Enrichment Clusters Are NotMini-Courses! Enrichment clusters are groups of students who share common interests and come together during special time blocks to pursue these interests with adults who share their interests and want to help students develop their talents in this area and produce a product or service!
Major features of Enrichment Clusters The Golden Rule of Clusters: All activity is directed toward the production of a product or service.
Major features of Enrichment Clusters 2. Students and teachers select the clusters in which they will participate.
Major features of Enrichment Clusters 3. Students are grouped across grade levels by interest areas.
Major features of Enrichment Clusters 4. There are no predetermined lessons or unit plans.
Major features of Enrichment Clusters 5. The authentic methods of professional investigators are used to pursue products and service development.
Major features of Enrichment Clusters 6. Divisions of labor are used to guarantee that all students are not doing the same thing.
Major features of Enrichment Clusters 7. Specially designated time blocks are set aside for clusters.
Major features of Enrichment Clusters 8. The Silver Rule of Clusters: The rules of regular school are suspended!
Clusters are modeled after the ways in which knowledge acquisition and application take place in real-world situations. In clusters, students make use of relevant knowledge and apply thinking skills to common problems identified by the group. (Renzulli, Gentry & Reis, 2003, p. 16)
Seven Steps to Implementing Enrichment Clusters on a Schoolwide Basis Assess the Interests of Students and Staff Set Up a Wall Chart Create a Schedule Locate People and Staff to Facilitate Clusters Provide an Orientation for Cluster Facilitators Prepare Cluster Descriptions and Register Students by Placing Them in Clusters of Interest to Them Celebrate Your Success
Step 1 Learn about interests of students and staff
Step 2 Set up a wall chart Start with student and staff interest areas in left column, categorized into larger groupings Right column – appropriate cluster possibilities
Step 3 Create a schedule: The length of cluster blocks The number of blocks per year The length of each cluster session Days of the week and time of day
Step 4 Locate facilitators: School – Teachers, Support Staff, Para-pros Community – Parents, community volunteers, older students, interns, retired teachers • Create a network • Call prospective volunteers • Meet with interested volunteers
PTO Friends Co-Workers Parents Federal and State Agencies Religious Organizations Partners in Education Retirees Businesses Community Service Clubs Colleges and Universities Teachers and Staff High School Students Para-professionals Administration
Answering Real World Problemswith Real World Solutions usingReal World Technology NCAGT February 11, 2010 Dr. Elizabeth Fogarty Dr. Katie O’Connor Dr. Brian Housand
The whole process of education should thus be conceived as the process of learning to think through the solution of real problems. -- John Dewey, 1938
Interest and Rigor Lead To Creative Productivity “We need students to get more deeply interested in things, more involved in them, more engaged in wanting to know, to have projects that they can get excited about and work on over long periods of time, to be stimulated to find things out on their own.”
What Makes A Problem Real? 1. A real problem must have a personal frame of reference, since it involves an emotional or affective commitment as well as an intellectual or cognitive one. (Renzulli, 1992)
2. A real problem does not have an existing or unique solution. What Makes A Problem Real? (Renzulli, 1992)
3. Calling something a problem does not necessarily make it a real problem for a given person or group. What Makes A Problem Real? (Renzulli, 1992)
What Makes A Problem Real? 4. The purpose of pursuing a real problem is to bring about some form of change and / or to contribute something new to the sciences, the arts or the humanities. (Renzulli, 1992)
Creativity and Innovation Communication and Collaboration Research and Information Fluency Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making Digital Citizenship Technology Operations and Concepts NETS for Students 2007
Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessment Model Digital-Age Work and Learning Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership NETS for Teachers 2008
Brief overview of AIG camp Dual purpose: Serves gifted children and serves as a practicum for ECU gifted education students 100 children participate for 5 days. Curriculum is geared toward the overarching concept each summer. Concept examples include Perspectives, Systems, and Interactions. Children self-select two units of study for the week. Units of study are designed by ECU gifted education students.
ECU Model for Unit Planning Expectations Connects to the overarching camp concept Connects to a real world problem Integrates technology in a meaningful way Includes rigorous and new content (advance teacher research may be necessary) Searches for unique solutions to a real world problem that can be presented to an authentic audience
Example: Taking initial thinking and moving toward more rigorous thinking… Initial Thinking We want to plan an architect unit. Children will use an architectural software program. Questions What will the children be learning in this unit? How is it related to a real world problem? Who can the children present their ideas to? Answers The real world problem might be how to build a house for a wheelchair bound individual that is comfortable and safe. Interview a wheelchair bound person to find out her wants and needs. The content will be learning about appropriate building products and building codes. Present ideas to a local builder and receive feedback.
