Every student needs to be challenged. I work with Academically Intellectually Gifted students in three rural schools. One of these schools is at the edge of our county, so far from town, that we struggle to get an internet signal. All three are Title I schools with many who receive free or reduced-priced lunch. All three are in close proximity to one of our nation’s largest military bases.

The AIG students are some of the hardest to grow academically.

Their teachers and I consult regularly to find ways to make sure this student population has access to challenging learning experiences and access to diverse ways to approach a problem. They need opportunities to expand their thinking and develop their unique gifts. As their teacher, I have to bring many experiences to them because the rural environment just doesn’t offer the same opportunities that a city might.

Just as these students have academic needs, their regular ed peers do, too. As an AIG teacher, I work with all the students that need acceleration. Every student needs a challenge. These schools do not have the budget to provide access to those challenges.

My students are eager to learn about money! They all want to be RICH when they grow up, so they need an understanding of how the economy works. My students complete a unit on financial literacy and the stock market each year to help create a foundation for economics at a young age.

The book Lawn Boy is a chapter book that not only teaches about work ethic, financial responsibility, and the stock market but also keeps the students laughing from beginning to end.

We will use the games Blokus, Mancala, Shut the Box, and others to supplement our unit on the brain and how it works. We will discuss as we play, learning at which level our brain is processing information and just how many concepts it can process at once! The children love thinking about their thinking and they learn reasoning and logic as they play.

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