Gifted & Talented

Dear Students and Families,

Welcome to Davis Middle School--Home of the Aviators! My name is Allison Temple, the Gifted/Talented (GT) Facilitator at Davis. I look forward to communicating with you throughout the school year.

Davis Middle School has maintained an outstanding record of academic excellence. Students who attend Davis are well prepared to meet the academic rigors of high school. Our mission is to provide a rigorous academic experience that is based on research and best practices that enables all students to achieve their highest potential.

The goal of the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program is to identify gifted and exceptionally talented students within the Omaha Public Schools, nurture their social/emotional development, and enhance their curriculum experiences so these unique individuals may reach their fullest potential. At Davis, the program is designed to address student needs through a combination of the following methods:

  • Classroom Differentiation
  • Honors and Advanced Classes
  • Contest/Competition
  • Enrichment Activities and Clubs

Our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program at Davis is based on the Omaha Public Schools "Best Practices." We want to support your high ability learner. We will be making sure our courses are differentiated. We will support staff through collaboration, professional development, and by planning and providing opportunities for your child.

Should you have any questions throughout the year, please contact Mrs. Allison Temple, 402-561-6130 ext. 896-1090 or allison.temple@ops.org. A strong partnership between school and home is vital to the success of our students. Thank you for supporting your student academically/socially/emotionally, which will result in their sterling success.

Sincerely,

Allison Temple

GATE Facilitator

Alfonza W. Davis Middle School

 

Goal of the Gifted & Talented Program

Alfonza W. Davis offers many academic courses and activities to enrich the curriculum established by the Omaha Public Schools.  Our Gifted & Talented (GT) program is designed for students who wish to be challenged through academic competition, honors courses, special activities, and programs.  We believe that all students need high expectations and challenges based on individual needs.  Our classroom teachers use differentiated instruction in their lessons to meet the needs and interest of all levels of learners.  Students are expected to develop self-discipline by meeting deadlines, asking questions, and acquiring organizational and study skills as they strive to become both independent and successful at the middle level and beyond.

 

 Identification

The Omaha Public Schools’ method of identifying gifted and talented students is modeled after the NAGC (National Association of Gifted Children).  Identification includes performance at 130 or above on IQ assessments.  Selection for the Gifted and Talented program at Davis can also be determined by a student’s performance in certain courses.  Identification encompasses the following five areas: Intellectual, Academic, Creative, Leadership, and Visual/Performing Arts. Middle school is an opportunity for students to self-select areas that allow them to explore and capitalize on their strengths, display their talents, and excel.  Whether it is found in their coursework, a competition, a contest, or an extracurricular activity, a student’s giftedness and/or talents can blossom and develop at Alfonza W. Davis.

 

Davis Middle School

Gifted and Talented Enrichment Activities and Competitions

 

Academic Pentathlon: The newest program of the United States Academic Decathlon for middle school students was created to provide opportunities for students to experience the challenges of a rigorous team and individual competition in five events: Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, and Social Studies. The Pentathlon theme parallels that of the high school Academic Decathlon program. (Open to everyone, but there is a selection process as the competition approaches)

African American History Challenge: The African America History Challenge is a national educational program designed by the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. to enhance the study of African-American history. The goal of the local competition is to encourage pride, self-worth, and an appreciation of the African-American legacy and culture in Omaha youth.

Book Blasters: Book Blasters is a district-wide competition that involves a team of students who are responsible for reading approximately 8 selected novels. Teams then compete to see who reigns supreme in knowledge of the novels’ content. (Open to everyone, but there is a selection process as the competition approaches)

Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP): The 7th grade talent search through Duke University provides an opportunity for high ability students to pursue an above-level testing experience. (Selection process)

Math Team (MATHCOUNTS): Math contests/competitions are available for all students throughout the year. MATHCOUNTS Competition is a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee” style contests. The National Society of Professional Engineers support MATHCOUNTS at the state and local levels. (Open to everyone, but there is a selection process as the competition approaches)

National Junior Honor Society: National Junior Honor Society is open to 8th grade students (selected in the spring of their 7th grade year) with a 3.75 cumulative grade point average or higher. Acceptance is based on scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Induction of new members takes place in the spring.

Poetry Slam: Students compete individually in a spoken word poetry competition. Each student must present two poems, one on a proscribed topic and the other on their choice. Two students from each school may compete during each semester. (Open to everyone, only two are selected to represent David at each competition. You can only compete at the Slam once.)

7th & 8th Grade Scholars: The students in the Scholars program are an association of goal-oriented students who strive to learn more about themselves, support on another, and achieve success at school. (Staff members select scholars.)

