WELCOME TO THE GREAT MEADOWS GATE PAGE!
This link will answer some of the commonly asked questions about the GATE program at Great Meadows Regional School District. You will also learn what each grade level is doing in GATE, along with news about upcoming trips and special activities
If you have any general questions about the program or specific questions about your child, please feel free to contact me
at any time.
In addition, the links below will keep you updated on extracurricular activities that are not part of the GATE program.
What Is GATE?
GATE (Gifted and Talented Enrichment) is a program that began in September 2005. It is a multi-disciplinary class that involves projects and activities that students might not otherwise get to do in the regular education class. Among the GATE activities are mock trial, Web page design, PowerPoint presentations, space exploration, and the Stock Market Game.
GATE is designed as an enrichment opportunity for the top students in all three schools in the Great Meadows Regional School District. Currently, about 15% of the students in the district are part of the GATE program.
When do the children in GATE meet?
GATE may be changed because a variety of factors (including my own schedule). In general, at Central School, the first grade Enrichment class meets every other Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The second grade GATE class meets every week on Wednesdays at 11:45 a.m.
The SMART time at Liberty provides an opportunity for students to be part of GATE without missing any of their regular instruction. For the most part, 5th graders will meet during their Tuesday SMART time, and the 3rd and 4th graders will meet during the Friday SMART periods.
The activity period at the end of the day will be GATE time for the middle school students. Typically, the 8th graders will meet Monday, Tuesday will be for the 7th graders, and the 6th graders will meet Wednesdays. Unfortunately, this overlaps with chorus time. However, every student will still meet with chorus one day a week, and Mr. Schepis and I have an understanding with the music teachers that students may miss GATE as the winter or spring concerts approach. My sincere thanks to Mr. Schepis and Mrs. Revak for their cooperation and flexibility in this matter!
GATE students are expected to make up any work in the regular education classroom that they miss because of being pulled out for GATE.
How do students qualify to be in GATE?
Qualification in GATE is based on several criteria, including performance on the Terra Nova, NJ ASK or similar tests; teacher recommendation and observations; parent recommendation and observations; classroom performance and work artifacts. The student's parents and teacher will be asked to provide input on such factors as learning characteristics, attitude toward learning, and curiosity.
GATE candidates are also required to take the SAGES-2 tests (Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary and middle school Students – 2nd Edition) in the areas of math/science, language arts/social studies, and non-verbal reasoning. The scores on those tests are a significant part of acceptance into GATE.
I think my child might be a candidate for GATE. What should I do?
First, check with your child's homeroom teacher. If he or she agrees that the student might benefit from GATE, then contact me
, and I will arrange for testing as soon as possible. I will then share the results with you, and we will decide on the next step. Though GATE involves several long-term projects, a student may enter GATE at almost any time during the school year.
I should stress that the expectations of GATE are more than just good grades. I am happy to work with anyone, but I expect GATE students to demonstrate inquisitiveness and initiative. In addition, GATE involves both individual and group effort, and I expect the GATE students to show a level of cooperation.
How young do you accept students in GATE?
GATE is designed as a K through 8 program. I will be testing kindergarten students starting in January.
Once a student is in GATE, is he or she in the program for the rest of his or her time in Great Meadows?
Not necessarily. Some students who, for example, read above their grade level at a young age reach a plateau of learning; within a couple of years, their peers have reached their level or even surpassed them.
For that reason, students who enter the GATE program in grades K through 3 will be re-evaluated in 4th or 5th grade. This is particularly appropriate since the SAGES-2 test changes at grade 4.
In addition, GATE students are expected to maintain their grades in their regular classes. (GATE is not graded, but the students do receive a progress report after the end of each marking period.) In grades 4 though 8, a C on a report card means that the child may not participate in GATE for the next marking period.
Even in the primary grades, a student may be temporarily suspended from GATE if he or she is falling behind in classwork. The main concern MUST be what is best for the child and the child's education.
Finally, some students decide on their own that GATE is not for them, and they choose to leave the program.
I hope I've answered some of the basic questions about GATE. If you have more questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at the phone number or e-mail address below
Are you doing Odyssey of the Mind?
Odyssey of the Mind is a fascinating activity that pulls together adults and young people to create original solutions to problems that are judged competitively on the regional, state, national and even international level. It's a terrific way to channel both creativity and practical problem-solving.
Each year, students choose one of five “problems,” and they write and perform or demonstrate solutions to the problem. For example, one problem may involve designing a structure of balsa wood and glue to balance and support as much weight as possible. Another “problem” may require the students to present an original performance that takes place in ancient Egypt.
I would dearly love to be involved in Odyssey of the Mind, but it would be impossible to do under the time constraints of the school day. (You really need to work on this project in chunks of time no shorter than two hours.) It would have to be done as an after-school activity, with perhaps an occasional Saturday. I don't think this will happen this school year, but I would like to do it some time in the future.
