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Gifted Program: Team ALPHA

Advanced Learning Program for High Achievers

Team ALPHA is an educational program designed to meet the unique social, emotional, and intellectual needs of gifted and talented students. The program provides students with challenging learning opportunities. Learning activities are interdisciplinary, extending across many core subject areas.

Gifted classrooms are formed in a variety of ways:  cluster grouped in heterogeneous classes, split grade-level classes, or a combination class of gifted and talented students.  Students are taught by gifted endorsed teachers and core content is differentiated to meet their needs.


Vision

The vision of Team ALPHA is to encourage, challenge, and nurture gifted students to realize and enhance their gifts, confidence, and potential.


Mission

Based on the theory of multiple intelligences, the mission of Team ALPHA is to provide instruction that is differentiated allowing for both independent and cooperative learning activities to foster the unique social, emotional, academic, and creative dimensions of the gifted student.


Beliefs

We believe: 

  • Gifted students need opportunities to interact with their intellectual peers.

  • Gifted students need a safe, emotionally nurturing environment that encourages creative and flexible thinking and risk-taking. 

  • Gifted students need opportunities to develop higher order thinking skills, challenging activities, and authentic learning experiences as components of their curriculum. 

  • Gifted students need support and guidance to recognize, accept, enhance, and apply their gifts and talents. 

  • A strong partnership between home, school, and community is vital.


Goals

Team ALPHA will:

  • develop and expand students’ leadership and social skills to become community-minded citizens and leaders.

  • provide opportunities for students to become thinkers and problem-solvers with real world experiences while fostering their curiosity.

  • provide opportunities for students to pursue individual interests and develop talents.

  • provide for cognitive and academic development through rigorous learning experiences.

  • provide support for the social and emotional needs of gifted students.


Grade Level Experiences: Exploring Our World

First Grade: Exploring the Animal World

Students will undergo an adventure that spans the globe discovering different animals.  Students will conduct research using many different sources to compile a scrapbook of animals around the continents.  The final project will be the student choosing one of the animals they already researched to give an in-depth report on, choosing their method of presentation. This final project will be showcased  to their classmates and parents.

 

Second Grade: Exploring the Physical World

Creating Continents, Climates and Cultures helps students make cognitive connections between physical land formations, climate patterns and the cultures that develop. In this unit, the students research landforms, climates and cultures. The final project requires the students to create a continent of their own. The students must to use all the information that they have learned about landforms, climate, geographical location and culture to create their own continent out of clay and write a report.

 

Third Grade: Exploring the Technological World

Students will explore technology as a tool for communicating, creating, and discovering information. They will integrate subject matter across the curriculum in projects providing a range of contexts for applying concepts, learning new skills, and broadening interests. Students will be able to design and program robot using Lego Robotics kits. They will create other products using PhotoStory, PowerPoint, Publisher, and other available software tools on the computers and the iPads.

 

Fourth Grade: Exploring Florida’s Natural World

Combining technology with the core curriculum of science, social studies, and writing, students will explore Florida’s natural world. Students will extend their knowledge of robotics and combine it with what they are learning in other content areas. Students will be able to design and program robots using Lego Robotics kits. Using LEGOs and laptops, students build a variety of structures and program them for movement and sound using drag and drop software. Students will be able to build LEGO models featuring working motors and sensors; program their models; and explore a series of cross-curricular, theme-based activities while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as language and literacy.

 

Fifth Grade: Exploring the Global World 

Students will explore the global world through the use of technology and real-world scientific activities.   Niceville High School’s NaGISA project, a global marine diversity study of the world’s coastline, will be the basis of scientific learning for the project as the students will receive hands-on instruction in the data collection.  The students will extend and apply this knowledge to research a self-selected marine organism, identifying the classification in the taxonomic tree, the dispersions of species over space and time, and global location with temperature, salinity, and depth.  This scientific information will be published through a technology medium and demonstrate a thorough integration of core curriculum.