Example: Taking initial thinking and moving toward more rigorous thinking… Initial Thinking We want to plan a unit about space. Children will visit the NASA website. Questions What is the content of this unit? How is it related to a real world problem? How can you connect an audience? Answers The real world problem might be whether or not we should continue to explore space during tight financial times. The content will be learning about recent developments in space exploration to prepare for a debate on the topic. A few NASA officials will be present via Skype to hear the debate and give feedback to the teams.
Example: Taking initial thinking and moving toward more rigorous thinking… Initial Thinking We want to plan a unit about sports equipment. Children will use a simulation to test out different sports equipment. Questions What will the children learn? Describe the real world problem and its connection? How can you connect an audience? Answers The real world problem might be how the type of sports equipment used affects the success during a game. What about access to everyone? What happens when athletes don’t have the funds to purchase the best equipment or when some athletes have access to the equipment before others? For new content, incorporate standards and regulation information from various sports and their governing bodies. (i.e. type of bats in baseball, type and material for competitive swimsuits). Present ideas using a PSA format to a governing sport’s body or to a Health and Human Performance professor regarding accessibility of equipment and new regulations to consider for specific sports.
Real-World Problem-Solvingand Problem-Finding Important aspect of curriculum for the gifted. Allows students to apply their learning Allows students to utilize analytical thinking skills to solve a problem or find problems to solve Encourages development of social capital
Use real- world problem solving and real-world problem finding to increase the depth and complexity of your lessons.
Technology-infused Products for Authentic Audiences Important aspect of curriculum for the gifted. Allows students to apply their learning Forces students to take risks Develops students’ creative productivity – allows gifts to manifest themselves
Select an Enrichment Team You should choose members of an enrichment team who are excited about the cluster concept and look forward to promoting it within your school, include teachers, parents, administrators, and older students.
Start small You may choose to pilot enrichment clusters by beginning with a small number of classes, for example - 2nd, 3rd, & 4th grades.
Goal setting Be realistic about your goals. • Keep in mind what you want to accomplish and why you hope to accomplish it through clusters.
How-to Write descriptions Do not use the word learn in the description of your enrichment cluster. Instead, use action words like explore, investigate, search, discover, and create.
Save Our Planet Would you like to become a “Dumpsite Detective” and uncover ways to reuse our trash? Would you like to see worms at work reducing our lunchroom garbage? Join The Recyclers and learn how to make trash into treasure! Be a Mother Nature Super Hero and Save the World!
What's Hot, What's Not! What should we do? Which cookie tastes best? What should we buy? What games are best for my friends? Why is this product better than the other? Test food and products to decide which ones are best!
Crime Scene Detectives Would you like to be a detective? Investigate crimes? Have you ever wondered what it takes to solve a crime? If investigating a crime, gathering evidence, and solving mysteries strike your curiosity then this is the cluster for you! Join our CSI team!
Peek into the Past Would you like to travel back in time? Have you ever wondered how people of the past lived? Carry a little bit of the past with you as you make your own containers from gourds, rivercane, and cloth! Discover how the early pioneers made their clothes, built their houses, and survived off the land.
For the next 15 minutes: • Brainstorm implementation strategies for the enrichment cluster your group chose. • Please do so by answering the following questions:
Developing an Enrichment Cluster 1. What will the name of the cluster be? 2. What will (potential) products or services be for this cluster? 3. What roles will cluster members assume? 4. What “standards” may be met? 5. Who will (potential) authentic audience(s) for the product be?
The things we know best are those things we have not been directly taught. • Luc de Clapier, Marquis de Vauvenargues
6 Key Questions[For Facilitating an Enrichment Cluster of Type III Investigation] What do people with an interest in this area do? What products do they create and/or what services do they provide? What methods do they use to carry out their work? What resources and materials need to produce high quality products and services? How, and with whom, do they communicate the results of their work? What steps need to be taken to have an impact on intended audiences?
“We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computer-like capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and a society built on inventive, empathetic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age.” ~ Daniel H. Pink