How STJES Approaches Accelerating the Curriculum
Teachers at St. John’s Episcopal School are able to differentiate instruction to meet a wide range of student needs. Content can be accelerated and/or enriched for highly able students and opportunities for reteaching are available to students who need more time to master a concept.
STJES has incorporated the standards identified by the Montgomery County Public Schools that serve as hallmarks of a gifted and talented program:
- The level must be advanced to ensure challenge.
- The pace must be adjusted to accommodate faster learning rates.
- The complexity of the curriculum should reflect the capacity of the gifted learner to process many ideas simultaneously.
- The depth of the curriculum should allow the learner to continue exploring a topic to the level of expert.
Teachers at STJES design assignments that are challenging according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, which ensures that the material for highly able students is complex and rigorous, and that it engages them in higher level critical thinking skills.
The acceleration of our reading program is evidenced by:
- The use of above grade level books
- Independently assigned reading lists
- The use of Reading Response Logs in response to analytical and inferential questions
- Accelerated vocabulary study
- The use of literature that is multicultural and global in its outlook
- The integration of literature into social studies and science units
The acceleration of the writing program is evidenced by:
- 6 Traits of Writing
- Instruction in a variety of writing forms (i.e., narrative, informative, descriptive, expository, persuasive, poetry)
- The development of research skills
The acceleration of the math program is evidenced by:
- Preassessments that ensure that minimal time is spent on review, drill, and practice
- Pacing accelerated by at least one year in grades 3 – 8.
- A high degree of problem solving and application to meaningful contexts
- Early access to probability, statistics, algebraic structures and analysis, spatial awareness, and geometric considerations