i loved dd's 4th grade teacher. dd didnt care for her that much.
it was her first year at GATE for which she had been on the waiting list since second grade.
here is why i have loved GATE very much.
- the one outstanding feature for me was that the kids had been together for 2 years already. there is something to these kids being together for years together which doesnt happen at the nonGATE classes. there is a camaraderie and a watching out for each other - kinda a one big happy family feeling in the classroom. those kids knew who the problem kids were and watched out for them. so when dd entered the classroom she was surrounded by helpers and guides. the friendships in that class was very moving. one of the kids this year got into the spelling bee. his written test was last saturday and their teacher said to send out positive thoughts when they woke up saturday morning for him to do well. that's exactly what dd did and then there was this whole phone conversations with many to remind them to do the same. of course there was the 'bad' too. when sent to other classes for differentiation, the teachers always had to break up the GATE kids as they talked so much. which is so sweet.
- to be v. honest with you the extra work is not really that much. the challenge is not that much bigger. its just faster pace. towards the end the G kids get a little more than the other kids. in fact for your project loving son it would be a huge plus because it was more project work than worksheets. for my project work dd it was delightful time. yes we did have to help with some projects, however dd's favourite projects were where the teacher did not allow any parent involvment.
- sad but true - in our school the GATE kids get fabulous field trips. one or two every month. i feel sad for the other nonG classes because all kids deserve a bunch of field trips.
- the teacher was tough. and dd didnt like that. but oh boy did she learn so much from her. i found out that almost all 4th grade teachers are a little harder on the kids - because of the jump from primary elem. school to secondary elem. school. she had to keep the kids to stay on task because the workload increadsed in 4th grade. not so much challenge work - but just more different kinds of task - like research, more writing, presentations, writing notecards for presentations, etc.
- a word of caution about teachers - which i may just be preaching to the choir. dd's 3rd grade teacher was terrible with adults. she came across as v. rude and abrupt. she had a bad rap with the kids too who thought she was tough. i didnt much care for her at all. dd loved, loved, loved her. i was flabbergasted.
btw i didnt realise how under served dd was till she started GATE. i really was in two minds. dd was happy where she was - but i knew she wasnt being academically challenged. she was just enjoying her classmates and the teachers and the easy work. GATE was still easy work - but way more interesting with deeper thinking. dd being the thinker she got a lot of critical thinking opportunities.
if your son enjoyed wordle and those scary halloween snacks - i'm sure - even if he is on the young side (dd too is btw) - he sounds like he would actually enjoy GATE.
also who does he play with at recess? he is probably friends with many of the GATE kids already. u know birds of a feather flock together.
ooh had another thought. GATE kids in future get far more opportunities than the others. what about middle school?
a teacher from our middle school said GATE kids tend to do better at the middle school as they are already comfortable with the homework load.