Welcome to the Talented and Gifted Page!
TAG resource teacher
The Foothills Talented and Gifted (TAG) program is designed to provide opportunities for students whose academic needs extend beyond what can be effectively provided in the regular classroom. Attention is given to building and maintaining a strong academic foundation to support future academic growth. Our purpose also includes understanding the nature and special needs of the gifted child and allowing these children to interact with their intellectual peers.
Talented and Gifted Identification
Third grade is the formal screening year in regards to TAG programming. The formal gifted identification process for reading, writing, and math identifications begins in the fall of third grade with district CogAT (Cognitive Ability Test) testing in October. The process continues through the first and into the second semester as evidence is gathered so a committee of educators from the building can assess multiple indicators of student ability and achievement. The committee recommends those students who meet the rigorous standards for identification to the district. An evaluation of the body of evidence and the recommendation is performed at the district level. If a student is identified as gifted, based on District 20 guidelines, they begin formal pull-out instruction for reading and/or math in fourth and fifth grades.
Click here for District 20 Guidelines surrounding identification for TAG. As areas of academic strength are identified, fourth and fifth grade TAG students are placed into TAG reading and/or math groups.
Talented and Gifted Programming in Fourth and Fifth Grades (Reading)
The fourth and fifth grade Reading TAG groups are a collaborative effort between the grade level teams and the TAG teacher. Reading TAG groups meet during the grade level's reading block and focus on reading skills and vocabulary development. We may engage in various novel study and book report projects, use an above grade level text, participate in Word Masters, and embrace other opportunities for extension. Word Masters is a vocabulary program and competition. Students work with an increasing number of vocabulary words and apply their understanding of these words in analogies. The three competitions during the year happen during regular class time. The collaboration between the grade level teachers and the TAG teacher ensures that TAG students are given the opportunity to master the necessary and appropriate skills while fostering the ability to more easily participate in cross-curricular grade level activities that utilize current reading skills, structures, and tools.
Talented and Gifted Programming in Fourth and Fifth Grades (Math)
The fourth and fifth grade Math TAG classes replace the regular classroom mathematics instruction at this level. Students meet with the TAG teacher daily during their math block. The Math TAG class is a compacted curriculum designed to cover the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade mathematics standards in 2 school years. Students learn math concepts and skills at an accelerated rate, and then apply these concepts and skills. TAG Math students have a block on their report cards that reflects these accelerated standards. We use a compacted version of the Eureka Math curriculum. The advantage of this class for the high ability student is that the pace of instruction is compacted and accelerated. There is an opportunity for advanced application of skills while foundational skills are not skipped. The students in these classes also participate in Continental Math League, an advanced math problem solving program and competition. Competitions occur monthly from November to March and are contested within the regular class time. Fifth grade Math TAG students participate in district benchmarking assessments at intervals during the school year. These assessments determine their academic progress and ascertain their knowledge of the compacted standards to ensure they are appropriately placed for math instruction in middle school.
Parent Support for Talented and Gifted Students
Parents can support their students by reading with them and asking questions that not only cause them to reflect on the literal meaning of the text, but also to interpret the author's underlying meaning and message. Deep understanding is the goal.
Helping your children master fluency with their math facts allows us the freedom to focus on advanced problem solving, critical thinking, and application activities.
We encourage students to learn self-advocacy and develop independent thinking skills. You can support your children by encouraging them to navigate their homework and other challenges without relying heavily on parental problem solving. This can look like parents asking guiding questions that lead to solutions devised by the student's own problem solving.
Some students may need help devising and implementing various supports and strategies for organization, time management, and work habits. Allow them to do as much of this as possible on their own and foster increasing independence as their skills grow.
Above all, parents can support their child's passions and interests by seeking out engaging and interesting extracurricular activities in their areas of passion. We love partnering with our students' parents to support their uniqueness, celebrate their individuality, and nurture and care for their whole being.
Please feel welcome to reach out to me anytime with questions about Talented and Gifted identification, programming, or enrichments.