If you wish to know more about Odyssey of the Mind, or if you think you might be willing to be involved in it this year or next year, please contact me
What is Battle of the Books?
Battle of the Books is a countywide competition. Students from grade levels from 3 through 8 are responsible for reading 10 books. They are then quizzed on the content of the books. I will be fielding a team of four to six students from each grade level from each school.
Participation in Battle of the Books is separate from GATE. ANY student interested in reading is welcome to join the team.
Three Battle of the Books competitions will be held in 2011: Great Meadows Middle School will host Grades 5 and 6 on April 6. Grades 7 and 8 will compete at North Warren Regional High School on April 13. The 3rd and 4th grade contest will be held at Brass Castle School in Washington Township on May 26.
Here's the book list for grades 3 and 4:
|A Crooked Kind of Perfect
||E. B. White|
|Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
|Rapunzel, the One with the Hair
||Esther Wood Brady|
|What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?
Here is the list for grades 5 and 6:
|Becoming Naomi Leon
||Pam Muñoz Ryan|
|A Crooked Kind of Perfect
|From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
||E. L. Konigsberg|
|Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH
||Robert C. O'Brien|
|No More Dead Dogs
|The Westing Game
|Who Was Leonardo Da Vinci?
Here is the list for grades 7 and 8:
|All of the Above
|Hope Was Here
|The Boy Who Saved Baseball
|The Wednesday Wars
|They Cage the Animals at Night
||Jennings Michael Burch|
If you have a child who likes to read and who retains information after reading, you might want to consider trying out for the Battle of the Books. Please contact me
or either Mrs. Roman in Liberty School or Mrs. O'Connor in the Middle School.
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What is Battle of the Minds?
Battle of the Minds is another competition among teams from schools in Warren County. The questions come from a variety of disciplines, including the arts, social studies, science, and math.
As with Battle of the Books, participation in Battle of the Minds is separate from GATE; any student in the appropriate grade level may try out for the team. Each team consists of up to six students, including alternates.
The 7th and 8th grade Battle of the Minds took place on November 11 at Warren Hills Middle School. I'm delighted to say that the 8th grade came in second place, losing only to a very competitive team from Oxford. Well done!
The 5th and 6th grade Battle of the Minds will be held on March 31 at Great Meadows Middle School. Those teams have been selected and are working hard to prepare for the competition.
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Unfortunately, the annual Warren County Debate Tournament has been shelved for this year. However, GATE classes will engage in some debate activities. Watch this space for details!
Following are the GATE and Enrichment activities in each grade level for the next few weeks. This listing will be updated about every two weeks.
Testing of kindergarten students will take place in spring 2011.
Students are learning about the earth and its place in the solar system, including movement of the earth and how that affects seasons. We will soon begin a unit on numbers.
The 2nd grades are in the process of creating PowerPoints about different states in the United States.
The students are wrapping up the evaluations of each other's menus. Before the end of March, they will begin creating original Web pages for different nations of the world.
I'm proud to say that the team of Max C., Gavin M., Alex V. and Zach Y. came in FIRST at Phabulous Physics Day at Mansfield Elementary School on March 4. They built a roller coaster out of foam pipe insulation and cardboard tubes. A truly tremendous achievement, especially since Great Meadows had never entered this competition before. Well-done, guys! All the 4th graders are concluding their studies of Newton's laws of motion and gravity. Their next activity will involve writing and responding to music.
Each 5th grader is creating a different company, and each student is making a PowerPoint presentation in which he or she tries to persuade a deep-pockets investor (that would be me) to invest in the company. They are also learning about the stock market, in preparation for the Stock Market Game in 6th grade.
The 6th graders are playing the Stock Market, in which their investments are being tracked with other teams throughout northern New Jersey.
The 7th graders are also playing the Stock Market Game. The remaining groups will also present their debates some time in the coming weeks.
The students are viewing the film version of Inherit the Wind and comparing it with the play script they read earlier in the year.
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GATE Trips and Special Events
Dates are subject to change.
March 15 - A group of interested 7th graders will take part in a special workshop on the performing arts at Warren County Community College. The workshop will be conducted by the acclaimed troupe, Pushcart Players.
May 16 – We have received a grant from the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers, so the 6th graders will tour the State House in Trenton and participate in a mock “Make-A-Law” session.
May – 8th grade GATE trip to New York City. Itinerary to be determined.
June 2 - 3rd grade Pick-A-Packet Day at Trinity United Methodist Church, Hackettstown, sponsored by the Warren County Consortium for Student Enrichment.
June 2011 – GATE Night at each school. Students will present projects they created this past year in GATE. Fourth-graders will build their roller coasters. Grades 5 and 6 will perform their mock trials. Dates to be determined.
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Thank you for your interest in GATE!
(908) 637-4349, ext. 253