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Early Childhood Gifted STEM Enrichment

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So I am back teaching in AZ, working as an Elementary Gifted Specialist for 2 schools. A far cry from what I was doing in Abu Dhabi for the last 2 years, but the perfect challenge after teaching for 10 years. I am teaching a combination of math enrichment and gifted curriculum for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. Unfortunately owing to class sizes and schedules, the pull out program does not afford me time to work with identified gifted early childhood (K-2) students, so I am now venturing myself into an Early Childhood Gifted STEM Enrichment program, set to start in January, and I am beyond excited to be pioneering this.

The program will have students meeting once a week for an hour before school. I have mapped out a 16 week course (3-4 week units) that will meet the principles of STEM education as well as incorporating different aspects of the gifted curriculum and AZ state standards. The students will get the chance to be involved in hands on learning, which will include:


Civil En…

Multiple Intelligences Survey

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It is coming to the close of another school year here in Abu Dhabi. I am finishing my initial 2 year contract, and have boldly decided to stay one more year. This past year has given me a lot to look back on and how to improve even more for the following school year.
In a previous post I showed samples from our Student Self-Assessment journal, and it was a tremendous success. Even though we had great results in student work and the quality of their learning, as a team we knew that we had to do more. One thing we wanted to work on was differentiation. Our 1st grade team already does an amazing job with differentiation, but there is always a way to expand on what is already working. 
At the beginning of the year I came up with a survey based on the Multiple Intelligences of Howard Gardner. (see below)

Given the language barrier, we can't always know as much about our kids as we would like, but one thing that is universal is visual aids. Kids see pictures and immediately understand …

2nd Annual Space Day

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Sooooo, it's that time of year again! Last year my first grade team did such a spectacular job piloting a Space Day for our Arabic students, and creating amazing hands on activities that we decided to kick it up a notch this year. Last year Space Day was only done by the English/Western teachers in first grade, but seeing what a success it was our Arabic teacher decided to get involved this year. With a staff of 7 teachers and 2 grade level coaches, and some help from an incredible group of Arabic mothers, we put together a phenomenal 2nd Annual Space Day.

(Please note that 3 weeks of space content was covered prior to Space Day, including planets, stars, moon, and astronauts so that the students were familiar with the new vocabulary and content.)

The day started with the students arriving in their astronaut outfits and meeting with their teacher for the morning. The teachers passed out their Space Books for documenting their astronaut work. We then took the students outside to t…