Bethany Lutheran School
6041 Ridge Road; Parma, Ohio 44129
440-884-1010 / 440-884-9834 Fax
Our Vision is to...
Instill a passion for Learning.
Inspire a life of Christian Service.
Ignite the Imagination.
GIFTED & TALENTED EDUCATION
PROJECT EXCEL GOALS & CURRICULUM
2016-2017 CURRICULUM OBJECTIVES
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR & WEBSITES
The mission of Project EXCEL, through the support of the total Bethany Lutheran School learning community, is to afford academically talented students a constructive, Christian environment by nurturing their affective and cognitive development. Through this program, we hope to enhance their potential for life-long learning and maximize their contributions to society with a meaningful, productive discipleship.
We believe that the unique characteristics of gifted children may include:
*Superior Cognitive Abilities
*Superior Academic Performance
*Superior Creative Abilities
We believe that these abilities must be nurtured through accelerated and/or enriched affective and cognitive curriculums.
We believe in the uniqueness of each and every child as a special gift from God, as well as an understanding that giftedness is truly a blessing from God.
We believe in a Christian responsibility to help students become more accepting of unique human differences and abilities.
We believe in the importance of support and encouragement from the Bethany Lutheran School community for programs and strategies designed to meet the specific needs of high ability learners.
Children who are academically talented are a unique population in our student community at Bethany Lutheran School. They differ from their age peers in abilities, interests, and sensitivities. In order to excel and achieve their potential, academically talented youth require different and diverse experiences to meet their educational needs. Project EXCEL will aim to provide opportunities that supplement and extend learning beyond the standard curriculum and that incorporate differentiated strategies to accommodate pace, depth, and breadth. These opportunities will encourage and develop creative and critical thinking, provide practice in problem solution, and develop responsibility to self and others as consistent with the example emulated by Christ.
FIRST SEMESTER: THE INDEPENDENT PROJECT STUDY
This project will focus on two main considerations: the higher level thinking skills as defined in Bloom’s Taxonomy [analysis, synthesis, evaluation] and an open-ended framework in which the student’s personal interests are utilized in a reading, research, and writing experience. Regardless of the student’s specific academic abilities, writing becomes paramount in their ability to succeed in the education setting. Course requirements include a trifold [demonstrating scholarly research], a Power Point presentation [demonstrating technology integration], and “model” [demonstrating creative functionality]. The entire experience will culminate in the EXCEL Fall Semester Fair that will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.
SECOND SEMESTER: DESIGN TEAM PROJECT -
“Alternative Fuels and Solutions for the 21st Century”
This project will focus on the opportunity to work together, in a cooperative setting, to heighten the student’s awareness in teamwork, knowledge integration, meeting objectives of a common goal, and problem-solving skills as related to a shared creative vision. Additionally, it will address diverse cross-curricular applications including a total emphasis of technology integration. Course requirements will include a trifold [demonstrating scholarly research], a multi-media component [demonstrating technology integration], and a “model” [demonstrating creative functionality]. The entire experience will culminate in the EXCEL Spring Semester Fair that will be held on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
The instructor for Project EXCEL is Edward Ristau, M.Ed. Mr. Ristau received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Concordia University, Chicago, Illinois, and his Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Cleveland State University. He is licensed by the Ohio Department of Education in Elementary Education [K-8], Music Education [K-8], Vocal Music [7-12], and as an Intervention Specialist / Gifted and Talented Education [K-12].
Additionally, Mr. Ristau holds professional memberships in the National Education Association, the Ohio Education Association, the National Association of Gifted Children, the Ohio Association of Gifted Children, and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development. He has taught previously in the Maple Heights City School District and at Lakewood Lutheran School.
GIFTED EDUCATION WEBSITES OF INTEREST
The National Association of Gifted Children - http://www.nagc.org
The Ohio Association of Gifted Children - http://www.oagc.com
Hoagies' Gifted Education Page - http://hoagiesgifted.org
Northwestern University - The Center for Talent Development - http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu
University of Connecticut - The NEAG Center for Gifted Education & Talent Development
Stanford University - The Education Program for Gifted Youth [EPGY] - http://epgy.stanford.edu
The mission of Project EXCEL, through the support of the total Bethany Lutheran School learning community, is to afford academically and formally screened / identified students [grades 3-8] a constructive, Christian environment by nurturing their affective and cognitive development. Through this program, we hope to enhance their potential for life-long learning and maximize their contributions to society with a meaningful, productive discipleship. For more information and a copy of the EXCEL Program Handbook, please contact Program Coordinator Edward Ristau.