Science Club: Science Club prepares team members to compete in the Science Olympiad. Science Olympiad is a competition in which students compete in ‘events’ pertaining to various scientific disciplines, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Spelling Bee: The Omaha World Herald sponsors the Spelling Bee. This competition is open to all students. Students participate in mini spelling bees in their Language Arts class. The top students then compete in the Davis Spelling Bee. The winner of the Davis Spelling Bee competes in the Omaha Public School District Spelling Bee.

Think Tank: Think Tank is a competitive problem-solving event for 7th and 8th graders at UNO. It features a game that involves creative problem solving.

Quiz Bowl: Quiz Bowl is an academic competition for all students. A four-member team competes against the clock and other teams answering questions from various disciplines. Skills, such as teamwork, cooperative group discussion, problem solving, and reaction time, are enhanced through practices and competitions.

 Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Competitions/Activities

Coordinated by the Office of Gifted and Talented

 

Academic Pentathlon: The newest program of the United States Academic Decathlon for middle school students was created to provide opportunities to experience the challenges of a rigorous team and individual competition in five events: Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, and Social Studies. The Pentathlon theme parallels that of the high school Academic Decathlon program.

(currently optional for a school to participate)

 

Book Blasters: Book Blasters is a district-wide competition that involves a team of students who are responsible for reading approximately 12 selected novels. Teams then compete to see who reigns supreme in knowledge of the novels’ content.

 

Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP): The 7th grade talent search through Duke University provides an opportunity for high ability students to pursue an above-level testing experience.

 

Poetry SLAMS:  Each fall and spring student poets from each middle school take the stage and share their writing with their peers.  SLAMS provide an outlet to express feelings, thoughts and ideas with an audience that yearns for student expression.


Quiz Bowl: Quiz Bowl is an academic competition. A four-member team competes against the clock answering questions from various disciplines. Skills, such as teamwork, cooperative group discussion, problem solving, and reaction time, are enhanced through practices and competitions.

 

Read to Succeed (R2S): Middle Level schools with fifth and six grade students may compete in this elementary competition. Students read 10 novels (Big Ten) and compete in a team approach to gain a spot in the Super Ten competition. The contest was designed to promote and encourage the love of reading. (middle schools with 5th and 6th grade students)

 

Scholars: Seventh and Eighth grade students (selected) for the Scholars program engage in activities that are goal-oriented.  Students learn more about themselves, support on another, and achieve success at school. Various events are planned to prepare students for their high school years and beyond i.e., College Campus tours, Gallup Strength Finder, ACT prep, etiquette course, and more.

 

Think Tank: Think Tank is a competitive problem-solving event for 7th and 8th graders held on the UNO campus. This day long event features a game that involves creative problem solving.

 

Upcoming Events & Announcements!

Listen to morning announcements for different clubs and activities that are starting soon! Get involved!


 

January:

* January 13--ACT Review during Take Flight

* January 16--Hale Middle School Quiz Bowl Competition

* January 26--7th Grade Scholars Gallop Field Trip

* January 30--Concordia Quiz Bowl Competition

February:

* February 4--District Spelling Bee

* February 6--Science Bowl at Wayne State

* February 6--ACT Test at different middle and high school locations

* February 11--Parent/Teacher Conferences

* February 20--Beveridge Quiz Bowl Competition

* February 27--Regional Science Olympiad at the Zoo

March:

* March 5--Brownell-Talbot Quiz Bowl Competition

* March 19--Norris Quiz Bowl Competition

* March 24--District Quiz Bowl Finals at UNO

April:

* April 19--Pentathlon Super Quiz at TAC

* April 22--Book Blasters at Skinner Magnet Center

* April 23--State Science Olympiad at UNL

* April 28-May 2--National Science Bowl Competition in Washington D.C.

May:

* May 3--Leadership Tour of Omaha

* May 10--Poetry Slam

* May 20--Last Day of School!

 

 

What is Differentiation?

In each Davis classroom, we strive to meet the needs of all learners. Differentiation of instruction is the modification of the curriculum to match the abilities, needs, learning styles, and interests of our students. This is accomplished through the use of instructional strategies that challenge all students. Pre-assessment, rubrics, pacing, high level questioning, scaffolding, compacting, and the acceleration of materials are all strategies that stretch the minds of high ability learners. The Davis faculty uses a variety of these strategies to help students take control of their learning and prepare for a rigorous high school curriculum.

What is meant by Rigor and Relevance?

