What a year!


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in GATE | Posted on April 8, 2011

Well, the official GATE support program is over for the year. Teachers will continue to differentiate for your students in their classrooms. 

It has been a great year for me, working with your children.  This year we learned:

  • Thinking Maps, using a Frame of Reference
  • Depth and Complexity icons (6th gd)
  • blogging
  • cybersafety
  • emailing classes across the country
  • we looked deeply at topics such as Water, Natural Disasters, and Global Warming
  • Slippery Science and Mineral Mania
  • wikis
  • social-emotional issues with gifted children

A special thank you to Drew’s mom, Juanita Harris for helping with 5th grade each week!  Thanks to Mrs. Gil for her support with the program as well.

There will be a GATE parent meeting at the District office on Wednesday, April 27 from 6-7 in the ESSC Room.

I will be teaching Mrs. Hasting’s 5th grade class for the rest of the year since she is moving and getting married! See you around school!

McMillin Highlighted at Board Meeting


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in GATE, Uncategorized | Posted on March 22, 2011

McMillin-Feb2011-BoardpresentationOn February 15th, our school was highlighted at the Board Meeting.  Mr. Mora shared about our school.  To visit the presentation, click here  2_15_11__McMillin_Oral-In_Process1.

One of our 6th GATErs, Melissa, gave the follwoing speech:

Salutations; my name is Melissa.  (Jordan) and I are here to talk to you about how McMillin supports us inside and outside the classroom.  The Gifted and Talented Education program, otherwise known as GATE, is an extraordinary program where we get the opportunity to learn about advanced topics in more depth.  For instance, we are expanding our learning about water by incorporating technology. 

My next 3 topics were made possible by our wonderful PTA.  First off the fall festival, where we came together and developed different ideas and made our fall festival a successful community event.  Movie night.  Just the thought of a movie, popcorn, and coffee with friends and family makes me feel warm and fuzzy.  That’s the feeling the McMillin PTA conjures.  Every time we get families coming together and just spending time together and creating memories, that’s what’s important.  Last but not least, the Idol Show.  The Idol Show is an opportunity for students to showcase their talents with family and friends.  I would ike to end this by telling you what an honor it is to be here today.  Thank you.

Untying the Gordian Knot: A Practical Guide to Understanding the Gifted Child


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in GATE, parents | Posted on March 15, 2011

We are honored to have a guest speaker, Dr. Morgan Appel from UCSD speak to us about gifted children.

Here are some of the main points that I learned as I was listening:

The Brain!

Every learning moment has a cognitive and an emotional component.

Evolution of the brain:

1. Primitive dinosaur brain has “fight or flight” survival.

2. Limbic system of mammals: behavioral response based on learning.

3. Neocortex of human brain: Social, emotional

Gifted Brains…

process constantly.

are hypersensitive.

have increased memory efficiency and capacity.

have “analysis paralysis”.

learn incidentally (cognitive flypaper).

 For gifted and high acheiving kids, 50% of the year’s curriculum can be skipped without ill effects. 

Asynchronous Development: 

 A typical child develops +1physical; +1cognitive, +1Social emotional per year.

A gifted child develops +1 physically, +3 cognitive, – 1 social/emotionally.

Gifted kids look outwardly for approval and inwardly for blame.

How can parents help?

take complaints of boredom seriously.

help with organizational and study skills.

model downtime

praise process as well as product.

talk with the teacher about providing application and abstraction, rather than manipulation.

LOVE THEM, unique quirks and all!!




email Mr. Appel: [email protected]

For the latest news on gifted education, please visit the UCSD Education Department on Facebook!

Announcing: GATE Parent Meeting


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in GATE, parents, Uncategorized | Posted on February 23, 2011

MH900056645McMillin will be hosting a guest speaker, Dr. Morgan Appel from UCSD. He will be discussing the socio-emotional characteristics of the gifted child. Please join us on March 15 at 9-10am or 5-6pm in the auditorium. Hope to see you there!

Our GATE “program”


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in depth and complexity, GATE, teachers, Thinking Maps | Posted on January 21, 2011

I have been “meeting” a lot of people (parents, teachers, and administrators) in the Gifted and Talented community on Twitter  and thought I’d share how my school’s GATE program works.  Hope to hear an overview of some of your programs as well!IMG_0466

First of all, all the schools in my district support GATE students, but in different ways.  The classrooms at my school are of mixed ability.  My school chose to spend the money to hire a GATE teacher to support the approximately 100 students in 4th-6th grades.    The teachers have had trainings in differentiation and have a Universal Access or Workshop time where they work in small groups.  They differentiate the California standards for the gifted students to challenge them.

Here’s where I come in… I pull the gifted students into the library/media center for 1 hour a week to provide even more depth, complexity and enrichment.  One hour a week doesn’t sound like a lot, but it gives me a chance to teach them tools like Thinking Maps (adding a Frame of Reference for metacognition) and Depth and Complexity icons in a homogenous group.  Then, I will be showing these tools to the teachers so they will be able to embed them into the rest of the curriculum.

Another bonus to me pulling them out of their general education classroom is it gives the teachers an hour a week to reteach and review with a smaller number of students.  If a gifted student happens to need to be retaught a concept, the teacher can keep them instead of sending them to GATE with me.

How does your school meet the needs of these students??