“Every child should have the chance to be exceptional without exception.”
~ Dr. Joseph Renzulli
This year we are thrilled to announce that we are expanding our enrichment model at Barton Creek Elementary. The program is based on the School-wide Enrichment Model developed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli. The philosophy of the model is built on a set of pedagogical beliefs:
1. Each learner is unique.
2. Learning is more effective when students enjoy what they are doing.
3. Learning is more meaningful when content and process focus on a real problem.
As part of our expansion this year we will introduce E-Slot, a block of time on Fridays (7:55-8:55), which is dedicated to enrichment for all students. We will run a revised schedule on Fridays with minimal or no impact on core classes’ instructional minutes. Children in all grade levels will participate in enriching activities during the E-Slot block of time. Some children will also participate in Enrichment Clusters.
The second component of our expansion is to offer more students the opportunity to participate in Enrichment Clusters. The expansion includes a pilot of Enrichment Clusters offered to all of the 4th and 5th grade classes for an 8-week period beginning in January. It also includes a K-1st Enrichment Cluster pilot with two classrooms, Rimkus (K) and Peichoto (1), that will begin after Spring Break. An enrichment cluster is a learning situation that is purposefully designed to produce a product or service that will have an impact on an intended audience. Children will explore a potential area of interest or talent in a small multi-age group. A teacher or parent who also has a passion for the topic will facilitate the group.
During the first three weeks of school, all students took interest surveys. This data will help the teachers gather ideas for enrichment activities in the classroom offered during the E-Slot block of time. The data will also be used to create topics for cluster classes for the two pilot Enrichment Cluster Sessions. The children participating in the pilot Enrichment Clusters will choose their top choices from a list of topics.
The enrichment activities in the classroom and the Enrichment Clusters both focus on student strengths and talents. Enrichment activities in the classroom are more fluid in topics, time frame and groupings. Students may also be introduced to a potential area of interest. In addition, Service Projects are considered enriching opportunities for children. Clusters have more structure with an end product or service; and, students choose topics from a list.
You are welcome to read more about the School-wide Enrichment Model at http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/sem/. You can also view a short video on the BCE website. Click on the Enrichment at BCE link: http://bcebluejayblog.weebly.com/.
How would you like to be involved in this exciting opportunity for you child?
If you think you may be interested any of the following, please click on the link in the e-mail to complete your responses:
1. Would you be willing to serve as a guest speaker in your area of interest or talent for your child’s classroom?
2. Would you be willing to serve as a guest speaker in your area of interest or talent for any classroom? We are starting a guest speaker’s list.
3. Are you interested in volunteering in your child’s classroom on Fridays during the enrichment activities? You will have a chance to give input on a time commitment.
4. Are you interested in volunteering in a cluster classroom when the clusters are being offered for 4th and 5th? This Enrichment Cluster Session will begin on January 9th and continue for 8 consecutive Fridays.
5. Are you interested in volunteering in a cluster classroom for the Peichoto/Rimkus pilot after Spring Break (6 weeks)?
6. Are you interested in being a facilitator for the 4th/ 5th pilot or the Rimkus/Peichoto pilot? Think about your interests and talents.
7. Are you interested in volunteering to help when the 4th and 5th grade children share what they learned at a Showcase in March?
This is a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to work as a team to engage, empower, and inspire all of our children at Barton Creek Elementary.