Gifted & Talented Learning and
Ortiz Middle School’s IB Middle Years Programme
According to the National Association for Gifted Children, the current federal definition of gifted students was originally developed in the 1972 Marland Report to Congress, and has been modified several times since then. The current definition, which is located in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is:
Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.
At Ortiz Middle School, all of our faculty are GT-certified since we are an IB school. All courses offered in all eight IB subject areas are inquiry-based and project-driven.
In Ortiz's IB Middle Years Programme, we:
- Encourage students to explore concepts in depth and encourage independent studies or investigations.
- Use thematic instruction to connect learning across the curriculum.
- Encourage creative expression and thinking by allowing students to choose how to approach a problem or assignment.
- Expand students’ time for free reading.
- Invite students to explore different points of view on a topic of study and compare the two.
- Provide learning centers where students are in charge of their learning.
- Brainstorm with gifted children on what types of projects they would like to explore to extend what they’re learning in the classroom.
- Determine where students’ interests lie and capitalize on their inquisitiveness.
- Avoid drill and practice activities.
- Ask students higher-level questions that require them to look into causes, experiences, and facts to draw a conclusion or make connections to other areas of learning.
- Encourage students to make transformations using a common task or item in a different way.
- Create learning environments that encourage creativity and discovery through the use of interesting literature and reference materials.
- Encourage students to get involved in school clubs and extracurricular activities that support and extend their learning and experiences.
- Supply reading materials on a wide variety of subjects and levels.
- Create an environment where ideas are accepted without being evaluated and criticized, and where risk-taking is encouraged.
- Provide a learning-rich environment that includes a variety of resources, media, tasks, and methods of teaching.
- Allow children to be mobile as they move in and out of groups and tasks at their own pace.
- Provide an adult mentor via our Advisory / Leadership Team course.
- Provide alternatives for students who complete their work early.
- Allow students to make choices in their learning.
- Help students learn to set their own learning goals, then provide them with the opportunity to work towards those goals.
- Provide students with unit and lesson overviews that outline tasks to be completed, concepts to be learned and the evaluation technique so students can be active participants in their learning.