Rigor means that critical thinking takes place on a regular basis. It is a process requiring high expectations from the student and the teacher. Students engaged in challenging coursework that stretches them to go beyond just understanding to applying. Rigor is made possible by relevance. Relevance focuses on the interest of the student and real world connections as it engages students in the learning process. The Davis faculty believes in this concept and strives to incorporate this into our classrooms.

 

ACT Info!!!

TEST DAY TIPS

* Arrange for your ride to pick you up at 11:45.

* Get plenty of rest the night before the test.

* Dress comfortably. Some test centers are warmer or cooler on the weekends than during the week. Consider dressing in layers, so you will be comfortable no matter what the room conditions.

* Plan to arrive by the time indicated on your admission ticket.

* Make sure you have acceptable identification. You will not be admitted without ID!

* Be ready to start after everyone has been checked in.

What to Bring:

* Test ticket

* Light snack (Brain Food)

* An approved calculator (check http://www.actstudent.org/)

* A few No. 2 pencils

* A positive attitude!

Testing Tips

* Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.

* Read the directions for each section carefully.

* Pace yourself--do NOT spend too much time on a single passage or question.

* Use a No. 2 pencil with a good eraser; do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen.

* Answer the easy questions first, then go back and answer the more difficult ones.

* On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.

* Answer every question. Your scores on the multiple-choice tests are based on number of questions you answer correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.

*Review your work. If you finish a test before time is up, go back and check your work.

* Mark your answers neatly. If you erase, erase completely and cleanly without smudging.

Description of the ACT

The ACT (No Writing) is a set of four multiple-choice tests which cover English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.

English--75 questions     45 minutes--Measures standard written English and rhetorical skills.

Mathematics--60 questions     60 minutes--Measuring mathematical skill students have typically acquired in courses taken until the beginning of grade 12.

Reading--40 questions     35 minutes--Measures reading comprehension.

Science--40 questions     35 minutes--Measures the interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills required in the natural sciences.

Helpful Websites

http://www.actstudent.org/sampletest/

This website provides questions and correct answers with explanations in the areas of English, Math, Reading, and Science.

http://www.test-guide.com/free-act-practice-tests.html

This website has ACT example questions that are categorized based on the ACT outline.  Once you have completed the quiz, your answers will be immediately graded.  The score report you receive after completing our practice exams will not only include your grade, but also a complete explanation for all of your wrong answers. This website has questions in the areas of English, Math, Reading, and Science.

http://www.testpreppractice.net/ACT/Default.aspx

This website has practice tests in the areas of Reading and Math. In addition, this website has tutorials for different test taking strategies.

 SAT Info!!!

TEST DAY TIPS

* Get plenty of rest the night before the test.

* Dress comfortably. Some test centers are warmer or cooler on the weekends than during the week. Consider dressing in layers, so you will be comfortable no matter what the room conditions.

* Plan to arrive by the time indicated on your admission ticket.

* Make sure you have acceptable identification. You will not be admitted without ID!

* Be ready to start after everyone has been checked in.

What to Bring:

* Test ticket

* Light snack (Brain Food)

* An approved calculator

* A few No. 2 pencils

* A positive attitude!

Testing Tips

* Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.

* Read the directions for each section carefully.

* Pace yourself--do NOT spend too much time on a single passage or question.

* Use a No. 2 pencil with a good eraser; do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen.

* Answer the easy questions first, then go back and answer the more difficult ones.

* On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.

* Answer every question. Your scores on the multiple-choice tests are based on number of questions you answer correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.

*Review your work. If you finish a test before time is up, go back and check your work.

* Mark your answers neatly. If you erase, erase completely and cleanly without smudging.

Description of the SAT

The SAT Reasoning Test is a long exam (three hours and 45 minutes) and has three main divisions—Math, Reading, and Writing.

There are 10 sections in each division, and one equating section. The equating section is used to assess questions for future tests.

Apart from a short essay and ten out of the 54 math questions, the questions are all five-answer multiple-choice. Each of the divisions has a maximum score of 800, giving a maximum overall score of 2400.

Helpful Websites

http://www.majortests.com/sat/

This website provides questions and correct answers with explanations in the areas of Math, Writing, Critical Reading, and Vocabulary. In addition, is provides an eight week prep plan.

https://sat.collegeboard.org/home

This website has sample practice SAT questions, as well as a study guide.

http://www.proprofs.com/sat/practice-questions.shtml

This website has sample practice SAT questions.

Contact

Dr. Allison Temple

402-561-6130 

allison.temple@ops.org


District-Wide GATE Information

Click Here


Summer Opportunities

Click Here

 

Novel Competitions

* Open to ALL Davis students

GATE Trailer Event