RAMS Gifted/Talented Program

RAMS offers GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) groups for identified GT students. During the 2016-17 school year, students were invited to participate in a variety of groups, and these groups are open to students who are not identified GT. Feel free to encourage your students to invite a friend. The groups that are competitions are advertised for all students to see.

Most of these groups will meet during STAR.

  • Book Clubs—During the course of the year, the students will have opportunities to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts in book clubs. Sometimes I will choose the books, but other times we’ll decide as a group what we’d like to read next. The students read independently and come together to discuss what they’ve read.
  • College Prep
—Students will use Internet resources to explore colleges and prepare for standardized tests, like the SAT. College searches and scholarship searches are also options.
  • Creative Writing
—This group will focus on helping students express their creativity through writing. Students will share their work with one another and offer opinions and perhaps collaboration. Last year, we began working on creating a website that we could use to publish their works.
  • Focus
—This group will highlight the diversity present at RAMS. First trimester will focus on interviewing and creating movies about various members of the RAMS community. The videos will allow us to learn about our community members and the various cultures represented.
  • Future City
—Future City is a competition where teams work together to engineer a virtual city. They build a model, write a paper, and give a presentation about their city. Teams work on their project until the competition in January. There will be posters in the building letting students know to sign up with Mrs. Pankonin.
  • FPS
—Future Problem Solvers is a group that uses researching skills to examine ways to problem solve. Students work together in teams and present their work at competitions. This group will meet before school and during STAR. Meetings usually run October through February. There will be posters in the building letting students know to sign up with Mrs. Pankonin.
  • Game Time
—This group allows students to challenge their peers to fun and intellectual board games. Classic games like Scrabble will be available as well as more modern games like Anomia. Practice skills like solving disagreements, working together, and including others.

How can parents/guardians support the GATE program at RAMS?

  • Connections—One year we were able to invite a local author to talk to the book club and creative writing students. Do you have any connections to local authors or people who would be inspiration or our students? We’d love to meet them!
  • Encouragement—Sometimes middle school students are hesitant to participate in the morning groups. Encourage them to give it a try. If a group isn’t a good fit for the student, s/he does not have to continue attending. Also, students may bring a friend, even if the friend didn’t get Mrs. Pankonin's invite.
  • SENG Model Parent Groups (SMPG)—Last year, RAMS offered an SMPG from 7:15-8:45 AM. This group met during a ten-week period to discuss A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children.

Are you interested in the Gifted and Talented Advisory Council (GTAC)? The district GATE website has more information about how often the group meets, but here is the description of the program as posted on the website.

The Gifted and Talented Advisory Council (GTAC) reviews and advocates for GATE Services. The GATE lead teachers from each building, along with a parent representative from each school, comprise the council. The purpose of GTAC is to:

  • Reviews and learns about gifted and talented program options
  • Provides feedback on program ideas and implementation
  • Advocates for gifted programming in the schools/community
  • Serves as a liaison to school building parent or school organizations to keep them informed of gifted program

If you have questions, please contact Ursala Pankonin, RAMS GT resource teacher, at ursala.pankonin@isd623.org or 651-482-5280.