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Gifted Program Sparks Creativity Within GRC

Leah+Jacoby%2C+11th%2C+and+Jehnna+Bruner%2C+10th%2C+participate+in+a+scavanger+hunt+in+their+Gifted+class.
Leah Jacoby, 11th, and Jehnna Bruner, 10th, participate in a scavanger hunt in their Gifted class.

Leah Jacoby, 11th, and Jehnna Bruner, 10th, participate in a scavanger hunt in their Gifted class.

Leah Jacoby, 11th, and Jehnna Bruner, 10th, participate in a scavanger hunt in their Gifted class.

Olivia Montgomery, Features Editor

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Look out students! Studying and homework won’t be the only thing going on in eighth period this year. For the 64 students that are part of the Gifted Program, the eighth period on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be filled with critical-thinking activities and team-building games.

The Gifted Program got its debut in the 2016-2017 school year, with teachers working individually with gifted students in their classrooms. “At some point, we came up with the idea that during eighth period, we could make a gifted seminar that basically acts as a pullout period, so that students do not miss any core content,” says Mrs. Lowther, who is in charge of the program.

Students are placed into the program based on state testing scores. The students will spend each nine weeks with a different gifted teacher: Mrs. Lowther, Ms. Crowell, Mr. Burton, and Mrs. Lynch.

Ms. Crowell will be working with students on improving their EQ, or Emotional Intelligence based on her background in Psychology. “I believe the Gifted/Talented program is a great opportunity for students to expand their learning in creative ways. I believe it is also a chance for students in the program to be able to grow in their skills/creativity and also be with other students with the same giftings.”

Mr. Burton, who teaches Physics and Astronomy at GRC, will be developing investigative skills. Each rotation of students will be creating an original, complex table-top game for Mr. Burton to test the divergent thinking they have developed during their time with him. “Lately, we’ve been looking at crime scenes and trying to solve them. Mr. Burton is an awesome teacher and the things we do in gifted really intrigue me,” says gifted student Hannah Abner.

Mrs. Lynch, who teaches English and AP Literature, will be doing theatre and creative writing with her students, as well as problem solving. “The gifted and talented program allows GRC to meet the needs of students who are too often neglected do ironically to their excellence. Our Instinct as teachers is to extend help to struggling students; we forget gifted and talent youths also require support.”

Mrs. Lowther will work with kids in the Gifted Program on what it means to be Gifted and the learning styles that suit their needs the best. She is also in charge of getting kids involved in Mensa, a high IQ society that students can test into.

The biggest event for Gifted Students is The Odyssey of the Mind Competition, which is held on state, national, and world levels.

Students form groups of 4-6 people and have to work together using a budget and minimal adult assistance. They can choose from multiple categories to compete in, such as creating a mythological universe with its own unique characters or building a balsawood structure of an animal that functions as a real organism. “The Odyssey of the Mind competition is a great opportunity for us to challenge our minds and show how much we can accomplish when we set our minds to it,” says gifted Junior Savannah Green.

Lowther says that she hopes to involve more students in the program in the future. “Right now, we’re limited by the fact that we only have 4 teachers, and we don’t want each class to be full of 30 kids, because they won’t get the benefit of personalized intstruction. We hope that with the blessing of Mr. Bolen and the district that we can expand the program next year.”

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Gifted Program Sparks Creativity Within GRC