Specific Challenges in
Mrs. Gold's Class
After children are finished with their mandatory work, they are
rewarded with the option of doing challenge capsules- little
capsules that you open up to find a challenge question that usually
must either be researched, or requires higher level thinking.
Interactive Notebooks- Students have two
different journals in which they can interact with in
any way they'd like. The first is their
Lifebooks are a journal account of your child's interest
and lives. They can write poetry, use drawings, create
lists, or any other form of expression that shows their
feelings. This is differentiated, as students can
challenge themselves to whatever level they can achieve.
Interactive Science Notebooks are similar to lifebooks,
except that they are only focused on the science unit at
that time. Students must express their learning in
similar ways as the lifebook journal allows them to, in
order to show me what they've learned that day.
Mastery Club- Students can work on the
Mastery Club in and out of
the classroom, however they must finish mandatory work
before going to the Mastery Club.
Nightly Challenge- Students identified as
Enrichment will be offered a nightly
challenge. This challenge is also available to every
student in the class, who would like to do it as well.
Math Challenge Project- Before each math chapter,
I conduct a pre-test to see how much information
students know about the upcoming chapter. If they know
90% of the chapter's material, I will give them a
challenge project that they MUST work on when they finish
the daily math journal page. Other students will be
working on review math activities, but since students
identified to work on the challenge packet have high
prior knowledge, they can by-pass the math reviews.
If students finish the math boxes and would like to work
on the math challenge project optionally, they are
The challenge project is not extra work or harder work, it's actually a "project" that goes along with the unit we are studying at that time. The project deals with math in everyday life, so students must apply their knowledge to higher levels of thinking.
Higher Level Questioning- Students will be
asked interpretive verbal questions to increase their
understanding of a subject.
options are also available to students.
Top 10 Ways
to Challenge Students
1. Students need to have a sense
of empowerment; an awareness that because they are special, they are
equipped to do the work. However...
2. Students should also know that good grades are not automatic.
Work has to be performed as well as learning of new material and
3. Assignments should afford the student the opportunity to explore
curriculum topics in greater depth and to use independent thought
processes to do so.
4. Self-directed work is recommended as well as to encourage
5. There must be a sense of purpose or mission. Volumes of work
don't make a difference.
6. Students should know what they are learning really matters in
the real world. Some students lack interest and motivation because
they don't see the relationship between what they are learning and
the real world around them. It is especially important for the
teacher to encourage them to see the connection and to make the life
applications real to the students. (This is why our Everyday
Mathematics Program is great!)
7. All students need to learn the value of independent learning.
Students should be geared toward learning how to research, and where
to go to find information. Students should be given the opportunity
to explore topics of their own interest. However...
8. All students also need to learn to work together. They need to
listen to one another, and take one another's perspectives. They
also need to learn how to present their thoughts to others who might
not be thinking the same way in which they are thinking.
9. Students need classroom experiences that encourage higher level
thinking, that involve choice, that provide opportunities for
10. All students, must be treated as individuals. Although some
children are classified as Academically Talented, they still learn
in their own way and must be challenged to their own ability, as any
other student would be. My job as a teacher is to recognize that,
and provide individual support to their learning styles.