EXCEL PROGRAM CURRICULUM EXTENSIONS
Each grade level from 4th-8th grade has an advanced readiness class for students with high ability in math and/or reading. The programs below are provided to these classrooms as a Level 3 EXCEL service.
William and Mary Language Arts Curriculum for High Ability Learners
The goals of the William and Mary Language Arts units are to develop students' skills in literary analysis and interpretation, persuasive writing, linguistic competency, and oral communication, as well as to strengthen students' reasoning skills and understanding of the concept of change. The units engage students in exploring carefully selected, challenging works of literature from various times, cultures, and genres, and they encourage students to reflect on their readings through writing and discussion. The units also provide numerous opportunities for students to explore interdisciplinary connections to the language arts and to conduct research around issues relevant to their own lives. A guide to using the curriculum is also available.
Descriptions for the units we use (Literary Reflections, Patterns of Change, Autobiographies and Memoirs, and Persusion) can be found at thislink.
Sometimes used as a supplement to the William & Mary language arts units for young students, and sometimes used stand-alone, Jacob's Ladder targets reading comprehension skills in high ability learners. In the form of three skill ladders connected to individual readings in poetry, myths/fables, and nonfiction, students move from lower order, concrete thinking skills to higher order, critical thinking skills. For example, Ladder A moves students from Sequencing to Cause and Effect to Consequences and Implications.
Find more information here.
Word Masters Challenge
3rd - 6th Grade
Unlike other language arts competitions for this age group – which focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling and other language mechanics – the WordMasters Challenge helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically. The contest addresses higher-level word comprehension and verbal reasoning by challenging students to complete analogies based on relationships among words they have learned. Excellence in the competition will require both a mastery of the meanings of the vocabulary words and thoughtful reasoning about the relationships between these words and more familiar language used in the competition’s analogies.
Visit the website for more information: www.wordmasterschallenge.org
Project M2 and M3: Mentoring Mathematical Minds
In 1980, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) made a bold statement, "The student most neglected in terms of realizing full potential, is the gifted student of mathematics."Project M3, Mentoring Mathematical Minds, was a 5-year collaborative research effort. A team of national experts in the fields of mathematics, mathematics education, and gifted education created a total of 12 curriculum units of advanced mathematics. We currently use 10 of them across several grade levels.
Perennial Math Competition
Math is COOL and our goal is to stimulate enthusiasm for problem solving. As students meet the challenges in our competitions, creativity and strategies for problem solving will surely grow. Students around the world face off in this online competition offered to each of our accelerated math classrooms.
Find more information here: www.perennialmath.com
Stock Market Game
The Stock Market Game™ (SMG) gives students in grades 4-12 a virtual $100,000 to invest in the stock market and learn about our economy firsthand on a local, national and even global scale. This experiential tool increases students’ financial literacy and emphasizes the importance of investing. Participating students gain a richer understanding of the U.S. economic system, current events and teamwork – skills necessary for future success
Learn more here: www.stockmarketgame.org