Our Approach

Our Approach

 

 

Great Minds Learning Community is:

◆ Designed for both gifted learners’ and twice-exceptional (2e) learners’ unique needs.

 

◆ Personalized, differentiated instruction in language arts, math, science, and social studies through online learning platforms such as Khan Academy, Pixton (Click N Drag Comics), NoRedInk, VoiceThread, and Flocabulary.

 

◆ Student-driven goals and “play lists.”

 

◆ Matching students up as running partners to goal-set with each other and create weekly accountability to those goals.

 

◆ Passionate guides instead of teachers.

 

◆ Small, mixed-age class sizes.

 

◆ Comfortable, home-like environment.

 

◆ Flexible, student-driven hands-on Group Project Time based on the genuine interests of the students.

 

◆ Flexible, student-driven hands-on Individual Project Time based on the genuine interests of the students.

 

◆ 21st-Century job preparation by focusing on critical thinking, problem-solving, innovation, flexibility, resilience, and creativity instead of rote memorization.

 

◆ Socratic discussions that promote critical thinking, emotional, and social development.

 

◆ Improvisational theater strategies to develop social skills.

 

◆ Tribe-building activities to deepen our sense of community, friendship, and fun.

 

◆ Actively use non-violent communications strategies to explore feelings and solve conflicting needs.

 

◆ No homework.

 

◆ No grades.

 

◆ No required standardized tests or teaching to the test.

 

◆ Be surrounded by peers and guides who support and challenge you.

 

◆ Apprenticeships starting in 8th grade.

 

◆ Students can delve deeply into their passions.

 

◆ Brain and body breaks to reconnect and refocus.

 

◆ One full hour for lunch and recess time outdoors.

 

◆ Mastery can be shown in a format that matches the learner’s strengths (e.g. oral or project-based demonstration of mastery for students with dysgraphia; activity-based project mastery for student needing to move, etc.) while encouraging growth in areas of weakness.

 

◆ School hours 9:00-3:00 that maximize learning (no 6:00 a.m. wake-ups).

 

◆ Brief weekly, anonymous surveys give parents and students a voice in sharing what we’re doing well and how we can improve.

 

Here are just a few examples of ways that Great Minds Learning Community’s learning environment accommodates Dabrowski’s “Overexcitabilities” in gifted and 2e learners (To learn more about overexcitabilities, visit: http://sengifted.org/overexcitability-and-the-gifted/):

◆ Touch-screen Chromebooks provide options for students who prefer touching the screen instead of typing out answers on the keyboard

 

◆ Active Learning Stools designed for energetic learners, allowing range of movement without disrupting others.

 

◆ Adjustable private desk, share table, or lapdesk options to maximize comfort during individual work time.

 

◆ Headsets can be worn if students are hypersensitive to noise.

 

◆ Berkey filtered water removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites and reduces harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs.

 

◆ Carpet-free environment helps students that are chemically sensitive or have allergies.

 

◆ LED lights only — no fluorescent or CFL to minimize headaches and maximize attention.

 

◆ No perfumes, colognes, or strong fragrances to minimize chemical sensitivity that distracts from learning.

 

◆ Gradeless environment to decrease anxiety and focus on mastery.

 

◆ IQ Air best-in-class air and chemical filtration. (Filters Ultrafine particles to .003 microns and is up to 100X more effective than standard HEPA.)