Many times, as teachers of gifted students, our biggest need is materials designed for our most advanced learners. Frequently, we need to provide them with in-depth, independent work. Our textbooks, however, never cater to this population. We’re left to develop our own projects, which may take weeks to prepare and years to tweak.
I always appreciate materials that have been carefully crafted to take some of the burden off of teachers’ shoulders.
At 100 pages, it’s immediately clear that each step of this project is carefully thought out and prepared for busy teachers. I know I’ve attempted several “career fair” type activities, and none of them were as well-designed and thoughtfully planned as this one.
Throughout the project, students investigate a career of their choice. They research the basics, such as starting salary, necessary qualifications, and current job market. As the research continues, students interview someone currently employed in the field. They also begin a “career path flow chart,” which includes:
- determining the number of educational steps required to reach their career
- researching institutions that specialize in each step
- contacting representatives and collecting materials from these facilities, eventually choosing one for each step
Students also analyze the expenses involved in pursuing their potential career, including time expenses and other non-monetary sacrifices.
The 10-week program culminates with a Career Expo, designed as an evening program for families to participate.
The full-fledged nature of this project is where it truly shines.
While the project contains the expected worksheets and instructions, the extra touches show that this project was planned for real classroom situations. These include: * check-point records to easily monitor student progress * pre-built forms for assessing projects (for students and teachers!) * constant connections to higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy * sample configurations to help organize display board materials * even certificates of completion for students
The best part is that the materials are included on a CD as a 41-page PDF. The PDF is editable and in full color and also includes Spanish text.
While the $50 price tag is high, the care put into this project and the depth of the materials are impressive.
An Array Of Choices
The Envision program includes several of these large-scale, independent projects for various grade levels. Browse the projects and download samples at Mind Vine Press.
Thanks to Melanie for providing me with a sample. I’m looking forward to using this with my students as an end-of-year project.