As part of the vision and mission, the Academy of Academic Excellence recognizes and identifies gifted & talented children and provides an appropriately differentiated elementary curriculum responsive to student ability and learning needs. The school creates an educational environment that challenges gifted students and motivates children to perform at levels of excellence.
For the past few years at the Academy of Academic Excellence, a reading/writing program for gifted learners from The College of William & Mary was implemented with 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and a select group of 1st graders. We believe at the Academy of Academic Excellence that all students are gifted and talented. The “outside the box” thinking used in this program is essential for all learners and is a fantastic way to integrate persuasive writing with reading.
The concept of change is interwoven throughout our differentiated curriculum and is used as a stepping stone for students to understand that change is everywhere, change can be naturally occurring or man-made, change can be positive or negative. Graphic organizers are used to isolate meaningful vocabulary words and ascertain their origins, parts of speech, definitions, prefixes, suffixes, antonyms, synonyms, etc. and also to “walk through” sections of a piece of literature to discover emotions, meanings, plot, problems, and solutions. This was a wonderful way to challenge gifted students, introduce them to Point Of View (POV), and to help them formulate their own POV. As they use this program, students begin to utilize this highly important skill in their everyday interactions with each other and with teachers. Students are able to explain their position and support it with thought-provoking reasoning. The Academy thanks the Gifted Program at William & Mary for creating and modeling the importance of 21st century thinkers and writers!