interest Studies, 5t h Grade Musicals, Heritage Project, International Heritage Night, Field Trips: Big River Journey, Minnesota Zoo Safari, Minnesota History Center, Camp Audubon, Minnehaha Falls
ALL Grades: Options Day, Field Trips: MIA Art Adventure, Flint Hills International Children’s Festival at Ordway Center
Level II Services (MANY students will receive extended opportunities to deepen interest areas through clubs or enrichment clusters, interest-based studies, before- and after-school programs, and competitions)
First Grade: ALC, GEMS/GISE
Second Grade: ALC, GEMS/GISE
Third Grade: After-School Drama, GEMS/GISE
Fourth Grade: Young Authors Conference, After-school Drama, Band, Math Challenge Project, GEMS/GISE
Fifth Grade: Young Authors Conference, School and District Spelling Bee, After-school Drama, Band, Service Projects, GEMS/GISE
All Grades: Riverview Art Show
Level III Services(SOME students will receive differentiation of core curriculum to provide greater depth, complexity, and intellectual demand within the classroom)
Instructional Strategies for Literacy will include:
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Prompts for Depth and Complexity
- Socratic Seminar Universal Theme
Instructional Strategies for Math will include:
- Critical and Creative Thinking Curriculum
- Compacting Structured and Open Problems
- Telescoping Math