EXPLORING NEW DIRECTIONS IN EDUCATIONAL ENRICHMENT

The mission of Explorers Enrichment is to assist parents and classroom teachers in providing gifted and advanced students with intellectually enhanced, biblically based educational experiences. Our goal is to encourage advanced students in the development of their unique abilities through scheduled, grade-level Enrichment Classes using inquiry-based lessons and instruction, as well as collaborative projects in science, meteorology, civics, history and literature.

Once each quarter, our library offers Sweet Reads Book Clubs to encourage all students in second through fifth grades to develop the habit of reading for pleasure. Students read a challenging, yet developmentally appropriate novel independently, and then come together for Book Club to share their insights and discuss aspects of literature related to their book.

An exciting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program we offer is Rocketry Club. Rocketry Club meets once a month and is registered for the Team America Rocket Challenge. Other enrichment activities include whole class enrichment opportunities and school-wide creative writing opportunities.

Grade-level Enrichment Classes meet weekly and use accelerated materials for math and language arts instruction.

Curriculum in Explorers Math is designed to enhance critical thinking, and includes instruction in logic puzzles, real-world word problems, basic geometry, and algebra-based math. Because learning should be fun, Explorers students in math play critical thinking games such as SET, Twenty-four, Mastermind, and Geometry Brain Teasers. During the year, Explorers students will collaborate on an architectural project designed to apply their knowledge of practical math.

Students in Explorers Language Arts classes use Jacob’s Ladder curriculum, published through the College of William and Mary Center for Gifted Students. This set of stories and poems is organized to encourage students to “engage in the inquiry process that moves from lower to higher order thinking skills.” The “Ladders” focus on sequence, cause and effect, predictions, using context clues, making inferences about setting, character, and plot, synthesizing information through paraphrasing, and creation of new ideas based on what they have learned from the reading. As an inquiry-based curriculum, Jacob’s Ladder teaches students to ask questions, encouraging the natural curiosity of gifted and advanced students.

Language Arts Explorers also enjoy project-based instruction designed to develop creativity and collaborative skills.