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GATE CURRICULUM RATIONALE

Dorchester Two’s GATE program is designed to stimulate and challenge the academically gifted and talented learner through a differentiated teaching approach by incorporating the state curriculum standards and state gifted curriculum goals through the enrichment and acceleration of content.  Our mission is to maximize and foster the learning potential of gifted and talented students through a specialized curriculum that is responsive to individual learning strengths and styles.  Caine and Caine (1991) state that “intelligence is fluid, not fixed; thus, it is important to provide students with rich learning experiences.” With this concept in mind, Dorchester Two’s GATE curriculum offers opportunities for critical and creative thinking while creating a learning atmosphere that encourages and promotes intellectual growth, inquiry, and problem solving. 

 
GATE MATH - Grades 3-8

Gifted mathematicians employ and build on their mathematical habits of mind throughout the course of the GATE program.  Students experience the open-ended inquiry and concept exploration which is the essence of what real-world mathematicians do. Opportunities for students to think deeply about mathematical ideas and concepts are an instrumental part of the compacted/accelerated curriculum.  Through the use of research-based mathematical programs, such as Mentoring Mathematical Minds – M3, students are encouraged to make connections to other disciplines and discover the real-world relevancy of mathematical concepts.  

 

According to the mathematical Habits of Mind, gifted students in grades three through eight are encouraged to be:

                     pattern “sniffers”

                     experimenters

                     describers

                     “tinkerers”

                     risk takers

                     inventors

                     visualizers

                     conjecturers

 
GATE ELA – Grades 3-8

The fundamental goal of the gifted ELA program is to develop habits of literacy for the language tasks of everyday life through a balanced literacy approach.  Dorchester Two’s GATE program encourages thinking habits related to critical reading, analysis and discourse, the non-linear process of writing, and the exploration of language as the foundation for the aesthetic and intellectual experience of communication. With the implementation of Junior Great Books and William & Mary Literature Units, students explore selected, challenging works of literature from various times, cultures, and genres and reflect on their readings through writing and discussion. Opportunities for students to explore interdisciplinary connections to the language arts and to conduct research around issues relevant to their own lives are interwoven throughout the GATE ELA curriculum. 

 
GATE SCIENCE - Grades 6-8

Gifted learners in the GATE science program have an enriched curriculum that challenges and offers a sequence of tasks that extend their knowledge base.  This curriculum also provides opportunities for in-depth investigations, using real-world problems as a point of departure.  Students study the concepts and ideas which allow them to make connections within science areas and across other disciplines.  Students are provided with multiple opportunities to study in-depth and “special” topics related to the sciences.  In addition, a goal of the program is to foster curiosity about the world of science through the application of problem-based learning.

 

In the sixth through eighth grades, learners in GATE science will:

·         Study broad scientific concepts across all domains of science.

·         Engage in scientific investigation.

·         Understand the role of science in society, including the relationship of science to all other areas of the human enterprise.

·         Master the concepts of science by understanding the methods, beliefs, and characteristics of scientists. 

 
 GATE SOCIAL STUDIES– Grades 6-8

The overarching goal of the GATE Social Studies curricula and instruction is to help learners develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.  Students do this by understanding and investigating the problems of the world, and these problems are comprehended when approached from multiple perspectives and by making connections.  Units from the College of William & Mary and MindSparks are just two of the many resources used at each grade level to provide necessary enrichment for the gifted learner.  A variety of instructional strategies are implemented: Socratic Seminars, panel discussions, memory mapping, etc.

 

In the sixth through eighth grades, learners will:

·         Analyze primary source documents to detect bias, weigh evidence and evaluate arguments from various points of view..

·         Recognize and analyze the interplay of change and continuity. 

·         Understand the complexity of causality and the avoidance of making generalizations and stereotyping while analyzing how change occurs in the world.

·         Recognize that all problems do not have solutions.

·         Understand that we live in a world of multiple truths and plurality.

·         Investigate how people and cultures are different and the similarities they share.

·         Analyze how the actions of others, past and present, influence our own lives.