What is a self-contained classroom?
This classroom serves highly and profoundly gifted students in 2nd grade. The self-contained program is designed for high achieving, highly-gifted students whose needs may not be met by the other gifted services offered in the district. In this program, students work two or more years beyond grade level with intellectual peers.
Are your students together in the same classroom all day doing the same work?
The students do stay together all day. Work is adjusted appropriately depending on ability level and there is some flex grouping within the classroom, but we do many activities as a class. Instruction is differentiated according to current ability.
My student tested high but still needs reading instruction. Will you be teaching my child to read?
No. If a student is still learning to read then this is not the class for him or her. There are gifted cluster classes available at every grade level at every school in the district for gifted students with these needs. Please take a look at the PVUSD gifted website for information about our gifted cluster program. Students who qualify for this program sometimes join in at a later grade after a year or two in a cluster class.
What about writing? My student is a great reader but is still learning to write.
The students in this class are expected to be writing at least two or more years beyond grade level. Students will be guided through the reflective writing process and we will always be working towards improving and honing our writing skills, but students starting in this class must be confident and comfortable with a good deal of writing.
Is there homework in this class?
Yes. Students are expected to do about 20 minutes of homework per night, plus read for 20 minutes per night..
Will the daily homework and required reading be the only homework?
No, there will be a variety of larger outside activities. Some that my students have enjoyed in the past have included book reports, iMovies, interviews, posters, brochures, Keynotes, science projects and family math projects.
Isn’t that too much homework?
The large outside projects are discussed thoroughly in class. An assignment sheet and a rubric is sent home and students have a longer period of time (usually a few weeks) to complete these projects. Most of my students have really enjoyed these projects. I specifically do not give homework on the weekends but I have had many requests!
Is this class really that different than a gifted cluster class?
Yes, it is very different! This class is incredibly fast-paced and accelerated. Most of the students currently in this class are working well beyond the required two years above grade level. Students often work independently and do a lot of self-guided work.
So the point of this class is merely acceleration?
Not at all. Acceleration is a big part of it but we also do a lot of critical thinking and creative activities. I also work on meeting the emotional and social needs of the profoundly gifted student.
My child has had a lot of problems at his previous school. Will this class be a “quick fix”?
Probably not. Students will be expected to work hard in this classroom. I have seen some wonderful progress and amazing growth in many students but it took some time!
Will there be opportunities for me to volunteer in the classroom?
Yes, but not right away. It is important for the class to settle into a routine and become comfortable with me, my teaching style, the advanced work and one another before I have parents in the classroom. However, there are many opportunities to volunteer around the school.
Will this classroom still use the "Make Your Day" program the rest of Sonoran Sky uses for classroom management?
Yes, and it will be tailored for the needs of the highly gifted student.