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Elementary School


Rick Halley

Coordinator of Gifted & Talented Programs & Services
Educational Services Center
1350 West 106th Street
Bloomington, MN 55431
fax: 952-681-6801

Elementary Gifted and Talented Program

The GT Program at the elementary level is a consultative/collaborative model. This model provides a framework that allows the gifted coordinator and the classroom teachers to work together to provide enrichment and extension activities both inside and outside of the regular curriculum. The gifted coordinator can also provide direct instruction to students within the regular classroom as a partner with the classroom teacher.

Differentiation for advanced students may include altering pace, complexity and/or depth of instruction. 

Pace is related to the accelerated instructional practices and increased self-management within the classroom environment. For advanced learners, spending less time on developing background knowledge, fewer examples offered on how to do particular methods, and less teacher-led practice increases instructional pace. Students are expected to develop independence more rapidly than in the regular classroom.

Complexity is defined by the extensiveness of thinking and doing within a discipline of study and is characterized by the higher-level thought processes involved in classroom activities. Complexity requires them to use sophisticated levels of higher-order thinking, including analysis, evaluation and synthesis, as well as using creativity, critical reasoning skills, decision making and problem solving strategies to complete coursework. Classroom situations presented by the teacher for problem solving are more abstract and infuse greater levels of ambiguity. 

Depth is related to the degree to which students delve into content and develop a greater understanding of the discipline. For advanced learners, the content offers more abstract concepts and more interdisciplinary connections than in the regular classroom. Students learn and are encouraged to use the principles (rules) and theories of the discipline.

Differentiation within the Classroom

The elementary school Gifted and Talented Coordinator trains teachers to use gifted education strategies in their classrooms. These differentiation strategies include offering enrichment assignments and activities based on higher-level thinking skills, diverse learning styles, and multiple intelligences. Students do not get more work when the teacher differentiates the curriculum; they get different, more in-depth work, and more choices in their learning. That is true differentiation - modifying the curriculum to best meet students’ individual needs.


Elements/Dimensions Academy

The Elements and Dimensions Academy programs are designed to meet the needs of students grades 2-3 (Elements) and 4-5 (Dimensions) who have exceptional academic skills. Curriculum is rigorous and is provided at an accelerated pace. The programs have received great attention and are highly sought after from both Bloomington resident students and those across the metropolitan area.

Learn more about Elements and Dimensions Academy.

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