Grade Eight: Design Minds
Big Idea: How do individual values, background and culture influence our creativity, design and critical thinking skills?
Approximately once per month, starting in October, students who have met the HWDSB criteria for GIFTED will be invited to attend the Enrichment and Innovation Centre located at Holbrook School. A letter will be sent to the students family as well as the school. As well, students are welcome to use our Enrichment Centre Drop-In, held every Wednesday from 2:30 – 4:30 for informal programming, sharing and playing! There are 2 Grade Eight Classes with approximately 20 students in each class. We will have two teachers available for supporting students programming needs. Be sure to check the calendar (OFTEN). This is found at: http://gifted.commons.hwdsb.on.ca for information about when each group is scheduled.
There are Two Grade Eight Groups:
Group A: http://gifted.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/8a/
Group B: http://gifted.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/8b/
New this year!! →
- Gifted Centre location at Holbrook Elementary School. This year, we have our own location. In previous years, we held our program at 4 different locations, borrowing resources from the schools.
- We are having a weekly “Drop-In” Centre every Wednesday (2:30- 4:30) for ALL students and families. They may access our computers and other resources (including the 3D printer)
- In order to extend the learning that happens between the classroom, home and the Enrichment Centre, we will be setting up an online platform called Desire to Learn (D2L). This is referred to as “Blended Learning”. Using their HWDSB login and password, students will be able to interact with their “Gifted Class” online. The Enrichment and Innovation Centre Teachers will post project ideas, questions, information and even activities that students could do prior to coming to each centre. In some elementary and many secondary schools, the D2L platform is used for online coursework, for feedback and for teacher instruction. Instead, we are using it as a tool for communication, enrichment, and questions.
- “REMIND” – We will be using a “Texting” program. Each group/class will be getting a special code to receive text messages and/or emails about the Gifted Program. Look out for more information about this.
- We will continue to hold Parent Information Sessions
Grade Eight Program:
- There will be FIVE SESSIONS for Grade Eight students that meet the HWDSB criteria for Gifted
- Students will participate in activities and lesson that focus around STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and ARTS and Math). The context for the program will have a strong focus toward social justice, math, engineering and community action, and will involve using a variety of 21st Century teaching and learning methods. Students will continue the work they did in Grade Seven, to develop a strong understanding of how to be active citizens by exploring many facets of the world around them.
- The overall intent, is to help them better identify their strengths and weaknesses, to advocate for themselves and to work both independently and collaborative in a given situation.
- We will use Inquiry and Problem Based methods for instruction and will emphasize a hands-on approach to learning.
- The Centre will provide an environment for students to engage in the topics and activities that interest them. We have hubs set around the classroom that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and ARTS
- This year, we have a set of new computers, lego robotics and a 3D printer where students will have an opportunity to design and print a 3d object.
- We will be using a variety of computer programs, including Minecraft as part of the design process
- While at the centre, the students will participate in both self-directed learning as well as a whole class focused activities that are built around real-world problems and solutions.
Sample Day Schedule for the Gifted Program:
Students go to their home school and await transportation to the Enrichment and Innovation Centre OR students are driven to the Centre by a parent (please notify the Centre of this 905 385 5369, firstname.lastname@example.org)
9:30/10:00 → Students arrive to the Centre.
10:00 – 11:30 → Students participate in strength (interest) based, self-directed learning activities (hubs set up around the classroom to choose from). Teachers work with small groups.
11:30 – 12:10 → Lunch, Exercise, Play and independent/small group activities
12:10 – 1:30 → Focused Inquiry based, problem based lesson
1:30 – 2:00 → Consolidation and sharing (Students will share a tea this time)
2:00 → Transportation back to home school via bus, taxi or parent
We are always looking for volunteers to join our Enrichment Centre Stations. If you have an expertise in a certain area, we would love to have you come share and help inspire our students. Please contact either Beth or Zoe if you think you could offer some real-world expertise to our program!