The mission of the Avoca School District 37 advanced learner service is to maximize the unique potential of each child we serve. Differentiation continues to be an important component in advanced learner services. The administration investigated and selected an educational philosophy tied to our Avoca Mission with the support of our consultant. James Borland’s writing, Gifted Education Without Gifted Children, advocates for differentiating curriculum, instruction an assessment specifically to meet the needs of academically advanced children.
Borland’s Main Ideas:
- All students have a right and need to an appropriate education
- We need to provide educational experiences that reflect the individual differences of students
- Students differ in how and how well they learn at a given time in a given subject
- Labeling does not have any relationship to how students are educated in school
To support the differentiation initiative in the area of mathematics, the advanced learner program includes a Math Enrichment Teacher who works with small groups of high achieving math students at Avoca West in K-5 classrooms. In 4th through 8th grade, math instruction is differentiated by class. The Math Enrichment Teacher supports differentiation in 4th and 5th grade math classes.
At Avoca West for differentiation in the area of English Language Arts (ELA) we are serving our K-2 students with individualized plans and goals. Grade 3 students will have an Advanced Learner teacher in their classroom and coaching for their teachers. Grade 4 and 5 students will have differentiated reading material, and Grade 4 and 5 teachers will have opportunities for coaching. Within the structure of Encore Literature, students in grades 2, 3, 4, and 5 will have instruction in project-based learning including differentiated presentations.
ELA services at Marie Murphy, at the 6th and7th grade level we will utilize a coaching/co-teaching model of delivery. Our advanced learner teacher will work in collaboration with the 6th and 7th grade ELA teachers to develop activities, lessons and units that expand and enrich the grade level ELA curriculum, challenging students to analyze and synthesize information to a greater extent. Grades 6 and 7 will alternate having the Advanced Learner co-teacher in each classroom.
In 8th grade, our advanced learners will engage in a semester-long culminating advanced learning experience. In lieu of one allied arts class, advanced learner students will be offered an advanced learning ELA class where students will set their own course of study The advanced learner teacher will work directly with students, 40 minutes per day, helping to goal-set with students, align learning activities to ELA CCSS, and assist students develop deliverables that demonstrate their learning on their topic/issue of choice.
Please click on the link below for our Advanced Learner District Plan: